Here are our picks for the best sights and sounds of this year's festival in Austin, Texas.
SXSW is one of the biggest annual music industry events in the US for independent music—and electronic music is becoming a stronger force there every year. The 2013 program has so much electronic music that we decided to compile a guide naming some highlights over the course of the week. Whether you're slugging it out for the entire thing or just there for a day or two, you'll have plenty to choose from.
Tuesday, March 12th
Surefire's nighttime showcase at Barcelona looks like a good place to be, with Dark Sky and JETS headlining. Or you could check out Pitchfork's Interactive show at Mohawk, featuring Azari & III. Get your fill of disco with Learning Secrets at Haven, where Aeroplane and Classixx will play. Flying Lotus will headline #Feed's showcase at the AMOA Arthouse, with his Brainfeeder cohorts Tokimonsta and Teebs in tow as well.
Wednesday, March 13th
Surefire will set sail in the afternoon with their boat party, starting at 12:45 PM. For this one they've got Bok Bok and Kingdom plus Jimmy Edgar and Machinedrum along for the ride. That same night they have another showcase, this time at Lanai and featuring Edgar, Distal and DJG. Dirtybird's Players tour will land at SXSW at Kingdom with head honcho Claude VonStroke. For the first time we've got our own RA showcase at Elysium, which we wager is worth a visit: Andy Stott, Optimo, Huerco S, Blue Hawaii, John Talabot and Archie Pelago are all locked in. As if you needed yet another option, Richie Hawtin's CNTRL: Beyond EDM series hits Austin that night with Loco Dice and Tiga.
Thursday, March 14th
Get your afternoon party on with Pitchfork's showcase: they've got Autre Ne Veut and Toro Y Moi at 1100 Warehouse. Later that night, at the same venue, they've got Ryan Hemsworth and Disclosure for their official showcase. For another afternoon adventure, hit up Barcelona for the Friends of Friends DJ showcase, featuring Grown Folk alongside Shlohmo and the rest of the roster regulars. Or you could dance to progressive house heavyweight John Digweed, who headlines his own showcase at Kingdom.
Canadian label Hybridity will throw an evening showcase at Brass House with rising Vancouver duo Evy Jane at the top of the bill. Flowerbooking, meanwhile, have a diverse showcase at Holy Mountain with the live talents of Anticon's Baths, Seattle's Lusine and Ghostly house producer Dauwd. The ever adventurous Ninja Tune has a pretty good look this night as well, showing off the best of their stable: Bonobo will headline with a DJ set, and UK sound system champion The Bug will perform with vocalists Daddy Freddy and Miss Red.
Friday, March 15th
ICEE HOT's showcase at Barcelona will feature Northern Irish duo Bicep and Hotflush's South London Ordnance along with its colourful cast of residents, while Fade To Mind and Night Slugs team up for a showcase featuring L-Vis 1990 and MikeQ among many others. Percussion Lab's party at Silhouette Lounge features Sepalcure and Daedelus, or you could check out booking agency AM Only's all-ages blowout at La Zona Rosa, with Bondax and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs among the notables. Friends of Friends will put on another showcase, this one displaying the live side of the label: Clipse member Pusha T will rap over Salva's set, Daedelus will go head-to-head with Ryan Hemsworth and Groundislava will do his synth-soaked live thing at Emo's that night.
Saturday, March 16th
Get your fill of dubstep and bass in the afternoon at Barcelona for Trouble & Bass with Distal and Plastician. If you stick around Barcelona for a few hours, UK outfit Numbers will hold their showcase at the venue through the night, featuring bossman Jackmaster, Oneman and a bunch of label mates that includes Rustie.
True Panther have a two-pronged indoor and outdoor showcase in the evening, with last year's Breaking Through stars Supreme Cuts and young hotshot XXYXX. Finally, Boiler Room will also make a splash with a lineup that includes some SXSW exclusives: rapper Chief Keef, Death Grips, Warp duo Mount Kimbie and Luckyme's Lunice. Trap titans Baauer and RL Grime will play back-to-back, and Skream and Shlohmo will also take their turns on the decks. You can RSVP for the party here.
Mar 12 #Feed Powered by Flying Lotus, Tokimonsta, Teebs, B.Le.. Mar 12 Pitchfork SXSW Interactive Official Showcase, Mohawk Mar 12 Dark Sky, Barcelona Mar 13 Resident Advisor SXSW Official Showcase, Elysium Mar 13 CNTRL: Beyond EDM at SXSW, Bungalow Mar 13 Dirtybird Players - South by Southwest Edition, Kingdo.. Mar 13 Surefire Sound Night SXSW Showcase, Lanai Rooftop Lounge Mar 13 Surefire SXSW Boat Party, SXSW Mar 14 John Digweed, Kingdom Nightclub Mar 14 The Pitchfork SXSW Day Party, Fair Market Mar 14 Ninja Tune SXSW Showcase, Elysium Mar 14 Friends of Friends Annual SXSW Day Party, Barcelona Mar 14 Flowerbooking, Inc SXSW Showcase, Holy Mountain Mar 14 Official Pitchfork SXSW Showcase, Fair Market Mar 14 Hybridity Boompa Hidden Pony x SXSW Official Showc.. Mar 15 Sxsw Xlr8r Party with Bicep, Nautiluss & more, Barcelona Mar 15 Friends of Friends Official SXSW Showcase, Emo's East Mar 15 Percussion Lab SXSW Showcase, Silhouette Karaoke Lounge Mar 15 AM Only SXSW Showcase, La Zona Rosa Mar 15 Fade to Mind ∞ Night Slugs SXSW 2013, The Madison Mar 16 Ray-Ban X Boiler Room, TBA - Austin Mar 16 NMBRS at SXSW, Barcelona Mar 16 Trouble & Bass vs. MAD Classy Austin, Barcelona Mar 16 True Panther Sxsw Showdown, Mohawk Mar 16 SPIN Magazine SXSW Showcase, Easy Tiger