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5 artists not to miss at CRSSD Fest

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5 acts not to miss at CRSSD

San Diego’s CRSSD Festival has become one of the California’s most intriguing electronic music destinations. The biannual brainchild of FNGRS CRSSD and Goldenvoice, which has graced Waterfront Park every March and October since spring 2015, consistently manages to draw the most celebrated artists from the techno, house, and future bass scenes. This year, CRSSD boasts high-profile acts such as Flume, Duke Dumont, and 2ManyDJs on its titillating bill. However, there are a number of impeccable acts beyond the headliners that festival attendees won’t want to miss.

Here are 5 such artists that we highly recommend making a point to see at the fifth edition of CRSSD.

Words by Will McCarthy, featured image by Jacob Lifschultz.

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5. HVOB

It’s easy to see why HVOB are quickly gaining steam in the US. The Austrian pair of Anna Müller and Paul Wallner fuse enthralling production and instrumentation with Müller’s haunting vocals to great reception. HVOB recently received praise for their dazzling 2016 Burning Man set and their January release, “The Blame Game.” The latter, a collaboration with Mumford and Sons’ Winston Marshall, melds sedate instrumentation and vocals ( à la The xx) with apoplectic synthesis to achieve a uniquely powerful result. Undoubtedly, HVOB are among the most compelling acts of the festival’s main stage lineup.

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4. Âme

Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann are among the most respected acts in the current techno climate. As Âme, the two DJs are regular contributors to Dixon’s Innervisions label and esteemed tastemakers behind the hallowed decks of Berghain’s Panorama Bar. Âme garnered major traction after purveying a debonair, but daunting dual Essential Mix with Dixon in 2016, which welcomed the duo into a higher echelon of influencers. Though Beyer and Wiedemann are perennially touring, their US appearances are intermittent, so the chance to catch Âme stateside should not be taken for granted.

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3. Rødhåd

Those who have trouble pronouncing Gesaffelstein’s name will be intimidated upon seeing Rødhåd in print, but shouldn’t be deterred from catching the German luminary onstage. The Dystopian Records label-head crafts techno as complex as his moniker, but his music’s impact is straightforward. Rødhåd’s sonic brand is typified by eerie, brooding synthesis and fast-paced, quaking percussion, as heard in his original productions and numerous high-profile mixes. In 2016, a formidable Essential Mix debut and a broadly-lauded Âme b2b at DGTL Barcelona proved Rødhåd’s keen talent for building viscerally evocative, but intellectually intriguing sets.

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2. Recondite

To curate an Essential Mix of entirely one’s own music is a bold move which requires an artist to have an extensive catalogue of engrossing releases and astute mixing capabilities. Recondite tackled this feat to great acclaim in November of 2016 and has rightfully earned his status as one of the world’s most sought-after techno DJs. The German bellwether solidified his reputation for delivering dark, eldritch music in the past year with originals like “Warg” and “Phalanx” and remixes such as his ominous take on Rolan Appel’s “Apollo.” CRSSD attendees are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to catch one of Recondite’s heralded live sets, which we highly recommend not be squandered.

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1. Midland

If there’s ever been a time to check “See Midland” off the bucket list, it’s now. The British DJ has yet to become a household name stateside, but that’s soon about to change. Following an eclectically spellbinding Essential Mix debut in February 2016, Midland’s effort was crowned as the Essential Mix of the Year, against heavy contenders including Recondite and Dixon X Âme. The most skillful DJs are artful storytellers behind the decks, and Midland crafts a sonic narrative that few peers can match.