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BASSCON Goes Big for 10-Year Anniversary at EDCLV 2023

Article by: Jessica Duncan

2023 is the 30-year anniversary of Insomniac and the 10-year anniversary of its Hard Dance imprint Basscon. Insomniac’s flagship event EDC Las Vegas dropped its newest lineup last week, featuring a myriad of amazing Hard Dance artists. If you are new to Hard Dance or just want to dive deeper into the genre, the Wasteland stage is a great place to start. From Happy Hardcore all the way to Frenchcore, the full spectrum of Hard Dance is represented so that all fans will find a set that suits their taste.

Starting at the roots of Hard Dance, you will find a few of the OGs are booked throughout the weekend. DJ Isaac, one of the creators of Hardstyle, takes the stage on Friday. That same day Lenny Dee, a Hardcore pioneer from New York and founder of Industrial Strength Records, will be performing alongside another notable New Yorker, Omar Santana, who is known for adding breakbeats into his songs and creating HardHop. Dirty Workz, one of the most well-known Hard Dance labels, will be well represented on Saturday with performances from its founder, Coone as well as Darren Styles, a pioneer of Happy Hardcore and co-founder of Dirty Workz’ Happy Hardcore imprint Electric Fox. Australian producer Suae will also be bringing the reverse bass on Saturday. Another Hardstyle founding father and I Am Hardstyle label boss Brennan Heart hits the stage Sunday.

DJ Isaac at EDCLV 2022

If you’re easing into Hard Dance, Euphoric Hardstyle is the perfect subgenre to dip your toes in. It is a less aggressive style with uplifting melodies and vocals. Da Tweekaz, a Dutch duo known for making Hardstyle versions of Disney songs, will be kicking things off on Friday night along with the Dutch identical twins Sound Rush. The twins released a Hardstyle version of “Country Roads” last year, an absolute banger! Latin American producer Shei has been on the rise since 2018 and will be playing her first EDC Las Vegas set on Friday night. On Sunday night you can catch Denmark’s Adrenalize and Australia’s Code Black. Not sure which genre of Hardstyle you like yet? Check out Dr. Phunk’s set on Friday night. He plays “Freestyle” which can range from Big Room to Hardcore.

Da Tweekaz at EDCLV 2022

If aggressive kicks, loud screeches, and faster BPMs are more your style, there are a few Hardcore and Rawstyle producers to see throughout the weekend. The Queen of Italian Hardcore DJ AniMe, will command the stage Friday night. Dutch Rawstyle producer Warface will play his solo set Friday night as well. One of the fastest-growing Hard Dance acts in recent years, Sub Zero Project will play their solo set on Saturday. On that same day you can see the Australian producer with the iconic mohawk, Audiofreq. The Scottish duo Rebelion, who made their US festival debut at Beyond Wonderland in March, is also slated to perform on Saturday. On Sunday, Rawstyle producer D-Sturb will play his solo set, as will Deadly Guns, a producer that combines Metal and Hardcore into “Thrashcore.”

Sub Zero Project

While Hard Dance is a predominantly European genre, Basscon has always held it down for the American Hard Dance scene. On Friday, one of the most well-known names in American Hard Dance, Lil Texas will bring his take on speedcore, “Texcore” to the stage. His sets usually contain songs in excess of 200 BPM. Last year he also got practically naked on stage and has promised to do it again this year. On Saturday, Lady Faith, the self-proclaimed “Queen Bitch of the Universe” will be playing her 11th EDCLV. Softest Hard, who has previously played other Insomniac festivals like Beyond Wonderland and Hard Summer, will be taking the Wasteland stage for the first time on Saturday. Her brand of Hardstyle is reminiscent of early Yellow Claw. Sunday will put the HARD in Hard Dance with Mrotek dropping some Rawstyle, Soren returning with some Hardcore, and the U.S’. first Frenchore producer Levenkhan will be playing for the first time. The “Gabber Guru” himself Rob Gee will also be playing a special “30 Years” set that is sure to be a history lesson of the Hard Dance genre from the 90’s to today.

In addition to these solo sets, there are some amazing B2Bs lined up, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. For fans of Hardcore and Rawstyle, Saturday has American up-and-comers Dionysus B2B Yosuf and Warface B2B D-Sturb. If those are a bit too abrasive, the Gammer B2B Tweekacore (Da Tweekaz alter ego) Happy Hardcore set is where you need to be on Sunday. Gammer may be known primarily for his dubstep banger “The Drop,” but he has been making Happy Hardcore since 2002. The set I am most interested in is Ben Nicky B2B Sub Zero Project. Ben Nicky is mainly a trance producer and Sub Zero Project is on the Hardcore end of the Hard Dance spectrum, so it will be interesting to see how these two genres combine.

To listen to these artists before arriving at the Speedway, check out this custom curated playlist featuring my favorite songs by each of them. It will get you ready to fist pump and hakken for three days straight. See you at the Wasteland!