Electric Zoo Day 2’s main stage is bursting at the seams with big names and big energy. Expect some huge hijinx from the potassium-obsessed duo, Dada Life, wiggle your way to the front row to experience Axwell’s big room, progressive sound and then watch Above & Beyond close out the mainstage with their second set of the weekend . For electro-house fans the Hilltop Stage is stacked with talent from start to finish while Steve Aoki and the Dim Mak crew bring their blow up rafts, birthday cakes and rowdy-house style to Riverside. For dance music fans with more refined tastes, the Sunday School Grove provides that deep groove you are looking for. Close out your Saturday with Sasha or get there early to catch Maya Jane Coles — you won’t regret it.
Check out our editor’s picks for Day 2 of Electric Zoo 2012 after the break.
Andrew Spada’s Picks
Even people who hate electro-house will admit to liking Wolfgang Gartner – his talent in the studio is undeniably world-class. It’s a shame that Wolfgang’s releases this summer — “Redline,” “Flexx,” and his recently released Casual Encounters of the 3rd Kind EP — have not garnered the attention that they deserve. His tracks may not always hit the BeatPort Top 10, and most are not club-friendly anthems but what makes them stand out is that they are always impeccably produced and infectiously fun. Check out Wolfgang if you want to hear the best that electro-house has to offer.
Indonesian producer, Angger Dimas’ sound is hard to describe – it’s one part electro, one part fidget house with a dab of dutch and a pinch of progressive. His sets are fast and ferocious, marked with larger than life percussion, off tempo breaks and squealing synths. This kid was an absolute phenom in Miami and I expect him to bring an even higher level of energy to NYC’s biggest festival.
Rusko’s name is synonymous with UK dubstep. His punk rock attitude and larger than life persona are embodied in his stage performances. He routinely gets unbelievably obliterated behind the decks and wiles out so fiercely that he has been hospitalized after shows in the past. Rusko’s brand of dubstep doesn’t go hard for the sake of going hard, instead it builds melodically, incorporating subtlety instead of huge bass lines and obnoxiously big wobbles. I’m going to see Rusko because from the moment I heard “Cockney Thug” I was hooked. The few times I have seen him live he has put on extremely memorable performances, this year looks to be no different.
Amanda Claudio’s Picks
It’s a shame that it’s come to the point where I feel embarrassed to admit Axwell was one of the first DJs to blow me away but alas here we are. In the time since Swedish House Mafia became a household name, Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angello’s individual performances have suffered — losing their luster and originality. A brief analysis of their set lists over the past year or so will reveal an undeniable overlap. The same songs and often in the same order. Now that the trio is “broken up,” I have a slight inkling of hope that his solo performance will be less Swedish House Mafia and more like the Axwell I saw two years ago.
Adrian Lux – Teenage Crime (Axwell & Henrik B Remode)
I am going to see Rusko not only for the wobbly set I have no doubt he’ll put on but also because of his stage presence. I’ve seen a lot of DJs live but few have come close to being as entertaining as Rusko. He jumps up and down, dances, and waves his hands in the most amusing ways. I don’t care if his energy behind the decks is fueled by alcohol or drugs, I just want to watch him dance — and dance he will.
Rusko – Hammertime (Original Mix)
Like Rusko, Dada Life is a joy to watch behind the decks and when that energy is musically matched you have a deadly combination. The duo is behind some of the most anthemic tracks of the year and while I’m sure many of their colleagues will incorporate these productions into their own sets, there’s nothing like watching Olle and Stefan bop around to their own handiwork.
Dada Life – Happy Violence (Original Mix)
Jesse Grushack’s Picks
Sander Van Doorn
To be honest, I only managed to catch SvD at Ultra for about 30 minutes but those thirty minutes were enough to blow my mind. Sander’s ability to mix tracks and his song selection make for an unbelievable set. I am excited to see the Dutchman masterfully mix trance and house together.
The duo known as Bingo Players have been having an amazing year. With tons of releases it seems that almost every one is an absolute banger. Hearing “Mad Dash” or “Rattle” on speakers the size of your house can be life changing. If you don’t know where to go on mid-Saturday, Bingo Players are probably going to tear down the mainstage.
The only time I have seen Nervo was at Identity 2011, when they were on the most overlooked stage there. I just walked past them, stopping for a minute to listen to their offerings – but quickly moved on to “bigger and better things.” I owe Nervo another chance – not just because they are really hot but because they are starting to produce great music.
JR Thornton’s Picks
Why should you go see Rusko? Because his passion for what he does and the energy he brings to each and every performance is simply unparalleled.
You’ve heard about the type of people who ‘light up a room’ when they walk into it? Well when Rusko walks into a room, it doesn’t light up.
This was an easy choice. Sasha is one of the true legends of electronic music. He has been there since the earliest days and has given more to the genre than most of the artists at this festival combined. If you consider yourself to be a true fan of electronic music, you simply can’t miss out on the chance to see a Sasha set live.
This could turn out to be a very standard/boring mainstage headliner pick. It could also turn out to be the best choice you make. It all depends on Axwell.
The truth of the matter is that despite how easy it is to put down a member of the SHM for being all hype, Axwell is actually one of the most talented producers and DJs in the game. Before “Miami 2 Ibiza” and “Save The World” there was “Together” and “I Found U.” I would absolutely love it if Axwell signaled his departure from the SHM by not playing “Calling” and “Rock The House” and every other track that is on The Playlist. But that is a very optimistic wish.
Axwell’s set could either be one of the best you’ll ever experience, or it could be instantly forgettable.