2018 is THE year for electronic music. Local music play a huge role in shaping the global electronic music community, so we’ve teamed up with electronic music maestros Resident Advisor who have shone a spotlight on ten flourishing music scenes you’ve got to check out. Keep reading to find out which are 10 of the best up and coming electronic music hotspots for 2018!
Hong Kong, China
The first edition of Sonar Hong Kong took place last year at the Hong Kong Science Park, and this year’s edition has already been announced for 17th March 2018. The diverse array of music and creative technology at the festival points to a scene willing to push the boundaries of electronic music culture forward. If you’re in the city next March, make sure you also pay Midnight & Co. a visit for a night you won’t forget! The club space is built around a Funktion-One sound system with a no-compromise music policy, run by a collective of Hong Kong’s foremost sound engineers, music producers and DJs.
Krakow was, and still is, the home of Unsound, one of the most forward-thinking electronic music festivals on the circuit, and it’s now expanded to New York, Tbilisi, Minsk, Kiev, Prague AND Bratislava. This makes the scene in the former Polish capital a shining beacon for those who like to shake up their music choices.
Lisbon is sometimes compared to Berlin because of its relaxed attitude, but it’s the weather, rolling hills and coastal location that make it oh so good for those who like to kick back and party when the sun goes down. There’s an abundance of community stuff happening in the city, from record stores like Carpets & Snares to the world-class club Lux Fragil, which played host to the likes of Palms Trax, Prosumer and Honey Soundsystem this summer.
Marrakech might not be the FIRST destination that springs to mind when you think of summer destinations for electronic music – but it should be! Artists from the region (including Yasmean, Daox and DexLeMaffo) are all advocates of the North African sound, and the city’s sprawling hotel resorts, with the Atlas mountains as their backdrop, are the perfect places to catch them play.
Melbourne is more of an unsung hero than an upcoming scene, but with its neighbour, Sydney, in the midst of lock-out law negotiations, Melbourne is shining brighter than ever. The festival scene is particularly healthy, with Inner Varnika and Pitch Music and Arts Festival this March and April. Melbourne also saw Sydney party ‘Pavlovabar’ start at Francis28 last year, which is dedicated to showcasing amazing extended sets from top local selectors.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is one of the largest and most vibrant metropolises in the world, but its underground scene doesn’t have a lot of nightclubs at its disposal. For that reason, you’ll often find promoters hopping between unusual venues—cultural centres, dance studios, old hotels and industrial buildings—giving it a reputation as a city that tries incredibly hard to keep its scene thriving – and it succeeds! At the heart of underground culture here lies MUTEK Mexico, a festival that ran their 14th edition in October and take over multiple unique venues in the city, meaning ravers will see loads of community areas. To understand the scene a little more before you travel, RA’s Real Scenes: Mexico City documentary is a must.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo has a rich music history, so it’s no surprise downtown Sao Paulo is a hotspot for clubbers. D-EDGE was one of the first clubs to really pioneer electronic music in the region, and its amazing interior, designed by award-winning architect Muti Randolph, is a true spectacle! There’s also been a wave of excitement in the festival space as Dutch promoters Dekmantel pulled off their first Sao Paulo edition in February 2016 with just as much skill as they did on home turf. Other notable highlights near Sao Paulo include The O-mato Experience, a festival near the Amazon basin – (erm, how awesome does that sound?!), and Warung Beach Club, one of RA’s favourite dance floors.
There’s a scene bubbling away in Taipei and it’s anchored by Korner Club; a creative space for electronic music and visual artists that’s on the hitlist for all international DJs who tour Eastern Asia. Ben Klock and esteemed label, Giegling, have touched down at this club in recent years for their World Tours and artist, Diskonnected, a Korner resident, is due to release an RA podcast this year. If you find yourself in this part of the world this April, do not miss Organik festival, located on the shores of the Pacific ocean! It will deliver a techno event that reflects the core of the region’s cultural DNA: zen philosophy.
Tallinn in Estonia got lucky in 2016 with the openings of two new clubs, Lekker and ASUM. Lekker, a basement venue directly under Freedom Square, is run by promoters, JÄCK, who have been throwing wild parties for several years. In a slightly more obscure venue, ASUM takes over the former home of ULME, a club that once operated in a disused factory in the Kristiine neighbourhood, which has now been renovated with a brand new Martin Audio soundsystem. In festival news, it’s been hard not to notice the Into The Valley festival series which started in Sweden and landed in Estonia last June at Rummu, a vacant PRISON an hour from Tallinn – talk about unique?! Check out this RA stream of KiNK to get a feel for the site.
Over the last few years, Tbilisi, a city of steep hills and curvy streets at the border of Europe and Asia, has become a new hotbed for underground dance music. Bassiani, the biggest club in the city, has played a leading role in this, but it’s only one of several clubs that would be exceptional in any city—there’s also Mitkvarze, Vitamin Cubes, Café Gallery and its sister venue, Didi Gallery, plus one that’s just opened called Khidi. As time goes on, more and more house and techno DJs list the Georgian capital as one of their favourite places to play. If you consider yourself to be an electronic music fan, you’ve got to add this stunning city to your hitlist.
Got any up and coming electronic music spots you think we’ve missed? Tell us in the comments! Need any further help planning your trip? Check out these articles: