For dance fans there has been little difference between Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival in recent years, except that the former supplemented its Tiesto-Kaskade-Deadmau5 lineups with alt-rock while EDC did so with dubstep and drum 'n' bass.
This year Coachella is a lot less EDC and a lot more rock-of-the-'90s, what with The Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Blur among the headliners. Still, there's excellent, groovy EDM to be had, even beyond the likes of Benny Benassi, Nicky Romero, Eric Prydz and Jamie Jones. You'll find some of dance music's most riveting, beneath-the-radar DJs lower on the linuep. Here are five to consider during your time in Indio:
This Austrian-raised DJ is part of a wave of superlative jocks that continues to flow out of Berlin. She has performed at techno epicenter Cocoon in Ibiza, spins regularly at Berlin's Panoramabar, and has worked with such tech titans as Ricardo Villalobos and Steve Bug.
So she's a techno DJ? Sure. But if you listen closely you'll hear deep house and the kind of vocal soul rarely associated with the boom-tss sound of that underground. And that's a good thing.
4. DJ Harvey
This Venice-based Brit is such a throwback that he's a breath of fresh air to kids looking for respite from hair gel, trance and Swedish superstars. If you like the disco-to-house sounds of David Macuso or Joe Claussell, you'll love the bell-bottom soul of Harvey. He doesn't even mix. He plays one glorious song after another, as many of the original artists intended.
A Berlin native who was just a kid when the wall came down, Kalkbrenner worshiped the Detroit techno of label Underground Resistance. He got his start with Sascha Funke during times, the early 1990s, when sounds were much harder.
2. Seth Troxler
Those cooler-than-thou heads at the Standard Hotel rooftop downtown or Sound Nightclub in Hollywood? They listen to Seth Troxler. Unlike a lot of his fellow Berliners who profess their devotion to the Motor City, Troxler is actually from the Motor City. Yeah, he grew up on the sounds of Terrence Parker and Theo Parrish. His style is more party than minimal, equal parts druggy and freaky with a good measure of hands-in-the-muthafuckin'-air thrown in. As result, as some of you are probably saying, he probably doesn't belong on this list: Dance site Resident Advisor said he was the top DJ of 2012.
Turn the page for our must-see underground jock at Coachella …
1. Loco Dice
This is the name on every EDM hipster's lips these days. When Sound Nightclub opened its 500-capacity venue dedicated strictly to under-the-radar dance music, one of the first names on its mind for booking was Loco Dice. Says a lot. The ethnic Tunisian is another force from Germany who plays dubby, dark techno and house for the after-hours nation. Spinning tunes at Sven Vath's Cocoon club is a far cry from his early days as a rapper opening European shows for the likes of Usher, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg. But seeing how hip-hop has gotten so EDM-crazy, maybe he just beat them to it.