This weekend, HARD Day of the Dead returns to the LA State Historic Park in Downtown Los Angeles for a weekend of world renowned dance music and some pretty freaky costumes. On Saturday November 2nd through Sunday November 3rd, downtown LA will be swarmed with attendees in full Day of the Dead make-up and rave gear as some of the biggest EDM players like Skrillex, Nero, Calvin Harris and Eric Prydz perform. Hosting an array of breaking artists and big names, 65 acts are preparing to play the soundtrack to LA's biggest Halloween massive.We scoped out some of the freshest tracks from this year's HARD DJs which may have skipped your radar.
5. Cut Copy – “Free Your Mind”
Though Cut Copy has a new single “We Are Explorers” who's melody brings us back to the '80s and is the closets resemblance to their 2012 Grammy nominated Zonoscope we still can't get over the True Blood cameo by Alexander Skarsgard in the “Free Your Mind” video. This is the first single off their fourth full studio release titled Free Your Mind. The Melbourne-based electronic band will transport you through time and space into an acid house revival of the classic dance music era with a full live band nonetheless. So take a break from the wobbles and untz untz for a bit and delight in some top notch live music inspired by the sounds that started this whole dance music revolution in the first place.
4. Maxim – “Nasty Girl”
Following his success as an MC and vocalist for the legendary electronic band the Prodigy, Maxim makes his US debut with a small tour that includes four California dates. Born Keith Palmer, the British artist has been cultivating a solo career for some time now and recently released the single “Nasty Girl” featuring vocals by Audra Nishita. Inspired by trap, hip-hop, drum n bass and a lucrative electronica career, Maxim is taking his dance music experience behind the decks this time. His sets are a grimy mix of dance and trap with his own original tracks as well as his remixes on favorites throughout the years. Word on the street is that the English Fem-C Cianna Blaze will also be joining him to be his voice throughout in true UK garage fashion.
3. Maya Jane Coles – "Burning Bright” Featuring Kim Ann Foxman
With influences in house music, techno, R&B, hip-hop, dub and indie Maya Jane Coles has become a household name after playing major festivals like Coachella and Creamfields. Her debut album, Comfort, was produced and engineered in her home studio playing her own instruments and adding her vocals to tracks like "Stranger” and "Dreamer.” She reunites with director Thomas Knights on "Burning Bright” to once again entrance us with catchy vocals and the perfect deep house groove. Her video debut "Everything” caused controversy due to scenes of taxidermy and "Burning Bright” follows suit with disturbing death scenes taking place in a church. How fitting for the Day of the Dead theme. We hope she gets a little freaky at the Underground Stage and lets some of her aliases come out too.
2. Deadmau5 – "Suckfest9001”
Deadmau5 recently announced a partnership between his record label mau5trap and Astralwerks Records on which he will release the compilation We Are Friends Vol. 2 featuring two new tracks "Your Ad Here” and "Suckfest9001” since his Grammy nominated Album Title Goes Here. He produced "Suckfest9001” after his public break-up with his former fiancee Kat Von D. So we can't help but wonder if Joel Zimmerman has a little something to prove after the split, a short touring hiatus in the states, dropping out of the top 10 in the DJ Mag poll and controversy after admitting to Rolling Stone he just "presses play.” Regardless he was the first solo electronic artist to ever grace their cover and who can forget the introduction of the cube at Coachella 2010? With an arsenal of new music which channels the sounds that got us into "EDM” in the first place he's definitely worth checking out!
1. Dusky – "Careless”
Dusky's latest single "Careless” recently knocked Hardwell (the new #1 DJ Mag top 100 holder) off the Beatport Top 10 slot proving that house music still thrives. The UK duo, made up of Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman, has been celebrating success as the new face of the underground deep house movement since their critically acclaimed debut Stick By This in 2011. Their remix of Justin Martin's "Don't Go” was a dance floor favorite this summer as their music continues to be played by everyone from Jamie Jones to Disclosure. Their mix of sultry deep house to techno and drum n bass influences prove that house music has no boundaries and it's future depends on forward thinkers like Dusky. Usually headlining gigs all over Europe they are an early treat not to miss at the Red Bull Music Academy Discotheque Stage.