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Eric Allen

Blooming Brighter Than We Ever Have: The 11th Annual Sonic Bloom in Rye, Colorado [Festival Review]

This year’s 11th Annual Sonic Bloom was an atmosphere of pure intimacy, and having attended the last four years of SB, I can confidently say it was the best yet. Founder Jamie Janover quoted the festival as having formed ‘…into a unified field, bringing everything into one unified structure – what makes it great is that everyone’s here to get a vibe going.” That’s exactly what he has fabricated at Sonic Bloom, because the atmosphere of this music festival is nothing but euphoric and welcoming. This four day gathering should be on everyone’s To Do list because you truly leave reformed, inspired and motivated to be nothing but a better person. Those needing a boost of inspiration will find Sonic Bloom to be the perfect fit true and through.

Late Night Radio performing at Sonic Bloom. Photo courtesy of Bad Astronaut Photography via the official LNR Facebook


Reflecting on the numerous highlights during our weekend in Rye, Colorado this past weekend, it truly is an honor being able to watch and listen to so many performers manifest their dream. Friday night saw Alex Medellin, aka Late Night Radio, crush the main stage with drummer Tyler Unland to give us an explosive performance to kick start everyone into festival mode. Together, Tyler and Alex really know how bring the electronic funk to the floor, and they soaked up plenty of CO love during their set. They even surprised us Bloomers with a little extra action by adding artists such as saxophonist Clark Smith from Dynohunter and Andrew Clymer from Sunsquabi. This set was a perfect face-melter for the start of a rad weekend, and we couldn’t thank you boys enough for the musical goodness.


      Milky.wav slayed his set from start to finish, beginning with smooth, bassy R&B, then moved the energy forward into a strictly Hip-Hop set to really make the crowd get bouncy. Jordan (Milky.WAV) performed before Space Jesus, and it was pretty heartening to witness him getting down on side-stage during, showing and sharing love to a fellow artist. Hopefully you didn’t miss Space Jesus, because as promised he brought all the freakish sounds to my favorite Sonic Bloom stage, The Hummingbird. This producer is blowing up,  and has only gained momentum since being signed to Liquid Stranger’s Wakaan label. He truly is a wizard at creating some of the most bizarre sounds I’ve heard. The entire set was banger after banger, but the coolest track had to be his drop of Zebbler Encanti Experience’s ‘Dream World’ – talk about a climax! It was unfortunate that Space Jesus and the Opiuo live band had to perform at the same time, but hopefully you were able to catch a little of both! The Opiuo Live Band crushed the main stage and truly brought the glitchiest funk of the evening. The soul and energy during this set was seriously beautiful, and we were even treated to a lot of his newest releases, a personal favorite being ‘Huxley Hustle’ from the latest EP.

Photo by Silky Shots, courtesy of the SunSquabi official Facebook page

The first night was one for the books, but we still had another stacked day to go (four if you count those lucky enough to stay)! If you haven’t jumped on the SquabTrain, you’d better start because these local boys have really come far in making their dreams a reality over the last few years. Sunsquabi gave the best set I’ve ever seen from them, and it was obvious that the entire crowd was swept away. Thanks for the funkiest sounds, and for creating the sexiest moving crowd – that was a dance party never to be forgotten. I’d have to say they are headliner material and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these talented musicians.
Dirtybird artist Justin Martin upped the energy by serving up a delicious dose of House, and it couldn’t have been better witnessed than on the Hummingbird Stage. Many fans were anticipating this producer’s performance because they know how Justin gets down, and after this set I know why. Although Sonic Bloom isn’t really known for hosting House genres, it couldn’t have fit in better. We can’t wait to have Justin Martin back in Colorado, so we urge you to take the chance to see him if he comes to your city! Turning to the downtempo side of things, Liam Shea, also known as Templo was a personal favorite for me this Bloom. Liam is such a sweetheart, and watching him destroy the stage to a loving crowd was so cool. Templo on the Feyline label is blowing up, so make sure you keep up with his shows and releases here. His unique Oriental style and ambient stage presence completely blew everyone away, and I know I’m not alone when I say I’m definitely looking forward to the next show. His glitchy productions were a perfect soundtrack for us to get crunchy to.

 Eric Allen
Templo at this year’s Sonic Bloom 2016. Courtesy of Eric Allen Copyright © Eric Allen Photography

The time has come to talk about the most incredible performance of Saturday night – Tipper. Talk about a musical experience – this man has truly flipped the music scene on its head and knows no bounds when it comes to his creativity. This mind-boggling set started out very ambient, paired with the most beautiful visuals created by renowned artist Android Jones. In addition to pumping out squishy beats, he also brought out mad scratching skills and some unreleased tunes, making his set a very unique highlight.

Dave Tipper really knows how to control and mesmerize the crowd, and the result is a completely immersive journey through sound. We URGE you to catch his three day banger in Denver in October for a freak show out of this world.  Sonic Bloom is a festival not to miss, and with so much talent and love poured into it, we won’t be missing a single one! Thanks for the most euphoric weekend of the summer, SB! Until next Solstice, keep Bloomin.

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