Headstash's CAMP BISCO 2012 Review Guide
- By Thad Max and Eric Moore
- Published on July 18, 2012
11th year – Estimated Attendance: 20,000
2012 Lineup: Skrillex, Bassnectar, The Disco Biscuits, Crystal Castles, Big Gigantic, Lotus, Holy Fuck!, Brothers Past, Break Science with Chali 2na, Big Boi, Atmosphere, Portugal. The Man, El Ten Eleven, Amon Tobin's ISAM, Shpongle Presents The Masquerade, A-Trak, Dada Life, MiM0SA, Daedelus, Simian Mobile Disco, Bonobo, Zed’s Dead, Porter Robinson, Zedd, Mord Fustang, Kill The Noise, Rubblebucket, Gramatik, Tycho, Nit Grit, Archnemesis, Crave, Alvin Risk, The M Machine, Zoogma, Eliot Lipp (Live), Blau, Mansions on the Moon, Future Rock, Minnesota, The Knocks, Abakus, Thundercat, Shingeto, Ill-Esha, Killabits, Lance Herbstrong, Mux Mool, Orchard Lounge, Virtual Boy, Dr. Fameus, Nick Catchdubs, Codes, JWLS, Star Eyes, Mindelixier, Nadis Warriors, Paul Chambers, Inspired Flight, Freekbot, Alpha Data, Kung Fu, Manhattan Project, Rich Aucoin, Hottub, Xylos, Spiritual Rez, Bird of Prey, Revolva, Michetti
Festival Website: http://www.campbisco.net/
If you’ve been to the festival before, then you know that Camp wouldn’t be Camp without at least one steady, vigorous drizzle. Thankfully, it didn’t come until the early morning of Saturday. The heavy drops were super relaxing hitting on the roof of my RV.
After the rain came the heavy humidity. On Saturday afternoon, you could feel the dense moisture in the atmosphere and everyone was sweating profusely. At night, it really cooled down to a tolerable temperature, that is, except if you were trying to rage the middle of a late-night tent.
At points, you could see condensation dripping from the beams of the big tent. Another problem we ran into was dust, but that’s to be expected at a summer music festival. You can’t have it both ways, so bring a handkerchief.
The Disco Biscuits. In the end, it’s their festival, even if only half of the people in attendance actually go to their slotted set times. This band never ceases to amaze me. Even through all of the flubs and miscues, the energy is always through the roof and gets people stirring.
A few high points of Thursday included the vocal section in the first part of “Basis for a Day” and the drop into the middle of “Aceetobee.”
Some gems from Friday include the jam between “Tricycle > Great Abyss” due to the extreme patience and due diligence. It worked out quite swimmingly before Barber dropped the ‘beep-boops.’ The beautiful outro to “Bombs” perfectly melted back into the end of “Nughuffer.”
|Photo Credit: Holly O'Connor|
The light rig was quite impressive as well. Overall, it was an excellent combination of martin movers, LED movers, LED screens and lasers.
Kung Fu. I have been hearing an awful lot of buzz about this band lately – now I see what the fuss is all about. It’s straight nasty funk. I love when music sounds like it is literally bouncing. Todd Stoops is a musical genius, as his prowess on the ivories is impeccable. The way he can manipulate his clavinet and his Nord Lead is unlike any other player in the scene. It kind of reminds me of something out of the late 70s funk era. The guitar melodies and riffs fit the weirdness that is Kung Fu quite flush.
Rubblebucket. Every time I see these guys, it’s a completely different experience. The music itself is so uplifting and groove-oriented. The musicians are a riot, too always putting on some kind of show up on the stage. I love a band with good stage presence – it always seems to put things a bit more into perspective.
Did I mention that the female singer’s voice is super sexy as well? Not to mention there’s a gnarly horn section. The trumpet player jumped off the stage, piggybacked someone and then ran around the crowd while he was soloing. I think it’s pretty awesome and interactive to say the least. I love bands that incorporate band-fan interactions while the music is happening.
Zoogma. Always a pleasure to see these kids lay down some beats. They have their very own unique style of livetronica that blends electronic beats, samples and super climactic jams. I was so tired by the time I saw Zoogma on Sunday that I had come to terms with just sitting and getting my face melted.
|Photo Credit: Holly O'Connor|
Emancipator. It was really disappointing to hear Shpongle cut out at the last second. In the scramble to fill the slot, the Bisco folks did not leave anyone disappointed. Emancipator stepped up with Simon Green of Bonobo on live bass and Dominic Lalli from Big Gigantic on sax.
All three artists brought their own unique soul to the set and played as if they’d been performing together for years. It was especially awesome to hear “When I Close My Eyes” with a live bass line. They definitely pulled a crowd and had plenty of people getting down, but it was clear the dubstep-only crowd just couldn’t appreciate such soul.
Lotus. Lotus really reminded Bisco why they are at the forefront of livetronica. It was difficult to pick between Lotus and Emancipator and Friends but we decided to split the difference and catch the end of Lotus. They pulled out their “Legend of Zelda” remix, which always brings me back to awesome memories of childhood. Lotus’ sound really spans quite a range with an extra spacey “Plant your Root” and a “Jump Off” that got very progressive and intense.
|Photo Credit: Holly O'Connor|
Archnemesis. Archnemesis pulled out a lot of new material off his upcoming September release. An introductory “Snatch” sample let the crowd know that it was about to be grimey couple hours. Their setlists have really evolved over the last year as Curt Heiny and Justin Aubuchon have started to develop a much more improvisational style. It really feels like they are making live music these days, as opposed to just playing tracks. Although Arch didn’t bring their newest light rig, Music Matters created a phenomenal set-up on the Big Tent stage, including three LED screens and a plethora of lights.
Amon Tobin. It’s weird because I really don’t have too many words to put to this, but his show is simply astonishing. The music is super weird and free-form, but I think that this whole performance is more about the sensory overload of the combination of the projections, the 3-D mapping and the odd time signatures of the music than anything else.
The act would be much better received inside of a venue rather than on a Main Stage outside. The visuals are insanely compelling and spellbinding. I definitely recommend checking this out in the near future if you have the chance
Production. From tDB to Bassnectar and Skrillex, to the dance tents and walkways, this whole festival was full of eye candy. Lasers, projections, LED walls . . . you name it, they had it.
|Photo Credit: Holly O'Connor|
Segways. Seeing people rolling around on Segways is pretty much the coolest thing that one can do at a festival. Partying + friends + Segways = Debauchery at its finest.
Art installations. Compared to past years, there was so much more cool stuff to look at. In the center of the Main Stage area, they had all kinds of digital and mirror artwork. At the dance tents, there were Alex Grey-like projections on the huge screens outside and around the area. The showcase stage once again looked amazing with an underwater theme and fractal-like projections onto the eaves of the roof.
The Aegean. Finally, a good food vendor at Camp Bisco. The quesadillas required the usage of both hands to hold them. And the chicken wasn’t slimy and didn’t taste weird.
No police presence. No one likes to see police arresting people or being heavy-handed. It was great that we didn’t see anyone getting arrested for crimes that weren’t hurting anyone. On the other hand, everyone was very grateful for the security that tried their best to keep raucous and aggressive patrons under control.
Tight campgrounds. The staff was keeping the campgrounds tight and we weren’t left with a lot of room to spread out. Luckily. we had some fantastic neighbors and ended up consolidating camps. Although some more space would have been nice, it was kind of cool to have left camp being a bigger crew than we arrived.
Sound issues. Bassnectar aka Lorin Ashton pulled in a crowd that was massively bigger than any other crowd at the festival. It was clear that there was a large part of the younger dubstep crowd that considered Bassnectar the headliner. Unfortunately, his set started off with some technical difficulties. The music cut out three times on “Cozza Frenzy” before the crew got his mixer working. With the entire festival there, the pauses only served to severely alter the flow of the set.
As someone who started out seeing Bassnectar in small venues, I really miss seeing him in an intimate setting. Something was lost at the back of the crowd. It was like I had to share Lorin’s energy with some 20,000 other people and I got a way smaller piece of the pie than I would have liked.
Check out our coverage of all your favorite summer festivals in our 2012 Festival Guide.
What did you think of Camp Bisco 2012? Highlights, lowlights and surprises. Let us know in the comments below.