Words By: Gabrielle Nicole Pharms
Electric Zoo was certainly a great ending to my summer and a RAD welcome to my fall. In an effort for you to understand my personal sentiments, I have listed an A-Z recap of my Electric Zoo experience.
Look out for the EZoo pictorial later this week. Perhaps you may feel the same way or you just might be the person I am referring to in this alphabet.
A – “A” is for Audien. Audien was one of the opening acts for Ferry Corsten’s“Full On” last Friday night. He changed my opinion of trance (see “T” for trance) by his creative set that combined trance with electro house and plenty of bass throttling kickdrums. He’s only 19. A trance prodigy in the making, perhaps? I think so.
B – “B” is for Bloody Beetroots. Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo leads Bloody Beetroots. Rifo took time out to talk with our team about his inspirations. I was quite enamored by the depth of his creativity and the explanation of the masks that he dons. Stay tuned for the interview soon.
C– “C” is for collaboration. There was a ton of collaboration tracks played throughout the fest. For example, Canadian DJ, Autoerotique, debuted a Felix Cartelx Autoerotique track much to the audience’s approval.
D – “D” is for Dim Mak. The Dim Mak Stage on Saturday was filled with amazing sets. I can’t say I favored one artist over another. Being that I am from the South, I did appreciate the Southern trill beats infused in 12th Planet and Datsik’s sets. Furthermore, the “D” also stands for Dim Mak’s Dirtyphonics. These guys were the epitome of rockstar meets turntables and synths.
E – “E” is for EDM Magazine family. This was my first time covering a festival with a team and I enjoyed every bit of it. Me and the two California based writers conquered the fest one stage, DJ and photo at a time. See pic below.
F – “F” is for Flux Pavilion. I first encountered Flux at SXSW in Texas back in March. Second time around he aided in the most epic photobomb ever. See for yourself below. At any rate, Flux definitely knows how to work a crowd and even more importantly, he became so involved in the music he mixed at the set that it only aided in proving his ability in being versatile. Ladies and gents, THAT quality is what sets a true artist/producer apart from an iPod DJ. And that’s why the sun never sets on the British Empire…
G – “G” is for Germany. The Germans own the EDM scene (See “X” for “XTC” and “Z” for Zedd). Well, the Dutch too.
H – “H” is for house. I heard house music in so many variations. Even DJs that are known for dubstep, such as Zeds Dead, injected house in their set and blended it with unexpected synths and faded drops.
I – “I” is for “I just saw…” stories. One of the enjoyable parts of the festival was bonding with members of other magazines. Although we all worked for different music magazines, we all shared stories of who we met, what set we just saw and even had lunch together. EDM promotes peace!
J – “J” is for jumping. I am convinced I lost at least five pounds. Half of my day consisted of jumping. The Steve Aoki set was by far the most I jumped. When Aoki dropped “Turbulence,” I think I might have jumped into the clouds. Seriously.
K – “K” is for Knife Party. This “K” is not particularly a “K” for kudos to the blokes that I usually enjoy. See “Y” for a more detailed explanation of the aforesaid statement. This “K” is indeed in reference to Knife Party, but particularly their tasty bass song, “Rage Valley.” Over four DJs that I know of from my own attendance included thatsong into their sets.
L – “L” is for live. Interestingly, all of the live sets had impeccable sound quality. The DJs sounded as great as their albums or better.
M – “M” is for mash-up. I think it’s fair to say that just about every DJ can add “mash-up” to their list of specialties. Tiësto added Rihanna’s “We Found Love” in his set. 12th Planet did an incredible dubstep mash-up of the theme song from the Fresh Prince of Bellaire.
N – “N” is for neon. Standing at the top of the hilltop after making my way through the entrance, all I could see was a sea of neon. Neon garb is the prerequisite of attending an EDM DJ set.
O – “O” is for open mind. I try to come to any festival with an open mind, especially when it comes to EDM. It is so easy to stick to only attending the sets of your favorite artists. I like to come early to see the lesser known DJs (see “U” for underdogs).
P – “P” is for publicists. I was extremely impressed with the execution of not only the festival, but also the organizing of the interviews between artists and press in the media tent. Plexi PR (though strict) did a phenomenal job and there are festivals I won’t name that should really ask to be mentored by this dynamic group of people.
Q – “Q” is for Qbert. I want DJ Qbert added to the EZoo lineup for next year.
R – “R” is for Roseland Ballroom. This venue was the home of a series of EZoo after parties. Last Friday night, I attended Ferry Corsten’s North American premiere of “Full On.” There was a 3D LED cube shaped DJ booth that added to the enjoyment of the night. This was also my first trance DJ set.
S – “S” is for Skrillex. This was my first time witnessing Skrillex live. His set was immaculate: lasers, fluorescent lights and FIRE! Pyrotechnics kick anything up a notch. Even more impressive was his flexibility in song play. He didn’t play only tracks from his albums; he used songs by unlikely artists. My favorite moment was his incorporation of Fatman Scoop’s “Be Faithful.” Skrillex is certainly not overhyped; that set left me speechless.
T – “T” is for trance. I can mark this festival as the event that made me a fan of trance.
U – “U” is for underdog. Most of the currently top DJs did not start out in immediate success. I followed A-Trak when he was a rookie; my fandom began in the period after his win at the 1997 DMC World Championship and before he was picked up by Kanye West as his personal tour DJ. DJs have to begin somewhere, so I like to check out the new DJs that give me chills at their sets. Those are the ones that will become the next “it” DJ.
V – “V” is for victory. When Sunday night ended, I felt an internal glow. A glow in which is only felt after succeeding through a vigorous activity. EZoo was intense and it felt great to say I had fun the entire festival although hard at work.
W – “W” is for white raver rafting. The jealousy factor of me not being placed in one of those rafts during Aoki’s set is through the roof. I was extremely excited to actually see this take place live.
X – “X” is for “XTC.” Thanks Boys Noize for making the stars shine that much brighter and life seem so much grander when you played “XTC.”
Y – “Y” is for yawn. I am a fan of Knife Party. I caught there show in Houston in the spring and was completely enamored. However, I was not impressed by their lackadaisical approach to the set at EZoo. There were more valleys than peaks in regards to the overall mix.
Z – “Z” is for Zedd. This is another DJ that is completely unpredictable with his live sets and won me over with his choice of songs and drops. I also had the pleasure of speaking with him about our mutual living in the Rhineland-Palatinate state of Germany. I lived in Bad Kreuznach as a child and he is from a nearby town named Kaiserslautern. He’s the first person I’ve ever met that’s also lived in that state.