August is just around the corner, and that means the 6th annual electronic music festival HARD Summer is too. With twice as many artists as last year, HARD Summer will take place on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4 at the Los Angeles State Historic Park in downtown L.A. Although tickets are sold out for both Saturday and Sunday, The Bottom Line has been confirmed two press passes. Photographer Ayeyi Aboagye and I will bring the party back to Santa Barbara as we attempt to break a sweat with artists such as Justice, Empire of the Sun, Disclosure, RL Grime, Crystal Castles, Azealia Banks, Flosstradamus, XXYYXX, Tommy Trash, Ryan Hemsworth, and Knife Party. HARD Summer 2013 is also celebrating the 10th anniversary of Ed Banger Records by featuring a Busy P and Ed Banger mix on Sunday night.
HARD Summer features both up-and-coming and world-renowned techno, house, electro, and dub-step DJs, producers, and artists. Although predominantly electronic, HARD Summer also features hip-hop and R&B rooted artists. HARD Summer is one of the better known events from HARD, founded by music executive and DJ Gary Richards, as well as HARD Haunted Mansion and HARD Holy Ship! HARD music festivals began in L.A. in 2007 and now occur in major cities such as Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., London, Stockholm, and Toronto. HARD Summer, however, is unique to downtown L.A.
When thinking about electronic music, hip-hop, R&B, and rap are not usually associated with it, but as both electronic music and hip-hop have used synthesizers, programmable drum machines, and mixers early on in the game, this relationship is not unexpected. Hip-hop, R&B, and rap are also the roots of much electronic music today, as seen in trap, drum and bass, dub-step, moombahton, and glitch-hop, where the song itself is remixed or the beats and words sampled. HARD events have had hip-hop artists 2 Live Crew, Theophilus London, Danny Brown, and others headline. This year, 2 Chainz and Azealia Banks will provide the booty-popping claps, heavy bass lines, and rap at HARD Summer, alongside hip-hop influenced artists like RL Grime, Baauer, Flosstradamus, and Flying Lotus, among others.
Substantially growing from last year, the lineup features about 30 artists per day (65 artists in total) with anticipated performances by headliners Knife Party, Duck Sauce, Dog Blood, Flux Pavilion, Flying Lotus, 2 Chainz, Justice, Bassnectar, Empire of the Sun, Zedd, Crystal Castles, Baauer, and Dillon Francis.
HARD Summer used to be a one-day festival, as it was in 2011 where headliners Duck Sauce, Boys Noize, Chromeo, Ratatat, Skrillex, and Odd Future performed. In 2012, HARD Summer officially became a two-day festival. With 15 performances scheduled for each day (30 artists in total), 2012 headlined Skrillex, Bloc Party, Boys Noize, Miike Snow, Nero, Bloody Beetroots, Chromeo, Little Dragon, and A-Trak.
The increase of performers scheduled allows more up-and-coming artists unfamiliar to the public eye (but perhaps prominent in music communities such as Soundcloud, BBC Radio 1, Boiler Room, and Daytrotter) to become more public. With the rise of new electro sounds, notable artists to perform are the young UK garage/post-dubstep brothers Disclosure, L.A.-based trap artist RL Grime, UK garage/house/techno producer Duke Dumont, long standing nu-disco artist Breakbot, teenage UK future-garage producers and DJs Bondax, 17-year-old IDM producer XXYYXX, and R&B-based/futuristic hip-hop artist Cashmere Cat. Cashmere Cat is not on the original line-up list, but is scheduled to perform on Sunday. Other artists to watch out for, who are not headlining, are Ryan Hemsworth, Breach, Gesaffelstein, TNGHT, Clockwork, Azealia Banks, and Oliver.
Many artists that performed at past HARD Summer events will return, from the small print to the large, such as Knife Party, Alex Metric, Duck Sauce, Destructo, Dillon Francis, Claude VanStroke, Gesaffelstein, Skrillex (returning with Dog Blood), Kill the Noise, Alvin Risk, and Breakbot, continuing their growth or legacy in the world of electronic music.
Stay tuned for the inside scoop with The Bottom Line as Deanna Kim and Ayeyi Aboagye go hard at HARD Summer.
Photos Courtesy of Spin and Hardfest.com