After a manic weekend filled with music fueled debauchery in the desert, I’m finally coherent enough to tell the tale of how it all unfolded at Coachella

Friday – Day 1
After Le Castle Vania and 12th Planet smashed up the camping grounds from Thursday night into the we hours of Friday morning, the ball was set rolling for three days of tunage. Finally gracing Indio with his hotly anticipated live set, Muscovite The Proxy left the Sahara Tent in tatters mid-afternoon as he threw down one of the heaviest sets I’ve seen all year, highlights included ‘Raven’ and of course a rendition of the jam hot ‘8000’. Angelenos, if you missed his set at Coachella, don’t fret; he’s just been added to the Hard Summer bill. Get your mits on passes to that here

I can’t help thinking that festival organizers got more than they bargained for in booking The Proxy, because he threw down the heaviest set during one of the earliest slots of the day. In my opinion I think he should’ve been playing a lot later, and not the set before a chilled disco-house duo like Aeroplane, who changed the vibe massively with another awesome set. I like to think that by this point, the bar was being raised at a prolific rate, Wolfgang Gartner hammered out an intense set dominated by heavier dutch house, and a little later Erol Alkan took to the stage as the Sahara Tent was reaching fever pitch. Track of the day for me, was during Erol’s set with his manic drop of ‘Lemonade’.
photo cred:
With everyone throwing down super heavy on Friday afternoon, the ‘Mau5 failed to disappoint, creating the most intense visual experience I’ve ever seen. Evidently three years after the Alive 2007 tour, it’s easy to draw comparisons between Deadmau5 and Daft Punk: the helmet thing that both acts have going on is the most obvious similarity, also the fact that the Mau5 was set up on an lcd plinth in the shape of a large chunk of cheese that someone’s had a nibble at. Daft Punk’s pyramid anyone?! But time and technology has allowed Deadmau5 to up the ante, as he showcased his new robomau5 helmet composed of led lights, making him the centerpiece of surrounding visuals which appeared to engulf him.

photo cred:
The trippiest moment of the set came when the led lights formed the mau5 face for the first time on the plain grey helmet, during ‘Sometimes Things Get, Whatever’. With each lyric mouthed on the helmet, the face twitched, then melted. For a better idea, I highly recommend you check YouTube, cos this visual spectacle was off the scale. I now can’t wait to see what Daft Punk will bring to the table with their next tour, I’ve a feeling it’s going to be mind-blowing.

Saturday – Day 2

Day 2 was off to a flier with Bassnectar, another heavy act on early. “All your bass belong to Bassnectar” ringing pretty true as his hectic dubstep launched an assault on the Sahara tent. He appears like the maddest geezer on the planet, with long hair flailing around as he dances, head bobbing wildly behind the 1s and 2s. One things for cert, and we like him because of it: This guy can definitely dance dirty. Probably the best set I heard on Saturday, he ended with this:
followed by a track which he told us he’d received back from mastering less than an hour before his set – so Fresshhhh. But seriously, Bassnectar throws down the sickest dubstep, I can’t recommend his shows highly enough – check it.

Playing the smaller Mojave Tent, Major Lazer packed the place out, Dave Switch and Diplo looking boss; taking to the stage in tuxedos, maybe a bad idea as temperatures soared to about 90 degrees in there. Heat aside, Major Lazer killed it with their set, which included everything from dutch house, to dancehall, as well as Ace of Base throwback classic ‘All That She Wants’ and this:
big tune.
2manyDJs closed out the Sahara Tent on the Saturday night, blitzing a 50 minute set Radio Soulwax style. Each track that dropped brought with it visuals of the track’s corresponding album cover which had been doctored: jaws yawning, eyes rolling and body parts tweaking out. Highlights included ‘Mustapha Dance’, a Soulwax remix of The Clash ‘Rock The Casbah’ and the Soulwax remix of Chemical Brothers‘ ‘Hey Boy, Hey Girl’.

Sunday – Day 3

Rusko‘s sound has changed a lot in the last six months since he moved out to California, and this really lends itself to the vibe everyone was feeling by Sunday. Combining super heavy with mellow dub, Rusko played a mixed bag of classics such as ‘Jehova’, alongside brand new dubplates and material from his forthcoming record which drops in May on MadDecent. Back in the UK I was lucky enough to see Rusko playing to a packed out crowd on a regular basis, but now Stateside, he’s truly getting the appreciation he deserves, and has been more or less adopted by LA and the West-Coast crowd.
One particularly sick drop that stood out during his set was this:

The Sunday set I was really psyched about seeing was Club 75, the five piece Ed Banger supergroup consisting of Busy P, DJ Mehdi, Xavier De Rosnay from Justice, and Zdar and Boombass from Cassius. As a spectacle these guys threw down a killer set: 4 cdjs, 2 mixers, a laptop and an mpd was the setup, so with all five pitching in at the same time, it was kind of expected to get the occasional clang, but they made up for it in their track selection, throwing down a 90 minute set of (Ed) Bangers. Unsurprisingly, these guys can throw one hell of a party!!

The Aftermath
SweetFA’s overall picks…
Heaviest Act = A dead heat between The Proxy and Bassnectar
Best electronic act = Deadmau5
Best indie act = Thom Yorke and his new band Atoms For Peace
Best overall live performance = Gorillaz + their special guests
Favourite moment = Rusko dropping St Petersburg dubstep trio Giant‘s remix of Dire Straits:
Biggest disappointment = Hearing LCD Soundsystem
Best for Vibin’ = Aeroplane in the Sahara Tent on Friday afternoon
Best hair = GDDs own ///BONES, who rocked the sidesweep for all 3 days. Big ups




  1. taylor says:

    LCD biggest disappointment? are you fucking kidding me???


    im going to punch someone…!

  2. Dr.Schlongo says:

    im a huge lcd fan, and wasn't that stoked on their set…

    muse was awesome as well, did u get a chance to see miike snow, phoenix, or delphic freddie?

  3. sweetFA says:

    sorry taylor, but in my opinion they were pretty appalling live. Maybe it was the setup, but to me James Murphy sounded tone deaf and after hearing the new record, I was expecting big things :) ~ feel free to lamp me when you next see me mate.

    Dr. S, muse and miike snow were sick, sadly delphic got stuck in the UK b/c of the icelandic volcano, as did a big group of gorillaz' guests: mos def, kano, bashy and the hypnotic brass ensemble. Big shame. I'm flying back to LDN tomorrow, so praying my flight doesnt get cancelled. What were ur fave sets of the weekend?

  4. zander says:

    club 75 needs a new sound technician

  5. Rex says:

    Im still recovering from one of the best weekends I'll ever experience. I agree with everything you had to say and am thoroughly more pissed than i already was that i missed Proxy.

    Regarding the Proxy/Airplane shift I definitely noticed a similarly awkward shift when the sick as fuck but more mellow glitch mob played between Rusko and Club 75. everyone expected to keep jumping up and down

  6. pHiLthy says:

    I lost it when:

    1.) Club 75 dropped Flux Pavillion – "Got 2 Know" followed by Doc P – "Sweet Shop".

    2.) Erol played Beataucue's remix of "Kontact Me"(Been waiting to hear this played at a show for awhile now)

    3.)Benassi played Afrojack's remix of "Satisfaction".

    4.)Deadmau5 dropping "Sofi Needs A Ladder"(2:00-3:30) —>

    Also, Deadmau5' performance was an absolute spectacle, his stage setup was out of this world. I just read that he teamed up with "Bionic League's Martin Phillips and John McGuire (the lighting designers of Daft Punk's Alive tour and Kanye West's Glow in the Dark tour)"

    That explains this:

  7. Jon says:

    what an amazing weekend!!! I think my favorite Sahara Tent sets were Bassnectar and Club 75. Those parisians have an awesome vibe to them.

    I met one of you guys at passion pit's set. keep up the great work!

  8. Wiky says:

    Best post I've ever read. Thanks much. My roommate said you guys were once again surrounded by like 10 gorgeous girls in GDD stickers all weekend. Too humble to mention that? haha

  9. dkoy says:

    Thanks for the awesome writeup…living vicariously

  10. Anonymous says:

    LCD was definitely a disappointment. Deadmau5 killed ittt

  11. Kevin Doyle says:

    all three days at coachella were amazing.

    i saw this in the back of the sahara and had to snap a pic for you guys

  12. taylor says:

    Club 75 were retarded, dropping "sweet shop" and that cheesy brogore ice cream tune… half way through their set the mixing was so dirty. Hopefully they were all drunk…hopefully. Was really let down by their set. The intro was amazing though, with that tim green remix of cassius

    any of you fucks catch Thom Yorke?

  13. jonahberry says:

    wicked write-up my man.

    i'd also have to say that Dirty South, Phoenix, and Erol were some of my favorites as well.

  14. sean says:

    i must say i'm very disappointed that as electronic music enthusiasts you all missed out on the greatest electronic act of the entire weekend..

    richie hawtin ring a bell to anyone? plastikman on sunday tore the fucking sahara DOWN.

    yes bassnectar and proxy were heavy, sure club 75 had good song choices (although the djing itself was ghastly), but the real genius was the dark, intricate, and truly incredible set put together by plastikman. his stage setup consisted of a giant 20 ft tall semi circular LED screen whose visuals corresponded to each individual beat and synth that was pounded into everyone's skulls. he avoided all the cliche build ups and drops that are so overdone in today's electronic music scene and put together the best 70 minute set i have ever seen.. this guy sums it up perfectly..

    for shame GDD

  15. Anonymous says:

    The fact that Orbital and Plastikman aren't mentioned once in this write-up invalidates all of your "overall picks."

    And yeah, Taylor, Club 75 were pretty drunk. Pedro was holding an nearly empty handle of Absolut.

  16. jonahberry says:

    ***ORBITAL was absolutely amazing i can't believe i forgot to mention that one.


    plastikman was an amazing experience. the amount of intelligence that richie hawtin has is incredible and the performance that he put on was completely legendary, but for me the music seemed very experimental and all over the place and i just couldnt seem to groove to it and that's what I was basing my review on.

  17. pHiLthy says:

    Apparently there is an iphone app that goes hand in hand with Plastikman's shows too

  18. Derek says:

    I didn't go last weekend, but I've been watching as many videos I've been able to get my hands on. That said, WTF was up with Club 75?! They look absolutely horrendous in this video here:

    I mean, I wasn't there, so I can't tell you what the 'vibe' was like, but seriously, If I walked into the tent, and heard that awful mixing, I would have not even stayed and walked RIGHT OUT. It's hard to understand how these guys get paid after a set like that. I have a feeling promoters like Insomniac and Hard will take notice and I doubt we'll be seeing them at any festivals in SoCal this summer.

  19. egghead says:

    you know when you love a song and hear a remix of it that absolutely destroys it and brings nothing to it other than having it just be a remix for a remixes sake? yeah that's kinda how the money for nothing giant remix is…absolutely pointless and defaces a classic song.

  20. Rather Red says:

    Club 75 includes Gaspard Augé from Justice, not Xavier de Rosnay.

    At any rate, this was a great synopsis of the Sahara. Good shit mane.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Dooope dude.. also saw this for listen/download over here– Bassnectar – Where's My Mind (Remix)

  22. stevie.e says:

    yeah sean, orbital was my pick for the weekend, so you can't really say that all of GDD missed out on that. :) seein halcyon with heaven is a place on earth + living on a prayer was unreal.

    plastikman was pretty incredible with how organically things broke down, came together and pretty much slowly imploded at times as it fractalized. obviously not everyone's cup of tea, the app didn't work and I felt like he could have used that incredible visual setup much better, I thought things were a bit lacking on the visual side. the sound and LOW END was unlike anything I had ever heard (felt, rather), absolutely rib rattling. additionally, I didn't feel that the spontaneity he champions came across, it was cool that he was hidden back there as the "puppetmaster" but I wish he wasn't so removed from the audience. I think the iphone app was supposed to help with this connection, which in the end never worked properly.

    overall though, very innovative and hawtin is always pushing the envelope, which can't always be expected to function perfectly.

  23. stevie.e says:

    here's a video of his setup from a couple years ago as well, pretty cool.

  24. DJ KNTCX says:

    Both Gaspard and Xavier are in Club 75. Gaspard was the only one at Coachella because of the volcanic activity out in Iceland that locked up air travel.

    Much love to Gotta Dance Dirty.

  25. Bakari says:

    I'm loving all the electronic coverage from Coachella! I went and made a documentary that consisted of almost nothing but electronic music and got criticized by a few of my friends that made it seem like they were telling me I need some variety. I listen to a ton of metal and other genres, but they weren't really at Coachella. So I'm just pretty stoked to see someone do an awesome review on the electronic music from Coachella!

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