In an effort to circle back to its origins in hosting historic parties in the streets of Los Angeles, Insomniac created Factory 93 – a space and project that keeps its feet in the warehouse with its eyes and ears on the underground.
A far cry from the mainstream sound and color of EDC or Beyond Wonderland, the debut of Factory 93’s music and art festival, Secret Project, has been heralded as a total success. Gauging the reaction, it seems reasonable to assume that Secret Project may very well blossom into Los Angeles’ flagship underground dance music festival in the near future.
Taking place on Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14 in Chinatown, the two-stage event arranged for some of clubland’s most venerable names to head up this rousing exhibition of electronic excellence.
Following a massive rainstorm the day before, a wonderfully tinted grey overcast hung over the festival on Saturday. This unexpected yet wholeheartedly welcomed forecast called for a soundtrack of eccentric house, off-kilter electro, lethal techno and triumphant disco tunes.
Roman Flügel, DJ Tennis, Bicep (live) and Tale Of Us kept the crowd bright and bustling at the Naud Street Stage – an impressive invention of stacked shipping containers, speakers and LED pannels that fit the festival’s sound and aesthetic to a tee. Trikk, Pachanga Boys, Motor City Drum Ensemble and Bonobo took the lead over the event’s Spring Street Stage – pacing back-and-forth between comforting grooves and hyperactive dancefloor bangers throughout the night.
As droves of the city’s involved dance music community made their way back to the event the following day, standout performances from the likes of Jeniluv, Octo Octa, Peggy Gou, Marcel Dettmann, Stephan Bodzin (live) and Ame b2b Dixon were greeted with a perpetual shower of intensity and gratitude. The fact that many of these artists seldom visit Southern California had not been lost on the crowd and they were sure to make the most of it.
Ending the show with an outstanding detonation of dancefloor rapture, the universally adored Carl Cox concluded the event with a two-hour set of fervent selections and dexterous mixing.
Despite its many successes, the festival’s incredibly high prices were a major turn off for much of the city’s local scene. However, the results of Secret Project’s first undertaking can be recognized as an honest and judicious maneuver to further fuel Los Angeles’ current underground music renaissance. All in all, Secret Project can approach its next edition with the knowledge that Los Angeles’ dance music community will more than likely have their back.