Old-school ravers are always going on and on about how great warehouse parties used to be. The excitement of clandestine, illegal behavior swirled with the smoke and lasers in the air as dancers in baggy pants jerked to deep, dark sounds and fast drum lines pumping into the morning light.
Such underground parties aren’t entirely extinct, but the nation’s flocking to the EDM world has buried much of those ‘90s-era feelings in history. Of course, Insomniac Founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella grew up with those classic underground feels, and it’s become his mission to share them with younger Headliners through the new Factory 93 warehouse party series.
It’s a return to basics and bass-rattling metal walls, and the music curation at Factory 93 reflects those minimalist ideals. This isn’t a place for shiny, throw-your-hands-up anthems. This is where moody house music reigns supreme.
At this year’s Escape: Psycho Circus, fans will get their first taste of the Factory 93 Experience, a fully curated stage featuring the best in house and techno across both days of the festival, where old-school, deep warehouse vibes meet new-school sounds.
Ahead of Escape, we’ve got the sneak peak on some of the deepest artists on the Factory 93 Experience lineup below.
From: Düsseldorf, Germany
Releases on: Desolat, Ultra Music, Cadenza, Minus and more
Why we like him: Any self-respecting house and techno fan knows this dark-dressed German. One of the biggest and boldest names in the genre, Loco Dice relentlessly releases original productions and remixes bubbling with thrilling textures and hazy moods. His music is the sound of interdimensional exploration. An admitted hip-hop head, his stellar LP Underground Sound Suicide—one of the best full-length dance albums of 2015—reflects his rap-heavy roots in a fresh and funky house music environment. It’s a skill further exemplified on the album’s recently released remix compilation. That chameleonic ability, matched with a strong personal voice, is what makes him a bona fide star.
Listen to this: Loco Dice recently tackled Moby’s classic “Go.” What starts as a murky suggestion of sound grows into a full-fledged noise factory before your mind’s eye. The vocal and some well-placed, eerie piano chords are the only ties to the early-‘90s original. His ability to internalize and reinvent his inspirations is part of his charm, as heard on this rework of a timeless track.
From: Berlin, Germany
Releases on: Dystopian, Token, Toolroom and more
Why we like him: You know you’re cool when you land on the cover of Mixmag. You know you’re making it when you turn in your Essential Mix debut that same year. Rødhåd is influencing the culture with his own dark and tribal beats, as well as through his digging and discovering as the master behind his trendy label, Dystopian. Hailed as one of today’s brightest stars of the underground techno movement and crowned a prince by the truest and choosiest heads of the art form, Rødhåd is making his Insomniac debut at the Factory 93 Experience at Escape. The booking represents a big moment for Rødhåd and a massive move for Insomniac, as we strive to provide fans with a deeper connection to more experimental and authentic sounds from the very edge of dance music’s frontier.
Listen to this: “Oblivion” comes at you like a slap in the face, a wake-up call from the middle-of-the-road electronic sounds that have lulled you into a sort of sleep. There’s eeriness to its tense chords and rhythms, but you have nothing to fear. It’s safe to dance with the techno monsters—we promise.
From: Toronto, Canada
Releases on: Music On, Hot Creations, Cajual Records and more
Why we like him: Nathan Barato is a real hustler. He’s been putting in major time this summer in dance mecca Ibiza, namely as a resident at the famed nightclub DC10, and that’s the kind of work that gets you places. He’s landed releases on the genre’s hottest labels, getting the OK from legends Lee Foss, Green Velvet and Marco Carola, among others. Give it up for the man making techno great again in the 6 and beyond. Definitely don’t miss the chance to experience one of his lively, driving DJ sets at Escape.
Listen to this: Keeping things in the rave family, Barato gets funky and chunky on this remix of Hot Creations homies Infinity Ink. The echoing vocals become part of the unstoppable rhythm as your brain explodes into a firework of pure techstasy. Also, these lyrics are hysterical.
From: Los Angeles, CA
Releases on: Sublevel Music, Shaboom, Defected and more
Why we like him: Factory 93 is all about bringing the vibes of the old L.A. warehouse scene back to a new generation, and the simple fact is, there wouldn’t have been an L.A. underground scene were it not for Doc Martin. He lit the fire with his Sublevel label and parties back in the day, and he never stopped. He’s a big player in Rotella’s vision to bring that old feel back to modern dance, so in a way, his sound is the sound of the underground being captured.
Listen to this: The good Doc is best known for his DJ sets, and as an original member of the Factory 93 family, he created this exclusive, all-vinyl mix to help launch the brand this past May. Yeah, we said all-vinyl. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Escape: Psycho Circus 2016 takes place Friday, October 28, and Saturday, October 29, at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, CA. For more information, visit the official website.