Over at our post announcing the first phase of Ultra's line-up this year, commenters have been divided. One camp seemed appalled by the new presence of jam-scene-birthed acts like Lotus, Pretty Lights, and the Disco Biscuits. The other camp's reaction can basically be summed up thusly: "FUCK YEAH BISCO!"
If anything was proven by the slightly ravey afterparties for both Phish's local New Year's Eve run and this past January's Jam Cruise, it's that 2010 is the year of "livetronica." Jam band fans long ago discovered that electronic sounds are ripe for experimentation and the sort of mass group ecstasy produced by guitar-music festivals. And dance music fans -- yours truly included -- seem to finally grudgingly accept that experimentation and improvisation isn't just for people in patchwork pants.
Thank the Disco Biscuits for helping to pioneer this long-building crossover. The Philadelphia band first got together in 1995, when the founding members met while attending the University of Pennsylvania. Since then, they've been experimenting with a sound sometimes called "trance fusion," which is something of a misnomer. No, they don't play at Infected Mushroom-style scary BPMs. But what they do accomplish, however, is the creation of dance-style grooves that still leave room for surprises.