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[EDC 2017]

Exploring the artists making their EDC debuts

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Black Tiger Sex Machine
Photo: Courtesy
Annie Zaleski

Black Tiger Sex Machine The masked Montreal trio comes from the MSTRKRFT school of electro: zipper-like synths, corrugated beats and abstract, blurting vocals. The group’s seedy sound is tough to pin down, however: 2016’s Welcome to Our Church also incorporates hip-hop, reggae and early-’90s house influences.

Boombox Cartel Mad Decent-signed upstart Boombox Cartel (aka Jorge Medina and Americo Garcia) is probably best known for 2015’s “B2U,” a light-on-its-feet trap house swerve. The duo’s other output—including this year’s Cartel EP—is equal parts party-starting electro riot, gnarled house hybrid and hazy comedown.

Cut Snake The Australian-born Cut Snake—comprised of ex-pro surfers Sedz and Fish—favors no-frills tech and deep house that’s suitable for marathon dance sessions. Now based in LA and signed to Warner Bros., the feel-good duo recently released the impeccable “Stomp,” a slab of insistent, watery house ecstasy.

Ruben De Ronde Dutch trance DJ/producer Ruben De Ronde keeps good company; among other things, he has toured with Armin Van Buuren. The pair are well-matched, however: De Ronde’s measured sets boast European progressive house flair and the kind of measured dramatic arc that’s not easy to perfect.

GRiZ It’s not every day you find an artist boasting about his saxophone and computer skills. Then again, Detroit-based GRiZ (aka Grant Kwiecinski) is the kind of genre-blind, forward-thinking DJ/producer that’s becoming more common these days. Last year’s Good Will Prevail is a funk- and soul-leaning LP with a panoramic electro foundation.

Mija She rose to prominence after collaborating with Skrillex, but the Phoenix-raised DJ/producer is an eclectic Renaissance woman with plenty of tricks (and styles) up her sleeve. Her latest track, “Secrets,” is an amalgamation of frenetic drum ’n’ bass and punkish house, while other tracks amplify her dislike of genre pigeonholes.

Nucleya Nucleya—whose recent Bass Yatra tour saw him do 30 shows in 18 cities for 200,000 people—specializes in a wildly experimental, high-energy fusion of Indian dance music, bass and dubstep. Crank up the dizzying, palpitation-inducing “Lights” from 2016’s Raja Baja EP.

Reid Speed It’s hard to believe Reid Speed hasn’t played EDC Vegas before. Then again, the influential bass music/drum ’n’ bass DJ is certainly keeping busy, between her record labels, gig schedule and her discovery-laden Speed of Sound podcast.

Rezz Upstart Canadian DJ/producer Rezz has released music on Deadmau5’s label, Mau5trap. Although her ink-black approach to techno and house is far more sinister and downtempo than that of her label head, two recent EPs, The Silence Is Deafening and Something Wrong Here, reveal a similarly iconoclastic heart.

Rüfüs du Sol Fresh off a headlining show at Red Rocks with Chromeo, the trio is definitely on an upward swing: Its second record, Bloom, hit No. 1 in its native Australia on the strength of sleek, soul-tinted house and electro. This EDC appearance will be a live set—Rüfüs’ first in Las Vegas.

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