Wandering in the desert, feeling the sand beneath your feet and the wind in your hair can have a reinvigorating quality. Further Future—essentially a desert music festival—produced a similar vitality. It had the best musical curation of any festival I’ve attended. Here were my top five acts of the weekend:
FaltyDL: The amalgamation of Andrew Lustman’s influences ran the gamut, from jazzy to bass-driven music, with house and garage nuances punctuated by techno and even some drum ’n’ bass hints that were stimulating and energizing—as were the Mothership main stage’s trippy visuals, rivaling that of any major festival.
Brett Rubin: The party went off at the Robot Heart art car during the local house/tech DJ’s set, with people grooving under and ultimately climbing the large neon heart that presided over the booth. The transitions were journey-inducing, with deep, soulful movements that lured and locked one in, creating an entrancing vibe.
Little People: The pinnacle of the musical experience for me. Laurent Clerc drew people in until a crowd happily swung and swayed to his beats. When his classic track “Moon’” kicked in, I was in musical heaven. The complexity of the layers and subtle nuances were a wave of downtempo perfection, with an array of elements and creativity that singlehandedly resurrected my hope for modern electronic music.
Taylor McFerrin: His mid-morning Sunday set thoroughly rewarded the few soldiers still going. The amount of talent McFerrin exhibited is astounding: He played keyboards, sang—going a capella like his father Bobby—beatboxed, freestyled and even improvised with a bit of Radiohead’s “Everything in Its Right Place.”
Bob Moses: To close Further Future for the Sunday stragglers, the duo gave an arena-sized performance. Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance were energetic and engaging without being cheesy; even after three days in the desert, I couldn’t help but dance, wishing their set was longer.