Electric Zoo 2014: 25 Artists Making Their Zoo Debuts
Electric Zoo's DJ Debuts
Electric Zoo has been as much of a launching pad for artists to dance music as it’s been the pride of festival culture in New York City. Where many veterans come to meet their Big Apple admirers and others come year after year as loyal to the Zoo, many are just getting their first swing. When the festival sets up shop on Randall’s Island later this month, over 70 artists will be making their Electric Zoo debuts, and we break down our 25 first-timers that we won’t miss.
London based Alan Fitzpatrick is no stranger to wide-ranging venues of dance music, having been a longstanding ambassador of techno and one of the genre’s current pillars. Adored universally overseas, the Drumcode resident soars beneath the wing of label-head Adam Beyer and finds space to do so stateside, ready to take to Electric Zoo for the first time with the poise of a veteran.
Sunday School Grove has been New York City’s house music haven since the inauguration of Electric Zoo, and its continued to press its genres forward with each subsequent festival. For it’s sixth annual affair, Sunday School is stacking talent like never before, and Andrea Oliva is one of the new additions gaining pre-Zoo traction. If his Sunday School Sessions mix is any indicator, consider Oliva a must-see act.
Been Trill has taken to the electronic festival circuit by storm, balancing both the authentic and electro sides of the trap genre. Consisting of time-tested tastemakers Heron Preston, Matthew Williams, and Virgil Abloh, the group claims to consist of more than just a DJ show. While original tracks from the three man collective are yet to be heard, #Been #Trill, the long-time GOOD Music associated brand, is yet another part of the project. Along with these influencers’ Hood By Air and #Been #Trill decked out style, Preston, Williams, and Abloh attract a group of dedicated music fans to explore the deeper and darker sides of the rap and house genres. While a track from hip-hop hook king Future is sure to make the mix, gems from Tiga and Disclosure may sneak their way into the downtempo portions of the show.
Twonk king and creator Brillz takes to the Hilltop Arena on Friday evening of Electric Zoo to bring a taste of 808 to the dub-filled stage. Crushing the last year between thick layers of thundering bass, Brillz took a multi-prong approach to his branding; along with the release of new tracks from Brillz, the artist has started a clothing line under the same name as his Twonk branding. Recently remixing Galantis’ smash hit “You,” the producer works his signature sound into the nooks and crannies of neighboring electronic genres during his sets to successfully appeal to every variety of electronic music fan. From electro-house to hardcore hip-hop, Brillz’s performances contain the familiar and mainstream friendly genres of big room and authenticated trap layered and mixed between each other. While maintaining the wide appeal of electronic music, Brillz keeps the sound of the generic compressed synth stabs at 128bpm far away from his performances.
Candyland sports an unmistakable sound and an unmistakable afro. The trap duo have become a must-see live act over the course of the past year, emerging with a slew of heavy-hitting remixes and an even greater stage presence — one that should win over New York City at their Electric Zoo debut.
Composed of solo artists Oscar Wylde X Vegas Banger, Caked Up fits within the new trend of trap duos to invade the scene. Combining the most electric elements of the trap and big room house worlds, the production duo work within the world of synth stabs and other in-your-face auditory aspects to keep the festival energy alive during their sets. With a rare appearance on the main stage coming with New York’s Electric Zoo, the duo will expose the attendees of the event to a fine selection of festival trap, twerk, and electro house. The last year has been extremely promising for Caked Up, and their main stage set promises to bring out the best of their performance on Randal’s Island.
Carnage’s influence over the last two years has been stunning and undeniable, and the Chipotle Gang frontman certainly knows it. Rounding off the season with a primetime slot, the producer that has paid his dues and has finally declared himself a mainstage mainstay. Over the last year, Carnage has amassed a dedicated following that is sure to turn out for his wild performance. From mosh pits to twerking, the crowd comes alive in Carnage’s presence, and for good reason – the DJ’s electrifying sets bring mayhem to the stage. Coming off a massive tour announcement, “A State of Carnage” takes New York by storm with a blend of big room, a healthy dose of trap, and a dash of hardstyle for the Euro-influenced fans.
Chase & Status
British electronic duo Chase & Status bring their relentless and hard-hitting sounds to Randall’s Island for a rather rare performance treat. Doing the vast majority of their recent shows across the pond and closer to their hometown, the electrifying bass group harnesses their performance skills for a Sunday evening on the Beatport Riverside for Electric Zoo – a perfect way to close the festival season. The British influence in Chase & Status’ drum & bass and like-minded productions rings true and clear with Brand New Machine, the groups latest musical project, and the duo is sure to bring that very sound with them to the outer banks of New York’s metropolitan area. Dedicated fans of the oft-overlooked drum & bass scene will flock to the Beatport Riverside to close the weekend with an energetic and dark performance.
Riding the waves of the summer as the season beings to cool down, Deorro should be a name that’s more than familiar. Coming into his own as one of dance music’s hotter topics on Twitter, and simultaneously raising the bar on his music career, the “Five Hours” producer sets sights on his first ever Zoo appearance and the timing couldn’t be better.
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Tomorrowland’s poster boys have stormed the festival circuit with the marquee event on their belt. Still on their list of not-yet conquered events: Electric Zoo. No strangers to The Big Apple, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike will take their relationship with NYC to the next level when they embark upon Randall’s Island later this month.
Figure: With the break of electronic music in the US since the turn of the millennium, genres have been replaced, displaced, and simply lost in the widely turning genre. Dubstep, though, seems to have remained. The filthy growls and enticing melodies of the grimy sound have drawn in fans from the US continuously, and Figure has been at the forefront of the movement. With an unwavering dedication to bass in the mids, the American producer will blast face-rattling sound engineering into your ears for a break from the repetitive big room synths at Electric Zoo. As with all bass artists, don’t be surprised to see the producer wander into sounds of neighboring genres, including trap and drum & bass, for a change up from the bass assault.
gLAdiator appeared on the scene quickly and rose to the top of the trap game with their ferocious sampling work and 808 work. As a staple in todays tight-knit urban electro production circle, Dan and Ian of gLAdiator will bring their world-wide touring show to the Big Apple for their Hilltop Arena performance. Mostly keeping straight with their view on the hard hitting sounds of trap production, the duo will showcase the best of their own work, including juicy collaborations with A-Trak and Tropkillaz, along with the dark and hard productions of similarly minded musical peers. The duo’s performances are unpredictable and undeniably exciting; gLAdiator’s festival performance is one that is absolutely not to be missed.
What started as a side project between Kye “Foamo” Gibbon and Matt “RackNRuin” Robson-Scott has since become one of the hottest UK exports of 2014. Gorgon City make their Electric Zoo debut this year hot on the trail of a string of top line driven garage cuts including “Unmissable” and “Here For You.” The duo will bring their polished and powerful bass lines to Randall’s Island, matching a bit of pop influence with the gritty English underground.
Henry Fong will claim a well-deserved spot at Electric Zoo this year, and his debut appearance is one that shouldn’t be missed. Posed to take the festival by storm beneath the peak sun hours, Fong will bring the heat to New York City with a handful of material that should take attendees by surprise.
Heroes x Villains
Fresh out of Atlanta, Heroes x Villains is amongst the pioneers of the trap sound that has flooded the United States’ electronic music scene over the past few years. Daniel, the face of the Heroes x Villains sound, has continuously refused to compromise his raw sound for the mainstream ears, a daring move that has not only paid off musically, but has given the Heroes x Villains name a respected stamp in the minds of 808 fans. Of all trap artists flocking to Randall’s Island for the three-day festival festivities, Heroes x Villains is sure to bring one of the heaviest and unaffected sets to Electric Zoo, a sound that is more reminiscent of the lyrical and hip-hop related trap than electro trap – and we’ve got no problem with that at all.
Hook N Sling
Back in 2012, the Nervo sisters came to Electric Zoo on a blazing hot streak of production output while still eyeing a loaded release schedule. Up next in their queue was “Reason,” another trademark vocal anthem in collaboration with Hook N Sling. When the sisters took the main stage at Randall’s Island that year, Hook N Sling made a surprise guest appearance to introduce the upcoming record. This year, he finally gets his own spotlight at Electric Zoo.
Hot Since 82
Hot Since 82 has never been hotter than in ’14. Earning his spot among some of dance’s most respected names, the house titan with more than a handful of hits and an Essential Mix beneath his belt prepares to take his international acclaim to the heart of New York City. With his first ever Electric Zoo appearance imminent, Hot Since 82 will see Sunday School Grove as his launching pad.
Sunday School Grove will embrace all that is drum-heaven when Joseph Capriati takes the reins. The techno mainstay is one of Ibiza’s strongest, reputable residents, and that party paradise persona will land in New York City upon Capriati’s overdue Electric Zoo debut.
Recently garnishing a fair amount of attention for recent releases on labels like Buygore, Kennedy Jones gears up to spin an exciting and rare back-to-back set with Ookay, one of Jones’ trap brother-in-arms. Invading the Hilltop Arena on day one, the two producers with switch off spinning the hottest and heaviest 808 infused records of recent. Having performed the back-to-back act at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, Jones and Ookay knew that they needed to deliver the rare performance to the city that never sleeps on the first day of Electric Zoo. With Buygore-associated acts, one thing is for sure – the show will certainly put the fan experience before all, supplying music for all attendees of New York’s festival season round-out.
Le Castle Vania
Having been associate with the likes of Kaskade and Deadmau5 — performing along the Freaks Of Nature Tour and releasing material via mau5trap, respectively — Le Castle Vania has been one of EDM’s dark horse talents. Yearning for his own spotlight, the producer/DJ receives perhaps the brightest of them all with a proper first calling at Electric Zoo.
Yet another trap production dup takes to Randal’s Island under the name LOUDPVCK (pronounced Loud-Pack). With a strong history of official remixes for artists randing from Carnage to Brillz, LOUDPVCK is on the brink of cementing themselves as key players in the festival circuit as trap mainstays. LOUDPVCK’s sets typically remain clutched tightly to the 808 drum, never traveling further than a eye-sight shot back to the urban trap sounds. For fans of hip-hop and electronic’s music crossover zone, LOUDPVCK’s set is a can’t miss. Make sure to drop by their set quickly – the song selection is guaranteed to keep you clutched to their performance.
Taking charge with innovation on the globally cherished French Express, Moon Boots is seeing unprecedented success following releases such as “Don’t Ask Why,” “Whatever You Need,” and a remix for Nile Rodgers’s “Do What You Wanna Do.” Landing on the long list of artists breaking through Electric Zoo with debut appearances, Moon Boots is one act that will leave an impression upon festival attendees of all preferred genres.
Since remixing Avicii’s “You Make Me” in cohorts with Diplo, Ookay has been a talent synonymous with the Mad Decent head honcho. Having further worked with the likes of Showtek and ETC! ETC!, the San Diego-based producer is spreading his wealth and looks toward the Fall to flourish as a solo act. His first major task in doing so just happens to be New York’s prized weekend.
To say The Magician has won the dance landscape over with his Magic Tape mix series would be an understatement. Perhaps the most revered recurring efforts, the man behind it all has emblazoned his name across house music and has continued on to do so with production — batting 1.000 with his resume of recent remixes. Now finding that next venue to impress, The Magician will take on the mecca of live performance in his class: Sunday School Grove.
What So Not
Coming off Mad Decent Block Party showings where they billed amongst Jack U, the duo known as What So Not steam towards New York City with an Electric Zoo debut appearing to be no sweat off their backs. Comprised of Flume and Emoh, What So Not are almost guaranteed to take spectators by surprise. Their set at the Beatport Riverside stage will be one of those attendee magnets where those across Randall’s Island gravitate towards their allure.