Collaborations both in the studio and during live performances amongst DJs and musicians has been happening for years, always adding a special excitement not possible to achieve with just one act. With it being one the biggest years in EDM due to the amount of quality producers and mainstream exposure received, its brought some of the biggest names in music together for the very first time both releasing music and performing live with the world having access at their fingertips. 2013 brought a resurgence of a craft known as the Back 2 Back (when two or more DJs play a set together launching tracks alternatively) taking place across the globe with impressive collaborations materializing organically. Some only once in a lifetime events and others taking a life of their own. We highlighted our top five collaborations of 2013 that formed their own personalities while considering live performances and produced material, and future success heading into 2014. Read and share below if you agree or not.
Dog Blood – (Skrillex & Boys Noize)
Dog Blood, the supergroup consisting of electronic icons Skrillex and Boys Noize, had what you call a very successful debut year. Though the duo first released material in 2012, that was just the tip of the iceberg to their global takeover of the electronic music community in 2013. Dog Blood was not short of releasing content this year, with a massive remix of A$AP Rocky’s “Wild For The Night” and their highly anticipated 5 track Middle Finger Pt. 2 EP. The duo also had one of the biggest festival runs in 2013, taking their wild stage presence and music to festivals such as Holy Ship, Coachella, Ultra Music Festival and Lollapalooza among many others. Both artists production knowledge compliments each other, with Skrillex’s bass influenced style meshing well with Boys Noize’s techno / german house roots. The energy expands past the production and is truly surreal between the two during a live performance. We are excited for what is to come in 2014 for Dog Blood.
Grizmatik – (Griz & Gramatik)
Two pioneers of the Electro-Soul / Funk sound Griz and Gramatik had natural chemistry since first touring together in 2012, leading to their debut back 2 back set at the TSIS Secret Stage at Electric Forest (with Big Gigantic as well) and the release of their first single “Digital Liberation Is Mad Freedom". They kicked 2013 in true fashion with a main stage performance at SnowBall Music Festival in Colorado, followed by the release of their second single “My People “. The hype for the collab continues to grow amongst festival goers nationwide, ultimately leading to headlining Electric Forest with Big Gigantic as a return to the first ever Big Grizmatik show followed by headlining Red Rocks at Global Dance Festival before a massive Halloween two night run at 1st bank Center in Colorado and The Rave in Milwaukee. The energy of both Grant (Griz) and Dennis and Eric (Gramatik) all on stage together jamming out is another combination you just have to witness to truly understand. With Griz having just released his solo artist album Rebel Era and Gramatik fresh on the horizon of releasing his upcoming Age of Reason album, we can hope to expect a bevy of new material from the duo in 2014.
RL Grime & Baauer
While this duo may be the only on the list without their own separate group name, this duo managed to leave quite an impact as a combined force. From RL Grime producing one of the most pivotal trap anthems to date with his Kanye West “Mercy” remix, and Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” launching trap music as a whole in the mainstream with it’s viral video craze, the pairing of this duo is straight from trap heaven. Playing back 2 back sets was becoming so regular they set out on a co-headlining “Infinite Daps” tour across the US doing just that every night, making stops at Red Rocks (Global) and HARD LA along the way. Both artists alone are very good performers but together both the chemistry and energy are through the roof and really can’t be beat. They closed the year out with their massive single “Infinite Daps” which has been getting played out by countless djs all over. Rest assured, Baauer back 2 back Rl Grimes will continue running the trap in 2014.
New World Punx (Markus Schulz & Ferry Corsten)
Trance Legends Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten made a statement in the EDM world this year by creating the first trance supergroup New World Punx. The duo had their first massive performance as NWP opening for Trance godfather Armin van Buuren at his landmark A State of Trance 600 party at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City alongwith two other debut shows at Mansion in Miami and Bel en Blanc festival in Montreal, Canada.The collaboration material from New World Punx is guaranteed to be top notch with the pair having already released two #1 Beatport singles together (“Loops & Tings” and “Stella”) previously before the new project. They played a string of various other festivals to finish out including a huge one at EDC Orlando (which we got an exclusive free download of here). They are also closing out the year headlining the POP NYE event in Oakland, CA. We can expect a huge amount of new music from the project in 2014 with hopefully an EP or even album.
Destroid (Excision, Downlink & KJ Sawka)
Destroid made its mark this year as the first ever Dubstep supergroup made up of Canadian bass heavyweights Excision, Downlink and Pendulum’s drummer KJ Sawka. The group unlike other collaborative projects went the extra mile managing to bring the Bass Filled experience to life with their performance featuring live instruments and futuristic cyborg suits. When you put Excision and Downlink’s melodies and huge basses along with KJ Sawka’s unbelievable drum skills together, it just goes to show how far a collaboration can go. Somehow these three artists who tour extensively supporting their successful solo careers manage to found time to play festivals such as Camp Bisco and Orion Music Festival on top of a national tour as Destroid. The trio released the 10 track The Invasion LP featuring collabs with Bassnectar, Space Laces, and more that caught the attention of bass lovers around the globe. We can definitely look forward to bigger things happening with Destroid for 2014.
BONUS JackU – (Diplo & Skrillex)
Skrillex & Diplo shook the music industry as a whole by announcing their collaborative supergroup JackU at the beginning of the summers. The thought two of electronic music’s top tastemakers going b2b was hard to fathom at first, especially with the announcement coming months before their scheduled debut performance at the Mad Decent Block Party in San Diego. Those in attendance proved what many of us already knew… JackU lived up to every bit of hype. We will be anxiously waiting on material and another live performance from the duo but you can rest assured that JackU will be making waves in 2014.
Other Honorable Collaboration Mentions:
-What So Not (Flume & Emoh Instead)
-Gesaffelstein & Brodinski
-Dillon Francis & Flosstradamus
Anyone you thought should have made the cut? Shout out below.