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Electric Daisy Carnival 2012

Tackling Electric Daisy Carnival’s massive music lineup

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Which acts will get you moving most? Read on …
Photo: Steve Marcus
Annie Zaleski

Click here to see the complete EDC 2012 schedule.

1. See the biggest names

Above & Beyond The London trance behemoths are internationally ranked DJs—No. 5 on the DJ Magazine poll as of November—and heart-twisting studio artists. Last year’s Group Therapy, A&B’s second studio album, is as haunting as it is danceable. Friday, 12:30 a.m., Circuit Grounds

Afrojack The Dutch producer/DJ’s credit on Pitbull’s 2011 earworm “Give Me Everything” and his songwriting contributions to Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls)” underscore his colorful Dutch house technique, one marked by tribal rhythms and unexpected blurts of sound.

Steve Angello Besides being one-third of superstar DJ/production troupe Swedish House Mafia, Angello is a respected solo artist known for remixes (Nero, Pendulum) and singles such as this year’s techno-rock jock jam “Yeah.” Friday, midnight, Kinetic Field

Avicii The 22-year-old Swedish DJ/remixer/producer is having a pretty good 2012: Besides remixing Madonna and headlining EDC Vegas, he just released a new single, “Silhouettes,” a sleek house cut with pop aspirations. Saturday, 1 a.m., Kinetic Field

Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris

John Digweed The noted English DJ/producer is synonymous with the eerie, chilled progressive house that dominated clubs a decade ago—a style he continues to perfect, refine and evolve, as evidenced by 2010’s Bedrock Twelve DJ mix and this year’s Live in Cordoba release. John Digweed, 12:30 a.m., Cosmic Meadow

David Guetta The Eurohouse king receives a lot of credit for kickstarting the EDM craze in America, thanks to his collaborations with The Black Eyed Peas, Flo Rida and other pop stars. Guetta backs up his reputation as a proudly populist DJ with an intuitive, explosive live show spanning his catalog of hits. Sunday, 12:30 a.m., Kinetic Field

Calvin Harris In the past six months, the Scottish artist has finally made serious inroads in the U.S., thanks to well-paced electro-pop club banger “Feel So Close” and house-tinged production on Rihanna’s smash “We Found Love.” Saturday, 12:50 a.m., Kinetic Field

Kaskade EDC headliner and Ultra Records mainstay Kaskade, aka Ryan Raddon, has very quietly become one of the biggest DJs in the U.S. His singles “Everything” and “I Remember” hit No. 1 on the Billboard dance charts, while last year’s Fire & Ice—which featured Skrillex and Neon Trees, among others—embodies the dizzying, kaleidoscopic take on progressive house. Friday, 1:30 a.m., Kinetic Field

David Guetta

David Guetta

Martin Solveig The French producer/DJ distinguishes himself with formidable songwriting skills—he co-wrote both the monstrous 2011 hit “Hello” and the new, Brit-pop-leaning sugar rush “The Night Out”—and an impeccable roster of collaborators, including Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, Dragonette’s Martina Sorbara and rising it girl Dev. Saturday, 9:50 a.m., Kinetic Field

Tiësto At this point, the club titan could only become bigger by transmitting a concert live from outer space. The superstar DJ just released Club Life: Volume Two Miami, although that pales in comparison to placing 84th on Forbes’ 2012 World’s Most Powerful Celebrities list. Saturday, 2:30 a.m., Kinetic Field

1. Catch the must-see sets

Art Department Pair two pals from the Toronto music scene—icon Kenny Glasgow and No. 19 label owner Jonny White—and you get Art Department, which specializes in synth-drenched house music with geometric beats and retro-fabulous heat. No set time listed.

Gabriel & Dresden The club/house music innovators reunited in 2011 after splitting several years earlier. While the duo seems re-energized by the time apart, who knows if (or when) they’ll decide to go their separate ways again. Friday, 10:30 p.m., Circuit Grounds

Kaskade

Kaskade

Joachim Garraud As one of the first DJs to introduce techno to France in the late ’80s—and as the producer/writer who helped David Guetta launch his career—Garraud has an impeccable pedigree. Only in recent years has he started touring the States, though, making this appearance a must. Friday, 10:45 p.m., Neon Garden

Richie Hawtin The electronic guru alternately known as Plastikman (among other aliases) always has something new, different and futuristic up his sleeve—a forward-thinking mind-set that extends to his all-too-rare stateside performances. Saturday, 1:45 a.m., Cosmic Meadow

Morgan Page A former college radio DJ, the New Englander is now a burgeoning progressive/electro house star, on the strength of his remixes (Katy Perry, Coldplay) and melancholy synth confections, such as the Tegan & Sara-featuring “Body Work.” Morgan Page, Sunday, 7 p.m.

Porter Robinson This North Carolina native isn’t even old enough to drink legally, but during the last year he’s opened for Skrillex and Tiësto and signed on for a Vegas residency at Wynn and Encore. See the self-proclaimed purveyor of “complextro” (e.g., complex electro) before he’s selling out venues befitting his headlining pals.Sunday, 3 a.m., Kinetic Field

Gabriel & Dresden

Danny Tenaglia House music patriarch Danny Tenaglia needs no introduction: The NYC producer/DJ has spent more than 30 years crafting original grooves, slinky remixes and reinterpretations of soul, disco, samba, electro and Latin tunes for the ecstatic clubbing masses. Sunday, 4 a.m., Cosmic Meadow

Joris Voorn & Nic Fanciulli Although Dutch DJ Voorn and U.K. mixmaster Fanciulli are in-demand performers individually, in recent years they’ve teamed up for the single “Together” and, on special occasions, for DJ sets. Sunday, 8:30 p.m., Cosmic Meadow

Josh Wink The acid house/techno pioneer could have rested on his laurels after spending much of the ’90s as a popular, wildly creative DJ. Instead, Wink has pushed himself to evolve: In 2009, he released an eclectic studio album of electronic music, When a Banana Was Just a Banana, and then took a stab at remixing the Gorillaz jaunt “On Melancholy Hill” the next year. Saturday, 9:15 a.m., Cosmic Meadow

Zeds Dead Live, the Toronto duo of DC and Hooks adroitly graft modern dubstep’s steel-toed stomps to a diverse array of genres. Their arsenal of remixes—including songs by Radiohead, The Moody Blues, Massive Attack and even power-pop guru Jason Falkner—is even more bewitching. Saturday, 12:30 a.m., Bass Pod

3. Go exploring

Adventure Club Unlike their harsher dubstep peers, Montreal production duo Adventure Club put a whimsical bent on their zig-zagging throbs and whooshing synths, as heard on the new, Yeah Yeah Yeahs-sampling "Wait." Friday, 4:30 a.m., Bass Pod

Bassjackers Nearly all of EDC’s big names have dropped Bassjackers’ genre-shifting swerve “Mush Mush” into their sets during the past year. (Tiësto liked it so much, his label, Musical Freedom, even released it.) Still, the Dutch duo’s ability to control the dancefloor goes beyond this hit, thanks to the thick layers of tension and electronic-zipper curveballs that mark their sets. Friday, 4 a.m., Kinetic Field

Joachim Garraud

Cazzette Together just a year, this Swedish DJ duo has friends in high places (Avicii’s management and artists such as Tiësto and Swedish House Mafia) and a very modern, soulful dub house sound. Expect their star to rise soon—and quickly. Sunday, 8:15 a.m., Kinetic Field

Cosmic Gate This German duo has been kicking around for over a decade, but their percolating trance—as found on their 2011 artist album, Wake Your Mind—feels as fresh and invigorating as any of their trendier, less-skilled peers. Saturday, 3 a.m., Circuit Grounds

Feed Me The first artist besides Deadmau5 on the Mau5trap label, Feed Me (a.k.a. U.K. artist Jon Gooch) does the label and its owner proud. The electro house/dubstep project is fanciful and cartoonish, with the perfect balance of tranquil atmosphere and rumbling Technicolor effects. Saturday, 11:15 p.m., Neon Garden

Flux Pavilion The baby-faced English producer/DJ creates delicious tension within his music, courtesy of apocalyptic dubstep and corrugated 8-bit skittering blended with traditional house flourishes and deliberately slowed tempos. Recommended: The anxiety-laden 2011 stomach-drop “Bass Cannon.” Sunday, 4 a.m., Neon Garden

Feed Me

Feed Me

Jack Beats When’s the last time you heard pensive bard Leonard Cohen sampled in a club jam? Leave it to Jack Beats, aka Niall Dailly (Scratch Perverts) and Ben Geffin (The Mixologists). The duo take a kitchen-sink approach to their aggressive but vulnerable synthesis of dubstep, electro, house, hip-hop and alt-rock. Saturday, 3:30 a.m., Neon Garden

Kill the Noise Producer Jake Stanczak specializes in an uncompromising clash of lurching beats, campy-horror-movie sonic posturing and squirrel-y production detours—all cloaked in a chilling sense of unease. Friday, 8:25 a.m., Neon Garden

Knife Party Think Australian drum ’n’ bass monsters Pendulum are heavy? Try Knife Party, the dubstep/house side project of band members Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen, which feels like a sledgehammer hitting the cranium—repeatedly. Friday, 9:30 p.m., Kinetic Field

Little Boots Little Boots (née Victoria Hesketh) transformed her low-key electro-pop project into a larger-than-life celebration of glossy ’80s synth-pop with her 2009 debut, Hands. Now, the U.K. pop queen has turned her attention to clubbier disco textures with her latest single, “Headphones.” Friday, 9:25 p.m., Neon Garden

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