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This Year Will Be Excision’s 10th Shambhala Performance, Here’s Why It’s Important

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent the views of Dance Music Northwest or its leadership.

Shambhala is upon us once more, and to many, this means returning to a place they call home. To fans of Excision, who fondly refer to themselves as “Headbangers” (after the track of the same name), this means a shiny, new Shambhala performance (and subsequent mix) from the man himself.

Excision’s yearly set is always a special thing to behold. However, this is no ordinary year at Shambhala, as 2017 is the 20th anniversary of the festival. This is a huge milestone in its own right, but this year also marks the 10th year Excision has performed there as well!

Starting in 2008, Jeff ‘Excision’ Abel has graced the decks of The Village every year. As a result, we’re left with a collection of sets that chronicle the maturation and progression of not only one of the biggest names in dubstep, but also the genre itself.

As you dig into the music, several things will immediately pop out from the first few years. First, is the style of music: The beats are slow and low. The listener is greeted with the wobbly sound that made late ’00’s dubstep so unique. The next is the track selection, as fans of old-school dubstep will immediately recognize names like Skream or Bar 9. PK head honcho Subvert even makes his way into the mix on a couple collaborations, in addition to a healthy dose of originals from Excision himself.

The sounds in the sets begin to change with the times, especially as brostep and drumstep began their respective rises. Eventually, the sonic landscape slowly morphed into the sound that we know and recognize today.

More than anything though, we get a chance to see Excision gradually define his own distinctive style and persona along the way. In 2010, the set opens with Existence, a track that features the first mention of the extraterrestrial life force that would later come to be known as Destroid. In 2012, the set kicks off with the unveiling of Destroid’s with Raise Your Fist, further deepening the Excision mythos.

Excision - Shambhala 2014

Excision bringing down the house at Shambhala 2014

Over time, these sets have begun to serve as something of a capstone for the year. Not only do they include the highlights from the months leading up to the event, but they also include more IDs than a DMV, and tease what will likely become the biggest bangers for the next year and beyond.

Over the past decade, Excision has established his sound and brand as a bass music powerhouse. These yearly sets are not only a treat to listen to, but also serve as an auditory time capsule, as each successive year features a unique energy that exemplifies what’s considered “the sound” at the time. Many artists made their mainstream debuts within them, and many will continue to do so in years to come.

In a few short weeks, Excision will grace the stage once more at The Village for Shambhala’s monumental anniversary celebration. With a whopping two-hour set on the docket, it’s clear that this year is going to be one for the record books. Now who’s ready to headbang with us to revel in a decade of Excision madness on the Farm?