Imagine Festival is returning for its 3rd year in Atlanta, GA and there's no doubt that it's going to be a banger. With such a varied lineup full of EDM legends like Adventure Club all the way to up & coming acts such as Liquid Stranger, the festival offers music for all tastes within the world of dance music. In this article I am going to highlight some of the artists you won't want to miss at Imagine Festival 2016. However, I'm not going to highlight the well-known headliners, because chances are you already have listened to them or at least heard of them. I am going to highlight the more eclectic sounds that you may have never heard of, but may just be you new favorite artist after attending Imagine this year.
1) Levitation Jones
A DJ Set with Brian Levitation Jones, New England bass music extraordinaire, is always a good time. Levitation Jones throws down and tears it up at every set I've seen him perform. With his unique sounds that don't follow any rules, to his trembling bass lines, he is definitive a must-see festival favorite.
Spankalicious offers the trippiest and funkiest bass music you'll ever hear. There's not much more I can do to describe it in words. Just give it a listen, you won't be disappointed.
3) iLL.GATES vs. KJ SAWKA
It took me a while to realize that theiLL.GATES name is more than just a play on words about the Microsoft billionaire. iLL.GATES is an electronic music producer/master and uses gate effects in Ableton like a pro. He even helped the Bass God, Bassnectar, figure out his set-up in Ableton. KJ Sawka is the drummer for Pendulum, the legendary Drum N Bass band who is also having a DJ Set at the festival. Together they create an bass-heavy experience worth seeing.
4) Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (DJ Set)
To be completely honest, this is the artist I am most excited to see at Imagine this year. Their upbeat Indie Pop / Electro / Future House style is captivating and incredibly uplifting. Their music just makes me so happy :'). This one is for the all the indie hipsters at heart.
5) Ott & The All-Seeing I
Ott offers psychedelic sound-scapes with goa and psytrance roots mixed with ambient, chill and reggae elements. If you like artists like Shpongle, Astrix, or Hallucinogen, you will love Ott. "Ott & The All Seeing I" incorporates Naked Nick, Chris Umberloid, Matt White, and Ott for a full-band live experience. This is the type of music you can meditate to.
And if you like Ott, you will probably like Opiou, too. They're kind of similar, but Opiou is faster tempo, and incorporates way more heavy bass while still keeping those elements of psytrance or psydub. They offer sounds that you go on a shamanic journey to, dance to, trance to, or rage to. It's the type of music to get weird to.
7) The Polish Ambassador
If you like Ott and Opiou, you probably will also enjoy The Polish Ambassador. He is a pioneer in electronic music, creating everything new that dance music needs right now. This funky producer's older music is much more psychedelic, while his newer stuff is instrumental, whimsical, and packs a good message, too. Not only is his music all about spreading good vibes, but in the past he hosted a Permaculture Action Tour, where the proceeds from his concerts went to benefit planting community gardens. It's pretty awesome when you can party with a purpose.
8) DJ Knowledge
DJ Knowledge is another New England favorite. His music not only offers original and remixed Trap and Big Room bangers, but there is a great community surrounding his music, too. DJ Knowledge has a rich community of promoters, music enthusiasts, and producers called Columns of Knowledge. So you'll always see good people and familiar faces at his shows.
FYER is some of the most epic genre-blending and bending amazingness I've ever heard. It's a real surprise that they are at the bottom of the lineup. Imagine the guitars of Dragon Force mixed with the live-band electronic epicness of Savoy, mixed with some GRiZ future-funk, and some trap snares. And then when you thought you had it all, the drop comes on with some liquid Drum N Bass. Woah, amazeballs. That's how I would describe FYER. Listen for yourself:
10) Beats Antique
Beats Antique is actually pretty well known, but I think they needed to be added to this list because their genre fills such unique niche within dance music. Beats Antique is special not only because of their unique gypsy sound, but because every show is a fantastic piece of performance art. Whether they bring in their full live band or are just performing a DJ Set, they always have instruments, dancers, costumes, performers, and drummers on stage.
If you read my other article covering Imagine Festival 2016, you'll know that there's a whole lot more the festival offers than the music. But just these producers, DJs, and musicians alone are enough to convince many to attend.
Written by Colin Eldridge