The Ten Best Artists at Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival This Weekend
|Photo by Francesca Tamse|
Dre Skull's roster reads like a dancehall dream: he produced Vybz Cartel's Kingston Story, was recruited by Diplo to produce Snoop Lion's forthcoming record with Major Lazer, and between flights between Jamaica, New York, and LA, managed to collaborate with reggae all-stars Beenie Man and Sizzla. So how does a former art-punk white boy from the middle of Massachusetts have such good riddim? Modestly. "I've never felt like I've had a natural aptitude toward music," he told XLR8R in September, "but somehow, that's what's made it interesting; I take a bit of an analytical approach to finding out what goes into making the songs that I like." If his addictive, Pirates of the Caribbean chase music hooks are any indication, he analyzes well.
Dre Skull performs at the Mixpak Stage at Public Assembly on Saturday.
Groundislava's name shares the youthful origins of his music's 8-bit nostalgia: according to the Venice, CA-based producer -- Jasper Patterson by day -- it comes from a childhood game of trying to avoid touching the floor because "ground is lava". He moves fluidly through different effects, intertwining themes seemingly lifted from Mortal Kombat with Texas-screwed (and kind of funny) exclamations like "Holy shit!" and equally lethargic trap and bass on August's Feel Me LP. As a member of middle-school friend Shlomo's collective Wedidit, Groundislava has collaborated with the master bedroom artist; not to mention fellow BEMF attendee Baths, who contribute appropriately eerie vocals to "Suicide Mission".
Groundislava plays with Shlohmo at the Friends of Friends Stage at Public Assembly on Saturday.