Lightning in a Bottle has become a veritable institution over the past several years. Held annually in the expanse of Bradley, CA, the annual gathering has gained a reputation as California’s premier Memorial Day Weekend festival. The eclectic billing of the Lightning stage, formidable bass of Thunder, and exceptional house and techno selection of Woogie combine to make LiB a haven for tasteful electronic music fans of all creeds. This year, Bassnectar, Richie Hawtin, and Bonobo are among the many acts which will draw a broad crowd into the festival. To take a closer look, we’ve tapped some of our favorite acts on the roster for an interview series leading up to the weekend.
Perfect Stranger is the stage name for Russian-born, Israel-based musician, producer, and DJ Yuli Fershtat. His sound is a mature mélange of progressive house, techno, and psytrance that appeals to a wide range of listeners. Case in point: Fershtat is headlining the Thunder Stage at Lightning in a Bottle this year, which usually caters to the more bass music-oriented crowd, but will no doubt welcome him and his intense energy with open ears.
A very decorated and active member of the global electronic music community, Fershtat is the owner of the Digital Structures record label, and has released 8 albums between his Perfect Stranger alias and his previous stage name, BLT. Fershtat’s touring schedule continually takes him around the globe playing at many of the world’s prominent music festivals, and has been for the last decade.
Perfect Stranger will close out the Thunder Stage this Saturday/Sunday from 12:30AM – 2:00AM.
Tickets for Lightning in a Bottle are still available here. Enter for a chance to win two 4-day festival passes below the interview.
What was your first label release? Would you still play it in a show?
I believe that my first label release was under band name of BLT back in 1997 I think it was end of 1997 and track name was Soul Sacrifice that opened a compilation CD named Forum, and no – I wouldn’t play it today. However, my first Perfect Stranger track that was released early 2005, it was called “Nobody’s Perfect” and I think it’s pretty nice – check it out! it’s remix made by me released only less than a year later on my debut album, Learning = Change, on Iboga Records.
What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career?
Hard to say – probably my album Free Cloud. That was the first attempt of bridging between melodic techno and progressive trance. I guess it was a milestone for many, and only these days I understand that.
What are you looking forward to most about Lightning in a Bottle?
I know it’s a great festival and this year it hosts quite a few artists I am keen to listen to, but mostly I am excited and looking forward to represent psy-trance/progressive trance genres that never been in the lineup of this festival up till this edition – it’s really something I am looking forward to.
Is there anything that you think festivals and the music industry in general should be doing to help the environment on a larger scale?
Maybe stop the use of CDs as this media is un recycle-able. And, of course, push forward the “leave no trace” [message] and educate the crowds throughout the festivals.
If you could be another artist for a day, who would you pick?
I’d like to be Steve Aoki cause I’d like once and for all to see how does it feel throwing a cake at someone’s face – and actually, the technicality of this move is the one that interests me. It’s not easy to aim with the whole cake from a distance and hit that well… I have to try one day.
If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?
Stephan Bodzin, Guy J, Bob Moses.
If you were recruited to provide an Essential Mix in 2017, what’s the one song you couldn’t leave out?
Perfect Stranger – Manifestation.
This is one out of many sets on the amazing Thunder Stage that should not be missed this year at LiB. For those curious about what his sets are like, check out the exclusive mix he spun for the festival below.
Enter below to win two 4-day walk-in camping passes for Lightning in a Bottle.