Organik Festival 2016

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  • An electronic festival on a beach in Taiwan, surrounded by mountains blanketed in emerald jungle—I'd wager that there are people out there who would consider Organik their version of paradise. In addition to its beautiful setting, the programming was excellent, which is the hallmark combination of the world's best festivals. The two must complement each other, so as to create an experience that can't be replicated. In this regard, Organik was a complete and total success. Situated on the outskirts of Hualien, a coastal getaway town located about a three-hour train ride south of the capital Taipei, Organik wasn't exactly easy to get to. But its remoteness was part of its charm: attending required considerable dedication, which meant that everyone there really wanted to be. This made for a special atmosphere. The festival took place at Niushan Huting, a site once home to Taiwan's indigenous peoples and their cattle that's since been repurposed as a nature retreat. It's sparsely developed, populated by a few quirky onsite structures housing amenities and an indoor dance floor. Beautiful aboriginal sculptures were found dotted around. The dominant feature, though, was an enormous grey-sand beach, a section of which had been cordoned off for the main dance floor. Because of the festival's small size and its powerful soundsystem, the music could be heard loud and clear from every corner of Huting, whether you were at the water’s edge, on the mountain ridge or roaming the hills behind. The opening DJs, Sidney & Suleiman, warmed up with atmospheric beats. Dorisburg, an early headliner, filled the floor with a refined, upbeat live set carried by crystalline chimes. Right as the sun began to set, clouds formed and warm rain soaked the dancing crowd. The scheduling was on point for the duration of Organik, meaning that all the performances felt perfectly appropriate to the time and mood. diskonnected, part of the Smoke Machine crew who run the festival, followed Dorisburg and began ramping up the intensity as if they were preparing for liftoff. Efdemin came after, unleashing three hours of full-throttle techno. Dr. Rubinstein wiped the slate clean with Speedy J's "Symmetry," before pummelling dancers with heavy acid techno. It was magnificent, but halfway through her set I wore myself out and went for a nap. Annoyingly, I slept through most of Chris SSG's night-into-morning set, but what I caught was the perfect peak-time decompression, full of pristine tones and low-key electro. Around 6 AM, I ascended the mountain ridge overlooking the beach. I sat there listening to Giegling newcomer Sa Pa while waves crashed on the shore down below. As birds and insects chirped and chattered around me, he dropped Gigi Masin's "The Word Love." It's difficult to put into words how perfect that moment was—I've never experienced anything quite like it. After several hours of soothing music, Sa Pa gently teased the dance floor back to life with murky, dubby cuts. Edward came on around 11 AM, performing live. On record, Edward is great; live, he's even better. By the middle of his set, the dance floor were reinvigorated and ready for their second shift. Then came nd_baumecker, who closed the festival with a four-hour set of delirious, euphoric tunes, opening with Luke Vibert's "I Love Acid," before rattling through AFX's remix of "Flow Coma," Yello's "Oh Yeah" and some Egyptian Lover. He finished, believe it or not, with Lana Del Rey. What a way to round out 24 hours of musical bliss. Photo credit / Erin Keeffe