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25 Raviest Things We Saw at Electric Daisy Carnival New York 2014

PLUR didn’t die, it just turned up

Electric Daisy Carnival 2014

Dana Distortion

Attending multi-city dance fest Electric Daisy Carnival means taking part in a culture. Unlike rock-focused events like Coachella and Lollapalooza, EDC brings an entire underground lifestyle out into the daylight — and this year, onto the MetLife Stadium parking lot in New Jersey. Thousands of young people turned up even when heavy rain poured down, wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes, waving glow sticks and sharing the PLUR handshakeAhead are the 25 best things — DJs, sculptures, even tattoos — that Rolling Stone came across after two days dancing under the Jersey skies. By Nick Murray, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd and Brittany Spanos

Arrabmuzik, Electric Daisy Carnival 2014

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Rhode Island's most famous DJ might still be Pauly D — EDC, of course, took place in his home away from home — but its best is Araabmuzik, a Dipset-approved MPC spaz who feverishly layers drums onto rap ("Mercy") and EDM ("Satisfaction") hits, tapping them into his console in real time. By the end of his Sunday set, the hits even dropped away, and for 10-minute intervals the towers of Metlife Stadium speakers would emit nothing furious snares, distorted bass and the occasional Wilhelm scream. The crowd, meanwhile, stayed put. N.M.

Gina Turner, Electric Daisy Carnival 2014

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Gina Turner

In a festival that's all about the big drop, it's nice to see storied, subtle DJs like Gina Turner, a New Yorker who takes cues from the best classic house DJs and never kowtows to trends. On an indoor stage that mimicked a bottle-service nightclub, she built a deep groove and let the emotional intensity spread out, rewarding for house fans who wanted to lose themselves in it. Related: Turner was one of only a handful of women booked on the entire festival. It makes you wonder if the Electric Daisy Carnival programmers notice the gender inequity of their programming, or if they just aren't really up on the scene. Here's a handy list for next time! J.E.S.

DJ Snake, Electric Daisy Carnival 2014

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DJ Snake

A lot of people cut "Turn Down for What" into their EDC sets, but no one did it better than the song's creator. More than a one-hit wonder or a one-record DJ, Snake spent the rest of his stage time weaving sounds and styles without ever losing the crowd. The definite highlight: His transition into his remix of Kanye West's "New Slaves," during which he stripped the song down to the bare bones its intro before setting it all on fire once more. B.S.

Electric Daisy Carnival 2014

Dana Distortion

Dick Imagery

The sculptures at EDC are always epic, and this year's batch included a silver animatronic owl and various giant, neon, light-up flora. But yo, there was so much dick imagery! At night, when you could no longer discern its caterpillar characteristics, a "caterpillar" standing on its haunches basically became a massive erect penis, while a crop of magic mushrooms just looked like a phallic garden. Come to think of it, are all the daisies in this rubric supposed to represent vaginas? Is this entire festival a metaphor for sex? Oh man, we just blew our own minds. J.E.S.

Borgore, Electric Daisy Carnival 2014

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In the five years that Borgore has been on the scene, he has been defined by two things: his position as the person many believe to be the progenitor of "brostep," a style influenced by his stint as a drummer in an Israeli deathcore band, and his over-the-top, sometimes violent misogyny. Sometimes, it feels like he's just trying to see what he can get away with, but one of his newer songs, "Hate," is chauvinistic to the point of cliché. In the style of mid-Aughts emo-rock, he sings, "She's a good girl/she's like an angel/she's like Taylor/so I fuck her like I hate her." He dropped it mid-set, then mixed it into the hook of A$AP Ferg's "Dump Dump," which goes, "I fucked yo' bitch/nigga, I fucked yo' bitch." Borgore's dedication to denigrating women makes one wonder what he might be over-compensating for, but in a week that a man in Santa Barbara went on a shooting spree because of his own hatred towards women, "Hate" felt particularly painful to hear.  J.E.S.

Baggi Begovic

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Baggi Begovic

At bottom-heavy festivals like EDC, when four headliners are playing simultaneously by the end of the day, sometimes it pays to show up early and see what's what. That was the case when Baggi Begovic eased listeners into the day with progressive house selections, amped up with a bit of pop. Begovic attributes his deft touch to his past — born in Bosnia, he was interned in a detention camp until 1992 before becoming a Rotterdam-based club DJ and Tiësto compatriot — which didn't audibly reflect his set, other than the fact that in this story, the DJ who saved his life was, in fact, himself. The crowd felt it. J.E.S.

Cedric Gervais, Electric Daisy Carnival 2014

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Cedric Gervais

Gervais teased his syrupy remix of Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" early and made good on this promise by playing it in full shortly before he left the stage, right when the sun finally returned. The combination had a positive and noticeable effect on a crowd that had been waning in the aftermath of the sudden downpour, their beads, tutus and cartoon character onesies still soaked. B.S.

John Wigweed, Electric Daisy Carnival 2014

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John Digweed

It's strange seeing a progressive house legend who once commanded tens of thousands of ravers playing on the second-smallest stage, but time marches on: It's not the Nineties, and right now it sometimes feels like DJs can't get put on without at least a little Dutch influence. Nevertheless, Digweed played a reliable and enjoyable set of the music on which he made his name, throwing in classics like the Jungle Brothers' "I'll House You," his fans eating it up. J.E.S.

Krewella, Electric Daisy Carnival 2014

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Chicago's Krewella were overstimulating in the best way possible, bringing fireworks, drum-and-bass and the combined energy of the group's three members to the Kinetic Field — better known as the stage with the giant owl perched above the DJ booth. Here, everything was flashing neon and slightly terrifying, and the "Alive" newcomers channelled that energy into one of the festival's most intense sets. B.S.

Yordan & Dead Space, Electric Daisy Carnival 2014

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Yordan & Dead Space

Yordan & Dead Space's blends would have been blissfully weird at even the most open-minded of venues, but at EDC that seemed to come from another planet — specifically one where it's common practice to transition from Janet Jackson to the "I Have a Dream Speech" and somehow wind up at the Ghostbusters theme song. B.S.

Electric Daisy Carnival

This Spider-Man Tattoo

Sure, people were sporting some sick/cute/weird/goofy costumes they were going to discard when they returned to their regular, post-EDC lives. Some things, like tattoos, are permanent. Which is why this dude’s ink of a cross being held (straddled, perhaps?) by your friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man wins for best ink of the weekend. Props to him for being creative, and double props for wearing such a unique piece of art so proudly on his arm. B.S.

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