Music Festivals

RESET, a Labor Day Campout, Brings an Old-School-Style Rave to the Woods Outside Denver

Headless Horseman is one of the acts headlining RESET.
Headless Horseman is one of the acts headlining RESET. Headless Horseman
RESET is a boutique electronic-music campout that’s coming to a secret location about an hour northeast of Denver on Labor Day weekend. Its ethos nods to the dawn of the modern rave. Revelers will dance in a retrofitted area, all day and night, on a farm only known by ticketholders themselves.

The campout will include both national and regional acts, in a joint effort of some of Denver’s predominant house and techno promoters, talent buyers and labels. Working together were labels Quite Right Records, Beyond the Music and Foreign Roots; event producers Afterhours Anonymous, Beyønd and L.A.’s Dirty Epic; and talent buyers Chris Grant and Erik Radke.

The national headliners are Truncate, Headless Horseman, DJ Hyperactive, HOJ and Deadly Buda. Bringing up support is a who’s-who of local underground house and techno artists.

RESET will be a three-stage event, with each stage having its own vibe. The RESET Stage will offer mostly techno, wrapping partiers in heavy, entrancing four-to-the-floor rhythms. With the exception of HOJ, this is where the headliners will play, propped up by a cast of local and regional techno acts.

Los Angeles-based Truncate is a fixture in the international techno scene, having garnished support from a who’s who of electronic musicians, such as Modeselektor, Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Eats Everything, Jooris Voorn and many more. His sound is take-no-prisoners, hypnotic, heavy techno.

Also on the stage will be the German Headless Horseman. There isn’t much to know about that project from its mysterious bio: “The rest of this body shall eventually turn to dust.” Fitting for a figure who cloaks himself in a black veil and produces broken-beat industrial techno.

Another headliner, DJ Hyperactive, is a Chicago house fixture who Daft Punk says influenced its early recordings.

Rounding out the headliners is Deadly Buda, considered one of the founders of the Pittsburg underground. According to The History of American Graffiti, the artist is credited as "Pittsburgh’s first graffiti superstar."

The RESET Stage is supported by local acts Kevin Callison, Autonomous Systems, Emyli Dahlia, Kruser and rising techno stalwart Mort.Domed. Funktion-One sound will be provided by Subverted Entertainment.

The Sanctuary Stage will include All Day I Dream’s HOJ as a headliner, with regional support curated by Quite Right and Foreign Roots. Quite Right curator Brandon Loyche describes the stage as “a mix from house to deep tech to techno.”

One local act, Ne.Hau, produces a groove-heavy combination of deep tech and minimal designed to melt time. Another duo, Astronoize, performs a live-hybrid DJ act that can be described as hard techno, where melodic-synth flourishes meet fast, industrial kick drums and searing hi-hats. Other local acts on this stage will include lo-fi house collective Haus Catz; a Foreign Roots roster of Hello Mushroom, Sartorius, Mike Lao and Mr. Frick; and members of Quite Right Records. The music will be amplified by Quite Right Sound, a hybrid system of Cerwin Vega, B52, and JBL's with DBX Processing.

The Forest Stage is a purely local stage. It will be tucked among some trees, accentuated by moody, atmospheric lighting. The style of music playing there will have more of a techno angle. Highlights include festival founder Chris Grant, as well as Beyønd’s Lēver Wright going back to back with Denver-based, Desert Hearts-signed Michael Rosa. Also on the roster: sets from Mother Earth Soundsystem’s Deciprocal vs. Arc and fledging techno star Lorely Mur. This music will be amplified from a JBL Cinema rig.

RESET started as a dream between Grant and Radke.

“Really, it was Erik that got my ear," says Grant. "He really just wanted to do a show. We started planning this before there were shows again because of COVID, and at the time felt that if we could get some good national talent, do it outside and keep the budget under control that we should do one.

"Once I went out to the property and met the property owner, I was on board," Grant continues. "Then once I booked a couple of acts, I knew I could take it to Gabe [Tavarez of Beyønd/ Beyond the Music] and Sartorius [Bernson of Foreign Roots] as something actually happening with some good acts to get them on board. We then got Mahesh [Patel of Afterhours Anonymous] and Lora [Kato from Afterhours Anonymous / Dirty Epic] on board. Then Sartorius had to move, so he got Brandon involved.

Concludes Grant: "Now we've got ourselves a real underground event!”

RESET takes place September 4 through 6 in an undisclosed location an hour northeast of Denver. Tickets are $40 to $60. The organizers ask attendees to come prepared with everything they will need, as there is no ATM on site and most purchases will be cash. There will be food vendors and ice for sale. Also, beware of where you store food and trash; there are goats and chickens, and they have bad manners.
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