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We came, we danced, we got freaky: BangOn! Warehouse of Horrors 2016 was the best warehouse party yet [Photo Gallery + Festival Review]

We came, we danced, we got freaky. Hands down, BangOn! still takes the crown for throwing the best warehouse parties. From the production, to the performers, to the jungle gym like structures to climb on, all the way to the music and the games, and of course the sea full of costumed patrons ready to party, everything BangOn! does is on point.

The ‘Warehouse of Horrors’ was in full swing by midnight when Ardalan stepped up to the decks. A crowd of Dirtybirds anxiously waited to see what the space cowboy had up his sleeve.  To no disappointment, Ardalan threw down a barrage of techno bangers so hot it was making booties pop out their costumes. The weirdness ensued as we continued to spiral into the dark and twisted pit of Ardalan’s mind. He dropped the Tiger Stripes remix of PAWSA’s track ‘Event Horizon,’ sending the crowd to another dimension.

PAWSA – Event Horizon (Tiger Stripes Remix)

J. Philip was M.I.A. come set time, but all was good as the bearded bloke from Bristol still repped Dirtybird on the decks proceeding Ardalan. Will Clarke brought his own style of hard hitting techno to the dance floor, making sure to drop his latest Dirtybird release ‘Booty Percolatin’ of course all while rocking his signature “Doing it for the cuddles” snap back.

With J. Philip still gone, Ardalan rejoined the decks and combined forces with Will for a quick b2b session. The bass was bumping with some hot techno fire that blended all together into a perfect symphony of weirdness. Time wasn’t relevant at this point, but all I know is I looked up to see the queen of techno taking over the decks. J. Philip had arrived and continued to make the sweaty bodies move. She played a variety of glitchy beats, with a bit of a softer touch in comparison to the other two Dirtybirds, however it was a good refresher from the constant banging of booty tech. If you listened to J. Philip’s latest mix titled ‘Where’s Jess?,’ then you would know that she developed a new sound displaying completely new music and was able to incorporate this live into her set at the warehouse, which was definitely a treat. I’m a sucker for weird techno filled with video game like 8-bit beeps, bloops, and glitchy vocals.

Meandering through the crowds of partying ghouls and skeletons, you naturally found the second room in the warehouse, where the Boneyard stage was serving up lush basslines that went beyond the thumping house beats of the Horror House stage. With Alex English and Luminate up first to wet the pallets of the creatures and creepers, we all knew that this would be the stage that would cater to those wanting a little bit more than groovy house music and booty popping techno.

Walking in, we knew Ott was going to tantalize the masses with his Middle Eastern flair, and as his music oozed out of the massive sound system, every single person couldn’t resist their urge to get down. Smiling with the crowd, Ott played hits off of his most recent release, Fairchildren, such as “Hello, My Name is….” and “Coursing Batch”, while mixing in a delicious blend of other favorites off of Mir and Baby Robot.  Both new listeners and seasoned fans were fully immersed in his unique soundscapes, which allowed the set to stand out as a matchless musical performance.

With the crowd feeding off of the mood Ott had set, Jackson Stell, better known as Big Wild, took advantage and flooded the crowd with his atmospheric, groove-oriented tunes.  Throughout the set Big Wild wove his original beats in with a classic mid-2000 hip hop feel and even took it to the next level when he whipped out his drum kit to perform live and bring unparalleled energy to the spooky warehouse. Throwing down a mix of new releases, live drum and piano elements, and a sprinkling of some unreleased goodies, Big Wild gave the crowd a unique performance that left spectators howling at the moon for more. 

Next, PartyWave rolled in… and much to everyone’s surprise, absolutely crushed it. Starting of unassumingly with some fresh 808 trap beats and some fat basslines, the crowd was getting down with the heavier sounds he was providing. But after what seemed like a warm up, he plunged the crowd into a low frequency wonderland with bangers off his new Banyan LP like “The Gathering” and “Get iLL”. The sound was exactly what many bass aficionados had been craving, and it opened the flood gates for more dark and heavy bass to fill the space. With a smirk on his face, PartyWave knew he had given the crowd exactly what they had come to the haunted warehouse for.

To close off the stage, Space Race took stage and continued what PartyWave had started. With a combination of classic dub tunes and his own originals, the dubstep flowed freely and had the entire crowd grinning with their best bass face. He incessantly laid down track after track of nitty gritty bass – which for some was a bit overwhelming; but to others, it had them grooving until he closed the stage down at 5 am.

Overall, the Boneyard stage proved to be a haven for those that wanted a bit more flavor than what the Horror House Stage was pumping out. Both stages however, fit each other like yin and yang, one providing that which the other did not.  Combined, the two catered to the musical cravings of every single ghost, zombie, vampire and undead attendee. Just maybe next year there can be a little less bass overlap? The two stages were a huge plus, but hearing the kick drum of some floor stomping techno during a very ambient deep dub breakdown is a bit off setting. Still, BangOn! throws a hell of a party like no other and we are completely stoked to see what they have in store for the next “Sessions” event in November, as well as their NYE 2017 event.

All photos by Kyle Miller of the Saucy Monster, article by Ayla Alvarez

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