There’s a slew of adages that get thrown around often. Most can be found on the inside of greeting cards or slurred out of your best friend’s mouth while out one night discussing major life philosophy. Let’s funnel through all that and talk about two: “things get better with age” and “absence makes the heart grown fonder”. At this point it’s pretty questionable as to what this is going to be about and how it has anything to do with Sacramento Electronic Music Festival happening May 28th through June 1st, 2013. Don’t fret, have no fear (oops, there’s a couple more), it’s all about to make sense.
With most music festivals, they start small and eventually work into something either amazing, or ridiculous. SEMF is falling, in a good way, into both of these categories. And although it has never been a typical or small event, SEMF continues to grow each year by an abundance of support from local DJ’s, promoters, and a gaggle of big-timers you are nothing aside from ecstatic to see grace Sacramento with their presence. In preparation of the magic that’s about to happen, TUBE caught up with Travis Egedy and Andre Anjos to pick their brains about what drives them musically and what we may or may not expect from their sets – you might better know these two as Pictureplane and RAC.
Let’s talk performance. What do you have in store for us?
RAC: On the surface it’s essentially a DJ set, but we’re approaching it from a producer’s standpoint. We were recording guys first, so we naturally gravitated towards using MIDI controllers, iPads, and other toys in our set. We’re always manipulating the sound in some way, through FX or with drum loops. Every show is still done on the fly and everything is different every night.
Pictureplane: Well, I come from the world of DIY warehouse parties. It is a culture that still exists and is thriving. Not just something that used to happen in the late 80s! [chuckles] But yeah, performing for years in experimental environments like that really helped to form the aesthetic I work with for my live sets… I never do a show the same way twice!
It seems the trend of bigger electronic shows is shifting more toward smaller, more intimate/fan based events, as a performer which do you prefer? Are there any advantages for the smaller venues versus the larger festival crowds?
RAC: I actually enjoy both kinds of shows. The big shows are crazy and people get more into it, but it’s a more intense and less intimate. You kinda just get up there and play the hits and get off stage. The smaller events are really great to because you have more time and control over the space. This lends itself to setting a tone and mood over the course of a few hours. This just isn’t possible in a huge festival setting when the next guy plays 140bpm trance. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just completely different.
Pictureplane: I prefer smaller shows. Where the artist can be in direct contact with the other people experiencing the music, and vice versa. I think a lot of big name acts forget that they were once just a fan in the crowd too.
The EDM fan base has definitely widened with the popularity of more commercial DJ’s and radio airplay, do you find that even with this there’s still some stigma around electronic music? Or a skepticism around it being “real” music?
Pictureplane: I think in the mainstream, most Americans don’t really have any historical context for any of the history of electronic music or the culture surrounding it [they] are hearing these sounds for the first time it seems .
RAC: There’s always going to be until this older generation gets over itself. Music is about connecting to other people – who cares how that’s achieved? I’ve definitely gotten caught up in that kind of thinking, but I’m over it. Sometimes a synth can be far more expressive than a guitar, it all depends on the player. I’m a guitar player, I can say that. Hah!
As with most multi-day musical events, there’s going to be somewhat of an eclectic mix to keep everyone entertained. Are there any new or unexpected groups/artists that we should be looking out for?
RAC: I haven’t been too shy about how much I like Cashmere Cat. It’s so wildly different from what I do but I love it. Lately I’ve been listening to new albums by Anamanaguchi, Classixx & Kisses. Really great stuff.
Lastly, this weekend is probably going to ruin us all, any tricks of the trade to help our heads the morning after?
Pictureplane: Stay hydrated, drink juice, eat well, stay positive and give love!
With all of this being said, SEMF v.2k13 is going to be amazing. Andre is about to release, after a nearly three-year process, the first original, if you will, RAC album and in regards to us hearing some snippets tells us “I’m very excited about getting this out there for people to hear. We do our sets on the spot so maybe. Sometimes we throw new stuff in there to try it out.” There is a great line-up this year. Travis warns us about his bud Antwon, “a really good bay area rapper that people should look out for.”
Tuesday, May 28th (free show ) at LowBrau: Blue Foundation (Tobias Wilner Performance).
Thursday, May 30th at Assembly: Pictureplane, Antwon, Jerome LOL, Tha Fruitbat, Paper Pistols, Tel Cairo, Religious Girl, Survival Guide, DJ Whores, RMPSHKRS
Friday, May 31st at Assembly: RAC, ADULT., Sister Crayon, D.A.M.B., Glenn Jackson, Shortcircles, Little Foxes, Sub Liquid, Young Aundee, DAIMS&CHRISUPREME
Saturday, June 1st Secret Location: EPROM, Free the Robots, Computer Jay, Mophono, Citizen Ten, Bdot, Raleigh Moncrief, RU, Jurts
(now that was a mouthful)
On it’s forth year of production, SEMF has raised the bar yet again and we are glad it’s back! We’ve missed it.
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Banner compliments of Missy Breitsprecher
Words/Photos Jenny Price