By Megan Venzin and Sean Roper
The harsh reality of the impending presidency still has us bummin’, but despite the inevitable shitstorm, there is one reason we here at FREEwilliamsburg are stoked AF for the new year. That reason is the return of The BPM Festival, a 10-day house and techno event, which pulses through Playa Del Carmen every January. The recent lineup and showcase announcements have served as a salt-rimmed beacon of light during these gloomy times. Here’s the deal: nothing’s thwarting our Mexico-bound party plans. (screw your “wall”, douche lord).
New Yorkers will account for a small percentage of the more than 60,000 attendees expected to hit the 10-year-anniversary, which will take place January 6th – 15th. However, the Phase 1 lineup is overflowing with local talent. From legends who have shaped New York City nightlife into what we know today to fresh new collectives, here are nine acts that have us packing our bags enthusiastically as we look forward to better times and sunnier skies.
Martin Buttrich, David Squillace and Matthias Tanzmann will perform together at BPM as Better Lost Than Stupid
Better Lost Than Stupid – Scene staples Martin Buttrich, David Squillace and Matthias Tanzmann didn’t realize they’d struck musical gold when they first performed together spontaneously at the 2010 edition of New York City’s Electric Zoo. What was intended as a one-off collaboration, quickly became the epilogue for Better Lost Than Stupid’s story. Since that fateful day, the three internationally renowned producers have appeared on stage together at major festivals and have more recently taken steps to make their collaborative relationship a more permanent one. Their very own BPM showcase on January 7th will serve as a welcome opportunity to debut their first album, which is scheduled for release in early 2017.
Bill Patrick – New York-based DJ and producer Bill Patrick is more than just a performer – the man is a beast. Patrick effectively completed a 31-hour back-to-back set earlier this year at The Weekend Festival in Romania, making big news and stunning crowds from around the world. It’s not uncommon for artists to tackle similar feats at BPM, so we have to wonder, will he make a statement with something equally epic when he performs at the Rumors showcase on January 15th?
Boris – Teaming up with Christian Smith for the Tronic vs. Transmit Showcase taking place on January 11th is Russian native turned New York Nightclub Resident DJ, Boris. With a career on the cusp of its golden anniversary, Boris has withstood a test of time few can ever boast. He maintains a very active performance schedule, as well as a cloudcast series called transmissions.
The Martinez Brothers – Originally hailing from the Bronx, The Martinez Brothers (a techno duo featuring real life siblings Steve Martinez Jr. and Chris Martinez) have become one of the world’s most highly sought after dance bookings. Having grown up learning about New York City nightlife from their father, who is an avid supporter of the iconic Paradise Garage, the boys were well on their way to becoming international sensations even before they had high school diplomas. Amidst a busy schedule of worldwide club appearances and their long standing residency at the legendary DC-10 nightclub in Ibiza, the brothers will be reuniting with their extended BPM family again in January.
The Martinez Brothers will return to BPM Festival again in January.
Moon Boots – Drawing from his time spent between New York City and Chicago, Moon Boots has developed a brand of dance music that is as timeless as it is versatile. You likely remember Pete Dougherty, aka Moon Boots, as a resident DJ at the former Verboten, or a regular booking at Brooklyn venues like Output (or most recently his own space-themed Halloween party at Bushwick’s House of Yes), but on January 13th he’ll be repping the French Express label, bringing a beach-ready setlist dripping with signature disco-house vibes.
No Regular Play (LIVE) – Members Greg Paulus and Nick DeBruyn met as children, bonding over a shared love for hip-hop and classic jazz music. In 2006, the duo moved to Brooklyn together where their passion for composing became a segway for exploration. Their curiosity led them to local Wolf+Lamb parties, and almost a decade later, their talents have secured them a spot on the W+L label, a dedicated fan base and a national tour with Canadian rockers, Bob Moses. Their live performance featuring Paulus on trumpet, is one not to be missed (and IMO, best enjoyed at sunset with sand between your toes and icy Coronas in hand).
Roger Sanchez – One of NYC’s most revered OG DJs was also once a student at Brooklyn’s prestigious Pratt Institute School of Architecture. Sanchez has honed his craft for nearly three decades with the calloused hands of a habitual crate digger. With many of his friends on the phase 1 lineup, we will no doubt find ourselves at one of his Stealth records parties on the beach.
Seth Troxler – One look at Seth’s written bio will tell you that he is not your typical tour DJ. He’s the wild child of the most civilized side of dance music, but he’s also lauded as one of its finest. With over two years of residency at Output in Williamsburg, Seth’s free spirit and relentless approach to techno have solidified him as a fixture in NYC’s underground scene. We have high hopes of catching a rare performance with The Martinez Brothers as Tuskegee.
Wolf+Lamb – Zev & Gadi are symbolic of Brooklyn’s diverse, yet symbiotic, nature. The borough can be held partially responsible for uniting this unlikely pair through their passion for the soulful sounds of house music. Inspired by and driven by communal bonds, these opposites have attracted other NYC favorites like Soul Clap, No Regular Play, and Seth Troxler to release music on Wolf + Lamb records. Though no party has been formally announced, all of the aforementioned artists appear on the Phase 1 lineup, so we anticipate another Crew Love gathering come January.
New York needs a vacation. Passes for the 10-year-anniversary are still available on The BPM Festival’s official website. Wristband options include 3-Day (opening weekend), 3-Day (closing weekend), 7-Days and for the true marathoners of partying, 10-Days. Think of BPM as a “build your own adventure” festival, set against a glimmering backdrop of crystal blue waters and all the Don Sirloin tacos you can handle. The world’s going to end soon. So . . . I guess that means we’ll see you there?