Chicago’s cold, dismal winters can be heart-breaking, but when the sun finally decides to shine, it’s amazing just how alive the city can be. With beautiful parks and lake front access, what better way to celebrate Chicago summer then with one giant dance party at the beach. For it’s first year, React Presents Mamby on the Beach, a two-day music festival celebrating Chicago’s roots in house music. With well-known and emerging artists, Mamby On the Beach is delivering indie-electronic and dance music to the sand of Chicago’s Oak Street Beach with headliners including Phantogram, Empire of the Sun, and Passion Pit. Travel options are aplenty and so accessible with premium parking available, free shuttles to and from the beach at Red-line and Green-line train stations and a bike valet. More info and tickets are available at Mambybeach.com Here are a few of my top picks of artists (in no particular order) not to miss at the beach:
10. Moon Boots
Creating underground-boogie-disco-sounding beats, Moon Beats is music to seriously groove to. Like the shoes themselves, Moon Boots beats are bouncy and funky. Encompassing so much of what classical house music stands for, with tracks such as “Love Strong,” Moon Boots reminds us why house music is still relevant and still a blast to listen to.
9. Empire Of The Sun
Okay, I’ll admit, I only know that one song “Walking On a Dream,” but I love it so much. It is physically impossible to refrain from dancing when I hear this track. An anthem for summer? Maybe. A dance hit for the club? Yeah, probably. This track is infectious, as I’m sure the rest of Empire of the Sun‘s set will be.
8. J. Phlip
Facebook files dj and producer Jessica Phillippe‘s music under “acid booty-tech bass and beyond,” and I cannot imagine asking for anything else. Everything I have heard of Jessica’s is interesting and intricate. It is both bouncy and laced with deep beats, and a lot of twists and turns, I am beyond curious to see what she brings live.
7. Tei Shi
Listening to Tei Shi is chilling and spooky in the best way. The latest EP Verde is full of breathy and alluring vocals and contagious dreamy, electro-R&B beats. If Tei Shi plays at sunset while the wind is coming off of the waves from the lake, it will be too perfect.
6. Cut Copy (DJ set)
With influences ranging from the disco-era of the 1970’s to the synths of the 1980’s, I cannot wait to hear Cut Copy deliver a mix of fun, dancey tracks just as infectious as their 2008 release In Ghost Colours.
5. James Murphy (DJ set)
I don’t care that it’s a DJ set, it’s James fucking Murphy. The end.
4. Matthew Dear
Just when you thought electronic-pop couldn’t have another side other than bright and fun; enter Matthew Dear. Creating dark and soulful electro-dance music, Dear breeds sinister synths both wobbling and dancey. The Detroit producer creates personal beats with a bass so heavy I cannot wait to hear what it sounds like blasting through gigantic speakers across the beach.
3. Cashmere Cat
Since remaining somewhat under wraps since 2006, Norwegian producer Cashmere Cat creates fuzzed out, choppy beats underneath a bunch of synthesizers. Becoming most well-known for downtempo remix and edits of tracks of artists like Lana del Ray, Jeremih and 2 Chainz, Cashmere Cat is probably one of the more interesting and abstract producers making music today.
The Brooklyn duo of Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm are not only hilarious (launching a Netflix parody site to promote their album), but talented. Playing with everything from Caribbean rhythms to steel drums, to heavy synth sounds, Tanlines create catchy, pop anthems perfect for a beach party.
1. Passion Pit
If it were still 2009, I would be crying at the thought of seeing Passion Pit live. Manners was everything to my 17-year-old self and even though it is 6 years later, I could not be more giddy to dance around to “Sleepy Head” live. Touring t0 promote Kindred released in early April, there is no denying the fun, love-driven electro-pop of Passion Pit.