When preparing for an outing into the great outdoors, one should know that the amount of fun they’ll have is in direct correlation to the level of comfort one maintains while raging in the woods. This boils down to overall preparedness and the ability to maintain a shaded, dry and well fed home camp. You also need whats needed to keep one going for the duration, with a lil’ sum extra to get
one home safe on what is often quite a long drive back to real life. Being a recreational outdoorsman, and avid recreational drug user, I make every effort to ensure the ability of my camp to withstand anything that Mother Nature may throw our way. In fact, it can make the experience that much more enjoyable when the unexpected storm starts shitting slushy hail and blowing rain sideways and you’ve got dry underpants, a stomach full of warm food, strong whiskey and a head full of strong acid. Such was the case for me and the rest of the Northern Californian bass community members that found themselves in the mountains of Calavaras county for the first fest of the year, during one of the last snow storms. I can say, with no doubt, the organizing crews had the same intention; to keep things running smoothly come hell or high water, but despite their best efforts, by the time night two came around the Main Stage’s mixing board got wet and resulted in the cancellation of more than half of the acts, including my own.
During the unplanned silence I recall being extremely boggled, albeit extremely high, that it came down to the lack of a few pallets to keep the subs off the muddy ground and a few extra tarps that prevented the ultimate extreme experience of RAGING IN A SNOW STORM. We could have been slipping and sliding to the DnB slaughterations of J Rabbit, or the inevitable impromptu snowball fight at 4am when SPL, followed by Bokator, would fuel the frosty riot. I recall feeling disappointed when it dawned on me the damage was irreparable and I would not get to play my set the following day, yet most of all I recall feeling bad for the crews that put a yearlong effort into something that was foiled by a predicted and preventable act of God. The production crews had very limited resources, and only one instead of 3 days to prepare, as expected due to double booking of the campground. The way in which the scope and size of this year’s fest tripled that of last year’s is quite impressive, and I give all the organizers a shit ton of credit, and know that there is no doubt they are just going to go even harder and bigger next year with something to prove. To their credit, hindsight is always 20/20. How-the-fox-ever, not wanting to dwell further on the negatives, I am happy to say that the true Ragers were there on the remaining soggy days to keep it moving into the festival season renegade style and make it well known that it was going to take way more than a little snow and mud to stop our party in the mountains.
After a week of finals, a 9 hour drive, and 30+ hours without sleep, we arrived at the campground to be surrounded by smiling faces, mostly familiar, some unknown, but all happy. I was excited to delve into a weekend of endless bass, the lineup scheduled all night with a mere 3 hours to allow for the components to cool. However, the fatigue of the stresses I have been through were catching up quick. The night proceeded to stray from me and the reality of catching Nasty Nasty and Ill Gates was beginning to fade like the traces of most moving objects in my view. Drifting amongst fellow Festees, I found it hard to immediately respond to greetings without stuttering like a babbling retard, and found myself fading closer to head-nodding and further from footwork. I felt I was most fucked from straight tiredness rather than the modest amount of drugs I ingested, and before I knew it, I was in the back of my truck sleeping off the long week of Adderol-induced library marathons and countless hours of knob twisting and re-sampling, in preparation for my hardware set. Word is the two heavyweight headliners tore it down, and I was damn disappointed in my body’s need to sleep.
Saturday, we wake to some mimosas and bacon and a healthy dose to start the day off right and get some good coverage. The first act we caught was the Genie, who couldn’t have been playing more appropriate psychedelic multigenre’d tuneez. With an electric guitar laying flat on his lap, using his bare feet to twist and slap his dual effects pedals and KP1 sample looper, he played along to an iPod. This freestyle attack left many blips and pauses in the flow, but these jerky and fox trotted riddims were sounding so good to me, it was impossible to leave, and we danced and smoked blunts as he switched from mainly midtempo’d bassizms to the occasional DnB break down and dubstep whomp session. With a bit of meandering, it was on to the “cove stage” to catch our homie Foobz, fake mustache equipped, slay some proppa pop club dubs, throwing it back with “Mr. Postman” by Cragga. Before this, we caught a bonus introduction to My Pet Monster, who played some seriously gutterific metal induced dustup and Drum n Bass, but took off too quick for us to get a word and thank him for such filth. After Foobz, it was back to the creek stage to catch Humboldt local and favorite Hypha play an all original set, and one of the most fun moments of the entire weekend.
He had confidence on the delightfully decorated stage and transitioned his beautifully nasty sounds quite perfectly. Noticing his upper lip was bare, Huge Yuge was quick to toss him a spare fake mustache so he could finish his slaughter in style. We took turns between dancing and laughing hysterically at the REDICULOUS thizzed out zebra bouncing all over and the mushroom cut donning dark-skinned little man spinning spinning spinning until I thought he was going to start digging a hole in the dancefloor. I re-realized then, again, how much I love the shenanigans associated with our culture, and it is in fact these shenanigans that bring me back more than anything else. This feeling of elation was epitomized when we saw the cops looking dumbfounded and helpless through the woods on a small country road, surprised to see us types in the middle of nowhere raging to some quality Hypha laser bass cannons.
As day was turning to night, after a brief respite from the beats with the hammock fam near the rushing creek, it was time to redose, possibly grab a bite to eat and hit the stage to catch Brooklyn’s own Machine Drum. I had seen him about a year earlier and wasn’t super impressed with his sound, not that it wasn’t well made music, just not my cup of tea. The guy looks like a number of other Williamsburg hipsters, with huge nerdy glasses and super tight pants, and I don’t think a psychic could guess what kind of music he made based on his image. Not that that matters, but there are generalities amongst performers, like a bandanna on the face, you’re a dubstep DJ, bro. Whatever he looks like, the funky and intense non-stop movement in Machine Drum‘s bass music was truly one of a kind. His use of repetitive vocal samples and multiple build ups had dashes of house, all the while dropping truly intense futuristic style’d bass lines. Elements of electro house, old school jungle house, UK funky and dub/bro step all
came through in different measures at appropriate times and transitioned expertly. His nerdy mannerisms made the experience even more entertaining, and I reached a personal high for the night when he dropped his “Ecstasy Boom” remix, in which the title was repeated over the steadily building beats. (Out West it is the land of Molly and good “boom” bombs are hard to come by, and in fact people in Cali call it thiz and pressies, and do not know the term “bombs”, which is what I thought the lyric was. The New York connection was made on the dance floor as I felt the need for a frosty finger and the search to manifest some rolls. Minnesota followed shortly after with a flawless set of his own style of dubstep, heavy with laser basslines and hip hop remixes that kept the party moving full force as winds and rain began to pickup. His most memorable tune was a disastrous Busta Rhymes remix and his classic Biggie Smalls “Juicy” remix. By the time Seid was up next on the decks, about 3 songs deep, around 12:15 am Sunday morning, the tarps failed and the most God awful crackling noises brought the party to a screaming halt. The night continued into a torrent of ketamine and acid-cocoa induced mayhem, and I wandered from local camp to camp in the snow screaming and crow calling at the storm until my lips turned blue and my legs were wobbling like the basslines should have been.
I found myself Sunday morning in my rustic wooden rage camper constructed in my pickup bed amidst a continuing acid trip in ever slightly improved weather conditions. When I awoke to the swarming buzz of gossip outside my wooden walls of cancellations, ruined subs, and the early departure of the Homies in the Humboldt camp, I was on an early morning mission. Stocked with rage supplies for an entire weekend, with the possibility of it being cut short, I knew I had work to do, so my girl and I proceeded to have a lovely 3 course breakfast of ketamine and cocaine loaded in the nozzle of a whippet cracker for pressurized nasal entry. (Keta-coka-NOS). Minutes later the second course came when Huge Yuge stopped by our rage camper with some zanny-yatch combos and a freshly loaded deemster puck-pipe, upon which we smoked silently and contently. As we listened to the mountain stream nearby, drank organic mollymosas, shwirmled with a layer of crushed Detroit bomb crumbs scored from a dead ringer for Steve Buschemi from “Big Daddy,” all was starting to feel alright after all. After a few toots of Coka-Molly-NOS to offset the debilitating effects of the kitty food, I was actually up, 40 mins after being awake, my voice hoarse from crow calling into the storm all night. Donning a faux bearskin rug and a lampshade to shield the rain, we quickly brewed up some mushroom tea, had a literal nibble of some real food (with acid on it), and we were off to find the renegade tent which consisted of a simple tarp structure and two QSC stacks that were just what the Doctor of Rage was looking for. After a few dope renegade acts, like Dan the Builder, Scare Bear, Chlorophyl, and the Dubscouts to name a few, it was my time for a little hardware. The long-awaited dyaphonoyze Emissions set happened at last, to make the entire weekend a success for me personally, despite the muddy subs and wet mixing board. We whomped into the evening until there was absolutely no gas left in my tank.
We were the last remaining ragers, most likely some of the only ones who kept their shit dry, and the vibe was predominantly one of triumph. We had weathered the storm, and although the drizzle continued until Monday morn we remained to rage, sharing smiles and hugs with strangers, discovering some new heady individuals, meeting up with old friends from fests of last year. I couldn’t think of a better example of motivated partiers making the best of a not-so-choice situation to create everlasting memories and friendships.
Much love, Dyaphonoyze signing off…. for now…
We at LOSTinSOUND.org want to give a special thanks to Kelsey Winterkorn for her amazing photos, as well as Jess Rather for the Fish Eyed Portraits of our homies you can find here.. Special thanks to Dave with Irie Cartel and Question with Camp ? who put all they had for a year into this gathering, and despite the weather induced downer I can say without a doubt that these committed Bass Heads are going to tear it up next year for an even more evolved and involved Emissions Festival. (Any Burners need to check out Camp ? bass camp this year on the playa….. MASSIVE SOUND…MASSIVE LINEUP)