The name of the game at SXSW is efficiency. What angles can you take to best experience all of SXSW while making sure to catch the acts that you’d kick yourself for missing. To help you reach your goals, we went ahead and threw together a very non-exhaustive list of artist showcases that jingled our bells, with enough info for you to dig deeper if you ascribe to their vibes. Even if you aren’t attending SXSW we hope some of these profiles give you some new rabbit holes to explore!! Without further ado, and in no particular order, here’s our guide!
!!! (chk chk chk)
- Monday March 13th, 9:30pm - 10:10pm - The Gatsby
- Tuesday March 14th, 8:00pm - 8:50pm - Maggie Mae's Rooftop
The Kings of short shorts and dance music have returned to SXSW. You’ll thank us if you catch this one early in the week, as you can then walk around with the !!! swagger for the duration of the festival. This punk-pop band is equal parts fun and funny and their live shows are well renowned for their high-energy brand of insanity. They’ve just announced a European tour so rest assured you’ll be treated to some of their freshest batches of nonsense.
Do yourself a favor and hop on the Robotaki hype-train now so you can get a good seat before it leaves the station. He’s an incredible dude and a masterful producer, and although he mostly stuck to remixes for his first few years on the scene, while he was splitting time with school, he’s recently come out of an extended studio stay armed with a plethora of originals that are poised to establish him as a premier producer. His beautifully airy basslines are masterfully crafted and lift up his tracks to some incredible heights. The tones of the songs that he chooses range widely, but each feel so heartfelt and genuine and you'll find yourself cheering for him in short order.
- Wednesday March 15th, 1:00am - 2:00am - Maggie Mae’s
Texas synth-lord duo Night Drive is a hometown hero that you will surely not want to miss. Rodney’s heart-filled vocals tear you along through each song, and backed by Brandon’s dark brooding synths and artful talk-box work, they achieve a level of emotionality and rawness that is both eminently refreshing and yet wholly unique. With ample rock-star sex appeal and stage production that channel a bygone era, if you catch them live we guarantee that you will become a fast fan. Big news from their camp is the forthcoming release of their first full album, which will mark their first work alongside LA based label Roll Call. Congrats guys!
- Wednesday March 15th, 11:00pm – 11:40pm - Kingdom
If you hadn't heard of him already then you might recognize this name from our last disco chart. Moullinex is a man of many talents, and in addition to producing absolutely stellar tracks, he runs 'Discotexas', a label out of his home country of Portugal. They'll be putting on a showcase featuring a few of their top artists and although we're very excited to see all they have to offer, we've been waiting to see Moullinex for quite a long time. Expect to have your ears filled with incredibly refined electronic dance tracks as you boogie any troubles away.
S U R V I V E
- Thursday March 16th, 11:55pm – 12:55am - Hotel Vegas Patio
While their career has spanned many years, with exceedingly interesting exploration of synths and drum machines, this local group’s most recent defining moment was in their production of the opening credits score for Stranger Things, a recent Netflix series you MAY have heard of. We were lucky enough to watch them destroy a dark and dirty warehouse a few months ago at Day for Night festival and we consider ourselves blessed to be able to catch them again so soon.
- Wednesday March 15th, 12:00am - 1:00am - Kingdom
Remix master Throttle is one of the more exciting features for us on the SXSW lineup. At first glance, his fusion of divergent sounds might seem a little jarring, but after a very short while you’ll come to appreciate why the electronic music community saw fit to create a whole new GENRE for this guy. Get yourself to this one and fill your ears with his #dirtydisco
- Friday March 17th, 1:00am – 1:40am - Mohawk Austin (Indoor)
- Saturday March 18th, 11:00pm – 11:40pm - Blackheart
This pair of scottish weirdos puts on one hell of a show! Their acid filled disco-pop vibes are accompanied by aimless vocals that lazily wax between french and english. In an intimate setting their energy is something to behold, so try and pencil in these Glasgow underground phenoms!
It’s pretty tough to pick just one song that embodies all that is SOFI TUKKER. Simply put, their range is tremendous. They’re able to weave effortlessly from punk-pop to shoe-gaze, but consistent among it all is the clearly articulated vision: “You’re here to dance!”. Although SOFI TUKKER is not Austin based, their weirdness is perfectly at home here and their dance parties will be “off” in all the right ways. Huge massive congrats on the Grammy nomination y'all and check out our interview with them here.
- Thursday March 16th, 10:00pm – 10:40pm - Lucille
So is there something with the water in Nordic Sea? We’re not sure how, or why, but on a year to year basis the most unique electronica sounds seem to come out of countries like Norway, Finland, and Sweden. This year, we’re lucky enough to get a visit from one of their most recent successes, and his showcase will be surely filled with unabashedly happy vibes. Get you some!
- Friday March 17th, 1:00am – 1:50am - Cheer Up Charlie's
It’s impressive how effortlessly Chrome Sparks can make you go from head-nods to head-bangs. With his incredible mastery of synths, and a very in depth understanding of how to make extremely unique percussive elements, his tracks weave from pleasant vibe to pleasant vibe with ease. His live set will be a fantastic change-up from the remainder of the high energy electronic acts that make up the rest of the SXSW line-up, so come expecting some chrome colored outer-space weirdness.
- Saturday March 18th, 11:00pm – 11:40pm -The Iron Bear
This Seoul-based group brings incredible freshness to their basslines that leave their tracks eminently replayable. I’ve probably listened to the above “Tales of Love” remix more times than I’ve heard the Happy Birthday song, and I still have to play their remix twice each time I hear it. We’re very excited to get a chance to witness them in action as they don’t come stateside very often.