las vegas | Music + Film

DJs in the Desert: Your EDC Playlist to Prep

June 19, 2014
Written by: Yasha Wallin

Like it or love it, Electronic Dance Music or EDM is here to stay. And there’s no better place on the globe, and no better time to see the genre’s best DJs perform amid a sea of day-glo clad fans than at the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, starting June 20. With over 150 acts in the lineup, the three-day event is the largest electronic music festival in the world. To prep for this blowout weekend, we asked our DJ in the know, Smith Agent Smith, to tell us who to watch the festival, so we know we’re catching the very best in EDM today. Below are Smith Agent Smiths’ picks. See you on the dance floor.

A-Trak is technically the best DJ of the entire EDC roster. Having won the DMC championships before he even grew chest hair, A-Trak  established himself as a pioneer from the onset. Working with Kanye West as his tour DJ only furthered that success, and now with his label Fools Gold, he has cemented his place in the hip hop and electronic music communities. Check out A-Trak’s 1997 DMC winning set on YouTube.

Over the last few years Alesso has blown up with some of the best remixes and original tracks in EDM. Aside from gaining major credibility on the production side, in recent festivals Alesso has also come out as one of the most impressive DJs of the day. His Instagram feed is evidence of this, with the Swede seen killing it on stages around the world.

Avicii’s songs “You Make Me,” “Hey Brother,” and “Wake Me Up,” were smash hits over the last year. Even the faintest of electronic music fans heard and grew to love these tracks. Ever a pioneer, Avicii pushes new limits in music that have the critics questioning until his sound finally clicks. At Miami’s Ultra Music Festival 2013, Avicii strayed further from the norm with a new series of bluegrass-meets-electronic records. It was so polarizing people wondered whether his brand could survive the change. Fast forward a couple months and Avicii’s country-infused EDM tracks are the hottest songs of the year.

DJ Carnage
Probably the most unique figure in the EDM scene, Carnage has been banging out epic sounds that range from dirty hip hop beats to festival trap remixes, to electronic house. His online persona is that of a hilarious, self-proclaimed fat kid, as focused on his next Chipotle burrito as he is his music. Carnage even refers to his following as the Chipotle Gang. As far as showmen go though, Carnage’s could-care-less attitude makes him one of the best. He is not afraid of the mic, the music, or the moment, sometimes going as far as jumping into the crowd and going HAM with the Chipotle gang.

Dillon Francis
Fans (mainly the ladies) are starting to catch onto Dillon Francis’ hilarious Instagram feed and endearing personality. It helps that he basically carved out a genre (Moombahton) and even though its success has faded a bit, Francis has been able to establish himself as a new Diplo of sorts. Check out: “Get Low.”

Deorro is a name you are starting to see a lot more lately. His remixes and original tracks have been on top of the electronic music scene for the past year. I’ve yet to see his live set, but because of his production would definitely consider him someone to watch.

DJ Snake
DJ Snake is the man responsible for asking us all to “Turn Down for What.” But listen to more of his music and you will hear a unique diversity in his sound. Not only has his production been on fire as of late, his live sets are also crazy good. This has definitely been the year of the snake and if you haven’t had a chance to experience it live yet, don’t miss out. Checkout his Alunageorge remix for “You Know You Like It.”

Plastic Plates
When your ears need a bit of a break, head over to Plastic Plates. Their funky yet relaxed sound will be a nice break from the mayhem EDC has to offer. Check out their track “Things I Didn’t Know I Loved (Bufi Remix).”

If Plastic Plates is a great break from the norm to get down without having your eardrums damaged, Tchami is even more of that. For the coolest kids who are into deep house bass vibes, Tchami will be your go to. With the entire genre of deep house really taking the forefront this year, Tchami’s success is likely to continue. His remix of Martin Garrix and Jay Hardaway’s “Wizard” is magical (pun intended). Checkout his track “Promesses.”

12th Planet
His stage is sure to be rocking considering his west coast roots and his widespread fan base. If you are looking for some dub step and trap beats to really shake your ass to, be sure to check out the energy 12th planet brings. And in the meantime, be sure to check out his Instagram, for some serious #selfie action.