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Dubstep Causes Uneven Grounds: A Lost Lands Music Festival Review

Lost Lands Mix

Lost Lands Music Festival hosted by one of bass music’s top trendsetters, Excision, was held last weekend at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio, United States, North America, Planet Earth in the Jurassic Period about 200 – 145 million years ago. That’s right, the bass music festival of the year took festival goers back in time to a prehistoric era filled with primal bass music and life-sized dinosaurs based from designs of the popular Jurassic Park movie series.

I’ve been a fan of bass music for almost a decade, and I can’t remember any festival close to what I experienced last weekend. Headbangers from around the world traveled to the middle-of-nowhere Ohio to indulge in a bass-heavy, family affair that was so loud, houses 8 miles away were complaining about reverberations that shook their homes. I say family affair because as a fan of bass music and headbanging (or whomping as I call it), I finally felt at home with music lovers of a specific genre, dancing like I’ve always loved to dance. It was refreshing and exciting at the same time. In a weird way, I felt at home.

With headliners such as Zeds Dead, Excision, Destroid, Rezz and more, there was an eclectic variety of bass music that I thought brought new inspiration and talent that the genre has not had before.

I was joined in my journey back in time with rBeatz resident DJ and photographer, BRB, who felt so inspired after the event, he immediately got back to work and made an aftermath mix. Check it out below.


To see the full Lost Lands Festival Aftermath tracklist, crowd shots, favorite totems, and Chris’ Top 10 of the weekend, scroll to the bottom of this post.


Below are my thoughts on the acts we caught, along with videos, photos, and tweets we accumulated throughout the weekend. I’ll start with day 1…

Day 1: Friday, September 29th

Before we even entered the festival, there was a giant sign that read, “Welcome Headbangers,” with two Pachycephalosauruses (aka “thick-headed lizard” in Greek) banging their heads together. Pachycephalosauruses were Dinosaurs said to use their extra thick skulls for intra-specific combat behavior. A clever pun, right off the bat, for a fanbase that calls themselves “Headbangers.” We continued walking towards the security line.

When we got through security, the first thing I assume everyone noticed was the giant animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex that moved and roared in front of a Lost Lands sign that looked like a totem.  Groups of people were lining up to take pictures in front of the T-Rex. There was a strict no-touching the dinosaur rule, which was difficult to impose, but the festival had an attendant at each dino to make sure they survived the weekend.

We continued past the Lost Lands merch store witch contained custom Lost Lands apparel and Excision gear. Knowing the festival partnered with PK Sound to bring 750,000 watts of bass, I immediately purchased Excision Silicone Ear Plugs for $15. They were extremely well designed high fidelity hearing protection used to clear low volumes that actually fit perfectly into my ears (which typically have trouble with basic in-ear headphones). I was then ready for the sound battle of my life.

After passing through the merch tent, we were taken to a path down the hill towards the venue. On the path, there were life-sized Velociraptors that made that screeching sound I immediately recognized from Jurassic Park, while moving their torso and neck up and down.

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I looked to the right of the path and noticed a grove of tall trees intertwined with hammocks. Through the trees was the main stage aka Prehistoric Paradox with over 10,000 headbangers vibing to the bass. I was shocked at how early they arrived to indulge in low-end sounds.  Towards the back of the area, was a life-size brontosaurus. I immediately fell in love with the venue. We headed down to the main stage to cover, Laxx.

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Laxx

Laxx was the first set we caught. These earlier sets were really showing their stuff. The dubstep implant from Oxford UK had a hype set: a lot of trap with paralysis inducing drops. I was in shock and awe by the first set. There were two life-sized T. rexes on either side of the stage with volcanoes on each side. The headbangers were out in full force right from the start. See the video below to witness the show-out for the 3rd act at Lost Lands.

A picture of me doing what I do best, social media music festivals. BRB is behind the camera this time around.

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Figure B2B Midnight Tyrannosaurus

The only other perfect scenario for this set is if it were at midnight, the clock striking 12 while Midnight Tyrannosaurus played between two, life-sized T. rexes with flames coming out of the volcanoes behind them. Their set was SUPER heavy and haunting, which wasn’t a surprise coming from two of the most nightmarish dubstep producers.

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They are quite the devilish duo.lost lands figure 2


Wooli

As we walked to the second stage, Cave of Souls, we walked through the market, where there were more dinos, food vendors were appropriately serving giant turkey legs, and the apparel was just as colorful as the sets.

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There were bathroom stalls tucked in the back of the venue, so whenever we’d have to use the bathroom, we took a moment to listen to what was happening at the Cave of Souls. The bathrooms were positioned in such a location so that when the bass hit, the stalls would rumble. A+ bathroom placements.

The first act we witnessed at Cave of Souls was Wooli, who dropped one of the coolest remixes of Deep Down Low by Valentino Kahn. I heard this RL Grime edit about 4 times throughout the weekend.


HeRobust

A stop along HeRobust’s current tour, the Atlanta electro-trap early adapter crushed the main stage. He certainly got the crowd #BUSTED, as his fans like to say.

The festival encouraged flowing, which is moving to the beat with paraphernalia such as gloves, hula hoops, and orbits . Throughout the campgrounds, individuals were doing their own thang, and during the nighttime, glowing paraphernalia in the crowd reigned supreme. See the video below of KT from @willhoopforbass on Instagram during HeRobust’s set.

Hula Hooper at #LostLands

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Ghastly

A lot of these artists reminded me of rock n’ roll stars. Ghastly was a prime example. Playing everything hype from heavy trapstep to future bass, Ghastly made sure he was having fun himself, which was important for fans to feed off of. We were able to catch a video of the ghost with the most poppin’ champagne. Do yourself a favor and follow Ghastly on snapchat (username: ghastly) – he’s quite the entertainer.

The T-Rex looked beautiful at night.

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Kill The Noise

He’s produced soundtracks for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Zoolander 2 and XXX: The Return of Xander Cage. He’s also taken the stage with Korn. As one of the earliest bass music adopters, it was no surprise that Kill The Noise crushed the main stage. Check out his setlist here. Not only did he play the popular RL Grime Deep Down Low edit I mentioned above, but he also played another festival favorite from a majority of the DJ’s – Kendrick Lamar – Humble (Skrillex Remix), which was released about a week and a half ago.

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Seven Lions

What a beautiful set. I had never seen or heard Seven Lions play a set. I only heard remarkable reviews. The reviews were not off. With a lot of heavier bass sets prior, Seven Lions came out with some beautifully melodic future bass (typically at the first drop), followed by heavy dubstep (typically on the second drop). I haven’t heard arrangements like that before, so I thought it was so simplistically clever. The best of both worlds future bass and dubstep.

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Caught BRB orbiting during Seven Lions. He’s using the Orbite X3 (4-Light) from EmazingLights.lost lands seven lions 4


Ephwurd

Caught a bit of the brain child between Datsik and Bais Haus at the Cave of Souls. The bass from this tent was in a tube, so it traveled super far. We could easily hear it from the parking lot about a mile away. What’s more surprising – towns 8 miles away were reporting sound disturbances in the area.

@ephwurd at #LostLands #GetLostWithMe

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Excision

Since it was Excision’s first time hosting his own festival, I figured he was going to come out with a bang. Boy, did I underestimate my already high expectations. This was by far the most unbelievably entertaining intro to any set I’ve ever witnessed. I captured gold, so I posted to Excision’s Headbangers FB page to let the outside world in. The Jurassic Park theme song with an extended drop had headbangers going absolutely nuts. Check it out below.


The rest of his set was wild. The most energetic of the day in my opinion. Check out his set list here if you’re an aspiring DJ for inspiration on one of the industry greats. He played a two hour set, and crushed it all the way through. Very difficult to sustain that HIGH energy for two-hours, so props to Excision for coming out with an extended bang.

#GetLostWithMe @excisionofficial at #LostLands

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After 8 hours of heavy dubstep, BRB and myself were exhausted and could not stay up for Crizzly or 12th Planet. We went back for some Zs but made sure to take an artsy pic of the Brontosaurus before leaving the venue.


Day 2: Saturday, September 30th

Cesqeaux

I was a little scared coming into day 2,  exerting so much energy from the day before. At the same time, I was more excited than ever. We took our time getting to the venue on day-2. The internet was spotty for uploads, so we had to find a nearby Starbucks to post videos to the rBeatz Instagram and Facebook. This was BRB’s most surprising, favorite acts. The Dutch bass producer played a fair amount of hip-hop style electro-trap, giving a nice contrast to the incessantly heavy dubstep from the night before.

Lost Lands Cesqeaux


Cookie Monsta

Whether it was mixing DJ Fresh – Louder (Doctor P & Flux Pavilion Remix) with Crime Mob – Knuck If You Buck and some insane bass drop or mixing in some of his notable metallic jaw dropping bass, Cookie Monsta was on high energy from start to finish.

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Slander

A beautiful opening tribute to the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, an idol to many of the performers, who came from a more rock-style background. Then Slander did his thing and destroyed the place sonically. Slander was one of the most popular acts at the Cave of Souls. The space was a much more enclosed venue than the main stage, creating more vibrations from the heavy bass.

@slanderofficial Intro at #LostLands an Ode to Chester Bennington

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Snails

Frédérik Durand aka Snails consistently throws the grimiest sets. He calls his music vomitstep and his fans the vomitsquad. Like many fan groups, there was a meet-up before his set to prepare themselves for the madness and meet other like minded slugs. He even played a vomitstep remix of Spongebob. Nothing is safe from Snails.

His sets are always super animated. I’ve been impressed with the level of animation and storytelling from these DJs. I felt like I was watching a hard action anime thriller throughout various sets. DJing these days is a team effort, and the animators behind the scenes are just as much a part of the Snails project as Frédérik.

As I mentioned before, flowing was strongly encouraged at the festival. Below is a video of rBeatz resident DJ, BRB, orbiting at Snails.

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Destroid

Destroid got back together. Their last show was in 2016 at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami. Excision’s old band got together with some mind-blowing graphics and insane pyro. Excision (production and midi-guitars) was hyping the crowd up while Downlink (production and midi-guitars) was dressed head to toe in an “Alien vs. Predators” outfit with a midi-guitar in hand, and Pendulum drummer KJ Sawka was another “Alien vs. Predators” creature elevated above the rest on the drums. Check out the intro to the band getting back together below.

The band played heavy dubstep, but with KJ Sawka leading with the drums, there was a very heavy metal element to the entire performance.

There was so much pyro, that one of the Volcanoes lit on fire towards the end of Destroid’s set. That didn’t stop them from finishing their act. There was a bit of a pause between Destroid and Zeds Dead to put out the fire. Only at Excision’s festival can a volcano blow out.

DESTROID actually destroyed the stage. Volcano ? fire #lostlandsfestival @lostlandsfestival

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Skellism

They played at the same time as Destroid, so it was difficult to compete with the host’s old band getting back together. The clip below shows a more drum and bass style production that was played every now and then to change up the vibe to a more house-style bass music.

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Zeds Dead

This was my #1 set of the weekend, sorry Excision! You knew what you were getting into when you invited one of the greatest dubstep duos in history. I’ll admit, I’m a bit biased. Zeds Dead was the first dubstep show I ever attended back in 2011, and I obviously never turned back.

The Canadian electronic duo played Bassmentality, White Satin, Rudeboy, a rendition of Dido’s Thank You, a rendition of Nina Simone’s Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, Humble., and a lot of other sexy slower dubstep aka chillstep. A beautiful set by Zeds Dead, and a nice break from the incessant heavy bass made this set standout from the rest.

Below is a video of the craziest drop my ears witnessed at the festival. It was a Run DMC remix done by producer, Wuki.

 

Zeds Dead played all the classics. That’s what made their set so good. They knew bass music fans were coming from all over, and as some of the pioneers of chillstep, they knew real fans were out there.

Here’s a Zeds Dead fan whomping hard rocking their paintball jersey, toting the Zeds Dead flag.

I ran into Kylie Blake twerking like a champ. A lot of butts were out this weekend. It’s a bass music festival, so freedom was encouraged. It can get hot dancing up a storm, so the less cloths the better. Since this was an end of the summer festival, it got chili at night, so you had to bring extra layers for when you stopped dancing. It got close to 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

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Downlink

I was exhausted after Zeds Dead. Below is a final shot I got at Downlink. I heard, the next day, it was one of the harder sets at the festival. The former member of Destroid had a quick turnaround but still did his thang. As I was leaving Downlink, I heard a nice ode to one of the founding fathers of brostep, Rusko, playing his single, Woo Boost.

@downlink at #LostLands #GetLostWithMe

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I also had an opportunity to stop by the fire people. At this prehistoric event, I was wondering if they invented fire yet or not. They had, and somehow they were able to spin around with it, swallow it, and breath it. Quite impressive.

Before going to sleep, I made some quick edits from iPhone photos that I took earlier that evening.


Day 3: Sunday, October 1st

I did a bit of a recap of the festival and the day ahead on day 3. I am in front of the T. rex at the entrance. This is a video of myself, so you know I’m a real human……………..?


Excision – Detox Set

The first set we hit on day 3 was Excision’s Detox set, where he slowed it down a bit, but didn’t let up on the bass. Below is a video of Excision playing a new unreleased track or his final song of the set.

Before going into the photo pit, I was able to catch another flow artists on her hula hoop grind.

Hula Hooper @excisionofficial Detox set #LostLands

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Dion Timmer

This is the guy with the shirts! Dion Timmer had his own merch alongside Excision’s inside the venue. He also threw down a killer set.

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PhaseOne

PhaseOne stopped by Ohio while on his North America Tour, Dreamscape. I was able to capture some classic bass faces and head banging styles in this video below.

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Liquid Stranger

Liquid Stranger is a Swedish electronic producer who is considered the epitome of International dubstep playing everything from Latin, Asian, Eastern European and Jamaican dancehall dubs.

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Rezz

By far one of the most unique acts of the festival. Rezz plays a lot of dark-bass music focused around bass house arrangements. She is a queen in her own right, laying the foundation for what I believe will be the next big permutation of electronic music to come. Rezz stopped by Lost Lands, while currently on her Mass Manipulation World Tour, promoting her debut album, Mass Manipulation, which was released on DeadMau5’s label Mau5trap.

Below is a video of her intro, where she had a slow countdown to one of her hit singles, Relax.

Rezz playing her single, DRUGS!

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Illenium

Illenium was a fan favorite of the weekend. He played a bit more softer bass than the acts from previous days. More melody and more synth play teetering on the future bass genre. Who am I kidding? It IS future bass.

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Ganja White Night

rBeatz resident DJ, BRB, called it!!! I was shocked. We were trying to guess the secret guest all night, and he kept insisting that GWN made the most sense. We were blown away by their set and the fact that BRB guessed the special guest correctly.

Ganga White Night played an entire animated cat and mouse game where the turkey was the mouse and the police was the cat. Four Dimensions. Props to the animators at Ganja White Night.

I put Ganja White Night in a category with Rezz and Um… These artists are trendsetters in the bass space in my opinion, creating minimal arrangements with unique deep synths with bass as the frontman. Fantastic space play from these artists.

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Excision B2B Datsik

This was Excision’s final set of the festival. A team-up with Datsik on a B2B set. Only other time this legendary collab happened was at Global Dance Festival in Denver, Colorado. rBeatz was on the ground there too to cover it. The set was a cherry on top to the already flawless weekend.

@excisionofficial B2B @datsik at #LostLands #GetLostWithMe

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Lost Lands was one of the most flawlessly executed music festivals I’ve ever had the opportunity to attend. AND There were no drug related evacuations! Excision was especially thankful for this. We didn’t have an opportunity to stay for, Um.., a set we were fairly excited for. To make up for it, we listened to their Shambhala 2017 mix and a lot of their music on the 8 hour drive back home to New York City.

I got home at 8:08am – no joke. If ya don’t get it, ya don’t get it.

 


Lost Lands Festival Crowd Shots

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A shot of the legend who pulled THIS off

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Totems of the Festival

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Chris’ Top 10 of The Weekend

  1. Zeds Dead

  2. Rezz

  3. Excision

  4. Ganja White Night

  5. Seven Lions

  6. Snails

  7. Destroid

  8. Kill The Noise

  9. Excision B2B Datsik

  10. Ghastly


BRB’s Lost Lands Festival Aftermath Mix Tracklist

Land of the Lost Intro

Trampa & TrollPhace – Headbang Gang

HErobust & MONXX – Giant Squiddim

12th Planet – Control

BadKlaat – Head Crush

G.W.N.- Purple Star

Boogie T – Ain’t Safe

Distinct Motive – 40hz

Spag Heddy – Oh My!

Trollphace – Make it bounce (Ft. Harvey J)

um.. – Skrillex 2

G.W.N. – Endless Sky

um.. – That’s Horrible

Boogie T. – Boogie Nights

Skellism – G.T.F.O.

Dion Timmer Ft. Magmag – Berzerk

AFK & Wooli -WDGAF

Excision & Space Laces – Throwin Elbows

G Jones – Krabby Patty Secret Formula

Herobust – Status Busted

not sorry – LD50

Figure – Phantasm

Mr. Carmack – Pay for what

Boogie T – whatstep

Dion Timmer – Plug me in

Zeds dead – White Satin

G.W.N. – White Widow

Crizzly & AFK – Chain Hang Low

Rezz – Synesthesia

Rezz x 13 – DRUGS!

Wuki – Tricky

Ghastly – Get on this

Deep down Low (RL Grime Edit)

 

Chris Stack

After graduating from Kenyon College, Chris Stack joined a branding and marketing startup, BrandYourself (as seen on SharkTank), in New York City. After leading the company to grow past profitability as a leading account manager, Chris set his sights on his passion: music. He currently runs his own LLC in New York City, helping musicians in the city with their online presence and marketability. A native of the Washington DC area, Chris Stack's passions and hobbies include music production (8 years on Ableton), marketing, baseball (Mets), football (Ravens), Netflix n chillin, and the experience economy.

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