British actor, Idris Elba, made his mark as the pragmatic drug lord Russell “Stringer” Bell in The Wire and then again as the ruthless detective John Luther in Luther. In film, he played the revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and many other Hollywood roles.
The laymen might be surprised that Elba is also a passionate DJ, as he planted the ultimate professional crossover via his establishment of 7Wallace Music, his very own record label. He also released a new Netflix Comedy, Turn Up Charlie, about a struggling DJ and loosely based on his life.
Having crushed his house set at the Yuma Coachella Weekend 1 with top notch house selection, he looks to run this back for Weekend 2. Watch the action unfold live.
Coachella always brings out historic appearances. Akin to Aphex Twin‘s storied return to Indio after a decade, the festival was also able to get Dubfire and Sharam back together for their first time in five years following their 2006 split. Weekend one saw them spin a fluid set that balanced thumping deep cuts and euphoric, melodic tracks—including one of their biggest anthems, “Say Hello.” Now, they’ve reprised their spot at the iconic Yuma decks, where fans who might have missed out last week can re-watch the action. Expect a fresh new set from the two as the hour-long journey unfolds.
Fyre Festival‘s bankruptcy trustee, Gregory Messer, is working toward subpoenas for both Netflix and Hulu after both their respective documentaries were revealed to have mysterious exclusive footage. Reports had already been circling around that both streaming platforms had spent large sums in order to use this footage. According to bankruptcy law, if they payments had been made to the brand as the case had been unfolding, the funds would need to be used to pay off confirmed creditors on the plan. Tracking where the funds were wired to is proving a difficult task at the moment, as is confirming for sure whether or not the footage is a concrete asset of Fyre Festival LLC.
“Due to a lack of information, it is impossible for the Trustee to determine where the footage came from and whether such footage was an asset of the Debtor’s estate,” stated Messer when submitting his paperwork to the bankruptcy judge. Netflix and Hulu have yet to make an official statement on the legal matter.
Before it even gets off the ground, it looks like Woodstock 50 might be a bust. According to Michael Lang, co-founder of the original 1969 affair and organizer of this year’s anniversary festival, concerns of the event’s cancellation are being dispelled as “rumors,” though an email went out to booking agents on Friday April 19 alerted recipients that online ticket sales have been postponed.
Woodstock 50 ticket sales were supposed to launch on April 22 in celebration of Earth Day, though now with the online sale’s postponement, an air of uncertainty seems to hang over the festival. An email from Woodstock 50’s talent buyer to agents with acts playing the event this summer reads,
“There is currently a hold on the Woodstock 50 on-sale date. We are waiting on an official press statement from Woodstock 50 regarding updated announce, ticket pricing, and overall festival information. We will get this information to you as soon as we receive it.”
With no new date announced and a clear lack of viable information reaching booking and management teams, concerns for the event—due to be headlined by JAY Z, Santana, Dead & Company, and Miley Cyrus—seem to be more than unfounded rumors. However, speaking to Billboard, Lang says, “Woodstock is a phenomenon that for fifty years has drawn attention to its principles and also the rumors that can be attached to that attention,” adding that fears of an impending cancellation were, “just more rumors.”
Industry insiders guess that behind the scenes, Woodstock 50 could be combating issues with investors or host venue Watkins Glen International Speedway which may be the cause of the ticket sale delay. Time will tell, though Woodstock 50 seems to be on thin ice.
Chris Lake is a Grammy nominated house DJ with massive, commercial hits from “Boneless” with Steve Aoki and Tujamo to his remix of Calvin Harris‘ “How Deep Is Your Love.” A Skrillex backed house act off his OWSLA release “I Want You,” certainly bodes influence towards bass house, where the dubstep poster child is heading. Another house and HOWSLA (OWSLA’s house music compilation album) favorite became Lake’s “Operator (Ring Ring)” single featuring Dances With White Girls. Ring Ring goes the telephone. There’s no one home.
The UK-born producer has been laying that four-by-four beat for over a decade, and assumes responsibility for some of the most pandemic dance hooks to grace the atmosphere. With his new Black Book Records label, fans have seen the reemergence of Lake’s chunky, hard-hitting bass lines featured in his recent singles, hopefully to be heard in his live set below.
The electronic community felt widespread sorrow on April 20, 2018 when news came out that Avicii had passed away that morning. Though he’d only been 28 at the time of his passing, the icon already had a long history of electronic music innovation with tracks like his breakout, “Levels,” to becoming one of the genre’s first crossover superstars with fusion cuts like “Wake Me Up” and more recently, Stories. His impact on the scene is indescribable, and as a tribute, mega festival Tomorrowland will be donating the entirety of its April 20, 2019 programming to the artist’s music to pay tribute to his career.
All 24 hours of the day will be Avicii’s best music, with an hour-long “Best Of” set being included. The stream will take place on Tomorrowland’s One World Radio online station. The star and the festival have a long and close history; “Levels” got its first major play in Tomorrowland’s 2011 iteration, and the star also made history with his 2013 and 2015 sets.
Over the past decade, Dillon Francis has been somewhat of a fixture at the Sahara tent. Since making his Coachella debut in 2013, the impish moombahton mainstay has been a premier attraction at the festival’s rowdiest stage in 2014, 2017, and now, 2019.
To celebrate the milestone of his fourth Coachella appearance, he laced his energetic, primetime set with notable guest appearances from some of his choice collaborators. In addition to inviting DJ Snake to join him onstage for their hit, “Get Low,” Francis temporarily veered attention away from the decks, as lovelytheband came onstage to perform their recent joint single, “Change Your Mind.”
In an Instagram album recapping the set, Francis succinctly expressed how emotional the experience was for him, further engendering excitement regarding what’s in store for Coachella’s second weekend.
Each year, California’s premier music festival outdoes itself by booking an eclectic array of artists from throughout the dance music realm alongside its smattering of other genres. In 2019, these acts spread — perhaps more than ever before — throughout the event’s numerous stages, lending the opportunity to experience the diverse roster within equally diverse environs. While there are, of course, a number of fantastic performances from Coachella’s first weekend that are not represented on this list, we’ve narrowed down 10 sets which particularly impressed us.
Anytime a Frenchman takes the stage in a metal mask, Coachella history is soon to be made. And, amid a lineup filled with prodigal artists from the festival’s past, Gesaffelstein stood out as one of the its most formidable acts. After releasing the pop-laden album Hyperion in March, fans weren’t sure what to expect from Michel Lévy’s Indio return — would he focus on his newer, more mainstream fare, or return to his darker days of yore? Once he took the stage, donned in a shimmering, Vantablack metal suit, little question remained. For the first hour of nightfall in Coachella’s final day, Gesaffelstein melded his new releases with classic favorites and overwhelming live edits, synchronized against an ominously spectacular visual production. Indubitably, a new era lies on the horizon for the harrowing luminary, and Coachella provided the perfect backdrop for its debut.
Gesaffelstein will play the Outdoor stage from 7:40-8:40 PM on Sunday, April 21.
There are few acts in electronic who better embody the descriptor of “stunning” than Jon Hopkins. The British artist’s fusion of melodic ambient with erratic techno influences would set him a cut above the rest of his class, were there anyone else in his class at all. His Coachella set, which closed the Gobi tent for the weekend, dutifully matched the quality of his catalogue. Hopkins dove into mesmerizing, cathartic live edits of Singularity, his Grammy-nominated 2018 album, accompanied by a transcendent selection of video arrangements which culminated in one of the festival’s most emotionally evocative performances.
Jon Hopkins will close out the Gobi tent from 9:40-10:40 PM on Sunday, April 21.
For years, Richard James has been one of the most hoped-for additions to the Coachella lineup. Anyone with a semblance of dance music knowledge knows that his Aphex Twin project is one of the most influential pieces of electronic music history. Because James’ last appearance at the festival, in 2008, predated the “EDM boom,” his 2019 appearance marked the first time that many recent fans have been able to see him perform. Suffice it to say, he did not disappoint. Standing before a surprisingly roomy Mojave tent crowd, Aphex Twin put forth more than 90 minutes of eclectically arresting garage, techno, EBM, IDM, and downtempo music. Piercing lasers and a hysteria of often-unsettling visuals accompanied his arrhythmic score in a chaotic fashion which demonstrably proved that Richard James’ bite easily equals the bark of his hype.
Aphex Twin will close out the Mojave tent from 9:05-10:35 PM on Saturday, April 20.
Within the techno community, Nina Kraviz’s Coachella set was likely the most polarizing of the weekend. The Russian artist and Trip label-head is known for her highly energetic DJ sets, so the confusion at her decision to break from this mold in her live show debut is understandable. Indeed, for the lion’s share of her set, Kraviz dabbled more in avant-garde performance art, interacting bizarrely with set pieces more primed for a playhouse than a nightclub. However, once the peculiar producer moved on to the techno portion in her set’s second act, the patience of those who remained was duly rewarded. Kraviz’s cerebral, thunderous dance selections were awe-inspiring to say the least. And, when paired with the unique visual components which reflected her moves onstage, her set’s climax echoed Richie Hawtin’s stunning CLOSE performance, which debuted in the same Friday closing slot at Mojave two years earlier.
Nina Kraviz will close out the Mojave tent from 10:15-11:15 PM on Friday, April 19.
Anytime Âme graces an American festival roster, they are an absolute must-see. More accurately, “he” is a must-see, as generally, Kristian Beyer performs DJ sets without his partner, Frank Wiedemann. Seeing Âme in the Yuma tent at the height of Saturday afternoon is a sensorily peculiar experience. As a benchmark of Dixon’s coveted Innervisions imprint, Beyer’s deftly crafted mixes of soulful balearic house, deep techno, and tribal club music transport the listener to after-hours parties in the White Isle or Berlin. Therefore, it’s easy to forget that the sun is shining brightly just outside the walls of Yuma’s pitch-black interior. A trip to the bathroom during Âme is a smack in the face from reality, but this just makes the imminent return to Beyer’s darkened fantasy realm all the more delectable.
Âme will play the Yuma tent from 4:30-6:00 PM on Saturday, April 20.
Undoubtedly, Deep Dish is the best kept secret on Coachella’s 2019 lineup. For those unaware, the duo, which disbanded in 2006, is comprised of Dubfire and Sharam. The Yuma tent provided an impeccable setting for this storied reunion, which Deep Dish more than duly reciprocated throughout their 90-minute set. Ranging from the house influences of Sharam to Dubfire’s favored brand of apoplectic techno, the duo’s reign over Yuma stood out as one of the tent’s most diverse — and best — sets of the weekend.
Deep Dish will play the Yuma tent from 6:00-7:30 PM on Saturday, April 20.
Charlotte de Witte
Over the past two years, Charlotte de Witte has grown from a hero of techno’s underground into one of the genre’s most sought-after acts for the festival circuit, and it’s easy to see why. During her prime Sunday slot, the Belgian DJ provided one of the Yuma tent’s darkest sets of the entire weekend — no small feat, considering her competition from ominous legends sharing the roster, such as Nicole Moudaber and Cirez D. From the moment she took the stage, de Witte plunged her audience into a uniquely aggressive realm, ensuring that all in attendance would be reinvigorated for the festivals final sets thereafter.
Charlotte de Witte will play the Yuma tent from 7:00-8:30 PM on Sunday, April 21.
In 2019, Coachella poured more resources into their preeminent onsite nightclub than ever before. The intricate lighting arrangements throughout the stage and ceiling of the Yuma tent exceptionally accentuated the deftly-curated soundsystem for each act on the weekend’s stellar lineup. With this pristine setup, Goldenvoice would be hard-pressed to find a better weekend closer than Eric Prydz. Impressively, albeit unsurprisingly, the Swedish icon artfully claimed the stage as his own during his sinister, 2-hour set as Cirez D. Prydz’s team masterfully executed the lighting system of the Yuma to its fullest potential, creating a monolithic experience which mirrored the environs of the artist’s former residency at Hï Ibiza. Though the bass often obscured the top-lines of Cirez D’s fast-paced, techno-heavy set, the aggressively sleek selections culminated in a larger than life experience, providing Yuma — indeed, all of Coachella — with the conclusion it deserved.
Cirez D will close out the Yuma tent at 10:00 PM on Sunday, April 21.
In the realm of live electronic music, an intricate visual production can be as defining (or more) an element of an artist’s set as the music itself. An artist’s decision to eschew any video or lighting component whatsoever is, therefore, quite the statement. As the sun set on Coachella’s second day, Four Tet shrugged off the visual effects at his disposal, opting to perform his entire slot in front of the Mojave tent’s black screens. With no other stimuli competing for attention, Four Tet’s eclectic selection of experimental house and garage-infused tech took center stage, leaving a masterful impact on all in attendance.
Four Tet will play the Mojave tent from 7:35-8:35 PM on Saturday, April 20.
Chances are, those who catch Bassnectar’s closing Saturday night set at the Outdoor stage at this year’s Coachella won’t be seeing him for the first time. Over the last two decades, Lorin Ashton has cultivated one of dance music’s most dedicated fanbases. And, thanks to his high-octane brand of amorphous bass music and vibrantly chaotic visual productions, bass heads will attend as many of his shows as they feasibly can. However, Bassnectar’s set during the first week proved to be a unique experience in its own way.
2019 marks Ashton’s first Coachella appearance since he performed the Sahara tent six years ago, and the rare opportunity to witness the iconic artist from a spacious, open-air crowd is certainly one to be relished. During the first week, Bassnectar’s setlist echoed performances from one of his most beloved eras, the early 2010s. Perhaps due to his relatively brief time-slot, Ashton spent little time exploring his softer, more melodic influences. Instead, he opted to put forth formidable classics from his own catalogue alongside cuts from the likes of Gesaffelstein and a visually stunning, at times political, light show.
Bassnectar will close out the Outdoor stage at 12:05 AM on Saturday, April 20 (technically Sunday).
Featured image via Coachella 2019 by Charles Reagan.
Saturday, April 20 marks the one-year anniversary of Avicii‘s untimely passing. Avicii, born Tim Bergling, died of an apparent suicide in Muscat, Oman, ending a career-long battle with depression and addiction. News of the Swedish superstar’s sudden death sent tremors well beyond the international dance music community, and now, a year later, it’s clear that shock hasn’t fully subsided. The empty space where Avicii’s generation-defining talent once stood hasn’t narrowed much in the last year—in fact, Bergling’s newly released, posthumous Aloe Blacc collaboration, “SOS,” arguably widened it. One year later, it still hurts just as bad.
That’s because those close to the “Wake Me Up” star understood that he was in a period of unbridled creativity, working on what they believe could be some of the greatest material that Stockholm’s favorite son has ever written. Luckily, Avicii’s family has taken all the right steps to ensure their son’s legacy lives on in a meaningful, impactful way. A foundation created in his name and the promise of TIM, Avicii’s posthumous album due later this summer, have helped close the wound somewhat. But ultimately it’s safe to say dance music will never fully recover from Avicii’s death—he was unequivocally the genre’s brightest star and most beloved torch-carrier at the time of his passing.
More comforting, however, is the fact that Avicii’s death has helped catalyze a much wider discussion about the ineffable importance of mental health and entertainment’s intersection. In the wake of his passing, Bergling has helped to dissolve the stigmas commonly pinned to mental health issues, though there’s still plenty of work to be done there.
Or perhaps it’s still so painful because dance music as a global phenomenon is still relatively young. Before Bergling’s death, EDM felt too young to have real factotums. By comparison, rock ‘n’ roll history is rife with fallen visionaries, from Jim Morrison to Janis Joplin. Hip-hop, sadly, is no different, with Nipsey Hussle, Big L, Tupac and the Notorious BIG all rushing to mind. But before Avicii, the EDM community didn’t really have many canonized saints yet; no Kurt Cobain to assume the role of champion taken too soon. That all changed last April, and perhaps the reason it still hurts so badly is because electronic dance music is still fighting through the growing pains of establishing its history.
Love it or hate it, EDM now runs on a 24-hour news cycle. But news of Bergling’s death brought it to a grinding halt within minutes—really for the first time. The news blanketed the weeks that followed in a grief-stricken, melancholy silence, as tributes continued to pour in, dance music consumers collectively mourning together. The news cycle eventually recovered, but largely it feels like the fans did not. A year later, and things aren’t quite as quiet as they were last April 20, but the void in dance music Avicii behind still undoubtedly remains—Long Live Avicii.
IAustralian dance trio RÜFÜS DU SOL have consistently been lauded for their live act, having played numerous prominent festivals from Electric Forest to their most recent Coachella 2019 set, and touring an expansive North American itinerary. Now, they bring their performance chops to the late-night screen, marking their first-ever appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The electronic group consisting of Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George, and James Hunt, took to the stage to perform “Treat You Better” over Kimmel’s airwaves, the fourth single from their 2018 studio album Solace.
With Lindqvist providing impeccable live vocals, George on the keyboard, and Hunt providing the percussion, the trio deliver nothing short of the live brilliance we’ve come to expect, conveying an inspiring performance that exuded magnetic stage energy. The success of Solace has catalyzed RÜFÜS DU SOL’s artistry and career moves, resulting in the trio debuting a 360-degree short film Underwater, securing a Wynn Vegas residency, and taking slots in both weekends of Coachella 2019.