[FESTIVAL REVIEW] Deep Tropics 2023 Showcases The Future Of Nashville's Dance Music Scene

Deep Tropics 2023

| August 25, 2023

One of the toughest challenges in the live entertainment industry is leading a musical movement in a city that has been rooted in certain genres for nearly its entire existence. Somehow Nashville's Deep Tropics Festival, organized by brothers Blake and Joel Atchison along with their dedicated team, has made this task look easy. In just a matter of five years, the festival has built up this vibrant city's EDM circuit and evolved into the pinnacle music and arts experience of each year.

This year proved to be no different, in fact, Deep Tropics 2023 was arguably the most visually immersive and sonically stunning edition to date. Taking place at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park from August 18-19, the weekend literally and figuratively brought the heat. 

Friday began with the sun beating down with full force, so many attendees started their days out in the beautifully-designed Deep Culture tents and speakeasy. Other ravers who wanted to waste no time getting their dance on headed to the shaded Congo Soundsystem stage, where regional artists like Zay and Jon Dose were sending out a hefty supply of grooves. At 6 PM, rising talent Justin Hawkes took over the Lotus stage, throwing it down with his seamless blend of original drum & bass bangers.  

 

Meanwhile, over at the Meru stage, Mindchatter was putting his prime live performance abilities on display. Right after sunset, Lunice had the crowd fired up with his electrifying edits and unrivaled stage presence. This artist would quickly jump back and forth between mixing in tracks and popping off with dance moves at center-stage.

 

Following Lunice, Ravenscoon unleashed a barrage of lasers into the audience with his invigorating set. The innovative DJ-producer hybrid is about to launch his Periphery tour, which is leading up to a massive album release. With the first segment of the LP dropping this past Tuesday, a bass-fueled EP called BODYRavenscoon showered attendees with forthcoming IDs such as “WILD”.

 

Closing out day one was a magical performance from Gorgon City. The duo was already highly anticipated by festival-goers and they still managed to exceed expectations. They played an assortment of hits from their latest album, Salvationwith “Voodoo” clearly being a crowd favorite.

For the people who were fortunate enough to be in attendance, Saturday opened with an incredible breathwork journey from Steven Roccazzella at the Deep Culture speak-easy. Personally, this was my favorite part of the weekend. Using the proclaimed Wim Hof Method, Steven took us on a life-changing meditative and spiritual adventure, simply through focusing deeply on breathing and practicing different variations of it. This allowed us to not only reflect on a variety of aspects in our lives but also charge up with a surplus of energy for the day ahead.

Proceeding the workshop, the Deep Tropics fam was decked out in sensational outfits while they shuffled to the funky basslines of Coco & Breezy and Major League Djz at the Meru stage. The aura emitted from their fusion of tribal and house music was chilling.

Next up was Eli & Fur, who executed a one-of-a-kind airy sunset performance. Then back at the Lotus stage things were starting to get a bit hectic, as the experimental bass and dubstep pair of Smoakland were igniting headbangers and rail-riders with their emphatic drops. When they dropped their wubz-packed collab “Escape” with DirtySnatcha, everyone's reality was collectively distorted.

While Sonny Fodera and SG Lewis were blessing the Meru stage, many ravers held down the fort at Lotus to catch INZO and TroyBoi wrap up Deep Tropics 2023. INZO laid down hypnotic melodies as he effortlessly intertwined masterpieces from his new EP, Earth Magic. He also shocked the crowd with a house ID that erupted in “WOAH”s across the board.

The roars from the Lotus stage were almost unbearable when TroyBoi walked up for his headlining set. His style of trap is truly unprecedented and incited waves of people bopping up and down. He tossed in a few Latin classics and entrancing remixes for good measure. It was the optimal ending to an optimal weekend, previewing the bright road ahead for Deep Tropics and Nashville's presence in dance music.

 

Photos courtesy of Sam Wilkinson and Deep Tropics.

 

 

Stay up to date on the latest festival announcements and music news HERE!

 

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CONNOR PHILLIPS

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Fueled by his passion for EDM, Connor’s life revolves around dance music and its ability to bring people together. Raised in upstate New York, Connor was deprived of festivals and raves until he attended Florida State University, where he was instantly hooked. Fast-forward to today and Connor has become a house and melodic techno DJ, an avid EDM-based interviewer and writer, and has worked PR for the likes of Matroda, Bleu Clair, and other new-wave house icons.

Outside of music, Connor loves pretty much any sport (huge Knicks, Yankees, and NY Giants fan), going on hikes, traveling, and food. Based in Florida, there’s a good chance you will eventually run into Connor at one of the popular festivals and clubs throughout the state.

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