Clownsville at Events: Extrema Outdoor 12-07-2014

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I wasnt really planning to go to Xtrema Outdoor at all but when Maarten asked for a reporter on duty I didnt hesitate for a moment and signed up along with my good friend Jasper and I can say we were universally positively surprised by the festival.

After about 90 minutes of delay for me and Jasper, we were finally granted access to the festival. The organisation had seized to send us our access codes but when I show them a mail from the big boss one of the security guards believes us and finally we are in! We take a stroll to the left and find ourselves listening to some great deep house with an intense wobbly feel to it. This must be the crystal stage where La Fuente is playing. We stroll through to the indoor arena though to find ourselves some massive techno played by Erol Alkan. I know some people reading it now really hate techno but I love it so damn much.

Up next is Baauer, the first DJ I really wanted to see, and he drops one of the loudest trap tracks I have ever heare as opener. This is certainly promising for the remainder of the set. Wait a sec… IS HE DROPPING VOODOO PEOPLE? Oh my god he is actually throwing the pendulum remix of voodoo people in a trap set. Risky but awesome. Im right now carrying one of Jaspers huge cameras with massive lens and just as big flash on it so I cant even properly skank on it ;(.

I couldnt resist experiencing some techno too so I dropped by Len Faki to witness one of the better techno sets Ive been to in a while. I also have to greatly credit the press accomodation XO have put up. I can just walk into the press area (which is also the techno stage backstage) and unload the fridge into my pockets. They really went out of their ways to accomodate us.

I took some detours to other stages. I dont really know all these artists but its a proper commercial dance music extravaganza. I hear some decent to great house music here and there. Mostly its your average EDM beats though, so its waiting it out until the two main acts for me start. Truth be told I kinda lost myself at the techno stage a little too long.

Next one on the lineup for me is Netsky. Rarely has a producer had such a surge to fame as Netsky has done. In 2012, Netsky started touring as a band all over the world and the rest is history. Their BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix was nominated for Essential Mix of the Year by listeners of BBC Radio and that’s just one of a few dozen official recognitions the act has gotten over the past 2 years.

Theyre starting off with a track I dont know, but after that its “the Sun is shining Everyday” and its all good. Me and some friends are on the VIP deck, which by the way is a great place to see Netsky perform on. Credits to backstage and VIP areas because they really went out of their way to accomodate us. Netsky play their full array of hits with the band. Pirate Bay, Love Has Gone, they play it all. There is a HUGE crowd witnessing it as well. I think there may actually be 8000 people in the arena. And counting, too!

But all good things come to an end, and its finally Zeds Dead taking over, who have been one of my favourite live acts ever since they were so magical on RFLX it reduced me to tears. The dynamic duo consisting of DC and Hooks played their first live set in 2010 in an underground place in Toronto. Their official facebook description reads the following narrative on this performance, and the striking resemblances it already showed with their current DJ sets:

“It’s 2010. Zeds Dead is about to play one of their first shows in the basement of a dive bar in Toronto. Behind the brick walls and the unfinished ceiling exposed wires hang freely. The air smells of booze, smoke, and sweat. A crowd is lined up outside, flasks hang from their back pockets and cigarettes from their lips. Abandoned drinks rest on the lip of the dj booth while joints get sparked in the corners.

The tiny room is packed. Nobody quite knows how to describe the music yet. When Hooks and DC start their set the earth trembles. The air becomes charged and almost sexual. Everyone goes crazy. You feel the music in your bones. Your marrow shakes. You don’t know what they will play next but you know it might just change your life. Everybody at those early shows could tell – these guys are gonna be big.”

Zeds Dead are magical now too.

They play every possible thing imaginable. Trap, deep house, techno, dubstep, glitch hop, drum n bass all get a spin. They actually play Control Movement by Gesaffelstein after a while, one of the loudest techno tracks ever made. The crowd is shrinking unfortunately which could be due to Avicii playing the outside main stage and the subsequent end show. Zeds Dead turn to some more heavier guns after a while. After one of my favourites White Satin, they play their Prodigy remix of Breathe. Zeds Dead. Wow. They can do anything. I’ve heard about every tempo known to man. They mix it flawlessly, too. Impressive and impervious DJ skills and massive track selection make this another magical set from these Canadian masters. And that makes it a wrap as well for tonight. I think ill be a resident at Xtrema from this year on. I am very positively surprised by the organisation and the overall experience. I would advise everybody reading to just go visit this festival because its not as bad as you may think. See you at the next one!

Written by: Elmar van Eijk
Photography by: Jasper van Roessel

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