Breaking from the music for a moment -- on Thursday afternoon, a swarm of numerous Law
Enforcement vehicles were ominously making their way toward the Temple, lights flashing.
At that moment, naturally people feared the worst, and a stunned aura came over the area.
Soon it was explained that this was a situation diametrically opposite to that of our
trepidation. Each officer exited the cars forming a circle a path toward the temple, they
stood at attention and removed their hats. A woman was then escorted down the lane slowly,
carrying a plaque that memorialized her husband, a fallen policeman. More family members
followed the same path and entered the temple, and then the officers did the same. Burners
respectfully surrounded the temple, and the entire community, LEO and Black Rock City
denizens, bowed heads in silent mourning. This procession provided one of the more
poignant and powerful events to take place on the Playa all week.
[Jeff Kravitz’s Video Of The Man
Power was an issue, with generators and speakers, so not too many bands set up, a few did
here and there on a smaller scale. There were however phenomenal impromptu concerts at my
camp Bee Here Now, located at 9:30 and G on the Playa. Not only did our international
krewe provide breathtaking acoustic entertainment in four languages, we were graced with a
choice recital from a twin-duo from Los Angeles-by-way-of-Canada Carmen and
Camille. If I were to recreate each and every setting where a musician torched my
spirit in BRC, this article would never end. For the purpose of brevity alone, here are a
handful of standout situations that manifested themselves over the course of a week in
Black Rock City. This report focuses on the smattering of DJs and producers that I was
lucky enough to take in over the course of nearly seven days in the desert sands of
Sidecar Tommy is a drummer and producer of Beats Antique (who also
provided DJ sets
throughout the week at various sound camps). Those of us in the know were anticipating a
monster throwdown in the 4 a.m. slot at Camp Question Mark, late Thursday night , but
Tommy was thrown a few logistic curveballs. Nevertheless, the stalwart Oakland pro set up
gear on an art car in front of Camp Q and provided those who braved the early murky waters
with set that will stand the test of time. Sidecar’s master influx of world music sounds
and ideas took root and flourished as the dancing masses kept the blood and vibes flowing.
Post-dub step bass wobble underpinned sitar and Middle Eastern flourishes with trunk-
rattling authority. A valiant vision laid the plans for a future metamorphosis from this
artist, and the early returns were more than promising. Despite the setbacks, Sidecar
Tommy’s will to persevere gave us all safe passageway to a marvelous heart of darkness.
Though busy throughout the week with Freq Nasty sets, Darin McFayden’s other project on
Playa, The Dub Kirtan Allstars (DJ sets) was a most impressive
spirituality, culture and sound over the entire week of Burning Man. Spellbinding Kirtan
and grandiloquent beat-science amalgamate into a sensual, sacred potion as Freq himself
captained the superfluous-terrestrial saucer. The dread cosmonaut enchanted with Yoga of
Bass, and played Capoeira of Crunk; with walloping low end dropping soundsystem
thunderclaps whilst chanting channeled holiness from the depths within ourselves. On the
final morning of Burning Man, at the magnificent Fractal Planet camp, just before sunrise,
Darin rose to riveting occasion and liberated the massive mind, soul and body with
thrilling takes on tracks from recent EP Subsonic Devotion, and deeper still
beneath the rugged undertow of bass riddims and entrancing chant.
Dave Tipper Sunrise sets on Wednesday and Monday mornings bookended
bombastics. On the former, Tipper’s first performance since open-heart surgery earlier
this year, the Mayan Warrior art car soldiered out toward the Temple and he delivered a
sublime, downtempo set soaked in love-drenched waves. At the conclusion he gave gratitude
and thanks to those who willed him through the darkness. For Monday, Tipper set it off
proper with a Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” guitar riff, looped up something dirty
with funky-ass undertones. The liftoff for this guy’s final set of dancing at Burning Man
2013 was magnificent, and spilled into over an hour par excellence.
The Scumfrog’s Tuesday night/Wednesday sunrise set on the Robot Heart
car was a
proper introduction to how the freaks come out at night on the Playa. Frog came through
with a vast assortment of tricks up his sleeveless arms, going back to his roots of
psychedelic and deep House influences, and blessing the moment of Mother Sun’s appearance
with his take on the seminal Beach Boys classic “Our Prayer.” He also managed to work in
Pink Floyd’s “Mother” and The Police’s “Walking on the Moon” amidst Timo Maas and Todd
Terje house anthems.