Don't be fooled by the slew of hipsters and bros traipsing around the polo fields of Coachella – the festival itself has long been a pioneer of bringing electronic dance music to the states even dedicating it's own stage for EDM lovers for years. The Sahara tent has seen the likes of everyone from Sasha & Digweed, Groove Armada, Kraftwerk, Paul Van Dyk and Ferry Corsten. Not to mention the infamous 2006 set by Daft Punk the same weekend as Madonna! Artists as big as the Chemical Brothers, Underworld and Tiësto have also graced the main and outdoor stages and one year they even held an Insomniac tent. Fancy that!
Always being ahead of the curve with music, Paul Tollette and his crew work tirelessly to bring the most sought after and up-and-coming artist. With this years addition of the new underground techno and tech/deep house stage (we had predicted it would be a Dirty Bird Records takeover stage), the Yuma Stage powered by Sound Nightclub in Hollywood is giving the Sahara Tent a run for it's money (even though it's been upgraded to the "Mega Structure" most recently used at Ultra Music Festival in Miami)! Don't fret however, we took all the painstakingly stressful planning out of your hands and selected the top five can't miss EDM artist so that you can enjoy the desert sun and dance your weekend away in a blissful oblivion to these must see acts.
5. Sex Panther
Imagine being hot and sweaty from the scorching Indio heat and you wander into a fully air conditioned dome which sells Heineken beer and has some out of this world visuals? That's exactly where year after year some of the biggest DJ legends like DJ Sneak, DJ Dan, Busy P and DJ Mehdi have thrown down some sick two hour sets at Coachella. This year Orange County's very own Sex Panther duo will make their Coachella debut in the Heineken Dome kicking off the weekend on Friday from 2pm – 4pm. The crazy haired Ryan Fontana and Aaron Cool will be bringing together all of your favorite OC faces at one spot for two hours and will be debuting an ass ton of new tracks from their upcoming EP. Don't miss out and help support our very own.
4. Thomas Gold
The German globetrotting DJ and producer was on our list of EDM artist we wish came to Coachella and our prayers have been answered! After being popular with the Swedish House Mafia crew like Axwell and Steve Angello, Thomas Gold has been busy touring all over the world playing major festivals like Ultra and EDC. He just finished his highly acclaimed Fanfare Bus Tour named after his iTunes podcast and is currently the newest member of the elite rooster at Las Vegas new Light Nightclub at Mandalay Bay. With mash-ups, remixes and originals like "Sing2Me" and "Alive" we can't wait to hear those basslines in the Sahara tent. We are unsure if he is bringing that epic drumline, but the house and tech jams will be a great start to the weekend on Friday afternoon.
3. Dog Blood
The 40-minute intermission between Nicky Romero and Dog Blood at the Sahara tent Friday night should be enough to tell you this is going to be nuts. Dog Blood is the collaborative effort between Boys Noize and Skrillex, two very prolific artist and record label chiefs in their own rights who are known to cross boundaries and make sounds that create musical gold. They debuted as a duo on Holy Ship and just recently played Ultra where they blew away the crowd with a killer mix of everything from techno to bass for one of the most unexpected sets of the weekend. Alexander Ridha and Sonny Moore are going to go hard ass f*ck in the new Mega Structured Sahara tent and you can expect all of their die hard fans right there with you along with some of their high profile celebrity friends and peers.
2. Richie Hawtin
Did someone say techno? No stranger to Coachella, Plastikman himself is coming back this time closing out the new Yuma stage on Saturday night and joining the elite taste makers who will be making you groove and move to some real underground house music all weekend. Powered by the new Sound Nightclub in Hollywood (which boasts a Funktion One sound system) the Yuma stage will let one of EDM's biggest ground breaking risk takers do his thing for over two hours . After seeing him on the Carl Cox stage in Miami and at Escape from Wonderland when he brought ENTER, we can promise you he will be taking you on a journey with some skilled mixing and production of minimal, techno and house music that's sure to make your ears drool.
1. Paul Kalkbrenner
There's a reason why Paul Kalkbrenner has 2.2 million Facebook fans (higher than some headliners) and a lot of it comes with almost 20 years as an electronic music producer with notoriety so big in Germany he has his own movie. Berlin Calling is loosely based on his childhood when the Berlin Wall fell and not only did he create the soundtrack, but he also starred in the 2008 film. Differentiating himself from a DJ, he plays only his own music and sells out mega arenas all over Europe. Kind of a rarity in the states as Europe's best kept secret, Kalkbrenner will grace the Sahara tent for an hour with his pure techno and minimal electronica beats inspired by the rainy melancholic weather of his hometown. A must see for any die hard EDM fan ready to expand their musical palates and digress from the typical untz untz untz of club hits.