This year's Artopia will feature an array of local DJs and electronic artists who will add sonic splendor to the event's multimedia experience. Sound Off's Silent Disco will take place in the City Hall Cue Room for a lively, headphones-only performance. The City Hall Amphitheatre will feature the headlining act: a head-to-head battle between two of Denver's finest retro dance parties, Art & Soul and Snap! 90s Dance Party. You can find tickets here. Get to know the featured artists below.
The duo of Shannon Webber (vocals, synth) and David Samuelson (keyboard, synth, production), known as Church Fire, has been impressing Denver audiences with sedative drift-gaze techno for a few years now. Webber and Samuelson's ambient, synth-driven sound is laced with mesmerizing vocals and has the ability to make you get up and dance or fall into a spiritual stupor. Since releasing their eponymous debut album in 2013, the two have been playing around Denver with local acts such as the Milk Blossoms and Of Earth and Sun. They'll be performing on the City Hall Main Room stage.
Bollywood Life will be playing the City Hall South Second Level stage this Saturday.
Although Anton Krueger has only been performing as Bollywood Life for a couple of years, he already has an impressive résumé of musical experience: The Louisville native has run lights and merch for a nation-wide Slow Magic tour, played with L.A. ambient-rock group StaG, and honed his skills behind the board with trap producers in Orange County. Since then, Krueger has returned to Denver as a solo act, performing his brand of drum-pad-driven electronica at local venues such as Rhinoceropolis. Now, with a three-track EP of catchy, 8-bit electro-pop to his name (2015's Manya), Bollywood Life is ready to continue his DIY conquests, one crowdsurf at a time.
French Kettle Station
Denver native Luke Thinnes, better known by stage moniker French Kettle Station, has been grinding out infectious, lo-fi electronic pop for a few years now, blending melodic, Cure-esque crooning with trance-inducing synth. With several albums of entirely self-composed material under his belt, FKS is a veteran of Denver's DIY music scene. His most recent release, Dead Magnolia, dropped just last month and is chock-full of dreamy, post-rock/electronica ditties. He'll be on the City Hall Main Room stage on Saturday, serenading the audience with hypnotic ballads and like-no-one-is-watching physicality.
Tommy Metz is known for combining charming vocal melodies with soft, resonant synth instruments to create a unique brand of experimental electronic pop, as well as producing music as Iuengliss and performing as one half of glitch-core duo Yawn Tron. He alsodeveloped his own auto-mastering software
in 2014 upon releasing an endearingly impressive LP calledFruitions
. In addition to this already impressive track record, Metz has performed with internationally renowned artists such as STRFKR and Phantogram. He'll be performing on the City Hall Main Room stage.
Mitch Pond draws creative inspiration from the South African spirit of creativity, Man Mantis, which he brings to life with a face coveringmade from a Jason Halloween mask
. After showing his skill as a producer with his 2011 debut,Cities Without Houses
, Man Mantis continued to expand upon his style of instrumental electronica withMajestic DimensionsVolumes 1-3
. In addition, he has had multiple collaborations with indie rap musician Sole. On Saturday, Man Mantis will perform on the City Hall Main Room stage.
Armed with a plethora of pedals, pads and other noise goodies, Dean Inman, aka Dream Hike, churns out infectious electronic beats that will get you on the dance floor in a heartbeat. Tracks like "Party Etiquette" and "Transit" are prime examples of how droning beats fused with swirling synth and bass are the recipe for a perfect EDM track. With a few years of experience releasing music and playing Denver venues such as Lost Lake Lounge and Toad Tavern, as well as events put on by local label Deep Club, Dream Hike has honed his craft as a techno producer. He'll perform on the City Hall South Second Level stage.
Hot off the release of a dazzlingly chilled-out record called Searching, Endlessly, Littleton native Drew Miller has shown how pumping out consistently solid electronic music for more than a year has helped him hone his minimalist, IDM style. With performances at local venues such as the Armoury and Lost Lake and a hefty amount of pay-what-you-want material online, Chromadrift has quickly proven himself to be a force to be reckoned with in the Denver DIY scene. On Saturday, he'll enchant audiences with down-tempo ambient music on the City Hall South Second Level stage.
Carlos Estrada is a house DJ with an affinity for starting parties and creating killer remixes. Under the name Calestrad, he has created numerous EDM remixes of those tunes you love but always wished had a little more groove to them, such as the Doors' "People Are Strange" and Vance Joy's "Riptide," revamping them with wildly catchy beats and churning ambience. In addition to this, Calestrad is a pro at creating seamless mash-ups that are sure to fill any dance floor. He'll be performing on the City Hall South Street Level stage.
Seventeen-year-old Diego Coto has been deejaying for more than three years, having sharpened his skills under the tutelage of Walt White (who will also be performing) at the Global DJ Academy. With a clear passion for deep house and trap music, Cotoson has already started playing local venues like Club Vinyl and performed at last year's Hallowfreaknween. Currently, he's getting ready to soothe Artopia-goers from the City Hall South Street Level stage.
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Albany native Sam Warren makes use of complex melodies and pulsating beats in his dance-heavy purgatory between deep house and techno. After holding down multiple residencies in Washington D.C., Warren brought his talents to Denver, where he quickly became affiliated with TheHundredPresents and local house label Night Supply records. He proved his talent at last year's Snowball Festival and Westword's 2015 Music Showcase, and will continue to do so this Saturday on the City Hall South Street Level stage.
Artopia 2016 is Saturday, February 20, at City Hall.