The Five Best DJ Sets at Coachella (Weekend One)

Find out who played the best DJ sets at this year's first weekend of Coachella
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Danny Kaufman
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Find out who played the best DJ sets at this year's first weekend of Coachella
BlackCoffee

Black Coffee

So you didn't make it to the first weekend of Coachella, but you're going the second weekend and you need to know which DJ sets you must not miss. Well I caught a whole lot of D.J.s and I've laid out the top five sets that I witnessed, which I'm basing on skill, originality, and of course musicality. Sure, I didn't see everyone, but I did catch many and below are the artists that not only had the biggest impact on me but hundreds if not thousands of others as well. 

1. BLACK COFFEE (YUMA)

I was first exposed to the sounds of South African superstar DJ, Black Coffee on the hallowed Essential Mix back in November. Although, he's been around a lot longer than that with his meteoric rise to prominence since 2003, when he was chosen as one of only two South African participants in the Red Bull Music Academy. Since then, he's put out five full length albums, he's won countless DJ awards, and he even landed what has been a very talked about Circo Loco residency in Ibiza for the last couple years. So with Europe and Africa already in the palm of his hand, the star DJ is about ready to let North America know who he is and what better place to do that than one of America's biggest musical stages in Coachella.

So at about 6:30 pm on Friday evening at Coachella, I sought out shelter away from the gusty winds inside the rave cave also known as the Yuma tent and low and behold I was graced with the musical presence of the African talent, Black Coffee. With the tribal/afro house sound that he himself has coined as Afropolitan House Music, he ebbed and flowed through this infectious style of dance music with some personal favorites such as Polyrhythm's 2012 take on Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," Djeff Afrozila's "So Blessed," and even "Y.O.U.D." on the highly revered Innervisions imprint by his fellow compatriot Culoe De Song.  

Black Coffee is a unique talent to say the least and he surely stands above every set I was able to catch this past weekend at Coachella so make sure you do not miss the South African talent this coming Friday at the festival.

Follow Black Coffee: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Weekend Two Set Time: Friday, April 22nd (6:30 pm - 8:45 pm)

2. MACEO PLEX (YUMA)

MaceoPlex

Maceo Plex

When it comes to techno and deep dance music, Maceo Plex is one of the most in-demand DJs around, so it was no surprise that he was given the honor of closing the festival's Yuma tent on Sunday night. In addition to closing, he was also given the monumental task of following up the blazing set that both Adam Beyer & Ida Engberg had played before him. However, this wasn't Maceo's first rodeo as he completely surpassed my expectations and played the most incredible set I have ever seen him play! Not only did the Barcelona based DJ play some of the best from his current catalogue such as "Mirror Me," "Solar Detroit," and "Solitary Daze." He also rolled through some classics like Laurent Garnier's "Crispy Bacon" and John Dalback's late 90s remix of Thomas Krome's "The Real Jazz" and absolutely slayed the Yuma revelers. 

Follow Maceo Plex: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Weekend Two Set Time: Sunday, April 24th (9:45 pm - 11:45 pm)

3. ADAM BEYER & IDA ENGBERG (YUMA)

Beyer

Adam Beyer & Ida Engberg

The Swedish powerhouse couple Adam Beyer & Ida Engberg are each magnificent DJs in their own right, but together they seem to mix a perfect fusion between banging techno and minimal tech-house. This occasion was no different as they started their Sunday evening 90 minute set in a minimal vein, yet as the set progressed the energy increased exponentially and there wasn't a still body in the Yuma tent. Highlights from their hi-octane set included a whole lot of unreleased material including an upcoming Drumcode release by Enrico Sangiuliano called "Start Of Madness" and the track with which they finished their triumphant performance, the upcoming KiNK remix of the Sven Vath classic "An Accident In Paradise." 

Follow Adam Beyer: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Follow Ida Engberg: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Weekend Two Set Time: Sunday, April 24th (8:15 pm - 9:45 pm)

4. 2manydjs (SAHARA)

2manydjs

2manydjs

Radio Soulwax side project 2manydjs made their third ever appearance at Coachella's fabled Sahara tent on Friday evening right before dusk and the Belgian brothers, David and Stephen Dewaele, laid down another hyperkinetic set of mash-ups that crossed nearly every conceivable popular Western genre. From Lil' Wayne to Tame Impala, The Bee-Gees, Guns 'N' Roses, and even 80s pop dance group, Technotronic. They made sure that nearly every genre was touched whilst making sure we all danced our asses off. 

Follow 2manydjs: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Weekend Two Set Time: Friday, April 22nd (6:10 pm - 7:10 pm)

5. DJ Koze (YUMA)

KOZE

German DJ and producer Stefan Kozalla, aka DJ Koze, was one of the most clever bookings for electronic music at this year's edition of Coachella because the brilliant Hamburg based producer sparingly plays North America. As a matter of fact, the last time he even played in Southern California was upwards of at least two years ago. So being an aficionado of electronic music and of course DJ Koze, it was the easiest musical decision I had to make for the entire weekend. 

Koze's 90 minute set inside the Yuma tent included some of his best underground goodies from the past few years including his newest remix of Roman Flugel's "9 Years," last year's cutting edge smash "XTC," and of course his mammoth underground remix of Moderat's "Bad Kingdom" which everyone went absolutely bonkers over!

Follow DJ Koze: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Weekend Two Set Time: Saturday, April 23rd (6:15 pm - 7:45 pm)