New Orleans is no stranger to colorful festivals and districts full of sound. This lively environment provides the perfect backdrop to the annual Buku Music & Arts Festival: two days packed full of stunning art and music in the industrial district of the Big Easy. General Manager Meredith Wohl, also known as DJ Slothbox, and Public Relations Manager Donovan “Crescendo” Taylor will be trekking down to this fabulous festival. Here are some of their most anticipated acts at the festival! Share this article with your “Bukrew” as you prepare for this action-packed weekend!
Donovan’s Top Picks
As a world-renowned “turntablist” turned electronic music aficionado, Cashmere Cat has left his mark on songs with Ariana Grande, Kanye West, and Charli XCX. His lush production value and future-trap styling will serve as a great set for anyone interested in innovative live mixing, particularly at the crossroads of EDM and 90’s R&B tones. Cashmere Cat is probably responsible for your last pop song guilty pleasure, and that should be cause enough to make your way to his set in the Ballroom on Saturday, March 12 from 10:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.
The dynamic, UK garage-synthpop duo made waves with their debut album, “Body Music,” even scoring a hit with the DJ Snake remix of featured track “You Know You Like It.” AlunaGeorge recently warmed back up to the scene with their more dancehall flavored single “I’m In Control,” released as a tease of their new project. This band shows the possibilities for the future of pop music through their incorporation of underground dance styles. AlunaGeorge is sure to be a top band to watch in 2016. Catch them in the Ballroom on Friday, March 11 from 10:45 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.
With EDM at its height of popularity in America, Art Department’s sound takes dance music back to its roots with Chicago House style. Forget what you thought you knew about today’s “deep house;” Art Department reminds us what it was like when 90’s house entranced and uplifted you with hopeful lyrics when the only brightness in life could be found on the dance floor. Those who aren’t a fan of electronic music’s current infatuation with bass drops and remember when house was “good” should definitely find their way to this set on the Back Alley stage on Friday, March 11 from 11:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
After his viral hit “Cha Cha” and role as the sonic inspiration behind “Hotline Bling,” D.R.A.M. shows that you can have it all! Combining trap beats with toned down instrumentation and the sing-talking style of today’s hip-hop, this upcoming rapper is one of the more eclectic voices in today’s music scene. His first full length release, “Gahdamn!” showcases his soulful side and his goofiness. D.R.A.M.’s set might serve as a nice relief from the trap life you know nothing about. Anyone with VIP Passes can catch him on the VIP Boat on Saturday, March 12 from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Known for his playful combination of 80’s styled synthpop and samples from R&B hits from your middle and high school dances, Le Youth brings a new flavor to the changing landscape of house music. Using sleek, bubbling synths that currently dominate the pop market, Le Youth reinterprets songs like “No Scrubs” and “I Wanna Be Down” to be euphoric floor fillers ready to get any Friday night of partying started. For some groovy Le Youth, wiggle to the Back Alley stage on Saturday, March 12 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Meredith’s Top Picks
Pioneers of the witchhouse genre, the infamously controversial Crystal Castles will be making an appearance at this New Orleans music festival. The Toronto based, experimental electronic duo is known for their jarring lyrics, chaotic sampling and strategically lo-fi production style. After their highly publicized breakup, their then-vocalist, Alice Glass, lashed out against her bandmate Ethan Kath for restricting her creativity and left in pursuit of producing her own project. Kath continued without Glass under the Crystal Castles name, making this performance at Buku one of their first since adding a new vocalist simply named “Edith.” After seeing Crystal Castles perform pre-breakup in 2013, I am itching to see how the act stacks up without my idol, Alice Glass. Listen for some spooky sounds at the Ballroom on Friday, March 11 from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
No longer defined by his part of the madness surrounding rap super-group Odd Future, the 22-year-old Earl Sweatshirt improves upon his lyrical style and flow with every new project. His last album, “I Don’t Like Sh*t, I Don’t Go Outside,” brought a youthful, angsty sound to the cacophony of hip hop albums released in 2015. Sweatshirt’s newest tracks feel like pieces of a genuine coming-of-age story, in which a rapper who was once content to skateboard around Los Angeles all day is now publically struggling with notions of growing up and viewing his music as an art form. With his upcoming performance at Buku, Sweatshirt is likely to present the most refined mix of jazz samples, heavy bass, and straight up pandemonium at the festival. Come chill with Earl Sweatshirt at the Ballroom on Saturday, March 12 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Like cutting-edge, brilliant composers, Miike Snow crafts music that is a stunning blend of electro-influences, rock ‘n roll and pop. After dropping his highly anticipated album, “iii,” in early 2016, Snow has a season chock-full of festival dates lined up, including Buku (of course), Coachella, Moogfest, Hangout, Boston Calling, and Governor’s Ball. I look forward to seeing this band bang out some soulful tunes on live drum kits, guitars, and a grand piano this coming weekend. Come chill with Miike Snow on the Power Plant Stage on Saturday, March 12 from 7:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Atlanta’s own hip hop mogul, Future, slayed the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the past calendar year. Following his collaboration with Toronto’s sad boy rapper, Drake, in his album “What a Time to Be Alive,” Future stays shining in the limelight of trap-derivative hip hop. Much like T-Pain, autotune helped Future brand his signature sound. For those Buku-goers coming off of a stressful week of midterms, trapping with Future this weekend will be the perfect way to release some of that post-exam anxiety. Find him on the Power Plant Stage on Saturday, March 12 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
At twenty years old — younger than yours truly — Kehlani is a force to be reckoned with in the evolving R&B genre. A smooth vocal style and rhythm driving beats characterizes the vibe of this young vocalist’s tunes. After placing as a finalist on America’s Got Talent, Kehlani’s newest album features Chance the Rapper and BJ The Chicago Kid. This set is a great way to start off your Buku experience on the Power Plant Stage this Saturday, March 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Catch Crescendo on the air Friday’s at 2 p.m. for The Break and DJ Slothbox on Goon Squad at 10 p.m. on Wednesday’s!
CisternYard Radio will be reporting live from Buku Music & Arts Festival March 11 and 12! Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @cy_radio for live reports from the festival!