A Naval Officer's First Time at EDC Las Vegas

Alejandra Loera / OC Weekly
The Huizar's in front of the Boombox Art Cart during EDC's sunrise
Lieutenant Juan Huizar planned his first trip to EDC with the meticulous scrutiny of a submarine naval officer. Before getting in the car, he charted his route down to the mile. Instead of a molly stash, he made sure to pack a survival stash of caffeine work out pills to keep him awake and alert all night long. His uniform this week, however, was a little more relaxed-- a bright green pair of Dickies shorts, a glowing backpack, raver beads and a neon green shirt that read simply: "Let's Get Weird." Though, it wasn't destined to stay on his body for very long.

For the past 13 years, Huizar has served our country as part of the United States Navy, but I still remember him as my best friend's older brother who lived across the street from my Long Beach, California home growing up. We lost touch after I moved during high school, but thanks to social media, we have been able to keep in touch. Little did I know that 15 years later we would be dancing under the electric sky of EDC Las Vegas with his sister and two brothers.

See also: We Drink Our Asses Off With a Couple of Marines at Coachella

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Cole Plante: The Story Behind EDM's Under-Age Wiz Kid

Courtesy of Cole Plante
Cole Plante exudes the stage presence of an artist who's mastered his craft. He's good on the mic, knows how to pump up the crowd, is passionate about the music and has some pretty fly dance moves for someone who isn't even legally allowed to enter a club. Though the 17-year-old half Vietnamese DJ and producer has played gigs since the beginnings of EDM in Vegas at Rain Nightclub, to Hollywood's Avalon, the late Voyeur in San Diego and clubs in Miami, he says some of his favorite shows have been at "Disneyland's Grad Nite" where he gets to play to an audience he can relate to. We got to chat with the LA native born Matthew Cole Plante at the Happiest Place on Earth before he plays his final show tonight to find out why he's the future of electronic music.

To the ecstatic graduates at "Disneyland Grad Nite," Cole is the soundtrack to their last hoorah. His carefully crafted blend of bangers by TJR, Diplo and GTA spliced with his own more melodic originals are just as unpredictable as life can be. He throws in everything from Metallica to trap as the pulsating lights of the Mad T Party give some of these high school grads their first dose of an EDM event. As they form dance circles and crowd surf (which he has to graciously ask them to stop), you can see his passion for music and performing on his focused demeanor. It's like a mini rave for these kids as they celebrate an end of an era and Cole would easily be celebrating himself if he weren't getting paid to be behind the decks.

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Claude VonStroke Prepares to Dive into Splash House

Categories: EDM Takeover!

Dan Wilton
There's a reason why Claude VonStroke's Dirtybird Records won best Indie/Underground Label at this year's International Dance Music Awards at Winter Music Conference in Miami. The Detroit born Barclay Crenshaw started the label almost a decade ago producing consistently high quality, original underground house tracks. He just recently celebrated the 100th release of the label with his third artist album Urban Animal and its remixes album was released just last month. Based in San Francisco he's been bringing the sick Dirtybird party vibe all over the world with his label parties and his own stage at events like HARD Summer with label mates like Justin Martin, Worthy and J. Phlip.

After killer sets at Lightning in a Bottle and Movement in Detroit where he premiered tons of new music including his new single "Eye I Eye," it's all coming full circle for the man who's been playing underground house music for over a decade. With the popularity of deep house in the states today things are only getting bigger for the original Bird Man. He has upcoming gigs at EDC Las Vegas, Paradiso in DC, Creamfields in London and Tomorrowworld in Georgia, yet he still finds time to be a family man. He's even bringing his wife and kids to Splash House this Sunday as he closes out their three day Palm Springs takeover at the Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club, Hard Rock Hotel and Saguaro.

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Why Sweden's Next EDM Prince Would Rather Be in LA

Courtesy of Piper Ferguson
Adrian Lux
Some artists and celebs are born with names that are destined for greatness. Swedish Grammy nominated producer and DJ known as Adrian Lux is no exception. Born Prinz Adrian Johannes Hynne he may not be governing his Stockholm hometown, but he's surely reining as one of Sweden's super star DJs alongside Avicii, Eric Prydz and of course Swedish House Mafia. Lux went from sifting through his dad's record collection discovering Massive Attack at 11 years old to picking up DJ equipment and playing at local bars and clubs while in high school.

He joined the Ultra Music family four years ago with singles "Strawberry" and "Can't Sleep" while garnering remix credits from his work wit Britney Spears, the TRON soundtrack and more. But it wasn't until the single "Teenage Crime" dropped in 2010 that the now 28-year-old artist became an overnight EDM success. His self-titled album was released two years later following extensive tours all over the world and collaborations with EDM royalty. Now he celebrates the release of his highly anticipated second EP Make Out as he strolls the streets of LA, his new home since November. We caught up with Lux in the midst of his "Make Out West Tour" in anticipation for his gig tonight at Sutra.

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The Five Must-See Local EDM Shows in June

Courtesy of Life After Dusk for Insomniac
Fans at EDCLV 2013

Any EDM fan knows that this month marks the 18th annual Electric Daisy Carnival - the US's largest dance music festival held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway June 20th - 22nd. But if you're not one of the 400,000 fans waiting for their EDC package with tickets in the mail this week, then fear not. With so many artist being routed through Orange County these days, you can get your EDM dance fix every week to some of electronic music's biggest names and favorite local DJs. We did all the hard work for you and picked out the five must-see shows happening right here in your own backyard. The only thing missing is carnival rides and fireworks, but with fourth of July and the OC Fair right around the corner, we think you'll survive.

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New Projects Help Paul Oakenfold Refuse to Get Old

Walking into Paul Oakenfold's home studio in the Hollywood Hills, it's hard to not notice the vast amount of movie posters cluttering the walls. Strolling through his expansive compound, he casually points to one from the John Travolta/Halle Berry crime thriller Swordfish. "That film in the corner there is the one that made all of this happen, actually," Oakenfold says. Unable to pass up the opportunity despite his lack of experience, he remembers throwing himself into creating the score for the 2001 film. After its success, he started getting calls for more work in Hollywood, to produce scores and cues for films as varied as The Matrix and Shrek. As for his record collection, half of it still sits in "the garage," he says in his heavy British accent. Most of his wax is representative of the 50-year-old's eclectic tastes as a DJ--the thing most people know him for.

Revered as a legend in electronic music since his late-'90s album Tranceport, Oakenfold has brought the rave sound around the world, from Goa to Ibiza, through massive festival performances and by scoring hit films and video games. The three-time Grammy-nominated DJ, producer and artist is currently part of Jägermeister's Ultimate Summer of Music tour, which is also sponsoring Fall Out Boy and country's Eli Young on their respective tours. Oakenfold's 20 stops across the States will promote his latest masterpiece, Trance Mission, to be released June 20 on his Perfecto Records.

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Top Five Local EDM Shows in May

Timothy Norris / OC Weekly
The Coachella crowd during Carnage's set
Now that the desert marathon is over and festival season has officially kicked off, a new month is upon us and don't even think for a minute that your livers and wallets will catch a break. Even if you didn't make it to Coachella this year, we're sure you're still itching to rage by now after replaying your favorite sets and scoping out pictures on Instagram. We did the hard work and investigated the massive amount of shows this month to choose the best five local EDM shows for everyone. From dance music newbies to the biggest aficionados; here are the gigs you can't miss out on.

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Headhunterz Does Some #Selfie Reflection at Coachella

Nikki Spiegel
On stage Willem Rebergen, better known as Headhunterz is revered as a hardstyle demigod who's bringing this unique genre of EDM to the masses with sets on the main stage of EDC Las Vegas to the Sahara tent these past two weekends at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. After closing out a sold out show with Adventure Club at Club Nokia in LA in-between, Willem has proven his musical talents reach much further than the walls of the hardstyle genre. We caught up with Heady (as he's known by his die hard fans) right after his set Saturday afternoon to talk about this new evolution in his sound as we explored the breath taking festival grounds.

As we walked from the backstage artist trailers to the open grass of the main stage, we made our way to the Reflection Field art instillation in the middle of the grounds to take a selfie. Heady says he's been doing a lot of reflecting lately including thinking about how he first got into hardstyle. "I grew up with hardstyle in the most important period of my youth when I was developing my personality," he says. "They played it at the local teen disco and I remember it was that kind of music you have to really know how to dance to, so I started looking at myself in the mirror to learn new moves." Though the hardstyle dance moves have changed drastically throughout the years, the sound has been perfected and stayed the same for a while now.

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The Five Best Local EDM Shows in April

April 26th

James Caleb Cornette aka Amtrac was on everyone's radar after opening for Kaskade on his Atmosphere Tour late last year and remixing the hit single of the same title. The Kentucky songwriter, producer, vocalist, instrumentalist, and DJ is one of the HARD dawgs playing events like HARD Miami, Ultra Music Festival, Day of the Dead, and Tomorrowworld! The up and coming 25 year old fuses deep house with nu disco and is the perfect fit for Posch's new Maison Saturdays which caters to the more mature sounds of dance music.

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Why Is It So Frustrating to Be a Local DJ in OC?

Courtesy of Jeff Allen
MAKJ at Yost Theater
While the rest of the EDM world is in South Beach celebrating Miami Music Week and the 16th Annual Ultra Music Festival this weekend, we're stuck here in OC trying desperately to stay off social media with envy. With the explosion of dance music the past several years and the shift from open format to the banging basslines of dance music at most major clubs, Orange County has been involved in this transition for almost half a decade now. But what does it really mean for local DJs who have been playing electronic music for years and trying to make it big to the new guys hopping on the EDM train? We talked to some local promoters and DJs to find out what it's really like to play in OC and open for artist like Tiësto and Gareth Emery with dreams of events like Ultra and EDC.

From Focus Tuesday's in Newport Beach who just celebrated their 10 year anniversary in 2013 for bringing deep house to OC to Sutra who partnered with mega festival promoters Insomniac to bring EDM every Thursday, for the past several years the electronic music scene has been thriving here. "Well it's kind of funny how trends have worked out, but I feel OC is constantly playing catch-up. LA and SD have always been trendsetters with companies like Giant, LED and Eventvibe," says Alex "Precept" Castro. "A lot of it is about who you know, the relationship you have with people, how good and dependable you are. But with OC it's a lot more about how many people you can bring. To be honest I've never really been asked to bring a certain amount of people elsewhere."

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