West Coast Bass Culture

The Emissions festival was a fantastic party. Run by two production crews called Camp Question Mark and Irie Cartel Recordings, the event housed over “100 of the most progressive names in future bass, dubstep, hip-hop, glitch-hop, mid-tempo, and every other sub-genre of bass .” The focus was “not trying to be overly pretentious, but at the same time not mainstream at all. This festival is rooted in it’s meticulously perfected, non-cookie cutter lineups.”

This intention was very present throughout the weekend. The vibe was friendly and accommodating. The 24 hour music was diverse and eclectic, split evenly between one larger stage and a smaller side stage. The stage design and lighting effects were artistically done, and portrayed a 2012 Mayan/Aztec theme. Live art was EVERYwhere, and you couldn’t walk 10 feet in the main area without running into a beautiful art gallery or a live painter doing his thing. The campground was close to the stages and the area around was filled with accommodating oak trees who provided oasis during the hot days.

The music showcased throughout the weekend was bass heavy and fresh. Particular sets that got my feet moving and heart pumping included Fresh Young Minds, Knight Riderz, Heavyweight Dub Champion, Skulltrane and Starkey.

As it was a smaller festival, I spent quite a bit of time checking out the vendor area. I noticed a company Grassroots California vending first at Lucidity, then had a chance to chat with them this weekend. The company produces stylish baseball caps such as the one pictured here. The Grassroots collective is highly involved with the medical marijuana movement, and they donate part of their proceeds to the cause.

Another company that caught my eye was the producer of some fantastic portable speakers; Boombotix. “Founded in 2009 with roots in San Francisco’s urban art scene and the Tahoe action sports arena” the company produces one of the world’s loudest portable speaker, that is virtually indestructible, stylish and has a low price point. The Fancy Shop of Important Things, from Oakland, displayed some beautiful hats as well, pictured below. They may be vending at Shambhala this year so keep an eye out for them.

In my opinion, performance artists absolutely stole the show. There was a tantalizing fire show for about 6 hours on Saturday night, bellydancers holding down the main stage for most of the weekend, and one particular hula hoop artist that stole my heart. Apparently there were also silk acrobats, but I missed them. Overall, the party was intimate, engaging, and entertaining. I’m so happy I had the chance to check out this event. If I make it to Burning Man this summer… I will most definitely search out Camp Question Mark.

Headed up to Sebastopol, CA tomorrow for Tribal Fest 2012.. one of the world’s largest belly dancing conventions. More to come!

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