So where to begin? I guess sometimes the best place to begin is the actual beginning. So I started going to raves in early 1992 and that year is when the rave scene in LA grew to a place that the media began covering this “new scene” with sensationalized reporting with titles like “What are your kids doing at 2 in the morning”. What this coverage did was 2 things:
· It brought a lot of people into the scene. All of a sudden more and more people started getting involved in the summer of 1992.
· It also brought a lot of negative attention from law enforcement.
The second thing actually came to peak in 1993 where a lot of shows were getting shut down and busted. Then while all of this was going on a small afterhours called “Insomniac” was starting to get a lot of attention. Some of my good friends were DJing and attending these afterhours and it started to grow in recognition and numbers rather quickly. The promoter, Pasquale Rotella, was doing his best to keep the scene alive during some very turbulent times.
In August of 1994 I DJed for Tef Foo (from CPU 101 and Circa fame) for an afterhours called One Roof at the Shark Club. This night is super memorable to me for a lot of reasons, including the fact that I met Frankie Bones for the first time, who would become and a friend and inspiration for years to come.
In November of the same year, Tef booked me for the second One Roof party but this time he merged his event with the Insomniac 1 year Anniversary party called "Funky Breaks Techno and Acid". This was the first night I met Pasquale and after this event I played for many Insomniac events including Nocturnal Wonderland, Together as One (w/ Go Ventures), Willy Wonka and of course the Electric Daisy Carnival.
The last EDC I played at was in 2003 when it was at the Orange Show. I still supported however and continued to go many of the events including EDC in 2008 and 2010 and then somewhat more recently went to Nocturnal Wonderland in 2014. I was extremely impressed at the production value and the attention to detail that Insomniac had. These weren’t the raves of my youth that was for sure, but they grew into something that took what I loved and altered it and allowed it to belong to a new generation. It’s pretty awesome to see that happen.
I had heard some thoughts that Pasquale was going to bring back some old school DJ’s for the EDC 20 year anniversary this year and I heard my name was mentioned. While exciting, I didn’t think about it much until I actually heard from Insomniac. In April I got a message from a good friend that works for Insomniac asking if I would like to play for EDC20 on the Wide Awake Art Car. I quickly said yes and booked my room.
I haven’t been to EDC since it moved away from LA and I didn’t know quite to expect from the Las Vegas incarnation of the event. I have seen pictures, heard stories and seen videos. None of those things prepared me for what came.
We went on Saturday night to DJ at a Pop Up Warehouse rave that was hidden in one of the VIP areas. When we were first pulling up and you could see the venue in the distance, it just blew me away. It was huge. I mean I knew EDC was a big show, but this was crazy. Fire, lazers and fireworks were going off in every corner. My eyes almost couldn’t take it. It was a sensory overload. When I first walked in I checked out one of the bigger areas and it was just crazy. It was an absolute sea of people just going off to the music. Everyone was just feeling it. It is hard for you not to get swept up into that kind of energy.
Tony Gamboa and I ended up DJing for 2 hours in this small hidden rave and it was awesome. Afterwards as the sun came up, my wife and I rode a Farris Wheel to get a better vantage point of the entire party. We were right by the main stage and just watching the stage production was absolutely incredible.
The next night was the day I was actually booked to play. I got to the venue maybe 30 minutes before my set. Luckily I was told where the Art Car was and I made my way on. Fester was on at the time and dropping an insane Old School Techno set. It was epic. I went on at Midnight and just had no idea what to play but out came the set that is below, which is a mixture of Disco House, Funky House, Deep House, Bass House and Tech House…or just simply…House Music!
After 20-30 minutes into my set the art car started moving and I didn’t know it at the time but I was soon going to be part of a Parade! The art car moved slowly as a crowd of dancers followed along and kept pace. We then parked by the 7Up stage and set up an impromptu stage and keep the party going. One of the things I loved was how many old school ravers where there. There were faces I saw while I was DJing that I had seen growing up in the scene for the past 25 years. It was awesome. Another highlight for me was when a woman from Australia said I played the best music she heard over the weekend and that I reminded her of Carl Cox! Sweet!!!
But to me, the absolute best thing about my experience at EDC was that I got to share it with my wife, my good friends, my younger brother and my youngest cousin. This was my younger brothers first experience like this. I was happy to have him witness, what is a huge part of my life both growing up and also currently. I think the experience was something that allowed him to know a bit more about his older brother and for that, well…that alone was worth it. Thank you Insomniac for allowing this old DJ to come back and experience what EDC has become. I hope to do it again.