This past weekend was Audiotistic, another large festival in Southern California (though only a fraction of EDC’s size) celebrating many genres of dance music. Phange and I enjoyed listening to everything from trance to dubstep and everything in between. We did not see one mediocre set that night; everyone was godly on the decks. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend more than an hour at each stage since there were too many good acts, but it was a great night.
The night started off with none other than progressive house staple Chris Lake. As Phange and I walked into the first stage we heard him drop the mashed-up The Reward Is Only One. What a way to start off the night! Lake delivered a great set. He pulled from his repertoire of minimal and mixed in with some progressive with seamless transitions. We only got to be there for about 20 when we decided move onto one of the artists I was most excited for, British dubstep designer Breakage.
Breakage’s performance could be summed up in one word: dope. His extra-deep and smooth brand of dubstep was a breath of fresh air in a genre that is often overrun with intense, but identical-sounding wobbles. Early on he dropped his remix of Riverside and transitioned smoothly into his very own Higher. As we were leaving his stage, we enjoyed listening to Nero’s remix of FML by Deadmau5. Breakage definitely did his job of warming up the early part of the festival. To see the man in action, check out the video at the end of this post – the light show is amazing!
AC Slater put on a solid set, displaying his superb mixing skills across several genres. His set had it all – electro, dubstep, drum n’ bass and even some melodic house. The songs that stood out to us the most were Jack Beats’ Jack Got Jacked, Revolution and AC Slater’s own edit of Cooler Coulers. That last song was absolutely killer – the dissonant electro progression sounded amazing on the system. If anything could be said about Slater’s style, it was versatile.
Bassnectar was my favorite set of the night. The crowd was juiced just waiting for him in the main tent. There was a certain energy floating around in the air as the massive crowd of inebriated kids eagerly awaited the sweet nectar that was to come from the king of bass himself. Phange and I were barely able to survive his opening drop. In a look of disbelief, I turned to him and uttered out the only words I could possibly come up with in my mind: “Holy f*ck Bassnectar.” To which Phange replied, “Yeeeaahhh.” That, ladies and gentlemen, was Bassnectar in a nutshell. A set full of mind-blowing drops and beats that left you feeling like your head was stuck on “bobbing” mode. He infused rock and hardcore dubstep into an unforgettable performance. At the end of his set he dropped his bread and butter – Bass Head. All-in-all, it was a spectacular performance.
Directly after Bassnectar on the same stage was rapper Kid Cudi. He was a little late coming on–all the hipsters looked like they were getting blue balls. Emerging onto the stage through clouds of weed smoke in the tent, the main headliner of the night opened a voice that sounded like he was a bit tipsy. After hearing so many intense performances by DJs, his performance was a bit underwhelming at first. Once he started getting into his old mixtape stuff, things turned around. The highlights of his performance for me were Man on the Moon, Soundtrack to my Life and Embrace the Martian. His vocals sounded pretty good as he progressed into his set; but again, after hearing the crisp vocals of other artists, it seemed just a tad bit lackluster. In all, however, he put on a decent performance. Even though I’m not into rap as much as dance music, I still very much enjoyed his performance.
From Kid Cudi it was on to German trance legends Cosmic Gate. The last time I had seen them spin, they dropped one of my personal favorite sets, and this time they did not disappoint. Their signature hard sound was just as impressive as ever, gradually transitioning from some Anjunabeats 8 tunes to their electro-trance classics like Not Enough Time.
Finally, after being pounded by sweet sounds of Cosmic Gate, we decided to see just one more DJ that night. By the time we got to see Rusko, though, we were spent. I’m going to tell you right up front: Phange and I could not hang. Rusko was way too intense for us to stay and enjoy his set. It’s a shame that we were so dead tired; he was absolutely tearing it up. Dropping disgustingly filthy tracks like Moaners, Rusko pretty much destroyed what little sanity the crowd had left. He’s like a mad man; seeing him pound his head and shake his body as if he were having a tantrum on stage was awesome.
Audiotistic was absolutely fantastic. What I thought was the best part about it was that you were essentially ordering a sampler at a restaurant, only in music form. When one type of music got old, you moved onto the next. This made for great pacing and an overall enjoyable listening experience. As a side note, it was nice to see Insomniac cracking down on security. After what happened at EDC, it’s good to know they’re taking themselves and their paying customers more seriously. On the behalf of myself and Phange, thank you Insomniac for the truly amazing night.