Festivals

MDA Alumni Taking the Stage at EDC Las Vegas 2018

BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

With Modern Disco Ambassadors celebrating its 10th anniversary in August, it is only natural for us to take a look back at the artists who have taken the stage for MDA over the years. Many of these artists were on the rise when they played an MDA show and some are now international superstars.


With Insomniac’s EDC Las Vegas 2018 in just a few days, we want to highlight the MDA alumni who have played at La Cave and will be taking the stage in Sin City. Without further adieu, here they are in no particular order.

Detlef

Detlef played at La Cave on March 14th, 2018 and it was easily one of the craziest nights of the year so far. This weekend he will be playing a couple of sets kicking off with his 8:00pm-9:10pm set at Neon Garden, hosted by Factory 93, on Saturday night. Later that night he will be going back to back with not just Gorgon City but Green Velvet as well. All three will close out Neon Garden together from 4:30am-5:30am on the same night.

Fantom Freq

Josh Miranda AKA Fantom Freq is currently a resident DJ with Modern Disco Ambassadors and has releases on labels such as 3000 Bass, House of Hustle, OKNF Collective, and Up Club Records. Fantom Freq played at Bass Cave on April 19th and will be going back to back with Eric Mark on Monday morning from 3:00am-4:00am. He will also be supporting BOT at La Cave on June 20th so don’t miss it!

Josh Billings

Josh Billings is a living legend in the Orange County house music scene having founded Focus OC which has been going strong since 2003. Josh is no stranger to La Cave having taken over on October 15th of 2014 with Nonfiction and Wobs of the Focus crew supporting. This Saturday  he will be serving top shelf house music on the Boombox Art Car from 10:00pm-11:00pm.

Morelia

Morelia played as his bass music alter ego, Mannequin, at Bass Cave on May 10th, 2018 and is supporting Wongo on May 16th, 2018 for MDA Wednesdays. His wonky and sub heavy brand of house music has found homes on Box of Cats, My Techno Weighs a Ton, and Perfect Driver. He will be going closing the night on Friday with a back to back set with Sang Froyd from 4:30am-5:30am.

Nonfiction

As part of the original Focus OC crew, Nonfiction has played alongside some of the top names in house music over the years. Most recently, he opened for Doorly and Felix Da Housecat on Tuesday nights at Focus. He headlined on October 4th of 2017 at La Cave and supported Josh Billings in 2015, as previously mentioned. This Sunday night, he will be taking control of the Boombox Art Car from 1:00am-2:00am.

Sinden B2B LO’99

With Sinden and LO’99 releasing the stellar 2-track Burner EP on Tchami’s Confession label, it’s only natural that promoters around the world would consider booking them together. Insomniac did just this as the two will be joining forces with some back to back action from 9:00pm-10:15pm at Stereo Bloom. Sinden played on September 20th, 2017 at La Cave and LO’99 played on January 10th, 2017, and they were both packed nights.

Speaker Honey B2B Roswell

MDA’s own Kirsty Parker AKA Speaker Honey and Kevin Mullen AKA Roswell are leaders in the growing house music scene in Las Vegas. Their commitment to growing the community has earned them support from Insomniac and a back to back set on the Boombox Art Car to kick of EDC at 7:00pm on Friday.

Sage Armstrong

Sage Armstrong’s unique brand of underground beats coupled with his original vocals have been making waves ever since he burst onto the scene in 2015 with What’s Yo Temptcha? on Dirtybird Records. Sage played on April 5th, 2017 at La Cave and recently played at Focus OC. Those who will be under the electric sky this weekend can catch him on Saturday night from 8:00pm-9:15pm at Stereo Bloom.

Thomas Garcia

Thomas Garcia supported Nonfiction at La Cave on October 4th of last year and will be playing the Wide Awake Art Car on Saturday at 7:00pm. He has releases on Deep Sounds, Nite Records, and House of Hustle, to name a few. I recently saw him close out the night at the House of Hustle takeover at Que Sera in Long Beach, CA where he had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

Volac

The boys from Volac have been some of my favorite artists over the past couple of years. Their Volacast mix series curates some of the best underground house music around the world. They have become mainstays on Night Bass with their amazing originals and remixes. They can be found on the decks at Stereo Bloom on Sunday morning from 3:30am-4:30am.

Wongo

Box of Cats label boss, Wongo, is also playing at StereoBloom on Saturday morning from 3:15am-4:15am and headlined at La Cave on May 16th, 2018. He has remixed Beyoncé in the past and has collaborated with the likes of Sinden, Jace Mek, and Billy Kenny. He is known to have a penchant for taking off his clothes during his set, and I would say it’s pretty likely with Vegas being hot even at night. With Box of Cats being supported by DJs around the world, Wongo is definitely on track to do some big things.

Wood Holly

Wood Holly has been a constant figure in the west coast house music scene over the last few years. His steady stream of remixes, bootlegs, and originals keep his sets fresh and exciting, you never know what he’ll throw in! Ass Out, his collaboration with Sage Armstrong, was one of the most popular Dirtybird tracks of 2015. He played in 2012 at La Cave and will be playing on the Boombox Art Car on Friday night from 1:00am-2:00am.

Blackgummy


The mysterious Blackgummy played at La Cave for his Mesophase Tour on February 28th, 2018 and will be closing the night Circuit Grounds on Sunday from 4:15am-5:30am. With personal training from deadmau5 and Steve Duda, he’s sure to impress.

Bijou


Bijou has been releasing a slew of tracks on labels like Night Bass, Fool’s Gold, and Prep School Recordings over the years which has earned him the support of the world’s top DJs. He’ll be lighting up the dancefloor with his unique brand of G House at Stereo Bloom from 9:15pm-10:30pm on Saturday night.

Born Dirty


Born Dirty burst on the scene with a vengeance with songs being released on Dirtybird, featured on BBC Radio 1, and even used in Apple commercials. He destroyed the dancefloor at La Cave on December 6th, 2017 and is sure to do the same thing at Cosmic Meadow on Sunday from 7:00pm-8:00pm.

Bones


Bones is a fixture in the electronic dance music community as the founder of Gotta Dance Dirty and as a part of Night Bass Records with AC Slater. He is set to play the Corona Electric Beach from 10:00pm-12:00am on Friday. If you went to HARD Fest last summer then you probably know how much fun Corona Electric Beach can be!

Dateless

Dateless’s sound knows no bounds as he has released tracks on Snatch!, Confession, and Toolroom to name a few. His versatility has earned him spots on mainstages as well as underground venues around the world. He will be landing at Corona Electric Beach on Friday night from 2:00am-3:00am.

ETC!ETC!

With productions ranging from moombahton to trap to electro house and everything in between, ETC!ETC! Has proven himself as a very versatile artist. It’s been a big year so far as he joined Valentino Khan on Bro Safari’s Pretty Good Tour, and he will be taking over the Wench Art Car on Friday night from 2:00am-3:00am.

Mister Blaqk


Mister Blaqk supported Wongo alongside Morelia on May 16th, 2018 and will be kicking off EDC at Stereo Bloom on Friday from 7:00pm-8:00pm. The Los Angeles based DJ has been crafting infectious mixes over the years which has caught the eye of Insomniac.

Missy B

Missy B has been making waves in the Orange County electronic dance music scene as one of Disneyland’s resident DJs and as an opening DJ at the legendary House of Blues. On November 2nd, 2016, she supported Eli & Fur at La Cave and will be taking over the Boombox Art Car on Sunday from 9:00pm-10:00pm.

Shiba San

With roots in the French hip-hop scene, Shiba San’s unique take on G House has been taking the world by storm ever since Dirtybird released Okay in 2014. He has since started his own label, Basement Leak, so he is sure to curate a set filled with amazing music. He will be getting some mainstage action in at Cosmic Meadow on Sunday from 9:00pm-10:00pm.

As you can see, some star power has made its way through La Cave over the last decade. If you’ll be attending EDC this weekend, be sure to check some of them out!

I can’t wait to share what we have in store for you in the coming months.

Until next time Ambassadors.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

Coachella Artists You Might Not Know Now, But You Will Regret Missing

5 Lesser Known Artists to See at Coachella in 2018

BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

With Coachella kicking off today, I felt obligated to post something about the legendary festival. I’m sure we all know at least a little bit about The Weeknd, Beyoncé, Eminem, Odesza, Kygo, and many of the other headliners, but what about the artists near the bottom of the lineup? In no particular order, here are my top 5 artists to check out at Coachella in 2018:

Peggy Gou

Berlin-based Peggy Gou has been turning heads ever since she first came on the scene. Her unique blend of house and techno is intoxicating as shown on her track, It Makes You Forget (Itgehane). In an interview with Dummy Mag in early 2016 Peggy stated, “I would like to be the first Korean female DJ that plays in Berghain.” Well she accomplished that goal by playing there in June 2016. Having played popular house and techno festival, CRSSD, in San Diego last spring, she will be playing at Coachella this year. If her Radio 1 Essential Mix is any indication, she is sure to impress.

Elohim

Translating to “God” in Hebrew, Elohim first came onto the scene with her 2015 single, Xanax, and she released her Elohim EP the following year. Her mysterious performances has been gaining a cult following over the years, and she is poised to tear up the stage at Coachella this year. She is based in Los Angeles and has collaborated with Louis the Child on Love is Alive, and even toured with Alison Wonderland in 2017.

KITTENS

Our third lady on this list is Lauren Abidini, AKA KITTENS. She is a product of the underground music scene in Los Angeles and it shows in her original productions such as Cute and Nasty. As she progressed through the scene, KITTENS noticed the lack of a significant feminine presence in DJing. Since then she has made it her mission to empower women in the DJing community by partnering with Serato and Scratch DJ Academy to host female-only DJ workshops. Having worked with Kid Cudi, Hoodboi, and Usher, the 20-something year old will be taking the stage at Coachella and it is sure to be pure insanity!
 

Detroit Love

Detroit Love is the brainchild of three legendary DJs: Carl Craig, Kyle Hall, and Moodymann. In years past, J.E.S.u.S (Jackmaster, Eats Everything, Skream, and Seth Troxler) and The Bellville Three (Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson) have taken the stage at Coachella, so the festival is no stranger to DJ supergroups. The group first started at ADE 2014 when Carl Craig invited Moodymann to join him on stage for a dynamic house and techno set. You won’t want to miss their performance in the Yuma Tent this year. You never know when and if you’ll be able to see this trio again!

Slow Magic

Having remained anonymous since first coming on the scene in 2011, Slow Magic is certainly one of the biggest mysteries in electronic music today. He wears probably the most interesting mask I’ve ever seen an artist wear on stage but still be able to perform. In several interviews, he has stated that the purpose of the mask is so that people focus on the music and nothing else. It’s definitely easy to get lost in his dreamlike blend of sounds as displayed on his album, How to Run Away. He has toured with Odesza in the past, and will be making his first appearance at Coachella this year. He released his Away EP today in celebration of his performance!

Shout Out: Flatbush Zombies

If you like hip hop, you absolutely should not miss Flatbush Zombies. The trio is comprised of Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick Arc Elliott and grew up in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. The group has close ties with the ASAP Mob who is just a short ways away in Harlem, New York. Erick Arc Elliott takes on the producing duties for the group, but sometimes helps out Meech and Zombie Juice with the vocals. Erick’s episode of Record Roulette is definitely worth checking out. Riding off the release of the AMAZING new album, Vacation in Hell, Flatbush Zombies is sure to work the crowd into a frenzy at Coachella.

Well there you have it, my artist picks for Coachella 2018! If you are going to Coachella, first off I’m super jealous as I will not be there this year… But if you see any of these artists, please comment on this post or reach out to me at djmoosetrax@gmail.com and let me know what you thought!

Until next time Ambassadors.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

YOUtopia 2017

YOUtopia 2017

Space Camp

EXPERIENCE BY JARIN LOVE

From its hand-crafted car, stage and structure art, to its costume-adorned throngs, to its earth-shaking sets… YOUtopia stood its ground this year as the most sought after regional Burner event in Southern California.

Arriving on Saturday, day three of the four day festival, parking and entry were easy.  I was immediately greeted with warmth, hospitality and an undeniably welcoming spirit. Having attended countless events over the years, I can say enthusiastically that YOUtopia’s vibe greets you at the door. Almost like some virtual hug sending you off like a mother waving her child into to the first day of school. Backpack, food, gear in tote.

While casually waiting at the shuttle stop, a YOUtopia Waldo member provided me with not only my location, camp information, and volunteer awareness resources, but even better… infectiously pleasant company. Shuttles loaded to full capacity kept passing us by and even though I was open to walking, I knew Space was a solid hour-plus hike with gear. Just as I was preparing to step off, a veteran DJ and YOUtopia headliner introduced himself as he was exiting the event and asked if I needed assistance. Before I could blink, he flagged down a golf cart, said farewell, and off I went.

Stephanie, the sweet soul who golf-carted my ass to the farthest camp away, Space Command, couldn’t have set the tone any better. The culture of the event was instantly apparent; we stopped every 50 feet to hug friends, chat with volunteers… it truly felt like a family. Even though I was new to the community, I never felt like an outsider. I was welcomed with open arms. Stephanie was a true light, setting a shining example for others to emulate. She stopped to help everyone, whether for a lift, a water or just to have a real, heartfelt conversation. Our ride together was one of the highlights of my YOUtopia experience. Thank you for showing the way, angel.

Landing at Space Command is a feeling that’s hard to forget. A sensation so new, yet so close to home. Overwhelming and inviting at the same time. Like stepping into another dimension.

Eric Anderson, one of Space’s founders, said, “YOUtopia is a place of individualization through participation.  Individually, you must participate to get the full experience. 2016 is when I got my first taste and that is all I needed, its absolutely addictive.”

I had a few hours before my set that night with DeepAura, so I did what any rational person would do in a place like this: went exploring. As I made my way around a few of the stages, one thing quickly struck me: DJ’s seemed to play with more creativity and originality than what you tend to see at a typical house venue, or even other festivals. Rare music was everywhere. And it was good. Really good.

Unconstrained by the restrictions applied by some of the bigger venues and promoters, artists were free to truly express themselves. This created something so different, so special—it was in the air. Something vibrant, ethereal. Contagious. Felt by everyone there. And it didn’t stop at the stages. It swirled throughout the festival, peaking its crafty little head at you around every corner: live art exhibitions, body painting, art cars, art bars, tents, lounges, costumes and skin. A true journey for the senses.

But YOUtopia really came alive once the sun went down. The music shifted gears and the place set fire. Became tribal. Got louder.

Space Command’s founders, Eric Anderson, and Josh and Heather Scott, invited DeepAura to take the Saturday evening performances, and I had the pleasure of opening. It was an honor to represent my esteemed colleagues at DeepAura and set the mood for the evening (listen to my full set: HERE)

Micheal Veigh, Space Command’s operations chief and right-hand man, had this to say about DeepAura’s performance:

"But then when the DeepAura crew took over the night at 10 p.m., something amazing happened. The subtlety and beauty of the music was overwhelming. A 'great party' turned into spiritual experience. When Crescendoll got into her set at midnight, I stood behind her on stage, and watched dozens of people of both sexes cry tears of joy as they danced. The music and the moment was THAT beautiful. That was a unicorn. That moment was the reason I became a DJ in the first place, and that’s what I’ve been hoping for at the parties I’ve promoted and attended. You can’t force, fake, predict or manufacture those moments. They just happen.”

A moment in time, in a world full of uncertainty and turmoil, a place where people can put aside their differences and remember that we are all truly one family sharing this cosmic gift of a planet we call home… it’s a pretty special thing. Maybe we need it. Maybe it serves as a reminder of why we’re still here, in spite of ourselves. Solidarity and compassion are not just important for human evolution, they are vital to our very survival as a species. To our future. To our children’s future. They are what makes us human. To YOUtopia and my new friends at Space, you embody this. Thank you. You have my heart.

Relive our sacred moment at La Cave in Orange County on November 29 as DeepAura and Space Camp reunite once again for MDA Wednesdays. More details can be found on the FB event page.

I was able to catch up with Holliday, founder of DeepAura Music and Eric Anderson, founder of Space Command and asked them about their upcoming show with MDA.

“DeepAura has had some incredible memories every time we've been booked with our MDA family. MDA is truly special in OC, as they really do support the local artists and also bring all sides of the musical spectrum together. 11/29 is furthermore going to be special, we're revisiting the fun energies from YOUtopia, two members from each DeepAura & SPACE will be uniting in the musical travels of the night! It's going to be a cosmic experience of the underground sounds and gatherings vibes, balanced in motion for the night!” - Holliday, DeepAura
“MDA and playing La Cave is a DJ bucket list for me.  I love what MDA does for the scene, I'm truly honored to be able to play in the Rave Cave with our closest collaborators DeepAura. 11/29/17 will be a night to love and cherish.” - Eric Anderson, Space

 

Check out photos from our friends HERE and HERE.

RENEGADE STAGES AND UNEXPECTED SETS AT DIRTY BIRD CAMPOUT 2017

Experience by Kirsty Parker (Speaker Honey)

Scheduled Fun at Dirty Bird Campout

On October 6, campgrounds on the South Shore of Lake Antonio transformed from scenic wilderness to Dirty Bird Campout 2017. Thousands of festival-goers flooded into the park to enjoy three full days of camping and music hosted by the legendary Dirty Bird Records. 

Guests show us as early as Thursday morning to get their fill on nonstop music and good vibes. The festival centered around a stacked lineup, which included two main stages with top notch sound systems. Scheduled artists included Kill Frenzy, Will Clarke, Claude Vonstroke, Lux Groove, Walker & Royce, Justin Martin, Shiba San, Sacha Robotti, Amtrac, Mija, Christian Martin, Madam X, the Desert Hearts crew, and more, many of whom have also graced stages at MDA events. 

From Friday through Sunday, around 60 DJs were scheduled between the Birdhouse stage, which was the main stage, and the Bass Lodge. In between sets, guests had the opportunity of reliving favorite summertime camp activities such as archery, tug-of-war, kickball, water balloon toss, in addition to face painting, tie-dye and totem crafting. With a variety of food vendors and plenty of bars to explore, Dirty Bird went above and beyond to create a jam-packed schedule of fun. 

Life Changing Events & Festival Magic

Many festival-heads can attest that what makes the experience so magical, isn't just catching sets that you have mapped out well in advance, it is the serendipitous moments that we stumble upon and the coincidences that are too good to be true. Whether you wander down the wrong path, end up the wrong stage, or lose your friends, you find yourself in a complete submersion of the unknown - yet in the end, everything falls into place. It's the moment you turn around and are greeted by your next best friend, or stumble upon a stage and end up dancing the night away to unfamiliar artists. Here, the festival schematic holds space for a conductive and expansive experience - and one that leaves you with a sense of awe that you carry with you back into the "Real World."

Renegade Stages

At Dirty Bird Campout, the unplanned and unexpected was facilitated by the presence of countless renegade stage setups. For those that are unfamiliar with the concept, renegade stages are sound systems and DJ booths that are not organized by the main festival. These stages are personal setups, brought in by groups of people yearning to keep the party going after hours and away from the main action, on their own accord. Renegade stages offer DJ opportunities to artists that are not on the actual festival lineup. DJs are given the chance to throw down some tunes in a high-profile setting. This year, renegade stages ranged from computer speakers with aux cable hookups to heavy duty monitors complete with subs and CDJs.

The Drift Stage

One Bay Area-based group, The Space Cowboys, had an impressive setup called Drift. The Drift stage was strategically positioned along the trail that led to the main festival entrance. The level of professional craftsmanship and sound quality was ja dropping. At first glance, Drift could easily be mistaken for a third Dirty Bird stage - but it wasn't on the map, there were no advertised lineups, and the managing stage crew had no direct support from the Dirty Bird production team. 

Unplanned Sets

My crew discovered the Drift stage at around 2 a.m. on Friday night. We set out to catch Christian Martin's set at Bass Lodge, however as we were making our way through the campground, we heard a loud noise off in the distance. As we wandered towards the sound, we discovered an impressive sea themed stage tucked into the hillside. Drift was decked out with state-of-the-art lighting and coupled with the remarkable sound that was booking through the stacked speakers. We had to figure out what it was all about. Walking up to the stage, I was greeted by a welcoming crew. I casually asked about the lineup and if there happened to be any openings. To my surprise, they affirmed that there were open slots and if I wanted to DJ, I might be in luck! With my USBs in my pocket, I took up their offer and suddenly found myself on the decks, selecting my first track! 

It was a dream come true - not only did I get to hear my favorite tracks on the best sound system that I have ever played on - the dance floor went off. I was facilitating a legitimate festival-level crowd which included totems, light shows, and shuffle circles. After an hour-long set by yours truly, a talented DJ from Vancouver named Sheen Sayer walked up and asked to play. So Sheen and I went back-to-back, along with my friend and MDA DJ, Roswell for almost two hours. Just when we thought things couldn't get any better, Christian Martin walked up with his USB to join us on stage.

Dirty Bird Artists at Drift

Coming from his scheduled set at Bass Lodge, Dirty Bird's Christian Martin was ready to keep the vibe going! And he wasn't alone - Dirty Bird Records' Weiss showed up as well to go back-to-back with Christian. The famous duo spun tracks for 90 minutes, which was followed by a solo sunrise set from Christian Martin. Saturday night continued in the same manner. Dirty Bird's J. Phlip made an appearance and played for about two hours.

Thank You!

Dirty Bird Campout 2017 was a weekend to remember! Festivals like this one have grown to become a major force in music culture. The presence of renegade stages provides a unique element to help harness the unknown and create memories that go beyond the traditional scheduled activities. I want to thank Dirty Bird Records and all of the attendees for facilitating a magical weekend. Thank you Space Cowboys for making dreams come true. If you want a chance to experience the amazing sound of Drift be sure to stop by Love Boat festival in the Bay Area on Halloween weekend.

Your's Truly,

Speaker Honey