The Wonderful World of Wonderfruit
The magic that needs to be experienced to be believed
There’s something freeing about Wonderfruit. The fields of the Siam Country Club in Pattaya, Thailand hold a magic that needs to be experienced to be believed. The first things that are noticeable when walking into the gorgeous grounds are the majestic stage designs and attention to detail that the crew from Wonderfruit has painstakingly made.
Simply put, there’s nowhere really like it in the world. The Polygon stage is an LED-gasm for Minimal Techno. The house sounds of the Forbidden Fruit stage are bouncy in all the right ways. At sunset and sunrise, the Solar Stage is the center of the universe with people climbing up and down and all around. The Havana Social stage has Latin percussion that forces people anywhere in the vicinity to dance uncontrollably, especially with the hips. The Quarry is a hidden gem that wormholes into altered universes.
Then there is the SOT stage.
It’s made to resemble a busy urban road with a graffiti entrance, street food shops on the side, and a stage that turns into madness once those beats drop. It’s the home to Hip Hop, Funk, Soul, Dancehall, and everything else in that area, so LiFTED posted up there to talk to some of the stars of SOT and relay their Wonderfruit festival experiences.
Prabh Deep the Moodmaker
There was a moment in the Prabh Deep show a few songs in which he said, “Turn these front lights off, I need mood.” As soon as the too-bright lighting dropped, his silhouette bathed in green light popped out of the smoke. The Azadi Records superstar, dressed sharply in an all-black get-up with wicked accessories, genre-hopped on his selection of songs ranging from smooth R&B party jams to Drum & Bass floorfillers. The Punjabi rapper’s soundscapes wafted through the air and he brought the crowd into his world. While he danced around on the stage, there were flashes of Kendrick Lamar’s influence with his voice changes, swirls, and his use of the smoke machine to get in and out of songs.
Prabh Deep all the way live is a mood.
DaBoyWay the Boss of Bosses
Who better to have on Saturday night when the party needs turned up, than DaBoyWay bringing the ‘Cake Diet’ to life? With live drummer Action Jay Jackson pounding out his version of Go-Go swings over Hip Hop beats, DaBoyWay came out and had the SOT stage in the palm of his hand from the jump. With a bunch of hyped-up tracks to choose from, DaBoyWay and his Thaitanium crew, along with Twopee, got the crowd constantly moving in all the right directions. DaBoyWay finished with his most recent single, ‘Cake Diet,’ and brought the house down with the uptempo jam.
Big Calo the Party Killer
The affable Big Calo wore many hats at the Bastid’s BBQ party at the SOT stage on Saturday night at Wonderfruit. He had a grill selling Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches that hit the spot as soon as they hit the mouth. He did a 30-minute set that saw him bringing ‘Mamacitas’ onto the stage for a little dance-off and a trumpet player that made the crowd go wild. And he hype-manned the Boiler Room-like crowd when they rushed the stage during DJ TOB’s set because the people wanted not just to be at the party but to be part of the party.
Skratch Bastid the Congenial Cut Killer
If there was a perfect ambassador for the niceness of Canada, Skratch Bastid would be it. He loves to be at the party talking to the crowd, taking pictures, and in general having the time of his life. But that’s only one part of the Congenial Cut Killer.
The other part is his ability to rock a crowd with this mad amount of skills, playing songs he loves to a crowd that begs him to keep going and going. Bastid stopped the record with his chin, sped up the cuts on Daft Punk, and played soul and funk nearly till the sun came up while the crowd lapped up every moment. When the party people descended on the stage to crowd around the DJ booth that would send a lot of DJs’ anxiety into the stratosphere, Bastid high-fived, smiled, and kept playing jam after jam. To Wonderfruit’s credit, the crowd they built was respectful, kept their distance, and cheered to the end.
DJ Nu-Mark the Precision Master
There are very few DJs on the planet who are even close to Nu-Mark’s level. He’s a master at many things, but what makes him so spectacular is his precision. Every cut is tight. All songs drop in perfectly. Each track is a party jam remixed in a way that is distinctly his.
The way Uncle Nu weaved his latest album, Run for Cover, into his set was mind-blowing. He runs the original into his track, or drops part of the acapella onto it, or plays four more crazy versions of his track right after, and then plays a snippet of ‘Barbie Girl.’ DJ Nu Mark is a turntable scientist with DJ skills and swag for days.