Hipster-haired dubstep maestro Skrillex, Swedish superstar DJ Avicii, and French dream-pop outfit M83 are most likely to grab the headlines when they perform at Atlanta’s brand new electronic music festival, Counterpoint, later this month. But for those making the trek to the 350-acre Chattahoochee River setting between Sept 27 and 29, there are a whole host of artists further down the bill who are just as likely to enthrall.
Cousin Dan has been labelled as the black sheep of the Atlanta dance scene, largely thanks to a rather extroverted fashion sense which includes a cut-off denim vest, a pair of leopard pants and a mirrored cod-piece. But with his ‘southern-sexjam-synth’ sound echoing the likes of Chromeo at their slow-motion funk best, there’s still a substance to his rather unique style.
He’s not the only act on the line-up to authentically mine the sounds of the 80s. Com Truise, aka New Yorker Seth Halen’s blend of slow-motion funk and spooky electro is far more suited to the era of Risky Business than say, Knight and Day, whilst the enigmatic The M Machine are capable of making the kind of nostalgic synth-pop which could easily fit on the Drive soundtrack.
Those after something a little harder-edged should check out Texan producer Skrause, whose Transformers-esque bass-wobbles are just as monstrous as a certain three-time Grammy winner, and Savoy, a genre-hopping trio consisting of two DJs and a live drummer. Atlanta duo Street Lurkin’s mission statement to turn ‘dance floors into mosh pits’ should also reel in the metal heads, as should ‘deathstep’ tag-team Mantis, who are renowned for their rather aggressive and highly energetic live shows.
At the other end of the scale, Portland trip-hop revivalist Emancipator, Slovenian sample-heavy producer Gramatik and the female DJ Shadow, Tokimonsta, are some of the most promising figures on the chill-out scene. But it’s Minneapolis quintet Polica who are likely to provide the most soothing yet haunting comedown, their AutoTuned tales of heartbreak having been championed by stars as diverse as Jay-Z and Bon Iver.
If you’re looking for something a bit different from your standard DJ set up, then there are a number of acts who offer a more immersive multi-media experience, the most striking of which are Rhythm Monks. Born out of the Berlin art scene, their innovative display of goth-horror visuals and a self-built robotic machine should entertain even those averse to their rather ambient brand of techno. However, Dutch electronic trio Nobody Beats The Drum, who have become just as famed for their promos featuring green Power Ranger-style superheroes, murderous TV chefs, and underground monsters as they have their slightly chaotic break-beat sound, could give them a run for their money.
Taking the more traditional live band approach to the festival are self-described ‘low-endie’ five-piece Stokeswood, although there’s little formulaic about their revolving-door method of playing instruments, Gardens & Villa whose mix of prog, nu-synth, Britpop and funk has been compared to everyone from Blur to Gary Numan, and electro-rock instrumentalists Zoogma.
A festival wouldn’t be complete without a few slightly offbeat acts, and there are plenty to choose from here. With an eclectic sound described by producer Kane Beatz as ‘taking music to where no-one has before,’ The Mad Violinist & The Symphony Crack Orchestra sees Ashanti Floyd (Nicki Minaj, Lupe Fiasco) take to the stage with a wondrous fusion of alt-rock, hip-hop, jazz and even classical. Super Mash Bros are the ever-playful Los Angeles bedroom pop trio who have previously and boldly produced mash-ups of 50 Cent’s “In Da Club,” and Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles,” Britney Spears’ “Gimme More,” and Daft Punk’s “Robot Rock”. Whilst one-man-band Dr. Fameus, aka Allen Aucoin, manages to produce a blistering mix of breakbeat, drum n’ bass, and house, all from behind the comfort of a drum kit.
But with artists from the world of reggae (Lance Herbstrong), woozy post-R&B (ABDECAF), electro-pop (Audrey Napoleon), and twisted disco (Treasure Fingers), genre-straddling DJs Nick Catchdubs, Up Until Now (with ST9’s David Murphy) and Heroes & Villains, there should be enough at Atlanta’s Counterpoint Festival to cater for even the choosiest of dance music aficionados.
Be sure to check back with us in two weeks as we cover all three days of the inaugural CounterPoint festival. For the procrastinators, there are still 3-day as well as single day tickets onsale. They have all sorts of VIP, camping and travel options so checkout CounterPoint’s site to get your tickets squared away.