HARD Day of the Dead: Five sets you shouldn’t sleep on
Yes, Halloween is here. Which means that the biggest event west of the Mississippi, HARD Event’s Day of the Dead, touches down in Los Angeles. This is no ordinary festival though with a lineup that many are hailing to be the best ever. Yes, the usual suspects of Prydz, Boys Noize, Pretty Lights, and more will all be participating, but we want to use this chance to get you costumed music lovers to go see something new and special. We tried our best picking five acts you shouldn’t miss, check them out after the break.
Not even six months removed from his first DJ set ever, Giorgio Moroder arrives at the festival to try his chops at pleasing festival crowds. If his set at Brooklyn’s Output was any indication of his musical prowess, this may be an experience to not miss. A chance to hear hits that don’t span years but decades, the music during his time on stage is definitely worth checking out at the very least. We bet you stay throughout too.
The French house artist Kavinsky is newer the the scene, but boasts a catalogue of amazing music that has attracted the likes of technical geniuses Boys Noize and A-trak to remix. Once an actor before a sudden career change, he borrows electro-pop flavors of the 1980’s to construct amazing melodies and sets unique from most of the other artists on the billing. With an eye for pushing musical boundaries, Kavinsky follows the footsteps of greats Daft Punk and Justice as the genre-bending Frenchmen never satisfied with the current music scene.
Duke Dumont’s infectious beats have pervaded sets for a while now, whether you recognize it or not. The Brits’ hits “Need You 100%” and “The Giver” are staples in the dance world, but this recognition feels like a double edged sword. Much more than a one hit wonder, he constructs sets that have the perfect tinge of pop, a nod to his beginnings as a remixer of mainstream songs. With no cliched drops or lame choruses, Dumont will be that fun breather you have to catch, that guilty pleasure whose music is so good that it does not feel that guilty.
Featured on the festival’s mixtape, AMTRAC has been labeled as the next up and coming artist. Handpicked by Kaskade to open for him on this recent Atmosphere tour (where he held his own), the Southern artist is the master of subtlety, carefully tweaking highs and lows of music through dynamic flows of melodies and beats, rather than adhering to pre-packaged builds or rises. His sets explore different dance music styles and moods, from brooding grungy basses to lighter ephemeral tones.
This name is not here because we think you have not heard of him. Quite the opposite: we know you have, but only associate the Harlem Shake with his name. We are here to dispel that. Baauer’s follow up is much better than the “Harlem Shake” – its use in HARD Summer’s recap movie is impeccable, and his sets are no one tricky pony either. Think about how hard that is. A Billboard #1 hit follow up is better than the predecessor. Yes, you may run into the most neon-clad ravers here, but do not underestimate Baauer. He’s just a kid brimming with talent cursed with a massive smash hit.