Western Canada’s largest indoor music festival is only getting bigger for its sixth year. The two-day event returns to B.C. Place, and aims to turn that big old stadium into an immersive, intergalactic vessel that may visually stimulate onlookers so profoundly that they see through the very fabric of space and time. The broad tastes of discerning listeners who have consistently sold out this spectacle for the last few years have been taken into account, with a line-up boasting around twenty of the most epic knob-twiddlers in electronic music today encompassing the hottest up and comers alongside living legends. Following are a few selections that will make your holiday season pop.
Armin van Buuren
One hardly needs to introduce Armin van Buuren. This Netherlands native is one of the biggest names in electronic music, a powerful proponent of progressive house and vocal trance in Ibiza and beyond. He has won countless awards and polls for being the world’s best DJ, and hardly a release of his goes by that doesn’t land on the Billboard charts. Even if you don’t like his music, you won’t want to miss his spectacle.
He’s like Deadmau5 with a bucket on his head. Why would you not want to see that? Seriously, though, Marshmello seems like a pretty cool dude. His videos are stuffed with self-deprecating humor and self-affirming messages, while his main stage EDM sound, featuring silky bass lines with sharp synth melodies and trap percussion, is perfectly produced to stay puft.
Don’t underestimate twenty-something Niagara Falls native Isabelle Rezazadeh (a.k.a. REZZ). She’s been DJing since she was 16, and has spent more hours on Albeton than there are in a day since she first saw deadmau5 live, subsequently getting props from Skrillex for her cinematic, cerebral productions and ultimately releasing her debut album, Mass Manipulation, through mau5trap itself. She’s living the dream, but she worked for it. Just don’t look directly into her eyes unless you want to be hopelessly hypnotized.
Los Angeles producer Jennifer Lee, best known as TOKiMONSTA, is one of the hardest working women in show business, and has been for nearly a decade. Her label, Young Art Records, has fostered rising talent since 2014, while her tireless work in the studio actually helped her recover from a two-part brain surgery that initially left her unable to walk or comprehend language. Yet, despite the practical necessities behind the creation of her third album, 2017’s Lune Rouge, it is proof that she hasn’t lost a step.
A couple years ago, Vancouver’s Nathan Shaw was playing bass for Juno-winning folk-rockers Said the Whale, simply writing trap-tinged tunes as Ekali on the side. That was until he got invited to Tokyo’s Red Bull Music Academy and had Drake snag an instrumental for his lauded 2015 release, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. At this point, you really need to know who he is.
Formerly known as TightMike and currently blowing up as Falcons, Michael Graham is a Los Angeles-based producer and Fool’s Gold signee whose forays into the hip-hop and futuristic R&B end of the EDM spectrum have earned over 28 million streams and counting. They were well earned streams too, no bots about it.
This Shambhala veteran has been slaying stages all the way down the coast, from her home turf on Vancouver Island to the party mecca of Los Angeles and everywhere in between, but all you need to know can be heard on her SoundCloud. All you hear there is her work, and nobody else’s. She tears up the most tripped-out, hardcore hybrid bass allowed by law.
Contact Winter Music Festival set to invade B.C. Place on December 26-27.Contact Winter Music Festival, EDM, electro-pop, hip hop, Indie Rap, Rap, synth-pop, Underground Hip-Hop