Chandler, Ariz. – Once again, the folks at Relentless Beats blew our minds with another pumped-up weekend of electronic delights in the desert.
Goldrush Festival, held this past Nov. 18-19 at the Rawhide Western Town & Event Center in suburban Phoenix, presented a wildly diverse range of acts like Marshmello, Dillon Francis, Excision, Nicole Moudaber and Claude VonStroke, among many others. The event drew thousands of EDM devotees to the Western-themed venue, which also featured a mind-numbing variety of activities like rock climbing, gold-panning and mechanical-bull riding.
But, as always, DJ Times was there for the music, so here are our highlights: The U.K.-based deep-house duo CamelPhat (Dave Whelan and Mike Di Scala) got things going Saturday afternoon on Claude VonStroke’s “Birdhouse” stage. After the first group of desert dust-shufflers began to get busy, the crowd really got riled up when the duo dropped its playfully suggestive track “Magic Stick.” Later, the bro-duo Hippie Sabotage kicked an energized set of hip-hop and downtempo tunes that included faves like “High Enough” and “Your Soul,” plus their remix of Tove Lo’s “Stay High.”
When Canadian favorite REZZ hit the stage – sporting her signature Hypno-Goggles and pony-tail – the crowd grew noticeably. And small wonder because her dark, sinister, tech-tronica dub/trap set delivered in a big way, with tracks like “The Edge” and “I’m Up” connecting best.
Always gracious and accommodating to his fans, Claude VonStroke (aka Barclay Crenshaw) hosted a genuine “Backyard BBQ” that served as a meet-and-greet for fans and press prior to his headlining set. Then, at set time, his Dirtybird crew and fans, joined him onstage for a throbbing set that included “Barrump” (Billy Kenny Remix), his remix of “Believe” (Jesse Rose ft. Eva) and “Pay My Bills” by DirtyBird artist Vangelis Kostoxenakis.
Also, billed on Sunday as Barclay Crenshaw (his real name), he switched gears to deliver a spooky and powerful set that kicked plenty of trippy hip-hop vibes. Highlights included “Hack” by Dub Phizix, plus his own cuts “I’m Up Here” (Eprom Remix) and “U Are In My System.” Electrifying and bewildering, the set included some old-school hip-hop hits that worked the crowd. Big fun.
Honorable Mentions: Although all of the main-stage acts offered engaging visual effects, Ghastly delivered some of the brightest, most colorful and curious effects (computer glitch green screen?) of them all – plus his lasers slicing through the dark desert sky had to be seen to be believed.
Sassy MC Snow Tha Product dropped highly charged political viewpoints and lyrical rhyme-bombs – she brought the fuego 100-percent. Justin Jay kicked the booming bass and created a funky, good time. Dutchman San Holo set himself apart with guitar-shredding that highlighted a terrific, varied, electronic set.
Phoenix native Mija hit us hard with her always-inspired D-n-B set. Malaa brought the late-Sunday crowd back in swarms with an irresistibly danceable, dark, electro-house set that just didn’t stop. Also, popular DJ/producer Nicole Moudaber kept the techno fans happy with a powerful set that saw plenty of movement on the dancefloor and the stage, as she surrounded herself with a group of supporters (not unlike Claude VonStroke). A fitting way to end our Sunday night and a great capper to another superb Relentless Beats event.