Electrical Zoo was wild.
Over 100,000 individuals from 50 states and 51 international locations took to Randall’s Island Park over Labor Day Weekend for the competition’s thirteenth version. Fanfare is at all times excessive for Electrical Zoo because it’s New York’s premier EDM competition, however the buzz was louder than ever in 2022 given its acquisition by New York’s hottest digital music venue, Avant Gardner.
“Having spent 13 years with E-Zoo since its inception, I’ve to say that this was one of the crucial particular editions we’ve ever had,” Michael Julian, Electrical Zoo’s Chief Of Advertising stated. “Working along with the brand new possession we’ve introduced concerning the begin of an inspiring collaboration.”
Like previous editions, Electrical Zoo’s 2022 lineup spanned throughout a mess of genres like home, techno, dubstep and trance. Famous person DJs like Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox and Porter Robinson had been among the many featured headliners whereas rising artists like Surf Mesa, QRTR and Rossy carved out a well-rounded lineup.
Electrical Zoo has modeled previous phases on elephants, snakes and phoenixes, amongst different creatures. However this yr’s “3.0” theme eschewed the animal-themed phases in favor of a extra minimal and futuristic aesthetic.
Antheon, Electrical Zoo’s self-described magnum opus, was a singular assemble of large LED panels and textured pure rock.
Porter Robinson, who closed the competition on its first day, had one of many weekend’s most thrilling performances at Antheon. Followers had been handled to classics like “Shelter” and “Language” alongside newer materials from Robinson’s Nurture period, together with “Look At The Sky” and “One thing Comforting.”
However since he carried out a uncommon DJ set in lieu of his patented dwell setup, Robinson deviated from his blissful fashion to discover trance, techno and melodic bass music. His headlining efficiency additionally included a UK bass-inspired monitor that includes Sleepnet and Joker in addition to “Rumble,” a coveted unreleased document from Skrillex, Fred once more.. and Flowdan.
Maybe probably the most visually gorgeous efficiency at Antheon was Chris Lake’s thunderous home set on Saturday night time. The stage’s numerous rotating LEDs had been shifting at full power, frenetically blanketing the group in a sea of lights. The lasers had been programmed with precision, dancing by means of the air in spectacular synchrony.
In addition, Lake’s alternatives had been sometimes top-notch, that includes fan-favorite originals like “Flip Off The Lights” and “I Need You” in addition to a scary-good VIP model of “Deceiver.” He additionally dropped thrilling unreleased remixes of “A Drug From God,” his hit collaboration with NPC (an alias of Grimes) and “Mami,” Chris Lorenzo’s newest dancefloor smasher. Closing with Boys Noize’s unreleased “High-quality Day” was the cherry on high.
The Touchdown, certainly one of Electrical Zoo’s three different phases, hosted full-day takeovers by means of the weekend. Tucked away within the southeast nook of the competition grounds, it felt like its personal little world, a sense made concrete by the portal-like visible panels bounding the ends of the stage.
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Tchami’s Confession document label took over The Touchdown on Friday night time, bringing forth an abundance of bass home with Malaa, Wax Motif and Matroda, amongst others. On Saturday the stage was dwelling to Jauz’s Chew This! imprint, which delivered one of many competition’s most entertaining units: a efficiency from NBA champion-turned dubstep headliner Shaquille O’Neal, who goes by the stage identify DJ Diesel.
The Touchdown closed the weekend on Sunday with a “Carl Cox Invitations” takeover. Not solely had been artists hand-picked by Cox himself—together with famend artists like Loco Cube and DJ Holographic—however the iconic DJ and techno producer carried out at Electrical Zoo for the primary time in 11 years. It is fairly uncommon to see a Carl Cox competition set within the U.S.
Nested between Antheon and The Touchdown was Levitron, a stage that employed round lighting design for a definite visible expertise.
Clozee’s Odyzey takeover on Sunday introduced a colourful mixture of euphoric and experimental bass music to Levitron. Trivecta had one of the crucial gripping units right here, ripping a dwell guitar solo of the Recreation of Thrones theme track throughout his efficiency.
Save for a high-octane takeover by Brownies & Lemonade on Friday, Morphosis was dwelling to accommodate music. Surrounded by attractive timber atop a hill within the southwest nook of the competition, the intimate, angular stage featured a slew of stellar home acts comparable to CamelPhat, Cristoph, AC Slater and CID. They remodeled Morphosis into a correct dance social gathering.
Past an awesome curation of artists and a wide range of phases, Electrical Zoo stands out for its incredible location. Randall’s Island Park is well accessible by public transport, automobile or foot. The competition grounds are lush, sprinkled with tall timber and lengthy stretches of pure grass.
Towering inexperienced partitions erected in the course of the competition had been constructed by sound engineers particularly to forestall sound bleeding, which has plagued Electrical Zoo previously. The partitions supplied termination factors for the principle stage’s lasers, permitting them to function inside New York state legal guidelines. Sprucing up the naked partitions with artwork within the “3.0” theme would have been a pleasant contact, nevertheless it’s robust to complain with such a multi-sensory fest.
“We’ve finished the most effective we might within the brief time that we had,” stated Billy Bildstein, the brand new proprietor of Electrical Zoo stated. “Now, with a full yr of preparations, we’re going to take the subsequent step and welcome New Yorkers and company from everywhere in the world into a brand new period of competition experiences!”
Bildstein, who additionally owns Avant Gardner, solely had a few months with Electrical Zoo in his care earlier than the competition happened. Naturally, such a brief timeframe left little room for experimentation and new additions to the Electrical Zoo expertise. With a full yr of planning and growth forward, it’ll be thrilling to see contemporary concepts delivered to life below Electrical Zoo’s new possession for its 14th version in 2023.
Try our unique gallery from Electrical Zoo 2022 beneath. Photographs by Brian Rapaport for EDM.com.
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