It’s about letting oneself go and allow a world of rhythm, a vast array of sounds and various decibels of heart-pounding bass to take you away.
The world of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) will take a foothold in Baytown as Freaky Deaky 2019 is set to present a fast tempo juxtapose of music bathed in the sweat of thousands of dance enthusiasts at the Houston Raceway Park on Saturday and Sunday.
The festival will take place 2 p.m. to midnight Saturday and 2 – 11 p.m. Sunday.
Just under 100 different EDM artists will present their mixes and talents over the course of hour-long sets – with some variation. Some artists are household names not just in the genre but in music in general.
Be it an established artist, up-and-comer or someone trying to establish a name, the artists are ready to turn the thump lose on Southeast Texas on five different stages.
Bring earplugs if you dare.
A festival schedule can be found at https://freakydeakytexas.com/lineup.
10-11 p.m., Saturday the Rising Stage – A local connection
Ethan Swindull is a Houston DJ with Baytown roots with a rising, worldly sound and Freaky Deaky promises to be one of his most promising sets yet.
The Texas A&M student has quite the story to tell so early in life as the 20-year-old is expanding his brand and hitting Baytown as he hopes to accelerate his career.
He will be doing it in the backyard of the home of his father Ivan Swindull – who grew up here – as did his grandmother Connie, who still lives in the house where his father grew up.
His set Saturday will be in memory of his grandfather Bill or ‘Paw Paw.’
“I am fortunate enough to be selected to play this year,” Ethan said. “This is my first festival. I started out DJing and was doing like church dances, bar mitzvahs, birthday parties – more mobile DJing stuff. When I was 16, I started taking the artist side more seriously and play the gamut of playing bars and small venues.”
Swindull has opened for a number of big artists in the EDM scene including Ben Gold and Alex M.O.R.P.H.
“All of them are super nice guys,” Ethan said. “What caught me off guard is how genuine everyone has been.”
Now he will play in front of thousands of partygoers.
One of Ethan’s role models and inspirations is Armin Van Buuren who will play 7:55 – 9:10 p.m. Sunday on the Shrine stage and is one of the biggest world brands in EDM.
“That is truly what I want to become, which is more of an artist,” Ethan said. “DJing is my way of showcasing my music to the crowd and my medium for performance. I am very confident in the quality of my productions and making contact and getting my music out to more people.”
Ethan is also working on piano play and is trying to sketch out melodies and work toward his own signature.
“I love trance and that’s what got me into it, but I love all kinds of music,” Ethan said. “I like mid tempo and recently have started working with a rapper because I like music in general. I love making music from scratch.
“Even though I am confident in my productions now, but there is always room to improve. I want to have as wide of a music palette where I can make anything and I want to have an image of someone like Armin or Kaskade with whom people can easily identify with.”
To check out the altruist, visit https://soundcloud.com/dj_altruist and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVhM0tsLrVrW3KdrQwBTFzQ.
The Crystal Method:
5:10-6 p.m., the Crypt Stage – A legend that grows
Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan formed The Crystal Method over 25 years ago hoping to produce some cool tunes for people to dance to.
Not only did that happen, but their music, built over six albums, became synonymous with movies, television shows, commercials, video games and anything else in between.
Their first album – Vegas – released in 1997 and became certified platinum in 2007 – featured the single “Keep Hope Alive” that became part of the “Replacement Killers” soundtrack and that was all she wrote.
“Without a doubt the ability to find different opportunities to get your music out and heard was huge – especially when it comes in the early years,” Kirkland said. “The next generation games became such a benefit because we were in FIFA ’98 which was one of the biggest games in the world. There was “Busy Child” in the Gap commercial which was played with Seinfeld and you had this massive audience and awareness. Then there were movies like ‘Fast and Furious’ …
“We weren’t even sure if we would ever be able to pay rent so all of it was a pleasant surprise and a benefit to our longevity and the ability to continue to spread the word.”
Kirkland, who has stayed on as Jordan retired in 2016, has seen the change in the EDM world and most notably, the sonic quality of the genre.
“Over the years with advancements of computer processing and a want to have analyzers and real-time effects allows one to expand the sound,” Kirkland said. “You think about advances in the venue where people play. There is a super digital crossover and you have someone who holds an IPAD controlling all the frequencies and clubs are being developed and have come forward sonically.
“I do get bummed out sometimes where you play those tracks where back in the day they were great tracks and not competing frequency-wise. But, rhythm is rhythm and I think that’s why techno and house music has lived on past the disco era: That four on the floor is undeniable. You get something consistent and sounds great.”
Kirkland will play a DJ set with a mix of his project’s own signature pieces.
“This weekend’s show is a full on assault on the senses,” Kirkland said. “I say that in a positive way because you spend the money to go and see a spectacle. You want to hear great music with your friends and get down and have a good time.”
5-6 p.m. Sunday, the Big Top – From Russia with love
With a name hard to forget and an image that continues to gain traction, this duo can be seen in various videos on a YouTube search with views ranging from the low millions to the scratching the surface, few thousands.
Make no mistake: The Russian duo – or “dogz” – who go by Damian and Frenkie, are finding their footing and will hopefully create new love in Baytown.
“We’ve told about it many times - you’ll never know where your best party will take place,” the dogz said. “Canadian Montreal or Russian Tumen, LA or Baytown in Texas.”
The duo enjoys the touring life and have been on the road in North America since August.
“Fortunately, all the first part tour gigs were awesome,” the dogz said. “Each city gave us a pretty hearty welcome. There’s also a touristic part of our trip. We will remember the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls forever. We hope the visit to your town will be no exception.”
Then of course, there are the pitfalls.
“We have some common issues: Flight delays, lost baggage or mixing white and color clothes while laundering,” the dogz said. “But we can’t name such little things as worst part of our tour. Everything passes off without a hitch.”
They readily admit tour life can get a bit crazy and who knows, maybe they will add a chapter of the life in Baytown.
“One day we shook people up so much that they started to climb on stage and jump into the crowd like artists normally do,” they said. “Another time, when we suggested taking a pic with people, they broke the barrier in front of the stage and pressed the security against the wall.
“It’s easy when we’re touring – party, hotel, sleep, flight, party, hotel, sleep, flight... It’s a real work – full of fun, but it requires some responsibility. There are lots of organizational issues that must be settled immediately. That’s what we do with our team despite shows.”