The 12 Days of Coachella: 12 DJs DJing

Posted by Amoebite, April 5, 2010 03:19pm | Post a Comment
"One man's attempt to dissect the method to 3 days of madness in the desert."
  - By Scott Butterworth

On the 3rd weekend of April my Coachella will give to me.....

....12 DJs DJing:

Benni Benassi
DJ Lance Rock
David Guetta
Pretty Lights
Infected Mushroom
Craze vs. Klevar
The Glitch Mob

The word "DJ" can be a very ambiguous term. It can mean a turntablist, music producer, remixer, someone who curates music for an audience, an artist using electronic based instruments; also, some straddle the line of electronic artist and full on rock band, and any number of additional definitions. But for the purpose of this blog, the term "DJ" is going to mean the group of artists holding residency in Coachella's Sahara Tent, aka "The Dance Tent," and by any means necessary, they are are going to get your off your ass and make you dance.

Cochella DJ

Artist Spotlight: Tiesto
Tiesto Coachella

Yesterday I spent the afternoon listening to European House, San Francisco electronica, Israeli trance, Denver downtempo, Miami turntablism, French electro, American mashup, Canadian progressive house and Los Angeles experimental: basically all things under the electronic/dance variety.

After about four hours of my listening journey, the coffee shop I was at in Venice felt like it had turned into an abandoned warehouse in the shady part of town, and my altered mental state was even happening sans pill-with-funny-logo. Well, coffee shop in Venice….abandoned warehouse in shady part of town….I guess that’s kinda redundant anyway, isn’t it.

As I was really starting to get lost in the expansive world of my headphones, I had to halt this blog project and rush over to Hollywood for the Bad Religion/Vandals show at House of Blues I had been anticipating all week. Going from the mental world I had been in throughout my music listening all afternoon, then straight into a “pit” at a Bad Religion show, was quite a culture shock. They’re both cultures I have been familiar with, and love being at the epicenter of, but it had been a while since I’d been in the middle of a Bad Religion-style crowd. At 6’ tall and about 150lbs, I think I might be better suited for the reception from a euphoric “abandoned warehouse” type of crowd.

Being at a Bad Religion show made me feel like a kid again (ok, I’m only 25…but that’s still a lot older than 14) and I decided I wasn’t going to be the old man that stands in the back at a punk show, so I headed straight for the front and was determined to stay there until the curtain call. The only problem was that about two hundred angry, violent, ogre-like dudes twice my weight also had the same idea! The next two hours of symphonic violence, orchestrated by the tunes of Bad Religion, resulted in elbow shots to the ribs, kicks to the head, stomped feet, scraped shins, a busted ankle, and being chop-blocked in the back of the knee by a charging ogre. I even noticed blood on my shirt when I got home, not quite sure whose it was. But let me remind you, I was having the time of my life! The odd part of the evening was that throughout this two hour aural and physical assault, I was hearing the electronic/trance/electro/dance/etc. in my head from earlier that afternoon as much as I was hearing the punk rock blasting on the stage in front of me. I couldn’t get the beats, the rhythms and the atmospheric vocals out of my head. It felt as if I was experiencing two different worlds at once...and it somehow felt right. The clashing of the two sounds and cultures in my head created an experience for me that became more than just the sum of its parts.
Tiesto Coachella 2

And that leads me to Tiesto. If the Trance music world had any similarities to the mafia (who knows, it might), Tiesto would be considered a “made” man, untouchable. Whether it be from his legendary six hour DJ sets, his influential two decade spanning DJ mix series Magik and In Search of Sunrise, four studio/artist albums, and numerous remixes of artists in the popular music world, he’s solidified himself by critics and fans as one of the most dominant trance DJs in the world. He was even commissioned to create original music for and perform at the 2004 Olympic opening ceremony in Athens, the first DJ to ever do so. There are basically two categories: 1) Tiesto and 2) everybody else.

Tiesto has always been a master of his genre, but in recent years has dabbled in other corners of the musical world for influences. One look at the track-listing of Kaleidoscope, Tiesto’s fourth artist/studio album of original productions released in 2009, will reveal a melding of foreign worlds, similar to what I experienced during the Bad Religion concert. It seems as though while making this album, Tiesto must have been on his way to a gig at LA’s dance club mecca Avalon, but after exiting Cahuenga off the 101 freeway, he must have missed his turn on Hollywood Blvd and ended up a few blocks away down Cahuenga at Hotel Café, LA’s famous singer-songwriter breeding ground (apologies to the non-Angelenos for the LA lingo).

Kaleidoscope features collaborations from artists Tegan and Sara, Cary Brothers, Priscilla Ahn and C.C. Sheffield, who are staples of the singer-songwriter world and/or specifically the Hotel Café scene itself. The album is rounded out with vocals from the indie rock/alternative world, including Jonsi (Sigur Ros), Kele Okereke (Bloc Party), Emily Haines (Metric) and Kianna (Tilly and The Wall). Even with these unconventional collaborations, Tiesto’s vision gives life to the pairing of these differing musical worlds.

In between his official albums, Tiesto’s major remixes of the past few years have explored a who’s who of Coachella participants, past and present: Muse, Imogen Heap, Editors, The Killers, Snow Patrol, Bloc Party, Radiohead, Goldfrapp, Jose Gonzalez, Calvin Harris. He should fit in just fine during his co-headlining spot at Coachella this year on Saturday April 17, 2009.

Enjoy a few videos of Tiesto’s remixes and his exploration of the singer-songwriter talent pool:

Muse - "Resistance (Tiesto Remix)" (2009):

Tiesto featuring Tegan and Sara - "Feel It In My Bones" from the album Kaleidoscope (2009):

Cary Brothers - "Ride (DJ Tiesto Remix)" (2008):

Jose Gozalez - "Crosses (DJ Tiesto Remix)" (2006):

Tiesto featuring Priscilla Ahn - "I Am Strong" from the album Kaleidoscope (2009):

(To see all posts in The 12 Days of Coachella 2010 series, click here. For Amoeba's full Coachella coverage, click here. And thank you to those that commented on previous posts. Please feel free to comment on what you like, don't like, and leave a suggested donation of $10.)

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Coachella (41), Singer-songwriter (1), 12 Days Of Coachella 2010 (7), Coachella 2010 (12), Trance (3), Editors (1), Calvin Harris (3), The Killers (8), Imogen Heap (1), Muse (5), Dj (37), Deadmau5 (5), Benni Benassi (1), Dj Lance Rock (4), Tiesto (1), Kaskade (2), Z-trip (11), Bassnectar (3), David Guetta (2), Craze Vs. Klevar (1), Infected Mushroom (1), Pretty Lights (8), The Glitch Mob (3), Tegan And Sara (7), Cary Brothers (1), Priscilla Ahn (2), C.c. Sheffield (1), Sigur Ros (19), Bloc Party (7), Tilly And The Wall (1), Metric (3), Radiohead (39), Joze Gonzalez (1), Hotel Cafe (3)