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House and Techno from Edmonton's Night Vision Crew.

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Night Vision's Top 10 Must-See Acts of Shambhala 2016

Do we really need an introduction here? Shambhala is under a week away (ahhhhh!!!!) and it’s tough to contain the excitement, but relaxbreathewe’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!

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Night Vision's Top 15 Must-See Acts of Shambhala 2015!

Has it been a year already? With just over a week before our pilgrimage to Western Canada’s most illustrious electronic music festival begins, the hype is getting way, way too real. The excitement truly began to take hold back in March, with the announcement of what is—and we say this without a drop of hyperbole—the best lineup that Shambhala has ever produced. With acts ranging from mainstream, to underground, to straight up curveballs (DJ Jazzy Jeff anyone?), there’s enough depth and variety to satisfy even the snootiest of tastes. Those familiar with the farm know that even the best laid plans canand willbe thrown to the wind once the night takes hold and our ears become our only guides; nevertheless, indulge us for a moment if you will as we present our top 15 must-see acts at Shambhala 2015.

(In order of appearance)


Ardalan

When: Friday, 5:00pm – 6:00pm

Where: The Pagoda

With each passing year, San Francisco’s dirtybird records’ presence at Shambhala grows bigger and bigger. At long last, that presence has culminated in a full-on Friday night takeover at the Pagoda—a takeover fans have been begging for, but never quite convinced would become reality. With each act bringing their own style, occupying their own niche within the showcase itself, the music is sure to stay fresh all day & night.

Kicking things off is rising star and Night Vision’s biggest crush: Ardalan. Having already released one of the songs of the summer with his remix of Billy Kenny’s “I Eat Beats”, the future looks brighter and brighter every day for this gem. Pack a lunch and join the Night Vision crew in busting first moves of the dirtybird takeover. Meet you in front of the subs.


Cause & Affect

When: Friday, 7:20pm – 8:40pm

Where: The Pagoda

If you find yourself longing for some big, invigorating UK Garage basslines, look no further than Cause & Affect. Consisting of 2014 headliner Chris Lorenzo and Birmingham’s Kane, the duo have found themselves at the forefront of the (dubiously named) “Jackin House” movement. No matter what you call it, after witnessing Lorenzo and his co-conspirator Hannah Wants ignite the Pagoda just one year ago, we strongly urge all of our readers to check these boys out!


DJ Harvey

When: Friday Night, 8:00pm – 12:00am

Where: The Living room

Although he was once dubbed the Keith Richards of DJs by Rolling Stone, DJ Harvey fancies himself more of a Frank Zappa character: “He’s naughty, intellectual, and dangerous.” Whatever you want to call him, there’s no denying Harvey exudes a rock star aura that has followed him over a career spanning nearly 3 decades. With an ocean-deep record collection full of retro house, techno, disco, and funk gems that could only be accumulated through 25+ years of digging, you’d be mad not to catch a piece of this gargantuan, 4-hour Friday night slot at the beach.


Shiba san

When: Friday Night, 11:20pm – 12:40am

Where: The Pagoda

We really can’t miss this one here at Night Vision. Since the start of the summer, the man behind 2014’s ubiquitous club banger “Okay” has been rinsing Adam Johan & Nick Garcia’s “Get It Girl”—a track released on our very own Night Vision Music (and, admittedly, it was kind’ve a Big Deal for our fledging label). Look for the giant group hug with the shirtless, curly-haired Jerk at the centre should Shiba sneak this one into his set. Self-indulgence aside, we’re very excited to see what the man at the head of the G-house movement will bring to the Pagoda subs.


Justin Martin

When: Friday Night, 12:40am – 2:00am

Where: The Pagoda

Do we really need to explain this one? Surely we don’t need to mention how, besides DJ Soup, Justin is the only DJ to play the Pagoda for the past 3 years straight, or how he has a new album dropping soon, or how our bi-weekly Night Vision meetings contain the highest density of Justin Martin fanboys per square-metre worldwide. It’s no secret that we love the guy, and we can’t wait to be there when he blows up the Pagoda once again.


Claude vonstroke

When: Friday Night, 2:00am – 3:20am

Where: The Pagoda

To kick off his last Shambhala set back in 2012, the dirtybird boss and head tastemaker declared with a huge smile “My name is Claude VonStroke, and I’m VERY happy to be here tonight.” In print, his words seem unremarkable, but those in attendance know they were spoken with the honesty and exuberance of someone who appreciates the enormity of a headliner slot at Shambhala. Returning for the first time in 3 years, expect CVS to not only play the newest bombs flowing down the dirtybird pipeline—that much is obvious—but exclusive, unreleased edits and other special surprises you’ll only ever hear live. Remember last time when he dropped that “Next Episode” edit? I’m getting chills just thinking about it.


Dusky

When: Friday Night, 3:20am – 4:40am

Where: The Pagoda

For most acts, following someone as enormous as Claude VonStroke would be a daunting task, but if any two dudes can do it, it’s Dusky. As anyone who caught their Night Vision debut last June can attest, these giants—both figuratively and literally (have you seen how tall these dudes are?)—of house and techno know their craft. Expect a flawlessly mixed set of driving, ethereal house and techno, a side of feels and a hint of rave-cheese for good measure. As an added bonus, be on the look out for DMT’s Malcs—he’ll be the guy crying manly tears of joy at the front of the dance floor.


DJ Jazzy Jeff

When: Saturday Night, 9:00pm – 10:30pm

Where: The Fractal Forest

If you were surprised to see DJ Jazzy Jeff on the Shambhala lineup, well…you’re not alone! If you grew up in the 80s, no doubt you’ll know him from his work with the Fresh Prince (AKA Will Smith) or, if you grew up in the 90s, you’ll know him as the guy who’s always getting unceremoniously tossed from Uncle Phil’s house. Nevertheless, this isn’t one of those celebrity-turned-gimmick-DJs we’ve seen in recent years. This is your chance to see a true legend of the DJ craft laying it down in the funkiest,  wildest, and yeah we’re saying it, greatest venue in the world: the Fractal Forest. Expect to hear a mixture of R&B, hip-hop and some world-class scratching.


tipper

When/Where:  Saturday Night, 1:00am – 2:00am at The Grove

                        Sunday Evening, 8:30pm - 9:30pm at The Living Room

With two sets scheduled for the godfather of glitch-hop, we can’t decide which one we’re more excited to see. Saturday night in the Grove he’ll be at his heaviest, working those beautiful Funktion-One speakers and backed by the psychedelic, mind-bending visuals of digital artist Android Jones. Sunday evening will see him play a softer, slower vibe as he brings in the sunset on the beach. Whatever your flavour, Tipper is bound to impress.


DJ zinc

When: Saturday Night, 1:00am – 2:30am

Where: The Fractal Forest

Rumour has it that DJ Zinc has something very special in store for his Fractal Forest debut. The man behind 1995’s seminal drum and bass classic “Super Sharp Shooter” was a major force in the genre for over a decade. In 2007, he left DNB citing “disenchantment with the scene” before going on to produce more house-leaning cuts, such as the 2009 monster hit “Blunt Edge”.
When the Shambhala lineup was announced, Zinc declared that he’d be returning to his DNB and jungle roots. Whether he’ll mix it up with some four to the floor is anyone’s guess, but either way we’re sure it’s gonna be fire. It is very seldom that this 20-year veteran plays on North American soil, so you don’t want to miss what might be your only chance to see DJ Zinc.


KRY Wolf

When: Saturday Night, 1:30am – 3:00am

Where: The Amphitheatre

Alongside Shadow Child, UK duo Kry Wolf head one of Night Vision’s favourite labels: the delectable, mouth-watering and always appetizing, Food Music. They’ll be leading the charge at this year’s Saturday night house jam in the Amphitheatre, and considering the variety of selections displayed on the label’s “DNA” compilation earlier this year, we’re very eager to hear what kinds of sounds they’ll bring to their first Shambhala.


Jesse Rose

When: Saturday Night, 2:30am – 4:00am

Where: The Fractal Forest

Seeing Jesse Rose’s name on this year’s poster was one of the biggest, most delightful surprises of the entire lineup announcement; the fact that he’ll be making his Shambhala debut in the Fractal Forest is just icing on the cake. Having held residencies at Paris’ Wagg, and the world-renowned Panorama Bar in Berlin, Mr. Rose is a rare treat indeed. Having already headed three outstanding record labels (Front Room, Made to Play, Play It Down), Rose kicked off his newest project “A-Sided” with “Bare Mountain”—a collaboration he did with a little known artist by the name of Claude VonStroke. What do we expect to hear from Mr. Rose? Groovy, bouncy, straight-up house music. While his timeslot directly conflicts with the festival’s much-speculated-on *~*~mystery headliner~*~*, nothing short of Frankie Knuckles’ ghost on the Pagoda decks will be gettin’ us out of the forest.


BONOBO

When: Sunday Night, 11:30pm – 1:30am

Where: The Grove

Who out there doesn’t have a soft spot for Bonobo? If such a person indeed exists, we don’t wanna know’em. Kiddddding….(but actually). Last year’s Starlite show was nothing short of magical, and we expect it will be no different when we pack into the Grove on Sunday night. Deep, elegant and eclectic grooves are what’s on the schedule, and it’s all gonna be pumpin’ from that sexy F1 rig. It really is a dream come true.


CAMO & KROOKED

When: Sunday Night, 12:00am – 1:30am

Where: The Village

What would Shambhala be without a little drum and bass sesh in the Village?! From the Hospital Records family, Austrian duo Camo & Krooked are easily one of the hottest DNB outfits in the game. With a fourth full-length album on the way soon, expect to hear a shwack of new material.


AC Slater

When: Sunday Night, 2:30am – 4:00am

Where: The Fractal forest

If you made the trek to Shambhala back in 2009, chances are you remember—errrr, chances are you were there at least (wink), for the AC Slater & Jack Beats combo in the Fractal Forest. From that time when fidget-house was all the rage, AC Slater ventured into the dubstep scene before returning once again to the bass-driven house-ish sounds we once knew. Having recently turned his L.A. club night “Night Bass” into a full-on label, AC Slater’s primed to take his career to even new heights with support from the likes of Chris Lorenzo, DJ Q and Taiki Nulight. What better way to start closing the festival than with some high-energy house and garage, before Fractal stage director Rich-e-Rich’s mandatory Monday morning session? Sleep? Never heard of it…


And that’s a wrap! Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Shambhala kiddos. Stay safe and don’t be afraid to pop in to the Night Vision camp for a quick hello! Just look for the eye in the sky…

Written by Malcs & Trevor Olsson

Night Vision's Top 5 Sets of BPM Festival 2015


Photo Credit: The BPM Festival

The BPM Festival—one of North America's premier destinations for underground house music—takes place in one of the Mayan Riviera's most-traversed party towns: Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Although it was originally started as a small, after-New Year’s party for industry staff (festival producers claim the BPM stands for "Bartenders, Promoters, and Managers"), the event has become one of the world’s most internationally acclaimed party destinations, with the number of European attendees rivaling those from the United States and Canada. This year, our resident music festival connoisseur Trevor Olsson made the trek down to the 10-day marathon to take in the action and document some of his favorite sets.


5. Seth Troxler B2B The Martinez Brothers @ Blue Parrot

Photo Credit: The BPM Festival

Kicking off the list at #5 is Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers’ showcase of their recently formed label, Tuskegee Music. Taking place at one of BPM’s mainstay venues, Blue Parrot, the trio followed a gritty opening performance by Harvard Bass with a 4-hour back-to-back odyssey. While Troxler was certainly no slouch, The Martinez Brothers really shone through, demonstrating why they were recently named Mixmag’s best DJs of the year.


4. Dennis Ferrer @ Mamita’s

Photo Credit: The BPM Festival

After a 7am police raid at the trouble-ridden Blue Venado venue a few nights prior, BPM decided to cancel Art Department's No. 19 label showcase on the second last night of the festival. Fortunately, the event was rescheduled for the afternoon of the following day at the daytime beach club, Mamita's, which graciously extended its hours and combined their lineup (which already included Jamie Jones) with the No. 19 crew. Out of all the heavyweights on the bill, Dennis Ferrer's eclectic mixing and soulful selections proved to be my favorite, providing the perfect soundtrack to the final sunset of the festival. 


3. Eats Everything @ Blue Venado

Photo Credit: Resident Advisor

Jamie Jones continued his Paradise series this year with arguably the most popular party of the festival. Held at Blue Venado—the jungle-enclosed beach venue 10 minutes south of PdC—Jones put together an lineup with the likes of Eats Everything, Steve Lawler, and Hot Creations favourites: Lee Foss, Patrick Topping, wAFF, and Richy Ahmed. Eats absolutely stole the show with a dynamic and energetic peak time set that proved to be the highlight of the much-anticipated event.


2. Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons @ Day Zero Festival

Photo Credit: Crosstown Rebels

Although not officially associated with BPM, Day Zero was one the most heavily attended events of the week. Curated by L.A. house giants Crosstown Rebels, the Burning Man-esque party (think Robot Heart without the desert) was situated deep in the jungle just outside Playa del Carmen. After a stellar line up of Crosstown artists (and other favourites such as Matthew Dear and DJ Harvey), label boss Damian Lazarus took to the stage just before sunrise—a time slot for which he is becoming increasingly famous—to debut his new live show along with The Ancient Moons. If this set were any indication, we’re in for a very promising record when the group releases its first album this spring.


1. Solomun B2B Âme @ Canibal Royal

Photo Credit: Resident Advisor

Expanding the brand of his famed Ibiza residency, Hamburg's Solomun once again brought his 'Solomun+1' series to BPM, inviting Berlin's Âme (Kristian Beyer) to join him on the beach for what was, essentially, the perfect party at Canibal Royal. After having already played two lengthy sets individually, the German duo hit the decks for a mammoth back-to-back session that lasted well into the night. The incredible venue, the spirited crowd, and of course, the world-class DJs, all resonated beautifully to make ‘Solomun +1’ the most vibin’ party of the festival.


By Trevor Olsson

Night Vision's Top 12 Must-See Artists at Shambhala 2014!

It’s hard not to feel mixed emotions as we say adieu to July. Indeed, the realization that we are down to just one month left of summer is saddening; however, the start of August also signals the approach of a different beast: Shambhala—not winter—is coming.

It should come as no surprise that we at Night Vision get as excited as anyone for the arrival of North America’s premier electronic music festival. If you have not attended yourself, no doubt you know someone who has—we’re sure they’ve told you allllllll about it. Shambhala is a place that simply must be talked about it, so please, indulge us for a few minutes as we share some our most anticipated acts for this year’s festival. Who knows, when you’re wandering through the forest between Fractal and the Village at 2am, you might just remember some of it.


Dan Solo

When:  Friday, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Where: Fractal Forest

Like last year, local boy Dan Solo (Santums / Slope) finds himself in an early evening slot, warming up the Fractal Forest. While the Forest is usually home to breaks and funk, expect to hear something a little different from Dan Solo. Last year he set the mood with an eclectic, smoothly mixed set of house, techno and experimental bass music, and we expect to hear something in that vein this year as well. Don’t take our word for it though; check out his Slowcast from earlier this year:


J. Phlip

When: Friday, 8:00pm - 9:30pm

Where: The Pagoda

Jessica Phillippe AKA J. Phlip is the latest member of San Francisco’s dirtybird records crew to grace Shambhala’s hallowed ground. It’s no secret that we at Night Vision dig all things dirtybird, and our minds are no different when J. Phlip is the topic of conversation. Her sets are truly prodigious, as she appears to move effortlessly from deep house cuts to eerie techno vibes to peak-hour bass whompers without ever feeling like a track is forced or out of place. If you’re still not convinced, check out her latest dirtybird release: the ghetto-flavoured, bass-house monster Say My Name.


Skream

When: Friday, 9:30pm - 11:00pm

Where: The Pagoda

Having played sets in both 2007 & 2008 in the Village, Skream—one of dubstep’s earliest and most revered pioneers—is no stranger to Shambhala. His return is bound to both excite and confuse as he has since undergone a drastic transformation as a producer and DJ. As is outlined in Vice’s mini-documentary “Come With Me”, the former dubstep superstar has radically revamped his sound, playing sets consisting of house, disco and techno. While some are bound to be disappointed by this change, others, ourselves included, cannot help but be intrigued, and cannot wait to see what he has in store for us.


Danny Byrd

When: Friday, 2:00am - 3:30am

Where: The Village

When it comes to drum & bass, there’s Hospital Records, and then there’s everyone else. Representing the renowned South London label in the Village this year is none other than one of its first signees, Danny Byrd. Influenced by genres such as house, UK garage, R&B, and old skool rave, his signature style of drum & bass is set to provide Shambhala with one of its most energetic sets of the weekend.


Ursula 1000

When: Friday, 3:30am - 5:00am

Where: The Pagoda

There are two types of people in this world: those who saw Ursula 1000 in 2011 at the Pagoda, and those who heard us all talking about it. Words can only say so much, so do yourself a favor and check out the recording of that night. It’s bouncy, it’s fun; what more could you want?


Mr. Scruff

When: Saturday, 4:00pm - 8:00pm

Where: The Living Room

There could not be a more appropriate artist for both his timeslot and stage this year than Mr. Scruff. Expect a warm and blissful journey on the beach as this Manchester DJ has 4 (!) short hours to spin, twist, and tangle us in his web. There gon’ be viiiiiibes aplenty.


Mark Farina

When/Where: Saturday, 2:00am - 3:30am @ The Amphitheatre

                       Sunday, 6:00pm - 9:00pm @ The Living Room

Veteran Chicago house DJ Mark Farina makes his Shambhala debut this year playing two very special sets. Saturday night he’ll be featured in the “Legends of House Showcase” at the Amphitheatre, while Sunday he switches it up to deliver his signature “mushroom jazz” sound to the denizens of the Living Room. While the first performance is bound to be a funky, groovin’ house party, the latter will take a step back into softer, slower, head-nodding territory. Whatever your tastes, you’ll find something you can jam to with Mark Farina.


Neighbour

When: Saturday Night / Sunday Morning, 5:30am - 7:30am.

Where: Fractal Forest

Owner of Vancouver’s Homebreakin Records and one of western Canada’s top house producers, Neighbour’s early morning Fractal set gains more and more notoriety with each passing year. Like a warm cup of coffee, Neighbour’s deep, funky vibes invigorate the soul at a time where most festivalers are thinking about their pillows.  Trust us when we say this one is worth staying up, or, failing that, setting an alarm for. 


B. Traits

When: Sunday, 9:00pm - 10:30pm

Where: The Pagoda

Hailing from Nelson, B.C., Brianna Price AKA B. Traits returns from the UK this year to perform a long, long overdue set at the Pagoda. What has she been doing across the pond all this time? Why, only hosting a couple shows on a little radio station called BBC Radio1. Needless to say, she’s a fantastic DJ, and we’re mega-excited to see what she has planned for her homecoming.


ODESZA

When: Sunday, 11:30pm - 12:30am

Where: The Grove

With their sophomore album In Return due out in just one month, expect an abundance of new, melodic, sensual sounds in The Grove when Seattle duo ODESZA make their Shambhala debut Sunday night. And did we mention they’ll be performing on the first Funktion-One soundsystem ever at Shambhala? It’s gonna be a wavy good time.


Justin Martin

Photo credit: Lisa Sunde

Photo credit: Lisa Sunde

When: Sunday, 12:00am - 1:30am

Where: The Pagoda

There was a silver lining in the then-devastating cancellation of Eats Everything at last year’s Shambhala, and it came in the form of an extended, 3-hour set from dirtybird’s Justin Martin. The sting of “no Eats” was soon forgotten as Justin delivered what was certainly our favorite set of the festival. Having played three out of the last four years, the bass-dropping, pizza-loving, and all around awesome-human-being Justin Martin has become a Shambhala staple and we at Night Vision couldn’t be happier to see him year after year.


Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo

When: Sunday, 1:30am - 4:30am

Where: The Pagoda

Every year at Shambhala, there’s an artist or group of artists whose songs appear to follow you wherever you go. Their tracks are played at seemingly every stage, by every DJ, and quickly become impossible to ignore. Last year, those artists were Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo. Since the release of their single “Dappy” in January, 2013, the UK duo have experienced a meteoric rise to fame with their signature brand of bass-focused house music. Don’t be surprised to see the whole Night Vision crew shuttin’ it down at the Pagoda for these two on Sunday night.


We're hoping you all have a lovely Shambhala! Party safe out there!