Worth the wait: ODESZA releases studio version of long buried trap piece, ‘Loyal’ [Stream]

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Worth the wait: ODESZA releases studio version of long buried trap piece, ‘Loyal’ [Stream]Odesza 1

Originally debuted in 2015, ODESZA‘s trap-leaning “Loyal” ceases to revel in its unreleased glory, and instead enjoys a long delayed and highly anticipated formal release. A celebrated sonic staple of ODESZA sets, “Loyal” saw heavy circulation in the performances that have taken place in the three years following the electronic duo’s initial unveiling of the bass punctuated production. ODESZA fans clamored for a studio version of “Loyal” with increased fervor after the track surfaced in Seattle duo’s headlining appearance at Coachella 2018, after a fan captured and uploaded a live clip of the elusive bass cut to YouTube.

The In Return producers teased the surprise arrival of the studio rendition in a short video upload to Instagram that honed into a television, the song’s title emblazoned on the screen. The live opus rounds together booming drum and horn arrangements into a cinematic hair-raiser that recalls a heavily percussive trap format similar to earlier RL Grime products and cuts from TNGHT. To say that the early ODESZA favorite has aged well is an understatement, and as “Loyal” makes its mastered debut, the song’s official release must, for fans, feel much like welcoming home a friend.

Looking back on Coachella: A festival that eloquently mirrors our post-EDM world

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It’s not hard to find electronic music at Coachella. In fact, one could argue it’s the new star of the show. 

A newly-minted superstar Skrillex played his first set at the festival in 2011, joining other rising legends like Steve Angello and Afrojack in welcoming an imminent paradigm shift for the future of dance music around the world. In the process, they helped usher in what would soon be remembered as the halcyon days of what we know now as “EDM.” What followed was an explosion of the sound in the music world at large, and similarly, within the festival’s subsequent lineups.

By 2016, EDM’s influence could be heard on the radio and in commercials. No longer a fringe sound, this contemporary and widely popular form of electronica had permeated into pop and beyond, thanks to artists like Avicii, Calvin Harris, David Guetta, and The Chainsmokers. Coachella attendees can even expect to catch top-tier electronic acts while venturing to other stages as well, like the Do LaB and Sahara tent.

This is the nature of the Goldenvoice behemoth, and what has made the annual celebration in the Indio Valley so incredibly unique. Coachella’s boasted the best and most severely innovative talents of the dance music spectrum since its very first iteration in 1999, all the way into helping commercialize its exploding contemporary form in the late 2000’s. The Chemical Brothers, Underworld, and Moby kicked off the first year, after all.

What’s more is that Coachella’s begun to evolve beyond the capacity of a music festival, and into a cultural touchstone of its own entirely. It’s also come to serve as a directional compass for music’s changing tides, by continuously mirroring and championing the effervescent trends of the times. Despite its shifting nature, electronic dance music at Coachella has withstood the test of time, and the festival is now looking into the future.

The Sahara Tent, in particular, has grown to become a golden standard of electronic music curation. As Goldenvoice’s own answer to EDC and Ultra, the Sahara has morphed into one of Coachella’s top-ranking destinations. 2018’s significant physical expansion was the most outright testament to this phenomenon. Furthermore, the tent’s billing this year of what others are now labeling “post-EDM” — or, the influx of new and forward-thinking strains of electronica filling the vacuum that big room/pop-centered EDM is slowly leaving behind — once more demonstrates just how deeply tapped talent bookers are into the mass musical vein. 

This past year, the Sahara Tent was the proverbial “beacon of hope” for EDM’s burst bubble, and post-EDM provided the light. Though the rising stars under this new umbrella genre are amidst the fine print of the festival — see Petit Biscuit, Ekali, San Holo, Whethan, and more — Coachella has advertently mirrored the state of streaming and post-EDM in its larger bookings, too. Kygo,  ODESZA, and Barclay Crenshaw are three glaring examples. Sahara has certainly grown past its days as a wee tent, evolving into a veritable embodiment of post-EDM’s rise to prominence.  

Depeche Mode headlined the Sahara tent back in 2006. That same year, Daft Punk unveiled their legendary pyramid stage production. Fast-forward to 2018, where Alison Wonderland took the crown atop her bona fide production pyramid as the highest billed female DJ to ever play the festival. She expertly played the cello, sang, and danced live on stage, all while showcasing her most deeply personal art to date before a closing set from one of the most-buzzed-about producers of the last few years — REZZ. The venerable women signified the new dawn of EDM — one that’s embracing producers, classical training, emotion, and pushing the musical envelope.

Goldenvoice is incredibly intuitive indeed, and Coachella’s lineup is well-calculated. 2018’s roster as a whole was a reflection of the streaming and radio-centric era’s beckoning, and the Sahara stage is one of the festival’s largest reflections of forces that will soon take the music world by storm. 

Featured Image Courtesy of Coachella

Rhonda Queen of the Desert and Framework present the pinnacle of Coachella after hours – photography by Randon Vannucchi

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2018 Coachella Weekend 1 Highlights and Weekend 2 Preview

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As a regular attendee of Coachella for the last 7 years, I’ve seen plenty of changes at the festival. 2018 was no different. The last few years have seen the festival transition from something big to something enormous. With this growth and scale some plenty of improvements, as well as inevitable challenges.

At the end of the day, Coachella may rightfully own the title of one of the biggest festivals in the world. The stages and overall production value has increased substantially. It is now a truly multi-genre festival, ranging from dance to hip hop to rock to indie. Artists now plan their festival seasons around Coachella, and debut their new stage setups and tracks in the desert.

Below are some of my thoughts on the good, the bad, and the music from this year’s fest.

The Good

The Sahara tent is massively improved this year. The stage and tent now resembles those seen at Ultra, meaning that they are much wider than they are long. Overall, the entire stage and accompanying screens are much larger as well. Overall, this meant that the tent never felt like it was too full like it has in years past.

Beyond Sahara, there is a near constant option for dance music. The DoLab, Yuma, and the Heineken House are all heavy on the DJ end, not to mention the DJ parties that happen in the campgrounds.

The growth in the festival’s popularity means that anyone in the world will play this festival, even as just a featured guest. It’s not just an indie rock fest anymore: you can get surprise guests from the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper, to the freakin WalMart yodel kid. Artists now plan their release and tour schedules around the festival, which means that the surprises are going to keep coming. So don’t rule out that Daft Punk performance just yet…

The Bad

With the tent change at Sahara, one of the most iconic views of the festival is now gone: sunset looking directly west. With the old design, the entire back of the tent was open and you would clearly see the entire Coachella landscape, mountains, palm trees, and ferris wheel included.

With the increase in the size of the festival, as well as the number of attendees, the ability to hop around between stages has been severely limited. It used to be that you could count on seeing acts back to back to back, even with little to no overlap. These days, that is almost impossible. With the stages pushed back and relocated, it can now easily take 20 minutes or more to navigate the maze of installations, people, pop ups, markets, bathrooms, and more.


Beyond the festival experience itself is the music. Hip hop saw another increase in presence this year, but that’s to be expected given the dominance of the genre over the last few years. Despite this growth, dance and electronic is still omnipresent, with three areas almost exclusively dedicated to the genre: Sahara, Yuma, and The DoLab.

The Music

Must see sets from the best in dance and electronic.

Friday Top 3:

Alison Wonderland

Highlight: Alison stepping to the side of the DJ booth to sing vocals on her track “Easy”

Kygo

Highlight: Jamie Foxx making an appearance to sing Kygo’s remix of “Sexual Healing”

Whethan

Highlight: Who knows if Weekend 2 is in the cards, but seeing the WalMart yodel kid live means we have officially reached peak Internet

Saturday Top 3:

Chromeo

Highlight: A daytime dance party at the main stage proves that Chromeo’s four-time billing at Coachella is no accident; their old hits are just as relevant today as their new releases

Ekali

Highlight: Debut of recently released “Forever” with collaborators Elohim and Medasin was a light break from an overall heavy, heavy set.

Snakehips

Highlight: This fast-paced set was punctuated by the entire crowd belting the chorus to “All My Friends” … how about bring out Chance next weekend, guys?

Sunday Top 3:

ODESZA

Highlight: The Intel/HP drone show, which was teased for the festival crowd on Friday, was a fitting addition to “A Moment Apart”

Illenium

Highlight: Utilizing every single inch of the massive Sahara screen’s, Illenium’s visual intro to “Crawl Outta Love” rivaled any graphic / music combo of the weekend

San Holo

Highlight: The bitbird leader brought the energy (and the crowd) for his Coachella livestream

Special Mentions:

ZHU’s set and RL Grime’s surprise slot at the DoLab mean that anything can happen.

LA party crew Brownies & Lemonade put on an all-star show at the Heineken House. If you haven’t been to one of their parties, it might be a good time to book a trip to LA.


Those that also went Weekend 1 — let us know what you think. For those of you going Weekend 2, we’re extremely jealous.

Photo credit: Jeff Zeller

Eminem brings out 50 Cent, ODESZA has their crowning moment, Cardi B shows off baby bump: Everything that happened at Coachella Day 3

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The 19th annual edition of Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is officially in the books. After Beyoncé handed over her empowering main stage performance on Saturday night, fans probably wondered if the final day of Coachella could ever be as iconic. Fortunately for all, Coachella is a festival that always seems to top itself. Marquee acts, such as Eminem, Miguel, and Cardi B, gave attendees a second wind in the sweltering Indio desert with their closing day performances, along with burgeoning electronic talents ODESZAIllenium, and San Holo.

Here is DA‘s guide to the key moments of day three at Coachella 2018.

Eminem brings out an all-star cast in Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Skylar Grey, and more 

As Coachella’s closing headliner for an audience of nearly 100,000 people, Eminem knew he had a tough act to follow in Queen B’s landmark two-hour set (which made her the first ever woman of color to headline the festival). Marshall Mathers rounded up an all-star roster to join him on stage — including Dr. Dre50 Cent, Bebe Rexha, Skylar Grey, and Kehlani — to perform some of the biggest career hits.

While Mathers was sure to cover his golden-age hits “The Real Slim Shady” and “Lose Yourself,” his set list didn’t just focus on his own discography. The rap icon was joined by his mentor, Dr. Dre, onstage to perform “Still D.R.E.” and “Forgot About Dre.” The pair even nodded back to Snoop Dogg’s classic, “Nothin’ but a G Thang,” along with a cover of Tupac’s 1996 hit with Dre, “California Love” (which Snoop and Dre had previously resurrected a hologram of Tupac in the latter’s own 2012 headlining appearance).

Photo credit: Kevin Mazur, Getty Images for Coachella

Eminem’s mentee 50 Cent then took to the stage for a medley of “In Da Club” and “My Life,” giving the set a nice bookend appeal as it showcased their own hip-hop family lineage. Finally, Eminem was joined by longtime collaborator Skylar Grey as they performed multiple tracks, including “Stan,” “Walk on Water,” and “Love the Way You Lie,” showing off their electric chemistry.

Photo credit: Kevin Winter, Getty Images for Coachella

ODESZA delivers a milestone performance with aerial drones, a live drum line, and many special guests 

Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight of ODESZA had a sparkling 2017 after releasing their critically-acclaimed studio album, A Moment Apart, which netted their first-ever Grammy nomination. What better way to cap a wildly successful year than a spring kick-off performance in one of the world’s most visible festivals.

Back in 2015, ODESZA made headlines at Coachella when they brought out USC’s full drum line for a stunning rendition of their track “Bloom,” along with a live remix of Alex Adair’s “Make Me Feel Better.” So the Seattle-based duo knew they had to one up themselves.

This year, Knight and Mills’ appearance was nothing short of cutting-edge as they filled the late night headlining slot on Coachella’s main stage. Time sped up and slowed down, hearts stopped and began racing all at once, and technological spectacle felt organic in ODESZA’s live performance at Coachella.

Photo credit: Kevin Winter, Getty Images for Coachella

With this year’s inclusion of the highly-disciplined ODESZA drum line — which the pair has been incorporating in their album-accompanying “A Moment Apart” tour — Knight and Mills took this element to its height by incorporating drum line members throughout the entire set. It’s clear that the coveted ODESZA drum line has become a permanent mainstay during the most commanding moments of their live act.

Along the way, ODESZA brought a number of vocalists onstage to perform their various tracks from the latest album. Naomi Wild was first to take front and center in her live performance of “Higher Ground.” Wild’s mic had issues at the start, for which the design team quickly solved as the young singer belted her soft tune to an awe-inspired audience. To cap it all off, Knight and Mills brought out high-powered soul artist Leon Bridges to perform their single, “Across The Room,” as hundreds of aerial drones floated up into the California night sky to erect ODESZA’s icosahedron logo.

ODESZA have been diligently perfecting their live act over the years, working to incorporate immersive visual elements and surprise guest appearances along the way. But never before has an EDM act integrated such a captivating array of LED drones in their act to bring visual production from the screen into the sky. In addition to pioneering their own new genre, the boys can now count themselves spearheads for the visual production side as well.

Illenium brings his full AWAKE live band to the Sahara tent

Illenium is one EDM act that is currently smashing every bar he’s set for himself artistically; and with incredible candor and humility, one might add. The talented and focused artist out of Denver has been selling out arenas, collaborating with everyone whose anyone, and incorporating a live element to his shows. Now Illenium’s AWAKE act has become a mainstay at festivals, including band members Dabin, Day, and Said The Sky.

While in Indio Valley, the artist covered a full spectrum of his own classics in the Annika Wells-assisted “Crawl Outta Love,” his remix of Flume and Tove Lo‘s “Say It,” and his track, “Rush Over Me,”with Seven Lions and Said the Sky. The melodic dub step producer then paid homage to Excision and Zomboy before ending with his track with MAX, “Beautiful Creatures.”

Perhaps the shinning moment of Illenium’s Coachella debut came in the form of a live VIP of his track with 1788-L and close friend, Said the Sky, “Where’d You Go.” Fans have certainly been going crazy over the live edit online.

Illenium x Said The Sky x 1788-L – Where’d You Go (VIP) from EDM

Migos is plagued by sound issues in the Sahara tent

After walking onto stage 30 minutes late, and having sound issues early on, people were apparently not happy with the Migos‘ performance. Yet, within a couple minutes, Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff easily earned the crowd’s forgiveness. The group began with “Higher We Go,” the opening track of Culture II, and by the time they slipped into their second song, “Slippery,” the crowd was in full-frenzy mode. Migos waited until the set’s final stretch to survey their biggest and most recent hits, which included the classic “Bando” for Offset (whose original was given to him by fiancée Cardi B).

“We thank God for making us the greatest group in the world,” Quavo proclaimed as a closing statement. It was the kind of humble arrogance that didn’t quite match the trio’s rather plagued live performance at Coachella.

Photo credit: Scott Dudelson, Getty Images for Coachella

THEY.’s performance included a nod to Kurt Cobain 

As THEY. took to Coachella’s Mojave stage, the rap/R&B hybrid duo surprised attendees with an refreshing and intriguing rock-crossover by covering Nirvana‘s “Rather Die.” Intriguing, because of how odd it seems to take on such a disturbing song and refit the track with a hip-hop drop. Refreshing, because hip-hop acts rarely, if ever, sample rock ballads. THEY. were certainly keen to rework a song from Nirvana’s Nevermind album beyond the wildly overdone “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Perhaps Kurt Cobain might have appreciated the subversive move.

Photo credit: Scott Dudelson, Getty Images for Coachella

Pregnant Cardi B brings out Chance The Rapper, Kehlani, and G-Easy 

Cardi B, who recently revealed her baby bump during an SNL performance, brought out a number of superstar friends during her afternoon Coachella performance, with live collaborations with Chance The Rapper on their single, “Best Life,” and G-Easy on “No Limit.”

The “Bodak Yellow” rapper also performed livcuts of “Bickenhead,” “Drip,” “Bariter Cardi” with 21 Savage, and her remix of Bruno Mars‘ “Finesse.”

Photo credit: Christopher Polk, Getty Images for Coachella

Photo credit: Scott Dudelson, Getty Images for Coachella

Portugal. The Man trolls ODESZA fans, delivers rock history lesson 

Portugal. The Man are known for their silly pre-set messages. Just last week, the band used amusing musings like “Having fun? Getting fucked up? Talking politics at family dinners?” and “Kevin’s got a boner” at a performance in Reno, Nevada. During closing night of Coachella 2018, as the sun began to set, the Alaskan rockers delivered a message to ODESZA campers in quirky fashion.

Portugal. The Man – “If you’re here for Odesza, you’re a little early” from Coachella

Yet it wasn’t only fun and games for Portugal, as they spent the entirety of their set schooling attendees with a serious rock music history lesson. After kicking off with Metallica‘s “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” the alt-rock band then surveyed a broad range of classics from Pink Floyd, T. Rex, and Black Sabbath, before ending with a “Hey Jude” sing-a-long.

“To anybody who says that there’s a lack of rock bands at Coachella, it’s not about genre — it’s about music,” the group’s front man shouted. “But if you are gonna complain about the lack of rock bands at Coachella, this is the only band here you need to see.”

Photo credit: Scott Dudelso, Getty Images for Coachella 

Featured photo credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella

Live stream the closing day of Coachella 2018’s first weekend

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Streamed exclusively on YouTube for its past two days of production, Coachella will conclude the first of its two-weekend run this evening.

The music & arts festival’s U.S. streaming partnership with T-Mobile has brought live performances from an array of artists, including Beyoncé, Kygo, and Post Malone, from the stages at the Empire Polo Club to the homes of the thousands who have tuned into the live broadcast to enact ‘Couchella.’

Viewers will again be given the opportunity to exercise their listening preferences today during the live stream via of Coachella’s YouTube channel. As in the previous two-days of Coachella’s live stream, viewers remain able to tailor the live broadcast experience to their liking by setting web reminders and push notifications for upcoming ‘can’t miss’ performances, creating their own artist schedule, and selecting the appearances that they would most like to see from a total of three different live stream channels.

The final day of the first weekend of Coachella 2018 is marked by a series of momentous performances from industry juggernauts like Portugal. The Man, ODESZA, and Migos.

Sunday, April 15 Live Stream Schedule:
03:35 – Noname (3)
03:40 – Lion Babe (1)
03:40 – Magic Giant (2)
04:10 – San Holo (VR)
04:20 – THEY. (3)
04:25 – Nothing But Thieves (2)
04:40 – LANY (1)
04:40 – LANY (VR)
05:05 – San Holo (3)
05:10 – Dej Loaf (2)
05:45 – Vance Joy (1)
05:45 – Vance Joy (VR)
06:00 – Amine (2)
06:00 – Petit Biscuit (3)
06:30 – Jessie Ware (1)
06:30 – Petit Biscuit (VR)
06:50 – FIDLAR (2)
06:50 – French Montana (3)
06:50 – French Montana (VR)
07:35 – Aurora (2)
07:35 – Jacob Banks (3)
08:00 – Portugal. the Man (1)
08:00 – Portugal. the Man (VR)
08:20 – Kamasi Washington (2)
09:15 – Illenium (3)
09:25 – 6LACK (2)
09:55 – Odesza (1)
09:55 – Odesza (VR)
10:10 – Soulwax (2)
10:15 – Ibeyi (3)
11:05 – Migos (1)
11:05 – Migos (VR)
11:10 – Kamaiyah (2)

H/T: ALT 98.7 FM

Meme culture peaks, Kygo brings out Jamie Foxx & more: Here’s everything that happened at Coachella day 1

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Kygo brings out Jamie Foxx

Kygo‘s Coachella performance exceeded our wildest expectations. Not only did he bring out an impressive slew of artists for live performances, including Parson James for a live rendition of “Stole The Show,” the Norweign DJ stunned in bringing out Jamie Foxx for the two to perform a live rendition of Kygo’s Marvin Gaye “Sexual Healing” remix — which was certainly all the healing we needed and more.

Kendrick comes out for Vince Staples

Vince Staples was in top form. A fiery testament to his place among the modern rap pantheon,  Staples wrapped up his set with his Big Fish Theory song “Yeah Right” and managed to surprise the entire crowd by saving the best for last, bringing out King Kendrick for his almighty verse and to take his place atop the hip-hop throne.

@vincestaples brought out Kendrick Lamar at Coachella 🙌🏾

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Some entrance gates were delayed two hours

Originally reported by the Desert Sun, it appears some Coachella attendees were delayed two hours in entering the festival. Though it seemed to be due to miscommunication amongst festival security, according to the security, the delay was neither their fault nor the festival’s groundskeeping of which they originally claimed was the initial culprit.

RL Grime’s surprise Do LaB set

RL Grime was the Do LaB‘s surprise guest for day 1 of Coachella, and as expected, it WENT.

Alison Wonderland plays the cello, brings out Trippie Reid, and sings new track off Awake

Alison Wonderland took Coachella by storm. Performing atop a pyramid, she sang, played the cello, brought out Trippie Reid for their collaboration, and even managed to sing her new track “Easy” amidst Virtual Self‘s “Ghost Voices.”

The Sahara tent is completely redone…. and it’s huge

The Sahara tent got a significant upgrade this year, and it’s very much similar to the Ultra worldwide stage now.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Coachella

TroyBoi brings out dance crew Kinjaz to perform

TroyBoi told us he had some special dancers he’d be bringing out for his performance in the live stream YouTube interview, but America’s Best Dance Crew All-Stars, the Kinjaz, was certainly a nice surprise.

Meme culture peaks: Yodeling kid comes to Coachella

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Coachella

Ah yes, and last but not least, the pinnacle of meme culture, Whethan brought out the Walmart Yodeling kid in a turn of events that will go down in Coachella history. Though the two didn’t collaborate on a new EDM rendition of the track, we peg this as the most ambitious crossover of all time, so take that Marvel.

Yodel kid also got a selfie with Justin Beiber

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Coachella

Stream Coachella Day 2 with Chromeo, Louis The Child, Beyoncé, and more

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The first day of Coachella 2018 went off without a hitch, beyond some entrance delays for attendees. Kygo brought out Jamie Foxx for a live performance of “Sexual Healing,” the Yodel Kid joined Whethan for his Coachella debut, and REZZ closed out the Sahara tent with a hypnotic spectacle.

Tonight’s performances promises to deliver the same anticipation and awe with performances by Marian Hill, Flatbush Zombies, Ekali, Party Favor, Snakehips, MØ, Tyler, The Creator, Post Malone, and more. It’s rumored that Beyoncé will be resurrecting another Destiny’s Child reunion when she takes to the main stage — not only with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, but alongside a full cast of the pop group’s original members, including LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Robertson.

For those who couldn’t make it out to the Empire Polo Club this year, Coachella will be back on their YouTube channel live streaming a number of hand-selected acts for viewers at home. Viewers can customize their live stream experience on the interactive channel, setting web reminders, push notifications, and handpicking their artist schedule.

Coachella’s Day 2 streaming schedule — all times EST — is available below:

Saturday, April 14th:

  • Marian Hill (6:35 p.m., 1)
  • Wizkid (6:35 p.m., 3 + VR)
  • Nile Rodgers & Chic (7:15 p.m., 1)
  • Chloe x Halle (7:15 p.m., 2)
  • Ekali (7:20 p.m., 3 + VR)
  • Nile Rodgers & Chic (8:10 p.m., VR)
  • Flatbush Zombies (8:15 p.m., 3)
  • First Aid Kit (8:20 p.m., 1)
  • Angel Olsen (8:30 p.m., 2)
  • Party Favor (9:05 p.m., 3 + VR)
  • BØRNS (9:10 p.m., 1)
  • BROCKHAMPTON (9:15 p.m., 2)
  • Snakehips (10:00 p.m., 3)
  • Chromeo (10:05 p.m., 1 + VR)
  • MØ (10:10 p.m., 2)
  • Alina Baraz (11:00 p.m., 3)
  • Tash Sultana (11:00 p.m., 2)
  • Tyler, the Creator (11:05 p.m., 1)
  • Louis the Child (11:45 p.m., 3)
  • Benjamin Booker (11:50 p.m., 2)
  • Haim (12:15 a.m., 1)
  • Alvvays (12:35 a.m., 2)
  • Blackbear (12:40 a.m., 3)
  • Post Malone (1:10 a.m., 1 + VR)
  • David Byrne (1:20 a.m., 2)
  • Jungle (1:25 a.m., 3)
  • Fleet Foxes (2:10 a.m., 2)
  • Beyoncé (2:10 a.m., 1)
  • Highly Suspect (2:20 a.m., 3)
  • alt-J (3:05 a.m., 2)
  • X Japan (3:05 a.m., 3)

Beyond the headliners: DA presents the top 10 must-see acts of Coachella 2018

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America’s cornerstone music festival is fast approaching its Empire Polo Club descent. As Coachella Music Valley Music & Arts Festival enters its 19th annual celebration, the festival reflects on music’s past, relishes in its present, and amplifies its future. It’s an exuberant apex promising the land of milk and honey for its frenzied fashion frolickers and music aficionados alike.

Those that secured passes this year conquered its fastest selling edition on record despite having endured a price hike. This year sees the Goldenvoice brainchild packing punches and taking names as per usual. Rock ‘n roll’s presence has dwindled, giving rise to rap, pop, and R&B. Beyoncé, The Weeknd, and Eminem are headlining. In the electronica arena, rising acts like Louis the Child, Alan Walker, AC Slater, Petit Biscuit, Whethan, Cash Cash, and San Holo are carrying the torch of a new era of radio-friendly, pop-centric dance music, which Coachella’s clearly noticing based on their booking choices. 

We here at Dancing Astronaut have taken to compile a complete list of acts we deem unmissable ahead of the gathering’s first weekend. By now the set times have dropped and there are inevitable conflicts, but these acts are among the most exciting debuts, performances, and compasses for where dance music has been and will shift in the years to come.

10) Ekali

Photo Credit: Brandon Artis

If a cosign from Skrillex doesn’t entice you, perhaps it’ll behoove you to know that the OWSLA signee Ekali sold out his Babylon tour through December of last year. Maybe you’d like to know that the trap maven moves through genres with ease, having collaborated already with TroyBoi, Denzel Curry, and KRANE. Last year, he released a huge collaboration with Zhu and dropped a wide range of mixes, including his three-hour-long Awakening mixes, a Diplo & Friends mix, and a Triple J mix. Ekali became a household name in the dance community in 2017, and accordingly, DA named him one of the producers of the year. This year, he’s moved from his 2016 DoLab performance slot to an afternoon slot in the Sahara tent and if that isn’t an impressive testament to his own, and a rising class of new dance acts’ versatility, growth, and impact in the modern dance realm we truly don’t know what is.

9) Petit Biscuit

Photo Courtesy of Sacks & Co.

Nineteen-year-old Mehdi Benjelloun, known musically as Petit Biscuit, has already proven his music production talents are well beyond his years. Classically trained in the cello by the age of five, Benjelloun’s monumental remix of ODESZA‘s “Memories That You Call,” drew comparisons to the duo with a refreshing injection of poise. Not to mention, Petit Biscuit wrote, produced, and mixed his debut album Presence over the course of the last year, somehow finding a balance between high school exams and sold-out tours across the world. Petit Biscuit’s Coachella debut is a testament to a new class of classically trained electronic musicians. May there be plenty more to come.

8) Kölsch

Photo Credit: Adrien Combes

Just last year, Kölsch ran through a slew of high profile festivals, had a stellar BBC Radio 1, an Ibiza residency at one of the island’s most renowned new destinations, played the iconic DC 10, Berghain‘s Panorama bar, and performed on the Eiffel Tower for five million people around the world. With both ease and great comfort, Kölsch’s sets implement an articulate understanding of his surroundings, and though Coachella 2018 marks his debut at the festival, his ability to read the room will surely see that he delivers here and for the rest of the world in the months to follow.

7) Barclay Crenshaw

Photo Courtesy of Artist

Dirtybird head honcho Claude VonStroke, also known by his hip-hop alter ego and real name, Barclay Crenshaw, is elevating one of dance music’s mightiest messages. As the founder of the Dirtybird Campout, Crenshaw’s proven the Dirtybird flock is much more than a tantalizing tech house home base, but an embodiment of the true meaning of dance music. He’s bringing the tribe back to the dance floor and proving that love and passion, for music, but more importantly for one another, will see it all through.

6) Chromeo

Photo Credit: Tim-Saccenti

One could argue that a Chromeo set in 2018 is outdated. But, that would be to ignore the duo’s immense cultural permeability, not to mention their timelessness, and an ultimate ushering in of contemporary disco music. Chromeo’s releasing a new album in June. For now, they’ve released a new bop with D.R.A.M and renowned Prince and D’angelo collaborator Jesse Johnson for what appears to allude to their grooviest album yet. Their Coachella set will undoubtedly feature a plethora of classics and new material alike, and you’d have to be crazy to miss that.

5) Detroit Love (Carl Craig, Kyle Hall, Moodymann)

Photo Courtesy of Artist

Keeping current and experimental with underground techno bookings proves to be no easy task. This year, Coachella’s dance bookings cater to the techno heads — see Maceo Plex, Chris Liebing, Joseph Capriati, and more — while simultaneously paying respect to the birthplace of the genre with the booking of Detroit Love. Detroit Love is a trio comprised of dancefloor experimentalist and top Detroit techno producer Carl Craig, Kyle Hall, and Moodymann. Ultimately, it’s small wonder Goldenvoice looked to this crew. If any group were to lay siege on the compelling concoction that is Motown, jazz, and techno, there would be no better choice than these homies from the “D.”

4) The Black Madonna

Photo Credit: Aldo Paredes

In the era of #MeToo, where women are speaking out against their oppressors, The Black Madonna uses her music as a means to amplify the voices of the fringe dance community. Her sets raise up the central voices of club history — ones that have been forced to the periphery or silenced entirely — through a provocative exudence of acid house, disco, and outright emotion.  Her music seeps groove and love that’s made to replenish the soul.

3) Peggy Gou

Photo Credit: Dan Medhurst

Peggy Gou is going to be here for a long time. Having graduated from the underground circuit with the highest honors of club-polished sounds in 2018, Gou brings forth sets that are a dynamic testament to her compelling curation and outpouring love for the craft. She wanted to the be the first female Korean DJ to play Berghain, which she was, and along the way she also became the first female Korean DJ to play BBC Radio 1‘s Essential Mix. Now, her Coachella debut solidifies that her electrifying electro and disco will only perpetuate her meteoric rise to stardom.

2) Alison Wonderland

Photo Courtesy of Artist

Alison Wonderland is speaking her truth. She’s just released her exquisite sophomore album, AWAKE, which is a compelling collection of EDM and hip-hop crossovers. From rappers to Grammy-award winning songwriters, Alison Wonderland is successfully holding the attention of her listeners, while offering one of the most refreshing perspectives of women in the genre’s history. It’s rife with sarcasm, and yet, poppy in its deliverance. The album sees Wonderland wielding her moniker’s trope as a weapon with ease, and it’ll be no surprise if she’s a household name come the end of the year. Considering how much the EDM world is a man’s microcosm, at least onstage,  the very presence of Alison Wonderland’s perspective tends to come off as a revolutionary, dare we say, awakening.

1) REZZ

Photo Credit: Will Selviz

Dancing Astronaut named REZZ 2017’s producer of the year, “The prodigy who exceeded all expectations,” we called her. And yet, to reduce REZZ to our expectations, in hindsight, feels wrong. She’s an artist. Mercurial and acting on her own unique vision. She’s promoting the consumption of water during her sets, like many, she’s working on the little things, improving her jumps during her sets, and she’s taking on the world. As the Coachella set times were looming we began to wonder if the outside world had caught up, whether it was ready to recognize Isabelle Rezazadeh’s global ascension. Having ripped into the scene three years ago with an unparalleled juxtaposition of industrial techno and pummeling bass,  REZZ carved an unforeseen niche in the mines of ominously-sinister, singular techno, and now, the world has taken notice. REZZ will close out the Sahara tent on Friday and the world will be watching. There are no doubts REZZ will continue her momentum into superstardom after this performance, and continue to exceed our expectations, but it’s probably time we let go of those and let the Space Mom do her thing.

Featured Image Courtesy of Coachella

Coachella 2018 sells out both weekends in record time

This post was originally published on this site

Coveted tickets to Coachella Music Valley Music & Arts Festival’s 19th annual event officially went on sale yesterday, Friday, Jan. 5, and have sold out in record time. Weekend One general admission passes, which go for $429, were gone within 35 minutes, with Weekend Two passes selling out within a matter of hours, according to The Desert Sun.

The 2018 edition of the Golden Voice and Live Nation-produced event, which boasts headliners The WeekndBeyoncé, and Eminem, will take place April 13-15 and April 20-22 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. Travel packages are still available online.

H/T: The Desert Sun

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