“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – I’m pretty sure that’s the motto FNGRS CRSSD adhered to as they put on their fourth festival here in San Diego. They have the prized venue, global talent and great vibes all on lockdown, so it was easy for me to buy a ticket on first notice/no lineup – knowing that my expectations would be met. (Click to see my recaps from the first and second CRSSD Fest!)
This round was almost like a best of, bringing back crowd and personal favorites like Zhu, Cashmere Cat, Thomas Jack, Maya Jane Coles, Claptone, Bonobo & Flight Facilities, while injecting some awesome fresh acts to the fold to indulge in. As usual, I bounced around from stage to stage listening to all sorts of great acts but highlights in particular include…
Rezz (with her trademark lit up goggles) was killing it with brooding, edgy, & driving techno bass tunes that would be more fitting in the dead of night at a warehouse, but that didn’t stop me or the crowd from heartily stomping along. She was stoked to be performing for us as well as she exclaimed “I know I’m playing some really dark stuff, but I can’t help but smile!”
It’s been a long minute since I’ve caught M.A.N.D.Y. but their track selection was on point – spinning hypnotic tech house & techno numbers that commanded body movement and groove under the late afternoon sun.
MNEK was one of my favorite acts of the weekend. A fantastic, soulful voice paired with bouncy UK Garage and House beats = instant sing along/get down dance party.
Ta-ku almost felt out of place at the fest, as his sound is so chill – but his set also gave the audience a chance to reset as it transitioned into the evening, to relax and take it all in before getting a second wind to finish off the night with more upbeat acts. Sultry, reflective bass beats with live drums and featured vocalists invoked all the feels. I saw more than a few people get teary eyed. It was simply beautiful as Alina Baraz took the stage to sing “Down For You,” definitely one of my favorite moments of the weekend.
Last year, CRSSD Fest treated us with Empire of the Sun, an act I had wanted to see for a while. This year, Miike Snow was one of the indie electronic headliners. As much as I love DJ culture, being taken on a journey of musical discovery (I definitely Shazam’d more than a few times during the fest), it’s also nice to hear familiar songs! They played all the songs you’d want to hear and did a great job of doing so – another one off the list.
Good on ya CRSSD Fest for keeping things solid. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what new & interesting acts you will bring us next year! Artists on this festival’s lineup are featured throughout Mood’s Core offerings like Trendspot, Perimeter and Frequency.
– Submitted by Jesse Nathason, Music Design