New York City's premier EDM festival, Electric Zoo, returns for its 6th year to Randall's Island Park, just a pleasant ferry ride northeast of Manhattan. Although the final day of last year's festival was cancelled, Made Event has been working hard to ensure this the safest and most streamlined EZoo experience yet.
I have been a stalwart EZoo attendee since 2011, and I must say that each year that I've escaped to the lush hills of Randall's Island to experience the world's best DJ's alongside New York City's most avid electronic music fans has been truly unforgettable. I expect this year to take us to the next level of white-hot bass-fueled insanity. It's with great anticipation that we present our top 5 picks for acts to see at EZoo6.
5. Zomboy, Hilltop Arena, Day 1
My NYC raver group (shout-out to East Coast Rave Community) has been buzzing about Zomboy a lot recently. I made the mistake of sleeping on him, but when I finally decided to check his SoundCloud, I was blown away by his track Terror Squad, especially the VIP mix. Although dubstep is not at the top of my genre list, I'm going to make seeing Zomboy a priority at EZoo6. His Ultra Miami live set is a constant, high-caliber barrage of bass, punctuated only by melodic strings and crisp vocal drops.
4. Fehrplay, Riverside, Day 1
Hailing from Norway, Fehrplay is a potent force in keeping progressive house alive in the true sense of the term. Unlike the big room sound that has adopted this term, Fehrplay leads the vanguard of house music with steadier energy and rich melodies. Similar in style to Prydz himself, Fehrplay has had a string of amazing releases on Pryda Friends, including "Phantom," "Indigo," and "Everywhere You Go," which has more of a tech house vibe with haunting vocal drops. Take a break from the heavy bass and sharp drops of my other must-see acts and stop by the Riverside tent for Fehrplay's grooves.
3. Joseph Capriati, Sunday School Groove, Day 3
Joseph Capriati is one of the most influential names in techno and a dominant figure in Italy's longstanding techno tradition. He's been hugely supported by Adam Beyer and has had several releases on Beyer's Drumcode label. So for those of my EDC New York attendees who were bummed that Beyer wasn't able to spin, here's your chance to make up for it. Capriati's style is very similar to Beyer's, but his mixes seem to rely a little more freely on tech house as well. He's listed as a "Special Guest" on the Sunday School Groove roster for Day 3.
2. Clockwork, Main Stage East, Day 2
Henry Steinway is one of the most talented electronic music producers in the industry, exhibiting incredibly crisp electro house under the name Clockwork, as well as badass trap music as RL Grime. The LA-based producer caught my eye with his moving track "Surge," which I placed on Magnetic's Top 10 Electro/Progressive House Tracks of 2013. His recent releases "Champion" and "Signals" continue to deliver his unmistakeable signature sound and are sure to rock Randall's Island much the same as Clockwork's performance at EDC Vegas earlier this year.
1. Jack U, Main Stage East, Day 3
Skrillex and Diplo fulfilled every festivalgoer's wet dream last summer, when they announced they would be teaming up under the name Jack U (no pun intended). This dream team not only combines the signature sounds of both bass juggernauts, but also lays down intricate live sets flowing with electro, tribal, dubstep, trap and the finest twerk music. Expect Jack U to shut down Main Stage East on Sunday with a multi-genre bang.