CRSSD Fest! It's back. For the third time in less than a year, electronic music fans will gather at San Diego's Waterfront Park for an EDM blowout featuring some of beat-making's biggest names. Here are five of your best choices this weekend:
German/Tunisian DJ and producer Loco Dice (aka Yassine Ben Achour) is an institution. And last year, the notorious mix master finally delivered a follow-up to his stunning 2008 debut. More than worth the wait, "Underground Sound Suicide" is a stunner, running the gamut from high-energy club bangers and retro rave-ups to minimal cinematic turns and heavy doses of hypnotic house. Typically one to press the pedal to the proverbial metal, it'll be interesting to see just how much of the album makes it into his set.
I can only hope that synth-loving, Bay Area composer Tycho (aka Scott Hansen) plays during the sunset slot on Sunday. Not only does the visual artist/musician perform live with a solid band backing him, Hansen's chilled-out grooves are the perfect soundtrack to spill over Waterfront Park as the sun disappears into the Pacific. He also just released a remix album of his 2014 LP, "Awake," and promises a record of new material before year-end.
When: noon to 11 p.m. Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday
Where: Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway, downtown
Tickets: $80 Sunday; $180 two-day pass; single-day Saturday tickets are sold out. Must be 21 or older to attend.
Once Imogen Heap's keyboard player, UK producer Jon Hopkins has toured with Coldplay and contributed to the score of a
film. But it's his solo excursions that are most compelling - and none more than his 2013 Mercury Prize-nominated album, "Immunity." Epic in scope and intricately assembled, the hourlong LP is filled with glitches, sonic swells, quiet moments and solid grooves, but never gets lost along the way. If Hopkins' set is even half as compelling, it'll be in the running for the best of the weekend.
Since his awesomely fractured cover of Blackstreet's "No Diggity" in 2011, Australian songwriter Nick Murphy (aka Chet Faker) has been one of the hottest names in electro-soul. And given the dusky and diverse selection of songs on his first few releases, he comes by it honestly. Even 2013's three-song collaboration with fellow Aussie Flume happily straddles the fence between the electro and organic worlds. But last year's "Work" EP with British DJ Marcus Marr hints at Murphy's willingness to let the beats get bigger. Let's hope that trend is also carrying over into his live set.
Hot Since 82
House. House. House. And then, when you think you've had enough, even more house. It's the head nod-inducing goodness all chemically enhanced minds crave and there aren't many that can keep the beat going like Hot Since 82 (aka Daley Padley). There's a good reason the Leeds-based DJ and producer is a fixture at festivals across the globe and he's sure to bring fire to the City Steps stage this weekend.
Scott McDonald is a writer, on-air personality and consultant with 15 years of experience in the San Diego music scene.