Enchanted Forest Stokes Summer Festival Fires
The place to be in Los Angeles this weekend was the Belasco Theater, host to ABunDance Re:Creation, the Enchanted Forest pre-party. Perfectly positioned as a wind-down from Lucidity and a warm-up for Lightning in a Bottle, this was the party to keep the festival fires stoked. On a roster packed with heavies, including Minnesota, Liquid Stranger, and Christian Martin, hands-down, visual artist Android Jones proved he has what it takes to take prime billing — even while not making a sound.
The classically-trained Jones has become an icon among gatherers and transformation-seekers for work he calls “digital alchemy.” Combining projection, digital technology, precision, spontaneity, and auditory inspiration, Jones produces art on-sight that meshes seamlessly with the music and collective energy of the crowd. His psychedelic creations resonate most deeply with spiritual and conscientiously altered art connoisseurs. He claimed his rightful place, projecting on the main stage and didn’t stop until the party was over at 4:00 a.m.
Although it has become increasingly common for producers to supplement festival sets with dancers, hoopers, and firespinners, at the Enchanted Forest party, these elements were de rigeur. The early sets by Cofresi and Hoodboi — accompanied by dancers swaying in lingerie — seemed designed to appeal to the EDM crowd, which baby-stepped toward transformation last night. By the early morning hours, flow artists showed off some of the most inspired hoop choreography I have seen. The timing was excellent, as the entrancing visuals from Android Jones and the dancers kept the partiers in the groove — an important role especially during Liquid Stranger’s set, a collection of transitionless tracks, with his own narrations awkwardly filling the silences between otherwise excellent songs.
The most unforgettable set of the night came from Berkeley-based DJ, Minnesota. His upbeat, good-natured, hiphop-tinged dubstep was the perfect fit for an event so compressed that a chill-out set would have been unthinkable. Minnesota’s seamless spinning was an especially symbiotic match with Android Jones, who clearly vibed with the DJ, animating the set with evident inspiration.
If this party was any indication, this July’s Enchanted Forest Gathering might just be the transformational event of the summer.