We run through ten of our favourites happening in the month of October.
Basque Museum-Center Of Contemporary Art, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
October 13 - October 15
Looking at the lineup for Mugako, you might be struck by two things. The first is that it's quite short—fewer than two dozen acts in all. The other is that it's pretty much pure heat, especially if you're into the headier side of techno. Taking place each year in Vitoria-Gasteiz, a city in the Basque Country in Northern Spain, Mugako splits its programme between a nightclub called Kubik and The Basque Museum-Center Of Contemporary Art. For two days in mid-October, those venues are home to a ridiculously well-selected cast of DJs and live acts, spanning from pure and pummeling techno to more avant-garde sounds. This year's bill combines killer newcomers like JASSS with seasoned masters like Silent Servant, Paula Temple, Galaxian, Kassem Mosse and DJ Pete.
RA Pick: Hard not to be intrigued by a live/AV set from Posh Isolation artist Croatian Amor.
TBA, Curitiba, Brazil
October 7 - October 8
As one of Brazil's best-loved festivals, Tribaltech comes with high expectations every year. Little is known about the industrial space organisers have chosen for their next edition, but if past years are anything to go by, it'll likely be transformed by all manner of otherworldly deco. More than 50 artists will descend upon Curitiba for the massive afternoon-into-evening session, which will be soundtracked by classy selectors such as XDB, Margaret Dygas and Daniel Bell. And with live techno acts like Octave One and Stephan Bodzin, there will be plenty of high-energy beats to match the environment.
RA Pick: Ion Ludwig's live show oozes minimal funk.
Theatro Circo Club, Braga, Portugal
October 27 - October 29
Whether they're into tech startups or techno festivals, people are getting excited about Portugal at the moment. Semibreve is a dark horse in the country's festival circuit, and over the years has quietly become one of its best. It's mostly attended by locals, which gives international attendees the sense they've gained access to a well-kept secret. Braga's old world Theatro Circo inspires boundary-pushing electronic artists to seek new heights in the their performances. With visionaries like Beatriz Ferreyra, Fis and Visible Cloaks lined up for this year, it's prime time to catch this festival on the rise.
RA Pick: Don't miss a chance to see an installation by Laurie Spiegel.
TBA, Odense, Denmark
October 12 - October 15
Unless you're Danish or a hobby geographer, you may not have heard of Odense. And unless you're clued into the fringes of the European experimental music circuit, you might not know Phono, a festival that's been running there for over a decade. Phono is an essential event, funnelling cutting edge electronic music to a peripheral audience eager to take it in, creating a sense of engagement that big city festivals often fall short of. It's a vibe worth travelling for, especially when new faces like LNS appear alongside inimitable artists like Oliver Coates, Porter Ricks and Yally (AKA Raime).
RA Pick: Kara-Lis Coverdale's live performance continues to boggle minds.
Mana Wynwood, Miami, USA
October 13 - October 15
Since it first appeared five years ago, Miami's III Points festival has really found its groove, with lineups that mine a fertile middle ground between dance music, experimental sounds and various mutations of pop, hip-hop and indie. This year's bill perfects this formula, offsetting DJ sets from Daniel Avery and John Talabot with live performances from ABRA, Thundercat, Yves Tumor and Danny Brown. The biggest billings are as well-chosen as the avant-garde ones, with The xx and Gorillaz in the first category and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith in the second, along with The Ship, an audio installation by Brian Eno. Throw in the backdrop of Miami's mild fall evenings and you've got a pretty dreamy weekend on your hands.
RA Pick: You'd be crazy to miss Arca and Jesse Kanda, easily the most striking live act in electronic music right now.
Lingotto Fiere, Torino, Italy
October 25 - November 1
This year's edition of Movement Torino will be its biggest yet, taking over the massive Lingotto Fiere complex for separate shows on October 28th and 31st. As usual, the lineup for the European offshoot of Detroit's world-famous festival will draws from house and techno's top tier, with slots from Sven Väth, Sonja Moonear and Cobblestone Jazz, as well as a clutch of Detroit natives like Jeff Mills, Octave One and Mike Huckaby. A number of smaller events will take place at quirky locations around Torino, along with lectures and workshops.
RA Pick: Sparks fly whenever Rhadoo, Petre Inspirescu and Raresh link up as RPR Soundsystem.
Despite its name, Simple Things has never taken the easy route. It's been an ambitious project ever since it was conceived in 2011, with a booking policy that spans the full dance music spectrum while also weaving in rock, pop, grime, ambient and more. Bands regularly share the bill with DJs. Instead of cramming everything into one venue, the action is spread between various different spaces to allow for a more fluid and well-rounded experience. (Bristol is small, so they're all within walking distance.) In 2017, the lineup feels particularly adventurous. Metronomy will open with a full live performance on the Friday night, before the likes of Binh, The Bug, John Maus, Leftfield, GAIKA and Jlin play the main event on Saturday.
RA Pick: John Maus performing songs off his long-awaited new album, Screen Memories.
Mexico City, Mexico
October 11 - October 15
MUTEK.MX has been going since 2003, which makes it nearly as old as its parent festival in Montréal. Little surprise, then, that it's such a well-honed operation, bringing MUTEK's unique vision of electronic music and digital art to venues in Mexico year after year. Its 14th edition hews close to the principles that have long made this international festival one of the world's best, presenting bold new acts like Second Woman and Sarah Davachi alongside veteran innovators like Alva Noto, Squarepusher and The Orb. There will be plenty of house and techno artists to keep the party ticking over, too, including Dorisburg, Rødhåd and Aurora Halal.
RA Pick: Dean Blunt's live show is utterly unpredictable, which in our book makes it unmissable.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
October 18 - October 22
On paper, there's no dance music lineup more overwhelming than ADE. Billed as the "largest club festival of its kind in the world," the five-day event pulls together a mind-boggling array of parties, in-stores, workshops, talks and plenty more besides. But don't be intimmidated: once you've got to grips with the programme, you'll be energised by the prospect of having so much incredible music at your fingertips. The clubs are attractions in and of themselves. By our count, Amsterdam is home to more than 440 venues in 2017, many of them world-class spaces with 24-hour licences and killer soundsystems. Between them, they'll host dozens of parties in all shapes and sizes, presented by promoters from all over the world and featuring artists as varied as Ricardo Villalobos, Veronica Vasicka and DJ Stingray. Amsterdam might be the world's smallest metropolis, but during ADE it bustles and sings as loudly as the rest of them.
RA Pick: We're back at RADION on the Saturday night, and this time we've got Umfang, DJ Nobu and the night's headliner, Ben UFO.
October 8 - October 15
The theme for Unsound's 15th edition is "Flower Power," which founder Mat Shulz has described as "a response to the feeling of living in the shadow of the Doomsday Clock ticking ever more forcefully forward." While it's impossible to say how that idea will seep into the actual experience of attending the festival, this stated goal tells you something crucial about Unsound: more than perhaps any other event out there, its programme reflects the unique atmosphere of its moment in time, both musically and in a broader sense. The names on the lineup form a dazzling matrix of disparate sounds, from modern strains of hip-hop, dancehall, kuduro and techno to a vast range of styles too unconventional to be easily described. The effect of having these performances in the same place at the same time is extraordinary. Within a 24-hour period, you could catch everything from a blistering back-to-back from DJ Bone and DJ Stingray to an Indonesian gamelan ensemble performing the music of Moondog, the visionary New York street performer. From a punter's perspective, Unsound is unpredictable, at times even disorienting, but in a way any adventurous music fan will adore. Wandering from one performance to the next, you often have no idea what awaits you. When it's over, you're left with a feeling of having experienced something utterly of our time.
RA Pick: German industrial pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten.
See our full festival listings for October right here.