We arrived back on the grounds of Camp Bisco yesterday just as Das Racist was halfway through performing. Needless to say, once we got ourselves situated on site and situated our beer, we missed it. Our plans once again got derailed (this time because of storms) and we missed Break Science with RJD2 and Redman, which I’m sure was arguably our only flop for yesterday. The flexibility of the schedule is nice to have as an ideal game plan, but with so much going on in Bisco World, it’s fairly inevitable to lose track of time. One person even asked me what day of the week it was, let alone what time it was. At 6pm, as we were gearing up to check out Four Tet in the Grooveshark tent, the general consensus was that basically everyone was buzzing and gearing up for the big acts to come. Needless to say, the grounds were host to what developed in to quite the party, reaching no-parents-ice-cream-for-breakfast status.
Kieran Hebden, a.k.a. Four Tet, was definitely a highlight. Hailing from the UK, his sound has been most often described as “folktronica” but he also dances around in more abstract electronic forms of techno, drum & bass, jazz, world and post-rock. All that genre bullshit aside, his Bisco set was absolutely on point. His sounds and melodies have a psychedelic quality to it, but I didn’t necessarily get lost in that throughout the duration of his set and he was able to play “chill” music without putting the audience to sleep. Hebden absolutely has a musical instinct and talent for knowing when it is appropriate to switch up the tempo of what he’s playing in relation to the environment and energy from the crowd and that in itself is the marking of a talented musician and DJ. In the best sense, he definitely is (and has been) remix and collab hungry, recently working with Burial, Thom Yorke and the late jazz drummer Steve Reid, as well as remixing Aphex Twin, Explosions in the Sky, The xx, Battles, Super Furry Animals, Andrew Bird and countless others.
Four Tet played a balanced set between songs that sounded familiar to me and things that I haven’t heard before, and was all around a solid performance. The instrumental, organic quality behind his work makes it sound both compositional and improvisational in nature, and without being overbearingly emotional or forced. In comparison to other acts at Camp Bisco, his set aptly held the least amount of gimmick; just a chill dude wearing a green Lacoste polo with unbrushed hair playing good music for an hour, while it down-poured like there was no tomorrow outside of the tent.
Shortly after, we had 10 minutes to be thankful that we didn’t have to leave the tent and face the sudden torrential downpour that hit Camp Bisco. It’s almost a cheesy joke at this point that it “wouldn’t be Camp Bisco” without some crazy, surprise attack of character-building weather. Last year, the storm that rolled through was so horrid that I consider myself lucky I survived the drive home after leaving early. We got lucky last night, and the rain pretty much ended as 12th Planet’s set did and remained just a tad drizzly for the remainder of the evening.
12th Planet practically was a total 180 shift from the mellow (but still dancey) music from Four Tet. 30 seconds in and the crowd was going absolutely bonkers. John Dadzie, producing and DJing under the moniker of 12th Planet since 2006, was quick to jump on the mic, greeting and riling up the crowd. Snapping the crowd out of any former daze, 12th Planet played massive amounts of heavy bass and dubstep through giant speakers that could handle it properly. For someone who answered my interview questions with one-worded answers, he certainly wasn’t shy at all in the spotlight. Jumping around, waving his hands, leading chants of “12th, Planet, 12th, Planet,” he was an awesome performer who played exactly what people came to hear.
Andrew described his set as listening to “Now! That’s What I Call Dubstep” but it was exactly what was expected of him. He dropped tracks Flux Pavillion’s Bass Cannon, 16bit’s Skullcrack VIP and Skream’s Remix of La Roux’s In For The Kill to name a few, as well as playing (twice in a row) his song with Skrillex “Needed Change”. He accidentally hit a cue button halfway during the intro of a song and called himself out on it laughing that he “just hit the wrong button,” and no one cared at all. 12th Planet smoked a cig mid-set (so skrilly) and then jumped full force into the crowd during one track, crowd surfing his way back to the stage. Also noteworthy was mid-set a bro with the biggest grin on his face got a little bit too rowdy, jumped over the rail divider and then (for awhile) successfully ran out of grips from the security chasing after him. He literally slid in the mud under the stage and lost both his shoes in the process, as security “won” and dragged him out of the tent by one of his arms. The show went on and we all got 12th Planet stickers afterwards. Cheers.
Afterwards, we had some downtime until Ratatat hit the stage, and decided on the fly to head to Main Stage B to hear Ratatat play without any cameras, backpacks or gear. Needless to say, it was incredible. Set up behind Evan Mast and Mike Stroud was a giant screen projecting creepy visuals of adults posing getting family portraits taken, as well as distorted cut and paste faces, a plethora of chicken gifs and all sorts of visual weirdness. On each side of the stage was a holographic projection set up that shone a 3d busts of classic Roman sculpture and clucking chickens. They played some of Andrew’s personal favorites, such as “17 Years,” “Miranda,” and “Wild Cat,” delivering an immersive performance that easily topped our highlight list without a doubt.
I was a little bit bummed to miss the DFA tent with Holy Ghost!, and in the parallel dance tent, MSTRKRFT, but we made some sacrifice and chose to maneuver my car out of the mud before it got worse and called it a night. We’re about to head up to the final day of the fest, where some highlight acts include the Mad Decent tropical tent (#moombahton) to catch Munchi, then Yeasayer, Neon Indian, Wiz Khalifa, DFA 1979, Nero and Bassnectar. I’m interviewing Nero at 9:15 PM, so you still have time to tweet me any questions you want me to ask.