FRIDAY APRIL 5: Hamburg duo DIGITALISM exemplify the diy/indie aesthetic that helped earn them the label “dance punk” in their early career. Electronic music enthusiasts Jens “Jence” Mölle and Ismail “Isi” Tuefekci met at a local record store and, dissatisfied with the sounds on offer at the time, decided to start creating some of their own. Working on equipment built from cannibalized parts and recording in an old World War Two bunker, they melded influences like French house and electro rock into a distinctive musical hybrid that, in due course, would attract the likes of both Kitsuné Music and Virgin. As they demonstrated on their sophomore album, 2011′s critically acclaimed I Love You, Dude, the pair know how to bridge the divide between EDM purists and pop fans (witness the gorgeous, Eighties-flavoured hit single “2 Hearts”). And that, plus a growing North American following — boosted by high-profiles appearances at events like Coachella, Lollapalooza and the Ultra Music Festival — would seem to indicate that Digitalism are well on the way to headliner status.
SATURDAY APRIL 6: Along with their colleagues The Killabits, Toronto duo ZEDS DEAD (a.k.a. DC and Hooks) have helped to establish a thriving dubstep scene in the city, co-founding the weekly bass music showcase Bassmentality. Known for their stellar live sets, they have succeeded in building a wide-reaching reputation by unleashing a slew of free downloads, some of which have caught the attention of EDM’s biggest movers and shakers. They hooked up with Diplo‘s Mad Decent imprint in 2010, and generated a massive response at the label’s 2011 New York Block Party showcase. And they inked a deal with Steve Aoki‘s Dim Mak Records, releasing the acclaimed Ruckus The Jam EP in late 2011. With 70-plus dates, last year’s the “The Living Dead Tour” with Omar LinX was the duo’s most ambitious undertaking yet. Just dropped: a new five-track EP, Hot Sauce, on Mad Decent.
SUNDAY APRIL 7: With 13 years of experience and five acclaimed albums under their belts — not to mention remixes for the likes of Tiësto, Ferry Corsten, Armin van Buuren and Deadmau5 – veteran German progressive trance duo COSMIC GATE (a.k.a. DJ Bossi and Nic Chagall) have managed to achieve the rare combination of longevity and consistency. Their 39th-place ranking on the definitive DJ Mag Top 100 is testimony to the team’s continued relevance. Meeting up with bpm Spotlight on their latest swing through North America, they look back at the last decade-plus in dance music, and share an inside look at their most recent studio album Wake Your Mind, which includes the smash hits “Be Your Sound” and “Calm Down,” both featuring Emma Hewitt on vocals.