Patrons adorned in a combination of polychromatic floral t-shirts and industry black DJ attire — with some pineapples in tow — descended on the bi-annual house and techno celebration known to California’s rave hipsters as CRSSD Festival at San Diego’s downtown Waterfront Park over the weekend (Sep 30 – Oct 1).
Known for their cornucopia of eclectic acts, this year’s fall installment boasted one of the two-day affair’s most anticipated rosters yet with the likes of Richie Hawtin, Dixon, Bedouin, The Black Madonna, Hot Since 82, Rufus Du Sol, Patrick Topping, Floorplan, Mura Masa, Julia Govor, Lane 8 and dozens more across three palm-lined stages. With a “Basic Rose Bar,” delectable sets and those breathtaking sunsets over the marina, here are some of the many moments that commanded our attention.
Richie Hawtin’s ENTER. Sake bar
The ever-evolving legend performed and headlined at the City Steps stage for his inaugural CRSSD experience, so the techno titan had to show up and show out introducing his popular ENTER. Sake installation (other iterations have been held at Coachella and Blue Marlin Ibiza) joining a mix of selfie-ready fans and industry peers before his two-hour set to indulge in his longtime study as a sake enthusiast.
“When I’m DJing or making music, nothing makes me feel greater than combining that experience with sake,” Hawtin told Billboard. His second favorite alcohol after the Japanese libation? “Tequila from time to time,” he quipped. Richie went on to also tease a special pop-up party he’s hosting in the city center of Amsterdam later this month as part of Amsterdam Dance Event.
Black Madonna’s Sunday service
“That white woman got soul!” shouted an attendee at the Palms stage as dusk falls on the Chicago DJ’s set. Jam-packed with gospel-tinged cuts that’ll make you stomp on the devil and wave your hands to the heaven while shouting “Hallelujah!,” The Black Madonna’s decks seemed more like a pastor’s pulpit ready for Sunday night church service.
SOHN soothes the senses
Backed by a three-piece band, and armed with keys and chilling pipes that broke through like a breeze in the warmth of SoCal’s fall sun, the English musician and multi-instrumentalist sedated the crowd’s senses for a midday glide into celestial dimensions, performing spine-tingling gems off his 2017 sophomore effort Rennen.
Dixon’s captivating Frank Ocean edit
Clearly a fan of R&B superstar Frank Ocean’s catalog, having dropped the R&B star’s records in past sets, revered German artist Dixon stunned the City Steps crowd during his headline set, dropping Butch’s remix of Ocean’s Channel Orange collaboration with Andre 3000, “Pink Matter.” He went on to drop spellbinding edits of Eagles & Butterflies’ “The Last Dance” and the jungle-primed “Serenata” from Argentinian producer Santiago Garcia.