Dancing Astronaut’s Soundtrack to Lightning in a Bottle 2016Lightning Stage Sails

Dancing Astronaut’s Soundtrack to Lightning in a Bottle 2016

Dancing Astronaut's Soundtrack to Lightning in a Bottle 2016

Lightning in a Bottle, one of the leaders of the burgeoning transformational festival scene and the arguable crown jewel of the Do LaB’s experiential roster, turned San Antonio Recreation Area into a utopia of free expression, surreal sights and diverse sounds for five days leading up to Memorial Day weekend. Lightning in a Bottle’s music lineup exemplifies superb curation: techno and bass producers mingled among singer-songwriters at the Woogie, Thunder, and Lightning stages.

To encapsulate the transcendent musical experience wrought by Lightning in a Bottle’s eleventh edition, we’ve created a Soundtrack to Lightning in a Bottle 2016, highlighting some of the biggest and most unique tracks from this year’s festival.

Photo courtesy of Connie Ha/The Confluence

Darren Styles feat. Molly - Never Forget You

OWSLA’s leading lady Mija has proven time and time again that she’s utterly unbound by genres. Her Friday evening set at the bass-heavy Thunder Stage oscillated between future bass, drum n’ bass, happy hardcore and back again, taking the audience on an unexpected and unforgettable auditory journey.

Though her set was studded with highlights including her own rework of Nero’s timeless classic “Innocence,” the set’s energy peak coincided with Mija’s closing track, Darren Styles’ “Never Forget You.” Mija has a penchant for reading the audience and delivering an unexpected mix that they didn’t know they needed — her set at Lightning in a Bottle was no different.

Photo Credit: Connie Ha/The Confluence

Jamie xx - Gosh

Jamie xx has enjoyed a seminal past eighteen months, in which his solo career and lauded live show have matched, if not surpassed, the recognition he has garnered as a member of The xx. Though a year has elapsed since the release of In Colour, his masterfully-produced album and its accompanying live show has not lost its luster, as evidenced by his Saturday night set which closed out the Lightning Stage.

The UK talent both opened and closed his set with the intricately percussive “Gosh.” While the body of his set was comprised of his melodic new classics like “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times” and “Loud Places,” the bookending effect of the subtler track mirrored the sense of awareness and connectivity between the crowd and the artist.

Photo Credit: Connie Ha/The Confluence

Justin Jay - Karma

Justin Jay has upped his live performance game with the launch of his latest side project Justin Jay & Friends. The series of releases bring on collegiate cohorts for guitar and vocal duties, for a unique result distinct from Jay’s Dirtybird labelmates.

At his Saturday afternoon set at the Woogie, Jay was joined onstage by some Friends for a rendition of the tribal-tinged “Karma.” The live instrumentation set the bar high early in the day, and proved once again why Justin Jay is a leader of his class in versatility and forward thinking in house music.

Photo Credit: Juliana Bernstein

Minnesota feat. G Jones- Thunderdome

Minnesota and G Jones closed out the bass-haven Thunder Stage on Saturday night as Lightning in a Bottle’s only back-to-back set. The pair threw down a powerful, high-octane set traversing bass and trap throughout its 90-minute duration.

Cuts like G Jones’ “Lavender Town” and Gesaffelstein’s “Hellifornia” boomed across the festival and beckoned attendees from the Lightning and Woogie stages to see what was happening at Thunder, but the undisputed pinnacle of the b2b was when the duo dropped their own collaborative work “Thunderdome.” The trappy anthem reminded listeners of the formidable body of work the two producers have under their belt, and with more visceral immediacy, sent the Thunder Stage into fever pitch.

Photo Credit: The Confluence

Eric Prydz- Opus (Four Tet Remix)

Four Tet‘s Sunday evening Woogie set was among the most highly-anticipated of the entire weekend- an expectation made even loftier considering the artist followed Lee Burridge and opened for Guy Gerber. As expected, Four Tet’s two-hour sonic sermon was an eclectic collage of techno and tech house, mesmerizing instrumentals, and hypnotic vocal cuts.

Those lucky enough to witness the set would rightfully argue that there were several possible songs which defined the set, but chief among them is Kieran Hebden’s rework of Eric Prydz’s epic “Opus.” When the track slid into the instantly-recognizable arpeggiated chord progressions, the inverted blue towers of the Woogie took on the semblance of pillars, and the aura felt more akin to a cathedral than a music festival. After capturing the rapt attention of the audience, he easily transitioned back into grounded percussion, leaving all witnesses without a shadow of a doubt that what they had just seen would not soon be forgotten.

Photo Credit: Andrew Jorgenson

Kaaris - Charge (Mr. Carmack Remix)

Fresh off back-to-back weekends at Coachella, Mr. Carmack‘s touring pedigree is expanding rapidly into the mainstream festival circuit, and landing the artist coveted time slots like his Sunday evening set at the Thunder Stage. As with many Carmack sets of late, no one was quite sure what to expect, but it would surely command among the highest decibel levels of the weekend.

The Hawaiian producer did not disappoint: bass, glitch hop and trap intermingled with futuristic and experimental elements, sending the audience on a breakneck journey. When Carmack dialed back for a moment to take a breath, as with his celebrated remix of Kaaris’ “Charge,” the monumental weight of the next hard hit was doubly magnified. In a genre cluttered with uninspired attempts at creating something different, Carmack’s Lightning in a Bottle set was a veritable tour de force.

Photo Credit: Jacob Avanzato

Lane 8 - Midnight

Lane 8 is well-suited to the sunset set. His new This Never Happened label and concept dovetailed seamlessly with the ephemeral atmosphere at the Woogie Stage on Friday afternoon, as the festival was at last getting underway and ecstatic attendees were swept up in the moment and experience which surrounded them.

As the relentless California sun softened overheard, the instantly-recognizable piano chords of “Midnight” ignited a new heat that permeated the crowd. The achingly beautiful introduction served as a rapturous soundtrack to the scene, but as the track picked up tempo and layered in intricate percussion, a sense of boundless opportunity signified that at last, Lightning in a Bottle was truly here.

Photo Credit: Andrew Jorgensen

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