As the new year commences, EDM fans have one thing to look forward to and that's the start of festival season which kicks-off with WMC and Ultra Music Festival in Miami this spring. Though most people think EDM is in it's revival stage, the truth is the plethora of dance music at festivals has always been prevalent. The four-time Grammy Award winning electronic duo The Chemical Brothers have headlined the main stage at Coachella three times and deejayed several others. Not to mention super star DJs like Paul Oakenfold and Tiësto who have also graced the main stage. With rumors of the Rolling Stones headlining this year's Palm Dessert Fashion Week (as we like to call it) it's only natural for EDM which is at an all time high in popularity today to be the talk of fake line-ups and leaks.
The veteran German techno producer Paul Kalkbrenner already told PureVolume he is playing this year and we could not be more ecstatic. While OWSLA's (Skrillex's record label) Kill the Noise spilled the beans to Billboard Magazine he was bringing his dubstep and drum & bass sound to the fest. So who else is on our Coachella 2013 EDM wish list? If you are expecting Daft Punk guess again. You should have been at Coachella in 2006 with the rest of us who fell in love with house music back then ( I personally followed them around in 2007 during their Alive Tour to Chicago and Vegas as well). Today, we can wish for a road less traveled and hope the following acts come to the infamous Sahara Tent this year.
5. Claude VonStroke
Word on the street is that Claude VonStroke is getting his own stage at this years Coachella for a Dirtybird Record Label takeover. This isn't so far fetched as there has been an Insomniac Tent in 2001 with everyone from Fatboy Slim to Doc Martin as well as all of the house artists in the Heineken Dome over the years. If this is true VonStroke, born Barclay Crenshaw, will not only bring his heavy bass tracks to the booty clapping audience at the dessert. He will also bring a slew of house, techno and tech selectors from his Dirtybird label such as Eats Everything, Catz 'n Dogz, J. Philip, Christian Martin and Justin Martin who released one of the best EDM albums of 2012 Ghettos and Gardens. We think once all of the Coachella hipsters get a taste of some real San Francisco house music from the Dirtybird crew they will fall in love with dance music to a fault.
Though the Chicago based DJs J2K (Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci) who make up Flosstradamus have already opened the Coachella main stage in 2007 we think 2013 is the year for these hood boys to show us how Chi-Town gets down and runs with the trap. Up until 2011, Flosstradamus had a decent amount of remixes on their résumé. Then they produced an original track with Kid Sister (Young's sister) titled “Lukk Out Gurl” on A-Trak's label Fool's Gold and proved they had a unique sound that would soon become the next thing after dubstep. They followed with a remix of Major Lazer's “Original Don” in 2012 and singles like “Roll Up” which other trap artists like Baauer have remixed. With the sudden popularity of hip-hop spliced with EDM, Flosstradamus would be the perfect mixture of mota smoking patrons and rachet chicks ready to shake it on the dance floor.
3. Thomas Gold
Thomas Gold is one of those emerging DJs that came out of Miami Music Week and Winter Music Conference in 2011. Since being picked up by Swedish House Mafia's Axwell on his Axtone Records the German artist has produced a kaleidoscope of tracks from big room progressive house, electro to tech house on various labels. His icy clean progressive beats, epic build ups and breakdowns have made him infamous on the festival circuit with songs like “Sing2Me” and “Alive.” Not to mention his personal edits and remixes for artists like Miike Snow and Adele which captivate crowds. This summer, Gold unveiled an 8-piece drum line at Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas and Governor's Island in New York. Coachella being known for doing epic shit would be crazy not to have this live drum line with one of EDM's fast rising stars at this years fest.
2. Markus Schulz
The German Markus Schulz has taken over Miami and the rest of the world by storm over the past decade with his multilayered approach to dark trance and progressive electronic music. Since other trance legends such as Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Paul Van Dyk and Above & Beyond have played Coachella in it's earlier years, we think it's about time Indio gets a taste of some of the deep unicorn-slaying trance that Schulz is famous for. He and his Coldharbour Recordings have paved the way for the now harder style of progressive trance dominating the scene today with his artists like KhoMha proving that trance is no longer for the lovesick and can bang as hard at any major festival. Of course Schulz would have to play for at least two hours to be able to take us on that mystical journey of deep synths spliced with the percussive vocals of his hits like “Nothing Without Me.”
Lacking in recent years at Coachella is the uplifting techno and tech house you hear on the east coast on the beaches of South Beach or in the the European party island of Ibiza. Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox, Junkie XL, Trent Cantrelle and Danny Tenaglia have all played Coachella bringing the ultimate dance party to the dessert. So who better to bring back the beats than the legendary Slovenian Umek. Born Uroš Umek, this groovy veteran has more than two decades of deejaying under his belt and a myriad of tracks on his own 1605 label as well as other notorious tech and acid house labels. The best part about a mesmerizing artist like Umek is that it's less about staring at a stage full of bells and whistles to catch a “show” and more about feeling his music and letting it move you. That's the thing missing in EDM these days in the states and can teach these noobs a thing or two about house music.