Die Antwoord, SBTRKT, The Head & the Heart, Helena, and Madeon will be performing at Lollapalooza 2012 between 4:30 and 6:15 p.m. on Friday, August 3.
Is it loud? Flashy? Or “fre$, futuristik, flame-throw-flow-freeking”? The answer is all of the above (and then some) when trying to pin down Die Antwoord with a summary. Firing off a strange brew of homegrown hip-hop culture known as “zef,” they hail from South Africa and their rap-rave hybrid flanked with bawdy English/Afrikaan lyrics are a blast for the adventurous soul. When Reuters reported on them two years ago, their young website received millions of visitors over the span of four days and the server crashed. It was with the debut of their video “Zef Life” in February that year that the web was set ablaze with chatter about the lanky, bulldoggish tattooed MC Ninja and petite platinum blonde guttersnipe rapstress Yolandi Vi$$er. The New York Times praised it as “brilliant weirdness” and January’s release of Ten$ion proves Die Antwoord doesn’t plan on going out as a onetime blip on the radar. (Friday, 5-6, PlayStation Stage) –text: Molly Hess
First by removing himself from his musical identity through a distinctive ceremonial mask worn during live shows and then by stripping his music of all but the necessary elements to inspire precise sensations, Londoner Aaron Jerome has embraced SBTRKT (pronounced “subtract”) not only as a name for his soulful, R&B-infused electronic music — but also as a philosophy. Don’t expect much aggressive wub wub, Skrillex-style brostep, but rather more introspective, bass-driven Chicago house focusing on melody and atmosphere. Over the course of 13 EPs and singles since 2009 (culminating in last year’s killer self-titled album), SBTRKT has proven his ability to not only create atypical remixes of artists ranging from Radiohead to fellow Lollapalooza artist Frank Ocean, but also to create his own unique yet danceable tracks as well. With frequent collaborator Sampha, live drums, and a slew of samples and effects, SBTRKT is capable of entrancing any crowd. (Friday, 4:45-5:30, Google Play Stage) –text: David Willming
THE HEAD AND THE HEART
From the birthplace of grunge comes Seattle’s indie folk-pop darlings The Head and The Heart. Rooted in Americana, their style of layering vocal harmonies and violin and piano melodies over rhythmic acoustic guitar strumming and strong percussive beats has gained many followers since their 2009 formation. The band met at open mic events in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood and quickly began writing, performing, and recording songs with themes of leaving and finding home, chasing dreams, and the journey of finding themselves that were inspired by their own experiences. In the process, they developed a reputation for energetic live shows as one of Sub Pop’s most buzzworthy new bands. From humble beginnings in coffee shops, backyards, and classrooms to headlining their own national tour, The Head and The Heart prove that good things come to those who deserve them. (Friday, 5:15-6:15, Sony Stage) –text: Ariel Sundel–photo: Dylan Priest
Singer/songwriter Helena’s tracks call into the dark and playful sides of the spirit. Integrating violin and heartfelt lyrics into her sonic equations, it is easy to immediately connect with both her instrumentation and the content of her sound. Musicianship is in her blood, as both of her parents enjoyed extraordinary music careers. She took their lead and performs incredibly beautiful and mystical music, while looking incredibly beautiful and mystical at the same time. (Friday, 4:30-5:10, BMI Stage) –text: Angie Martin
Madeon, who’s been on the music world’s radar since 2009 mashing up sweaty dance tracks, is also a 17-year-old French kid named Hugo Leclercq. He’s been composing since he was 11 with an ear for dance-worthy pop, house and electronic music from Deadmau5 to Pendulum to Blur circa 1997. His remixes have found enthusiastic support from EDM vets Kaskade and Paul Oakenfold while the young DJ has begun to lend his budding talents to production work. (Friday, 4:30-5:30, Perry’s) –text: Beth Malloy