Electric Zoo Transformed: Techno Heaven.

Doug Van Sant

There is huge amounts of hype behind Electric Zoo this year as ID&T, the masterminds behind TomorrowWorld, Mysteryland USA, and Sensation have collaborated as the creative lead. The Electric Zoo website explained what was in store for Electric Zoo: Transformed

“Focus turns to bigger stages, brighter lights, recharged production. Refreshing art installations and interactive elements play into the festival’s zoo theme. Artist lineup caters to each and every festival-goer as sounds vary widely enough to cover all genres. From fan favorite headliners to tech and house marathon displays, expect landmark performances from some and longer sets from others.”

After they announced the stages and performers I cannot help but marvel at the diversity of genres represented at EZoo. However, you’re not reading this because you want to discuss the benefits of music diversity in a festival setting, we’re here to talk about Techno.


First I want to talk about how excited I am for the Awakenings stage. I’ve been talking about how badly I want to make it to Amsterdam for the actual Awakenings festival for years, now they even have their own stage at EZoo… I may be in the darkest Techno heaven for the two days I can make it.

Now, back to Techno. There are so many amazing performers and producers this year, but if I wanted to praise each of them we’d be here for weeks, today I only focus on eight Techno titans.

First two are the Martinez Brothers, Steve and Christian Martinez. These guys have been on the underground House scene since the late 90’s playing with legends like Dennis Ferrer; and have maintained their residency at Ibiza’s famous DC-10 since 2011. This year they broke out into the fashion world, playing in Paris for Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy Menswear and Womenswear Fall / Winter 2014 /15 collections. Fueled by funky beats and savage DJing skills, listening their sets always get you moving within moments. Check them out live at TomorrowLand:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrOVxJ7_TuU]

The third Techno titan is a man who’s skills and music have influenced a lot of my own DJing. I had the honor of seeing him once before at Drumcode Island on Governors Island in New York and it was hands down one of the best sets, DJing and song selection that I’ve ever experienced. Party people, DO NOT MISS ADAM BEYER. On top of being one of the best DJs I’ve ever seen, he founded one of the best techno labels in the world and has made a family with fellow Techno titan; Ida Engberg… the music they must exchange alone…

Here is Adam Beyer at Solar Festival in Holland:

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/219043600″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

The fourth and fifth Techno titans create the only set conflict I have at the entirety of Electric Zoo. The Chemical Brothers are the headliners on Friday night on Main Stage. This is a problem because Adam Beyer is on at the same time at the Awakenings Stage. I digress. The Chemical Brothers have been around since Fatboy Slim, Prodigy, and Crystal Method. Originating in Manchester, England, the duo Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons were two of the pioneers of the big beat genre. The duo have left their mark all over from Playstation games to scoring the soundtrack to “Hanna“.

Check out the Chemical Brothers live at Glastonbury Festival:

The Chemical Brothers – Live @ Glastonbury Festival 2015 – 28-JUN-2015 by Global-Sets.Com on Mixcloud

Luckily Friday is the only day with set conflicts, Saturday is easy for me, I’ll be at the Awakenings Stage all day! Saturday my big two sets are Get Real and Paco Osuna.

Paco Osuna is a techno power house from Barcelona. He started DJing in ’95 at the ACTV club and in ’99 he became a resident at the famed Amnesia club. It was there that Paco Osuna met his biggest influence Sven Väth. Sven introduced Paco to Cocoon Booking Agency and has been a Techno titan since. I had the pleasure of seeing Paco Osuna at Bijou in Boston. He had people screaming his name and dancing all night, but didn’t smile once. There’s showmanship and then there’s Paco Osuna.

Check out Paco Osuna at Café del Mar:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29-t0wXhXmY]

Last but not least, headlining the Awakenings stage on Saturday is Get Real, the collaboration between Dirtybird label boss Claude VonStroke and the mad man, Green Velvet. Despite my die hard devotion to Adam Beyer and besides that he is my favorite for this festival, Get Real is actually the big reason I wanted to be at Electric Zoo this year. Both Claude VonStroke and Green Velvet are DJing savants and they’ve both produced some of my favorite tracks ever. Get Real rarely plays and you’d be crazy not to catch at least some of these two titans play together.

Check out Claude VonStroke‘s “History of Dirtybird mix”:

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199151254″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Check out Green Velvet at TomorrowLand:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhFcgvl7hRE]

The Techno gods are smiling upon us for Electric Zoo. The hardest decision of my weekend will be whether to catch a bit of The Chemical Brothers on the Main Stage, or stay with one of my favorites at Awakenings: Adam Beyer. If that’s going to be the toughest decision of the weekend it sounds like a great weekend.

Catch you on the dance floor!