My Groove Horizons Experience (Write up)
I know I have a very limited amount of footage for the first artist of the night, Strawberry Station, but it was completely on accident. I think once that music started going I just wanted to dance. I tried getting at least one full song per artist because really I want to experience the show with my body (nice) not behind my camera. I don’t know how I’m going to manage 100% Electronicon.
So back to Strawberry Station. I was staying with him in the same hotel room, so I have insight that might be interesting well at least more detailed than the rest of the artist. First up, the day of the show, we woke up pretty early after partying late that night to pick up a bass guitar for the guys from Tokyo Wanderer. Tokyo Wanderer was coming from Portugal and it didn’t have any of their equipment besides peddles, well I’ll talk about their set more in their section. So we get a bass, and travel around town (bought actual strawberries) a bit until we met up with Tokyo Wanderer.
We all decided to go to the docks for lunch, Hamburgers and Hot Dogs and “Spider-man” Fries which were actually just parmesan cheese but we laughed about the texture. Mr Wax met up with us for a bit while we ate and for the first time, I was 4 people I had interviewed in person and things were starting to feel surreal. I’m super grateful with how accepting everyone was considering they were all artists playing a show tonight and I was what? Media?
Strawberry had a headache but we needed to run around some more to prep for the show. We dropped the two from Tokyo Wanderer and we ran out to a home improvement store to pick up some “palm tree” (actually dragon something trees), two. All that running around was tiring and SB still had a headache so we went back to the room for a nap and I think we both needed it. Lol too much detail? I’ll forget this one day so I wanna to write about it. Around 5 we got ready and headed to VFD, the venue.
VFD was actually pretty close to the hotel we were staying out, a quick 5 – 10 minute walk. As we approached, a cool dude in a watermelon button up was standing outside with his gear. This would be the first time meeting Mélonade. I had interviewed him before and actually he was one of the only ones who actually promotes his music with his face attached. To my surprise Mélonade was way more serious than I was expected. I was too hyped about the whole situation and he kept jokingly telling me to calm down lol.
The whole show came together largely because of Mélonade, and his maturity was showing. I know before the show he was more off on his own to calm is nerve down. I’m happy to say his set was on point and he was natural at it, I’m glad he came in strong for everyone. I tried capturing some behind the scene footage while we waited until the venue opened up for us. I got some talking from Strawberry and Mélonade talking but the line that truly captured that night was from Mélonade, “It’s the first future funk show what else is there to say?”
VFD is a gay bar usually, and as we walked through the venue it was obvious we’ll need to be putting up some posters in some select areas. So Strawberry went out got some tape and we started placing Groove Horizons and Strawberry Station posters around, mainly the bathrooms which gave me a kick. I think we were worried about Mélonade as his parents were coming and we wanted them to no think anything I guess. It was funny how we were all worried about some nudity art.
We had a couple of hours before the show, so everyone was taking the rounds playing on the CDJ set or hooking up their computers. Tokyo Wanderer has probably 10 plus guitar peddles hooked up and things were looking really cool for their set up. Ev.exi who I had met inn the venue has getting hungry, same with ConsciousThoughts and for me any chance to hang out with people bonding over food I take. So we went to a weird halal burger, pizza, junk food place. eve.exi had a chance to talk about whatever, I really like that kid. There’s just something naturally cool about the way he talks and pronounces things, blame it on my american accent I suppose but out of all the people I met that night, he was probably the one who I was happiest to have met. Even thought we had just recently talked for an interview, it just felt like we were old friends the second we met in person.
We ate back at the venue after kicking the door down because it automatically locks when you close the door. Downstairs things were starting to kick off, the sound system sounded great, the march table had posters, miniDiscs and the likes on it and in front of the bar was trays of Jelly Bon Bons, Strawberries and Watermelon. I had never had a Jelly Bon Bon before and I was hooked, thanks Jelly Bon Bon for bringing those. Hey, if you’re going to start making future funk naming yourself after food seems to work 😛
Speaking of Jelly Bon Bon, I don’t remember meet him except when I connected the dots with who he was. I introduced myself at some point but I don’t remember when. He was totally the life of the party, he’s got the personality of someone who everyone wants to be around, the dance moves to get everyone joining him and obviously the music to keep the crowds going through the night. We didn’t talk much but we danced a lot in the same 5 feet and after the show I got his permission to show his footage in the mix.
However we connected due to slang I didn’t know. Like if he was saying yes or no, or the way he described British ways to describe things. He also taught me the word “not” for zero and some other British words I don’t remember. It was really funny hearing him talk because his British slang was completely foreign to me.
I know the footage I had on the youtube video showed people just standing around but that was not the case for most of the show. He was playing off the crowd really well with pop hits and I actually don’t even remember the room being still, so I must have just captured that weird moment.
So the show was starting to kick off, I was down with the crew so I didn’t have to go through a line to get in, but as people poured in I started to wonder if we’d have enough space. Mélonade introduced Strawberry station and the night kicked off. I loved Strawberry station’s introduction with the anime sounding girl saying each artists name (did she say ev.exe?). He played his hits and the party was starting off right. It was cool to see the person I had been spending the last 24 hours with turn into a real DJ. He really knew how to work the set and I was kind of inspired, but by the end of the night everyone showed me they had more than enough experience behind the booth. Oh and I know Strawberry will kill me for saying this but he messed up on a drop lol. HISTORY MAN GOTTA TELL IT!
ConsciousThoughts was up next. I had met him the night before, but no one introduced me to him as ConsciousThoughts. Due to his DMs being private I never had a chance to interview him, so him and Android Apartment I didn’t know before the show. ConsciousThoughts is a funny dude, typical party kid and whatever it is about him brings all the girls. I think he was the only one that night actually getting some action during the sets. Which is funny because he looks like a typical skater kid, wearing jeans, a pink hat and sporting long skater hair. His set was awesome and again met all my expectations. To be honest, when I’m at a concert I can pretty much dance all night but dancing to music I knew and like was awesome and ConsciousThoughts kept the room alive for 30 minutes while Mélonade was getting himself together.
I never really actually saw Mélonade dance too often. He was either always behind the dj booth with other artists or MIA. But once Mélonade made it to his set, he turned into a completely different person. He played “fun tonight” by Macross at one point and everyone and their mother (his mother?) was screaming it at the top of their lungs. It was super cool and powerful to see how everyone in the room literally knew future funk. Class future funk but future funk none the less. Which this means something because it wasn’t like people just showed up for a random show in the room literally the scene was there. Girls and boys. Really when the song came on everyones eyes lit up, like straight magic. Luckily for me, I had my camera ready and I got the whole thing for Mélonade. Probably the highlight of his night.
After Mélonade, the guys at Tokyo Wanderer set up. There was a brief issue switching from the CDJs but everything sorted out. I ran up to get Alex for help and the guard at the door patted me down and went through my book bag. Then after she was done Alex said I was one of the artists and she let me back in lol. She must have not seen me come in and was suspicious.
Tokyo Wanderer was pretty awesome considering they played their set on actual instruments (guitar and bass). The only thing was the levels were not… idk perfect it felt a little weird as the actual music was behind us while the playing was in front of us due to the speaker set up. The guitar and bass solos were sick though.
Jelly Bon Bon came on and played a couple pop hits but this is around the time I stopped at the march table. I was getting tired from all the dancing and needed to rehydrate. I started talking to the guys at My Pet Flamingo cool dude, the older (I think) brother new more about the vaporwave scene and the ins and out, while the younger was more about making the cassettes, vinyl and distribution of their label. I like that they sponsored the show, it made it feel more legitimate in a way. Plus they gave me a t-shirt for free, so I’ll be wearing that shirt the rest of my life.
Mr. Wax came in played Macross and the whole room lit up as seen in the video. I think this also around the time I started talking to Jade. I knew her from Twitter and it was cool for me to be on the other end of seeing someone in the crowd and going up to them saying hey I know you :O
Android Apartment was also really good but around this time my memory was starting to get fuzzy. It was getting late, I’d been dancing for 4 hours and I was more dancing with my eyes closed just feeling the beats than thinking of anything. Weird how we can go into a trance on the dance floor. There was one point between Mr. Wax and Android Apartment where the whole room went into a like a dancing circle thing. We all held each other and spun around in the room jumping up and down. That was pretty awesome. Probably my favorite moment of the night but also the most destructive. I had got the whole bill to sign a poster for the memories and during that moment, the poster fell out of my bag at some point and when the show was over I found the remains of the torn memorabilia. It’s ok, I still kept it. More memories to add to the experience.
After the show ended, Mélonade closed us off and all the artists went over to the merch table. I don’t remember anyone asking for autographs which was weird. The cassettes didn’t sell out nor did the miniDiscs. I really wanted Strawberry Stations miniDisc but I felt like I was given so much that night from the experience to the t-shirt to the memories, that I know there’s someone out there that deserves it more than me.
We cleaned up some of the dance hall and talked to the lady who was running the bar that night. We joked about how anime girls were hot and how she live through the first wave of a lot of the songs future funk remixes. When we were done there was a lot of confusion about an after party but it seems everyone was just too tired. We got a photo all together and walked out separate ways. Strawberry Station, Jade and I walked and talked around taking her to the bus stop. That was cool to be out in London at 4 in the morning after what was the most successful night of a lot of peoples careers in this scene. And how I was some how the most fortunate person to have experience it with them.
Overall Groove Horizons was one of the best experiences of my life and the best EDM concert I’ve ever been to (sorry Title Fight changed my life as a teen). I know there’s talk about Groove Horizons 2 or even a show out in Canada in the future. I hope I can attend those one day too but for now history has been made and the a little more funk has entered the world. and everyone who attended knew they experienced something special.
Thanks everyone who came up to me that night. Thanks Strawberry for inviting me. Thanks for all the artists who let me interview them before the show to hype it up. We really killed it and took that experience to a level no one could have expected.