Kaleidoscope Kamp Out w/ Minnesota Q&A
By Mykel Vernon-Sembach
Many people forget the Pepsi Amphitheater is located at the Fort Tuthill United States Air Force Base recreation area for military personnel, so when many attendees of this year’s Kaleidoscope Kamp Out drove in for this past Saturday’s festival, many were a bit off-put by the seemingly rigid presentation of the event. It was not until the entrance of the Pepsi Amphitheater that many concert goers experienced some shock to their senses.
Nag champa and burning sage hung in the air like a low fog, painted faces in costume walked about the grassy field while the likes of electronic founders EOTO and Tipper prepare to perform their audible sensory trip for a diverse crowd. Between the light-up disco dance floor and the hexagonal shrines among communal hammocks and floor cushions, Kaleidoscope was more of an electronic fairy tale than a run-of-the-mill festival. Kaleidoscope Kamp Out, hosted by Electric Kingdom creator Culture Shock, was both an gentle introduction into the electro/trance for novice listeners and a sustainable continuation for avid followers.
Culture Shock worked in collaboration with Firefly Gathering, a modernized tribal village to recreate a conscious, creativity-based co-op culture among northern Arizona natives. With Kaleidoscope Kamp Out, Firefly and Culture Shock sought to make the event a positive impact both for their environment and in the lives of participants.
While it was certainly an electro-driven experience, the Kaleidoscope event coordinators focused on creating a safe and comfortable environment for any attendee, making Kaleidoscope Kamp Out a must-see event regardless of music taste.
For most NAU students, dubstep is not Top 40, but has made an impression regardless. DJ/producer, Minnesota — better known as Christian Bauhofer — is one of a handful of artists who dominate in transforming bro step into a socially acceptable music genre.
The Lumberjack: You perform under the broad genre of dubstep, but most of the tracks you produce are very melodic and go beyond the wobble. It’s very relaxing.
Christian Bauhofer: I put dubstep behind Minnesota in a lot of things, including my website, mostly because I had to choose a word that would go with Minnesota to help people find my music. It’s just a broad term. Some people like to define it a certain way, but my focus on all my music is melodies. That’s what comes naturally to me.
LJ: When we first heard you, you were producing a lot of remixes, but now you’re coming up with a lot of your own original work. Do you have to approach creating original tracks with a different mindset compared to when you create remixes?
Bauhofer: Usually when I do a remix it’s just because I hear a random song and I’m like, “Damn, that sounds cool.” I also did that at the time that I was coming out because its a really good way to get publicity and promote yourself because people can recognize a song. When I did the “California Dreaming” remix, people recognized that song. Even if they weren’t a huge fan of electronic music, there is a good chance that they might like it because they like that song. Definitely right now, in the past six months, I’ve been focusing on writing my own music to balance out my catalog and make sure I have just as much original music as I do remixes. Remixing songs can be fun, but it is definitely a lot easier than writing original music, at least it is for me. So, I’m trying to really get stuff that I can put together and release and just have it be completely original or be collaborations with other electronic musicians or other singers or rappers.
LJ: What are you feelings on your remixes that people know you by?
CB: Definitely “California Dreaming” I’m pretty much over it. I played it this whole summer at all the festivals but that song is pretty close to two years old so pretty much for the rest of the shows I’m phasing that one and a few others out. I still do like “Starry Eyed” [by Ellie Goulding] because I did a remix of a remix; I redid it so that it would sound good live. So, that track is still fresh for me. I find that a lot of people do know me by my remixes but it makes up for the when people see those remixes first and then they go to find my original music and they dig it. I feel like I have a good balance in my fan base.
LJ: What has been your favorite track to produce off of your Astral Projections EP?
CB: Astral Projections came out in June and now I’m working on a new EP with the working title, Altered States and it’s going to have five or six tracks. They’re all songs that I really loved to make and love to play and I think that it’s some of my best work so far. I’m working on a track with a guy, Seven Lions.
LJ: You have a track called, “Yoga Pants.” Where did that track title come from?
CB: I was joking with some friends six months ago about if I ever want to make a sexy, beat music side project like PantyRaid , I’d call it Yoga Pants. I associate it with sexy but super chill, because pretty much anyone can wear them and they’ll look good. So I was working on a beat only for a few hours and it more like the sexy vibe so I just called that track “Yoga Pants” and people were pretty down with the name.
LJ: Can you tell the difference between dubstep in England (where dubstep originated) and dubstep in the U.S.? Which do you prefer?
CB: In both the U.S and the U.K. people are making similar kinds of dubstep in certain sub-genres of dubstep. For example, there are a lot of people from the Bay Area where I’m from that are making that older, grimy dubstep sound associated with the U.K. and it sounds like they’re from the U.K. The main difference I think is what people think is popular. Obviously, in the mainstream it’s just super banger dubstep and electro and then we also have a huge underground bass culture (at least in California) where it’s more experimental, more psychedelic, melodic dubstep.
LJ: Do you think that dubstep is for everyone?
CB: I’m not sure, because I never would have thought that my parents would have liked electronic music but ever since I’ve been doing it, my dad has been sending me Bassnectar songs that he finds and they want to come to all the shows. So, I think if people open up and don’t worry about any stigmas of electronic music, I think almost everyone can find something that they like. But it’s hard that have no idea about electronic music to go an find the good stuff initially, so they might get scared off to begin with. But, I really do think that most people could find something that they like, it’s just hard for them to find it.
LJ: How did you get your parents into your music?
CB: At first, I was DJing for a while and I was trying to produce music but nothing was really happening with it, so my parents were supportive of it but I still had to keep going to school. Once I started to fly out and do shows, they began to see that it could be a potential career for me and started to really encourage it.
LJ: What are your opinions of substance use in the dubstep scene?
CB: I think that a lot of kids are going at it too young at 14, 15 or 16 and they’re doing ecstasy and some of them are dying because of it. I guess, substance-wise, adults should have freedoms to do as they please. Obviously, people are going to do stupid stuff. I think my main concern are kids that are going out really young and starting to drink and do drugs. That could mess them up later in life. So, parents need to be really careful with their kids going to some of these raves. But once you’re older, if you’re responsible and know what you’re doing, you should be able to do what you want. I don’t encourage drug use, but I do believe in freedom of what you want to do to your body.