Unlike EDC NY, Electric Zoo 2012 comes out swinging on Friday with an eclectic collection of talent for fans of every genre. The Fool’s Gold Clubhouse boasts a massive line up of high energy dance music from A-Trak, Tommy Trash and Dillon Francis. For trance fans, Above & Beyond bring Group Therapy to New York City while Luciano and the Vagabundos crew dominate the Sunday School Grove with deep house beats. The Main Stage features David Guetta, Laidback Luke, Hardwell and Nicky Romero but the real star here is Derek Vincent Smith aka Pretty Lights – a unique, but well deserved, choice for the Main Stage headliner at New York City’s largest festival.
Check out our editor’s picks for Day 1 of Electric Zoo 2012 after the break.
Andrew Spada’s Picks
Why is Pretty Lights my choice? Simply because I have never seen him live. It isn’t often that Derek Smith comes to our doorstep with his unique blend of glitch hop, vintage soul, and chillwave. After spending an entire day being bombarded and haunted by some “track of the moment” (Think “Calling” at last year’s Electric Zoo) seeing a performer as unique and eclectic as Pretty Lights will be completely refreshing. I can’t speak to his stage show or his performances but if they are anything like his productions it will be nothing short of incredible.
If you don’t go see Dillon Francis then you don’t like fun. The class clown of dance music, Dillon always bring a supernatural level of energy to every one of his performances. His personality influences the music he makes — it is bouncy, eccentric, and aggressively unapologetic. To put it simply, Dillon really doesn’t give a fuck or shit — sometimes you need to say fuck all the pretentious bullshit and just jump around like an idiot.
Go see Mat Zo because of this BiPolar Mix, because of his incredible mash-ups, because he was the other half of “Mozart,” because he blew your mind with “The Sky,” or simply because he is one of Ajunabeats rising stars — just please don’t call it “trouse.”
Mat Zo’s BiPolar Mix
Amanda Claudio’s Picks
The trance train left the station long before I was ready to hop aboard, however, I’ve finally caught up with it and am now officially a passenger. At Electric Zoo this year I will spend the bulk of Friday experimenting with trance at the Group Therapy Stage. Of all the notable artists scheduled to perform there that evening I’m the most excited for Andrew Bayer — formerly a member of the trance duo Signalrunners. I became familiar with the Washington, DC native after hearing “Nothing Ever Lasts” — his emotionally evocative collaboration with Cosmic Gate and have been intrigued ever since. I’ve never seen him live and I’m not entirely sure what to expect but I have a feeling it will be phenomenal.
Cosmic Gate & Andrew Bayer – Nothing Ever Lasts (Original Mix)
Although Netsky has recently detoured slightly from his original sound the 23 year old is still a prodigy in the drum and bass world. His productions ooze the kind of liquidy bass, funky feel good vibes, and occasional smattering of jungle that make for (mostly) easy-listening. I don’t imagine he will stay within those confines for the entire performance but the ability to calm me down and work me right back up again is part of the allure. The Belgian golden boy is another artist I’ve yet to see perform live but I’m hoping Electric Zoo will be a chance to make up for lost time.
Netsky – Come Back Home (Original Mix)
Above & Beyond
When it comes to trance you can’t get more legendary than Above & Beyond. The trio’s performances have been dubbed everything from “inspirational” to “therapeutic” and at this point in my musical journey that’s precisely what I’m seeking. I’m tired of being disappointed by average performances riddled with predictable tracks. Jono, Tony, and Paavo — the men behind the group — are known for doing exactly what their name suggests — going above and beyond — so if you’re in pursuit of an awakening this is can’t miss performance.
Above & Beyond – Good For Me (Original Mix)
Jesse Grushack’s Picks
Hardwell is currently on of my favorite DJs on the scene. He plays the big hits but he does it with style frequently combining lesser known tracks with Top 10 anthems. His bootlegs are some of the best in the business so be sure to download his bootleg packs to get a real taste of what you can expect. There has yet to be a set of his that has disappointed me, each is riddled with mash ups and bootlegs that keep you on your toes. His progression from trance to house to electro has shown just how versatile Robbert Van De Corputc can be. This guy isn’t just a one trick pony. His latest release “Three Triangles” is testament to his continuously developing style.
After having the pleasure of seeing Adrian Lux at Pacha this past summer, he is definitely an artist that I need to see again. Despite his productions being incredibly well known his name doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves. If you have ever heard “Teenage Crime” (and if you haven’t you must be living under a rock) you have heard Adrian Lux. His vocal-heavy style features uplifting progressive house chords with a bit of techno. If aural euphoria is what you are looking for, look no further then the silky smooth productions of Adrian Lux.
This Australian just screams fun, sometimes literally. I am convinced Tommy Trash has more fun on stage than any of his peers. His long hair and continuous smile adds only serves to accentuate his awesome music and energetic sets. Stage presence and showmanship are Tommy’s bread and butter, if you love bass and someone who knows how to make the crowd move, head to the Fool’s Gold Club House to get Trashed.
JR Thornton’s Picks
Laidback Luke is at the very top of my DJs-to-see list. I absolutely love his productions but until now have never gotten a chance to see him on the decks. He is a phenomenally gifted technical DJ so I’m sure his set is going to be one of the highlights of the entire festival. Besides, when it comes to fun, it’s hard to compete with Mr. Luke.
I chose Jack Beats as one of my 5 picks in the DJ Mag top 100 rankings so there is no chance I would miss their set. I have seen Jack Beats twice before and they are one of the best acts I have ever seen live. The thin line they tread between bass and house music makes for an incredible energy that I’ve rarely seen replicated elsewhere. They recently released a mini-album titled Careless and have a second mini-album dropping soon, so they will have a whole host of new material to unleash at Electric Zoo.
Passing up the chance to see A-Trak perform in his adopted city is like passing up the chance to see Federer play at Wimbledon. Not only is A-Trak a fantastic producer, he’s one of the most technically gifted DJs out there period. If you’ve ever listened to an episode of Fools Gold radio, you know that an A-Trak set will be the polar opposite to whatever Avicii is going to play. This is your chance to see one of the masters of the game – don’t miss it.