Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Still from Electric Daisy Carnival Experience
Since 1997 an electronic music festival is held anuualy called the Electric Daisy Carnival. Bringing together the biggest DJs in Electronic Music, the Festival draws crowds in the six-digit figures consistently and this year alone, the Festival brought in a total 215k people over the span of three days.

Electric Daisy Carnival Experience by Music Video Director Kevin Kerslake, documents behind-the-scenes what Electronic Music today means to its Fans and purveyors like as Kaskade, will.i.am, David Guetta, Steve Aoki and more. Kerslake condenses hours of footage into this two-hour Documentary comprised of excerpts from interviews and actual clips from DJ Sets at the 2010 edition of the Festival in Los Angeles.

The Documentary features some stellar Cinematography including amazing overhead shots above Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, reminding us the great magnitude of what Festival now is compared to the earlier days of the Electronic Music movement where parties often took place in warehouses. The international explosion of the Movement can be traced back to its Beacon, Los Angeles, home of DJs like Kaskade who admits himself, "I think I spend more time at LAX now than in my own bed". The Film encapsulates the essence of the Festival experience - a pulsating blur of rhythm and lights, but more importantly we get personal insights from these DJs, Performers and Fans who are all united by their singular love for Electronic Music.

The amount of effort put into making the Carnival Experience so memorable is staggering with set-ups as sophisticated - if not more stunning than those seen at Rock Concerts - with Fireworks and all. And the festivities culminate here with Toronto's pride and joy Deadmau5 capping it all off at the end. We are transfixed under his spell, as if we are there in the moment with Party Goers.

Call it a modern day Woodstock if you will. This Festival follows the archetype of that historic 1969 event: a three-day festival of Music, Peace and Love. Come to think of it, other than the Electric Daisy Carnival being much more technologically advanced than Woodstock, they really are not that different in spirit. Party Goers like Hippies, are seen as oft-misunderstood according to Kerslake. One Police Officer interviewed tells how has seen few altercations at the Festival in previous years saying, "These are 99% good people who just wanna enjoy fantastic music". The irony however is that at the Film's recent Grauman Chinese Theatre Premiere in Los Angeles, the situation reached near-Riot proportions with Police being called upon to maintain order.

The Film is a statement on the Electronic Music movement's carving an identity of its own from the Mainstream, including Pop Music. Of the 200 Acts showcased in 2010, only a few are actually signed to major labels. And it should be noted that even after selling-out stadiums around the world and winning several Grammy awards, the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am who also moonlights now as a DJ, still can only obtain a slot in the Festival earlier in the day, whereas some more prominent DJs are slotted later; he hopes one day too he can play at night. Being a DJ he says is "like going to a restaurant where they don't give you a menu. The Chef serves you whatever the fuck they want". He equates being a DJ as something simiar in that like Chefs, they are Taste-makers.

Despite being a pleasure to view, Electric Daisy Carnival Experience seems more to be caught-up in the excitement rather than being a meaty exploration of psyches and struggles.  But then again, the point of a Carnival is to have fun is it not?  The Film hits theatres in Limited Release on Thursday, August 4, 2011Grade: B+

No comments:

Post a Comment