Spanning between hip-hop, electronic and indie, Winter Circle Productions has succeeded in showcasing some of the most current and revered music acts today with this year’s Buku Music and Art Project in New Orleans. Next weekend, the dozens of performances will be stacked over two days on five different stages. With so much great music inevitably ahead, OurVinyl has taken the time to point out ten acts that are worth checking out outside of the headliners as well as exploring some local talent. Whether you plan your schedule diligently or simply let the flow of the festival guide you, there is too much quality to be let down.
Adam Deitch is no stranger to New Orleans. During Jazzfest, he can regularly be seen with many sit-ins and side projects all throughout the weekend and late into the night. His versatility and skill on the drums are showcased in the two acts he will be performing with at Buku. Lettuce, along with a group of funky all-stars lead by Eric Krasno, perform upbeat get-down jams in true New Orleans fashion. Then across the spectrum, Deitch traverses with Borahm Lee to form the eclectic bass driven electronic duo Break Science. Deitch impress being an essential and impressive part of both acts and adapts to their respective styles.
Lettuce’s “Madison Square”
2. Unicorn Fukr
Erik Browne or Unicorn Fukr is a Louisiana bred DJ who has been frequented throughout many electronic musings in the gulf region. Speckled throughout a diverse catalog of choice tunes, Unicorn Fukr is one of the local talents who is sure to impress. The brain behind the weekly bass-driven Church series in New Orleans, Browne is constantly working and performing from clubs to radio shows bringing the weird.
Hailing from Alabama, Grant Willis or White Noise has been featured in a number of parties within the gulf bass scene. Big energy and deep sounds describe his set with tons of hip-hip influences. Willis at times performs under the moniker Hustle Up to showcase trap and other faces of bass and hip-hop fusion.
4. DJ Soul Sister
Playing from her boxes of vintage funky records, Soul Sister is a renowned name in New Orleans for quality tunes and dance driven parties. An ode to Motown, funk and early disco, Soul Sister’s sets are always groovy and gets everyone dancing. Playing weekly in the Marigny, Soul Sister keeps busy playing the right stuff that make you feel good while educating the listener with paying homage to the past.
Indie band Japandroids is comprised of Canadians Brian Kind and David Prowse. Their style can be described as an unfiltered garage rock. With polished grooves and a raw sound that is not muffled or altered by electronic influences, Japandroids provides a balancing element to the festival. The rock band brings unadulterated performance letting the energy and instruments speak for themselves.
Japandroid’s “Young Hearts Spark Fire”
With precise beat production and an array of carefully textured annunciations, Shlomo provides a poignant experience for his listeners. His eerily serene productions as exhibited through Ghosts show his meticulous calculation in crafting deep sensual melodies. Using samples from everyday life, Shlomo creates soundscapes that are memorable and sultry.
On tour with Major Lazer, Canadian electro-pop band Dragonette have been getting much recognition with their polished dance vibes with vocals to boot. After winning a JUNO award, Dragonette was featured of Good Morning America and continue to impress audiences. With a newly released album titled Bodyparts, Dragonette seems poised to move toward more recognition.
Dragonette’s “Let It Go”
8. Gravity A
New Orleans born Gravity A is a four piece band that enjoyably coasts through their sets over a number of genres ranging from drum and bass to funk to jazz to rock to jam and anything in between. A hometown favorite, Gravity A can be seen weekly on Frenchmen street and other clubs in New Orleans. They also host memorable parties for all the big weekends in New Orleans from Halloween to a Mardi Gras Bacchanal. With a devout local fan base, Gravity A will be sure to be like a family reunion, where everyone is invited and required to dance.
Gravity A’s “Renegade Master”
BASSIK resident and local DJ Shanook (James Price) digs daily through the dark trenches of the gutter to find the most current in grime and bass-driven music. You can find Price at most notable parties throughout the city and has gained respect for consistently bringing quality and well crafted DJ sets, always catering to the crowd.
10. Big Freedia
Ass everywhere. Hands on the floor. The Queen Diva. Big Freedia is no longer a secret. She is on the forefront of the ever-popularized New Orleans born Sissy Bounce genre that uses traditional bounce beats expressed through the voice of gay and transvestite rappers. Her performances are beloved by all and by no means a bore. One element of her show feaures half naked people of all types shaking their asses and pulsing in a way that may be inappropriate for most public places. Sound farfetched? Do not miss her.
Big Freedia”s “She Looks Like a Fool!”
Written by Danny Goodman
OurVinyl | Senior Writer