Stay Gold, Bass Coast (2016 review)

Credit: Neil McElmon

The Main Stage. Photo (c) Neil McElmon

Another year, another fantastic show of talent by some of BC’s finest new media artists over at Bass Coast Project. After a week of the usual 9-5 desk work I couldn’t wait to get back to Nicola Valley, where the sun was shining despite the insane rainstorm we drove through to get there. (Anyone wishing to get caught up can read last year’s review here.)

I had to leave early on Sunday for a funeral, so unfortunately I can’t offer any insight into the final acts, but read on for a tour of the festival and the first two days’ highlights.

This year’s celebration was sold out months in advance (including early entry!), but with a capped attendance of 3000 people, things never felt too crowded. One of my favourite things about Bass Coast is the size. Getting in and out is a breeze, and so is carving out some room next to your friends if they happen to arrive early. Nobody pays extra to camp with their car which is also a huge plus.

So many hot people... Photo (c) Pollinator

So many hot people… Photo (c) Pollinator

The theme this summer was black and gold, which turned all the festivalgoers into literal eye candy. As if people who attend Babe Coast weren’t sexy enough… that shit had me questioning my sexuality!

La Cantina, Bass Coast’s least stage-y stage, was actually bumping some pretty sweet acts on Friday night with Dubconscious keeping things light in the evening and Goopsteppa‘s deep, bass-heavy set of spacey minimalism closer to dawn.

As much as I love the music at Bass Coast, I think I like the art even more, if only because it’s so rare — a sandbox of pure novelty, perfect for exploring between sets. The forest at the center of the three main stages serves as an interactive playground of multimedia installations. As expected, this year’s crop did not fail to amaze. There was a giant rotating, colour-changing kaleidoscope that you could stick your face into so it encompassed your entire field of vision, and a gumball machine that spat out little capsules containing missions! There was also a cozy black-lit platform painted with intricate patterns, ideal for midnight chillin’, upon which I encountered a HUGE beetle that shimmered like a gasoline puddle! (At least… I think that happened?)

“The Registroid”. Photo (c) Khaos Photos

Artist duo Monkey C Interactive deserves a special shout-out for creating two of the most engaging pieces at this year’s incarnation. The Registroid is an antique cash-register-turned-DJ controller that always had a crowd of people surrounding it. Anyone who played with the Registroid for long enough was rewarded when the drawer popped open to reveal a hidden trading post full of treasures to choose from.

13669266_10153878622517736_7108742866426267444_o

“Remix Railings”. Photo (c) Joe Flow

Monkey C also turned the railings of the bridge leading to the campground into a DJ controller, with touch-sensitive points triggering beats courtesy of longtime Bass Coast performer Longwalkshortdock. It was always a pleasure passing over the bridge to see people running their fingers along the railings and discovering that even the bridge was interactive.

Aside from La Cantina, Bass Coast has three stages: Slay Bay, Pirate Radio, and the Main Stage. I caught SkiiTour at Pirate Radio on Saturday Night, who are known for filling the air at their shows with fake snow (bubbles and foam!).

Combined with the light show and the incredible dance music SkiiTour was feeding us, I was completely overwhelmed by the mastery of it all. Pirate Radio has a huge net suspended between trees for partiers to relax in (a blessing). In the morning, it offered back-to-back yoga classes.

Slay Bay was done up like a steampunk distillery for DJs to cook up beats behind. Situated right by the water with a newly established bar next door, Slay Bay is the place to be in the daytime. Lighta! Sound hosted the annual reggae jam here on Saturday afternoon.

The main stage provides a platform for some of the more eccentric acts at the festival (I’m looking at you, Blondtron), including those that need the extra space to move, like female dance group Luciterra. My favourite set here definitely had to be Ekali’s on Friday night, a gritty, hip-hop inspired mix that saw even the spacious main stage packed with people.

Bass Coast also hosts a series of thought-provoking workshops throughout the day. Class subjects ranged from tea to music production to how-to’s for successful threesomes ;)

I won’t ramble on too much about logistics, but there are a few things that I feel really set Bass Coast apart when it comes to how it is run. No corporate sponsorship, no price gouging, and no cutting corners around artist compensation. Visual artists receive grants to complete projects for the event. Everyone gets paid. Considering how small Bass Coast is (and how often organizers offer artists “exposure” as compensation), this is significant. They’ve also got a kickass team of people in charge of harm reduction over at the festival’s Sanctuary, ensuring 24-hour access to a wide scope of safety-centric resources.

While I was attending the media orientation I ran into a delightful gentleman, Eamon Armstrong, who was covering Bass Coast for Fest300. Eamon passed on an interesting piece of advice about festival writing: he suggested writing not about the music or schedule of events, but the human condition within the context of that environment. His words reminded me of last year, when I dropped my wallet and collected it 10 minutes later from the lost and found with all $200 cash untouched. Then I thought back to my first year, where I fell into a funk on the last day and reenergized by collecting hugs from strangers until I no longer felt out of place.

Music festivals can be overwhelming at times, but I always feel empowered by the knowledge that everyone is looking out for each other, contributing to a communal good vibe that fuels the individual each time they glance around. There is something that changes in people when they’re given the chance to get out of the rat race and celebrate life at an event dedicated entirely to the beauty of human expression; a kind of fullness that overflows into a desire to give rather than take. Bass Coast is a perfect example of that.

Thank you Bass Coast Project! Until next time!

TELYKast – You & I (feat. Shara)

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 7.09.41 PM

I dig TELYKast yo. They got great pop sensibilities. So far I don’t find any of their music annoying. And realistically I am annoyed by most music… The other day, one of my many many girlfriends was playing some horrible fucking song by I don’t even know who. I tried to ignore it but I am a grumpy old fuck so that effort ended in me throwing a portable speaker out of the window because by the time I got around to voicing my distaste for the fucking annoying hook, I was already all wound up.  I haven’t eaten yet either so I was hangry. I blame it on that. There went a 90 dollar Boombot portable speaker. They’re durable but this was about 12 stories of flight before hitting a tin garage roof.

check out TELKYast

Guap . Out.

Stalgia – In The Trees

Stalgia - In The Trees

Hey kids! Here is a new lil jawn from Stalgia “In the trees”

Back in the day I had a cat that was scared of heights and he always, almost daily even, would get stuck in some fuckin’ tree. It got so stupid after a while we started leaving food up in the trees. My best friend and I would climb a bunch of local trees and hang random treats on various branches because I was scared that my cat might just starve up there. One night I heard that lil fuck way up in some random back yard tree and climbed up to get him, but the damn guy was in the canopy and the winds picked up. So there I was, stuck with my cat, in the canopy of the tree, winds howling and him trying to claw his way into my wool sweater that I always wore when I had to go rescue him. I waited over an hour just holding onto the canopy branches hoping that some lightning bolt doesn’t just strike me in my face or something. So that’s my experience in the trees. Moral of the story is, don’t get a retarded cat.

Follow: STALGIA

Guap. Out.

Solidisco – Summer Heat

Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 10.42.27 AM

The last time I had a good dose of summer heat was during a fuckin’ 114 degree heatwave in Brooklyn NY. The smog would stay in your skin as dust. I picked exactly that day to wear a backpack with khaki pants since I didn’t really own any shorts. All I had was those tennis coach shorts which with my six pack having turned into a little hipster belly, would have made me look like a child molester, or at best, some sort of sex offender. So Khakis it was! Anyways, I walked for hours in this heat and got such a bad rash in my crotch that I had to buy baby powder and apply it in the bathroom of every McDonalds I passed by. True story. This Solidisco song is the only summer heat that I can stand yo…

Guap. Out.

Hypercolor – Pretty feat. Che Ecru

Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 10.32.09 AM

Every time I think of the name Hypercolor I imagine some hippie in a tyedye shirt and some sort of neon green shorts with really bright sunglasses on. If these guys don’t look like that in real life I’m gonna be pissed. Isn’t hypercolor that shit that changes color in different temperatures? I used to own some shirt like that during my awkward teen stage in high school but then my friends kept fuckin’ pouring water on me to make it change color. Well they would claim that’s what they would do it for but realistically they were just bullying me and I should have kicked the shit out of them. But I was a nice guy.  So I slept with their girlfriends a little while down the road as revenge instead. Anyways, seeing as these guys have 6o followers on soundcloud, I am guessing it’s because they got deleted during the great record label soundcloud purge over the past while,  or they’re just mad slept on. Either way, go give em a like and listen to the song you sexy hamsters.

Guap. Out.

T-Mass x WOLFE – Say Please (ft. Emma Sameth)

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 5.16.07 PM

One of the sentences here is “do you like it with the lights down low”. Welp, that reminds me of a time when I was a young lad and I was like, hey sure I can turn the lights down!  The thing is, when the lights are low, I have THE worst depth perception. So I turn down the lights and I get on top of the foolish woman that had the bravery to get into my bed. As she goes to take off her bra she kinda lifts up her back off the bed, at the same time as I am going down to kiss her. The problem here is, I was moving way too fast yo. I ended up smashing her nose with my forehead so hard she got a bleeding nose. The champ didn’t let that stop her though!!! And she will forever have a special spot in my heart because of this. Check out this track. I really fuckin dig it. WOLFE is a beast and he teamed up with t-mass and Emma Sameth  to bring us this gem here.

GUAP> OUT>

The Nicholas – Pocket (prod. San Holo)

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 1.41.00 PM when it comes to singing, normally I can’t stand processed vocals. I hate hate hate on em hard all the time. People cry submitting the wrong shit to me. But once in a while, there is a song about having something in the ol’ pocket and it’s done in some weirdly cool way. I checked what I keep in my pocket. An empty cocaine baggy, 6 receipts for McDonalds, a half opened extra small condom (things spiralled downwards quickly during a date), my bank card and a business card from a hooker. Check out The Nicholas and San Holo on this record here.

Guap. Out.

Tom Bull ft Bianca – Take it All

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 12.44.18 PM

Last time I heard a girl tell me she is going to take it all I ended up losing my house, my car and my 2 kids. So at first glance of this title I winced and thought to those macaroni and cheese eating days, renting out a basement suite under a Cantonese family who sounded like they were in a perpetual domestic dispute, when in reality they were just talking normally to each other and were always happy. Well, check out this song by Tom Bull and Bianca

Guap. Out.

Midi Jones – KATS

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 11.47.05 AM

I am an avid cat fan. You know why? Because cats don’t give a fuck about anyone but themselves. There is something special when you get the affection of a cat. Especially when it’s a cat that hates almost everyone else. Also, cats will eat your fucking face if you die. Starting with the eyes, lips and nose. That’s a cool factoid!

Midi Jones “Kats”

Guap. Out.