Robert Delong – Weirdly Great and Greatly Weird.

Robert DeLong may not be the hardest working musician ever, but he is definitely one of the hardest working musicians when actually on stage. While I would certainly classify him as an electronic artist, his range goes far beyond what many people think of when they think of EDM (i.e. “pressing buttons”).

DeLong’s sound is diverse, ranging from house to indie to moombahton to rock. But even more diverse than his sound is his stage setup. Like many others, his laptop provides a backing track. Unlike many others, he has multiple drum kits, as well as several drum pads. He has video game controllers rigged to produce sound when he plays them; he sings, including looping his own voice during the show; he plays guitar; he plays keyboards; he probably uses instruments that I don’t even have a vocabulary for. He is never static, bouncing from equipment to equipment, probably accruing more steps during a 60 minute performance than I do in a full day of FitBit tracking. He is a jack of all trades and master of all of them, too.

Curious as to how this all works? Check out the video below, where he goes back and forth between vocals, drums, keys, and a Wiimote.

Did you notice the face paint in that video? (How could you not?) That, too, is a staple of Robert Delong shows. His face always has a cool, geometric, blacklight-sensitive design on it, and if you want to join in on the fun, yours will too.

When I saw DeLong in 2015, a woman approached me during the show and asked me a question, and I had no idea what she was saying so I just shook my head. It wasn’t until later on that I realized that she was asking me if I wanted my face painted. I tried to find her again, but no luck. I looked around at my fellow concert-goers, jealous. When I went to see Robert DeLong at the South Street Seaport (for free!) last week, I was determined not to make the same mistake again.


This show was so fun and buoyant and I am endlessly impressed by the range of his talents and by the community feel of his small but mighty fans. Check out his most famous track, “Global Concepts,” below, or get all your Robert DeLong goodness over at And next time he comes through NYC, come get funky with me!


Shows I Missed: Camp Bisco

I’m happy to say that I don’t write too many “Shows I Missed” posts anymore. These posts are typically a monthly roundup of the concerts I wanted to attend but, for one reason or another, could not. I’m going to a lot fewer shows than normal these days, so I can’t say exactly why it is that I’m feeling less regret about missing out. Maybe I’m being more strategic about concert attendance and actually making it to the few shows I know I’d be extra sad to miss, or maybe I just care less when I don’t attend things. I suspect it’s a little of column A and a little of column B.


I did not allude to this in my Camp Bisco music roundup post, but on the whole I was a bit disappointed not with the quality of music that I saw, but with the quantity. I’ve been to a ton of music festivals yet never before have I left feeling like I missed so many of the sets I was planning on seeing. The reasons for all the missed music are as follows:

  1. Conflicts. So many of my favorites played at the same time. Hard decisions were made.
  2. Rain. One stage at Bisco is covered, so when rain happened, covered sets always took precedence. Even when that covered set wasn’t something I was planning on attending at all.
  3. Early sets. As everyone knows, bigger names tend to perform later in the day, so there aren’t typically many sets I want to see in the early afternoon. Yet Bisco had tons of music I really wanted to see at 12 or 1pm. I could have and should have gone to these, but the long walk from camp to the stages meant I was just too lazy to go, especially since I’d have to walk all the way back after (or spend 12 hours in the festival grounds).
  4. General laziness. Yup.
  5. Various combinations of the above at once.

Here is a sad, sad list of all the music I missed at Camp Bisco.

Nightmares on Wax
Everyone who knows Nightmares on Wax loves Nightmares on Wax. He has this downtempo hip-hop/funk/jazz vibe that is just universally great. I don’t think I spoke to anyone who went to this set, nor do I even remember considering it while at Bisco, which probably means his set conflicted with someone major.

Marvel Years
When someone told me that Marvel Years was on at the same time as Gramatik, I think I audibly “BOOOO”ed. I used to refer to MY as “Pretty Lights Junior,” and while I do think his sound is kind of PL-ish, he’s really come into his own in the last few years. He’s also fantastic live and this was a bummer to the nth degree.

Beats Antique
Beats is a weird, Middle Eastern sounding band with belly dancing and general nonsense (last time I saw them they had a giant inflatable dragon that extended from the stage out into the audience). I actually did make it to the last 10 minutes of this set but it just wasn’t enough.

Out of all the Bisco sets missed by people in my crew, I think the sadness was most universal around Goldfish. It was just too early and too rainy. This duo from South Africa is the danciest and probably the artist I have most succeeded at turning friends into fans.

Manic Focus
Damnit damnit. 2017 should just be unofficially called, “The Summer In Which I Missed Several Manic Focus Sets.” I’ve been on the MF train since relatively early on but for whatever reason I haven’t seen him in…2 years? He has a really unique brand of electro-hip-hop that is allll the fire emojis.

Wax Future
UCH. Wax Future is an electro-funk/soul outfit from Philly and I did not attend this set because it was raining. I don’t really regret this because I get pretty cranky when soggy but I’m generally sad about it anyway. I just want to add to this that despite having a free ticket, I also missed Wax Future when they recently came through Brooklyn Bowl and boo on me for all of this.

Too Many Zooz
This is the set I am most upset to have missed. Especially because I honestly tried to go. Sort of. Too Many Zooz had a super early set and I was about to head there a little late, but right as I was leaving I decided to check the schedule to confirm their set time. I realized that their set was only 40 minutes long instead of the minimum of 60 minutes that LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE GOT, and since they were playing on the far end of the festival grounds and it would have taken me over 20 minutes to get there, I would have only had 5 or so minutes to see them. They’re a brasshouse trio that got their start in the NYC subway system and totally deserve all the fame they have because they have tons of kooky personality.

Anyway. Let this never happen again, okay? Okay.

Camp Bisco: The Experience (2017)

Camp Bisco was a fun – if slightly damp – weekend. It was my 2nd time at this festival, my first being in 2015, which also happened to be the festival’s first year on their new grounds in Scranton. It was exciting to compare notes and see how much has changed for the better.

Photo from 2015 because I took 0 photos this year whoops

We arrived to Bisco around 11pm Wednesday night and were completely set up by 2am. Considering that others who arrived later had to wait as many as 9 (or so I heard) hours in the car to check in, I would say we got super lucky. If you’re heading to Bisco in the future, perhaps the best piece of advice I can offer you is – BUY A PARKING PASS. If you don’t have one you’ll have to park in an off-site lot which can add many many hours to your journey. Don’t get stuck without one. They sell out quickly, so hop on that as soon as tickets go on sale.

Bisco has a mix of ravers, cool hippies, and wooks. For the uninitiated, Urban Dictionary defines a wook as:

“A wook is a hippie without any ambition, motivation, or drive other than drugs and image. They’re generally in their twenties, college students (or dropouts) at small-town liberal colleges (such as Appalachian State University) and dependent on an income other than their own. 

Wooks tend to travel in packs, they smell strongly of patchouli and are in constant search for free drugs. One of the defining characteristics is an excessive amount of unkempt hair, usually in dreadlocks. 

It is important to make the distinction between a hippie and a wook. Hippies can generally be viewed as positive, optimistic members of society with an idealistic goal for the betterment of society. Wooks are everything that you’ve been warned about in regard to hippies wrapped into a neat little package.”

Fun Stuff
Bisco has a water park, which is super cool, except for the fact that I didn’t use it. At all. I went on 0 water slides, did not float in the lazy river, and didn’t even put my feet in the wave pool. It rained quite a bit which is part of my excuse – the other part is being too lazy to go back and forth between my campsite and the festival grounds so many times. I really wanted to go on the zip line, but like in 2015, I didn’t make it on that either. SIGH.

Bisco has a few water stations that are poorly marked, and there were definitely fewer water stations than the printed map said there were. This is an area in which they need to do better.

The layout of this festival is pretty long and narrow, which can create significant bottlenecks at the end of big sets when thousands of people all try to navigate their way to a different stage via narrow pathways. But what I will say is that the indoor lodges with REAL BATHROOMS, and a mostly-covered main stage area more than make up for the inconvenience of the bottlenecks. I should also add that in wintertime these grounds are used as a ski resort, meaning you set your camp up on a hill. So you sleep on a slant. You win some, you lose some.

If you don’t have a car I guess you can arrive by a combo of Greyhound and Uber? I’m not sure and I wouldn’t try it. But Bisco is around 2.5 hours from NYC which is excellent (looking at you, Electric Forest,  you 14 hour drive, you).

Pretty standard festival pricing but if you have to rent a car (as my friends and I did), make sure you book that early. The rental car added a good chunk of money to our festival costs.

I have such mixed feelings about this festival. I had an amazing time both years that I went, but I also feel like I got super lucky both times regarding the time to get set up, getting a camping spot that wasn’t too far up the hill, not getting my belongings stolen (I heard a lot of reports of this), and other factors that really could have brought it down. I might consider getting a hotel if I wanted to go in the future.

ALSO – while I love the amphitheater main stage with concentric half circle rows of seats and a lawn behind it, the significant rain at the festival meant that at some points, tons of people were trying to squeeze in to the seated area because it was covered. At one point, my friend and I were making our way to that stage because it had started to rain. Everyone else had the same idea, and we were maybe 10 feet away from being under shelter when the crowd came to a standstill; the amphitheater was packed and there was no room for anyone else to get in. The rain came down harder and harder, and within a few seconds it felt like someone was dumping a bucket of water on my head. Everyone panicked and started pushing and shoving, trying to get into the amphitheater, and getting caught in that was one of the more terrifying moments of my life. Thankfully my friend and I were near a small alcove that housed a tented beer vendor, and we pushed our way into the alcove away from the crowd, and the bartender let us hide out from the storm and the near-riot under the edge of her tent (and gave us a free beer!). But it sucked, a lot.

Despite the drawbacks, Bisco was far better organized this year than it was 2 years ago. There were orderly lines for things that had previously been chaos, better logistics and more-informed staff (most of the time). Rumors have been floating around that Bisco is not being asked back to this location next year, and if it moves, I’d be skeptical of going to a new venue as it would mean being a guinea pig yet again. But I suppose we’ll see.

This marks the end of my camping festivals for 2017, but I still have some daytime festivals happening (hi Elements!!) because summer isn’t over yet! Onward!

A Big Month For Writing Elsewhere

This may have been my most prolific month on Mix ever? Links below!

A preview on a new festival, Karoondinha, which has since been canceled (haha doh)

An interview with Mike Hawkins

An interview with trance producer Andrew Rayel

My first ever in person interview – Dabin! (At Electric Forest)

Another Electric Forest on-site interview – Corrupt!

A full Electric Forest recap (don’t forget about this one too)

An awesome new track from Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano

Elements Festival is coming!!! (eeeee!)

Camp Bisco: The Music (2017)


Camp Bisco has come and gone and I have no more camping festivals for 2017. SAD TIMES. Just like Bisco 2 years ago, I saw some fantastic sets. Highlights below!

This was easily the best set of Bisco. It started off with some of his older works; really mellow, jazzy tracks. It slowly escalated until by the end he was throwing down some crazy dubstep heavy bangers. I’ve never seen a set progress like this and it was so weird but just SO much fun. Most people I talked to agreed it was the best set of the weekend.

This man never disappoints. He opened with the theme song from The Office (a popular choice for many artists seeing as Bisco is in Scranton, PA) as well as a clip of one episode and even though I don’t watch the show I’ve still listened to it on repeat because it’s fire. Check out the first 2 minutes of the video below.

Break Science
Break Science is an electro-hip-hop and funk duo that I haven’t seen in its pure form in years. I’ve recently only seen them with a full band, which is amazing but a different experience somewhat. I was pleased to see just the duo at Camp Bisco, and it was interesting to notice how their jam band side project, called Breaking Biscuits, has really influenced their sound a lot.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
I did not actually go to this set, but we could hear this stage from our camping spot. I was hanging out under our canopy when all of a sudden I heard Hava Negila playing, and it made my whole day. When my friends got back from the set they told me that when that song came on, everyone went totally nuts dancing like fools, and our other friend said, “Arielle would have liked this.” So true.

This was probably my favorite Shpongle set ever. Which isn’t necessarily saying much because I think I’ve only seen him 4 or 5 times and one of the times I had to leave early because the venue smelled like BO and it was nauseating. Simon Posford is just so beautifully strange. Shpongle is an amazing late night festival act.

This Brooklyn-based disco band is the best. I was singing their song “Cocaine Blues” for a full day afterwards. Listen below and you will too (though this recorded version is nothing compared to their live performances). Their lead singer is super talented and she’s a total badass.

Pretty Lights
This was such a special set because the band played a ton of rare tracks that don’t come out often. A friend of mine who was also at Bisco but not with me during this set texted me afterward and just wrote, “Holy fuck,” which just about sums it up. It was an amazing way to close out the weekend. If you have an hour and 20 minutes, just put this set on in the background and enjoy the magic. It was incredible.

The Disco Biscuits
Camp Bisco is named for the Biscuits and they play 6 sets throughout the weekend. In 2015 I went to about 1.5 sets, but this year I actually ended up going to 5 (I skipped one to catch Opiuo on a different stage). It was awesome to see how diverse their sets could be and feel the energy of all the diehards in the crowd. The video below is a Muse cover from Bisco 2015, which I will remain obsessed with for all time. And it feels appropriate because I’m finally seeing Muse live next week. EEEEEEE!

Electric Forest: The Experience (2017)

To be honest, I don’t think I even really need to recap Electric Forest. I think everyone knows by now that if EF were a person I would marry it; that’s how much I love it. But just in case you don’t fully understand that yet, you can read my “experience” post from 2 years ago, or the recap I just did for Mix 247 EDM, or the post I wrote solely about how freaking magical this festival is. Otherwise, let’s carry on with the deets.

Approaching the festival, my friends and I were a little worried. We knew how crazy the lines could get for having your car searched and getting through to camping and after driving for 15 hours we didn’t exactly want to spend more time in the car. We arrived at around 4pm, 4 hours after the gates opened on Wednesday (which was only for VIPs and those who had purchased early arrival). As we turned into the Good Life (what Forest calls VIP) check-in, I laughed maniacally because there were no cars there. THERE WERE NO CARS THERE. We were parked within 10 minutes. It was a great start to a great festival.

As anyone who has attended a camping festival knows, there are 2 security checkpoints – when you first enter a festival in your car, and when you go from camping into the actual festival grounds. I wrote 2 years ago about how on the first day of Electric Forest it took us 2 hours of waiting in line to get inside the festival grounds. Good Life, on the other hand, does not ever have a line. EVER. There are 3 separate Good Life entrances and far fewer people, so all you have to do is pick your entrance and go. Anyone who tells you that Electric Forest is the best festival for upgrading to VIP is not lying. Buy Good Life tickets. Seriously. Don’t do general admission. If you ever see me doing GA at Electric Forest I urge you to slap me in the face because what was future me thinking?

To be honest, this crowd was a little bro-ier than I remembered. But there were still so many amazing, down to earth people and everyone is just looking to connect with everyone else. My friends and I splurged on these amazing bungalow tents, which were in rows of maybe 10 that faced each other. I came back after the music ended one night and someone in our row had hung light-up foam bats from the entry of every bungalow so our whole little avenue was aglow. He did this just to be nice. This is Electric Forest for you.

Fun Stuff
I’m just going to copy what I wrote in my Mix recap (which you should read in full):
“True to its name, Electric Forest contains a giant wooded area on the festival grounds that is home to seemingly anything and everything you can think of. There are large and small music stages, a silent disco, a ton of art installations, decorative places to sit, a rainbow of lights illuminating the area at night, and other wonders to discover. You can sit inside a giant bird’s nest, or pick up a random phone and talk to the people who are on the other phones throughout the forest. There’s a trading post for bartering with random items, and a western style storefront complete with saloon doors that, even though they don’t lead anywhere except to continue on in the forest, are fun to make a huge display out of bursting them open every time you walk through. There were light-up orbs suspended from the sky, a robot half-buried in the ground with coded messages displayed throughout its body, and an art bar to make stick figure people, write postcards, and other crafty activities. Does this sound like the weirdest and most magical place ever? It is, truly.”

Water is one area where Forest could do better, I think. So many festivals have adopted those high speed spouts that fill up a bottle in seconds, whereas EF is still rocking some slow faucets. Thankfully, being in VIP meant that I was able to go back and forth between my bungalow and the festival pretty frequently, so I did a lot of my water drinking in my tent. But the few times I did fill up a water bottle on the grounds, the wait was a little long for the amount of people ahead of me.

I mean…there are a bunch of stages with a forest o’ fun in the middle. It’s the best layout pretty much ever. EF’s grounds are pretty large, but the addition of activities and art and other wonders smack in the middle of it make it less painful to walk back and forth because you aren’t just walking; you’re exploring. The downside of this is that it’s very easy to get distracted by shiny things and end up late to see music. (Is that a real downside? Debatable.)

While in line for the ferris wheel we met some people who live 20 minutes from Rothbury and I am jealous of those people. Getting to Michigan is a pain in the butt and with the travel time plus the festival’s 4 days (instead of 3 like most others) I had to use 5 vacation days for this trip. FIVE DAYS. There are lots of options to get there and EF is great about providing shuttles from local airports and buses from major cities, but the fact remains that getting there still sucks. But it’s worth it.

See above. WORTH IT. A ticket to EF ticket costs about the same as it does to attend any of NYC’s music festivals (Gov Ball, Panorama, Meadows, Electric Zoo) and none of those festivals offer camping or any of the things that make Electric Forest the top notch festival that it is.

Forest is the best. You should go. Trust me.

Electric Forest: The Music (2017)

Well, after over 6 months of looking forward to it, Electric Forest has come and gone. It was 4 full days of amazing music from artists I already know and love, artists I was seeing live for the first time, and some new discoveries. I attended wayyy too many sets to recap them all, but here are each day’s highlights.


Dabin was the first of my 2 Electric Forest interviews, and it was really fun for me to go to this set knowing I was going to chat with him directly after. It was my first time seeing him live and it was absolutely incredible, even though it was raining pretty hard. I like to describe his sound as “Odesza but harder.” Light and airy with killer drops mixed in.

Phutureprimitive is so futuristic and weird. It’s really heavy but also…groovy? You don’t jump up and down to it, you skulk. I saw him briefly at Forest 2 years ago in a tented stage, but this year he played the Forest Stage (which is actually in the middle of the forest) and the setting was so dark and perfect.

Above & Beyond
OH MY GOODNESS. I decided to check out A&B because they’re legends in the trance scene. I don’t really listen to trance at all but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see what they’re about. It was SO FUN. To the point where I even decided to leave to check out a different stage at one point, and then turned around and came back 5 minutes later. Does this mean I like trance now? I have no idea. There was one magical moment where right in time with the drop the skies opened up and immediately started pouring, with absolutely no warning.

Even though I wasn’t with them at the time, my friends and I both ended up at this set somehow and we all loved it. The electro-swing was absolutely perfect for the Hangar Stage, a 40s style indoor(ish) venue that has the most personality of any of the stages. I even caught the security guy busting some moves, so you know this set was good.


Jai Wolf
I accompanied my friends to this set because I didn’t have anywhere else to be at that time, but I am officially converted. Jai Wolf is the happiest of all happy and electro-poppy music! Pure light and joy. So joyful, in fact, that a couple got engaged on stage toward the very end. I caught the last bits of it on Snapchat.

It had been years since I last saw a good trap show. A lot of the first electronic music I listened to was trap, but I’ve been falling down the rabbit hole of funk for a few years now and a lot of other music has been pushed to the side. This performance was one of my favorites of the weekend and I legitimately feel like I worked some anger out of my body. The fact that such intense music came from someone with such a delightful British accent (and knee socks) only added to the experience, as did the fact that I used my media pass to spend some time in the press pit at the very front of the audience.

I was looking forward to this set a lot despite the fact that I have never seen or even really listened to them. Tycho is just one of those bands I’ve heard about from countless people, particularly how amazing they are live. But you know what? I couldn’t connect to it at all. It was strange and experimental and didn’t have a consistent rhythm for me to latch on to. My friend and I decided that Tycho is a band you listen to in bed with your headphones, or sitting back watching the legitimately cool visuals with some popcorn, like a movie.  And in fact, for the last 20 minutes of the set we sat in the wayyyy back, eating a plate of nachos, and laughing about how we got our movie setting after all. (It was better, as we predicted.)

I already wrote a more thorough post on Odesza’s Forest set. It was amazing and I almost cried. I would love to watch this set over and over again but it doesn’t look like anyone recorded it. Saddest of times. The video below is great because a) he’s pretty close, b) he scans the crowd so you can see the masses, c) it starts off with Odesza’s remix of Pretty Lights’ “One Day They’ll Know” which is such a good remix and I will never tire of hearing it.


Francis and the Lights
When I was at Governors Ball a few weeks ago I was talking to a rando sitting next to me in the Bacardi tent and asking him which Gov Ball acts he liked and he mentioned this one. I had never heard of him but when he described it as “zombie Phil Collins,” I was intrigued. This guy legitimately DOES sound exactly like Phil Collins. But you probably already know this because Francis has a collab with Chance the Rapper so apparently I was out of the loop on this one. I queued up this video to the moment where Francis and Chance are both dancing. You’re welcome.

I’ve seen Opiuo a few times before but this might have been my favorite Opiuo set ever. The addition of Russ Liquid on the trumpet upped the funk factor and made this set so bouncy.


I love tropical house and Viceroy is a master of it. And unlike Matoma, another tropical house producer who played later that day, Viceroy’s set was actually mostly tropical house (Matoma played a more generic big room type of set, which was also fantastic, just unexpected).

French Kiwi Juice!! This jazzy dude is so talented and I was so pleased to finally see him live. It was everything I wanted and more even though I only caught about 20 minutes of his set. It was so smooth and yet again the Forest Stage provided a perfect setting.

My next festival, and last camping one for the summer, is in less than 2 weeks! Bisco’s lineup is my favorite of 2017 so I am super pumped for this one. Get ready for more music recaps!