Category: PREviews / REviews

Bursting the EDM Bubble: A Review of CRSSD Festival

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life
Brian Feinzimer
(photo by Brian Feinzimer)

A few months back when the first phase of the line-up was announced for CRSSD Festival, I immediately knew it was exactly what we Southern California music festival junkies needed in our lives. A break from the generically expected line-up, big-room drops, unnecessary confetti blasts and DJ’s that only actual words are “put your hands up in the air.” I have to agree with Lorde when I say that I’m kind of over getting told to put my hands up in the air, so there.

Taking place over 2 days on waterfront property in beautiful downtown San Diego last weekend, the inaugural edition of CRSSD festival turned out to be everything I already had in mind and so much more. With bayside views, dreamy sunsets and city backdrops, the festival landscape was a picture perfect scene that would have made even any seasoned world traveler jealous with envy. Throw in the mix of live performances, on point music, and beaming good vibes throughout the entirety of the weekend, and you’ve got festival utopia in the heart of downtown.

Day 1 of CRSSD began on Saturday with a speedy entrance and straight to the mainstage dedicated to live performances aka “Ocean View Live” stage for my first time seeing Goldroom live. After a few failed attempts to see Goldroom in LA that just never worked out for one reason or another, I was beyond thrilled to finally see Josh Legg and the band do what they do best. Performing their signature sound of mellow and easygoing tracks such as “Embrace” and “Fifteen”, Goldroom was easily the ideal performance for a spring breeze blowing on an oceanside sunny afternoon.

Damian Lazarus and the Ancient moons took the stage next with black and gold robe getups that fit perfectly with the techy, cosmic sound inducing a dance coma on every single body in the audience. As I glanced around, I noticed one girl having the time of her life wearing a shirt that read ‘music is the answer.’ I made it a point to give her a high five, because how can you not salute someone so in love with music and life, right?

After grabbing a beer from one of the many craft beer vendor tents, I made my way to the Palms Stage for a dose of tropical house with rising star in the scene, Thomas Jack. The Palms shade structure was a much needed break from the relentless sun of the past few hours, and fittingly adorned with shaded umbrella decorations. The sun slowly set in hues of lavender and soft pink over the ocean horizon as the atmosphere turned from day to night and the venue seemed to be at full capacity.

Closing out Saturday back at the Ocean Live stage was Empire of the Sun in an eclectic performance fully equipped with per usual over the top production, glitzy costumes and supporting back up dancers. Passing passenger planes landing into San Diego airport seemed almost a little too close for comfort while making an interesting backdrop for one of my favorite performances of the weekend. At one point I remember hearing others around me asking each other “ what is happening right now?”, and began asking myself the same thing as the show was so visually stunning that it was difficult for the mind to grasp what lay before it.

(photo by Oliver Walker)

Day 2 of the weekend festivities seemed to flow in a more relaxed state, it was Sunday after all and the lazy afternoon feel was teeming throughout the grounds. Learning my lesson from the day before, I opted to beat the heat this time around and not enter the festival until around four o’clock when I knew the California sun would soon be taking it easy on us festival revellers.

The performances of Day 2 were saturated in deep and funky house and techno, and the vibes were fitting just right bringing on a whole new meaning to Sunday Funday. The Bixel Boys and Viceroy b2b opened with a rendition of Janet Jackson’s classic “Together Again” which turned out to be an unexpectedly fun crowd pleaser. Classic hits and groovy oldies were dropped for the next hour during the b2b, setting the tone right for the night at The Palms.

Soon after Jamie Jones and Seth Troxler hit the decks for their much anticipated B2B. Call me crazy, but I wasn’t mind blown as I had expected to be. The pair went for a darker and more textured sound than I’m used to hearing. Although I don’t believe the set was fitting for an outdoor daytime festival, it did make for a great set to watch as the sun set and the night stars began to twinkle.

For yet another and the last B2B of Day 2, Maceo Plex and Shal Ocin took over the City Steps stage closing out the weekend in a head bopping fury. Deep and contrasting sounds reverberated through the speakers, and as far deep as I could see, not one body in the crowd was still. The energy was so infectious, leaving all within its reach no choice but to move and groove. As the party ended and we slowly trailed to the exits, I overheard a few say that it was the set of the weekend, and with this statement I would have to agree :)

It’s truly inspiring to see a brand new type of festival sell out in it’s first year without any so called “headliner’ booked, and I full heartedly believe CRSSD festival is the revival the dance music scene in Southern California so desperately needed. If this is the needle that will burst the predicted “2015 EDM bubble”, count me in for the ride. The scene is changing, slowly but surely. Together we’ll get there, one CRSSD event at a time.
brian(photo by Brian Feinzimer)
brian2(photo by Brian Feinzimer)

Splash House Returns to Palm Springs June 13-14 & August 8-9


Splash House announces its return to the desert June 13-14 and August 8-9 for another outrageous summer of poolside vibes and world-class music. Splash House will return to the Saguaro Hotel and Hacienda Beach Club, and for the first time take-over the expanded and remodeled Palm Springs Hilton.

Over the past three years, those in the know have flocked to this SoCal destination festival that has managed to retain its sense of community and summer-camp vibe, even as it adds to its ever-growing crew of discerning pool party devotees.

Blending poolside fashion, community and music, Splash House has presented artists ranging from Moby, Cut Copy and Chromeo to Anna Lunoe and Poolside through Eats Everything and Claude VonStroke. The festival has also served as a Southern California spring board for the likes of Flume, Kaytranada, Gorgon City and Kygo among others, giving attendees the chance to catch upcoming artists and established stars in intimate and unique environments.

Purchase Tickets and Packages Now!!!

“A notably suaver addition to the normal summer EDM fan-fare”

-LA Times

“Splash House promised a lineup of finely curated DJs, with pools instead of campgrounds, lounging instead traipsing…And, boy, did it deliver.”


“The Best Pools To Cool Off In This Summer” -Refinery 29

Guests must be 21+. Pre Sale tickets start at $95. Travel Packages are available for the Palm Springs Hilton and The Saguaro starting at $170 per person; all packages include weekend tickets and a two or three night hotel room stay.

Highlight video from Splash House 2014:



Suggested Listening: Simon Shackleton’s One Playa Sunrise at Nutz Camp, Burning Man (Aug 14)

A 6 hour set that is definitely worth listening to… and then replaying. What do you think? Leave us a comment below.

“These sets at the Nutz camp have grown organically in the 5 years I have been doing them for, and have been the catalyst for a sea change in my own personal musical appreciation. They’ve shown and encouraged me to dig deep into electronic music, looking for a spiritual dimension … they have stretched me mentally and physically, and in doing so I see myself leaving my past behind in all it’s forms.

They have also encouraged and enthused me to produce music under my real name (Simon Shackleton), to launch the Stereophoenix label which is now my primary recording outlet, and to launch and develop The One Series, a vehicle for further long sets such as these.

Burning Man is pure, raw, inspiration. Each year is very different and you get the Burn you need rather than the Burn you want. This year was my personal favourite of the 6 I’ve been to … it was beautiful, intimate, inspiring, passionate, flawless … and as my heart & soul moves further away from the EDM-heavy festival stages of the night time, I feel more engaged than ever before with this music, and more importantly this incredible sense of community that Burning Man engenders.

The Nutz epitomise everything I <3 about the Burn. Roll on 2015. xoxo”Simon Shackleton via soundcloud

Live Electronic Hip-Hop Duo SKYMATIC Release “Wayfaring Stranger” Remix

Today melodic electronic duo Skymatic of Atlanta officially released their remix of Ed Sheeran’s “Wayfaring Stranger.” It’s the first of 6 remixes the live electronic duo will be releasing as an EP over the coming months.

A fresh and unexpected take on a traditional folk song, Skymatic’s remix of “Wayfaring Stranger” features vocal samples from Ed Sheeran’s version of the song with the duo’s signature production style and original violin. The remix is available for streaming and free downloading on

Since Skymatic began touring nationally in April 2014, the duo has quickly gained a following with their captivating performances featuring live violin, guitar and synth/piano. Skymatic will be celebrating the new release with an appearance at the Bluebird Theater in Denver on March 12, 2015.

About Skymatic:

Skymatic is a melodic electronic hip hop duo that performs with live violin, guitar and synth/piano. It’s made up of producer/guitarist Phil Ross and violinist Hannah Wilder. Based in Atlanta, the duo has been touring nationally (coast-to-coast) for a year playing with acts including Adventure Club, Figure, Minnesota, ill.Gates, Floozies, EOTO, Phutureprimitive, NitGrit, Wick-It and several others.

Join the Unite Movement Takeover at the Hard Rock SD Rooftop Friday March 13th

UNITE MOVEMENT and SHIPFAM have joined forces to bring festival weekend warriors a special event at the world famous Hard Rock Hotel SD on Friday March 13th. Enjoy picturesque views of the San Diego skyline atop the Hard Rock’s rooftop venue Float, in the heart of the bustling downtown Gaslamp District.


Rob Garza

[Thievery Corporation]


Jeneration Y & Shipfam

Hidden Relics – Timmy Deep

Tylr Mchl – Souljah – 530

+ Special surprise guests!

Purchase Tickets



UNITE is a global electronic music festival bringing together music and philanthropy. We celebrate global connectedness, the beauty of diversity, and the pure positivity of electronic music. Our events will bring awareness and raise money for social causes and sustainability initiatives. Music is the universal tool of expression. It is a common language understood by all to celebrate our differences, drive awareness, and foster change. Just as different beats harmonize to create beautiful music, we will come together and create a global rhythm to make the world a better place! Join us on this very special Friday the 13th as we embark together on the journey to UNITE.


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Gem & Jam – You Are The Experience

*written by Lizzie Moore for Electronica Life
Nestled in the heart of Tucson, AZ, Gem & Jam music and art festival celebrated its ninth annual year during the Tucson gem show.  The buzz had been alive for weeks prior to the festival, with attendees across the southwest becoming increasingly more excited as it drew near. With every passing landmark the suspense grew: the lineup came out and people were stoked, the after party schedule was posted and tickets disappeared fast, and soon enough all conversations somehow ended up being about Gem & Jam. This was my second year attending the gathering, but my first opportunity to stay the entire weekend and experience all three days.

The festival is on the smaller side but definitely has a magical way of never becoming repetitive. There are two stages at Gem & Jam on either end of the small venue, vendors lining the outside edges, and countless art installations and live creations happening throughout the middle. When entering at the front of the venue, you are instantly faced with the first of hundreds of live paintings happening within. Walking through Gem & Jam feels like reading one of those “choose your own adventure” books as you wander around deciding what to do next in awe of everything happening around you. A playground of sensatory pleasure, the festival grounds offer a breeding ground for creativity and connection.
Typically going into a festival as an observer I have no idea what to expect and my experience ends up far surpassing my preconceptions.  I thought I knew what Gem & Jam was going to be like this year because I had attended before, but I couldn’t have been more mistaken. The first day of Gem & Jam was like reconnecting with a close friend that I hadn’t seen in a year. I walked around and noticed what vendors had been added and what artists would be painting over the course of the weekend. Boulder, CO, trio Sunsquabi started my night with a funky electronic vibe that put me in one of those moods where you feel on top of the world. Andreilien and Vibesquad kept the energy high and I ended my night splitting my time between a highly anticipated Papadosio performance and Pumpkin, one of my favorites. All too soon, the first night of Gem & Jam was over and I realized how much of a exhilarating and entertaining weekend I was in for.

Saturday night had the highest number of attendees and some of the largest performers of the weekend. Russ Liquid hit the crowd early followed by Thriftworks, Random Rab, Michael Menert Trio, and Emancipator Ensemble. I happily spent most of the night glued to the mainstage as each headliner took the stage, set the vibe, and infused the crowd with a unique tailored energy. I looked around and saw countless beautiful people enjoying themselves and sharing the space provided respectfully and enthusiastically. When I think about the second night of Gem & Jam I think about the love I witnessed. This truly was a place where you realized how much the person standing next to you meant to you. For me, it was a night I was able to experience a childlike happiness and allow myself to let down walls and feel emotions I hadn’t felt in a long time like forgiveness, selflessness, and a sense of empowerment.
All of the sudden it was Sunday. I couldn’t believe that it was already the last day of the festival. I took this day to really pay attention to the small details and look at some of the art I had missed earlier in the weekend. I was in awe of how much talent surrounded me as I walked from booth to booth, artist to artist. It was my first time seeing both Kaminanda and Little People, followed by San Francisco native (and one of my new favorites) Giraffage, with The New Mastersounds’ impressive visuals paired with their big funk and jazz sound bringing the main stage to a close. Last but not least, we caught local favorite Spafford on the smaller stage. Spafford has been the soundtrack to some of my favorite memories, and I quickly got lost in their magical jam band trance. With the end of their set came the somber realization that Gem & Jam was over.

Gem & Jam truly moved me this year. It brought me to realizations about the strength of this community we have built through the connection of music and art. The beauty of Gem & Jam isn’t that it was something to be experienced; but rather that you and everyone around you make up the experience. At Gem & Jam you ARE the art, the people around you ARE the art, and every interaction or connection with another human IS the art. At Gem & Jam we are given a space to play, beginning a journey of self-expression and forming a beautiful synchronized process in which everything is accounted for and provided for one another. Everyone is equal and playing their part to create the overall experience. We are one large pulsating gathering of energy that translates as each person’s individual experience. You are a part of a whole, a significant piece of something that creates a uninhibited and unique space for those few hours.
The most unique aspect of Gem & Jam is the community that it attracts and cultivates. Everyone who attends is present in the moment to love and spend time connecting with one another. Like Michael Menert said during his set, I felt empowered by the amount of energy circulating through the venue. I’ve never been to a festival that made me feel so comfortable and so at home. Everything about the weekend was a creation.  Everywhere I turned, people were making music, creating visuals, dancing, interacting with each other, loving each other. I can honestly say that this weekend was such a healing experience for me, I left feeling like I had opened parts of myself that had previously been suppressed.

For those of you that have never heard of Gem & Jam, I sincerely hope that it comes across your festival radar next year. You deserve it. You don’t simply attend Gem & Jam, you feel Gem & Jam in your soul.

Connect with Gem & Jam: Facebook | Website

Beyond Wonderland 2015 Southern California – Interview w/ Unity Travel About Their Accommodation Packages

We recently caught up with Josh from Unity Travel about their accommodation packages for the Beyond Wonderland event happening March 20th & 21st in So Cal. Check out the video interview below and be sure to use discount code “ELBEYOND5” if you want to book a room or shuttle via their services.


All you need is LOVE at City Hearts LA

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life
It’s only once in a very rare blue moon that I may come across an electronic music event that has the power to leave me literally speechless and questioning what I’ve been doing with my life as of late to have not already attended such a mind-blowing occasion. It’s been an entire week of living in the post event afterglow and although I’ve tried numerous times since, I’m only now able to find the words to describe the magic that took place this particular night.

What type of event could possibly have this numbing effect in this day and age of overhyped and dramatized “EDM” you may be wondering? Behold the magnificence of City Hearts LA.

Hosted by the festival family behind the fastest growing Southern California festival Desert Hearts, the 2nd annual City Hearts LA sold out and serendipitously took place on the same night as Valentine’s day.

Occurring on none other than the one day of the year dedicated to love, the vibe throughout the night can only be described as nothing short of pure LOVE. It’s still unknown to me as to exactly what it was about the night that completely enthralled me, but I do know that thanks to this mysterious subject, I was enveloped in an abyss of bliss until the wee hours of the morning. From the very moment I walked in, I felt the warm and loving energy that exuded from every dazzling soul that filled the dance floor from wall to wall. Art displays adorned the walls of the venue as live artists painted the night away and crafty vendors exhibited their most beloved pieces with everything from handmade jewelry to luminous crystals.

Fire dancers graced the only stage during portions of the night as Desert Hearts Founders and DJs Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Marbs, Porkchop and Deep Jesus along with Resident DJ Tara Brooks took City Hearts attendees on a 10 hour journey of lessons in the Desert Hearts teachings of “House, Techno and Love.” The non-stop music was deep and soulful all night long, while almost being too good to be true that I found myself dumbfounded at some moments looking around just to check if everyone around me was having the same experience, or if I had somehow unknowingly teleported to a youtopian land of enchantment. Sure enough they were, as every single person I saw was passionately grooving to a deep beat in unison until sunrise. We were much more than just a crowd on a dance floor that night, but instead a community bursting with positivity, love and light vibing off each others radiant energy creating magic through the self-expression of music.

In the current state of electronic dance music in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, there are a plethora of events to choose from on any given night of the week. It’s truly refreshing to see an underground movement based in the theories of love,music, art and community gain so much momentum that it dominated even the Hollywood scene on a Saturday night. If City Hearts is an indication of anything besides the love vibes that are created when like-minded individuals gather together, it’s a clear indication that Desert Hearts have made their presence known and valued in the Southern California scene. Mikey Lion and the Desert Hearts Family are here…and they’re here to stay for years to come. Until next time, we are all Desert Hearts <3

For more info on Desert Hearts festival on March 27th-30th, visit:

Photo credit to wobsarazzi

Ravealation is Taking the Vegas EDM Scene by Storm

**RVLTN One-year anniversary with Bro Safari, Snails, and Kayzo**

Ravealation is a Las Vegas based company that has a passion for EDM and the community it brings. Their goal is not just to have shows with the “big-names” but also have emerging artists on the line-up. Three friends, Chris Kelley, Marcel Correa, and Daniel Jones, started these events back in March 2013 at Aria’s Gold Lounge, which led to more events in the club and downtown Las Vegas scene.  However they wanted to expand out of the typical 21-and-over Vegas’s experience.

On December 27th, 2013 they broke ground (and ear drums) at their first 18-and-over show at the Hard Rock Café.  With Crizzly as the headliner and legendary street team promoting the show, they sold out, and at that point they knew they had something. They have had eight more 18-and-over shows since then, and every single one has sold out.

They have been killing it by bringing artists to Vegas such as Crizzly, Brillz, Mercer, Jauz, and most recently Zomboy  (Not your typical Vegas DJs eh?).  They are supported by a talented line-up of local resident acts such as Bombmakers, Halfway House, Martin Jane, and Wyldsyde. Since the start of the company here in Vegas they have used venues such as the Gold Lounge, Insert Coins, Hard Rock Café, and most recently Brooklyn Bowl.  Their fans can’t get enough and have been there all along the way.

They have come a long way since the beginning when it was just the three friends with a wild plan. The Ravealation team now commands multi-thousand person crowds on a regular basis.  After having such success here in Sin City, they are now thinking about expanding to other areas such as Reno, and they give credit of their success to the loyal fans that keep supporting them. Which brings us to our next point…


**Mercer, BARE, and Jauz event at the Hard Rock Café**

TONIGHT RVLTN is doing it again!  This time with a Hard Dance event, Apocalypto, and they are taking it back to the Hard Rock Café on the Las Vegas Strip where it started. Get ready for an epic night with sets by The Pitcher, Lady Faith, and Darksiderz, as well as supporting acts by Happi, Jack Spaidz, Kinekt, and System Malfunction.

This venue is perfect for a Hard Dance show. Just imagine the bass hitting so hard you can feel it vibrating your body, and the lights all in your face. And don’t worry because it goes from 8 p.m.- 3 a.m., so you can dance all night.

For anyone who has been before you know how awesome these events are, and this one shouldn’t be any different. Make sure you don’t miss out on this sure to be unforgettable night.

Lucent Dossier Experience: Unleash Your Legend – Los Angeles on Feb 21 and San Francisco on Feb 28

Electro-circus troupe Lucent Dossier Experience announces a dramatic new show, Unleash Your Legend, which opens at Club Nokia in Los Angeles on February 21, 2015, followed by The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on February 28, 2015.

In Los Angeles, Lucent Dossier will be supported by bass-heavy DJs MartyParty, Dirtwire and Nico Luminous on the main stage. Mikey Lion, Marbs and Deep Jesus of Desert Hearts will take over the upstairs stage with their deep house. San Francisco opening acts will be announced soon.

Lucent Dossier heads in a powerful new direction with Unleash Your Legend. This new show is inspired by the troupe’s recent Cotton Club-style production for The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, which exhibited a strong urban and street feel. With the addition of new members, Lucent Dossier’s troupe configuration now features incredible Los Angeles battle dancers that incorporate a multitude of dance styles: crunking, breaking, voguing, bone-breaking, hip-hop and parkour. In total, the 70-minute spectacle showcases 16 performers, plus Lucent Dossier’s trademark innovative choreography, fire, aerials, acrobatics and contortion. Unleash Your Legend delivers all the madness and beauty of Lucent Dossier in one truly unique and amazing new performance.

Music also takes a new turn in Unleash Your Legend, merging the deep bass that Lucent Dossier is known for with new influences pulling from deep house, hip-hop, jungle, techno and melodies inspired by world music. The two shows will celebrate the release of Lucent Dossier’s forthcoming album Light of the World, which drops February 21.

Lucent’s ultimate goal of creating transformational experiences through theatrical art continues with Unleash Your Legend. As founder Dream Rockwell explains, “Unleash Your Legend is about recognizing that our greatest challenge here on Earth is to get our legend out into the world as purely as we can. When we achieve that goal, our very core rings with energy and love, because we are fulfilled. We hope to inspire our audiences to unleash their legend, no matter what age, no matter what background, because we have all come here with something important and fun to share.”

Purchase Tickets Here

Watch the video teaser to get a taste for Lucent Dossier

About Lucent Dossier Experience

As ambassadors to a creative revolution, this world-renowned act seeks to redefine the live experience by tearing down walls which separate artists and observers. Lucent Dossier Experience shows embody a futuristic turn towards high-art, with the overarching goal of creating transformative experiences for their audiences. Their shows craft a window into a new vision of humanity where other-worldly conceptions can be realized. LA Weekly describes their performances as “a world that doesn’t exist, a place where the future and past happen simultaneously.” Throughout their 10-year rise from the LA underground to international limelight, Lucent Dossier’s journey has been forged by the creative genius of Dream Rockwell, a visionary within both transformational art events and avant-garde performance communities alike.

Los Angeles: Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015

Location: Club Nokia

800 West Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Doors: 8:00 PM

Show: 9:00 PM

*All Ages

Event Page

San Francisco: Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015

Location: The Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94109

Doors: 8:00 PM

Show: 9:00 PM

*All Ages

Event Page

Connect with Lucent Dossier Experience: Website | Facebook

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