Tucked away in the Catskill Mountains is an artifact of New Yorkâ€™s former prosperity. Kutcherâ€™s resort, a sprawling 400 room hotel complex straight out of the 50â€™s (60s?), was home to the second annual Rock N Roll Resort festival which stretched from Friday March 30th through Monday morning. Kutcherâ€™s nostalgia drenched lounges, lobbies, bars, and ballrooms housed four sound stages as well as vendors and visual artists.
The first night kicked off with Simon Posfordâ€™s Goa Trance project ‘Hallucinogen’ in the main ballroom, the Stardust Theater. Posford was accompanied on stage by the visionary painter Alex Grey and his wife, Allyson. The room filled with energetic faces as the Grey couple began a live painting that would span over the length of the weekend.
At 2 oâ€™clock, Posford and the Greys took the stage again, this time with Posford performing under the moniker Shpongle. The set had a slower, groove-oriented vibe, melding punch-y, bass heavy drum patterns, Indian influences, and glitched vocals.
The nightâ€™s most satisfying set came from Lespecial. The astonishingly creative and tight three-piece group filled the Launch Pad (a banquet hall on the hotelâ€™s second floor) with beautifully unique sounds. Lespecialâ€™s set ranged from a reverb soaked reggae dub cover of the Beatles infinite ‘Because’ to a floor shaking samba.
Conspirator, an experimental electronic jam band, took the main stage at 11:00 p.m., immediately captivating the fully packed floor. The bandâ€™s sound was incredibly full-bodied with thick bass lines and precise and intricate drumming.
The most potent set of the night came from OTT. Playing off a mysterious board of electronics, OTT wove together a deep and exotic set of otherworldly dubby jams and ambient sound-scapes, undoubtedly the most impressive and unique use of bass frequencies all weekend.
Following OTT, the Launch Pad stage boasted a late night Dopapod set of blistering guitar soloâ€™s, funky syncopation and time signature changes.
A worn looking, and thinned out crowd filled the Stardust Theater for Conspiratorâ€™s second set Sunday night. The black clad four piece delivered again, teasing the audience with Zeppelinâ€™s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and getting Disco Biscuits fans hot and bothered with renditions of ‘Orch Theme’ and ‘Digital Buddha.’
Lespecial closed out the weekend in style playing the final set in the Soiree Lounge, an intimate stage by the hotelâ€™s main entrance. The most notable part of the set was the laid-back reggae dub jam accompanied by Eli of Dopapod on melodica.
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