April 28-29 marked the return of Basscon: Wasteland to Southern California. Hard dance enthusiasts had traveled from far and wide for this show; I personally knew people coming from as far as New York, New Jersey and Arizona.
Tales of the ancient ruins being uncovered to reveal a hard dance paradise had spread and all were out to claim their part of this treasure. My caravan and I began our journey through the deserts of San Bernardino in search of any signs of civilized life, and in our search we encountered a surge of ravers who were ready to party. I began my weekend sitting down with the esteemed hard dance aficionado, The Qollector. The Qollector is an archaeologist of hard dance artifacts dating as far back as the 20th century and it truly was remarkable seeing some of these curios and artifacts up close! He had booklets, flyers, CDs and more from In Qoltrol, HardBass, Qlimax, Defqon 1, and Decibel just to name a few. Check out our interview here
The next stop along our route to the Wasteland took a bizarre twist as we met with America’s Only Hardcore Terror DJ Team: Extreme Team. These poor lads must have spent too much time in the hot sun which had apparently impaired their cognitive function. They appeared incoherent and I knew it was my duty as a fellow raver to take them back to my hotel room and provide them nourishment by way of more vodka. We talked about some of their inspirations as artist, about some of their upcoming releases, and about their show at the Hardroadz after party: Arcadia The Promise Land. We have documented the encounter with Extreme Team on Facebook live that can be viewed here. As you may be able to tell, they were beyond our help and we had to release them back into the desert to fend for themselves.
We took a moment to fuel our bodies with refreshments and food before the show and then it was time to go. Our chief navigator from Uber had received coordinates of where Wasteland could be found and he arrived at our basecamp to take us there! Upon our arrival inside the festival it was clear that we were not alone, thousands of hard dance fans had descended upon Wasteland and were ready to party! The landscape consisted of one outdoor oasis with a two stages and refreshments, and large ancient temple of massive pyramids, golden sphinxes, hundreds of lasers, confetti, CO2 cannons and even glistening disco balls… it was spectacular to behold this treasure with my own eyes! The gods themselves took to the main stage and descended down upon the ravers with a relentless pounding of hardstyle and hardcore beats!
Night 1 moments that stood out to me were seeing the crowd’s reaction to Audiofreq playing Sandstorm (Sub Sonik Remix), LNY TNZ playing Paul Elstak’s hardcore remix
of Ravelord and, of course, the return of Wildstylez to California after nearly 3 years! Wildstylez’s set consisted of tracks such as Project 1 – Luminosity, which was played at Qlimax for the first time with none other than the infamous Headhunterz. He also returned to the classic tracks he is known for including What It’s Like, Numbers, and Year of Summer.
I decided to get some refreshments and walked past the outdoor stage where I watched Zany end his set with Lose My Mind. Following Zany, DJ Stephanie took to the stage. While talking to some friends, I was listening to Stephanie in the background and she immediately caught my attention in an unexpected way. She started playing one of my favorite hardcore tracks, Let’s Get It On by Art of Fighters and Endymion. I knew I needed to make it to the front of the crowd during this track as she continued to play hardcore until the end of her set! Stephanie earned the title of most unexpected stand out set of the night. I finished Basscon Night 1 with Angerfist at the mainstage. A few of the tracks he dropped were Why So Serious by Tha Playah, Fist in your Face, Just Like Me, and Raise and Revolt.
After exploring Basscon Wasteland, we made our way to the Hardroadz: Arcadia The Promise Land after party to see the Extreme Team perform. Their set began with exclusive solo set by Tim Shopp and was immediately followed by typical Extreme Team madness! The small but passionate crowd was loving the terror. By the end of their set it was time to venture back to basecamp to let our bodies recover before Day 2.
Day 2 began with a buffet of food to fuel our injured bodies, followed by a trip to the hotel’s jacuzzi to massage our sore muscles. We then prepared our caravan to go to the show once more. Unfortunately, 2 of our fellow party goers succumbed to Wasteland’s wrath and were left behind to pray to the porcelain gods in the hotel room. RIP
We walked into the
Wasteland to find Toneshifterz finishing up his set, followed by Ran-D who awakened the ancient gods with his wicked rawstyle! His set expertly blended his own tracks, as well as Gunz for Hire tracks including No Guts No Glory, FCK EDM, Firestarter, Plata o Plomo, Zombie, Executioner Style, and No Mercy. He brought so much energy to his set and the crowd loved it!
Following Ran-D was the highly anticipated and long awaited return of Italian master Zatox, who was joined on stage with his friend and MC Dave Revan! Zatox’s set included his top hits including Back To The Oldschool, Back In The Days, Rumble In The Jungle, Warning, Fight The Resistance, Eat Sleep Rave Repeat, God Complex, Kalavela Shot Me Down, and Zombivilization.
At the outdoor stage, I caught the end of Ruthless dropping a awesome freestyle set. His track selection ranged from tek to euphoric, to raw hardstyle and even some hardcore. Some of the tracks he played included Wolfpack, Reawakening, The Project and Lost In Paradise. At one point, he even had the entire crowd chanting Gaan met die Bannan (with a little help from myself and the Extreme Team to get it going 😜). At the main stage, DJ Isaac was keeping the good vibes going. Isaac played the crowd with Last Night Ever, Till The Sky Falls Down, but then unexpectedly Ruthless jumped onto Isaac’s set and played Gaan Met Die Bannan again!
The final hardstyle act for Night 2 at the main stage was the legendary Noisecontrollers who didn’t fail to impress! He dropped Get Loose, World Of Madness, Rocked Up, Defqon 1 2016 anthem Dragonblood, Down Down, Solar, and Source Code Of Creation. To close his set, he played D-Block & S-Te-Fan – Fuck the Noisecontrollers to prep the crowd for some hardcore. With the crowd now warmed up to some higher bpms, the final set of the weekend ended in mayhem with hardcore goddess Miss K8 who went harder than Basscon has ever seen before. Highlights from her set include Raiders of Rampage, Metropolis of Massacre and Radium Rockin Fire.
This expedition into the dessert to experience Basscon: Wasteland was unforgettable. It was remarkable to see how large of a crowd showed up for a weekend of hard dance, how many people traveled from out of state to participate, and how much energy and enthusiasm all the ravers brought to the show! I sincerely hope Basscon will continue to pursue bigger and bigger shows and I look forward to them with great anticipation. Up next for Basscon, catch them at the Basscon Pool Party EDC weekend at the Stratosphere, at the Basscon Wasteland stage at EDC Las Vegas, and at the highly anticipated second edition of Project Z!