Underground electronic bass music in Tahoe? You bet there is. HakunamaTahoe, created by Tyler Mikkelsen, is a collective of bass music enthusiasts from Lake Tahoe organizing art and music shows. They bring local bass artists out of our blue Lake Tahoe community.
HakunamaTahoe returned to The American Legion on Jan. 8, with Hydrogon, Milano, Adiidas and Patches O’Malley. While some drove hours, others who live closer come to every bass event. Tahoeians don’t have to go far to get some quality bass in their system. It was an occasion celebrating bass culture, friendship, and Milano’s birthday (a Tahoe DJ). Champagne and a photo op were in order.
The show was something you’d see at a full-fledged electronic music festival, but consolidated to the relatively small venue of American Legion. PHYBE provided the PK sound system while Royal Sound & Lighting conducted the awesome laser light show.
The event hosted a live painter and two vendors selling wearable art. Wire wrapped crystals in key shapes caught my eye, and “Galactic Artifacts” – geometric rotational hand-painted fluorescent wood pieces — were popular: unique, interactive “RotatoR Pendants” by creator/artist Tynan. The rotating top layer of wood creates a moving visual experience.
“They are one-of-a-kind pieces, meant to bring out the light inside of the wearer,” Tynan said. “People sometimes are immediately drawn to one design, and that becomes the piece just for them. I’ve seen these pieces bring people together at shows. I don’t take credit; I get to be the vessel from which these can flow and bring others knowledge.”
Mikkelsen has been in the Lake Tahoe area for 12 years and runs HakunamaTahoe alongside his friend Seth Gorman. The idea started at Burning Man years ago. They then did “HakunamaTahoe” in the woods, which turned into a growing following. “It means snow flurries” and their mascot is “Rafreaki.” Great play on words.
“It’s about having fun with friends and supporting each other,” Mikkelsen said. “We also did a fund-raiser for the Calaveras wildfire a few years ago. ”
When he’s not hosting HakunamaTahoe events, Mikkelsen works at Sidellis Lake Tahoe Brewery and coaches snowboarding at Sierra-at-Tahoe. He also serves as talent buying, which is one of the skills that feeds HakunamaTahoe events.
“It’s important for people to have outlets.” Mikkelsen said. “We want to create a space for people to come together and have fun.”
They’ve definitely accomplished that.
— Amanda Jacobs
American Legion Hall, South Lake Tahoe
Wednesday, Feb. 12 -- 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Ticket: $15 in advance or $20 at the door