A Musical Guide to Global Eclipse Gathering's 7 StagesArticle by: B. Getz|@upfullife187
Mon May 22, 2017 | 16:05 PM
Global Eclipse Gathering is a once in a lifetime cosmic celebration, a symbiotic tribal alliance of festival cultures across our planet. From August 17-23, 2017, a dozen renowned international music and art festivals will congregate in Antelope, Oregon to take in a total solar eclipse en masse. Hosted on the majestic Big Summit Prairie in Ochoco National Forest which sprawls over 55,000 acres and includes Crater Lake, this event will bring together the finest in progressive festival culture for a transformative weekend focused on community, education, live-art installations, workshops, and prodigious musical programming that is beyond description – though in this article we shall try.
Following the fearless leadership of California's Symbiosis Gathering in collaboration with 11 other excellent international festivals, revelers of all stripes will enjoy the finest curation of progressive and psychedelic musical performances North America has ever seen. Imagine floating above the clouds in a hot air balloon, steering over time-traveling art boats cruising the lush lake environs, surrounded by a forest of illumination and sublime rolling hills.
In nothing short of a triumph in both booking and bluster, Eclipse has announced a whopping seven music stages, each meant to create a unique atmosphere, theme, and vision. The Moon, Earth, Sun, Sky, Silk Road, Big Top, and Eclipse Stages will unleash their variegated genius with a mind-boggling assortment of musical offerings. Each of the seven standalone stages covers a wide swath of electronic genres such as house, techno, bass, funk, psy-trance, as well as performances from many leading purveyors of progressive, psychedelic, globally-generated live instrumentation.
Please enjoy this up close and personal preview, saluting seven supernatural stages and the 350+ music artists on deck for Global Eclipse Gathering.
The centerpiece for all music programming, the festival's namesake stage will host a genre-spanning assembly of iconic performers. Combining all of the elements of festival culture and its supernatural soundtracks, the Eclipse Stage will be HQ for the largest contingents of revelers and the boldest fonts of the festival. Whether it be the jam-tastic journeys of String Cheese Incident or STS9, the heartbeat of the jamband community will be on display. In other galaxies of sound, the dynamic Dimond Saints and subaqueous Thriftworks will push the sonic boundaries of a new mothership connection. Carnival steez of entirely different breeds in the Berkeley bedouins Beats Antique and Pacific Northwest's March Fourth will satirize the masses, while ethereal sunrise technician Random Rab will bring up the biggest star, our sun, with aplomb. The world's funkiest diplomat The Polish Ambassador is guaranteed to host a spunky dance party of preposterous proportions, while the titanic Bassnectar is sure to turn it loose.
The Moon Stage will be a centralized zone for a loosely affiliated collection of artists that lean toward what's often categorized as "Bass Music." The stage was primarily booked by Symbiosis Gathering and Bass Coast , though Danny Corn and Andrea Graham received input from their festival partners around the world. They sought artists with unique voices, and who have and will inspire the global Bass scene. The plan is for their programming to flow as would the phases of a diverse DJ set, sensitive to the time of day by arcing upward from fun daytime energy up through the peak nocturnal hours, and then easing down to a chill landing as the sun rears its head at dawn.
We were lucky to track Graham down, (she will perform at The Moon Stage as The Librarian.) We asked her and Danny Corn to let us in on their curating process and vision behind the Moon's mouthwatering lineup card.
"Number one on our list was getting DEEP MEDi MUZIK out to the festival," she said. "[Label head] Mala played a legendary sunrise set at Symbiosis in 2007 and also 2009. Kahn and Neek are putting out some of the most interesting music out there. Truth have also played Symbiosis so it made sense to invite them all out to the Eclipse. As a label, DEEP MEDi has been at the forefront of their scene for quite some time and we are thrilled to have a full night for them to take us on a journey. Another pivotal figure in Bass Music, particularly on the West Coast, is EPROM, who has inspired so much of what is happening in Bass Music today. Additionally, Om Unit is also joining the Eclipse line up. His label Cosmic Bridge defined the slow/fast sound that blends dubstep’s half-time heartbeat with jungle and footwork rhythms. A familiar face at Bass Coast, Om Unit commands the dance floor’s attention with his powerful sets. "
In addition to the artists Graham spotlighted, allow us to call attention to a few more mad professors who will mine the moon's tombs: An-ten-nae, PRSN, Danny Corn, The Librarian, and The Gaslamp Killer.
One of the coolest regions of Symbiosis has always been Silk Road, a period-specific stage and scene that harkens back to centuries ago. History has regaled us with tales of an ancient network of trade routes that were for centuries central to cultural interaction, and the main traders during this antiquity included the Chinese, Arabs, Turkmens, Indians, Persians, Somalis, Greeks, Syrians, Romans, Georgians, Armenians, Bactrians and other transient merchants and philosophers. Rest assured, the creative genius behind Lightning in a Bottle's Frontierville, The Grand Artique, is planning an equally epic endeavor for the Global Eclipse Gathering's Silk Road stage, a vintage view into the Persian panacea.
The Grand Artique's Ian Xavier explains, "The mission of the Silk Road is to create an environment that not only captures your senses but transports you through time and space to a world of travel, of bygone markets, of trade, of energetic connection that provokes cultural questions, musical ideals...Our philosophy with the music curation was to welcome in as many different genres within the global/world music landscape. By doing this we were able to book Tuvan throat singers, Cumbia, Poetry, Afrobeat, Qawwali, Swamptronica and everything else in between!
A smattering of choice performers stirring within this smorgasbord of global mysticism blessing up this bedouin bazaar: Ayla Nereo, Liberation Movement, Brian Hartman, Dogon Lights, [and] Huun-Huur-Tu (Tuvan throat singer). We are particularly excited for the unique blend of 1950s and 60s style cumbia and high-energy, Afro-Colombian dance music of La Misa Negra and the sublime, enchanted séance that is Stellamara, whose art is rooted in Near Eastern, Eastern European, Medieval European, Arabic and Persian traditions. Across the sonic and socio-cultural spectrum, Silk Road will host the exhilarating, Brooklyn-based afro-beat orchestra Antibalas."
Big Top Stage
We tried mightily to pry some information about the Big Top Stage from the minds behind the magic, but Mike Gaines of Vau de Vire Society chose to stay tight-lipped regarding what is in store for the hypnotic house of cards. At Symbiosis Gathering 2016, the teetering tent exploded into a psychedelic circus of the ridiculous. At Eclipse, the spectacle shall be bigger and badder – heaven in a hippie hippodrome. The music programming leans toward the live element, from funk to folk, N'awlins to the NorthWest, Floridian jams to Bay Area fam, and all points between. Above is a smidgen to whet the appetite for a bumpin' BBQ at the Big Top carousal.
"The Earth Stage is to be one of the larger stages at the event, with some focus and emphasis on creating a fun party, but with a larger focus on creating a sexy, chill, psychedelic journey. Running with the theme of 'Earth,' we want to create a grounded, cozy feel, using natural elements and not a lot of hard lines. Expect the space to feel beautiful, clean, grounded, safe and natural. We hope that all of our built environments can inspire people to see what can be done in harmony with this Earth that we live on. "
And about the music:
"We couldn't be more excited to run with the genre and vibe that has been determined for this stage. There is a focus on chill sexy psychedelic music, but will also have room for fun, party vibes. We get to take you on a journey. Some of the names to look out for, are some of the ones that most people have never heard of."
The interplanetary intention and foundation of the Earth Stage experience will be soundtracked by the likes of British Columbia's shamans in sultry, like Goopsteppa, and sacred, like aTYya, Australian Ecstatic Dance empress DJ Dakini, Reno, Nevada's portal-probing prodigal son CharlestheFirst, and the legend himself doing Gaudi in Dub. Bridging the gap between progressive production and organic instrumentation will be the emotional lust of The Human Experience, the empyreal Emancipator, and Costa Rica's pimpadelic Santos y Zurdo.
Admittedly beyond the scope of this writer's tastes or familiarities, there is no denying that psytrance is a global force in festival culture. It is nothing if not an acquired taste; as the venerable artist Android Jones once explained to Everfest's own Eamon Armstrong: "you don't actually dance to psytrance, psytrance dances you." SpacegeishA, boss lady of the trendsetting record label Street Ritual and a veteran Symbiosis staffer, was kind enough to give us the 411 on the music to be presented at the Sun Stage.
"The global representation on the Sun Stage is unlike America has ever seen. With top notch artists coming from every corner of the globe, this will be America's premiere psytrance experience, most likely the largest showcase of this sound we've ever hosted on American soil. The Sun Stage will feature a variety of psytrance tempos including progressive, dark-psy, downtempo, full-on, and so much more. Be ready for barefoot dancing, global vibes, and incredibly satisfying rolling bass lines."
"While you may be a novice to psytrancing or a trained professional; you should know there is nothing quite as satisfying as hearing this genre on loud speakers. Dancing wildly and connecting with yourself and the earth is what this music is all about: helping to put us into a trance of rhythm, melodies, and of course BASS. "
SpacegeishA was also kind enough to hip us to just a few of who's who playing the Sun Stage: Grouch, 1200 Mics, Perfect Stranger, Smoke Sign (who booked much of the stage's programming), AJJA, D-NOX, Ace Venture, Merkaba, Ryanosaurus, Tripswitch, Hallucinogen, and 24-hour Goa Gil experience.
If you are looking for cutting-edge deep house and techno, tilt your head toward the clouds and immerse yourself in the Sky Stage. Also keeping their prodigious plans and insane installations hush-hush, this hub for house and playa-tech will be HQ for revelers who camp with the Dirty Birds, ride the Robot Heart bus, and feast with Desert Hearts family. It's a lineup card brimming with a plethora of progressive artists that hail from all corners and communities. We've put together a short highlight reel of amazing untz technicians who will serenade the Sky Stage with appropriate throb.