Culture Collide 2014 – Day One

It’s time for the 5th annual Culture Collide festival where international bands migrate to Los Angeles for a weekend of music discovery. Often times the bands playing wouldn’t have a chance of coming out this way if it wasn’t for the fine folks at Culture Collide scouring the best talent from around the world each year. And more often than not we’ve discovered (i.e. the High Voltage staff) a new favorite band at Culture Collide just by wandering where the music takes us. What’s even better is most of these acts play more than once during the weekend so you can come back for a second helping (or see what your friends are raving about that you missed) and you get all this for only $30.

Culture Collide kicked off yesterday with a toast from founder Alan Miller followed by an insightful music & tech panel led by StageIt’s CEO Evan Lowenstein, which was only the beginning of an excellent day of discovery. Here are some of our band highlights, in no particular order:


© Kristen Coveleskie, 2014

This band from Israel turned the front lounge of Taix into a dance club. Both the band and the audience looked like they were having the time of their lives. Although it was their complex electronic beats that got the room moving, it was the dual female/male vocals from Tamar Yoffee and Ami Nir that really impressed.  Their catchy single, “Synthetic” even showcased some delicate harmonies in the middle of a rave-worthy track. It was dance music with no auto tune needed!

From The Airport
An electric rock duo representing South Korea, played an early set in the Champagne Room. Not only were they barely illuminated, but both the guitarist and synth operator were wearing dark shades. Despite the dark, cave-like environment, the band played a string of catchy electro-pop tunes. Songs like “Chemical Love” pulled off the somewhat difficult feat of eliciting emotion as well as making you tap your toes.

Until The Ribbon Breaks
Ending the first night of Culture Collide in a church with Peter Lawrie Winfield and his partners Elliot Wall and James Gordon (aka UK’s Until The Ribbon Breaks) was pretty damned reverent, particularly if you worship at an altar founded upon electronic pop, synthesized beats, alt hip hop, funk/soul, sexy time wailing and altered vocals with a dash of social consciousness thrown in. “A Taste of Silver” tasted pretty good. Yes, it felt odd to be seated while so much head bobbing and body moving music bounced off the vaulted ceiling (we did stand per Lawrie’s request for one song) but consider it an exercise in paying attention to the sounds and those creating it along with the sights – which there were plenty of. Visuals (in the form of videos) have been a standard accompaniment to Until The Ribbon Breaks shows and they pack a sensory punch, particularly the treatment given to “Romeo.” It’s not like this stuff hasn’t been done before; it’s just not always done this well.

Stay tuned for more music discoveries tomorrow!