Exploring Indio: Our picks for Coachella Day 1
The Coachella Arts and Music Festival has been host to some of the most groundbreaking talent in music throughout its 14 year history. Although relatively modest, this year’s electronic dance music presence at Coachella is the largest since its 1999 debut. Staying true to form, Goldenvoice’s bookings represent some of the most exciting artists in electronic music today – a group whose talents extend across a broad swathe of sound and styles. With the 2013 lineup heavily expanding its electronic offerings, we felt it only appropriate to share our must-see picks from the viewpoint of four fans heading out to Indio for the type of musical experience only three days in the desert could provide.
Tommy Trash – In the last year, Tommy Trash has risen from mid-level DJ status to all-out superstardom prominence. Both his remixes and originals have consistently topped the charts in the last 18 months and he’s really nailed down that churning electro groove by which he can now be identified. His late afternoon set on Friday will heat up the Sahara tent even more than the desert sun.
Nicky Romero – Nicky will be taking the Sahara stage immediately after Mr. Trash, and just like the Aussie before him, he’s coming off an incredible year. He didn’t get a chance to play at Coachella last year, but if anything this is just another indicator of how much his star has risen. He’s a dynamic remixer and producer, working with big names like David Guetta but also taking tech house risks like his recent “Still The Same Man” single on Toolroom.
Dog Blood – The perfect storm that Alex Ridha and Sonny Moore have created with Dog Blood is an act that I have waited too long to experience. Having missed these two during Ultra Music Festival, I swore I wouldn’t miss them at Coachella this year. Expect a midday set time for these two, as they’ve been known to disregard prime time slotting in exchange for crowds packed with diehard fans.
Modestep – Forward thinking, live dubstep pioneers, Modestep are another group of artists who’ve I yet to have the pleasure of seeing. A group who caught our attention early in 2011 with “Feel Good” and won me over with “Sunlight,” this guitar-laced, dub rock trio is destined to deliver a dynamic desert set.
Dillon Francis – Since his first release and early performances at Brooklyn Bowl and Webster Hall, there has not been a single Dillon Francis performance that I could attend that I missed – and I don’t plan to start at Coachella. Take a break from all the indie rock crooning and go HAM with DF.
Beardyman – Festivals like Coachella give you the opportunity to experience a wide range of sights and sounds, and Beardyman’s beatboxing is one of those unique performances I do not plan to miss on Day 1. Not only does he beatbox in a traditional manner, but he also loops and samples his own vocals to make for a mindblowing live show. His style incorporates elements of drum and bass, dubstep, breakbeat, hip hop, reggae — really most subgenres of dance music. His performance is so unique that he even had to develop his own software called the Beardytron 5000 MkII to handle his work.
Infected Mushroom – One tour they’re a live band, the next they’re rocking the DJ set, the one after they’ve incorporated pods that induce visual rapture. No, they don’t have ADD – Israel’s Infected Mushroom are just quite simply one of the most dynamic electronic groups on the scene, and they have been since 1996. With their latest release out on Dim Mak, the duo have turned from hard rock to glitch hop and progressive house, all while maintaining their psy-trance edge. Definitely a must-see, I’m personally hoping for a live set – if you can get close enough to see Erez’s fingers blurring over the keyboard, you too will become a lifelong fan.
Luciano — The world has gone electronic music crazy. It’s more than apparent at this year’s festival, which will host over 30 acts straight from the dance music genre. One of the most noteworthy acts of the group is Swiss-Chilean DJ/producer Luciano. If I had to explain his style of play to the genre newcomer, I’d classify it as a hybrid of sex-infused house and profoundly tasteful techno. He is a master of the loops – at times playing four tracks at once, creating an orchestra of Balearic ambiance. This guise translated for the Coachella desert will create a magical vibe to say the least — I have seen people brought to tears during his sets. This will be one of the most emotionally driven musical journeys of the weekend. His latest hit single “Rise of Angel” perfectly depidts what you can expect.
Seth Troxler – There’s a certain coolness that goes with saying you’re about to see the #1 DJ in the world. The Visionquest man himself rests atop the highly acclaimed Resident Advisor Top 100 poll, and there’s good reason for it. When Seth Troxler is on his A-game, his DJ sets are some of the best in the world. He’s the kid who loved electronic music so much that he relocated from his hometown of Detroit — the place where house and techno was invented — to Berlin, the place where it was fermented and developed into its present day hysteria.
Bassnectar – Closing out the Sahara Tent on the first day of the festival is the almighty Lorin Ashton, or Bassnectar. The technical bass music exemplar is one of the most gifted live performers in the business, wielding Ableton Live to craft an amorphous auditory fusion of different, samples, loops, acapellas, and drops. He’s just as likely to delve into some Imogen Heap as he is in to Pennywise or Nirvana. He’ll sample Mozart for Christ’s sake, only to mix into a devouring dubstep drop. The bottom line is that the mystic, wildstyle circus of Bassnectar is set to commence on the first night of Coachella, and you don’t want to miss it.