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Avicii

Tim “Avicii” Bergling is steadily making a name for himself in the electronic music world. The Swedish DJ is currently headlining many of the biggest festivals, including Electro Beach Music Festival in Mexico, Ultra Music Festival in Miami and the BUKU Music Project right here in New Orleans. Avicii will join more than 20 electronic artists at Mardi Gras World the weekend of March 17. Bergling, who was recently ranked No. 6 on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs list, has been referred to by Horpress dance critic Sean Russell as “the only DJ capable of whipping instruments and audiences alike into complete submission.” His stop at BUKU 2012 is just one of many of his current 26-stop U.S. tour, “House for Hunger.” The tour was inspired by the widespread hunger problem in the United States, and Bergling plans to donate at least $1 million of the proceeds to Feeding America, a hunger relief organization. Fans attending BUKU should prepare themselves for a wild show. – Halle Kaplan-Allen

Skrillex

Los Angeles native Sonny “Skrillex” Moore, now debatably the world’s premier electronic artist, entered the music scene in 2004 as the lead singer of the post-hardcore band From First to Last. He began performing under the stage name “Skrillex” in 2008 and released his debut EP “My Name is Skrillex” as a free download in 2010. Soon after, he was signed to deadmau5’s label mau5trap and released his second EP, “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.” Last summer, Moore announced the creation of his own label, OWSLA and was nominated for five Grammy Awards in 2011. Moore, whose unique sound is inspired by the Mexican-American punk gigs and electro-raves of East L.A., is coming to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras World on March 18th to headline the BUKU Music Project 2012. Fans attending BUKU should prepare themselves for what has been referred to as “a facemelting experience” and “a hazard to the human mind,” featuring demonic voices and hardcore basslines. Moore displays his versatility by mixing in mellow, soothing beats with minimal bass as well as songs with rap vocals. Skrillex provides a little something to please almost every electronic music fan. – Halle Kaplan-Allen

Wiz Khalifa

Best known for his hit single and soundtrack to your nightmares, 2011’s maddeningly catchy “Black and Yellow,” Pittsburgh native Wiz Khalifa is a surprisingly nuanced performer beneath the inked-up, perpetually giggling persona who showed up on his major label debut, last year’s “Rolling Papers.” His laconic flow oozes through clouds of pot smoke and careens lazily over sparse electronic beats. His 2010 “Kush & Orange Juice” mixtape is Wizzy at his best, a blissed-out party demon putting down his joint only long enough to steal your girlfriend. The hook to “In the Cut” might as well be his personal motto: “Wake up/Bake up/ Gotta get my cake up/Choked out/ Locc’ed out/Blowin’ hella smoke out.” While his music is almost entirely concerned with his party life-style – wait long enough in any Wiz track and you’ll probably hear him say “rollin’ doobies up” – listeners will appreciate the ease with which he turns a phrase and his sincerity when he raps about his hometown or his rise to fame. He has collaborated with fellow BUKU performer Big K.R.I.T. as well as NOLA native Curren$y in the past, so some sort of nonsensically awesome collaboration seems like a vague possibility. Taylor Gang Or Die. -Zach Yanowitz

Wolfgang Gartner

Many BUKU performers have parlayed triumphs within the electronic music genre into crossover success by breaking through to the pop game. A perfect example of this phenomenon is Wolfgang Gartner. During the last five years, eight of Gartner’s songs have topped the Beatport Top 10 Chart, and he was nominated for a Grammy in 2010. After his performances at Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival became the stuff of legend within the electronic scene, pop and hip-hop artists began seeking Gartner’s Midas touch. This set the stage for collaborations with Britney Spears and Timbaland and the release of Gartner’s debut LP, “Weekend in America.” The LP captured both the energy of Gartner’s live show and his ability to incorporate non-traditional sources, featuring contributions from industry luminaries Eve, Jim Jones, Camron, Omarion and will.i.am. Sadly, apl.de.ap was busy. Gartner recently continued his genre-bending excursions, playing the Cypress Hill Smokeout Festival. Gartner, however, has not forgotten his electronic roots, recently collaborating with Grammy Award-winning weirdo Skrillex on his most recent EP. See Wolfgang Gartner headline the Saturday Late-Night set. -Ben Samuels

Diplo

Between producing tracks for Usher, Chris Brown and M.I.A., appearing in GQ Magazine, and releasing top-selling collaborative albums with producer Switch, Mississippi-raised DJ/producer Diplo has made his mark as one of the most versatile and successful musicians of our time. His style ranges from hip-hop, bounce and punk to the well-known reggae and house typical of his Major Lazer partnership. While his upcoming Saturday slot at the BUKU Music and Art Project most likely won’t include Skerritt Bwoy, daggering or a Jamaican war commander, it will consist of a diverse blend of dance and bass-heavy songs ranging from house, reggae, dubstep and even a few gems from his Major Lazer releases. Diplo is known for his focus on bounce music, highlighted by his upcoming bounce-heavy release “Ex- press Yourself,” the video for which was filmed in New Orleans. Diplo’s legendary stage presence – paired with the hype-heavy tracks of his set – will result in a high-energy dance party that will span the musical spectrum. -Jamie Bertel

Yelawolf

Surely the most significant Alabamian rapper, Yelawolf seemed to come out of nowhere in 2010 with his breakthrough single, “Pop The Trunk.” The song was a dark vision of the Deep South, and Yela’s quick and lethal delivery inevitably acted as the basis for plentiful yet unfair Eminem comparisons, Yelawolf’s quirky “Catfish Billy” persona and his odd delivery are far too “Southern white trash” to resemble classic Em records. Though Yelawolf has created a unique style, it doesn’t help his case that his latest full-length release, “Radioactive,” was released on Shady Records. At the album’s most commercial sections, Yelawolf almost does sound like Eminem. Regardless of Shady’s influence, the album definitely has its moments, and “Hard White” may have been the most effective club banger of 2011. He has made a few missteps, but tracks like “Hard White” and the rapper’s distinctly chicken-fried verses prove that Yelawolf is a powerful force in hip-hop and will likely stick around for a while. This reality also means there is a lot of room for improvement, and fans of Southern Rap should look forward to some big things from Yelawolf. -Sam Abramowitz

Mord Fustang

Mord Fustang is one of the most exciting artists to have come out of the electronic dance music scene this past year. Amidst a profusion of emerging talent, Mord Fustang has distinguished himself through elaborately crafted symphonic sounds akin to electro titans such as Wolfgang Gartner or Feed Me. He was born in Estonia, which may seem to be an unlikely breeding ground for a nascent musical juggernaut, but years of piano and guitar training have enabled him to effectively parlay his knowledge into a new medium. As with many contemporary electro artists, Mord Fustang’s style coalesces several subgenres of dance music, including electro house, dubstep and trance. Standout tracks like “Milky Way” and “Lick the Rainbow” exhibit the complexity and sophistication of his productions and provide more than enough motivation to get on the floor and rage. His set at BUKU promises to be one of the most high-energy, so make sure not to miss him Saturday night. With basslines this hypnotic and tracks so massive that they have all charted on Beatport’s Top 100, Mord Fustang has made himself impossible to ignore. -Rachel Weiss

Big Gigantic

Anyone going to BUKU should give Big Gigantic a chance. Big Gigantic’s saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salker will put on a show that transcends genres and electrifies crowds. The funky electronic music coupled with live instruments makes for a concert experience unlike any other artist. The group’s newest album, “Nocturnal,” continues the excellent performance set forth in the group’s mixtapes including “A Place Behind The Moon.” Each song is different, and music fans will find songs to enjoy whether they like funk, dubstep, electronic, dance or hip-hop. If you’re not already familiar with Big Gigantic’s music, be sure to take advantage of the free downloads available on his site. BUKU is only the start for Big Gigantic as it continues on to Ultra Music Festival, Bonnaroo Music Festival and All Good Music Festival. -Nate Costello

Holy Fuck

Toronto four-piece electronic band Holy Fuck will be one of the only groups to actually play live instruments at BUKU. On a lineup packed with electronic acts, Holy Fuck stands out as an instrumental band. Here’s an idea of their sound: Imagine LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor running into each other in the bathroom of an awful rave. They have their reserved exchange, both of them being the juggernauts of electronic music that they are, and inevitably get into talking about the true debauchery of the noise they hear being jolted through the sticky door. Agreeing on this, they decide to get out of there and make some music of their own, but in an effort to not give one or the other more of the spotlight, neither sings. Holy Fuck’s arrangements are intricate and interesting, their pace is fast and their energy is high. A stalwart rhythm section is the highway over which the tour de force of lead instruments gracefully speed. At their show at Howlin Wolf back in September 2010, all four members of the band stayed hunkered down onstage, grinding away at their instruments for the duration of the performance. Despite the notable lack of womp, Holy Fuck will kill it at BUKU. – Connor Crawford

Cities Aviv

Memphis rapper Cities Aviv is poised to blow up, and his upcoming performance at BUKU Music and Arts Festival is just one more step in that direction. His debut album, “Digital Lows,” isn’t exactly what you’d expect from a rapper from Memphis, the city that gave the world hip-hop heavies such as Three Six Mafia, 8Ball & MJG, and Yo Gotti. Unlike the legends who came before him, Cities doesn’t rhyme about selling drugs, killing his enemies or being a gangster. Instead, he raps with a slow-burning intelligence, a mixture of wit and brains that becomes more and more apparent with each listen. Allusions to the Koran and Malcolm X mingle with the typical rap-guy celebration of ’40s and blunts, revealing an MC who’s got smarts but still likes to party. Some critics have compared Cities’ gritty baritone to RZA’s flow, but Cities has a crisper, less clunky delivery than the Wu-Tang leader. The combination of fresh beats and even fresher rhymes makes Cities’ live shows truly beautiful, a word not often applicable to live hip-hop. – Sam Ferguson

Porter Robinson

Porter Robinson should receive due credit for his remix of “The Edge of Glory.” Anyone who can put an original spin on a Lady Gaga song definitely deserves some. Robinson has proven, however, that remixing the Fame Monster isn’t all the kid can do. The 19-year-old from Chapel Hill, N.C. has been producing since he was 12 years old, recreating sounds and beats picked up from video games. Rising to electro-house fame with his hit single “Say My Name,” Porter signed with Skrillex’s OWSLA label and released his first EP “Spitfire” last September. He has toured the world, performing with artists such as Deadmau5, David Guetta, Tiesto and Afrojack. Porter’s tracks span a wide variety of electronic music, including electro-house, dupstep, moombahton and trance. He has established himself as an eclectic and unique DJ who can cleverly command a crowd’s attention, raising energy levels through the roof. Porter will take the stage at BUKU Sunday. -Abbie Levenson

Purity Ring

One of the newest and most exciting groups performing at BUKU is the futuristic pop band Purity Ring. The group is the pet project of Canadian techno-poppers Corin Roddick and Megan James. Roddick has been drumming since he was 14 years old, touring with electro-outfit Gobble Gobble. A trained vocalist and pianist, James has been writing music since she was 16 years old. Despite their contrasting vocal backgrounds, these musicians both abandoned their live instruments in favor of creating songs out of synthetic beats, pitched vocals and hazy samples. Much of their music is inspired by Roddick’s love of southern hip-hop. Despite being only a year old and releasing just three songs, Purity Ring has already made a name for itself. Pitchfork awarded its debut single “Ungirthed” Best New Track. The single was praised for the pinging beats and James’ airy lyrics. The band’s other tracks “Lofticries” and “Belispeak” have received similar praise. Purity Ring has been touring since fall 2011 and has announced its desire to release its own full-length album in 2012. – Lucy Stratton