Music and Rocks in the Desert
By Aaron Giles and Sonny Forrest
Though Gem & Jam is more fun to say, there’s more going on than just a world-class gem show AND and a solid music line-up. So. Much. More. There’s something called “live digital painting” by someone named Jesse Noemind, which looks, well, you can take a look for yourself. But “Gem & Jam & Art” doesn’t dance off the tongue quite like Gem & Jam.
Alex Grey, a formidable intellectual and master body/omnipotent-consciousness map-maker, is worth whatever effort you expend getting yourself through the front gate. He’s giving an “Entheogen Talk” on Friday evening, which is pretty much what we all want to hear Alex Grey talk about anyway. Even though Grey’s presence is the crown atop this desert shindig’s bill, from a multi-media arts Point of View, this festival boasts a great number of other art attractions.
And there are workshops. I’m shooting to make it to the Kundalini yoga workshop, which offers to enable “one to access and utilize his own creative power for elevation of consciousness, healing and other purposes beyond reproduction.” It sounds like less of a walk in the park than a dance along The Edge. Think about it, has there ever been a better time to slow down and focus some conscious reflection inward than today? (Psst, the answer is no.)
There’s also going to be plenty of both love and music precisely because the two stand among the most influential of human discoveries. The line up is refreshing, like the sensation of walking around outside naked for the first time since you were about four or five. Anyway, here are some of our favorite Gems of this festival’s Jams:
This electronic duo, hailing from Colorado, is making its 2014 festival debut, a set sure to turn heads with their old-school samples and booming bass lines. Krooked Drivers is a relatively new name in the scene, but their sound has a familiar essence to it that makes you want to keep listening. Catch their early evening set on Friday night.
Psydell, who might be making the trip out there with us — so maybe we have a biased perception of his skills, but his sound is undeniably HUGE — starts off the music on Saturday. If you need your glitch fix for the weekend this set is not be missed; his sticky sounds will lock you to the dance floor and his message will open your mind and move your feet.
Another artist that may not be atop the bill but is sure to catch attention is Bluetech. His bubbly dubtronica puts listeners into a trance-like state and takes them on an intergalactic journey. Slow down your groove and chill out with Bluetech at 8:00PM Saturday night.
Russ Liquid has a sound that reaches into a different realm. Think slow-motion grooves from the future. And his onstage presence is immaculate. Bringing everything from chilled electronics to trumpet synths, this brasstronica is definitely worth your time.
Thriftworks is an artist in his own category. His smooth synths, heavy subs, and percolating percussion grooves leisurely. The beats are eclectic, his sound, vaguely progressive, and his following is steadily growing. Don’t miss this set.
Come Sunday evening Govinda will bring his sensual sounds to the stage. With heavy influences from glitch and dub, coupled with a live violin, his performance is unique and his music is beautiful.
Another musician that incorporates live instrumentation with electronic productions is Kalya Scintila. His lush sounds will take you to a new dimension, reaching further than you thought possible. It almost feels inappropriate to listen to his music anywhere other than a holy temple surrounded by at least 10 fire spinners. Though a venue engulfed by beautiful people and gems comes close. If all you fire spinners want to make it out to this one, you’d really help set the temple vibe. Just sayin’…
We made the conscious decision not to highlight the headliners, because this is far from a mainstream event and is a very conscious festival. We wanted to put a spotlight on artists that you may not (yet) know about, but should definitely check out. That being said, the organic funk sauce that The Motet will be spreading all over your festival entree will be delicious, Mimosa‘s traptronica will bring you high up only drop you down even harder, and Boombox‘s patented Disco House will surely paint the festival with whatever colors it doesn’t already have.
Ray John and Minds Matter Clothing will be in full attendance as official festival sponsors. We will have our own merchandise available in addition to the Official Gem & Jam T-Shirt and Hoodie, so make sure you drop by our booth, say whatup and enjoy the multitude of experiences that will be available at the beautiful Gem & Jam Festival!