10. Life Festival
June 4 - June 6
"3 days of peace, love, union and respect." Now, doesn't that sound nice? Ireland's Love Festival reaches its fifth installment in 2010, although the sunshine vibes will permeate an alternate location for 2010: The picturesque grounds of Mullingar's Belvedere House, Park and Gardens. So the stage is set, but what of the sounds? Life boasts three days of electronic and acoustic tones, with Infected Mushroom, Chris Liebing, LTJ Bukem, Frequency 7, Joker and Ancient Methods among those dabbling in the former. Also worth noting is the promise of workshops, performers, visuals, a cinema and stalls dotted among the site's two outdoors stages, indoor area and lounge: Lovely.
RA pick: We like the idea of LTJ Bukem and MC Conrad's dulcet drum & bass vibes in this setting.
09. We Love Sounds
June 4 - June 14
Auckland | Canberra | Perth | Sydney | Melbourne | Brisbane | Adelaide
As the northern hemisphere bathes in the warmth of the summer sun, and our downunder friends enter mitten season, Ibiza's We Love and local Aussie promoters prepare to make sweet party love once again for their annual co-op, We Love Sounds. A taster satellite show in the nation's oft-overlooked capital, Canberra, will then open the floodgates for dates in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. With more announcements imminent, the headliners thus far are favouring an electro-tinged sound, with Felix Da Housecat, M.A.N.D.Y., Crookers and Tiga already signed up, alongside perennial festival favorites Underworld. The Bpitch contingent will be represented by Ellen Allien and recent Boogybyter Seth Troxler, while the Revenge will keep it discofied and Australia's own Simon Caldwell flies the flag for the locals.
RA pick: You can't go wrong with Underworld's special brand of stadium techno.
08. Urban Art Forms
June 3 - June 6
As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it—and this year, Austria's Urban Art Forms does just that. After a couple of different configurations in its early editions, UAF is keeping to the Main / DnB / Psytrance stages that have marked its last two years. The Mainstage will again be the heart of the 4/4 action, with bona fide crowd pullers Carl Cox, Moonbootica, Sven Vath and Carl Craig sharing the load with electro upstarts Digitalism and Boys Noize, and the world-beat of Buraka Som Sistema. The Dogs On Acid stage will keep the beats fractured, with UK legends Andy C, Roni Size, and Ed Rush & Optical, tempered by a melodic tip from Dbridge & Instra:mental and Alix Perez, while the Psytrance stage is hosted by genre stalwarts Shpongle and Infected Mushroom cracking out a live set. A Cadenza afterparty stage (with Luciano and Reboot), and the Zoo Project (Sebastien Leger) will offer a couple of less epic options throughout the three-day proceedings.
RA pick: Dbridge & Instra:mental's deep and soothing drum & bass will help keep festival fever in check.
07. Les Siestes Electroniques
June 23 - June 27
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5
It's worth noting from the outset that Les Siestes Electroniques' outdoor concerts are free of charge. (Can you think of any other prominent European festival in which this is the case? No, we're at a loss also). The event is a product of the southern French city of Toulouse, and prides itself on attendees not being in a situation "where three bands are playing at the same time." Days one and two place the focus on the city's Garonne Theater, as Keiji Haino and Kawabata Makoto play the Wednesday, and Pantha Du Prince and Stanley Brinks perform the following evening. A nice little Friday interlude, which sees Joakim and his Tigersushi imprint take over a secret inner-city space for a full-blown rave, leads into the weekend freebies when the action hits Prairie des Filtres Park. The names may not be quite as dazzling as last year, but the chance to see Machine Drum, Rebolledo, Mount Kimbie and Junior Boys outside and pro-bono is certainly not one to be sniffed at.
RA pick: Cut loose with Joakim on the Friday.
06. Taico Club
Like an antidote to the international roster of summer giga-festivals with more stages, more artists and more days each year, Taico Club continues to cherry-pick a handful of acts for their connoisseur-ish overnighter in Kodamanomori, set amongst the lush green hills of Nagano. Flying high from the release of Oversteps, Autechre kick off the live program alongside alt-hip hopper Edan, experimental instrumentalist Dssh, Japanese drum & bassers Flying Rhythms and the maestro, Matthew Herbert. Behind the wheels (and laptops) of steel, a strong DJ contingent will also see Ben Klock, Matthew Dear and Chez Damier appearing, alongside Takkyu Ishino, Crosstown Rebels' Damian Lazarus, and Kyoto favourite Takkyu Ishino.
RA pick: Matthew Herbert's One Club: a taster for his forthcoming project based on Frankfurt's famed Robert Johnson club.
June 4 - June 5
Athens can seem like a vast, impenetrable metropolis during its chaotic summer months. But take the time to scratch the surface through events like Synch festival, and you should discover a subtle and more congenial side to this southern European behemoth. Similarly, the the event itself will be trading in more low-key and fluid movements for a seventh edition this year. Laurent Garnier, Hot Chip and Peaches will of course carry with them the noise of international headliners, while the supporting cast seems handpicked to connect the dots in and around them. DJ Krush, Alva Noto, Fuck Buttons, Jimmy Edgar, Busy P and Trus'me are among those taking to the two open air-stages and two dance stages over Synch's two day duration. It'll also be worth keeping something in the tank for a final fling on Saturday: various clubs in the surrounding Gazi district will be hosting their own post-show carry-ons.
RA pick: Make some noise with Fuck Buttons.
04. Awakenings Festival
Those who missed out on highly-coveted tickets may want to avert their eyes. Like the proverbial tasty hot cakes, passes for Awakenings were snapped up in a flash, ensuring that only the earliest of early birds will have six stages of electronic joy to select from in this, the festival's tenth year. Two of the six are outdoor areas which will see Adam Beyer, Richie Hawtin, Reboot (live), locals Anton Pieete & Barts Skills, and the Bellevile 3 pushing it out to the heavens. A mishmash of international artists cover the remaining four stages, providing the techno fan's version of early Christmas. Brits Ben Sims and Surgeon team up with Steve Rachmad for the Classics stage; Jeff Mills, Laurent Garnier and Dave Clarke square up to the Berghain trio of Klock, Dettmann and Faki, while Stage A will see eclectronica from James Holden and sounds of a housier persuasion from Cassy, Melon and Afro-house don Osunlade.
RA pick: There's no techno without Detroit, and there's no Detroit techno without Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May.
June 23 - June 27th
As if the Glastonbury festival experience wasn't enough of a draw in its own right, news hit this week of two new stages dedicated to forward-thinking electronic music. Those who have attended the festival regularly down the years (or even those who've look closely at the listings) will attest that, while the traditional dance arenas have had the festival fun factor in abundance, those looking for something a little more left-of-centre have usually had to do without. So with Kode9, Horse Meat Disco, Four Tet, Hudson Mohawke, The Orb, Will Saul and Joy Orbison among those lining up across the WOW! and Cubehenge stages this year, the interest of the more discerning dance fan may now officially be piqued. Oh, and you also get LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, The XX, Orbital, 140,000 smiling faces and more good vibes than you can shake a tent peg at.
RA pick: The Flaming Lips—underground electronic music is great and all, but this is Glastonbury, man.
June 2 - June 6
Montreal's Mutek festival set the bar pretty high for themselves with their tenth anniversary last year, but perhaps unsurprisingly, they're poised to outdo themselves once again. This year's line-up is possibly their finest yet, with heady performances by Tim Hecker, Ben Frost and Vladislav Delay, "Nocturne" club events with Actress, Shed, Move D and Dixon, and unhinged riverside dance parties featuring Paul Kalkbrenner, DJ Koze and Pepe Bradock, to name just a few. With its impressively forward-thinking programming, as well as its focus on live performance and visual presentation, Mutek is a five-day ordeal unlike almost anything else you'll find on the worldwide festival circuit. Plus, what other festival serves blonde beer and crepes within feet of the dance floor?
RA pick: The final night this year features Theo Parrish, Brandt Brauer Frick and the Moritz von Oswald Trio.
June 17 - June 19
Thursday (Day) | Friday (Day) | Friday (Night) | Saturday (Day) | Saturday (Night)
Sonar is arguably the most important electronic music festival in the world. The word has come to represent a catchall term for an entire four days worth of Barcelona-based debauchery, but at the core of the weekend is a spectacular dual location event, with an almost bloody-minded devotion to juxtaposing cutting-edge experimentalism, with tastefully selected headliners. The amount of noteworthy artists gracing this year's event are simply too numerous to cover here in full, but particular attention should be paid to Sonar By Day performances from Broadcast, Cluster, Elektro Guzzi, Pete Tong (!?), King Midas Sound and Nosaj Thing. Sonar By Night meanwhile, looks as strong as it's been in its 17-year history. Air, LCD Soundsystem, Plastikman, Flying Lotus and Hot Chip loom large over Friday; The Chemical Brothers, Roxy Music, Sandwell District, Zomby and Dizzee Rascal boss Saturday. 2010 also marks the opening of a simultaneous sister event in the northern Spanish city of A Coruna, with many of the heavy-hitters appearing in Catalonia also playing the Galicia event. We'll go out on a limb and say that the countless "off" Sonar events will serve-up something for almost every electronic music persuasion, which, also bearing in mind the festival's luxurious proximity to the beach, should only serve to reinforce to point we made at the outset.
RA pick: We're going with Mary Anne Hobbs. Her line-ups have consistently been the toast of the festival for years now.