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Video: Preview of this year's BUKU Music + Art Project (with choice picks)

BUKU is here, and I can't help but anticipate who is going to be hitting the stages and what is going to be taking place on Friday March 11 and Saturday March 12. Here's a bit of a rundown.

First, a little history. In 2012 Winter Circle Productions changed the face of electronic music in New Orleans by putting together the BUKU Music + Art Project. BUKU set out to serve as a platform for an intersection of pop culture with the New Orleans underground arts community.

BUKU combines international musicians with local food vendors and visual artists. For the most part the music on hand is electronica with its varied offshoots.

Now, onto the bands. This year’s event is yet another culmination of those ideas with the addition of the “Front Yard” stage sponsored by SimplePlay presents. The “Front Yard” will also include a bounce showcase curated by “Chef” Big Freedia coordinated with the release of his cookbook; AF The Naysayer’s brainchild Dolo Jazz Suite; underground dance tastemakers Kompression and Obsession; and performances by students of the Upbeat Academy Foundation, a local non-profit benefitting from a portion of BUKU ticket sales.

This year’s musical artist include: Pretty Lights, Kid Cudi, CHVRCHES, Future, Above & Beyond, Miike Snow, Nero, Fetty Wap, Griz, Crystal Castles, Purity Ring, Deorro, Rae Sremmurd, Datsik, A$AP Ferg, Baauer, Yellow Claw, Tchami, What So Not, Feed Me, Cashmere Cat B2B Trippy Turtle, Earl Sweatshirt, AlunaGeorge, Art Department, BØRNS, Kehlani, Mystikal B2B Juvenile B2B Fly Boi Keno, Post Malone, Sam Feldt, Mija B2B Anna Lunoe, Julio Bashmore, NGHTMRE, SNBRN, Jai Wolf, Tokimonsta, Casey Veggies, Givers, J.Phlip B2B Kill Frenzy, G Jones, Thugfucker, Le Youth, DJ Soul Sister, Donovan Wolfington, CRWNS, Fro-Yo Ma, Tristan Dufrene and the VIP S.S. BUKU artists Autograf, Louis The Child, D.R.A.M., Prince Fox, and The Funk Hunters.

In an ideal world I would be able to see all of these acts, but I am only one man and one camera. Yet, I will make a concerted effort (as should you, if I can be so bold),  to see these five acts: CHVRCHES, Crystal Castles, Purity Ring, Givers, and Pretty Lights. While not in my wheelhouse, these acts will bring the crowds and a different entertainment level.

Of the five acts I’m most excited to see, CHVRCHES is the only band I haven’t seen. They are an amazing dance-pop act and put out a spectacular CD last year. Crystal Castles have gone through a lineup change since the last time I saw them at the House of Blues - gone is Alice Glass and replaced by Edith Frances.

Founding member Ethan Kath has shaped this rendition of the band as a must see act. Purity Ring is a fantastic electronic duo hailing from Edmonton, Canada. The band consists of Megan James (vocals) and Corin Roddick (instrumentals). The band has two albums and put on a visually pleasing show and is well worth a view and listen.

Lafayette, LA’s GIVERS are a multi-instrumental, multi-genera, and multi-influenced band. They formed out of being displaced by Katrina. In the wake of such a grand disaster, Tiffany Lamson and Taylor Guarisco managed to create the cultural gumbo that is GIVERS. Last year’s New Kingdom is definitive proof that In Light, their debut album, wasn’t a fluke, and the band has made huge strides since their hit.

Lastly, Pretty Lights brings his full band to play. While the solo sets are amazing, the full band set-up brings a whole new aspect to the EDM movement. If their set at Voodoo is any indication of what will be, the audience is in for a treat. If you can’t see them at Mardi Gras world, they are also playing at BUKU LATE: ANALOGY at the Joy Theater. You can see a full list of BUKU LATE shows here:

http://thebukuproject.com/buku-late/

Steven Hatley is a New Orleans-based photographer. You can find more of his photography here.