Desert Dwellers Draw us Into a Beautiful World
I learned about Desert Dwellers quite recently. I was looking for new music to practice yoga to and my fiance pulled them up on my laptop. I was immediately entranced. The duo pulls you into this hypnotic groove with what their site describes as “downtempo, psy-bass and tribal trance.” Slow, undulating melodies layer with tribal percussion and chant-like ethereal vocals to transport you into a mystical realm of consciousness while nature tracks intertwine with deep danceable bass to draw your feet down to connect with the earth. In other words, the perfect music for a candle-lit yoga practice under the full moon.
Their live show, however, was a little different. The core tenants of their music were the same. Beautiful vocals, tribal and natural influences pervasive throughout their special three hour set. It seemed much more bass heavy than I experience when simply listening to their music at home. Of course, the sold out crowd was there to dance, so this no surprise. They played a hard, pounding set and the crowd responded in kind, dancing hard, panting and writhing, grinding and dropping with every break and shift in the music.
There was a constant back and forth between dancing your heart out and stepping out back to take a break from the intensity of the music. The parking lot was always full of trance kids with dreads, flowtoys and colorful prints. They chatted, laughed and hugged one another, most of them seemed to know each other well and we saw our own friends amidst the crowd.
Dissisoma, a young local dj, started the night off with her unique, hodgepodge sound of tribal beats mixed with abstract, alien effects. It will be interesting to see where the strange, but intriguing combination takes her music. Living Light came on next and I have found a new love. Heavily vocal, ethereal, world influenced electronica. Drawling basslines, synth vocal effects with an eclectic blend of flutes, hand drums and again, chant-like melodies to draw you into another world.
Both Desert Dwellers and Living Light have a new age, meditative quality to their sounds without sacrificing deep hip swinging bass. They achieve a sultry blend of sensuality that can either turn you inward to prod at your own soul, or draw you out onto the floor to dance under the stars.
I really wish this particular show had been outdoors. Their music calls for open spaces with dirt under your feet, a breeze across your face and the moon over your head. I particularly enjoyed having two female djs open. The women are still heavily outnumbered in the dj world and it was a pleasure to see two such talented ladies take the stage. Aisle 5 also stayed open for an extra hour to celebrate the end of daylight savings time, allowing Desert Dwellers to play a special three hour set. It was a beautiful night.
In addition to a beautiful show, there was also a live art exhibition by John Gay Art.
Photos by Grace Kelly for Bullet Music