Holy Ship!!! is only ten days away. Are you prepared?
Whether you're a first-time shipper or a seasoned mate, navigating this electronic dance music cruise's lineup is tricky business. With so many established and emerging artists, spread out between so many stages, it's easy to miss something totally life-changing. And that's why we here at Crossfade have spent hours staring at set times to come up with the ultimate list of exciting must-see sets.
Now, we tried not to bore you with too many of the obvious headliners. So yes, despite it being a DJ set, you should probably see Disclosure. Also, if you haven't seen Diplo yet, we don't believe you.
Oh, and sorry, Djedjotronic, we didn't fit you in, but you fucking rule.
See also: Holy Ship!!! 2014 in Animated GIF!!!
Flume Thursday, 12:45 a.m. to 1:45 a.m., Black & White Lounge. Oh-em-gee, Flume. We are so obsessed. This Australian instrumentalist is one of the freshest talents that's emerged out of the future beat movement. His productions are technically tight and conceptually coherent. His off-beat rhythms are always on point and his soulfulness is inescapable. We're also extra stoked, because unlike the equally exciting Shlomo and Disclosure, Flume's name on the Holy Ship!!! setlist doesn't come with an annoying "DJ set" disclaimer. Note: On Saturday, Flume's playing again, holding down the main stage. But we're pretty sure the intimate setting of the Black & White Lounge will make his laid-back moodisms more magical.
Gina Turner b2b Laidback Luke. Thursday, 4:50 a.m. to 6 a.m., Discoteque. Aboard Holy Ship!, the EDM cruise's 2012 maiden voyage, these two superstars announced that they were engaged to be married. Now, during the third embarkation, they're expecting their first child. What better way to celebrate than a back-to-back set at the break of dawn? Seriously, Gina should probably be sleeping. But in the case that you're not, don't miss this hubby-and-wife set. It's only the first day, so staying up all night should be easy enough.
Amine Edge & Dance. Friday, 3 a.m. to 4 a.m., Discoteque. This French duo is hot on the lips of all the underground dwellers. Together, they're considered the heads of the so-called "G-house" movement, which basically means that they combine hip-hop with dance music in a way that is less obtrusive than the whole festival-ready trap-house genre. Never lacking in groove or attitude, Amine Edge & Dance's set should be just the thing to get you over that Holy Ship!!! half-way hump. Sleep is for losers.
Ryan Hemsworth. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11:50 a.m., Private Island Party. Some might say that 2013 was the year when intellectual and emotional depth returned to dance music. The scene is growing up, and grown-ups like their BPMs with a side of smart and sexy. Luckily, Ryan Hemsworth is making some of the lovemakin'-est music out there, and we can't wait to shake it to his catchy yet introspective tunes on a private Bahamian beach. Considering the lush tropical setting, we expect he'll bring a unique flair to his futuristic take on R&B grooves. Hangovers be damned, make sure to hit the sand early for Mr. Hemsworth.
Skrillex. Saturday, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Private Island Party. We hear you, dance music enthusiasts. You're all like, "What? Skrillex? Don't we all collectively wanna avoid his aggressive, post-emo brostep bangers?" No, shut up. You're buying into the myth that Skrillex is some kind of lamestream noise. He's actually one of the most progressive DJs in the game. Skrill is a lot more surprising than most people give him credit for. He actually experiments with nearly unknown songs and breaks new underground records, which is more than we can say for most big-name headliners. As with anyone who managed to make Holy Ship!!!'s private island lineups, we're sure his beach set will be the best of the fest. So don't miss out on it because you're just "too cool." That's bourgie nonsense.
Pharrell Williams. Saturday, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., Main Pool Deck. Does this pick even require an explanation? Pharrell is no EDM legend. He is a legend, period. We can't even believe the Holy Ship!!! folks are even letting us on a boat with this guy. He's probably the most famous person that we'll ever see in our lifetime, and he's the sexiest 40-year-old in the history of ever. Fresh off the success of his collaborations with Daft Punk, there's almost no doubt that we'll be treated to some "Get Lucky" action. And then there's his countless hits and hooks from the last decade and a half. FYI, We're ready to beg for "Rock Star."
Baauer b2b RL Grime. Saturday, 11 p.m. to 12 a.m., Main Pool Deck. Last year, this was the best set of the whole damn thing, no lie. We haven't danced so hard since the first year we were alcohol legal. Even the security guards couldn't fight the beat. Sure, trap is stale now, but these are two of the biggest, most progressive names in the genre. We're talkin' about the man behind "Harlem Shake," "Yaow," "Dum Dum" and more, mashed up with Clockwork's street-wise alter-ego. If you're going to trap, please trap responsibly and attend this party.
Destructo. Saturday, 11:20 p.m. to 12:20 a.m., Galaxy Disco. He may not be the biggest name on the bill, but Destructo is the reason for the season. Why? He's the HARD head honcho, the man with the plan. He put this whole EDM cruise together, handpicked the artists, and designed the schedule with your listening pleasure in mind. He's basically the best man of America's underground electronic dance music scene. And as it turns out, he's a great DJ himself. Definitely come out and show love for the guy who made the most amazing weekend of your life possible.
The Boogieman, AKA Brodinski. Saturday, 1:45 a.m. to 2:15 a.m., Pantheon Theater. We've always had a soft spot for the man behind Bromance Records. He can turn a dark, gothy beat into some shit for throwing 'bows. In short, Brodinski is one the flyest DJs alive. And with his new moniker The Boogieman, he's making hip-hop beats his bitch. We caught him throwing down the sickest in old and new joints at Wynwood's Cafeina during October's III Points Festival. It made everyone's ass quiver in awe. Now this is your chance to see the Frenchman mix the shit out of all your favorite rap songs. But it's only a 30 minute slot, so don't sleep.
Breach. Saturday, 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., Main Pool Deck. You were not even alive in 2013 if you didn't dance to the words: "I want your body, everybody wants your body, so let's jack." This white boy got soul, and he even sings his own hooks! That should be fun, right? Now, this year was a breakout bonanza for the English house producer, and he finished it off by releasing his DJ Kicks album in November. But Holy Ship!!! will surely be a great beginning to an even bigger year for this bro. By January 2015, you'll probably be sick of hearing about it.
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Holy Ship!!! 2014. Thursday, January 9, to Sunday, January 12, 2014. MSC Divina, boarding at Port of Miami, 1015 N. America Way, Miami. The cruise is sold out. Visit holyship.com.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.