Electric Zoo 2016
Article by: Brian K. James
Electric Zoo — Day One
Electric Zoo has been through a lot in recent years, but it is still alive and kicking as this years festival gets dubbed: Wild Island. This year we did the first two days, and decided to take a breather on the third day.
Electric Zoo 2016: Wild Island
WHO'S IN THE VIDEO LINEUP: Day One
We had gotten at EZoo around 5PM, towards the beginning of Cubicolor's set. From what other people had told me, the first two DJs who went on were kind of lax, and many people were looking forward to Cubicolor getting on the decks. He started off nice and light, and the beats thickened as he took the crowd on a journey. Thank you for setting the tone, Cubicolor!
By the time Yotto is behind the decks, the crowd is happy to see him making the most of the energy he's sending everyone. His set took us through the funky and soulful areas of house music, which he deftly maneuvered us through so smoothly. Well done Yotto!
03. Moon Boots
Moon Boots brought more of the funk when he took the helm, and he brought in some of the best vocal deep house I had heard in a very, very long time!
04. Way Out West (Live)
For years, I had been listening to Way Out West's tracks, and to see them back together (they had split to pursue solo projects). I hope all the people who came to see them play tonight realize how rare it is to see them live. To Way Out West: Thank you for bringing your sound to Electric Zoo this year. You guys were one of the main reasons my brother and I came to EZoo this year!
05. Lane 8
Our first time seeing Lane 8 was he was touring with Above & Beyond during the snowstorm of 2015 in Camden, New Jersey. He had my brother and I were dancing ourselves silly that night after braving one of the worst snowstorms we had ever been in. He killed it that night, and tonight, he's did it again! Lane 8 never fails to bring his brand of funky tech house energy to the masses.
WHO'S IN THE VIDEO LINEUP: Day Two
01. ETC! ETC!
The set that was going on at the Riverside Arena was a haven for those who wanted to get their Moonbahton fix. The beats were big, and the crowd thoroughly enjoyed it from where I stood. I'm not too familiar with ETC!ETC!, but it really sounded great!
02. Rain Man
Rain Man brought his A game to EZoo this year, and was getting the crowd revved up nicely. He is also someone whom I wasn't familiar of. Trap seems to be the main style I heard while he was on. While Trap isn't what I'm into, I give him the same respect I give everyone. For the style of music he plays, he was killin' it! Nicely done Rain Man!
Wandering the festival grounds, we head over to the Main Stage where we've seen The Chemical Brothers, and Above & Beyond to name a few. Nghtmre (Nightmare) was spinning some Trap and Moonbahton styles to a sea of people. When we got there, he had just touched down in the breakdown of the song he was playing. Sounded nice, Nghtmre!
04. Hermitude (Live)
These two Australians were interesting to hear, as they weren't DJing, but playing a multitude of instruments to a very receptive, and crowded tent. The tracks I heard definitely had that Moonbahton and Bass vibe, which we've come across quite a bit at all the other tents except the Sunday School one (our favorite almost every year, actually). When we got there, it was a breakdown, and Hermitude asked the crowd to snap their fingers. Nice job guys! I'll check out your Soundcloud and get better acquainted!
05. Patrick Topping
Back at the Sunday School tent, where Elrow was the label in control, Patrick Topping was giving the crowd the house/tech house/techno journey they wanted. We stayed here for the remainder his set, when the people on stilts came back out. Elrow Music is from Barcelona, Spain, and I look forward to visiting their nightclubs one day if this is what you'd hear! Great set by Patrick Topping, and all of the Elrow Music DJs!
WHY WE SKIPPED DAY THREE
This year, Day three's line up didn't look appetizing enough, and we had seen quite a few of the artists on the list at other venues, and shows. I'm not saying that Day Three was horrible. I wasn't there, and, it was probably amazing. My brother and I were going over it on Sunday morning, and we just decided that we'd skip Day Three. I would have liked to see Joris Voorn, but we decided we'd like to see him in a nightclub setting versus a festival one. Most of the lineup at the Riverside tent we had seen in Philly either at Soundgarden Hall, Rumor Nightclub, The TLA or elsewhere. Not really a Borgore fan or a fan of the style of music he plays, plus I can hear him on XM Radio. You get the idea. Instead, we chilled, gave our feet a well deserved rest, ate breakfast, I went to work on getting this festival recap typed up. Checked out Barcade in Manhattan, got a nice dinner at Chevy's on 42nd Street, and called it a day.
Thank you to all who worked on making Electric Zoo happen. I am sure the whole SFX bankruptcy caused some of the things we normally see at EZoo to not be there this year. That's okay, we understand. We had an AMAZING time, honestly. Here are some thoughts my brother and I have for the next EZoo:
We would like to be able to vote on who we would like to see at EZoo 2017, like we were able previously. How about having house and techno on the Main Stage for once? I'm talking Chris Liebing, Sven Vath, Luciano, Josh Wink, Oliver Huntemann style of techno. How about The Orb at the Treehouse? Or even better, let us DJs submit mixes so we can help the scene survive a bit longer? How about a whole tent, just for Breakbeat and Drum N Bass? I'm sure Hospital Records would be able to pack that tent EASILY.
Here's one, put the festival tickets on the phone. Allow regular NFC purchases, or make one dollar equal one EZoo buck. Trying to shower with those wristbands is a real pain. The Harlem bus point last year was fine, the bus rides from Brooklyn were painful. How about those who are staying in lower Manhattan? Have a bus from MSG maybe? Having more picnic benches to sit down and eat would be nice, because not everyone wants to sit on the ground to eat.
Just some thoughts. I'm sure there's a lot that us attendees don't know about what goes into making EZoo run as smoothly as it does. But if you let us know... maybe even let us help? Like I said, just some thoughts.
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