Treasure Island’s International Dance Party


The warmest place last Saturday at San Francisco’s Treasure Island Music Festival’s was deep within the dancing crowd. In its fourth year the festival stuck to its previous template: electronic music on Saturday and indie rock on Sunday.

The festival’s two stage approach without overlapping performances allowed fans to catch all their favorite groups. Many of those bands made cross continental trips to play, while most fans just made the short trip half across the bay to catch some hottest international acts.

*photos by Patrick Kelly

Shock value like sex still sells—and you buy a hell of a lot when watching South African rap duo, Die Antwoord. Even for those that couldn’t understand Afrikaans, there were plenty of English curse words and sexually lewd references. Before the group left the stage, Yo-Landi a petite (slightly emancipated) Caucasian woman had suggestively pulled down her skin tight gold pants almost revealing her backside several times; meanwhile Ninja, sporting a crew cut and covered in tattoos, stripped down to his briefs and thrust his crotch back and forth as though it could flip off the crowd. If that mental image hadn’t imprinted itself upon fans, the group’s 2 Live Crew-esque bass heavy sex raps were certainly memorable.

The less in your face, British producer and DJ, Four Tet, played at the small stage later that day. Noted for his remixes of groups like Radiohead and Bloc Party, Four Tet played down tempo funk and jazz track that built with drum layers, before climaxing into dance songs. Occasionally, Four Tet, born Keiran Hebden, raised his hand and smiled at the crowd, giving a brief reassurance and acknowledgment, before returning to look at his laptop. But where his performance lacked, his music picked up, making for one of the best parties of the day that had fans jumping and crowd surfing.

One of the final acts to take the stage was Little Dragon. The Swedish electronic group lead by Japanese-Swedish singer, Yukimi Nagano, might be little now—but after touring heavily with budding pop sensation VV Brown, and guest appearing on the Gorillaz’s latest album, that might not be for long. Songs like “Feather” sounded like funky new wave Eurythmics tracks. Their consistent grooves proved a perfect segue into the dance pumping beats of following groups Deadmau5 and Miike Snow.

- David Johnson-Igra

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