Dance music has, perhaps more than any other genre, developed huge production values around its touring artists, with each DJ expected to put on a more elaborate show than the last. Just look at the big dance music festivals such as Tomorrowland in Belgium, whose sets and stages have increased in size and detail every year since it’s inception in 2005. Now international DJs are expected to not only command a crowd’s attention with their unique sounds, but also captivate the masses with extravagant and theatrical visuals. We decided to give you a run down of our favorite DJs who are always sure to put on a spectacle, and our favorite sets that are sure to blow your mind.
Étienne de Crécy
(AKA Superdiscount; EDC; Minos Pour Main Basse; Mooloodjee)
A classic on the French electro music scene, Étienne de Crécy has been creating trip-hop and house electronic music since the early 90s. Although he doesn’t have the global superstardom of some other DJs, he is well respected amongst the electro community. You will often find him touring more intimate clubbing spaces best suited to his intense music style. This December you can see him at The Nest in Dalston and Faust in Paris.
Étienne has now become known for his iconic ‘cube’ set, which involved him DJ-ing from a platform inside a huge cubic structure. The 3D projections and clever use of neon lighting make the structure appear to move and change form. Cubes continue as a common theme for Étienne, as his 2011 compilation album became know as Beats ‘n’ Cubes, perhaps inspired by his iconic DJ sets.
Joris Delacroix is another French electronic graduate who has played internationally, although he remains better known is his home country. What he perhaps lacks for in notoriety, he makes up for in musical talent. Delacroix started playing the piano at the age of 4, before pursuing a career in electronic music. This background is apparent in his more recent work which often includes interesting melodies. Joris Delacroix isn’t currently touring.
His most renowned tour to date was in 2015, following the release of his album ‘Air France’. Following the airline concept, Delacroix performed in front of a jet engine created from LED lighting and conic mirrors, which resulted in an amazing and immersive curved screen. Check out the effect yourself – it’s truly an incredible lit up set.
Erez Eisen and Amit Duvdevani are the Isreali duo who are experts in Psytrance, Electro and Psychedelic music. They have been on the dance music scene since 1996 and not only do they perform together as Infected Mushroom, but they also own a number of record labels and produce for many other artists including Lady Gaga and Steve Aoki. You can often see the duo performing at large music festivals including Ultra in Miami, Coachella in California and Burning Man in Nevada. See them this month in South America and then at various venues in the US throughout December.
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During their 2013 Fungusamongus tour around the USA, they broke boundaries by using a new 3D mapping and lighting experience created by V Squared Labs. Paired with an immersive set specifically designed for non-traditional projections by Vitamotus, the set was one of the most ambitious digital set designs created.
Eric Prydz is a Swedish DJ and producer best known for his laser-beam filled performances. His distinctive form of progressive techno-house music pairs perfectly with the flashing of lasers so recognizable in his DJ sets. Prydz is a big name on the international stage, having performed at a number of the biggest dance music festivals including Creamfields and Tomorrowland, and has regular seasonal sets in Ibiza. See him next at Australia’s Electric Gardens Festival in January, before his EPIC 5.0 tour kicks off next year.
Prydz is known to test boundaries with his tour visuals, most of which feature heavy lasers and mind-bending 3D graphics. The one-night only Epic 3.0 show at Madison Square Gardens cemented Eric’s place in the DJ hall of fame, when he took his set to the next level. Featuring a huge 3D hologram of his face, laser beams taller than buildings, and custom-built digital screens that showcased amazing neon graphics, EPIC 3.0 will go down as one of the most amazing DJ sets of all time.
Jeff Abel, better know by his stage name Excision, is a Canadian producer and DJ with a penchant for dubstep, drum and base and trap music. Influenced by bands such as The Prodigy, Excision’s style of music is quite distinctive in the electro-heavy dance scene. Although Excision isn’t a huge name on the international stage yet, his star is ascending and he continues to push the boundaries of sound and visuals with every tour. You can catch him touring North America from January.
The Executioner Tour in 2013 involved a huge production using a 28-foot-wide, 15-foot-tall video mapped piece with incredible 3D animations, along with 40 intelligent lights and the renowned PK SOUND system comprising of more than 100,000 watts of sound. Excision wowed crowds around North America with this insane combination of incredible digital graphics and powerful sound.