By all accounts, The BPM Festival has cemented its name as the world’s foremost tropical techno paradise. The festival is back this January for its tenth anniversary on the pristine shores of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. This year, the legendary 10-day Caribbean affair has crafted a tremendous lineup of over 400 house and techno artists performing across various showcases, beach parties and sunset-till-sunrise jungle parties.
With an immense roster of both underground legends and emerging talent, The BPM Festival’s lineup can be a bit daunting to digest. While much of the focus goes towards heavy-hitter names like Carl Cox, Marco Carola, and Solomun, the entirety of the lineup is worth exploring in-depth. To help navigate the expansive billing, we’ve highlighted 10 artists to watch at this year’s festival.
Tickets to The BPM Festival are available here.
All photos courtesy of aLIVE Coverage for TheBPMFestival.com
There’s a reason Patrick Topping is consistently ranked as one of the best DJs in the world — his penchant for funky basslines and celestial embellishments is commanding. The house maestro recently dropped off a holiday present in the form of a compilation album titled Paradise On Earth #01 Mexico alongside Nathan Barato mere weeks ago, proving the perfect warmup for his much anticipated appearances at The BPM Festival.
Ruisan DJ and producer Julia Govor has hoisted herself atop the techno world, gaining co-signs from top-tier tastemakers like Pete Tong, Richie Hawtin and Sven Vath, as well as landing major gigs at Movement in Detroit, WMC in Miami, ADE in Amsterdam and Timewarp, Awakenings and Electric Zoo in New York. The renaissance woman also released the well-received Open Possibility EP (via Body Parts/Mind Series) back in the spring with official remixes from Ricardo Villalobos and Kamran Sadeghi.
Fresh off a summer residency at DC-10 in Ibiza opening for Jamie Jones’ staple Paradise party, Hot Creations breakout star wAFF masterfully blends melancholic samples with the energy and funk of the label. In addition to originals like “Mike The Swamp” with Russ Yallop and “Flipback,” his three-track Sick Pleasure EP was among the grooviest releases of 2016.
While 2016 proved to be a tough year for many, others like house sorceress Lauren Lane can’t complain. Beginning with BPM’s epic closing beach party in January to Carnaval in Brazil to Burning Man and the closing parties in Ibiza, Lauren capped her stellar year with the release of the Mantra 304 project via Saved Records and her latest tech house track “Evelyn Glennie.”
Newcastle native Cristoph’s high-octane driver “Alone” — off his new conceptual album titled 8-Track — is symbolic of the state of his career: he’s in his own lane. While he may seem like an up-and-coming artist, multiple track and EP releases on Noir, Suara, Adam Beyer’s Truesoul, VIVa MUSiC and Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep In Sound prove him to a veritable force in the underground.
Kidnap Kid’s rapturous melodic house is best paired with an ocean breeze, so his appearance at The BPM Festival will certainly be a moment to soak in. The London-bred DJ and producer comes off an explosive year of touring and an onslaught of seasonal EPs including Stronger, which boasted the smash single “Like You Used To,” and the ethereal Moments project towards the top of 2016.
Between his Elements mix series, the massive “Cobalt” anthem released on Solomun’s DIYNAMIC label and hypnotic record “Complex” (which spawned seductive remixes from Serge Devant and Deetron), there are plenty of reasons to catch Jonas Rathsman in Playa Del Carmen — including his highly anticipated performance at All Gone Pete Tong at Blue Parrot.
Eagles & Butterflies
Eagles & Butterflies returns to The BPM Festival after opening for John Digweed’s Bedrock label showcase last year. With 2016 bookings including Coachella and Circoloco at DC-10 in Ibiza, the Innervisions producer has kept busy balancing a relentless stream of EP releases including Mysticism, Constellations and most recently Art Imitating Life, Vol. 1 — not to mention his elysian remixes of RY X’s “Deliverance” and Underworld’s “Nylon Strung.”
Victor Ruiz is one of Brazil’s hottest exports to hit the dance scene standing out with his dark, trancey techno that will drive you straight through after hours till sunrise. Victor’s standout sets of 2016 included Germany’s Fusion festival, Warung in Brazil and Berlin nightclub Sisyphos, in addition to countless remixes and a brand new two-track Nevermind EP.
Co-founder of the Southern California house and techno collective known as Desert Hearts, Mikey Lion has managed to help elevate the brand to a global audience including DH’s annual cross-country City Hearts winter tour and more recently spreading the group’s “House Techno Love” mantra to international destinations such as Brazil and Costa Rica. Among other 2016 accolades, the tech house crusader (usually adorned in an ornate steam punk hat) also dropped the infectious Into The Jungle EP alongside Sabo near the top of the year.