Splash House 2016: One wet and wild weekend

Splash House 2016 - Weekend 2Photos by Anastasia Velicescu, Jesse Fulton, Jose Negrete & Quinn Tucket for Goldenvoice // Written by Jansen Granflor //

Splash House //
The Saguaro & The Riviera – Palm Springs, CA
August 12th-14th, 2016 //

Now in its third year and hosting its fifth overall event, Splash House combines the pools of The Saguaro and The Riviera for two weekends each summer. We drove from Orange County to Palm Springs last weekend to watch it all go down at the festival’s second edition in 2016.

There were also official after parties on Friday and Saturday night at the Palm Springs Air Museum, which trade pools and bare skin for shorts and shoes with laces for an intimate “dancing under the stars” experience. We spoke with festivalgoers as far north as the Bay Area, as far south as San Diego and as far east as Arizona who all made the journey for two days and three nights of excruciating heat, refreshing pools and unquestionably one of the most talented lineups of underground electronic artists.


Splash House 2016 - Weekend 2

Our weekend began at the Palm Springs Air Museum last Friday night with the weather just below 100 degrees and the excitement building for Australian alternative dance group RÜFÜS DU SOL, who performed at the Santa Monica Pier (read our review of the show here) the night before. It was also the only “live band” set we caught all weekend. A constant breeze provided a comfortable atmosphere we would not experience again until the following evening, as DJ duo Hotel Garuda played warmed up the crowd with remixes of “Ultraviolence” by Lana Del Rey and “Begging for Thread” by Banks, before the night culminated with the Sydney group doling out a number of hits, including “Like An Animal” & “Say a Prayer for Me”. However, for those who used Uber to get to the party, the night inevitably ended on a sour note (see what we mean below).

Splash House 2016 - Weekend 2 - Uber surge charge

Turning to Saturday, festivalgoers slowly trickled into the Saguaro’s pool area before 3 p.m., and two hours later, the place was jam-packed and it was close to being a fire hazard an hour later. Unofficial Splash House resident DJ Viceroy treated those present to the same poolside, “summertime-all-the-time” tunes he normally plays, although one could argue they worked better at Splash House than anywhere else in the world. From there, UK “hypnodance” duo Psychemagik kept the vibe going and transitioned into their remix/rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”, which proved to be the first of numerous iconic moments that could be attributed to an oldie-but-goodie.

We subsequently made the trek to The Riviera, which had a much larger capacity and created a raw atmosphere with a soundtrack that featured EDM-infused trap, dubstep and hip-hop through the late afternoon and early evening. If the Saguaro was supposed to be the fest’s underground house music stage, The Riviera was the main stage with thumping, big-room bass, as the artists performed right beside the deep end (go figure) of The Riviera’s massive, expansive pool .

Scottish producer extraordinaire Hudson Mohawke had the ratchets grinding to “Pony” by Ginuwine at the end of his sundown set (just another iconic moment of the weekend set to a timeless masterpiece), while British duo Snakehips gave the party new life with a remix of The Weeknd’s “Wanderlust” early on in their headlining slot. Right before 9 p.m., Snakehips played their smash hit “All My Friends” feat. Tinashe and Chance the Rapper, which was a bit of life-imitating art considering the song is about wasting another night with all your friends by getting, well, wasted of course, which was clearly what the crowd at The Riviera had been up to all night.

Splash House 2016 - Weekend 2

Saturday night’s action at the Palm Springs Air Museum featured music from two very busy deep-house artists — Germany’s Claptone and North London’s Chris Lake — playing for what felt like a much smaller audience than the previous night. The 100-degree heat at midnight could have been a significant factor, or it could have simply been the lineup, as one overseer for the venue told us how she loved RÜFÜS DU SOL the night before but could care less about the “techno” that was blaring in the background. As the evening progressed, Lake inevitably dropped his deep-house remix of Calvin Harris’ “How Deep is Your Love”, an absolute banger and an anthem for a sub-genre that has withstood the EDM boom-and-bust over the last few years. As the hottest Saturday in recent memory finally came to an end, Claptone closed with a flawless set that included his Beatport-topping remixes of “Liquid Spirit” by Gregory Porter and “Omen” by Disclosure featuring Sam Smith before finishing with his original track “No Eyes” that foreshadowed a night of much-needed sleep.

On Sunday at The Saguaro’s pool, French record label Partyfine’s funk ambassador Jean Tonique made his appearance, with London’s Marcus Marr following in what ultimately became my personal favorite set of the weekend. Marr brought the funk early and then worked in some dark bass lines before ending with an extended piano-intro version of Prince’s 1979 single “I Wanna Be Your Lover”, which had 99.98 percent of the crowd thoroughly enjoying the last few hours that were left of Splash House.

Over at The Riviera, an absolutely bonkers DJ roster of DFA Records’ The Juan Maclean, LA hometown heroes DJ Dodger Stadium (aka DJDS, who recently worked on Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo), up-and-coming DJ/producer Jesse Rose (who has blessed the LA underground scene throughout 2016), Australian remix champ Cassian (who was a last-minute sub for a sick Chris Malinchak) and festival headliner Gorgon City (who has seemingly played every continent in the world this past year) all took the stage at one point.

Splash House 2016 - Weekend 2

The dedicated partygoers at The Riviera’s pool on Sunday night were not ready to stop when the music was cut off shortly after 9 p.m., which might have been why a $10 impromptu after party was announced by Splash House’s promoters earlier in the day. Coincidentally enough, Sabastion, one-half of LA-based DJ duo Strange Club, told me late on Friday night, “I don’t do the day parties, just the (night parties at the Air Museum) and house parties in the area.” In a way then, it was only fitting that an artist whom Splash House handpicked was the last to hit the decks when it was all said and done.

We also ventured over to “All Day Disco” at The Riviera’s Tiki Pool on Sunday afternoon to catch Alex Harrington, a local DJ who moved to the Coachella Valley area 11 years ago after living in Northern California and was recently recognized as the “Best Club DJ” by Coachella Valley Weekly. Since relocating to the desert, Harrington has seen Splash House grow from a “one-weekend, regionally-known event to a festival that reaches people around the world,” and mentioned that artists are allowed to play whatever style suits them, so he made sure to keep reading the people in the pool to figure out what would keep them moving.

Harrington ended our interview with his own personal hopes that events like Splash House could raise the profile of the area and attract bigger artists in the future, and considering the festival sold out at 5,000 guests per day, all of whom lodged, ate, drank and partied in Palm Springs, we wouldn’t expect anything less than a bigger and better edition in 2017.

Cut Copy ring in New Year with no spare of ‘lights and music’

Cut CopyPhotos by Bridget Stagnitto & Jenn Wong // Written by Molly Kish //

Cut Copy with The Juan Maclean, St. Pepsi, Eli Glad //
Mezzanine – San Francisco
December 31st, 2014 //

Unquestionably one of the easiest decisions made all year and further confirmed by the sold-out crowd in attendance last Wednesday night, Cut Copy headlining the Mezzanine for New Year’s Eve was pretty much a no-brainer.

Riding off an amazing year touring behind their fourth album Free Your Mind, the foursome arrived in the states ready to rage well into the earliest hours of 2015. The club was primed for the electrifying headliners with opening DJ sets from St. Pepsi and Eli Glad that was accompanied by a Russian Standard Vodka bar.

Leading into Cut Copy’s late-night slot, DFA Records brought the heat with a disco-infused DJ set from The Juan Maclean. Stationed side stage, MacLean got up close and personal with the rowdy crowd, playing hits off his 2014 critically-acclaimed release In a Dream to go along with deeper cuts and house favorites from his previous three albums on the iconic label. In a near-seamless transition, Maclean kept the crowd moving while Cut Copy’s road crew fine-tuned the sound and light equipment occupying the center stage. Inching toward the final minutes of 2014, the crowd, although anxious, remained enveloped in the pulsating nu-disco pumping through the venue’s veins.

Cut Copy

With about 10 minutes left before the official countdown, Cut Copy exploded from a sea of light into the opening notes of “We Are Explorers”, igniting the crowd into a full-volume singalong and dance party. What at first seemed like a late start to their headlining set ended up timing out perfectly as an extended jam closed to usher in the New Year. Amidst their fully-immersive light show and a barrage of rainbow-colored balloons, couples kissed and friends embraced to fan favorite “Take Me Over”, which blended continuously into a euphoric rendition of “Free Your Mind,” causing the sold-out venue to collectively lose their own. The evening’s performance pulled from Cut Copy’s entire discography, pleasing what unquestionably was an audience filled with longtime fans who got to share an extremely special moment with the band and each other.

The band rocked its set well into the early-evening hours before leaving it for Deep Into the Night, which featured DJ performances from Cut Copy and Phantogram. While they didn’t promise new material during their set, Cut Copy has been cutting their producer chops after releasing their Melbourne dance music compilation, entitled Oceans Apart, in November. Highlighting the best and brightest in local acts from Down Under, Cut Copy have been keeping their ear to the ground and their fans attentive, opening up a world of possibilities for potential upcoming tour dates and collaborations.

If anything can be learned from this past year’s Disclosure-curated “Wild Life Series”, Cut Copy may have some creative plans for the future. After the incredible performance they put on to celebrate the annual bacchanal that is NYE, one can only hope that they’ll be back stateside sooner rather than later in 2015.

Cut Copy

Cut Copy

Cut Copy

Cut Copy

Cut Copy

Cut Copy

Cut Copy

Cut Copy

Kick off your weekend early with the House of Mezzanine launch party!

House_of_Mezzanine_post

Enter to win a pair of free tickets to this show below.
Click here to buy tickets if you know you want to go!

Mezzanine Presents HOUSE OF MEZZANINE //
Museum of Love featuring Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem) and Dennis McNany (The Juan Maclean), with Curses, Eug, Richie Panic, Kevin Meenan //
Mezzanine — San Francisco
February 20th, 2014 (Thursday) //

San Francisco’s premiere live music venue, known for bringing some of the most innovative and ground breaking names within the electronic and dance music community, debuts their brand new monthly showcase House of Mezzanine this Thursday night! To kick off the HOM series, Mezzanine proudly presents the SF unveiling of DFA legends Pat Mahoney and Dennis McNany’s brand new musical venture, Museum of Love. Supported by a packed bill of talent including New York’s own Gotham House enigma Curses and guest DJ sets by EUG, Richie Panic and DJ Kevin Meenan, this is going to be one hell of a housewarming!

Museum-of-Love

Renowned musicians in their own right, having risen to individual fame through two separate DFA super groups LCD Soundsystem and The Juan Maclean, the Museum of Love duo of Pat Mahoney and Dennis McNany are an audible force to be reckoned with. Combining pristine electro-pop production with both members’ penchants for funky baselines and disco-house beats, Museum of Love features an amalgamation of two of the top tastemakers in the electronic industry’s palates in musical matrimony. Slated to drop their debut album this upcoming April, the pair released lead single “Down South” in October of 2013 to a highly anticipatory fan base and critical acclaim. Enthusiastic for their West Coast debut, Museum of Love will be taking over the Mezzanine Thursday night with an infectious groove, “fixing to blow some doors completely off.”

After a five-year hiatus from his original debut on Istibubes in 2008, East Coast native and “goth-house” godfather Curses revives his unique flow as a supporting agent in this stellar DJ lineup. Attributing his resurrection on the decks to the evocation of his creative spirit during after-hours parties in Brooklyn, Curses decided it was due time to get back on the scene in 2013. After chalking up some studio time while working on several new tracks, Curses debuted a brand new single at last year’s Miami Winter Conference which took off via Radio 1 airplay shortly thereafter and landed him an opening slot on Tensnake’s full North American Tour. Pulling from his repertoire of both original tracks and remixes, Curses’ set will be the perfect segue into his east coast counterparts headlining time slot, warming up the crowd with his provocative nu-industrial dance tracks and ominous vibe.



Other highlights of this stacked bill include guest DJ sets by local staples EUG, Richie Panic and resident DJ on the “Lady Mezzanine” turntables, Kevin Meenan! Offering an eclectic sample of up and coming Bay Area talent from electronic outlets FACE, Lights Down Low and Epicsauce, House of Mezzanine’s launch party covers the latest and greatest of both coastline’s, bringing to you the best in ground breaking dance music, nationwide. There is no better way to start your weekend off early than dancing into the final hours of February 20th, with this line up of electronic elite.

For your chance to partake in the inaugural evening of San Francisco’s hottest new monthly dance party, register to win a pair of tickets below.


Win-2-Tickets

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Contest ends Thursday, February 20th at Noon. Winners will be picked at random & notified by email. Your email will be kept private – we will share your email with no one. 21+ only.

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