By: Ellen Sherman
Beers were being poured, every beat was at full blast and the melodic sounds of happy music lovers were filling the air. The fifth annual Middle of the Map Fest was clearly in full swing.
This year Kansas City Culture and Entertainment, also known as INK, teamed up with local indie label The Record Machine to put on the fest, once again. KCOU made sure to make their way out to see what all the hype was about, and I’m certainly glad that I did.
Events have been going since Wednesday, with bands such as Ok Go and the Republic Tigers being featured. I arrived early Friday evening to start my Fest experience. Ernie Biggs was where my journey began with a funky electro rock band called Light Music. A crowd slowly built as they merged several different musical vibes into one harmonious set. The Milwaukee natives were a full-fledged rock band throughout but weaved in a synth and even some auto tune to create a Mutemath type feel. Band members explained to me later that they have been playing together for nearly a decade, but just recently came together for this collaboration. Their debut album is set to drop this summer, and I recommend “Pack of Wolves,” for those that enjoy a face melting electronic rock piece. Check out below for my interview with the band!
After this show I made my way to the Riot Room for Young Ejecta, an artist I was encouraged to go see. My first impressions were purple lights, heavy beats and a delicate voice. This was the type of music that was hard not to dance to. Young herself was dancing harder than anyone in the crowd but quickly drug us in with deep bass and beats she adjusted on stage. This one-man show was like watching a story come to life, with every move choreographed to a “T”.
To follow was a Canadian act by the name of Seoul. I like to call them a low-key Passion Pit of sorts. The 4-piece put together a mouth-watering dance set accessible for any crowd, and after the groovy act I got the chance to speak with two of the front men. Guitarist, Dexter and Keyboardist, Julian explained to me that this tour has been a long time coming; and their album, set to drop on June 9th, was written far before they were even a full fledged band. If you didn’t see them this weekend, they are continuing a tour through the month of May. To listen to our full interview scroll below!
The final act I had the luxury of seeing was bass heavy newly signed OWSLA artist, Amber Giles, also known as Mija. Despite her small size and seeming innocence this chick put on a dark show. She kept the crowd of all ages hyped while engineering each rattle, whomp and drop by hand. This is one of those artists we are lucky to see in Missouri because of her rising star status- and if you dig a sexy beat, check this young lady out on her Soundcloud, Facebook or Twitter.
Like what you read/heard? Tune into KCOU.fm and our Twitter feed to follow Saturday’s activities, there is so much more to come!