6 Artists to See at CRSSD Festival, March 4-5
CRSSD Festival is so close to taking over the San Diego Waterfront Park and I know I couldn’t possibly think of a better way to kick off my 2023 festival season than with a glorious two days of dancing in the California sunshine. With fresh additions to this two-day festival, taking place on March 4 and 5, I know how intimidating it may be to figure out which sets you should catch, so I’m dropping my top 6 recommendations below. What’s different about this list, as compared to others I’ve put together for other festivals, is that I have never seen any of the artists I’m listing before, so let’s get right into it!
Giolì & Assia
One of the new additions to the lineup, Giolì & Assia are the ultimate multi-hyphenate duo: producers, multi-instrumentalists, singers, songwriters, record label owners, and DJs. They are known for their haunting vocals, cinematic melodies, and captivating and scenic livestream performance series, #DiesisLive. Blending the styles of techno, house, indie, and pop, they have achieved a sound that is so innovative and unique that has garnered them a global following. Their latest studio album, Fire, Hell, and Holy Water, documents their turbulent and intense highs and lows as a couple, and the health problems and untimely losses of relatives during the pandemic. Ethereal soundscapes and emotionally-charged vocals blanket the 16-track labor of love, and I can only imagine how enchantingly unforgettable their set will be.
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Known for his ease of traversing genres and smooth vocals, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (TEED) is performing a live set that will undoubtedly bring us through so many different emotions. With a sound that cannot be confined to one genre, TEED brings melodic and playful synths to the forefront of his club-ready beats. In addition to producing his own music, he has been featured on several songs with other prominent artists, with his shimmering vocals at the forefront of those. There is something so magical about the way the sincerity in his voice soothes your soul as you let yourself become lost in the textured productions.
This LA-based duo is also one that is difficult to put neatly into a box. They’re a live electronic act that blurs the lines of house and indie dance music while retaining a pop sensibility. Incorporating distinctive synth and drum patterns, the duo has become synonymous with their “genre” of alternative electronic, cementing themselves as one of electronic music’s hottest live acts. The way they dance between deep house grooves and upbeat pop basslines results in music that has their listeners dancing, so you can only assume their set at CRSSD will be one that is filled with non-stop moving.
Sama’ Abdulhadi was at a festival I went to a few months ago so I technically did see her, but I only caught a couple of minutes of her set, so I think she counts as an artist I haven’t actually seen before. Sama’ is one of the first DJs to emerge internationally from Palestine, after studying sound design in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Her music has roots in Berlin techno with its high-octane and punchy beats, but it is perceived in a Lebanese way. Upon returning to Palestine with her new understanding of techno, she has also inspired a local community of artists that continues to flourish in the face of the geopolitical restrictions imposed upon it. For Sama’, DJing is a way for her to escape political pressures, and she channels that energy into her thumping sets.
Purple Disco Machine
As his name might suggest, Purple Disco Machine brings all the good disco and funk vibes that will really get the house party started. His interest in music started when his father would sneak contraband cassettes or vinyl home to, what was then known as, East Germany and it only continued to grow after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when his family took a trip to a record store in Munich. Since then, he has been chasing that feeling of awe he felt when he was surrounded by walls of vinyl and CDs. He has become one of the world’s most sought-after remixers, having released official remixes for prolific artists across various genres like Lizzo, Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, Sir Elton John, and Fatboy Slim. The infectious energy of his groovy productions will undoubtedly be felt throughout the crowd at CRSSD.
Biig Piig is one of modern pop’s true champions of experimentation, a statement which can be attested to by a listen-through of her discography and the marked shift in direction with her recently released Bubblegum album. The Irish singer and rapper, now based in London after a brief stint in Los Angeles, highlights youth culture through the storytelling elements of her songwriting while contrasting the lyrics with her production choices. Her newest album features various dance sounds that blend into the indie-pop genre with a slice of electronic elements thrown in. With this exploration of sound, Biig Piig will bring a bit of a different set while still making it accessible to dance music fans.
A limited amount of single-day tickets for CRSSD will be available today at 11AM PT.
While you (im)patiently wait for March 4th to roll around, be sure to check out our unofficial playlist below!