- We comb through the listings so you don't have to.
SXSW is probably the largest music industry gathering in North America. It's the place where talent scouts go on the prowl, where buzz bands get broken and where labels show off their rosters. Electronic music has been a growing presence at SXSW over the past few years, and we'll be back this year for our second showcase in a row. And just like in 2013, we've decided to collect our picks for electronic music at the week-long event into one handy guide you can check in between your hectic running between venues, shows and conferences. if it's your first time this year, you might want to consider reading our first timer's diary to see what you're in for.
If you're at the festival this early, well, good job. Set sail with Surefire Sound in the afternoon—they'll throw their annual boat party with a handful of versus sets, including Chrissy Murderbot & Magic Touch. When nighttime rolls around, there's two strong dance-centric events you can dig into. PayPal will host Machinedrum and the soulful sounds of Dâm-Funk at the Empire Control Room, while rising LA label Body High will hold their own showcase featuring bosses Samo Soundboy and Jerome LOL among a handful of friends and family.
While away the afternoon at Pitchfork's day party at the French Legation Museum, featuring DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn, plus Cashmere Cat and The Range. Supreme Cuts will play around the same time at the Pretty Much Amazing village, or you could also check out the heavier sounds of Plastician's Terrorhythm label at Barcelona.
If you stick around that venue until the evening you'll be treated to Surefire's official showcase, this time featuring Addison Groove and Ikonika. Meanwhile, Warp and LuckyMe will host one of the biggest electronic music events of the entire week over at Empire Control Room & Garage. The double-header night has a dizzying lineup that includes Jacques Greene, Gobby, Kelela, SOPHIE, Lunice and plenty more, plus a secret guest or two (of course).
The infamous Hype Hotel will dip its toes into dancier territory this afternoon with Magic Touch (and up-and-comer Saint Pepsi later in the evening), while Pitchfork will throw another day party at the French Legation Museum—this time with Classixx and former Emeralds man Mark McGuire—and Barcelona will host the Friends Of Friends event with Tomas Barfod and moombahton creators Nadastrom. When the sun sets, Barcelona will turn to dubstep with the Sub.mission crew (who have Caspa in tow), while other highlights include Forest Swords at the Hotel Vegas, Tom Trago and Hunee at the joint ADE & Rush Hour night at The Madison and, finally, the ravey sounds of Mad Decent over at Empire Control Room.
Of course, we don't have to tell you that we're pretty proud of our own official showcase that night, which will go down at Elysium. With Shlohmo, Machinedrum, Jacques Greene, Teklife dons Rashad and Spinn, Hyperdub star Jessy Lanza, young junglist Lee Bannon, the psychedelic pop of SETH and Rabit's subaquatic grime, there's definitely something for everyone.
The Empire Garage is home to a daytime dance shindig hosted by the Future Classic DJs and featuring Classixx and SOPHIE, while Symbols will take over Barcelona this time, with Kastle, Grenier and Druid Cloak in tow.
Friday night is about as overwhelming as they come. Cruel Rhythm at the Hype Hotel has a star-studded lineup with Kelis, Cyril Hahn and Tensnake, who will also play at A Club Called Rhonda's bash at Empire Control Room, which itself features Psychemagik and Rory Phillips. Over in the Empire Garage at the same time, things will get raucous when Fool's Gold hosts Migos and a versus set from A-Trak and Lex Luger, while Loose Squares will offer uptempo sounds with Chrissy Murderbot and Slick Shoota at Plush.
Bob Moses and Boys Noize make for an unusual double header for Mophie's shindig at the 1100 Warehouse, and the Windish Agency will cross genre barriers with their night at Haven, bringing Giraffage and Lee Bannon along for the ride. You've got a second chance to see Forest Swords at Pitchfork's official nighttime party at the Central Presbyterian Church, and there's the very also promising team-up between Flying Lotus, his hip-hop alter ego Captain Murphy and Thundercat at the Austin Music Hall that night as well.
The Hype Hotel will close its big week with The Range and Jessy Lanza in the afternoon, and psychedelic rockers Washed Out are set to headline their final nighttime party. Trouble & Bass will partner up with dancehall obsessives Mixpak over at Barcelona, featuring Jubilee, Dre Skull, Wheez-ie and Dave Nada, while Kim Ann Foxman will headline California promoter Lights Down Low's showcase at Castros Warehouse along with Sleazemore. If you're into disco and boogie sounds, you'll definitely want to head to the Speakeasy Cabaret at some point—that's where 100% Silk, Kodex Agency and No Shame will host a live performance from Kim Ann Foxman and DJ sets from Magic Touch and Suzanne Kraft.
Boiler Room will also make their appearance at SXSW on Saturday evening, and with the only scheduled appearance the whole week from Four Tet, it'll be a busy one, especially when you add Omar-S back-to-back with Julio Bashmore and rapper Future. The location is still secret, but if you can't make it, Four Tet will also play an afterparty at Emo's East following the broadcast.