Don’t worry, white rabbit, you’re not quite late for Beyond Wonderland SoCal 2016. But that doesn’t mean it’s not time to go down the rabbit hole that is the official artist lineup. It would be easy to stick to the roads you know, catching the songs of the flowers that grow tallest of all. It’s much better to wander the path least traveled and walk into some mad tea party of bass or a smoky caterpillar den of trance. There are so many options, it would be sad not to explore every nook and cranny. Just don’t lose your head, wanderer. We’ve got your audio map right here.
If you like Ferry Corsten, check out Pure NRG, Myon & Shane 54, and Bryan Kearney
Ferry Corsten Presents Gouryella
With 16 International Dance Music Awards nominations, 24 awards, including two DJ Awards, and nearly two decades of successful music-making behind him, it’s safe to call Netherlander Ferry Corsten a trance legend. But such an outstanding career isn’t enough for him. So insatiable is his need to create and perform, he’s spread his sound passion across more than 30 aliases. Lucky for Beyond Wonderland attendees, one of those is about to make a show-stopping appearance when Corsten resurrects his most popular alias, Gouryella. Making its live US debut at Beyond, Ferry Corsten Presents Gouryella will be unlike anything you’ve seen before. He’ll take it to EDC New York in May and EDC UK in July, but trance-heads can get the head start at Beyond.
From: Italy (Giuseppe Ottaviani) and the UK (Solarstone)
Releases on: Black Hole Recordings, Magik Muzik
Why we like them: Any trance fan knows the names of legendary Italian producer Giuseppe Ottaviani and his good old British buddy Solarstone. The two have been known to collab under the moniker Pure NRG, but it’s been years since fans were treated to the delectable live experience. Do not miss this opportunity to witness the pair of masterful musicians as they weave a sonic adventure of poetic proportions, beat by beat and sound by sound, in tandem. It’s not a back-to-back set. It’s a collaborative composition, and it’s bound to be nothing short of breathtaking.
Listen to this: “Era” is a forward-rushing tune the likes of which can be crafted only by the hands of masters. Its lush instrumentation seeps under your skin, effortlessly transporting you to a higher place of light and understanding. Just when you think you’re so full you could fly away, the drums come back, pulsing hard, driving your stomping feet into the ground.
Myon & Shane 54
From: Budapest, Hungary
Releases on: Armada Music Bundles, Black Hole Recordings, Anjunabeats and more
Why we like them: This musical duo is often hailed for its speedy rise to fame. Myon & Shane 54 landed on the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll after just two years of hard work, and when you listen to the pair’s funky and energetic brand of luscious melodies and rambling rhythms, the fast-track-to-fame story comes into clear focus. These dudes know how to build a hit, and they’re set to exhibit that refreshing vibe at the Myon & Shane 54 Trance Showcase. Definitely find room in your schedule for this feel-good dance fest. It’ll be like a lunch break for your mind, body and soul.
Listen to this: Amy Pearson’s angelic vocal dances across this disco-ready anthem. The bright guitar riffs and space-age drums are exactly what you need to get you ready in the morning, to get you through the hump of your day, or to get you energized in time to come to life after-hours. In a word, it’s perfect—nothing more, nothing less.
From: Dublin, Ireland
Releases on: Armada Music Bundles, ARVA, Kearnage Recordings and more
Why we like him: The Irish are historically a very musical lot, but it’s not too often we see them take the trance world by storm. That’s exactly what Bryan Kearney has done, catching the well-tuned ears of Armin van Buuren, Aly & Fila and Gareth Emery. He’s head of his own label, Kearnage Recordings, where he aims to promote forward-thinking musicality that’s somehow both earthly and ethereal. Even more than his original productions, his DJ sets bring a raucous, rowdy edge to the familiar, floating state of trance. It’s a beautiful dichotomy you should feel for yourself.
Listen to this: The latest installment in his radio program, Kearnage, is a perfect glimpse into the genre-bending experience that is a Kearney set. Taking elements of psytrance and techno and mixing them with world-building atmospheres is how this Irishman creates a sound and feeling all his own.
If you like Doctor P, check out Ghastly, TroyBoi, and Spag Heddy
England’s Doctor P is the “Big Boss,” the man behind such genre-shattering dubstep hits as “Sweet Shop,” “Tetris” and “Badman Sound.” His is an extra wonky, wobbly attack of bass and high-power rave synths. He is a violent alarm blasting through the air, a boiling cauldron bubbling over and filling the room with hot smoke. He stands at the head of Circus Records with partners Flux Pavilion, DJ Swan-E and Earl Falconer. He’s doesn’t tour the States much, so his set at Beyond Wonderland’s Bassrush stage is extra special, indeed. Make sure you’re there when the Doctor is in.
From: Los Angeles, CA
Releases on: OWSLA, Mad Decent, Dim Mak and more
Why we like him: This face-crunching beat blaster is not only a dastardly DJ and producer; he’s also a hilariously wild dude. We gave Ghastly a shout-out on our list of best DJ Snapchats to follow because he’s always making us laugh—not that there’s anything funny about his evil beats. He worked his way up from the mean streets of L.A. to the top of buzz mountain, and we’re always excited to see what he’ll pull out next. Don’t miss the energy of his performance; it’ll make you scream.
Listen to this: This recent collaboration with Getter incorporates hard-hitting drums with nail-on-chalkboard synths to get you riled up; then it hits you with a one-two punch of subterranean bass and ass-shaking rhythms. This is bass music to stunt to. Listen for the ghoulish laugh.
Follow Ghastly on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud
From: London, UK
Releases on: Fool’s Gold, Mad Decent, Ultra and more
Why we like him: Dancing to TroyBoi is like taking a step into the future, as he brings a future-beat playfulness to his swagger-ridden sounds. He refuses to define himself, leaving his style open to change, influence and interpretation. You can hear the fun he’s having in the studio, and that kind of infectious nature is the cause of his rising popularity. Once you’re a fan, you’re a fan for life, and it’s hard to walk away from this kind of boogie. A complete mishmash of eras, feelings, genres and emotions, TroyBoi brings a little something for everyone while remaining wholly and undeniably himself.
Listen to this: Not so long ago in a studio not too far away, TroyBoi came up with this bubbly earworm inspired by everyone’s favorite sci-fi adventure. This is exactly what we talk about when we say “infectious fun.” Listen to these Darth Vader samples, and try not to smile. 3-2-1, ready for liftoff!
Releases on: Play Me Records, Firepower, Rottun Recordings and more
Why we like him: This dude is Spain’s answer to the “dubstep is dead” debacle. Bone-crushing, ear-splitting, boot-stomping bass beats have never been so alive, and he brings a certain hard electro edge to his releases that lends an air of added heaviness. Imagine riding a light-bike through the streets of some futuristic city, and suddenly, a hole opens up in the ground and you dive headfirst into an explosive world of jagged edges and molten lava. That’s similar to the rush of Spag Heddy’s music. It’s complex, it’s layered, and it’s grimy AF.
Listen to this: The title of this song seems to insinuate a challenging world in an RPG video game. The persistent beat might be the ticking clock to finish the round, and the monstrous breakdown is obviously the snaggle-toothed boss coming to collect your head. No worries—you got this. You’re the hero.
If you like Jackmaster and Armand Van Helden, check out Waze & Odyssey, KiNK, and Patrick Topping
Jackmaster b2b Armand Van Helden
Scottland’s Jackmaster and Boston’s Armand Van Helden are house gods each in their own right, but things are going to move beyond our three dimensions when the booty-rockin’ DJs come together to deliver one insane, not-to-be-missed, mega b2b set at Beyond Wonderland. You may be tempted to record the whole thing on your smartphone, but they really want you to dance, so put the camera down and enjoy.
Waze & Odyssey
From: New York City and Toronto, Canada
Releases on: W&O Street Tracks, Southern Fried Records, Toolroom and more
Why we like them: The spirit of old-school house lives on in this elusive duo’s musical offerings. It’s a sound both timeless and modern, at times very reminiscent of our favorite parts from Daft Punk’s glorious debut, Homework. Waze & Odyssey first greeted the world with a fake backstory, hoping to let the music speak for itself more than the history of the persons behind the jams. And really, when music sounds this groovy, who cares? Get lost in the layers of sound, and let your inner house vixen run free.
Listen to this: Do not try to adjust your clock. You have not time-traveled. You’re simply existing in the alternate universe of Waze & Odyssey, where the night never ends and the mood is ‘90s warehouse perfection. This track is tailor-made for those moments when you need that little extra push to make it through the run, the day, the last five minutes of work. Keep it up, and keep it funky.
Releases on: KNM, Liebe Detail, Kolour Recordings and more
Why we like him: This revelatory producer is lauded for his dedication to analog instrumentation and an innate ability to make new sounds from old machines. He’s particularly applauded for his live sets, a treat Beyond Wonderland crowds will be blessed with, which is pretty damn exciting. It’s not a big show of lights and fireworks. Rather, KiNK will take you on a sonic tour through his crazy collection of machines and knob boards, stripping away the flash and glitz—the distractions employed by the rest—and leaving you with nothing but a newfound appreciation for electronic musicianship and head-jerkin’ beats you just can’t shake.
Listen to this: KiNK throws a little acid flavor on “Same Old Thing,” which is anything but. He builds the beat on the skipping crackle of a vinyl record, bringing a classic warmth to the frenetic single and perfectly capturing that old-made-new-again vibe for which he’s famous.
Follow KiNK on Facebook | Twitter
Releases on: Toolroom, Defected, Hot Creations and more
Why we like him: He’s at the top of the Beatport charts. He’s at major festivals around the world. He’s mixing b2b with Pete Tong, Eats Everything and Green Velvet. He’s quickly becoming one of the hottest names in house music, and it won’t take a fanatic to see why. His productions have depth without sacrificing fun, and his sets marry diversity with an ever-present underlying beat. It’s easy to get swept up in the moment when Topping’s on the decks, and isn’t that the whole idea?
Listen to this: There’s just something about this walking rhythm that’ll keep your head knockin’ the whole 8.5 minutes of play. It sounds long now, but once you get to the end, you’ll want the beats back. And so they go, on and on, ad infinitum, just the way we like it.