Our Top Ten Picks At VH1 Supersonic
Don’t miss these Indian and international artists at the second edition of the festival in Goa this year
This year, VH1 Supersonic have curated a lineup thatÂ strikes a fine balance between national and international artists. Â The four days of the festival are brimming over with big names and cult favourites sharing space. Names like Above and Beyond, Roger Sanchez, Pearl and Mark Knight will pack the stands in, but here areÂ the rest of the bestÂ to add to your festival schedule.
Dillon Francis closes the Iron Heart stage on the first day of the fest (Dec 27th). AÂ big-room artist from America, FrancisÂ first caught the attention of Diplo, and since then, has released on his label, Mad Decent, as well as imprints by big guns such as Steve Aoki and Skrillex. He’s got moombahton, trap, electro house and dubstep, down, and much like the artists he’s associated with ”” Diplo, Aoki and Skrillex ”” he’s following in their footsteps by turning into quite the showman. Expect bright lights, and a hugely fun, loud party at his stage.
Â Maya Jane Coles
Whether it’s house or techno, Maya Jane Coles’ sets are worth checking out for their incredibly melodic nature. The UK-based DJ Â rose to great heights over the last five years. Her BBC Essential Mixes would be a great introductionÂ to her sound, or her production for the fifth edition of Fabric’s legendary monthly compilation album. Maya’s influence in the current electronic music sphere is huge, considering Brit techno hitmaker Richie Hawtin namechecked her as one of the promising young artists of the year when ROLLING STONE India interviewed him in 2013. Pretty solid recommendation that, and we’d back it up for her on-point, deep, groovy sets.
Jeremy Olander and Guy J
Twitter was on fire when news of Swedish dance producer Jeremy Olander and Israeli producer Guy J’s exclusive back-to-back session broke. Both artists will perform together for the first time at VH1 Supersonic. Guy J is a staunch Indian favorite with his deep, driving progressive sounds (listen to “Fixation” for a taste) and Olander’s tour last year around India was a massive hit, especially his stellar session at the opening run of Enchanted Valley Carnival. Their sounds are particularly complementary and if they decide to go hard, and tech house-y, which we know is going to happen, this set is certain to be a memorable one. Their musical lineage is impeccable too, with Olander’s affiliation to Eric Prydz’s Pryda and Guy’s association with John Digweed’s label Bedrock.
The Laboratoire stage is exciting on all days of VH1 Supersonic with a range of bass-driven, alternative sounds. Brit electronica artistÂ Goldie, who plays the closing set on day one (Dec 27th), isÂ one of the most distinguished jungle and drum and bass artists in the scene, with a career that stretches back to the early Nineties. His biography as interesting as his music – he’s a DJ, graffiti and visual artist and an actor but mostÂ importantly, he throws down like an ace.
The Catalan DJ and producer is known for his love of cats, tight productions and melodic, dance-heavy tech-house sets (maybe not in that order always). Coyu’s really at the top of his game right now, and his label, Suara, is a hit with both DJs and listeners. It’s also one of the most diverse labels in electronic music, consistently releasing quality house, techno, tech-house and deep-house (he’s got a major thumbs-from Moby.) Coyu was in India last year and was a bonafide hit in every city he played in, with Vario Voliniski’s ”˜Falling in Love’ (a super tune that released on Suara) being unofficially and unanimously voted as the top track of the tour.
Vachan Chinnappa built a steady reputation for being one of the best drum and bass artists in the country, and he also plays a heavy dose of funk, which is such a great mix. We’ve been to many of his sets through the years at a number of festivals, and he just seems to get better. Yet, he still remains underrated and flies just under the radar. His set is a sure-fire win.
If you look at festival lineups over the last decade, you’ll certainly find the Delhi-based Mash featured in almost every single one (count the club residencies and he’s been a very busy man.) He’s a super DJ, proficient in many stylesÂ andÂ versatile enough to play most stages. Yet again, we’re going to use the word underrated. Mash played the silent party at Enchanted Valley Carnival festival this year and closed his set with a progressive psychedelic run, the memory of which will stay with us for a very long time. Fun fact: he threw in fellow Indian DJ Jitter’s cult track ”˜Sonic Boy,’ an electro anthem from the early Noughties. Trust Mash to be the one to dig it out and use it to its full potential. Expect that same skill set during his VH1 Supersonic set.
This Bengaluru DJ and producer is the artist’s artist. Achary plays a unique blend of deep progressive and tech house and has consistentlyÂ delivered powerhouse sets, thanks to his innate ability to read all kinds of crowds. AcharyÂ also multi-tasks as theÂ label owner of JuiceBox Music, which would be a great spot to start exploring for quality music, should you want to get in the zone before the festival. Achary may not be one of the “biggest” names right now, but he’s certainly one of the best.
Blank are a Chennai-based electronica quartet, who cover everything from deep house to breakbeat, stopping by at trance, techno and a few other genres along the way. We heard two members of Blank going back-to-back at sunset at Go Madras earlier this year and it was one of the finest sets we had heard through 2014. The foursome comprise a variety of talents as well: DJs, instrumentalist, turntablist (that would be DJ Skip, who is flat-out incredible) and visual artists so there’s a lot going on, and the combination works.
Detroit Love at the Spectrum Stage
Who would have thought a day would come when Detroit techno, one of the most distinguished underground styles in the electronic spectrum, would find centerstage in India? CalmChor, Ash Roy vs. Heartthrob, Arjun Vagale, Magda and Carl Craig comprise thisÂ phenomenal mix of homegrown and international talentÂ on Day 1 (Dec 27th). The line-up and the music pay tributeÂ to Detroit techno; both the artists that were responsible for shaping this sub-genre,Â and the city,Â which is often cited as the home of techno. Carl Craig, the headliner, is from Detroit, and his sets are a masterclass in techno. Magda, often cited as the queen of techno, is also Detroit-raised, and Heartthrob, aka Jesse Siminski, was born in Northern Michigan and cut his musical chops in Motor City. The Indian artists on the line-up ”” Arjun Vagale, Ash Roy and CalmChor (Ashvin Mani Sharma) ”” are all flag bearers for techno this side of the planet.
Vh1 SupersonicÂ isÂ being held at Candolim Beach in GoaÂ from December 27th to December 30th. For tickets go here.