The 20th anniversary of Coachella is almost upon us. Attracting well over 100,000 people on any given day, Coachella is the highest grossing and most famous music festival on the planet.
Hosted on a vast polo field in the middle of the desert, the colossal event is a high-powered musical mechanism that features over eight stages, huge art structures, verbose campsites and numerous attractions that keep attendees plenty busy during its consecutive 72-hour weekend runs between April 12 - 21.
Featuring a total of 167 artists, Coachella does a phenomenal job in catering to individuals from all walks of life and their diverse musical pallets. Featuring top 40 pop artists, IDM enforcers, techno giants, big league rappers, bass heads and indie charmers alike, Coachella carries on as the biggest and brightest festival the US has to offer.
With each passing year, the festival's electronic music selection has become increasingly toothsome. It's wishful thinking to believe you can catch all the acts you want to see during the three-day event, so we've picked out the 15 acts on Coachella's 2019 bill that we are most looking forward to.
Feel like swapping out the big stage madness for a more intimate on-site dance session? Be sure to swing by the HP Lounge: Dreamland where Mixmag has curated a mandatory dancefloor stop for both weekends of Coachella. The lounge will see performances from the likes Dâm-Funk, Machinedrum, Öona Dahl, Shigeto, Durante, Lee Foss, The Desert Hearts crew and more. You can find more information here.
Check out 15 electronic sets to prioritize at Coachella 2019 below.
Making his first return to Coachella since his last set at the festival in 2008, Aphex Twin's headlining performance is easily the most exciting act of the bunch. It is also his first performance in the United States since his acclaimed set at the Day For Night festival in Houston in 2016 and 2017. and Richard D. James fans from all over the country are entering the Coachella this year with one set on their mind...
Get a taste of what's to come by going here.
Both originally from Iran, Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi formed their Deep Dish project in Washington D.C. in 1992. The duo quickly evolved into a global deep house sensation following the release of their 1998 debut album 'Junk Science', a brilliant and groundbreaking record that elevated the pair to dance music stardom.
Splitting in 2006 to pursue their individual musical interests, both Sharam and Dubfire continue to amaze crowds all over the world with their groovy productions and formidable mixing methods. Seeing the pair join forces once again is a rare sight and not to be missed!
Check out the evolution of Deep Dish by going here.
Set to take place during her headlining slot on Friday at Coachella's Mojave stage, the AV live set will showcase new music that Kraviz has written for the show alongside tracks from the artists on her label трип.
Making the performance available to fans worldwide, during the first weekend the AV show will be live-streamed in full via Coachella’s YouTube channel, and the second weekend stream will include a mini-documentary showcasing their visit to Nina at home in Moscow.
On Friday, April 12, Rhonda Queen of the Desert will bring Nina Kraviz and renowned DJ-designer Virgil Abloh to the enchanting HITS Desert Horse Park for an epic Coachella after-party. Only an eleven minute drive from the festival grounds, this is the best afterparty to kick off your wild weekend. Learn more here.
Responsible for one of the best DJ-Kicks compilations we've ever heard, Armand Jakobsson (aka DJ Seindfeld) has established himself as a true standout over the past few years. He recently blew our hair back during his performance at the Spring 2019 edition of CRSSD Festival in San Diego and we can't wait to hear what he has in store for us next.
One of the most highly anticipated performances of the entire festival, Gesaffelstein makes his triumphant return to California following the release of his long-awaited sophomore album, 'Hyperion'. The French prince of dark techno's last performance at Coachella in 2015 is still look back on as one of the festival's most legendary. After taking a significant hiatus from the stage, his show at the 20th anniversary of Coachella will mark the artist's first return to live performance in three years.
Learn everything you need to know about Gesaffelstein here.
Agoria is currently gearing up to release his first album in eight years, titled 'Drift', on April 26 via his Sapiens imprint. As demonstrated in his spot on Pete Tong’s Radio 1 Essential Mix (short-listed for Essential Mix of the Year), the lauded French DJ-producer is a wizard at "drifting" between sounds and expressing unchained musical choices that are as bold as they are fascinating. Ahead of his Coachella performance, Agoria told Mixmag: “I heard audience is hot as hell, so I’m coming with bags full of fresh and unreleased music. Ready to Drift!"
Learn more about how Agoria's lost album led to his most ambitious work yet here.
In a career spanning two decades, Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet) has given us majestic experimentalism exploring jazz, ambient, folk, house and techno. He's capable of excelling in all of those. A listen through his back catalog is no chore, that's for sure, especially with tracks like 'As Serious As Your Life', 'Love Cry', 'Parralel Jalebi' and his latest spellbinding hit, 'Only Human'.
When Hebden's in control, you must always be prepared to enter into a state of levitation on the dancefloor.
Sydney native and Los Angeles transplant Anna Lunoe made her mark as a favored club DJ and has only continued to grow her career not only as a producer, DJ and singer, but also as a revered curator with her HYPERHOUSE brand and presence as Beats 1's dance music maven. Her recent releases on Mad Decent and Fools Gold have been pummeling soundsystems throughout the land and her on-stage enthusiasm brings ebullient heat to every stage she performs on.
Through his warped, bumpy and irresistibly groovy take on r’n’b and hip hop, it could be said that the Montreal-based Haitian-born Kaytranada has amassed a God-like following over the years. Armed to the teeth with sounds that are dripping with swag, watching this Canadian beat maestro demonstrate his incredible selection and knowledge on stage is always a treat.
Looking for a little taste of something different? The veteran Japanese electro pop group Perfume are making their Coachella debut this year - a huge musical milestone for the famous J-pop trio.
Their musical arrangements are filled with whirring basslines, sticky hooks and filtered vocals that allow their sound to truly stand out. They've managed to separate their image from the awkward innocence and bubbliness that is often associated with the genre of J-pop, and over the past 15 years, they have become one of Japans most beloved musical exports. The majority of those in attendance at Coachella 20 are unaware of the group's existence and it should be a real treat to see how Perfume engages with this cultural-crossover.
Following the release of his Grammy-nominated album 'Singularity' back in 2018, Jon Hopkins continues to prove that he is a sonic force unlike any that has come before him. His recent work shows that his profound musical knowhow has only strengthened following his three-year hiatus from putting out original music. His live show is gripping, heavy and forceful - a booming tidal wave of sound that is teeming with a metaphysical attitude.
The unbelievable pop sensation Billie Eilish, currently just 17-years-old, has astonished the music world with her gothic and warbled sound. Her amazing commercial success has landed her seven gold and two platinum singles and she has become the youngest-ever female artist to top the UK album charts with her debut LP 'When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?'
This is just the start for this unprecedented singer-songwriter. Where her trajectory will take her next? Only time will tell.
The phenomenon. Our November 2018 cover star has gone from cult hero to headliner in record time, with co-signs from everyone from Richie Hawtin to Adam Beyer. A student and disciple of intense techno whose sets have what Richie calls an “underlying groove”, she’s built one of the most passionate fandoms in dance music. Jumping from a total of 4 festival performances in 2017 to an astounding 27 performances in 2018 - the second most appearances of any artist that year next to Nina Kraviz - she is a techno force that has swept the globe. All hail, Amelie Lens.
A childhood in Copenhagen’s hippie enclave of Christiana who has spent two decades in the music industry, Kölsch has lived a life in dance music and his growing success continues to reflect just that. "I'll be bringing something special to the desert this year", the Danish producer told Mixmag ahead of his forthcoming Coachella performance. "My folders are full of new demos and unreleased edits, so I'm ready to battle the sun and selfies with sound”.
Kölsch recently collaborated with rave pioneer Sasha on a new luminous single titled 'The Lights'. Check out the Mixmag premiere below.
Known for her dark and bassy UK sounds, Madam X has been a firm Mixmag favorite since a breakout year in 2016. Her impact and popularity has only grown since. Through genre-spanning sets, on-point curation of her Kaizen imprint and clever party promotion, she has established herself as a leading purveyor of a style of dance music that meets at the intersection of bass, dubstep, grime, techno and d’n’b. Madam X's takeover at The Do Lab stage is bound to be ferocious.
Going from New York DJ to globe-trotting selector over the past five years, Lauren Lane returns to Coachella for another chic and authentic dancefloor demonstration. Armed with a zesty tech house sound, Lauren Lane has played festivals such as Glastonbury, BPM, TomorrowWorld, Parklife and held regular spots at Ibiza clubs where she’s played alongside alongside legends like Black Coffee, Guy Gerber, Jamie Jones and Marco Carola. Her distinctive releases on Edible Records, No. 19 Music, Saved Records and more have shown the world that she's all about the deep, fun vibes.
"This Coachella is going to be epic because it’s the first time I’m going to be doing a triple b2b set with Nic Fanciulli and Hot Since 82, the last set Friday night at the Yuma stage," Lane told Mixmag. "I've played the Yuma a few times, including the very first year it debuted at the festival in 2013. It’s really cool to see it grow as I also grow as an artist. It’s an exciting time - I’m launching my own label, Recreation and the first release is my official remix of TLC-Creep which you can catch me playing during my set Friday night!"
Tale of Us
One of the scene's most awe-inspiring acts, Tale Of Us continues to put a fresh and awe-inspiring spin on their profound and moving brand of dance music. The former Mixmag cover stars continue to take the world of electronic music to new heights with their Afterlife imprint and party which has swept across the world with packed line-ups and heartfelt sounds. The emotional rollercoaster that Tale Of Us brings to their performance method makes this Italian duo one of the best in the business.
Janelle Monae says she considers herself “a free motherfucker”. A black, queer American woman, Monae’s sound is unapologetically powerful, feminine and queer. Her music is filled with sexy and suggestive lyrics that are delivered with a silky, gentle voice and backed up by rolling drum arrangements and funky basslines. Her live performances are filled with dynamic determination and its an experience you likely won't forget anytime soon.
Charlotte de Witte
Another new Belgian superstar, Charlotte de Witte found success and her true, fierce techno sound after dropping her ‘Raving George’ alias in 2016. With warehouse sounds at the ready, she's swept the globe with a pulverizing DJ style that is vehemently attracted to the darker side of music. Following in the footsteps of her fellow techno cohorts Nina Kraviz and Amelie Lens, Charlotte de Witte came in fourth place for the 'most festivals played in 2018' with a total of 24 performances.
Swedish electronic music legend Eric Prydz brings out his dark and elegant techno moniker Cirez D to the forefront for this year's edition of Coachella. Headlining the Yuma Tent on Sunday, prepare for a full on assault of towering soundscapes and industrial melodics and crushing rhythms. His artistry seemingly knows no bounds and although he’s been a prominent figure for over 16 years, he’s still very much in his prime.
Cameron is Mixmag's Jr. Editor. Follow him on Twitter
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