For the past two years Hard Fest has featured the who’s who from the Windish list and beyond, plucking dance, electro, dubstep and bass heavy stars the likes of Justice, Soulwax, Crystal Castles, Major Lazer, 2MANYDJS, Deadmau5, MSTRKRFT, Santigold, Rusko and DJ A-Trak.
The brainchild of Gary Richards (aka DESTRUCTO), HARD events have been massive indeed, including one weekend in 2009 that had thousands getting down in a Haunted L.A. mansion.
The summer of 2010 has HARD hitting cities across the country, including Denver this Monday, August 9 at the Ogden with headliners Crystal Castles, plus Rusko, Sinden, and DESTRUCTO.
Crystal Castles, the oft misunderstood and media shy duo of Ethan Kate and Alice Glass, returned this past June with a highly anticipated and aptly named sophomore effort, Crystal Castles II (Fiction Records), which sees the pair more focused and concise than ever before.
Kate and Glass have widened the dynamics of their sound without sacrificing their fidgety brand of dance noise that was unfortunately tagged with media friendly sub-genres like “8-bit” and “nu-rave.”
Recorded in exotically random locales like a church in Iceland and a garage in Detroit, the two were inspired to make an album that pushes and pulls you in many directions; from sprinkling elements of pop and shoegaze, to new wave synth and a little rave at times (“Baptism”), all the while maintaining the continuity and idea of the tracks with their classic beatdowns of midrange spastic flares and brutal bass distortions.
Ultimately, Crystal Castles II reveals an impressive amount of depth and evolution from the unpredictable two-piece while refraining from trying too hard to sound like a departure from their debut. A mature and logical next step, which can still get you sweaty, and make you dance and swing your head solemnly. While the album offers up a more diverse aesthetic, it is still very much a Crystal Castles record.
Doors at the Ogden Theatre for HARD Fest are at 6pm and the show gets rolling at 7pm.
Listen to HARD artists and get more details on the fest at: