RECAP: HARD “DAY OF THE DEAD” 2013
With Electric Daisy Carnival shunned from the city of Los Angeles, it’s been up to HARD presents to fill the shoes of the entertainment giant. The Gary Richards-founded company has certainly stepped up to the role with increasingly expanded events both in scope and in production. We did the work of partying for you this Halloween season at HARD’s Day of the Dead, you know, to make sure the people behind the production were on their toes. We’re happy to report that it was a rousing success, albeit dusty.
Our highlights included sets by Justin Martin and Amine Edge & Dance at the Underground stage. The smallest HARD stage – it was set alongside the railroad tracks and made for a surreal setting surrounded by trees and the occasional train passing by. Justin Martin brought a low-end heavy set that was incredibly bouncy and included a mind-boggling 15-minute medley of what I can only call “booty music” set to synced visuals which would shift and move in time with the beat. Amazing. Amine Edge & Dance, however, was the best surprise of the weekend. I had read about their pioneering of the “gangsta house” (or “G-house” sound) and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What we experienced was an incredibly bass-heavy journey through all our favorite hip-hop and rap sounds set to the rhythm of 4-on-the-floor house with expansive bass. We also saw Maya Jane Coles at this Underground stage but unfortunately felt that her hour and 15 minutes was simply not enough for her to truly play to her potential.
Over at the Red Bull Music Academy Discotheque, we admired the lineup of musicians (many from Europe) who we might not otherwise get a chance to see. In particular, we enjoyed grooving to The Magician’s disco-driven set as he dropped his famed remix of Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers” and a spectacular throwback, Technotronic’s “Pump up the Jam.” This tent, with it’s line up of legends like Masters at Work and dubstep-turned-disco lover Skream, was clearly the place to go for dance-lovers. There was no fist-pump raging here, but instead a crowd of housers and people vibing to sounds of pure house. It was definitely a refreshing tent considering the saturation of so-called “progressive house” sets seen at festivals thrown by Insomniac (who, to their credit though, have been upping their techno repertoire with stages like Richie Hawtin’s ENTER). Masters at Work really impressed with a hard-hitting set which left us torn between them and Eric Prydz‘ techno alterego, Cirez D.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t give the main HARD and HARDER stages some love too. Over on the mainstage, Boyz Noise ripped it up with his unique brand of techno and electro (and we later saw him at the EXLA-hosted HARD afterparty whipping the crowd into a frenzy). HARD founder Gary Richards also brought one of our favorite mainstage sets playing as Destructo, who, contrary to his dubstep-sounding name, actually plays techno. Over at the HARDER stage, Nadastrom surprised us by playing an incredibly diverse set with everything from trap to drum’n’bass and moombahton. We also enjoyed Kastle at this stage, who brought the “sexy” out in full force. Of course, the boys Henry Krinkle, Ryan Hemsworth and Cyril Hahn also brought the babymakin’ feeling into their HARD sets with their signature mix of R&B-laced tunes, including Bondax’s ‘Gold’ (though we can’t remember if it was the OG or Snakehips’ bootleg.)
For more photos from HARD Day of the Dead, head on over to our Facebook and get tag-happy. Also keep a lookout on our blog for our upcoming interview post with UK duo, Dusky.