Concert Review – CRSSD Festival 2016

DJ Ziv and fellow KSPC volunteer Zach had the opportunity to attend CRSSD Music Festival in San Diego. Read on to experience the festival through their eyes. DJ Ziv’s show Phantasmagoric Combinatronics is on Wednesdays 4-6pm, only at KSPC.

On March 5 and 6, many of the greatest names in the current electronic scene joined forces at CRSSD Music Festival in San Diego. KSPC was kind enough to provide me and fellow electro-head Zach Miller the opportunity to do some field research.

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The famous long-but-not-too-long drive from Claremont was smooth and filled with music to grease our ears in preparation for the weekend. Zach did an excellent job cleaning the windows on our steed the Prius, as is shown in Figure 1. We arrived at our crash pad of the evening, the college dorm of one Markus Yee, a math prodigy doing great work at UCSD. Seeing the vital, scholastic hub that is UCSD was a nice precursor for things to come, as it acclimated Zach and I to the culture and mindset of the world’s largest beach town. After a quick deposit of our gear at Markus’s waterfront dorm, we set off on our Uber towards the magic.

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The scene is to be expected at any large 21+ EDM festival in Southern California. Rave costumes, frat boys, bohemians, old school drum ‘n bass folks, tax attorneys, grandmas and valley girls. Everyone had a $10 beer in their left hand and selfie-stick in their right. The venue embedded around the photogenic San Diego Country Administration Building, built in classic Mission revival design.

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Seeing Ryan Hemsworth melt faces as a sun sets over the waterfront was quite a sensual experience. Sounds and colors and people fade into a euphonic kaleidoscope. After the set, we ate the deliciously overpriced concert dinner and watched Tiga from afar with his eclectic Garage house and percussive rhythms. We were preparing our dancing muscles and minds for the headliner of the night: Odesza. When they come screaming on at 9:30, the entire festival went nuts. Having spearheaded the Indietronica movement in the pacific northwest that has trinkled south and become the one of the defining sounds of a modern Southern California, this show felt very natural and organic. Everyone knew the music and knew the vibe. After the show, we followed the mindless wave of people flowing out of the venue, going wherever. Everyone was so relaxed and in such a good mood after the show that it didn’t even seem to matter. After exploring a couple of the famous bars and clubs in the Gaslamp district, we piled in our Lyft back to the same cocoon of UCSD.

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Sunday morning involved a relaxing tour of the one and only Geisel library, named after Doctor Seuss. The building inherits both the playfulness and the aesthetic exoticism of its namesake.

After that, we gorged ourselves on glorious Korean BBQ. Tongue and steak and chicken and prime rib, all dripping with flavor and culture. Feeling sufficiently gorged, we drove to the venue and strolled on the boardwalk, admiring the weird ecosystem that the San Diego bay forms. We finally rode into the venue around 4, just in time to hear the sweet serenade of Hi-Lo as we dipped on feet in the fountain. Tycho was next, a brilliant new artist situated between chillwave and electrogaze. His sounds were technically interesting, relaxing and consistent with the acoustic vibes of the day, especially his guitar playing. If you want a pictorial representation of the festival as a whole, all you have to do is look at the album art of Tycho’s Dive. Gorgon City was next, with their poppy hooks and deep protozoan bass lines. They have a new take on UK garage that integrates the melodies of chillwave and I would highly recommend them to anyone who hasn’t heard them yet. Then of course Chet Faker closed everything out with an audacious show only he could pull off. A happy mix of old and new tunes, the show reminded me why Chet Faker is so big right now. He was the ribbon that tied the package of the weekend: the last puzzle piece of a Southern California musical aesthetic that has been in the works for 4 years.

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A long-but-not-too-long drive after was good for decompression and reflection on the eclectic tunes of the weekend. It was fun to see SoCal roll up and present itself as one of the hottest electro regions in the west. Stay tuned next year, as I imagine CRSSD just growing and evolving into something even more magnificent.

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