III Points 2015: Day 2 Recap

October 11, 2015admin

‘Twas a bright and shiny day in the city, it seemed like even the weather was ready for the second day of III Points. I started my activation tour at The Moonlighter for the Experimental Instruments workshop where you could assemble and style your very own KORG synthesizer. Any admirer of sonic engineering fed their inner child happily while jamming to the incredibly talented students of Live! Modern School of Music (I’m looking at you, 12-year old bassist who has mastered his funk face, braces and all) as they improvised happily for the crowd. There were tunes, there were toys, there was complimentary Rekoderlig cider on flow. What more could you ask for?

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The Future Classic BBQ at Coyo was going deep and not turning back with sets by Chrome Sparks, Touch Sensitive (uuunghhh), and XXYYXX — the main festival grounds weren’t even open yet and it felt like a 2am set. After watching the pumpkin-eating pachanga that was the BOOTY BASS & BOUNCE HOUSE at Kryogenifex with Otto Von Schirach and Master Feathers, I strolled over to Gramps for the MOOG Sound Lab, free pizza in one hand and a cold beer in the other. In a dimly lit room at Gramps’ back theater, a buncha nerds were having the time of their lives toying with MOOG synths of all shapes and sizes…there was even a Theremin! With graphs that matched the frequency of sound, it was a pretty cool way to keep out of the heat for a bit.

33FF986E-7889-4963-8BBA-1C1215987823 Photo by: Stefan Bojilov

Then came another 8 hours of my life spent within the confines of Mana, kicking off with the deep and breezy vibes of Kodiak Fur who received much local love from the Sector 3 crowd. After my usual perusing and early people-watching, I nestled myself comfortably for AluneGeorge (if you know the sweet spot at Main Frame, you know what I mean) and the infectious beats to come. Opening up with “Attracting Flies,” the tunes were as bouncy as ever, Aluna’s seductress dance moves matching perfectly to the beat as she stopped for a drum break or two. She’s adorable and sexy, the tracks are irresistibly catchy, and George’s production was clean and full of maturity. Without a spotlight to truly draw the crowd into the entire performance, we lost a bit of the hypnotism you’ve come to expect from the British outfit. Regardless, the fans were in attendance and went crazy for hits like “White Noise,” “Kaleidoscope Love,” and the set-ending, “You Know You Like It.” Good thing the A/C was back up and running.

B00B08E5-CA8B-48FD-A191-0EA07D0C9B7E Photo by: Stefan Bojilov

After admiring the projection mapping that washed over the PRIIISM Pyramid, the crowd poured in for Shlohmo at the Main Frame stage. Surprisingly, the otherwise heavily experimental DJ absorbed the day’s lineup and geared his set to a more hip hop crowd. But I’m not complaining. Silhouetted by a lit stage and background, he danced flowingly to tracks by FUTURE and Three 6 Mafia’s “Sippin on Some Syrup” intermingled with Brazilian break beats leading to everyone’s favorite: “Overnight Celebrity.” I would’ve liked to hear a bit mo’ Shlo in the set, but a 5-hour jam at Bardot later that night could spread any artist a bit thin. The real party was going down for BICEP in the Black Hole stage, bumping 90s techno and starting House Step dance-offs with every drop.

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Then Taylor McFerrin came on and the sense of live musicality was once again instilled in my being. After Laura (of Miami)‘s funky and disco transitions, the Brainfeeder artist came on the Mind Melt stage for an intimate and friendly performance that was every bit as robust and skillful as you’d expect from a guy whose connection to music was set before he was even born (Bobby McFerrin is his dad, guys). He played a slew of tracks from his latest album, Early Riser, using a light melody and chirping birds to draw the crowd in to his humble improvisational style. There was beatboxing, Emily King’s gorgeous vocals in a deep remix of “Decisions,” and a wonderfully drawn-out take on (my personal favorite) “Florasia” — the sound was finally tested for all its worth. With shout outs to Robert Glasper and Thundercat for their collaboration on “Already There” and a few air bass guitar solos thrown in, he ended his set with a beat made from scratch to “let’s see what happens” and I’ll tell you, instrumental storytelling at its finest. Sloppy and anecdotal, lyrical and romantic, it was much-needed magic. One of the festival highlights for me so far.

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With a few underwhelming sets here and there (artist names which I will not disclose), I have to say that the Sector 3 stage took the award for “Best All Around” yesterday, booming to diverse genres and incredible local talent. Krisp, for example, made me proud to say we share a home city. Their funky, electro-rock sound booming to catchy crescendos in their crowd-favorite, “Mamani Vice,” it was the best set I’ve ever seen them play, hands down. A sharp, upbeat contrast to the deep house being thrown down with Jacques Greene at Black Hole, just dark enough to match Romeo + Juliet playing on the night’s TV installation. Back to the Sector 3 stage for Pirate Stereo, another local powerhouse, who held nothing back and got the crowd moving with remixes of classics like “So Tired of Being Alone” by Al Green and a shimmery sound that feels so f*cking good.

maxreed_iiipoints-148 Photo by: Max Reed

Ghostface Killah was nowhere to be found and MF DOOM was, although exciting to watch, being projected “Live from the Other Side” a.k.a something that looked like a trippily edited recording from across the pond. To quote the wise, Forrest Gump: that’s all I have to say about that. Bedside, however, was throwing a groovy jam at Sector 3, filled with live percussion, horns, and a nice house bounce. Then came Toro Y Moi and the entire festival was changed forever.

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I say that because it was the first time during the entire weekend (and probably since Chet Faker last III Points) that the production actually felt like a collective festival and not a series of similarly stringed sets. The crowd pooled so far from Mind Melt, through the pyramids, and onto the grass that the sense of urgency rang all the way up to the stage and shone through their impeccable performance. Chaz Bundwick is a phenom at what he does. His trademark glasses perched effortlessly on the bridge of his nose as he came out from behind the synth to dance and sing, musical timing going unbroken. Progressing heavily as the set went on, the crowd hung on to every note of classics both old and new like “Buffalo,” “Say That,” “So Many Details,” and “The Flight.” With a humbly simple stage presence that contrasted their obvious popularity, Chaz and his band were impressively good, clean and perfect to dance to, like the “pure” drugs you wish you had.

maxreed_iiipoints-46 Photo by: Max Reed

Although I expected more vocals from Sango on the Main Frame stage, the Soulection producer’s hip hop knowledge is something to be complimented. He played Drake, he threw in Tinie Tempah, he even brought Latin salsa in for a quick one-two before breaking in to a Flosstradamus sample and back out to hip hop once more. It was similar to a lot of sets I’d heard throughout the night, but still a party in its own right.

Ah, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. TEED. My little TEEDsy. The love I have for the adorable British genius that is Orlando Higginbottom could take on a recap of its own so I’ll just leave it to this one close-out set. He started all dance and glitter, befitting the spinning disco ball, and then quickly moved to a loudly minimal experiment that drew out to a majority of his set. I found myself sorely missing the gentle padding of Bardot’s carpet as my feet were moving with a mind of their own. The thing about TEED is that he’s fluent in the language of music, making even the most robotic of moments speak as loud as vocally driven lines. Lights a cigarette, twinkles on his toes, goes back to work. It kept to a monochromatic beat measure for the better part of the set, with a few whirling respites for dynamism. Gone were the magical disco moments with Jamie XX last III Points. Sigh. But that’s why you love TEED in a different tone, you never know what you’re going to get (yes, another Gump reference), and no matter what you do, he kills it down whatever path he decides to journey.

Don’t want to miss Day 3 and Bomba Estereo, The Martinez Brothers, King Krule, Psychic Mirrors, Jay Electronica, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra? Snag your day tickets here!

Missed Day 1? Check out our full recap aqui.