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: Rukes.com
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: Rukes.com
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:
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.
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!!
SweetFA’s overall picks…
Heaviest Act = A dead heat between The Proxy and Bassnectar
Best electronic act = Deadmau5
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
Biggest upset = The night drive back to LA and waking up on Monday morning