Escape: Psycho Circus. Where serious sound collides with the mad glee of the Halloween season, giving you the chance to get weird in an environment so extraordinary that a shipful of vampiric disco camels from outer space could land on the mainstage, and no one would bat an eyelash. And then there’s the music. The cheerful standards of Christmas are around the corner, but October tickles the creative mind… allows the shadow side of the imagination to have its way. Even if you were somehow unfamiliar with the talent, their names say it all. Angerfist. NGHTMRE. Ghastly. Snake. Skream. Barely Alive. Nightstalker. And my personal favorite: Rell the Soundbender—the man whose exclusive Diablo Party mix you’re about to dig. Heavy.
If you’re a fan of the fantastic, you’re already a fan of Eduardo Morrell—Rell the Soundbender. The Panamanian monarch of moombahton and occasional trap-hopper has been widening ears and dropping jaws since 2014, when he came out of the gate hotter than Satan’s bait ‘n tackle with Gambozoo (via Nest HQ). This, his sophomore EP, was largely conceived during a year spent in Panama, battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
He won. And the music keeps coming.
In anticipation of Escape, he’s gone ahead and fired up the studio for YOU, cranking out a mix apropos for the occasion. It’s one that tends to gravitate toward his signature style, which he lovingly describes as a vibrating tapestry over which “lasers and drums fight to the death.”
“It’s got a couple of singles from my new EP that are right now still unnamed. I’ve moved to Los Angeles fairly recently, and it sort of reflects what I’m feeling there. I’m excited to be surrounded by so many talented people, just soaking it in. The scene’s so alive, flourishing,” Rell tells us. “Most of the tracks are high-energy stuff in the 128–150-BPM range. In fact, Diablo Party is a little taste of what my set is going to sound like for Escape. I included songs from some of my homies: Rawtek, B!itch Be Cool, SpydaT.E.K, and LVNDO. It’s a soundtrack to have a good time to—in your dancing shoes.”
Rell rollicked hard last year at Escape, and he is stoked to return. “I played mainstage. It was crazy, the biggest venue I’d played. I love the whole mysterious vibe from that time in the year, and I think it’s so cool what Insomniac does with it. I’m bringing high-energy again this year, so choose a costume you can get loose in.”
[Cue sinister laughter. Halloween has always been his holiday.]
“As a kid, for Halloween, my Dad and I would haunt my entire street—but always started at our own house. We’d leave all the windows open and turn out all the lights, leaving a lone flashlight shining out. Then I’d dress up in dirtied-up camouflage and a gore-drenched hockey mask, straw sticking out of my shirt and pants. I looked like a carnival dummy from hell… or a battle-scarecrow. We’d blast creepy Halloween music, and my Dad, wearing a crazy mask, would stick his head out of the upstairs windows in brief flashes. Adults were too afraid to approach, but they sent their kids! When they got to the porch, I’d move just slightly and moan. Later I’d limp up and down the street, dragging a shovel, staying ‘in character’ when people would try and talk to me.”
Chew on that, true believers! Sort of makes you want to… Escape?
Rell the Soundbender X Rawtek “ID”
Makla & White Gangster “Fachino”
Vivanco x MiloMilo “Loh Latinoh”
Makla x M3B8 “Nazulu”
Dual Color “Lose It”
GTA “Bath Salts”
Valentino Khan x Wiwek “Tropicana”
Skrillex x Rick Ross “Purple Lamborghini” (Juyen Sebulba Remix)
Paraphonics & Makla “RAW”
Cesqeaux & Mightyfools “Murder”
Rawtek “Tacos in LA”
Valentino Khan “Pump” (Buonofide X Rico Remix)
Skrillex & Team EZY “Pretty Bye Bye” (Rell the Soundbender Remix)
Ciisnero “Polka Bounce”
SmartAlec “Uno Dos”
Valentino Khan “Make Some Noise” (Hasse de Moor Bootleg)
Hasse De Moor “Time Out”
Apashe “Bad Queens” (Diskord Remix)
Ibranovski “The Plug”
BROHUG “The Streets” (Extended Mix)
Joyryde “Speed Trap”
Valentino Khan “Pump”
B!tch Be Cool “Goons”
B!tch Be Cool ft. Chachis “Catch My Breath”
Chris Lake “I Want You”
Alok, Bhaskar “Fuego”
DROELOE & San Holo ft. CUT “Lines of the Broken”
Catch Rell the Soundbender doing his thing at Escape: Psycho Circus 2017, which takes place Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28, at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, CA. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit the official website.