It’s Monday, August 1. BC Day, in fact. A holiday to recognize all things great about BC. What a better time to celebrate the biggest non-corporate music festival in BC, and one of the premier outdoor music festivals in the entire world. Is that a big claim? You bet. But one look at the lineup across six unique stages and you will wet your pants more than once at the thought of the amazing music that will be blasting through some of the most premium sound systems on the planet.
Yes, Shambhala is a special place, a topic I just discussed in another post. So I will leave this little piece of internet real estate to mention some of the blocks on the schedule that are really getting me excited to shake and move for four days straight.
I won’t consider myself an expert, I just speak from experience. But I’m willing to give you a guarantee on these sets to be above average at the least. At the best, it will be some of the best times on any dancefloor on the planet. Worth a shot at least. Then if you don’t like it you can go to one of the other 5 stages or enjoy the campground shenanigans. But seriously, don’t miss these sets:
Fractal Funk Jam: Fractal Forest, 2pm Sunday
I list the last event first because after so much time dancing over the first few days you might be lacking the energy to get out mid afternoon. But missing the funk jam would be a true shame. The DJ booth overflows with talent from some of the top headliners and local favourites playing vinyl renditions of some of the best classic grooves of the past four decades. It’s the perfect mix of happy sounds, cool grooves, and vitamin D to get you ready for the last night where you’re going to have to let it all out.
Stylust Beats: AMPitheatre, 1:30pm Thursday and The Village, 8:00pm Saturday
Over the past few years Geoff Reich has made quite a name for himself as Stylust Beats, the no-nonsense producer who has laid down some of the heaviest hitting tracks that seem to be perfectly manicured for the hard-hitting PK Sound systems at Shambhala. Every year he carefully crafts his sets to perform for what is pretty much a hometown crowd for the Vancouver native. Nowadays he lives in Los Angeles, bringing his punchy beats to an even wider audience that has been nothing but fuel for his skyrocketing career.
This year you can catch him playing not one but TWO full sets, including a day 1 appearance at the AMPitheatre to kick of the festival with some serious high energy. Then he hits primetime on Saturday night in the Village for the loudest soundsystem around. Joining him usually is Emotionz, longtime MC friend who is a longtime Shambhala veteran. The duo know how to get a party into overdrive, but don’t take my word for it, make sure you check it out.
Ragga Jungle Rinse Out: The Village, Friday 3pm
Opening up the massive wall of PK sound in The Village is the Ragga Jungle Rinse Out, a 3 hour marathon of old and new drum and bass lines with a high tempo, with the lyrical madness of the Jamaican styles. When the sun is shining and the music is fast, you wont’ know what to do with yourself. Here is the chance to let it all out, leaving everything out. It’s like a training mission designed to deconstruct the ego. Only when you are good and nearly dead will the true path to enlightenment begin. So too is the journey of the dance; and the rinse out will leave your body to a point of exhaustion that means you can only go up from there. That seems to mark the beginning of the true dance conquest from that point onward. Best to get it done early on Friday before the real madness kicks in.
Mat The Alien: The Pagoda, Sunday 6PM
Mat is one of the most versatile DJ’s on the planet. This year marks his 13th Shambhala, and he shows no signs of slowing down. This year his set at the Pagoda is only one of 4 scheduled stops along with the Fractal Funk Jam, the Ragga Jungle Rinse Out, and an opening set for Beats Antique on Saturday. As previously mentioned, you will hopefully be at the Funk Jam and Rinse Out already and be so amazed at his talent you will just have to see more. Just the fact that he has deep crates in both funk and jungle is impressive enough, but then in his own set he will be pulling out tracks that he produced with some of his comrades, as well as classics old and new. His set always runs the gamut with a voyage into many different genres and tempos. Come see his set to see what a true DJ can do to magnify the dance floor.
Z-Trip: Fractal Forest, Saturday, 12AM
If you have never seen Z-Trip play live, then you are in for a real treat. Over the past 20 years he has been pushing the envelope and almost single-handedly progressing the mashup movement to new heights. He has appeared in countless albums, performing with the best of the best over 2 decades. You get to see him at the prime time of all primetimes, in one of the craziest venues on the planet. You can avoid the forest until this point, but missing it here would be a huge mistake. Make sure to set your alarm.