12 Must-See Acts At Electric Forest 2018
A lot of festivals like to tell you they're "different" and "special." "Magical experience" gets thrown around a lot, but when it comes to Electric Forest in Rothybury, MI., it's 100 percent true. You've never seen woodlands like this, and the installations and light rigs turn each twist and turn of trees into a portal to strange, ethereal worlds. You can spend hours exploring, and each day will reveal new wonder.
Not to mention, the lineup is stacked with some truly inspirational talent. Whether you're looking for the cutting edge of electronic dance, the best in jam bands or just some cut-a-rug funk, Electric Forest 2018 has a lineup with goodies for you. We studied the lineup intently, and we think these 12 acts will leave you astonished from start to finish.
RÜFÜS Du Sol
If you want to get lost in a mist of magical mood -- and you definitely came to the Forest to do exactly that -- this Australian trio is a prime source. RÜFÜS transports to new heights with a live performance of unparalleled atmosphere. The band sits on the cusp of a new album release, so expect lots of cool new material as well as your faves from their first two LPs.
Bonobo had a huge 2017. His album Migration was widely considered one of the best electronic releases of the year. The soothing 12-track collection was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the Grammys. At the fest, he'll headline the Ninja Tune-curated stage at Sherwood Court, situated in the heart of that fairy tale Forest. Don't miss it.
The Glitch Mob
Performing "live" is the new black v-neck in the electronic music scene, but The Glitch Mob has been rockin' the pads ever since first hitting stages in the mid-aughts. In 2014, The Mob incorporated The Blade, an all-in-one visual gear holster designed by movie set designers to bring its hands-on presence to the next level.
The Main Squeeze
Need a break from the electronic beat brigade? Forest is a perfect place to get in touch with music's analog roots. Chicago funk outfit The Main Squeeze have the jazzy, soul that'll help you get in touch with the groove. Fun covers and tight originals make them a set not to miss.
Another act from the Ninja Tune set, Floating Points will set a mood to trip your brain and delight your senses. It's smart psychedelia for music heads of all breeds and tastes. Manchester, England's Sam Shepherd can perform solo or with a fully fleshed ensemble. The Forest performance should be more stripped down, but none the less emotionally impactful.
This LA-based, DC-raised producer and performer casts spells with his sound. He's a fast-growing presence on the scene, and it turns out he's a really good dude. A noted environmentalist, he gave free copies of his debut album to anyone who donated to the Environmental Defense Fund. Souls is a seven-track array of impassioned electronic ballads. Aligning with his artistry in the heart of nature is probably the ultimate.
Truly, this set needs no introduction. If this is your first time at Forest, know that Bassnectar is a pillar of the festival community. His main stage headline performance will be one of the most-attended all weekend. Prepare your body to merge with the wild, hair-whipping hoards. He'll hit you with some unreleased edits and material, and will 100% bring you back from the dead with bass.
GRiZ Live Band
GRiZ has always been a man of the funk, but he's expanded his sound and his artistic vision through the years to reach this new nexus wherein a full live band joins him on stage, horn section and all. It's the fully-fleshed out realization of the GRiZ sound, not to mention, it makes watching the music come to life even more exciting.
This raspy, bedroom whisper is more than just a compelling voice. Elohim is the musical mind behind the production, the songwriting and the image. Her moniker is a Hebrew term for "God," and she's pushing herself through the stratosphere to reach heavenly heights. Her hustle is seen by droves, and she's only getting bigger. Don't miss your chance to get onboard.
This worldly indie pop rocker will send shock waves down your spine. Her husky vocals dig deep into the recesses of your soul, and her soulful bark has plenty of angst-ridden bite. She just dropped her debut album Church of Scars in April, so she'll be riding high on the energy, and she'll work to make the audience give it back in droves.
If you're an avid deadmau5 fan, you won't want to miss one of his rare techno sets. Testpilot brings brutal, industrial repetition to stack layers of beats into a towering tundra of sound. The visuals are sure to be dope, too. It's still deadmau5 up there.
Ask your favorite producers who they admire, and Mr. Carmack will definitely make the list. He's a mean beat builder with fingers in the experimental electronic and hip-hop world. He's also a fantastic performer, the kind of DJ that builds connections between worlds of sound to blow your mind and expand your horizon.