Dancing Astronaut’s Soundtrack to Splash House 2016AV5 IMG 6106

Dancing Astronaut’s Soundtrack to Splash House 2016

Dancing Astronaut's Soundtrack to Splash House 2016

Splash House has cemented its appeal as one of Southern California’s newest best-loved traditions, bookending the summer festival season with June and August editions in the pools of Palm Springs. The lineups, which seem to ramp up in quality and diverse appeal with each event, span the house spectrum from tropical to tech. With three stages across two days and two nights of stacked after-hours performances, enthusiasm for the biannual poolside affair shows no sign of slowing down.

Attendees of the August edition defied triple-digit temperatures and came out in full force for the end-of-summer event. To encapsulate the ebullient musical experience created by Splash House’s eighth edition, we’ve created a Soundtrack to Splash House 2016, highlighting some of the biggest and most unique tracks from the festival.

Photo courtesy of Anastasia Velicescu

Gorgon City - All Four Walls feat. Vaults

English garage duo Gorgon City have rapidly transformed from underground darlings to a group commanding headlining slots in the four years since their first release in 2012. The producer pair, who had previously performed at the festival’s after-hours in August 2014, had the honor of closing out Splash House on Sunday evening this time around.

While energy was at a weekend high throughout their entire set, thanks in part to the setting sun and ensuing temperature drop, the Splash House crowd went off when the London-based artists dropped their recent original release “All Four Walls.” Groovy garage rhythms and Vaults’ warm vocal provided an apt conclusion to a delightfully raucous weekend.

Photo Credit: Jesse Fulton

Justin Martin & Ardalan - Mr. Spock

Australian house producer Dom Dolla is a name to remember. Though he’s less well-known stateside than in his home country (for now), his crowd-friendly bass-centric sets, which call on unique (think 2009 Afrojack) selections from other producers in addition to his own music, are sure to change that perception sooner rather than later.

The irreverent Dirtybird crew was physically missing from Splash House this go-around, but Dom Dolla made sure that they were represented in spirit. After playing out his remix of Benny Benassi’s classic tune “Satisfaction,” Dom Dolla mixed in the inimitable operatic intro to Justin Martin & Ardalan’s 2010 collaboration “Mr. Spock.” The crowd response was expectedly ground-shaking.

Photo Credit: Quinn Tucket

Aeroplane & Purple Disco Machine - Sambal

Splash House attendees who were expecting the supergroup Metroplane may have initially been disappointed that Alex Metric encountered visa issues and unexpectedly cancelled his performance. Belgian producer Aeroplane was up for the solo challenge, and more than compensated for the unexpected turn of events with a delectable nu-disco performance on Saturday afternoon.

Aeroplane is known for his inventive remix stylings, but one of the most memorable tracks of his set was “Sambal,” his collaboration with German producer Purple Disco Machine. The spicy slice of percussive deep house, aided by steel drums and smooth rhythmic breaks, was a catalyst for a tangible change in the poolside atmosphere.

Photo Credit: Anastasia Velicescu

GRiZ - Before I Go

Dance music loves its prodigies, and Jeffrey Melvin, also known as Melvv, is the latest arrival to the table of rising talents. The rising University of Wisconsin sophomore has amassed a solid Soundcloud following from his pop-friendly flips and original earworms.

At Splash House as one of Saturday’s earlier acts, Melvv proved his DJ chops are up to snuff as well during one of his first festival plays. Reading the room (pool), Melvv crisscrossed genres and incorporated influences from Alison Wonderland and Flume to Louis the Child and Oh Wonder. His set took a funky turn with GRiZ’s “Before I Go,” a recent release from the Detroit producer featuring vocalist Leo Napier and of course his signature saxophone.

Photo Credit: Anastasia Velicescu

Point Point - All This

French producer trio Point Point made their Splash House debut less than six months after joining the US touring circuit, but their stateside following has been growing steadily due to original releases and the continuation of their acclaimed Filet Mignon compilation series. Their Saturday evening performance was a stylish showcase of French house, and a display of the collective’s acumen as DJs and selectors as well as producers.

Point Point’s Splash House set was a slickly cool affair, featuring selections like “All This” and a deconstructed rework of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights.” Stuttered synths and chopped vocals provided a glitchy respite from the tropical-tinged beats that dominated the rest of the weekend.

Photo Credit: Jesse Fulton

Get Real - Mind Yo Bizness

Detroit-based house maestro MK took over the decks to close out the stage at the Saguaro on Splash House Day 1. The veteran producer’s set was full of homages to his own career influences, but one of the highlights was a nod to his fellow house contemporaries Get Real.

Get Real, the supergroup of Green Velvet and Claude VonStroke, has a somewhat limited catalogue at this point. Nevertheless, “Mind Yo Bizness,” one of two tracks off of the project’s debut Get Real EP, packs an instant punch with its chunky bassline and cheeky vocal samples.

Photo Credit: Jesse Fulton

RÜFÜS - Desert Night

In terms of playtime across the weekend, RÜFÜS DU SOL was the inarguable leader among all artists. Even though the band only performed Friday night at After Hours, hits like “Innerbloom” and “Say A Prayer For Me” were ubiquitous during daytime sets of all genres.

For their own set, the Australian trio dug deep in the crate, emerging with selections from early in their career like the 2012 release “Desert Night.” Against the dramatic backdrop of Palm Springs’ Air Museum, the live instrumentation and elegant production of the performance set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

Photo Credit: Anastasia Velicescu

SNBRN - California feat. Kaleena Zanders

LA-based producer SNBRN is a Splash House veteran, and for good reason: his self-described brand of ‘sunset’ house is perfectly suited to a poolside setting. His Sunday evening set at the festival’s signature Saguaro Hotel venue was full to bursting of tropical and deep house cuts, including his hit original tracks “Raindrops” and “Gangsta Walk” featuring previously unreleased vocals from the late Nate Dogg.

SNBRN’s August set included a remix of Tupac and Dr. Dre’s “California Love” with Kaleena Zanders providing sultry vocals in the stead of the original hook. The sun-drenched rework of the classic California anthem provided a fitting backdrop for the festival’s final hours.

Photo Credit: Anastasia Velicescu

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