Last week, Insomniac's Secret Project graced Los Angeles with the chunkiest lineup of techno and house artists we've ever seen. As someone who previously identified as a techno purist, I came into this event as an absolute skeptic. House absolutely makes sense and matches the vibe for summer, but the idea of having a daytime techno party is quite the opposite of the dark, banging warehouses that I'm accustomed to.
Secret Project changed my mind on all of that - this event did an incredible job building off of the success of last year's inaugural display. The brand's birth springs from Insomniac's roots in the warehouse scene of 90's LA, and they do a good job paying homage to the underground with every detail throughout. You've got everything that has come to be expected with a high class show: easy check-in, fast lines, top-notch food trucks, and a thick AF sound system. On top of that, there's also a fair amount of really engaging and immersive art displays around the venue to wander in/through/around and use for photo opps.
The whole reason why this event matters - and will continue to matter - is the incredible and rare talent that was brought out. The complete list of artists is impressive. For day one, I had my eyes set on DJ Tennis, Loco Dice B2B William Djoko (ICYMI - William Djoko made us a playlist), and Daniel Avery - and of those three Daniel Avery really took the cake in a big way. Seeing the crowd losing their shit to thumping kicks and crisp hats at 3pm nearly brought a tear to my eye. The crowd was up for it and everyone was welcoming, friendly, and there to make some memories.
However, one performance overshadowed absolutely everything for the entire weekend - Nina Kraviz B2B Helena Hauff. And holy hell did they cast a big shadow. What started as a fun and atmospheric build, quickly progressed into the wackier and proper sounds I craved. Things just kept getting darker and more intense in absolutely the best way and I couldn't have been happier.
Mark your calendar for next year - do not miss it.
Here's some selects to help you relive the weekend: