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By Ashley Teffer

Waterford, Calif. – Set for this weekend (Oct. 4-6) at Modesto Reservoir Regional Park in Waterford, Calif., Dirtybird Campout West is ready to go, and birds far and wide are packing to join the flock.

In addition to Dirtybird artists like Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, J.Phlip and Will Clarke, the campout’s DJ lineup will include luminaries like Josh Wink, Paul Woolford, Mija and Cut Chemist, among many others. Campers can expect plenty of games and activities, in addition to the primo music.

Also, Dirtybird Label Chief/Campout Head Counselor Claude VonStroke and his birds have released Dirtybird Campout: 2019 West Coast Compilation featuring 10 tracks by festival favorites to pump up their campers. As we prepare to migrate West and join thousands of DB patrons, we sat down with Dirtybird’s DJ/artist Ardalan to discuss his new album, Mr. Good, and what to expect at Dirtybird Campout West.

DJ Times: What’s your best Dirtybird Campout memory?

Ardalan: The first-ever campout was one of my favorites. I remember I was doing a takeover or something for Instagram and there was a giant slip-n-slide on the hill. I was in a nurse outfit Justin Martin gave me, which they all made fun of me for the whole time and dared me to wear, and I hopped on this giant swan and just rode on the slip-n-slide all the way down onto the dancefloor. But besides that, the best memory was when I DJed for the first time at campout. Then I threw my cowboy hat into the crowd. There’s a picture of me throwing it in midair. It was super-memorable.

You’re having a Mardis Gras parade event at the Campout West. How did that come together?

I have no clue, but I know that’s going to be one of the activities where we’re just going to be listening to my album. It’s going to kind of be an album-listening album party, but it’s going to be an album-listening parade. So, it’s going to be a Mr. Good listening with Mardis Gras. I have no idea what to expect, but all I do know is that we’re going to have masks from the album cover and I think it’s going to be crazy. I’m really excited.

What other camping activities are you excited for?

The soccer tournament with the Brazilians, because they know I’m a huge soccer fanatic. I’m also excited to host the ping-pong tournament. Also, obviously really excited and nervous about my set. I’m really excited to showcase my album.

Can you give us a little overview on the new album?

This album is basically about how everyone always expects you to be perfect, and you’re not perfect. For me, I was trying to find the idea that it’s OK to not be perfect and not have people expect you to be. You can’t be perfect. You have to be a little bit of the Mr. Bad to be Mr. Good. This album is a self-reflection of who I am and who the person or human is. It’s basically about being free to make mistakes and being a human being.

The album is quite different from what one would expect, based off prior releases or what’s on Dirtybird. What inspired the divergence in sonic direction on the album?  

I find a lot of inspiration with music through other things. I just wanted to do something that was different for me and also different for Dirtybird. What I love about Dirtybird Records is that you have the artistic freedom and everyone has their own characteristic in the crew. I love how open Claude [VonStroke] and everyone is about music. I really wanted to showcase a lot of the different sounds that I had. Obviously it’s a dancefloor album, but I also wanted it to be a listening album at the same time. So I tried to do my best, just be as weird as possible and get out of my comfort zone. I figured this was the one shot I had, and I went with it.

What kind of studio gear did you use on this album?

I used a lot of hardware and software at the same time. I used a synthesizer by this company Black Corporation based in Japan called the Deckard’s Dream. I used that on almost every track on the album. I used a lot of vintage gear as well, like the E-mu sampler, SP-1200. All the drums on “Mr. Good” were made from the SP-1200, also the kick drum on “Zombie Village.” I used a lot of Roland gear like the Juno 106 and a lot of gear of that sort, like the TR-8s. For software, I used Propellerhead’s Reason and Ableton Live.

Any final words about Campout West?

I’m also looking forward to doing a back-to-back with Wyatt Marshall. Me and him both have such a huge passion for the Dirtybird sister label called Mothership, which is the darker, techno-, electro-sounding side of Dirtybird. We want to do a tribute to Mothership because that’s what really got me into Dirtybird. That sound, that 2000s deep-techno or minimal, as they called it. So, I’m really stoked to do that at the silent disco, because I think it will be really great for the newer generation to hear the stuff that came out in that period of time. I’m really passionate about that and really looking forward to that as well.

Dirtybird Campout West, Oct. 4-6 at Modesto Reservoir Regional Park in Waterford, Calif. For more information, please visit www.dirtybirdcampout.com/west.

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