A lot happened at Burning Man this year, from Flume’s antics to dozens of musical performances. The annual culture festival, held at the Black Rock City in the Nevada desert, produces some truly unique pieces of art, including music. However, what didn’t make headlines this year was Melbourne based techno DJ Brian Fantana’s set at Celtic Chaos. His dark, bass-heavy sound was channelled into an emotional hour and a half mix, released publically this week, curated specifically to what the Burning Man festival meant to him.
The Burning Man set is a fantastic example of Fantana’s techno style, as it is one of his best showings. While the set would’ve been amazing to see live, this public version has been mixed and mastered for at home consumption. As a result, the production is tight. There is a booming bass dirt in the low-end, a bright shimmer in the high end and no discernible bleed between tracks. This lends perfectly to his techno style, but this set also has some brighter house elements. There are very few borrowed tracks, with Fantana favouring the occasional sample to layer in over his original work. Everything is his own sound, meaning the mix is perfect for a jam or boogie. Special mention has to be made of the choice to sample Talking Head’s “Psycho Killer” and a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall Pt.2”, which effectively emphasise the dark, bass-heavy tone of Fantana’s music. Peppered throughout the mix are some wilder elements, like laser effects and digital synths that whirl around the LR channels, giving headphone users the same sonic space as those who attended the set live. The entire set is both a great entry point for Brian Fantana, and techno generally, but also the Burning Man event on the whole. Nothing is too experimental, but everything is artistic and unique.