This year’s Coachella lineup is a bold statement against mainstream EDM acts, but in my opinion, Coachella 2013 will have some of the best DJs since the festival’s inception over a decade ago. It looks like Coachella is fine with EDC, HARD and the Ultra Music Festival booking names like Tiesto, Afrojack and Porter Robinson while Coachella opts for more established DJs.
Yes, the Sahara tent will sound and look different when compared to years in recent memory. Something tells me there will be less furry backpacks and glow sticks this year; the candy kids are no more (or so I hope).
So if you’re looking for a funky dance party, I suggest you check out these 16 EDM acts and DJs:
The Gist: Originally known as Coups2Cross, the 4-member group from France consists of DJ Greem, MC 20Syl, Atom and Pfel. As I mentioned in my 21 obscure must-see Coachella 2013 acts post, C2C won the won the Disco Mix Club World DJ Championships four years in a row. I’m not exactly sure what that competition is, but if they won it, they must be pretty good! Decide for yourself, listen below.
Genre: Turntablism, Dance, Club
The Gist: Part of the supergroup The xx, Jamie xx made a name for himself by remixing the work of the late Gil-Scott Herron. I’m a big fan of his tracks featuring chopped vocals laid over a rhythmic high hats and beat-skipping drum kicks. You’ll hear all sorts of instruments in his songs, same of which I don’t know the name of. Advice: go see Jamie xx.
Genre: UK Garage
The Gist: Hudson Mohawke and Lunice combined forces to create this much talked about duo. I’ve never seen them, but from what I’ve heard, this is an act not to be missed.
Genre: Trap with hip hop mixed in
The Gist: Well what do you know, there are a couple of bro DJs playing Coachella 2013 after all: Skrillex + Boyz Noize = Dog Blood. As much as I dislike Skrillex as an individual DJ, the German-born Boyz Noize somehow has a positive influence on him, and I find myself liking their collaborations. Decide for yourself, but I will be at their set bar that it doesn’t conflict with any of the other acts I really want to see.
The Gist: The sets of the hair-twirling Lorin Ashton, aka Bass Nectar, seems more like a metal show than an EDM set. Bass Nectar has been around for years, by now you’re probably familiar with Bass Nectar’s music. He played a very memorable set in the Sahara tent in 2010, but I have a feeling he might of outgrown that stage… main stage?
Genre: Dub step and glitch
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The 2 Bears
The Gist: Hot Chip cofounder Joe Goddard and Raf Rundell have joined forces to bring you The 2 Bears (I’ve noticed lots of “duos” EDM acts this year, does it really take two people to man the turntables? These guys are big in the UK and are ready to burst onto the US EDM scene. If you like Hot Chip, check out The 2 Bears.
Genre: House, Indietronica
The Gist: Ok I’ll admit, I’m a fan of their song “Cry Just a Little” which was butchered by American rapper Flo Rida. But this Dutch dance duo (Paul Bäumer and Maarten Hoogstraten) has had several big hits in Scandinavia, Germany, UK and The Netherlands. I think their vocal-heavy tracks are going to be a big hit in the Sahara.
Genre: House, Electro and Dance
The Gist: This established duo (yes, another duo) comes by way of the Frankfurt electronic scene. They have a trust following who are faithful to Booka Shade’s minimalist sounds.
Genre: Minimal Techno, Ambiant and Experimental.
The Gist: A legend out of the 80s/90s Detroit Techno scene (well actually he’s from just across the river; Winsor, Ontario) who performed as his alias Plastik Man at Coachella in 2010. I was there and it was awesome. Lesson learned, be there for his set in 2013.
Genre: Detroit Techno and Minimal
The Gist: Hailing from the New York area and drawing his name from the Herman Melville novel, Moby is a long-time stalwart on the dance music scene. He breakthrough in the early 1990s with a single called Go. You’re probably familiar with his song Porcelain, which was featured in the 2000 movie The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio. I saw Moby’s set at EDC in 2010 (although he was relegated to one of the lesser-known stages) and I will definitely be back for more at Coachella 2013.
Genre: Downtemp, Ambient, Techno and Electronica.
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The Gist: I’ve read a lot of hype surrounding this Dutch-born, Detroit Techno-playing DJ. A few listens on Spotify and I’m hooked. Interested to hear this music live in the Sahara.
Genre: House and Detroit Techno.
Maya Jane Coles
The Gist: You may know UK-born Maya Jones Cole from her duo She Is Danger. I first heard Maya’s work in a BBC Essential Mix, which I suggest you check out. I haven’t seen her live, but I’ve read nothing but great things!
Genre: Deep House
The Gist: This isn’t your frat bro’s dubstep. Think more along the lines of Pretty Lights and Paper Diamond with a little bit of SF flare mixed in. Mimosa mixes in a lot of jazz instruments and even some drum n’ bass beats which makes for a unique sound. Perhaps you would call him a “Do Lab-type” of DJ.
Genre: Non-bro dubstep
The Gist: To be honest, I don’t know much about Disclosure, except for that they’re from the UK and every one of their songs I’ve listened to on my Coachella Sunday Spotify Playlist is awesome. If you have any input on Disclosure, leave it in the comments section below or contact me and I’ll add your two cents.
Genre: UK Garage and house.
Christian Martin (Do Lab, second weekend)
The Gist: Cofounder of San Francisco’s Dirty Bird crew and a dear friend of minimal-house-master Claude VonStroke, Christian Martin is sure to have the Do Lab dancing (again). He was possibly the best act at the Do Lab last year (and I got a ReTweet from him)! If you’re over heating in the Coachella sun, be sure to take a shower at the Do Lab when Christian is playing.
Genre: Minimal, Tech House
The Gist: The Colorado wonder kind needs no introduction. I still cite his November, 2010 show at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles with Kraddy and Gramatik as one of the best electronic music shows I’ve ever been too. His performance at Coachella early that year was also amazing. Bottom line: make sure you’re at his set on Sunday evening (Outdoor or Sahara?)
Which Coachella 2013 DJs did I leave out?
Didn’t see your favorite DJ or EDM act in the list above? Then add them in the comments section below, or feel free to contact me and I’ll add them to the list if you think they’re worth seeing.
Other Coachella 2013 EDM acts in the lineup include:
Fedde La Grand
Kill the Noise
Simian Mobile Disco
Did I leave anyone out? If so, post them in the comments section.
If you originally thought the EDM lineup at Coachella this year was a little weak, I hope this post has convinced you otherwise. As I mentioned, this is possibly the strongest EDM lineup in the history of Coachella. And I think everyone will be happy to discover that the bro’s and candy kids have moved on to other events like EDC and Ultra.
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