Here’s a typical scenario: each time the line-up drops for a new advent of ZoukOut, you get reactions ranging from excitement to disappointment, and a handful of EDM enthusiasts who hype up one artist at the expense of all others. Yes, we know about Hardwell, Zedd and Martin Garrix, but with over 40 acts spanning the two days, ZoukOut 2016 is more than just grooving to the headliners. It’s a time to embrace the full spectrum of dance music by checking out the various acts across the multiple stages, especially those you’ve never actively followed.
The Moon Stage is typically where the international headliners perform, and that often lures the biggest crowd. Acts at the Star and Kaleidoscope stages usually have the perk of being far less packed, hosting a less hectic crowd as well. Here is our pick of five DJs you should watch at ZoukOut 2016.
Okay, we’re kinda cheating, but bear with us. Ferng is the very familiar DJ Hong’s alias on Zouk’s techno and house music nights, Soulfeed. The resident DJ adopted this moniker to establish a sound apart from his Hong persona, and Ferng’s music is a lot less fist pumping dance, and more progressive, deeper house music. Don’t expect to dance much at this act, but instead to find a new appreciation of house music that’s more fluid than what you’re used to.
Ferng plays on Day 1 at 8.45 p.m., Star Stage.
Remember the fuzzy brown stop-motion mascot of the early 2010s that re-defined ugly-cute? He’s back, and he’s a DJ now. Yes, we’re dead serious, and he’s also far edgier with a body made of full metal. With a recent debut in Los Angeles, DJ Domo will be taking the deck at ZoukOut alongside Exile Tribe’s Samurize. Decked out like LED Power Rangers, the music supergroup will be dancing alongside Domo. We’re not entirely sure how this caricature of an act will work, but it’s definitely worth watching.
DJ Domo + Samurize plays on Day 1 at 10 p.m., Moon Stage.
Success story: a man goes from being one-half of the production duo behind Far East Movement to becoming the world’s 12th best DJ in 2016. Meet KSHMR, a DJ’s who’s been hailed by acts like Tiësto, and has been a producer behind massive hits like DVBBS & Borgeous’ Tsunami, earning him serious chops in the EDM world even if he’s not at the forefront (yet). Expect high-octane, heavy-bass big room house with this American DJ, with kitschy interludes like circus theme songs and a house remix of Radiohead’s Creep.
KSHMR plays on Day 2 at 1.15 a.m. at the Moon Stage.
LA-based record producer, TOKiMONSTA is best known for her ability merge genres like R&B, rap and indie music with electronica, and transforming it into a lissome beast. The classically-trained musician has received serious chops as a breakthrough female producer in recent years, and is only growing more prominent. If you enjoy acts like Kygo and Grimes, give her act a shot.
Grammy-nominated indie-electronics musician RAC is a master of remixes and alternative rock, bringing ZoukOut punters a reprieve from the constant stream of hard EDM the whole night. Perfect to sway and unwind to, RAC is one to catch if you like the soulful, bass-driven music that’s a staple at Coachella each year.
RAC will play on Day 2 at 4.30 a.m., Star Stage.