After leaving Avicii’s set due to overwhelming heat and a slightly stale set list, I headed to Caterpillar’s Garden, where Clockwork was performing his second set of the night under his mischievous and merciless trap moniker RL Grime. The open-air environment of the completely outdoor stage was a refreshing change up from the overstuffed tents, as was the switch from the 128 bpm of house to 140-160 bpm of trap. I hopped in to the bouncing, bustling and hustling crowd just in time to hear RL Grime’s latest release, and one of my personal favorites, “Flood”. Next came another recent bomb, “Underground Anthem” by Flosstradamus. The Salva remix to RL Grime’s own “Grapes Alla Vodka” wasn’t far behind, nor was Grime’s iconic acid track, “Trap on Acid”, which received a very warm reception from the crowd. Baauer’s “Harlem Shake”, one of the tracks responsible for trap’s recent explosion, got its airplay in the form of an unidentified remix, and when it was finally time for RL Grime to drop his and Salva’s remix to “Mercy”, an unexpected VIP came instead, with a similar but uniquely faster melody. RL Grime’s trap set paved the way for the disgustingly, at times disturbingly dirty bass of Borgore.
Borgore opened with his now signature “Decisions”, instantly descending the crowd into a primal pit of flailing bodies and flippant morals. The familiar melody of Doctor P’s “Tetris” intertwined its way into the grime, before Borgore dropped the intimate, intense Alvin Risk remix to “Eyes”. Boregore’s classic, “Love”, had the whole crowd rapping the obscene lyrics, while his remix to Cedric Gervais’s “Molly” was just as crude, though in a more inconspicuous manner. While we were all consumed in fear and loathing of the tremendous bass, the giant inflated puppet of Hunter S. Thomson floating above the crowd seemed all too fitting for the occasion. My favorite track of the set was unequivocally the Skream remix of Rusko’s “Somebody to Love”, although Borgore’s remix of Riskay’s “Smell Yo’ Dick” was definitely the most comical. Borgore showed his appreciation for trap by dropping the Luminox remix of “Rattle” as well as “Trapstorm by OH SNAP!!, along with some unidentified trap selections that sound as though they could have been crafted by Borgore himself.
Rusko – Somebody to Love (Skream Remix)
While the portion of Thomas Gold’s set I caught was masterful, my night ended with an hour and a half set from Swedish sensation Alesso. Alesso opened with an intro edit to his remix of Dune’s “Heiress of Valentina”, before playing an awesome bootleg of Sander van Doorn and Julian Jordan’s “Kangaroo”, replacing the spastic electro drop with that of his own original “Nillionaire”. Alesso showed his love for his fellow Swedes, dropping John Dahlback’s acid house track “Comet”, as well as SHM’s Greyhound”, and Eric Prydz’s “Allein” mashed up with Gregor Salto’s “Azumba”. My favorite Alesso track “Years” led in to the Tommy Trash remix of “The Veldt”, which in turn led to an instrumental of Tommy Trash’s remix of “Ladi Dadi”, paired with an acapella of Nero’s “Promises”. R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” was gorgeously draped over an upcoming unreleased Alesso tune, while the anthemic Trash and Ingrosso collaboration “Reload” was backed by a “Save the World” vocal.
It was truly a set of tremendous bootlegs, as Alesso played the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” with an acapella of “Pressure”, using the drop of Dada Life’s “Kick Out the Epic Motherfucker”. Alesso saved the biggest tracks for last, seducing the entire crowd with SHM’s heartfelt ballad “Don’t You Worry Child” and his collaboration with Dirty South, “City of Dreams”. Closing out the set and the entire festival, Alesso dropped a mashup of two of the biggest songs of his career, his remix to Guetta’s “Titanium”, and the track that started it all for the young Swede, his remix to “Pressure”.
Overall, Beyond Wonderland was an exceptionally well-run event. The lineup was stellar and diverse enough to satisfy fans of all EDM niches, and Insomniac’s production was outstanding as usual. The proximity of stages made it possible to travel between stages with relative ease, while the 2:00am ending time was a welcome change from all the midnight-capped events in the area. Hopefully this event will be a blissful harbinger for future Insomniac Bay Area events.
Previous editor of ElectroJams, I am a student at UC Berkeley, a music fanatic, an aspiring writer, and a DJ in my spare time. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, and check out my soundcloud for some awesome mixes! http://soundcloud.com/supercereal