An 11-day dance music festival can feel like boot camp if you're brave enough to romp every night. Taking their cues from the four-day Mi Casa Es Su Casa Holiday party in Mexico and the Winter Music Conference in Miami, Mosaic Fall Music Festival offers variety and balance at the tucked-away Mosaic Wine Lounge in Raleigh's Glenwood South district. While this year's festival has been in session since last Thursday night, here's a primer on what the rest of the week has to offer.
MIC SAVVY & INDUSTRY STANDARD (Wednesday, Sept. 18): You might still be recovering from last weekend's "Chicago N Jones" night where Chicago-house master and Mushroom Jazz curator Mark Farina set the stage for the rest of the festival. Farina's seven-volume Mushroom Jazz series was loaded with the sort of downtempo beats and hip-hop instrumentals that Triangle emcee Mic Savvy could buckle down to. Savvy's own work is golden-era rap with a touch of wordplay—fun enough for you to bounce to without having the urge to tear the club up. Save your rowdiness for DJ Dave Severance's set; he's climbed the Raleigh club circuit with his own reinterpretations of current hits.
NOISYDUBS BASS NIGHT (Thursday, Sept. 19): When a record label takes over an entire night of any festival, you're likely to find an intra-fawn-fest instead of the fun you thought you'd paid for. But each of the 15 deejays on the Raleigh-based blog-turned-EDM label NoisyDubs are too busy perfecting their individual, apocalyptic concoction of trap, dubstep and bass to bother with high fives. NoisyDubs DJs Wally D and Empty will go head-to-head in a rowdy battle until their wonder-wubs wound your eardrums or crack every wineglass in the place.
ROB SWIFT MEETS MASS APPEAL (Friday, Sept. 20): Merlin is considered to be a local architect of the Triangle's diverse hip-hop scene. In only a few years, SPCLGST has blossomed into a gifted technician behind the decks. Together, they've assembled Mass Appeal—a collective of B-boys, writers, emcees and deejays who hold the fort at Mosaic every second Friday for a high-energy dance party. It'd be a homegrown insult to think Merlin and SPCLGST would play second needle to anyone, but tonight, maybe they do. They'll be joined by turntable pioneer Rob Swift, who's likely to put on the type of music exhibition that could even make experts like Merlin and SPCLGST fall back.
STACEY PULLEN (Saturday, Sept. 21): There exists an urban myth about folks who actually wear workout attire to their favorite techno and house parties. Fuck your CrossFit class, then, because Motor City techno god Stacey Pullen will flush out Mosaic's sound system and stain this festival with some leftover spunk from his recent Ibiza 2013 appearance. Wanna get your ass in shape? Watch Pullen go kamikaze with "Circus Act" or get you acquainted with any of the outstanding acts he's enlisted for his Blackflag Recordings label.
CLOSING PARTY: CLASSICS NIGHT (Sunday, Sept. 22): If you haven't found your fix in the last 10 days, you'll have another chance during this grand finale. Founding members of the Triangle's original dance rodeo, Neu Romance, will anchor rotating shifts with Jukebox Heroes' multi-threat captain, DJ Forge, and many more. There's enough variety between this all-star cast of groove junkies that you can go berserk on the main floor or chill on Mosaic's patio between tokes of your favorite shisha flavor.
This article appeared in print with the headline "Beat by beat."