If you’re fortunate enough to be in LA this weekend, I highly recommend you head east to the Fairplex in Pomona for HARD’s Day of the Dead. The line-up is stacked, and to be honest, a little overwhelming at first glance. To temper that overwhelming feeling, we created a list of acts and producers you don’t want to miss.
Note that none of these names include headliners for the festival. You should probably already know who Bassnectar is. You’ve probably seen Deadmau5 before, though admittedly not B2B with Eric Prydz. Headliners don’t need introductions. These guys do. The list starts with my absolute highest recommendation, then goes a little random after that.
Galantis are instant gratification. They know what you want, and they want you to have it as much as you do. The intro is just long enough to familiarize you with the premise, which as with most of their work, is about young love, and serves as a giant love fest for everybody to sing to each other.
You know the part of a relationship in the beginning where you can’t seem to spend enough time with your partner, where you want to hear every story and know every detail and roll in the sheets and you couldn’t stop smiling, even if you wanted to? ‘Runaway’ is the audio equivalent to that feeling.
Also check out at DOTD: Benoit & Sergio, Route 94, Calvin Harris, Zedd, Deadmau5 b2b Eric Prydz
Gesaffelstein is a French producer who’s made quite a name for himself on his own debut (‘Aleph’) released last year, as well as in his production work for Kanye West on the lauded Yeezus. He creates driving, edgy techno more reminiscent of 90’s industrial than the 90’s house that dominates DOTD’s line up.
Also check out at DOTD: Klangkarussel, Audion, Jimmy Edgar
Rustie is a tough cookie to categorize. There’s elements of house, trap, hip-hop and what I can only think to call cinematic electronica. This mix takes a bit to get going, but it also clocks in at just under two hours, so it’s understandable that he may want to take his time easing into it. Not that I’m condoning it, but if you ever find yourself in need of a soundtrack to rob a bank to, it should probably be Rustie’s Rinse FM mix. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll feel ten times cooler doing it with this as your audio backdrop.
Also check out at DOTD: RL Grime, Branchez, Cashmere Cat
Intoxicating melodies? Check. Mesmerizing guest vocals? Check. Ingenuitive remixes? Check.
Imagine for a moment that interstellar travel was not only possible, but widely accessible, and you could take a couple days off to explore distant planets. You’d try to find the most beautiful one, right? (Well, after you found the one most resembling Tatooine with it’s double sunsets.) If you found one that was composed of reds, pinks and purples instead of the greens, blues and browns of Earth, which supported vast forms of life and remained unspoiled by settlement or civilization.
Still with me? Seattle duo Odesza’s new album would be the soundtrack to that surreal, unsullied world. It’s a beautiful place that they’ve created, and one of the few times I go back and hit play immediately once the last song ends. That experience transfers perfectly to a live setting.
Also check out at DOTD: Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, Giraffage, Ambassadeurs, Sweater Beats
Zhu is an artist in a purposeful shroud masking his identity, presumably so the attention will be focused on the work itself and not the person producing the work. Originally thought to be a big name producer releasing music anonymously, Zhu slowly let it slip over the subsequent month from the anonymous release of “Moves Like Ms Jackson” that he is in fact, a noob in the producing world. Further, with the release of his debut EP, “Night and Day,” he’s proving to be a perfectly capable new artist in the electronic music world.
His first release, The NIGHTDAY EP is good enough to require an intervention and rehab to get you to stop hitting repeat every time “Cocaine Model” fades away. Don’t miss his North American Debut at DOTD.
Also check out at DOTD: Tchami, Destructo, Cashmere Cat, Booka Shade
Sweet, sweet house music. Detroit native Claude VonStroke’s been at it for years in several roles, as a producer as well as the founder of dirtybird records out of San Francisco. His live shows are the definition of no bullshit, just heads-down journey into four on the floor beats and music easily at home today as it would have been in its nineties heyday.
Also check out at DOTD: Anna Lunoe, Cajmere, Justin Martin, AlunaGeorge
I work, live and play in Minneapolis.
I try to tell the story of the people that create music and experiences through pictures as well as through words.