If these were normal times, thousands of party people in Southern California and beyond would be packing up their coolers, coozies and fanciest hats for this weekend’s Desert Hearts festival.
But with the pandemic clearing the schedule of IRL events, this weekend everyone with a working WiFi connection can simply stay in and enjoy the event from the comfort of their own homes — no long drives, dusty tents or stanky porta potties necessary — as Desert Hearts is going virtual for the next four days.
Launching this afternoon and happening from 12 p.m. to 6 a.m. PT through Sunday, April 26 via the Desert Hearts Twitch page, the virtual event features loads of house and techno from DH founders Mikey Lion, Marbs, Porky and Lee Reynolds, along with music from Josh Butler, Shaded, Thugf-cker, Justin Jay, Vnssa, Rinzen, Sacha Robotti and many more. See the complete schedule for the digital festival below. (Meanwhile, the Desert Hearts with actual people congregating together has been rescheduled for this October 22-26 at SoCal’s Los Coyotes Indian Reservation.)
“I can’t wait for everyone to experience our first Digital Festival this weekend as we celebrate what was supposed to be our annual Desert Hearts Festival this weekend,” says Mikey Lion. “Just because our family can’t be together in person doesn’t mean we can’t throw the best damn party on the internet together.”
Here, with explanations in his own words, Lion selects ten tracks that encapsulate the sound of the weekend to come.
Amine Edge & DANCE, Solo Tamas, “Quick and Dirty” (wAFF Remix)
This just came out on Desert Hearts Records last weekend and it’s one of my favorite tracks we’ve ever released on the label. The track is a consistent groove that builds and changes subtly throughout. I’ll definitely be playing this at some point during my six-hour set this weekend.
Mikey Lion, “That’s Hot”
This is the B-side of my newest EP that came out last month on Desert Hearts Records. It’s got a vocal of Paris Hilton doing ASMR, which gets extra trippy over its driving beat. Another one on the list that I’m going to play this weekend.
Soulwax, “E Talking”
One of my favorite parts of playing these marathon sets on my live streams is that I get to dig super deep into my favorite artists over the years. Soulwax was a huge inspiration for me growing up, and “E Talking” is a quintessential dance track that brings me back in time when I first started raving.
Mr Fingers, “Can You Feel It”
One of the greatest house tracks of all-time. I’ve recently been on a crazy classic house kick, and I don’t think it gets much better than this.
The Glimmers Present Disko Drunkards, “Physical”
Arguably my favorite song I found recently. My wife and our roommate have been having dance-offs to this song every Saturday night at midnight during my live streams. It’s an absolute staple, and you can bet it’s getting played at midnight this Saturday.
Four Tet, “Baby”
Four Tet is one of my very favorite artists, and his new album is exceptional. I don’t know how he consistently makes some of my favorite music, but his track “Baby” off his new album is perfect.
Omar S, “Second Life”
The mysterious Omar S just dropped a new album called You Want, and “Second Life” is my favorite from the album that’s been getting a lot of play lately on my live streams.
Hector Couto, “Blue Lines”
A big fat slab of juicy house for when the live stream is pumping late at night.