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10 Mixes You Need to Hear Before Future Music Festival

The countdown is on for Future Music Festival: there’s just over two weeks to go before the national tour kicks off with everyone from marquee names like Deadmau5, Eric Prydz, Hardwell and Pharrell to underground heroes like Gesaffelstein and Guy Gerber. So now seems like a good time to start red-lining the anticipation levels; to that end, we’ve pulled together ten sets from some of our most anticipated artists to give you an advance taste of what to expect this March. It’s a list that’ll take you from emotive house to dark, rolling techno to the big-room anthems of the moment. Whatever your flavour, you’ll find the soundtrack here – which is what Future’s all about.


#10 DUBFIRE’s Used & Abused Guestmix

It was the teaser that lit up the dance world last month – the sleek countdown that hinted at Dubfire and his former studio partner Sharam reuniting as Deep Dish during Miami Music Week this year. It’s impossible to know what to expect from the duo, nearly ten years since they went their separate ways. At Future Music Festival, though, we’ll see Dubfire in familiar solo mode when he hits Sven Vath’s Cocoon arena.

Fittingly, Dubfire’s guest mix for friend and colleague Loco Dice sees him in proper techno mode. With a few cuts from his own SCI+TEC record label, it’s a heads-down hour of Dubfire’s trademark sound: pulsing minimal house and techno that keeps a steady pace. Heavy on the atmosphere and distorted vocals, he dodges the big hooks, while at the same time never straying far from an insistent groove. There are some skilfully deployed build-ups and pitches in intensity, ably assisted by the cutting-edge technology he’s rocking in his set-up. It’s Dubfire in fine form.


#9 GESAFFELSTEIN’s Boiler Room set

Station yourself at Future’s The Likes of You stage this year and you’re going to see a lot of great – and diverse – acts. There’ll be live deep house from UK duo Gorgon City, Canadian Kaytranada exploring the intersection between hip hop and house, Parisian Brodinski exploring the mid-point between hip hop and late night techno, and melodic techno from German star Paul Kalkbrenner. But one live force not to miss is French techno sorcerer Gesaffelstein. Having delivered one of 2013′s standout albums with the uncompromising Aleph, expect a set that’s very far from EDM crowd-pleasing.

While the mix below captures Gesaffelstein in DJ mode rather than playing live, it’s still an accurate snapshot of his tastes. Broadcast early last year on Boiler Room TV, it’s all dark, acid-tinged bass lines and twisted melodies. “I’ll mix all of the tracks from the album together,” Gesaffelstein said recently of his live show plans. “It’s going to be like the album, but with more violence, I think. You don’t have to be scared.” We’ll tentatively take his word for it.


#8 GUY GERBER’s Essential Mix

When Cocoon star Guy Gerber recorded the below Essential Mix in September last year, he just threw a house party and played freestyle, recording it in one take – a rather laissez faire approach for an institution as venerable as the Essential Mix. But the end result perfectly captures the energy and movement of one of his sets; mid-way through his summer residency in Ibiza with the surreal, carnival-esque Wisdom of the Glove party, Gerber was in fine form when he put together these two hours of hypnotic house and emotive techno. Expect a similar treat when he plays a live set at the FMF Cocoon stage.


#7 PORTER ROBINSON’s 30 minutes for triple j

There are a couple of reasons Porter Robinson should be on your FMF to-do list. Firstly, as anyone who’s seen him here before could tell you, Porter crafts a mean set: he fires through as many as a song a minute, working in unexpected gems (the prime example here being Aphex Twin) while always keeping the energy high. Then there’s the fact that he’s about to release his debut album. We don’t have a release date yet, but we could be seeing Porter’s long awaited LP Worlds as soon as next month. Once the album’s out, he’s focussing on touring a totally new live show to go with it…meaning FMF will be one of our last chances for a long time to see him kill the DJ thing.

In preparation, get stuck into his 30-minute mix for triple j from 2012. In half an hour, Robinson works his way through everything from he and Mat Zo’s euphoric collaboration Easy, a W&W cut straight from Armada, GTA’s Booty Bounce, a hard-edged remix of Icona Pop and, of course, Language. Imagine what he could do with an hour.


#6 KNIFE PARTY do Ultra

If you need a refresher on how Knife Party handle a festival set, their hour on stage at last year’s Ultra Music Festival ought to do the trick. As their self-proclaimed title of “seizure music specialists” should tip you off to, Gareth and Rob don’t take it easy up there: the UMF set has them smash through cuts from Afrojack, Showtek and Laidback Luke, a certain anthem from Icona Pop and stacks of their own hellraising material. Plug in your best sound system, clear some room for dancing and prepare to sweat – this isn’t a mix anyone can stand still to. You might as well raise your first to the air in anticipation now.

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