Do we really need an introduction here? Shambhala is under a week away (ahhhhh!!!!) and it’s tough to contain the excitement, but relax—breathe—we’re almost there. In the 18 years since its first iteration, Shambhala has grown from an event of a few hundred people to that of 15000, and stands among the world’s (yes, the world’s) greatest electronic music festivals. With a wide variety of genres and styles represented across six stages, there is a taste for everyone on the menu. With that in mind, we’ve scoured the schedule and drawn up our top 10 acts that have us most tickled at camp NV. Let’s get to it!Read More
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We're still feeling the glow from one of our favourite festivals over here at Night Vision HQ, so much so that we decided to get together and reminisce about some of our most memorable moments of the weekend. For those that were in attendance, we hope this brings some of the magic back, and for those who have not yet been, we hope it will get you all hot and bothered about coming next year ;)
Leon Vynehall's Sunset Sensations
"Leon Vynehall. Slay Bay. Oh boy. I was excited to learn that he would be playing a late evening set which is one of my favourite times to party. With my energy already at an all time high, this guy really brought things up to the next level and set the pace for the extremely wet Sunday night fever that followed. I was surrounded by all of my friends on the astro-turf dance floor (genius) after enjoying a perfectly made caesar from the bar--a recipe for perfection. As Leon took us through an incredibly sexy journey of sound, all I could think is that this could not get any better. This is when my good friend Sahib tapped me on the shoulder, motioning to his ear for me to recognize the song coming in: Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better With You”. This has always been a special song for my lady and I... you could say it's "our song". Naturally, I looked over to her and she was already gazing at me. Perfection. Leon continued to dazzle us with perfect mixes and exceptional song selection. As his set was drawing to a close I was dripping with sweat and excitement about everything going on around me and coming out of the speakers. And that is when it happened. I hear the first kick of the familiar beat of New Order’s “Blue Monday”. This time I didn't look around at any of my friends, instead my body instinctively went straight to the front of the stage to dance as hard as humanly possible for the DJ who knew exactly what to play and when to play it. Sure enough, within seconds all my friends were right by my side only inches from the speakers giving it their all. Thank you Leon Vynehall. Thank you Bass Coast. I will be back next year, the year after that, and so on. Can't wait to see what happens next!"
The River (Soundtrack Courtesy of Slay Bay)
"Ever since Bass Coast moved to the Merritt site, the Night Vision camp has been situated right beside the river. It’s well known that Night Vision remains Sooo Wet, and as such we thrive on the water. The river was higher than any previous year this time around which was a welcome change, as we could submerge ourselves entirely in that sweet, sweet nectar. It’s become something of a tradition for us to spend at least one afternoon lounging riverside. We all bring the chairs down to the water and take turns dunking. Nothing but smiles from ear to ear as we soak in the sun and good energy of our chosen family. Since our slice of the glorious Bass Coast grounds is right up river from Slay Bay, we hardly have to miss any of the action--the river carries the sound almost pristinely across to caress our ears, and all while we remain but a moment's walk from our next beer. Year after year I think to myself during that afternoon chill sesh, “can life really get any better than this?” The answer, my friends, is YES. Next year, at Bass Coast."
Roman Flügel in the Rain
"Truly one of the highlights for many this year was Roman Flügel’s incredible set at the Radio Stage. It most certainly took it for me--I’ve never quite witnessed anything like that before. After an incredible mind melting (and fully outchea) set from Avalon Emerson, this grey Adidas hooded wizard took the stage. The cool cats at Bass Coast definitely knew what they were doing when they gave this guy a 2 hour slot; he took me on quite an adventure. I have countless warm memories and moments from that set at Radio. Dancing through the rain to the best music with some of the most amazing humans on the planet--it doesn’t get better than that.
One of my favourite memories from that weekend was looking over at David Luca during Roman’s set when he said “This might be the best song I’ve ever heard in my life”. I couldn’t argue with the guy, I was thinking the exact same thing. After laughing hysterically the next track began to break down and without hesitation, he began to correct himself saying, “I take it back, THIS is the best track I’ve ever heard”. This cycle repeated itself for the next 6 or 7 tracks. We just simply couldn’t get over some of the tunes we were hearing. His set was slowly nearing the end when it finally happened. The retro acid riff and ridiculous vocals of Divine’s “Alphabet Rap” started coming in. As we screamed the ABC’s pretending to know the words to this track we looked at each other and decided, THIS was the best track we’d ever heard. That was truly a masterclass performance and one of the most incredible sets I’ve ever witnessed.
After a little bit of research and help from our nerds, we found out that the track was Roman Flügel’s own edit of “Alphabet Rap”. Hearing that tune takes me right back. The smile on my face is making my dimples sore as I write this. I could seriously go on forever about how incredible this year’s Bass Coast was. Endless love for all the people that make these moments possible. Forever reminiscing on that weekend and counting down the days until next year."
Righteous Rainbows of Togetherness
"In a weekend filled with pleasant surprises, one of the unanimous favourites for our group was a couple of eccentric, cloak-donning wizards known as ‘The Righteous Rainbows of Togetherness’. Let me set the scene here. We were all enjoying Small Town’s mellow afternoon set at Slay Bay, wherein he played all the classics of the past year, finishing with Bicep’s ‘Just’ (a Night Vision favourite). Coming down from that euphoria was abrupt, due to the full stop in music. Naturally we all pause, pouring water all over our half naked bodies and looking to the stage. Here we have a bizarre looking fella with a full cloak and some kind of helmet that I can only imagine keeps otherworldly beings from stealing his spells. Not long after, some serious spells were being cast upon the small audience that crowded around their set up. The two sorcerers were each at their own table filled with gear, one across from the other, right on the dance floor. The whole crowd circled around them as they kicked up their set. We weren’t sure what the hell was about to happen, but we were all absolutely blown away by what transpired. The two communicated with hand signals and also likely by transmitting brainwaves through their helmets. For the next hour we watched and listened as they wove an intricate analogue tech-house set together. The soundscape they created was textured, ethereal and trippy and their transitions were flawless. I’d often look at my friends and they had the same dazed, nearly dumbfounded looks on their faces as I did. Serious props to these two guys who seemingly came out of nowhere to land as one of the highlights of my weekend."
"There is a particular moment that really sticks out in my mind from the weekend. It came right after we finished up our showcase at the Cantina stage and the entire crew was still beaming with joy. We made our way over to Slay Bay to hear Smalltown DJs’ “Best Of”, and we had no idea what to expect. Somewhere along the way we lost David Luca but we ran into this sultry lady named Stacey instead. And boy did she like to party. For the next hour and a half, we were treated to be best Smalltown DJs set we’ve ever heard and the day-time vibes reached dangerous levels. A quick hop on Stacey’s robust shoulders was all that took to put me over the edge. Pure hilarious bliss."
Aden's Ultramajic Magic
"Long-time Bass Coast favourite Travis Stewart (AKA Machinedrum) treated us to not one, but two fantastic Slay Bay sets this year. While we thoroughly enjoyed the craziness of his Machinedrum set on Friday night, it was when he donned his house & techno cap as Aden on Saturday that he delivered--in our minds--a performance for the ages. It was a rare one as well, as the man pretty much only plays as Aden for Ultramajic (the techno label Travis started with Jimmy Edgar) showcase parties. And although Travis has too many projects on the go nowadays (see also: Sepalcure) to be a core fixture of the label, his set stayed very true to the signature futuristic techno sound that he and Jimmy have been developing over the years. The energy of that set was something else, especially during Aden originals like “Whip”, “Move”, or this very special rework of Paul Johnson’s 1994 classic “Feel My M.F. Bass."
"Following me around any festival for a bit would probably tire most people. This is because my goal is to get the most out of any festival; they are not called transformative for nothing. With this is mind you can only get out what you put in: if you put in amazing friends, music, people and such you hopefully get out amazing friends, music, people and such. This Bass Coast you may have seen all sorts of magnificent things, from dryers with projections on them, to a pirate-radio stage, and even a dolphin wearing a hula-skirt. This dolphin turned out to be my favourite part of Bass Coast. It grew from being a simple dollar store floaty to being something with which I associated real meaning. It soon represented the perfect Bass Coast to me. This silly Dolphin represented everyone getting involved in something just because they thought it was a funny at the time. It also represented doing whatever you thought was right, and standing by it enough to sign your own name. It was signed by some amazing people with some amazingly helpful and extremely applicable advice. My favourite part about Bass Coast, the dolphin, and life in general is that there is still space to add more, especially if it’s the right input."
"To the people that know me best this one probably comes out of left field as four to the floor is my raison d'être, but when I saw this name on the Bass Coast schedule I knew I had to at least check it out. I wasn’t super familiar with his productions, but I knew I’d come across a guest mix or something of his a few years back, and seeing his name sparked the “Night Slugs, ClekClekBoom, Pearson Sound, UK Bass” segment of my brain. If nothing else I knew I could expect to hear some proper beats. Now, as I’ve gotten older definitely gotten a little less nutty on the dance floor. I tend to find myself grooving more than flailing these days, but damn if he didn’t bring all of that back out of me. I found myself into the set right from the get go, but the real trigger was Ramadanman’s “Work Them”. We’ve all heard the cliché of feeling “one with the music”, but I’m here to tell ya ladies and gentlemen that it’s a concrete, real phenomenon. From that moment on I wasn’t dancing so much as channeling. The music told my muscles what to do and I observed.
It’s amazing how much of ourselves and our memories are stored via music. We can hear a track and remember with amazing clarity where we were when we first heard it, what was going on in our lives, and how we felt. These pieces of us never truly disappear, but lie dormant until piqued once more—in this case by a track that, up until that moment, I had forgotten even existed. It was nice moment of introspection, where I noted that even as I get older and feel like I’ve changed so much, these “past selves” (if you will) are not erased but still contributing to the whole. Music’s funny like that innit?"
Monday Morning Techno in the Brain
"While flitting around the grounds in the wee hours of Monday morning, I stumbled upon the most proper little techno party in the Brain. What started as a trek back to camp for supplies from Sabo’s sunrise turned into “I live here now”. Once I slipped into the darkness of this special little stage, there was no real point in leaving. With immaculate tunes supplied by Vancouver’s Subversive crew, this was definitely a highlight (dare I say favourite?...) of the weekend. Just straight to the soul technooo."
"Sabo is a legend in our eyes. Very few DJs have mastered the art of the sunrise set like he has. His similarly timed set on the Radio Stage last year must have impressed a few key people, because this year he was given the same slot at Slay Bay, which proved to be the place to be for Bass Coasters. Starting at slower tempos, he took us from a dream-like daze into a bird-filled jungle where the dance floor became a full-on tribal gathering of epic proportions. Then the euphoric sunrise ballads came, most notably Acid Pauli’s “Nana”, which warmed even the dreariest of souls out there to new levels. After that he continued to amaze our ears with selections only a master could think of, like a very memorable harmonica-house jam that really got the party going again. Sabo is no one-trick pony though. He also kills it in a club setting, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us this Friday at The Bower."
The Night Vision Showcase or: How Many Hats Can We Stack On Paul’s Head?
"Of courrrrse we’re gonna include this one. Taking over the decks for the Night Vision showcase at the Cantina was a moment of intense joy for all of us here at NV. Every one of us has fantasized about playing at Bass Coast, and to see it actually happen—all while surrounded by some of our greatest friends, old and new—felt like a golden, waking dream. Our newly adopted brothers Howl Sound provided the perfect lead-in to an afternoon filled with sunshine, smiles, hugs, gettin’ down, laughs, babes, butts, wetness, and pure, unadulterated giddiness. The Cantina deck felt like it could have been adrift at sea for how serene it felt. The showcase was also the site of one of those spontaneous and silly festival moments that can only be described as “you just had to be there”. I’m not sure how the “how many hats and sunnies can we stack on Paul’s head” game began, but before long the entire dance floor was involved. It was truly a magical day, and we are honoured to have been a part of it."
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