Dear campers, what are your favorite camping traditions? Do you enjoy long nature walks and canoeing in the lake? Are you a fan of listening to scary stories in the dark? Is devouring s’mores around the campfire your idea of living your best life? For some, these activities are things you might have done with your family growing up; for others, they might be new things you did last Campout and want to do again this year. It’s about preserving the memory of some really good times with even better people, and we can’t wait to be part of that from October 4-6 at the Modesto Reservoir Campgrounds in Central California.
The Dirtybird gang is also a family, and every year it grows bigger with the addition of new campers and artists who grace our stages. One way we can celebrate tradition through music is by inviting to Dirtybird Campout West Coast some of the legends who helped pave the way, and who continue to influence current and future artists to this day. At this year’s event, we’ve got icons from across the music spectrum, from drum & bass pioneer Dillinja, to house master Yousef, to hip-hop kings Eric B. & Rakim.
If you’ve never heard some of these names before, don’t worry! It’s never too early to start learning -- but do know you’ve got a lot of catching up to do. That’s where we come in. Below, you’ll find a guide to the legends playing Dirtybird Campout West Coast 2019.
If there’s anyone who can help the Dirtybird crew throw a damn good party, it’s Yousef. The UK DJ/producer hails from Liverpool, England, where he’s hosted his legendary Circus parties for nearly two decades (including a 2004 Best Club designation by BBC Radio 1). Yousef has been DJing even longer than that, starting in 1991 after his first “proper” night out at the infamous club Shelley’s in Stoke-on-Trent. He eventually turned his hand to production, crafting tunes for labels such as Intec, Defected, Crosstown Rebels, and his own Circus Recordings. But his first love is DJing, stating in an interview that his mission is simply to “rock crowds.” For a taste of what he’ll deliver at Campout, his five-hour set below from Circus’s NYE party gives you tech, gives you house, a lick of sleaze, and grooves so hard you might just jack your body right out of its skin. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
What were you doing in your college years? While Matthew Dear was attending the University of Michigan, he co-founded the Ghostly International record label with Sam Valenti IV in 1999. Inspired by Detroit techno, the label launched with Dear’s debut single, “Hands Up for Detroit,” and has since over the last twenty years released records from singular artists like Com Truise, Gold Panda, and Shigeto. As a producer, Dear experiments on the fringes of the pop-dance spectrum, making sometimes dancefloor-friendly, sometimes avant-garde, and always fun music under aliases outside of his given name, including Audio, False, and Jabberjaw. At Dirtybird Campout, he’s going back-to-back with his good friend Tiga at Thursday's Early Arrival party, where you’ll be sure to hear something off Dear’s latest album, Bunny. Try the chugging “What You Don’t Know” on for size.
For all your acid needs, look no further than Josh Wink. Born, bred, and forever repping the city of Philadelphia, Wink is considered a pioneer of the American rave scene. He’s been a DJ, producer, and label owner since the early ‘90s, making some of the culture’s most enduring tracks across a variety of aliases including -- but definitely not limited to -- Winx (“Don’t Laugh”), E-Culture with King Britt (“Tribal Confusion”), Size 9 (“I’m Ready”), and his given name (“Higher State of Consciousness,” “Are You There?”). The record label he founded in 1994, Ovum Recordings (also with King Britt), has proved itself to be a breeding ground for up-and-coming producers, with artists such as Loco Dice, Scuba, Nic Fanciulli, and MANIK releasing some of their earliest work for the imprint. Check out the acid rainstorm of Wink’s “Aries in Mars” below to preview the squelching goodness he’ll bring to SoCal.
Eric B. & Rakim
Dirtybird Campout West Coast’s legends lineup isn’t limited to just dance music. Representing for the hip-hop constituency are Eric B. & Rakim, the culture-establishing MC/DJ duo from Long Island, New York. A pairing since 1986, Eric B. & Rakim together brought lyricism to the forefront of rap across four albums, including their 1997 debut Paid in Full, considered to be a vital work from hip-hop’s golden age. Their cultural legacy can be best summarized by some of their own lyrics, as shown below in their 1992 classic “Don’t Sweat the Technique”: “They never grow old, techniques become antiques/Better than something brand new ‘cause it’s real/And in a while the style’ll have much more value.”