The 5 Best Sets From CRSSD Spring 2020

After partnering up with San Diego’s CRSSD Festival for its Spring 2020 edition, we take a look back at our 5 favorite sets of the weekend.

8 min
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Mar 17, 2020
Cameron Holbrook & Jordan Mafi

Few events have come to mean more to Southern California ravers than San Diego’s CRSSD Festival. Returning to its home of six years at the city’s beautiful Waterfront Park, this bi-annual three-stage event flawlessly executed its eclectic presentation of techno, house, and live electronic music once again with its Spring 2020 edition.

As word of its reliability and palpable dancefloor rapport continues to gain global recognition, the two-day event sold out well before announcing its lineup. The cast of talent did not disappoint, featuring headliners such as Patrick Topping, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Nora En Pure, Chris Lake, Gesaffelstein, Purple Disco Machine, and Carl Cox. In addition to performances from Prospa, Octave One, Audion, Pig & Dan, TSHA, Inner City, Cassian, Ben Böhmer, Dax J, and many more — the first CRSSD Fest of the new decade was undoubtedly one for the books.

The event’s organizers, FNGRS CRSSD, invited Beatport to the festival for the first time this year, to take over its City Steps stage on Sunday for a Beatport Live stream. Between 4 – 11 PM, we captured Hernan Cattaneo b2b Nick Warren, Charlotte De Witte, and the one and only Carl Cox. Check out the Beatport Live streams here.

Here, we’ve highlighted our five favorite sets from the CRSSD Spring 2020 and assembled a beautiful photo gallery of its revelry below.

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It’s always fun to see the techno kids come out in the middle of the afternoon, and Radio Slave‘s 3:00 PM set on Saturday ensured just that. The UK techno don brought mechanical gusts of heavy 4×4 to the City Steps stage, totally rocking the beginning of the stage’s heavy speaker output that would get faster and faster throughout the day and into the night. Droves of techno addicts gravitated towards the stage to the sound of Mark Broom’s forthcoming single “Raver” (via the artist’s REKIDS imprint), Radio Slave & P. Leonne’s remix of Deep Dimension’s “So 1992” and SRVD’s “Black On Black” — a clear-cut favorite for those playing the stage all weekend. The set was a sincere and high-octane start to the two-day marathon of dancefloor pandemonium that would follow.

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Ahead of their live set at the festival’s main Ocean View stage on Sunday, 2ManyDJs (also known as Soulwax) joined forces with French stalwart Brodinski for a rip-roaring performance that left the crowd awe-inspired. People didn’t know what to expect from the seemingly unlikely pairing. But it wasn’t long before the selectors locked into a flow that was tastier and more well-rounded than anything that had been heard throughout the day. They turned the Palms Stage into what one attendee accurately referred to as “track city,” with each tune sounding as marvelous as the one that came before it. This raving crescendo consisted of tracks like Lil Louis’s “French Kiss,” Alan Fitzpatrick’s remix of Skream’s “Poison,” Fur Coat’s “Spiral,” CroRoco’s “Passion” and Brodinski’s collaboration with Louisahhh! “Let The Beat Control Your Body.” Perhaps the pinnacle of the set was a beautifully constructed, three-track transition that started with Joy O & Overmono’s 2019 anthem “Bromley” before sneakily transitioning into Psychemagik’s “Rattlesnake” and tearing into the crowd with Soulwax’s remix of Marie Davidson’s “Work It.” Simply magnificent.

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There is an overabundance of tech house to be found throughout California, but Archie Hamilton — a core member of the famous FUSE crew — brought his label’s UK tech house stylings to the Palms Stage and blew the socks off of everyone in attendance. It was a cool 64 degrees as he steps up to the decks, and Hamilton’s sound fit the temperature perfectly as his breezy and deep music emanated from the speakers. Equipped with a vast back catalogue, Hamilton demonstrated how his basslines are the slickest in the game, showing off his remix of Peace Division’s “What Is This Sound,” with many unfamiliar with the artist asking themselves the same thing. Other fluid slammers selected by Hamilton included Riaz Dhanani’s “The Night,” Ammo Avenue’s “Let The Music” and David Berrie’s new wobbly track “Gotta Love Lucy.” As always, Archie lit his FUSE and let bomb after bomb drop on the mob of dancers, raising their hands in triumph with every ideal drop.

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Charlotte De Witte took on City Steps just in time for the San Diego sunset, quickly yet seamlessly phasing out CRSSD’s sunny daytime vibes and leading the festival into an underground, acid-tinged techno bunker. With this set (available via Beatport’s social channels), Charlotte wasted no time in foisting powerful, driving tunes on her audience under the California sky. One of the most memorable tracks of her set was Dandi & Ugo and Steve Soprani’s pounding “We Are The Ravers,” an aptly-titled track that elevated the crowd’s energy from the front to the back, even after they’d been dancing under the sun all day long. Charlotte’s set made our list because of her ferocious mettle behind the decks; from her biting track selection to the fluid nature of her performance, Charlotte de Witte lives up to all the hype. Check out the full set below!

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Oh yes, oh yes — how could CRSSD end the weekend without a closing set from Carl Cox? There’s certainly a reason the walkways along City Steps came to a standstill during his set: Carl Cox does it big every time, and he’s never one to miss. As one of techno’s timeless power players, Carl has a knack for delivering high-energy sets that explore the broad spectrum of techno, dabbling into soulful, uplifting tunes and forceful, after-hours cuts alike. His energy on the stage is fully infectious, too — beyond being unafraid to get on the mic, Carl shared overwhelmingly positive energy with the audience. One of our favorite moments happened just before the end of the festival when Carl took one of the live-stream cameras into his own hands and filmed the audience for all viewers to see. He closed his set with an epic unreleased track by Joseph Capriati, one we hope to see available soon. It’s pretty special we got to end the weekend with such a gorgeous, climactic moment. Check out the full set below!

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