In April I received a IG DM from Franck Martin who recommended me to play at Synthwoods in June. The organizer, Romain a.k.a. Bacprop, invited me to perform a live modular set as KZZL at Synthwoods Campout 2023 an outside rave & campout, headlined by French DJ Joachim Garraud. This was a unique opportunity I had to accept.
Gathering a tangled mess of wires I plugged in all my modules and prepared samples of past tracks, and spoken word from my brothers. The venue was a two drive south of me, near Santa Cruz, a secret location only revealed to ticket holders and performers.
Driving to the camp site around narrow roads to a hilltop reminded me of growing up in Marin county, where there's several hillside two lane roads that can't fit more than one car at a time. I backed up a few times to let locals drive past. I arrived in mid afternoon and met Romain as he drove around on an ATV. He hauled my synths to the Yurt stage where I was booked to perform. The main stage was reserved for DJ sets. The Yurt had a deck on the hillside overlooking the redwoods, and was powered by daisy chained extension cords.
The Yurt had all the modular performers, Franck Martin, Peter Nyboer, Perfect Patch, and I, amongst several DJs. Franck and Peter played Quad sets in the Yurt, which was well received by the chill crowd as they grooved or reclined on the floor and rafter.
The main Stage was all DJs, starting at 4pm and going until late into the night. The landscape was intimate as it took only a minute to walk a small hill between the main stage and the yurt. People had set up camp sporadically around the area, some had lounge areas with colorful lights. A couple of booths were set up by the main stage, and a refreshment tent with drinks and weed, and local artist Ella selling prints of her beautiful soul portraits.
The vibe was chill as we watched the sunset over the redwood trees and dusk revealed the LED lights set up around camp. I descended the unlit narrow road down the hill later than I had anticipated, and reflected on the new friends and conversations from the show. My set being more Industrial than Techno was well received, and brought about a great conversation. I look forward to the next Synthwoods.