Going into FYF this year, I expected to broaden my horizons and check out the non-dance acts - but once again, I found myself magnetically drawn to the sounds of house and techno. As such, I thought it would only be right to compile the best performances over the two day festival.
Now before I dive into these noteworthy acts, it's probably worth mentioning a few of the artists that severely let me down such as Hot Chip's very uneventful performance which was mediocre at best and not to mention Todd Terje's pretentious attempt at trying to be a "band" instead of simply just playing disco.
However, the biggest letdown of all came from Moby, who was once known for pushing the scene forward but now seems to be stuck in the era of 2011 EDM. The energy, the passion, and the stage presence were all there, but the music plainly and simply was not.
Now for the five electronic acts that stunned the masses at FYF:
In addition to AIR being one of my most hotly anticipated acts at FYF, they also far exceeded my expectations due to the fact that I saw the French electronic group perform at Coachella about ten years ago - and they completely blew that performance out of the water. The band seemed to play tighter and much more naturally as they moved seamlessly between between classic tunes such as "Playground Love," "Alpha Beta Gaga," and "How Does It Make You Feel," but it was the final two songs of the set that truly catapulted them above the rest. First a mostly improvised performance of "La Femme D'Argent" and to follow right after, their debut quirky electro-pop single from nearly two decades ago, "Sexy Boy."
Another highly anticipated performance for the fest came from an act a bit more underground known as Bicep. The bloggers-turned-DJs made an extra-rare L.A. appearance on the second day of the festival, and everyone showed up in droves to catch a glimpse of the UK duo -who did, in fact, more than deliver as their set worked a 90-minute progression beginning with '70s disco and ending with contemporary, driving techno.
Highlights of the set included the 1977 disco classic "Let's All Chant," the 1992 techno anthem "Understand This Groove," and of course some of their own gems, including their rare edit of Fleetwood Mac's "You Make Loving Fun," their huge remix of "Higher Level," and their newly released remix of Blaze's "Lovelee Dae."
3. RED AXES
Those who arrived early for Moby's set were treated by a surprise from Israeli production/DJ duo Red Axes. As for me, I simply went to their set because of all the buzz surrounding them. The guys surely went against the FYF grain and opted for a deeper and more psychedelic set as opposed to a lot of the safer disco sets being spun by the other DJs on the bill. Track highlights included Tensnake's deep and melodic gem "Fantasma" and Koze's rerub of "Splasher."
4. FLOATING POINTS
Sam Shepherd is known for his musical productions under the moniker Floating Points, but his live performance on Sunday night at FYF far exceeded anything I ever expected. He jammed on stage with four other members as a full band, playing a smorgasbord of styles including everything from progressive jazz to psychedelic '60s rock, which put the crowd in musical hypnosis and left them in awe.
5. THE BLACK MADONNA
Chicago-based DJ, The Black Madonna had the honor of opening up for Bicep, and she did so quite well by laying down an almost strictly disco set featuring tunes like Silver Convention's "Fly Robyn Fly" and Metro Area's modern disco classic "Miura."
However, the frosting on the cake came with only ten minutes remaining in her set as the Swedish songstress Robyn unexpectedly appeared in the booth with The Black Madonna and sang over her latest update of "Indestructible."