10. The Glitch Mob
The Glitch Mob is a fan-favorite in Atlanta, and their live concert experience has attracted electronic music fans from all walks of life. Their most recent album, Life, Death, And Immortality (2014), was followed by a nationwide tour that packed out venues such as the Tabernacle. Josh Mayer (aka Ooah) from Glitch Mob maintains a side project called PANTyRAiD with MartyParty, who is also slated to perform at the fest. Their new-age, chill-wave crunk music has always been a hit in Atlanta, so expect to see a lot of fans in the pit during their sets.
One of the heaviest hitters from Datsik’s Firepower Records, Terravita has become one of the go-to names for heavy bass music in recent years. It should come as no surprise that they are attending Imagine Fest this year, because they have played several times at Iris in the past. Clearly a favorite name on the lineup for many, Terravita’s set is going to blow audiences away without a doubt. Atlanta’s EDM scene loves these guys, so there is bound to be a big crowd going in at their set.
8. G Jones
Few people understand electronic music in the way that G Jones does. Although G Jones makes dance music, the samples and sounds he designs for his music definitely color outside the lines. G Jones is a popular name around Atlanta, mainly because of the level of respect he has among Bassnectar fans. His style is comparably a mix between Bassnectar and RL Grime, and his sets are obscure, wonky and full of artistic energy. Jones has been known to experiment with his live performances and push the boundaries of what is kosher for a DJ set. Innovation is the name of the game for G Jones, so make sure to peep his set and melt your face with a healthy dose of bass.
7. Pyramid Scheme feat. Yin Yang Twins
Talk about blowing up out of nowhere: Pyramid Scheme has achieved notoriety in Atlanta’s electronic music scene almost overnight. In a little more than a year’s time, Sterling Pike and Adam LaRossa have become the next big thing to come out of Atlanta’s underground EDM scene. They just filmed a music video to promote their new single with Yin Yang Twins, “Thundercat,” which is slated to release through Mad Decent mere days before they perform at Imagine festival with the Crunk Rap duo themselves. Yin Yang twins have come a long way since we were all in middle school rapping the lyrics to “Get Low.” The Twins are true entertainers, engaging the audience on the stage and cracking jokes with the crew backstage. People are bound to be “bending it over to the front and touching their toes,” all weekend, so get hype to some Hood House music with two of Atlanta’s most entertaining dynamic duos: Pyramid Scheme and the Yin Yang Twins.
6. Leah Culver (MK Ultra)
Since her live singing performance at last year’s Imagine Festival, a lot has changed for MK Ultra. For one, she now is known by her birth name, Leah Culver. Even though she still gets booked to DJ under her pseudonym pretty regularly, her live shows now incorporate singing and live instrumentation in a way that resembles Ellie Goulding’s live concerts. This transition from DJ to pop star has thrown her audience for a loop, but it is hard to argue with all the success and praise she has earned working as a featured artist on tracks. Leah really is quite the fantastic singer, and the tracks she has been releasing are gaining lots of recognition among music industry insiders. She has not said anything publicly about her set at Imagine, but Leah has a few aces up her sleeve planned for her set. What kind of surprise? You’ll have to wait and see!
Despite how fantastic it is that electronic music festivals are growing in size and popularity in recent years, listening to DJs for two days straight can generate some pretty killer ear fatigue, smearing styles and genres into a grey EDM mush that loops constantly in your head. Something gets lost in translation in comparing DJs to musicians playing physical instruments like the guitar, drums, bass and keyboard. In the midst of all the bass drops there is an island of jazz and jam known only as Papadosio. This multifaceted band from Asheville, North Carolina has a cult-like following of fans that rivals the Bassnectar family in size and passion. There are several die-hard Papadosio fans that likely bought a ticket simply because they are so stoked to see their favorite band play. The band is notorious for their intricate yet beautiful live performances, so if you have never taken the time to see what they’re all about, Imagine is the place to start.
That being said, out of all the bands that have gained notoriety within the jamtronica band scene of Atlanta and Athens, no other band from Georgia has done it quite like Zoogma. Their popularity in Atlanta affords them the opportunity to pack the house out at Terminal West consistently, and they have been touring off and on for several years. Many have attributed their roots to bands like STS9 and the Grateful Dead due to their psychedelic rock influences, but their technical playing surely outshines their heavy use of delays and reverbs. Zoogma’s live stage setup is decked out with an assortment of synthesizers and effects pedals and instruments. All of Zoogma’s music is online for free, but their Soundcloud pales in comparison to their live experience.
Electronic music as a whole is lucky to have an artist like Grant Kweicinski, better known as GRiZ. His on-stage performances are just as funky and colorful as Big Gigantic but grimier and with less moving parts. The coolest thing about GRiZ is that he does everything on his own, and within his originality is an element of his soul that really speaks to the crowd at his shows. All of GRiZ’s music is all online for free, mostly because the true GRiZ experience is live in concert. He has frequently admitted to being surprised at his own success, and in a way GRiZ is like the rest of us, just some dude with a dream that payed off in the long run. GRiZ is living proof of what can happen if you imagine the possibilities of your own future and pursue the one that glows the brightest. By blending saxophone and funky glitch-hop, GRiZ has created a new breed of electronic Jazz that is taking over festival stages across the country.
2. The Crystal Method
Going to Imagine yet missing out on witnessing The Crystal Method would be like going to Woodstock and sleeping through Jimi Hendrix. Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan are legends. Both of them. Period. Most DJs getting popular nowadays are in their mid-twenties or early thirties, but these two have been doing the rave thing since the very beginning in the early 1990’s. The Crystal Method has been making electronic music for video games since most of us were children. They are featured in console and PC games like Need for Speed, FIFA ’97-’99 and Splinter Cell. This year, they released a collaboration with Dada Life (also a must-see at Imagine) for League of Legends, arguably one of the most popular video games of 2015. Vegas, The Chrystal Method's platinum album, is a work of art that shows the true roots of EDM.
David Tipper is carving his own distinct path in electronic music. He is the Tesla of EDM, producing wave after wave of new experimental music without receiving half of the attention that he is due. Tipper is the Internet manifested in the wonkiest of all vapor-wave blogs on Tumblr. Very few producers have the patience necessary to create a brand new genre of beautiful chaos, meticulously searching through countless sounds to find sonic gems. The highest point in the meridian for all of Imagine Music Festival will be the visual circus of the geometric mind-bender and visionary artist Android Jones. The words "Highlight of the Entire Festival" do not even begin to put this spectacle into perspective, so allow me to make this incredibly clear for anyone who is going/thinking about going/has the opportunity to go to Imagine Music Festival: GO SEE TIPPER AND ANDROID JONES.