Pop & Hiss

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Electric Daisy Carnival, Saturday night: Las Vegas descends on the Motor Speedway

June 26, 2011 | 10:59 pm


Electronic dance music, at least the kind represented at this weekend's Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, is obsessed with noise. Be it within the commercial end of electro and house music, where on Friday and Saturday night the heavy-hitters at the three-night annual festival, including Tiesto, Benny Benassi, David Guetta, all weaved dissonant tones into their tightly structured house music-based rhythms, or in the hard, distorted electro of Steve Aoki and LA Riots, or in the heavy-duty bass music of Rusko, Skrillex and Bassnectar, the sounds filling eardrums at the carnival arrived with an abrasiveness far removed from the smooth progressive house and post-trance filling clubs and parties in years prior.

Images from Electric Daisy Carnival 2011 in Las Vegas

In Chicago house DJ Green Velvet's astounding Saturday set, all was quiet except the heartbeat bump of his Roland 808 rhythm until a staticky hiss started seeping into the track like the bass had just sprung a leak.

The noise grew louder and louder until it consumed the track and dancefloor. (Velvet and his alter-ego Cajmere's tracks were sampled in at least three different sets on Friday and Saturday, including in Guetta's visual feast of a mix. Richie Hawtin's "Spastik" rhythm showed up in three sets, and Rusko's immediately identifiable dubstep tracks popped up everywhere, too.)

What happens later Sunday and well into Monday morning, when the Electric Daisy Carnival concludes at 6 a.m., will occur beyond eyes and ears of Pop & Hiss, and final day stumbling blocks could negate the relatively positive vibes of days one and two. As of this writing, though, Vegas police have reported no serious injuries -- though apparently there was a bloody nose or two -- which bodes well for EDC in Las Vegas for years to come.

For a full rundown of the first two nights of Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, click here.


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-- Randall Roberts

Top photo: Thousands of dance music fans attend the set of DJ David Guetta on the second day of the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas Nevada on June 25, 2011. Credit: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times.