In Alphabetical Order… Cause I Can’t Pick Favorites
Adam Beyer Presents Drumcode
This incredible man has stayed true to his early 90’s warehouse Techno roots. Adam Beyer describes himself as a DJ, first and foremost, and this is evident in the quality of his mixing and productions. I have an enormous love for DJs who started in the days of all vinyl all the time because it takes a tremendous amount of skill to be accurate; there’s no hiding behind technology with records. His Drumcode label is dedicated to retaining the quality and heart of Techno, and for this, it’s one of the most revered labels around. If you missed out on those days of yore when raves happened by word of mouth only, make your way to the front, close your eyes to darken your life, and take in some throwback Techno vibes as Adam Beyer Presents Drumcode takes the EDC Las Vegas 2019 Neon Garden stage on Day Three.
This is my first Goddess of Techno on the EDC Las Vegas 2019 lineup that I haven’t had the privilege of seeing yet. From everything I’ve heard, Amelie Lens has a precision only gained through years of hard work. When I found out that in addition to me, she counts Trent Reznor as one of her early influences, I knew I had to see her live. There’s a reason she was a recent #WomanCrushWednesday as several contributors are excited to see her at Movement in Detroit Memorial Day Weekend 2019. As with most of the dark Techno icons on this list, Amelie can be found Day Three on the Neon Garden stage.
Usually, when I see someone playing a straight vinyl set, they’re over 40 years old. So after I caught the video of ANNA playing a strictly vinyl set for Cercle, I wrote my own #WomanCrushWednesday on her. In addition to her amazing tracks I’ve heard everywhere lately, that Cercle set convinced me to NOT MISS her Day Three on Neon Garden stage. Her productions are dark, yet beautiful, words that describe some of the best things in my life. For these two reasons, I dubbed ANNA Persephone after the Greek goddess whose departure from Earth to the realms of Hell signal Fall and Winter, and whose return bring about Spring and Summer. I can’t wait to hear the vision ANNA brings to EDC Las Vegas 2019. Looks like I’ll be spending most of Day Three at the Neon Garden stage with all the other twisty Techno fans.
This Durban-born DJ has such passion for his craft that he went to college for Music Theory in order to become a quality House Producer. Unlike many of my recent favorite House DJs, Black Coffee feels like a throwback to the days of lush, complex House that brings prayer-like lyrics to smooth beats. His EDC set at Neon Garden on Day Two will be setting my heart on fire, while also slowing me down a notch. I’m keeping my fingers crossed Black Coffee brings his own brand of Afro-House grooviness.
Though this British duo may be best known for their 2017 hit single “Cola”, I’ll bet most of you recognize my personal favorite, “Panic Room”. Remixed by CamelPhat with lyrics written by Au/Ra about her own experiences with anxiety attacks, from the moment I heard it, I was sold on these guys. They took her frightening words, matched them with escalating tones and slowly growing beats, much like the music of a horror movie. It’s rare that standalone lyrics so magnificent can be remixed with equally creepy beats for such a masterpiece. Hopefully, I’ll see you at the Cosmic Meadow stage on Day Three in front of Dave Whelan and Mike Di Scala so we can work it out to their brilliant House beats.
Charlotte de Witte
This young lady blows my fucking mind in the best of ways. At a mere 17-years-old, Charlotte de Witte won a competition to play at Tomorrowland. A common trend amongst the female Techno DJs on this list is an early love of Rock, which doesn’t surprise me, as I myself found my way to Electronic Dance Music through progressive rock. The structure bears a similarity to the lengthy builds of some of the best Techno sets I’ve ever heard. With her love of Rock, Charlotte de Witte takes a more aggressive approach toward her sets. Like every other woman on this list, she has a level of technicality that shines a light on years of dedication and practice. Check out this cool cat in black on the Neon Garden stage on Day Two.
How much do I really need to say about this guy? A straight up House DJ just about anyone can get down to, this guy is so prolific rumor has it he ghostwrites for a couple other new to fame DJs. Back in 2015, Chris Lake decided to make a musical shift and simplify his productions, allowing the beats and lyrics to shine through. That return to an old school House sound gained the approval of Green Velvet which resulted in one of Chris’ most popular tracks “Deceiver”. His quick rise to popularity means I’ll be surrounded by some #influencer types (gross) as I shuffle up a storm on Day Three at the Cosmic Meadow stage. I’m lucky enough to get to see him a second time on the Pagoda Stage at Shambhala in August where I’ll be around some hippy-dippy types who are a bit more my speed.
Claude cracks me up and I absolutely love when artists show themselves to be hilarious, quirky humans who’ve put in some hard work to live their best lives. Just go check out the Stroke Show to get a laugh in. His House tracks exposed his funny bone, what with “Barrump” saying just that word in the strangest of ways. Claude VonStroke also has a tendency to dance and jam behind the decks which is another thing I love. Needless to say, I’ll be found nodding my head to his House beats Day One at the Kinetic Field stage.
Also known as Cajmere, this guy with his Punk-like appearance is anything but. Green Velvet is one of those artists that make me wish I was born a decade earlier so I could’ve experienced the House that emerged in the mid-1980s out of Chicago. Born Curtis Jones, he took a bit of fun creating tracks with a keyboard, four track, and drum machine and made it into a decades-long career. Some of my all-time favorite House involves preaching and testifying, much like Green Velvet’s very long “Preacher Man” track. Another old school House element I’ve always enjoyed is when an artist takes something real, like a clip from a voicemail box, and turns it into a track like “Voicemail”. Now let’s Get Real: Green Velvet & Claude VonStroke are playing a b2b and if I run out of time, which is very likely, I may just kill two birds with one stone and catch these guys Day Two at Kinetic Field.
One of my most anticipated acts at EDC Las Vegas 2019, this Techno demon brings out the worst in me in such a good way. Known for his dark vibes, tech-heavy sounds, and penchant for playing tantalizing IDs, i_o is finally releasing them from his dungeon. First up is “Death By Techno”. Get ready to take a trip to hell and back with this dark, heavy track that gains momentum as it progresses. With darkness comes light, and i_o emulated this perfectly within his new EP. The second track on the EP, “No Sleep” provides balance with a deeper, melodic tone making it perfectly suited for festival main stages. I’ve only seen him once in a small, dimly lit club, and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the Circuit Grounds stage on Day One. I’m glad I get to witness it with fresh dancing feet! It’ll be a taste of what I get to experience at my “home,” the Gorge Amphitheatre, in June at Paradiso 2019. Click HERE for tickets and info to Paradiso.
Tchami x Malaa: No Redemption Tour
Speaking of Paradiso, that was where I first heard Tchami x Malaa: No Redemption Tour. They laid down some of the filthiest Tech House I’ve ever heard and instantly became one of my top five shows of 2018. As often happens at the Gorge Amphitheatre, the weather when Tchami x Malaa took the stage was cold at best. But the grungy, industrial sounds they meld into tracks like “Summer 99” had me saying FUUUUUUUCK as I danced myself sweaty. Back when I first started my lifelong love of Electronic Dance Music in 2000, DJs weren’t really known for what they looked like. Often playing in dark warehouses, it was hard to make out their faces. This focused everyone’s concentration on their mixing abilities and the journey the progression of their tracks could take you on. So the fact that Malaa covers his face and nobody really knows what he looks like (some even say he’s one of three DJs that rotate) makes me love him even more. IDGAF what you look like and I don’t wanna hear you saying shit on the mic. Impress me with your music like this duo I’ll be tearing it up with on Day Three at the Cosmic Meadow stage.
There you have it… my #HouseandTechnoTuesday picks for EDC Las Vegas 2019. I know I missed a lot of people, but these are just MY favorites. Who are yours? I’d love to know! I’m always open to suggestions, as that’s how I’ve discovered some of the artists above.
*Featured Image of Tchami x Malaa: No Redemption Tour Via Tchami FB Page*