RENEGADES / by Faded Morgana


LA's Jackson Collective stays busy year-round, most recently with a bangin' EP specializing in House Music. 

    There are things we do in our lives that we don’t ever want to forget, and then there are things we do that we can’t possibly forget. I don’t think I can or will ever forget driving down the dirt roads of the California desert out to Jackson Tree for the first time. For reasons I don’t think I need to get into, We’re not going to share the exact coordinates or location of Jackson Tree (if you know, you know), but I think I can paint you a pretty decent picture: About fifteen minutes into the off road section of this voyage, you’ve almost assuredly convinced yourself that you are 100% lost in the middle of nowhere, a ways out from a road that you already considered extracted from civilization. It’s during this idea of helplessness, on a one way road to who-knows-where, that you accept your fate. “Well, I came here to party” and “I don’t know what I was expecting” are a few thoughts I remember crossing my mind as I trekked under a pitch black desert sky, guiding myself only by that special type of light —that glowing-flatlands-only-in-your-brights kind of light. But, it’s premature. The thing I will remember most about the journey is the low rumble of bass, the flickering lights in the distance, the moment you see it and realize you’ve actually been going the right way. Way out in the Mojave, a dirt road and a charcoal black sky cloak something amazing:  an extraordinary gathering of like-minded creators, artists, and friends (family) are somewhere out there, living their lives to the fullest. All at once, you miraculously enter the natural environment, the nesting grounds, and the Official Headquarters of the Jackson Collective. 
   Jackson Tree is, bluntly, a Renegade Desert Party. No, It’s not about drugs, and it’s not about being a bunch of sketch-balls, or blacking out, or anything like that. It’s about friendship, music, and art. All humbled and talented, some of the most well-rounded Men and Women present transform themselves into their rawest states, swinging sticks burning at both ends over their heads for beautiful fire dances. Artists display impeccably crafted projects among the flat, cold dirty earth. Collegiates and drop-outs alike stand powerfully amongst a crowd of awed dancers, showcasing their art, their soul, and their passion in the form of mismatched tempos, incredible sound design, and tons of energy. This is the setting in which I met most of the artists on Jackson Collective’s newest release, Renegade House Vol. 1.
    With a quarterly music festival, Two EPs, an ever-growing roster of talent, and a collection of memorable campout renegade parties under their belt in the last couple years, you’d be surprised Jacksons get anything done. An awesome team of thinkers, both musically inclined and not, run this Collective’s gameplan, and they’ve had quite a busy beginning. For instance, The number of patrons doubles each time I attend, and the space used for the event camping just keeps growing. Names like Morelia, 28mm, Numa,  stosu., Jackson Co-Founder Ocean Roulette, and most recently, Dirtybird’s Om Nom, have made it out to share their tunes for the event and most have accompanied their performances with Jackson Releases. Now the Collective dishes up a brand new EP specifically directed towards meeting all your House-head needs in the form of slappers, bangers, and flames. 
   Renegade House Vol. 1 is absolutely insane. I mean, I was expecting fire from my family in the Jackson Collective, but this release is next level. Every single track dishes up the kind of heat that made HUGE compilations like 2017’s HOWSLA popular: catchy, high energy, FUN House hits, and almost profoundly embodying the Jackson’s DIY festival, the word “Renegade” is the perfect prefix for these tracks. Something about these songs make me feel the dirt from Jackson Tree beneath me, the sweat drip down my nose, the magical atmosphere. These tracks are inspiring and relentless all at once, and I could not be more proud to be part of this family. Let’s take a quick look at each track and examine just what makes this EP so fun. 

Body - 28mm: Opening up this EP with a powerful jam, 28mm was one of the first artists we had in Faded Morgana’s Clubhouse (RIP) and has stayed one of our favorite producers since. This Jackson seemingly casts (black) magic over a room with his powerhouse techno mixes, dark style, and finely tuned production skills. Recently, he even gained the attention of the legendary Deadmau5 for his track “Can’t Help Myself” (Joel gave him a shout-out for the track during a live stream in 2017). The newest Jackson release starts with something a bit different than we’re used to from the techno producer, however, something slightly less brooding and a little more dirty. Fresh and unique, while still true to roots, “Body” dives into the wild side of 28mm with a filthy impeding bassline, some savage untz and those fire production skills mentioned earlier. So early on in his career and 28mm’s impressive discography gets another great track, proving to us that this Techno Legend-to-be can also call upon the powers of other genres to get us Jacksons feelin’ dirty. (It’s completely worth mentioning that 28mm also released a track called “Motion” on Friday — on Jackson Records. The song is a vibe and can be found here.

Nasty - Yung Stanza: It’s at the 32 second mark that DJ/Producer Yung Stanza introduces us to all the personality he’s packed into his track on Renegade House, Vol. 1. His wailing synths screech over the intro of the track, preparing the listener for something weird, yes, but ultimately starts bracing us for what’s to come. Clever and fun samples move “Nasty” forward towards the drop, which welcomes back Stanza’s wailing synth but accompanies a finely tuned house beat and an arrangement of fun synths and noises beneath it. The song is a vibe and it’s weird as fuck, which is a compliment in the booty shakin’ line of work. This track is one of the more unique tracks from the talented Yung Stanza and Jackson Collective in general, and we’re anticipating another fun set from him at a future Jackson Tree.
   Sidenote: Yung Stanza is heavily influenced by the Emo/Alternative scene, just like us! Mad respect for catching our Front Bottoms reference on Twitter that one time.

Bring Me That Ass - Morelia: Tanner Munn was actually using the moniker Mannequin when we first met him, after his infamously filthy drum ’n’ bass set at Jackson Tree (Mannequin being his newly branded basshead alter ego). On the House side of things, Tanner’s project Morelia is certainly picking up more and more traction, and it’s hard to think of someone who deserves it more than this guy. Extremely humble, charming and an all around great guy, the only thing that outshines Morelia’s work ethic is probably his talent. Recently, he and Ocean Roulette murdered a couple crowds in both Arizona and at LA’s Space Yacht, he took his solo show to Dallas with My Techno Weighs A Ton, and this is all fresh off a fire B2B with SangFroyd closing out EDC Las Vegas this year (For the record, this was the first time either DJ had ever even attended the event, which is inspiring in itself). So what does he do? Hits us with a Renegade House banger. Bring Me That Ass slaps, it’s almost stupid how fun this drop is. The samples are hilarious and cleverly placed, and the track has everyone we play it for for wanting to bounce on out of their seats. There’s a break in the music before the drop, and it’s honestly not enough time to prep young, unknowing listeners for the BEAST Morelia is about to unleash with this track. Jokes aside, both of Tanner’s projects are some of the coolest tunes being put out into the underground scene right now, and if you ever have the chance to watch this madman live, do NOT miss it. The energy and creativity in one of his DJ sets is insane and unparalleled. 

UsherYeah - Ocean Roulette: Jackson Collective Co-Founder Ocean Roulette has been busy lately. Very busy. His newest release, a remix for Adrian Hex charted on Beatport, and he’s released twice on Psycho Disco Records recently, one of which including his first official EP (the other being a fire collab with label-mate Morelia for the Psych 202 Compilation. Alongside these fuego releases, Ocean has been keeping busy opening for Anna Lunoe & Sage Armstrong in Vegas, playing various Space Yachts in LA and Santa Barbara, and even landing a time slot on Vegas’ top-dollar Music Festival, Life Is Beautiful in 2017. His track on Renegade House, UsherYeah, is filthy, it’s fun, and it’s a classic Ocean Roulette banger. The track calls upon the infamous Lil’ Jon sample from Usher’s Hit "Yeah" but twists it up and serves it up along a fresh beat, bringing an old favorite back to life. Can’t wait to hear Ocean Roulette masterfully drop this one on the dance floor: his signature house vibe and careful mixing are some of the talents that helped get him here, and this song showcases both those assets. Besides, Usher always goes off.

Walk N' Talk - Sour Boys: Jackson Co-Founder Fadi and Jesse Angelis are some of our favorite people, and they’re both incredibly talented House DJs, curating tons of fun sets over the time we’ve known them. So, obviously, we were pretty happy about the creation of their new collaboration project: Sour Boys. A few weeks ago, we ironically asked twitter when someone was going to use that sample from the Cha-Cha Slide in a track, and little did we know, this dynamic duo of Untz was already fitting it perfectly into their inaugural release. Seriously, the song is a bop, and the sample is catchy, cool, and fun. It’s a classic house track that calls for tons of plays on the dancefloor this year, at least if you’re trying to keep your crowd feelin’ groovy: something both Fadi and Jesse Angelis plan to make a theme in their music this year, both with their own solo tracks scheduled to release in the near future. Don't sleep on either artist, or their newly born electrifying House lovechild. 

Jewel - Carbon Street: There's something special about Carbon Street's "Jewel". We really like this track because it's so vastly different than the other tracks on this EP, while still completely capturing what Renegade House music should feel like. The breakdown in this song is around the 3 and a half minute mark and it's beautiful. Several times, I found myself completely wrapped up in its euphoric synths and vast soundscapes, just to be brought back down to earth with a powerful drop. We should note that Carbon Street mastered each track on this release through his mastering service Carbon Printed. He did a beautiful job with his own track and the sound of the entire EP and we're excited to see his return to Jackson Tree (and the return of his accomplice, the mysterious and outrageous Star Farts). 

S.O.S. - Sang Froyd: This song is so fun. At first I kind of felt like I was lost on some kind of magical island listening to House music, but then in an instant of euphoria-crushing-mayhem the song takes off and never stops. It just keeps goin', like a little pink rabbit beating at a drum to show just how long a battery can last. This makes sense, if you've ever seen Sang Froyd live. Energetic and enthusiastic, Sang Froyd is not only a talented producer, but a fun and fun-to-watch DJ. So far this year he's closed out a night at EDC at the Boombox Art Car (with friend and MultiLabel-Mate, Morelia), and released a handful of insanely fun mixes and originals that we definitely recommend scoping. The song sports some jungle vibes for sure, and really captures what we think the essence of a renegade jam should sound like.   

90 - 2C B: This track is wild, and it’s pretty impressive given the fact that brothers Sammy and Omar have only been making music under the project name 2C B for under a year still. We did a write up for their release earlier this Summer and Faded Morgana has some extremely fun things planned with the duo in the very near future, aside from all their own plans moving forward. 90 starts off simple and jumps right into a fun series of drops, each of them different and exciting in their own ways. The song is fun, fast-paced, and high energy, and there’s this melodic, juicy synth ringing over the beat for most of the duration of the track that is surely going to find it’s place safely on the dancefloor for some time amongst all different kinds of genre lovers. The second it rings out, you want to dance and you want to have fun and God Dammit, if that ain’t the point to all this then what is? I think this entire EP is a huge success, and this track from 2C B has me pumped to hear more from the Brothers. They truly bring the rave home for ya with this one. 

Jackson Tree Fall Gathering 2018 is coming up quick, and we're gonna put our money that most of these artists will have a spot (or two) on the lineup. Which tracks are your favorite?

Written and Reviewed by
Greg Chidley
Faded Morgana Editor-In-Chief