32 years ago, Lee Harvey and Jerry James built the first “man” at Bakers Beach in San Francisco. Since the first burn the event has exceeded beyond the founders and publics expectations on what truly goes on at Burning Man.
Burning Man is a reoccurring annual event held from the last week in August through Labor Day. The event is a temporary city that is built on Black Rock City in Nevada, and geared towards radical self-expression and art. Since the inaugural year, Burning Man has divided into subcultures. One of them being Burning Man music.
Satori is a Netherlands DJ that is well known in the burner community. He has mastered capturing the electronic music realm through blending trance, house, meditative music and space lasers to take the audience on a journey—a journey find oneself with Satori as a musical guide. Known for his epic sunrise sets and concerts that go on for hours, Satori has taken the nomadic Ibizia sound by honing into the tribal aspects that often lack in the four on the floor typical house beat. He is on the same wave-length with the burners, by staying true to the meaning behind his name—sudden enlightenment. House music is about layering and playing to the way the audience moves about on the dance floor, which Satori has shown he can do time and time again with his tracks.
One of Satori’s songs “Shotgun” on his album titled “Maktub”, starts off with a simple tribal chant, but within the first minute layers the notorious four on the floor build. As the beat builds, layers of synths, fairy dust, and hoovers create the foundation for a good house loop. In the middle of the song, after tuning the ears to the beat, he shifts into incorporating a sound that mimics a laser. These laser sounds are better known as space lasers due to the outer space sounds that are sprinkled throughout the duration of the song. The thing with house and Satori, is that once the ears assume what is next, the exact opposite occurs.
The main reason house exists is through the tribal tunes ancestors played when music was first emerging as a medium. This allows the nomadic rhythm to mix with the industrial sounds of house to mix into the melodic dream beat of Satori. The songs off of his “In Between Worlds” album showcases the range of his talent, especially in “Tuti” and “Pink & Orange Sky”. Satori plays to his strengths by sticking to his nomadic roots, but begins to show that his talents could go beyond the typical four-minute song. He begins to navigate his way into creating the house ballads—the songs that can captivate a dancing audience for nine minutes or more.
Satori shows his mastery with the deep house ballad in his song “Yam” that premiered on his 2018 EP. In true Satori fashion the song starts with the soft four on the floor beat, but in “Yam” he incorporates his nomadic focus by sprinkling a tribal chant throughout the entire song. Bringing in the chants, but then immediately mixes into the deep house space sounds. Around the four-minute mark, he shows the audience a new deep house sound—the alien wind turbine. The alien wind turbine sounds like a house beat that has been filtered through a fan, much like the sound of a child speaking into fans to make funny noises. It sounds bizarre to explain, but house music isn’t here to be normal.
The layers of “Yam” and much of his other songs, show that house music is tedious work that goes beyond standing at a DJ stand just playing tracks. Satori has incorporated for his audience and those looking to get into house music, a story behind his tracks. The story element is what lacks in many house or EDM sounds. Other EDM sounds are heavy electronic based that often get heavy, which turns away the average music listener. Satori flips this construct by still being in the house scene, but focusing on the dancing aspect of his sound. House music is made to make people dance and even though Satori’s music might not be everyone’s first choice, when his track is on it’s impossible to not move even a phalange.