By Colin Gallant
CALGARY – When people say they don’t know what to see at Sled Island, I always have an ace card in my back pocket waiting to be shown. Start with scheduling a few shows around the guest curator’s selections and walk a few blocks (or less) to the closest show nearby when you’ve had your fill. There are close to 40 venues in a 20-block radius that are taken over by the festival’s programming during the second last week of June. Odds are you’ll find something you like—so long as you have an anchor of guidance to set you on your way.
For the 11th year of the festival, Flying Lotus is your guy. He runs Brainfeeder records and whisks electronic music, jazz, hip-hop and extreme bass into a pudding so sweet it’d make Willy Wonka blush.
Show a little trust and read our calendar of curator events to help set you on your path through Sled Island.
Performing on Wednesday, June 21, the UK club visionary will be the introduction of curator picks at Commonwealth.
Koosha is a digital composer of new music informed by his experience in Iran, London and other parts of the globe. He’ll showcase on Thursday, June 22 at Commonwealth.
Both opening for DJ Quik at The Palace Theatre on Friday, June 23 and helping to close things out on Sunday, June 25 at The Palomino, Busdriver lives at the intersection of rapped poetry and the LA experimental beat scene.
Joining Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith for an ambient showcase at Studio Bell on Thursday, June 22, Dedekind Cut is a former rap producer (Lee Bannon) gone transcendent cerebralist.
DJ PAYPAL & DJ ORANGE JULIUS
Footwork spanning Detroit, North Carolina, Florida, Europe, Africa, Asian and Extraterrestrial plains is what you can expect from this Mall Music duo. Their vicious tempos and anything-goes-anachronism will close out a curator showcase at Commonwealth on Thursday, June 22.
Did you invent West Coast hip-hop? Didn’t think so. Shut your fool mouth and check out DJ Quik at The Palace Theatre on Friday, June 23.
Hand-picked by Flying Lotus as direct support for his show at The Palace Theatre on Saturday, June 24 (and also appearing by the late of day on Saturday at the Sled Island Block Party), IGLOOGHOST is the youngest, hardest to summarize pick by the guest curator.
ONCE AND FUTURE BAND
Were you expecting to see a prog-pop band on this list? We weren’t. Once and Future Band live up to their name, blurring the traditions of the past with something yet to come. As the only strictly live band on the lineup, there’s a lot resting on their shoulders for their two shows—Friday, June 23 at the Ship & Anchor and Saturday, June 24 at Broken City.
SEVEN DAVIS JR
Seven Davis Jr plays twice on Saturday, June 24: DJing electro-funk at the Sled Island Block Party during the day and bringing a sweet hallelujah of a live band set to the Hifi Club that night. Pick your poison accordingly.
Whack is the new black. The main attraction at the all day, all night hip-hop party on Saturday, June 24 at Broken City, Tierra courts haters like she does her own weirdness: proudly and without hesitation.
While he may be many things already, Yves Tumor is a long way off from being understood. The definition of chill in his ambient recordings but an invasive renegade on stage, Yves Tumor is the puzzle to solve at Sled Island. Give it your best on Thursday, June 22 at Commonwealth.