For all its clubs and Electric Daisy Carnivals, Vegas comes up woefully short in one key sector of electronic music—the sort designed for deep, meditative listening. That’s why Further Future appeals to me; its loaded with ambient and experimental-leaning acts.
I flew to Seattle to catch Canadian Tim Hecker in 2013, and that performance was one of the most intense of my life. His music makes noise beautiful—droney waves that rattle your ribs and clear your mind, and his 3:30 a.m. Saturday slot should be ideal for that. Two of his Kranky labelmates go on later that morning: Canada’s ambient-techno specialist Loscil (8:45) and Michigan’s Benoit Pioulard, who crafts restrained, textured ambient scapes (9:45).
Another on my must-list: England’s Actress (Friday, 8:30 p.m.), master of glitchy microhouse. Nosaj Thing (Sunday, 3:30 a.m.), who has played Coachella and FYF, brings a smoother, hip-hop-influence to the bill. And for many, the most recognizable name will be The Orb (Sunday, 1:45 a.m.), the British duo whose strange, science-fiction-y ’90s output helped define IDM’s ambient house subgenre. –Spencer Patterson
If you’re waiting for the sick drop, bro, you’re at the wrong festival. In fact, Zhu (Friday, 2:30 a.m.) of “Faded” fame is the only name EDM fans will recognize.
For the deeper crowd, true house maestro Miguel Migs returns to Southern Nevada, this time with longtime collaborator vocalist Lisa Shaw (Sunday, 4 p.m.). Fans of genre-blending should catch bass act FaltyDL (Friday, 9:30 p.m.) and the DJ Shadow-esque Lone, (Saturday, 9:45 p.m.). Talent runs in Taylor McFerrin’s (Sunday, 9 a.m.) family—he’s the son of Bobby— so catch his electronic-oriented performance. And we can vouch that Vegas’ own Brett Rubin will take you on a journey (Friday, 10:30 p.m.).
From the personal favorites file, Laurent Clerc’s partially live downtempo project Little People (Saturday, 2 a.m.) is my No. 1 on the lineup. There’s also minimal-techno act Kiasmos (Friday, 3:30 a.m.), which includes genius composer Ólafur Arnalds. For those curious about shoegazer electronic music, there’s Yppah (Saturday, 11 p.m.). And to paraphrase its biggest single, duo Bob Moses (Sunday, 7:30 p.m.) is all you’d want in a post-club electronic act. –Deanna Rilling
Further Future May 1-3, Moapa River Indian Reservation, $300, ($160 for Saturday only) with passcode requested from Further Future's Facebook page.