Backwoods Music Festival late Friday unveiled the second phase of its lineup for the April 2018 event at Mulberry Mountain, and the newly added names include outrageously popular global hitmakers Snails, GRiZ, Michal Menert, and many more – plus a good number of up-and-coming Arkansas-based such as Atta, Flintwick, Fractal Sky, Deep Sequence, Recess, Meesh, No.Faces, Dalton Richmond and funk veterans The 1 Oz. Jig.
The acts announced Friday evening add to an already-stacked lineup; Phase 1 (unveiled on November 20) included longtime Red Rocks sell-out electronica-jamband STS9 as well as The Floozies, plus a bunch of Arkansas standouts including Arkansauce, Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings, Flintwick, Fractal Sky, Groovement, and National Park Radio.
Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain 2018 takes place April 20-22 and tickets are on sale now.
Scroll down for more info on every act announced in Phase 2, or click here to stream music from every single one! Wanna know more about the Phase 1 lineup? Click here to read Arkansounds’ Phase 1 lineup announcement story and learn more about Phase 1 headliners STS9 and The Floozies.
All acts for Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain 2018 are listed below in alphabetical order with links. Wanna listen and plan your stage schedule? Check out our Arkansounds Trail to the Woods YouTube playlist including every act that has videos on YouTube!
ABOUT BACKWOODS 2018 PHASE 2 HEADLINERS GRIZ, SNAILS, MICHAL MENERT
GRiZ is Grant Kwiecinski on computers/controllers/saxophone, with Dan Hacker (aka Muzzy) on guitar/pedals. GRiZ is coming off a massive two years with no signs of slowing down. His latest release, Good Will Prevail (via his All Good Records imprint) debuted at No. 1 on the electronic charts while simultaneously being available for free download.
This came after the previous releases, Say It Loud, Rebel Era, and Mad Liberation. GriZ has headlined at many of the country’s top venues, from sold-out concerts at Chicago’s Navy Pier, to the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Detroit Masonic Temple in his beloved hometown. In 2016 alone, the sax man and producer released 6 singles that each claimed the coveted No. 1 spot on Hype Machine’s most popular charts. His fan base and number of sold-out concerts around the country and globe continued to grow throughout 2017.
With engines in high gear, fans and critics alike have caught what GRiZ has been throwing down. Billboard has called the music “brilliant,” with DJ Mag clamoring “more than all good – it’s great!” GRiZ has become a champion of the live electronic landscape; effortlessly blending improvised saxophone, guitar, vocals and more over booming bass lines, hard drops, and some of the most creative transitions in the game. It’s no surprise that GRiZ’s show-stealing performances have reached the main stages at festivals ranging from Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza to Electric Forest, Outside Lands and more.
Most recently, GRiZ has turned his attention back on his hometown of Detroit. After numerous sold-out concerts, the artist has started a fundraising effort with the help of his street team and dedicated fan base. In 2016 alone, they collectively raised over $50,000 for Little Kids Rock – an amazing organization that helps fund music education within public schools. Together with Little Kids Rock and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, GRiZ and All Good Records are working to provide Detroit’s youth with the music education they deserve. GRiZ’s fundraising efforts do not end with the city of Detroit: The artist is an active philanthropist regularly using his platform to raise awareness and funds for a variety of causes; from the ACLU to local food banks and dog shelters.
So what’s next? More great music, massive performances and even more surprises along the way. In addition to building his own brand, GRiZ will continue to develop artists that inspire him under his self-run record label All Good Records. Speaking of growing, if you find yourself in Colorado, you might want to check out “GRiZ Kush,” the artist’s own Cannabis Cup Award-winning strain of marijuana, sold legally at dispensaries throughout the state.
California-based electronic music artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Michal Menert draws breath from the world that surrounds him, transmuting daily inspiration into music that is singularly his own. Huffington Post said of the Pretty Lights co-producer’s release Space Jazz: “A synthesis of past, present, and future, elegantly woven together by the hands of Michal Menert.”
A youth steeped in a broad swath of both Eastern and Western musical traditions gives Menert a deep palate from which to draw; his passion for original analog sounds coupled with a vast knowledge of music history has given him a unique ability to pull from the global creative canon with ease. He incorporates live guitar and keys into his final production for a full sound and rich feel.
As Menert co-produced the chart topping Pretty Lights album Taking Up Your Precious Time, it was natural that he was the first artist to join Pretty Lights Music. His debut solo album Dreaming of a Bigger Life was released in 2010, followed by 2012’s mega-LP Even If It Isn’t Right. In winter of 2015 Menert released the highly anticipated Space Jazz, followed by fall 2015’s debut release by his band Michal Menert & the Pretty Fantastics, 1. His next release is expected early 2018.
In the live realm, Menert supplied sound design for Dead & Co tours in 2016 and 2017. Additionally, he supplied sound design on Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum re-release in fall 2016.
Building on that relationship, Menert in both a featured performer and co-producer on Hart’s recent studio record, released last fall.
Menert’s reputation as a live performer continues to grow, as he brings his music to fans nationwide via both his septet, Michal Menert & The Pretty Fantastics, and his 22-piece all-star ensemble the Michal Menert Big Band. His collaborations have led to the formation of myriad ongoing side projects including Manic Menert (with Manic Focus), Half Color (with Paul Basic) & Club Scouts (with Mux Mool). Over the years Menert has shared the stage with a number of musical luminaries including STS9, Bassnectar, Umphrey’s McGee, and more, and played legendary venues including the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, The Gorge in Washington and the Red Rocks Amphitheatre (twice in 2016 alone.)
Committed to a community driven approach to collaborative creativity, Menert works hand in hand with producers he chooses for his own record label, Super Best Records. A dynamic and ideological producer, collaborating and working closely with a new generation of hip-hop & EDM producers, Menert is dedicated to bringing a new musical vision to life free from limitation.
Snails is one of the top-grossing bass music acts of the 2010s. In today’s saturated EDM market, originality is hard to come by, but Montreal producer Snails has managed to rise above the pack with a an unmistakable sound called “Vomitstep.” Having cut his teeth DJing in the local bass scene, Snails worked tirelessly in his small apartment to craft his own vision of dance music, combining trap rhythms, dirty bass lines, and off-kilter sound design. His first tracks appeared online in 2012 on fledgling imprint Kannibalen Records. Success was not immediate, as the forward-thinking French Canadian’s sound was so different and weird. But slowly, audiences started listening, and DJs started noticing the awesome power behind “Vomitstep.”
In 2014, Snails started gaining serious traction in the industry, releasing Wild and Pump This on Skrillex’s OWSLA imprint and making his first U.S. concert appearances. Fans and promoters quickly noticed that not only could Snails churn out massive tracks in the studio, he could also rock a party like no one else. So it was only natural that in 2015, the stages grew bigger as Snails threw down acclaimed sets at festivals like EDC Las Vegas, Ultra, and Electric Forest. He was also the only guest producer tapped by Skrillex and Diplo to appear on Jack U’s multi-Grammy-winning album.
In early 2016, Snails truly conquered North America on the massive Enter Slugz City Tour, which saw the bass prodigy sell out major concert halls across the continent. He also solidified his presence as an unmissable festival act with widely acclaimed sets at Coachella and Lollapalooza.
Determined to cement his stature as one of the leading figures in bass music, Snails worked tirelessly throughout 2017 on one of his biggest projects ever, his debut album and first full-production tour, both called “The Shell.” He debuted both at his sold-out Red Rocks concert “Sluggtopia” in September 2017, where attendees were astonished by the innovative stage design and new music.
Released in October, the eagerly-anticipated debut album features collaborations with noted producers like NGHTMRE, Big Gigantic, and Dion Timmer plus appearances by all-star vocalists like Waka Flocka and Collie Buddz. Hailed by Billboard as “a totally outrageous collection of grimy sounds and mosh pit motivation,” The Shell was met with unanimous acclaim by dance music fans and critics alike. The tour was equally successful, packing out rooms across North America during the 48-show run. Having capped the year on such a high, Snails looks poised to enter 2018 as an indisputable king of the electronic music scene.
THE FULL BACKWOODS LINEUP [PHASES 1 & 2]
- Andy Frasco and The U.N.
- Arkansauce (Find our recent interview and story on Arkansauce here.)
- Calliope Musicals
- Cut Rugs*
- Dalton Richmond
- Danny Grooves*
- Deep Sequence
- Don Mega
- Exit 9
- Fractal Sky
- Glass Cannon
- Henna Roso
- Higher Learning
- Jade Cicada
- Kirby Bright*
- Linear Symmetry
- Mass Relay
- Michal Menert
- Modern Measure
- Muzzy Bearr
- Nappy Dread
- National Park Radio
- Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings (Find our interview and story about Opal Agafia here)
- Recycled Funk
- Rolling Foliage
- Ryan Viser
- Shatter Worms Family
- Space Jesus
- Space Kadet
- Tank Top
- The 1 Oz. Jig
- The Floozies
- The Getbye
- The Werks
- Trouble in the Streets
To watch videos from every act on the Backwoods Phase 1 and 2 lineups, check ou Arkansounds’ Trail to the Woods YouTube playlist!
To stream music from each act in your browser, click here.
LEARN ABOUT EVERY PHASE 2 BACKWOODS AT MULBERRY MOUNTAIN ACT
Aplsoz, aka Cody Bones of the Kansas City area, calls himself a “melodic electronic madman from the matrix” and is a former Wakarusa DJ Classic winner (among other producer competitions he’s won). Aplsoz has been bursting through boundaries in the future bass music culture by combining styles of sonic force made famous by the likes of Bassnectar and Ill gates with high-energy movements that can slow down and get sexy on the drop of a dime. His captivating style has lead Aplsoz down a path of sharing stages with Liquid Stranger, Dirt Monkey, Jantsen, Koan Sound, Marvel Years, Illenium and many more. Always rockin’ fully original sets, Aplsoz is making his mark with a fully encompassing and immersive style of fresh bass beats.
Since beginning the AttA project in 2011, creator/producer/saxophonist Jon Jackson of Fayetteville has shared stages with such acts as Buku, Manic Focus, Space Jesus, Filibusta, Bass Physics, Esseks, Blunt Force and more. Always pushing the possibilities to the next level, Jackson aims for his sets to be a destination of funk and electro soul with heavy doses of synthesis.
Brainrack is an trap-bass producer based in Philadelphia with very little information on social media! LOL. (Sorry, we really did try!)
Cntrlla, formerly known as Cntrl., is a “bass specialist” in the EDM world. Pronounced “con-trol-la,” Contrlla has played on a number of bills for leading independent electronic label ThazDope Records of Cincinnati.
Cut Rugs, also known as Kyle Partin, is a self-described bass producer, DJ, and connoisseur who produces all genres and sub-genres; he’s based in the Carolinas.
Dalton Richmond of Fort Smith first played live in 2012, opening up to a sold-out crowd with Big Gigantic and Herobust under the moniker WET PAiNT. In the two years that followed, he experienced successes that many can only hope to enjoy during their early years of performing. In 2014, he decided to begin playing under his birth-given name, Dalton Richmond. Ultimately, this allowed a fresh start and more creative freedoms. Immediately after the change, he debuted his first EP, Foreign Language, with the established West Coast label Muti Music. Since then,, he has had tracks released on Wakaan (Liquid Stranger) and Gravitas Recordings as well. Recently, Richamond performed with The Floozies, Minnesota, Illenium, and Zoogma, to name a few. Last year he released his second EP with Muti Music and now will be performing for the second time at Backwoods Music Festival.
Deep Sequence is a four-piece prog/funk/fusion band based out of Central Arkansas. Formed in 2017, the group consists of Brady Cagle (Keys/Synth), Jonathan DerGazarian (Guitar/Bass), Jackson Diner (Bass/Guitar), and Jarrod Ives (Percussion). Drawing inspiration from a wide array of influences such as Steely Dan, The Meters, Umphrey’s McGee, and King Crimson, Deep Sequence use a balance of composition and improvisation to craft high-energy grooves that are both progressive and accessible.
Don Mega is half of Shatter Worms, an emersive audiovisual experience with mind-melting 3D projection mapping and lights combined with long multi-genre DJ sets. The Chicago performers also operate a live visual arts company specializing in custom design for concert staging, live art installations, grand openings and more, called Mega Vision.
Evix, pronounced “Eh-vicks,” is a one-man EDM DJ/producer act based in Michigan, and a returning Backwoods performer. He describes his music as being rooted in the subgenres of trap and chill.
Lubbock, Texas-based trio Glass Cannon “combines live instruments, controllers, and computers to journey through consciousness and time,” the group’s Facebook page says. “Our sound explores the lofty realms of spiritual bass music through a lens of post-rock influence. We intend to cultivate a force of positivity through our journeys.”
Henna Roso is a collective of musicians based in Tulsa making big moves early in their career – impressing people with their sophisticated and danceable interpretations of modern funk, jazz, and soul. They have a strong following across Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas and are steadily building a nationwide fan base. Henna Roso comes from the Spanish word “generoso,” meaning generous. Uniquely, Henna Roso is dedicated to fighting food insecurity by donating 10% of all revenues to organizations that fight hunger. In one year they raised funds to provide over 30,000 meals for people in need. This band is as much of a movement as it is music.
Higher Learning is an Atlanta-based electronica jam quartet formed in 2012. Originally conceived as an instrumental hybrid of electronica and post-rock; their sound has shifted over time, drawing from jazz, jam, hip-hop, and film score elements. Although their influences are wide-ranging, Higher Learning maintains a common, bittersweet atmosphere through their music, never fully embracing light or dark, and landing somewhere between dance music and introspection.
Jade Cicada is an EDM act that played in the Ozarks last year, in a late-night set at Highberry Music Festival near Eureka Springs. Fresh off a New Year’s Eve set at the Fillmore with Pretty Lights, Jade Cicada produces electronic music meant to reflect the ideas behind his namesakes: jade, thought by the ancient Chinese to be crystallized moonlight that has fallen to earth to spread wisdom and peace, and cicadas’ symbolism of rebirth, metamorphosis, and illumination – creatures that with their dying breath sing with such power that their chorus of song is among the loudest in nature. Jade Cicada recently opened for Disco Biscuits at Denver’s Fillmore – just one of many remarkable sets in the last 18 months.
KirbyBright, the electronic-dance artist and producer formerly known as Airplan3Mod3, is based in Asheville, North Carolina, and is affiliated with ThazDope Records.
Kraang is one of the more uniquely grounded electronic producer acts at Backwoods, with a background in freestyle and rap battles. Kraang also is co-founder of Bass Hertz Productions and part of 808 Gnarly. Once the artist known as Kraang began rap battling at parties, a desire and need for more beats to rhyme over prompted him to create his own original bass music. He bought his first drum machine for $30, and hours of finger-drumming later, Kraang had achieved a new level of musicianship, but, as he says on his site, his “true artistry wouldn’t be fully realized until the discovery of the DAW, Kraang’s perception of Dimension X – and the rest of the multiverse would be changed forever … the underground will never be the same.”
Live-electronica group Linear Symmetry formed in 2013 when Chris Story on keys and Andy Alback joined forces. The duo from Omaha has been on a direct path to new heights with every performance. More recently, Huma Haq has joined the crew lending her soaring vocals, stunning violin, and incomparable energy to complete the symmetry. They have quickly become known for their tight, energetic live shows, which feature moving audible dynamics in the form of organic dance music. Pair this with their brilliant visual package and it’s no surprise they have become festival favorites, late-night staples and a group labeled as “one to watch” by TheUntz.com.
After just one experience with Linear Symmetry, it is clear the trio was meant to play together, as they play toward a common goal to send the listener on a sonic journey through their ever-expanding catalog of original dance music. Due to their unrestricted sound and raucous live show, they have the unique capability to seamlessly perform for both rock and electronic audiences. Linear Symmetry has proudly performed alongside EOTO, Shpongle, Twiddle, TAUK, SunSquabi, and The Floozies; while also packing dance floors at festivals such as Dancefestopia, 515 Alive, Blizzard, BloomTown and many more.
Lyftd has burst out of the thick Denver scene with its high-energy futuristic sound. With several nationally ranked festival sets under their belts, including Electric Forest and Summer Camp, the funky duo has begun making a big wave in their hometown’s music scene and across the rest of the country, too.
Mass Relay is a Denver- and Chicago-based live glitch-hop duo that emphasizes live instrument performance and improvisation, with computers, a guitar and a bass. Combined with futuristic sound design and on-the-fly DJ methods, Mass Relay creates a live experience that is energetic and uniquely moving.
Meesh, based in Fayetteville, is the bass music project of Dallas, Texas, native Hayden Meshell. After starting music production in 2015, he began to make his presence known in the local bass music scene in Fayetteville. Dabbling in almost every genre of electronic music, Meesh creates an auditory experience that fully immerses the listener.
Live electronica-jam duo Modern Measure is Kyle Holly on production and drums and Charlie Thornton on production, live sampling, bass guitar, and alto sax. Infusing live organic instrumentation with artfully crafted music production is what sets Modern Measure apart. Modern Measure was formed in the musical hotbed of Atlanta in 2013. Coming off sold-out performances at Terminal West to headlining and supporting shows all across the United States, Modern Measure stays true to art and music. The duo’s sound incorporates elements of future bass, trap, electronica, funk, and hip-hop. In their relatively young career, Modern Measure has toured and shared the stage with renowned artists such as STS9, Big Gigantic, The Disco Biscuits, Manic Focus, The Floozies, SunSquabi, Break Science and Zoogma, just to name a few. Now on STS9’s label, 1320Records, Modern Measure continues to push the bar releasing original material alongside remixes from widely respected artists who continually inspire the project. The group has performed at music festivals such as Camp Bisco, Suwannee Hulaween, Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival, Austin’s Euphoria Music Festival, and many more all over the country.
Muzzy Bearr may seem familiar to fans of GRiZ – he’s the guitar player for the global superstar EDM act. Also known as Dan Hacker, Muzzy Bear is a young up-and-comer on the scene, based in Detroit but already performing all over the country at age 24. He says his goal is “to be the next Rick Rubin.”
Nappy Dread is two producers and musicians who combine roots, soul, and house music for a unique dance sound. They also previously performed at Backwoods, in 2016.
Fayetteville-based No.Faces is the brainchild of Philly natives and brothers Oscar and Marcelo Paras. No.Faces mixes blends of deep psychedelic bass dub with grimy experimental trap, fusing interesting soundscapes with danceable bass music to create a thought provoking and heart-rending live experience. No.Faces has shared the stage with major acts such as GJones, Space Jesus, Yheti, The Widdler, CloZee, Somatoast, Freddy Todd, Psymbionic, Sayer, Toadface, and many more.
Fort Smith-based Recess is a live electronic-funk duo blending sounds from hip-hop, jazz, funk, gospel, neo-soul and R&B genres. Drew Birch and Ian Gilley blends their funk backbone with swanky bass lines, bouncing old-school beats, smooth guitar, and biting, spacey synthesizer leads to take the listener on a genre-bending, genre-blending musical journey. Since forming in 2014, Recess has spent countless hours in the studio perfecting their sound as well as performing live shows centered around a playground of improvisation and their intrinsic love for music. The duo channels everything from EDM to traditional jazz riffs and hip-hop rhythms. In 2016, Recess released its debut album The Brothel Gospel, which entwines intricate melodies, raw funk, and powerful grooves; the tracks make for an eccentric live performance. Their follow up EP Channel Drift with Cobrayama encompasses jazz fusion with heavy-hitting beats and a complex writing style that is unparalleled in contemporary electronic music.
Recycled Funk is an electronic funk-jam quartet from Kansas City. The band says its mission is to create timeless music that brings out the best in everyone; Recycled Funk delivers a unique and precise live set of original material as well as re-imagined versions of some of everyone’s favorite dance and party tracks. Band members are Nate Hargis (Nathaniel Daniel) on DJ, guitar, and co-producer duties; Matt Pfeiffer on sax, sound engineering, and co-production; George Schram on lead guitar, keys and co-production; and Matija Krstic on drums and co-production.
Shatter Worms is an emersive audiovisual experience with mind-melting 3D projection mapping and lights combined with long multi-genre DJ sets. The Chicago performers also operate a live visual arts company specializing in custom design for concert staging, live art installations, grand openings and more, called Mega Vision.
Oklahoma City-based quartet Space4Lease is a psychedelic indie-rock band whose music is filled with soul-leaning vocals, intricate guitar melodies, expressive bass lines, and eloquent drum patterns, all driven by frontman Grayson Hamm’s tasteful piano skills. The group draws influence from artists such as Tame Impala, My Morning Jacket, and up-and-coming artists like Big Thief and Andy Shauf. They pride themselves in remaining elusive to the confines of any one genre and have worked hard at developing their own musical identity and sonic aesthetic.
The story of Space4Lease began in 2014, when keyboardist Grayson Hamm met the other members while attending the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma. Coming from vastly different musical backgrounds and tastes, the group formed as a unique convergence of influences.
Space4Lease released its first EP, Hiraeth, in November 2016, a collection of songs encompassing a journey of self-discovery. Buoyed by a blossoming local music scene, the band quickly became known in the Oklahoma region and has toured extensively throughout the Midwest. The Flaming Lips’ Derek Brown described them as “fellow Okies who wonderfully mix the blissfulness and melancholy of the great wide open. Highly recommended!”
The 1 Oz. Jig is probably Arkansas’ best-known and longest-running funk band. The sextet based in Fayetteville-based band’s sharp funk grabs listeners like a hook grabs a worm, reeling new fans in to their catchy songs often about-real-life situations with a clever twist.. Good songwriting, tight rhythm, a full horn section, and intense onstage charisma make this group an instant crowd favorite.
The 1 Oz. Jig has earned an impressive number of Northwest Arkansas Music Awards, including Best Funk Band (2011). In 2010, the band released its first album (self-titled) which was promptly nominated for NAMA’s Album of the Year and whose tracks were featured on a compilation of original Fayetteville artists entitled “Fayetteville 2011.” The 1 Oz. Jig’s recipe starts with the songwriting, with some swanky croon and funk-chunk attack on guitar by NAMA 2011 and 2008 Singer/Songwriter of the Year Jeff Kearney. Funky beats, melodic bass lines, and percussive techniques all help lay the perfect foundation for the band’s horn section (usually featuring 2-4 players) hooking and jabbing through it all, blowing a thick layer of tight brass over the top. The result is undeniable musical bliss.
Austin-based Trouble in the Streets plays a unique sound dubbed as “Electro-Tribe” – and it has quickly moved the trio up the local “music food chain” amid a vibrant and competitive scene. Mixing a blend of influences from world music to hip-hop, electronic, and R&B, Trouble in The Streets continues to leave a big musical impression everywhere they play. The band has shared the stage with such major acts as George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic, Grammy Award winners Rebirth Brass Band, Beto Martinez of the Grammy Award-winning Grupo Fantasma, and many more.