The Hollywood hills might echo to the strains of hip-hop, rap and indie rock, but don’t underestimate the Los Angeles electro scene: EDM, or electronic dance music, is right at home in Southern California.
Dancing to LA’s tunes
Massive dance festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival pull in more and more punters each year—EDC’s California event in 2010 drew 185,000 attendees! Underground and European techno is a big influence on the city’s EDM artists and audiences, and clubs like Avalon pack in up to 2000 electro fans at the weekends when local and German DJs alike pelt out savage techno. Call it hipster music or call it dance, it’s here to stay. Tyrone Lebon’s documentary for Nokia Music, New American Noise: SFV Acid, features one up-and-coming electro artist, Zane Reynolds, and to give him context, we thought we’d take a look at a few more of LA’s hottest EDM artists.
Addicted to Droog
Techno crew Droog, a three-man collective, have been operating out of the City of Angels since 2006.In June 2012 alone, Andrei Osyka, Brett Griffin and Justin Sloe worked the house circuits in Ibiza, Barcelona, Berlin and California. They’ve played London’s Fabric and Mexico’s BPM, they run a successful record label called Circuit, and their rooftop raves at the Avalon and the Standard are sell-out shows. Plus they’re brainiacs: Osyka used to work in venture capital, and Griffin’s an experienced attorney! And while they weren’t born in LA, they’re determined to stay. In early 2012, Osyka told Magnetic Magazine, ‘Just about every interview we always try to bring up LA as a place that metaphysically and physically inspired us as the city that we love.’
Old School Cool
Vienna-born producer, remixer and label-owner John Tejada is another LA import—a techno-traditionalist who favours analog patch boards and keyboard synths over high-spec computers. As he said to LA Weekly’s Andy Hermann last year, ‘Do I want to play an instrument or do I want to play a mouse?’ Tejada’s been a favourite with EDM DJs for ages, but since the release of killer tracks like Orbiter and Torque and his contribution to Fabric 44, the FabricLive DJ mix series, he’s really on fire.
Taught to handle a turntable by house legend Donald Glaude, DJ Dan has become no less renowned than his former mentor: voted the number five DJ in the world by DJ Magazine in 2006, the artist otherwise known as Daniel Wherrett is a true LA superstar. Once a fashion major, DJ Dan’s certainly got style: his sound is funky techno, a disco, soul and house blend that drops beats to match those of any hip-hop master. Having helped launch LA as an EDM heaven in he 1990s, he’s gone onto launch his own label, InStereo, and work with mainstream artists like P. Diddy, Lady Gaga and Janet Jackson.
Don’t Far Cry 3 for me, Skrillex
Finally, LA native Skrillex was, according to Forbes magazine, the second highest paid DJ in the world in 2012—and he’s still only in his mid-twenties. Otherwise known as Sonny Moore or Twipz, composer and producer Skrillex has already won three Grammys and been nominated by the BBC for their Sound of 2012 feature. His work has been described as ‘brostep’ – a mashup of dubstep, hardcore and noise – and you can find it in the video game, Far Cry 3, and the revived animated TV show, Beavis and Butthead. He’s remixed the Black Eyed Peas and Bruno Mars, and he’s collaborated with Knife Party. Unstoppable!