[Festival] This one’s coming up quick… so if you aren’t already in the loop, get movin’, or you can save up for next year… Here’s the scoop: For ten days and long nights, Playa Del Carmen will be the backdrop for the BPM Festival, set along the quintessentially white sand beaches of the Mayan Riviera, located on the Caribbean Coast of Mexico; this is SXSW and WMC wrapped into one select week and three days of high end, dance music. When it comes to house music, BPM has, having now grown into its 5th year and counting, more or less cemented itself as a staple music event – 2011 saw over 25,000 attendees and over 120 deejays and live acts, performing day and night… Expect this year to be nothing less, and nothing less than a blowout. The 2011-2012 lineup includes some of my personal favorites of this last year and a slew of seminal, influential label showcases that will be presenting a foray of house, techno, and everything else in between. You can buy individual event tickets or buy a single wristband for 3, 7 or 10 days… For tickets and more see here.

In lieu of any post apocalyptic, 2012 rumors, the festivities will invariably be running from December 30th-January 8th… That’s 10 days of seamlessly, continuous music, and that’s a lot to decipher. With three to six parties a day, plan to take a lot of vitamin C with you; moreover, give or take a few coin tosses, as any discerning festival goer knows, you need to make some choices (because you can’t go to everything, it’s just too much).

I’ve outlined at least a party for each day. I’m recommending some more than others with a “do not miss” note.



**Friday, December 30th: Air London presents A Night in the Air: Simon Baker / Kate Simko / Nitin / Bioniq BUY TICKET

I’m a huge Simon Baker fan – Not everyone might know this man… this year will be his 3rd year turning heads at the BPM festival. This is a do not miss.


**Saturday, December 31st: ***NYE 2012*** Flying Circus presents Audiofly / Steve Bug / Nicolas Jaar Live / Benoit & Sergio Live  BUY TICKET

If you didn’t know what to do for NYE, now you do. This is certainly the party to go to including a rare Live set from Nicolas Jaar. Everyone please thank Audiofly for putting together this fabulous lineup. Round of Applause and Happy New Year!



**Sunday, January 1st: Digital Delight Label Showcase: Puente + Rosch / Wildkats / Damian Uzabiaga EVENT LINK

This is their second label showcase so far, this is another do not miss. Highly recommending the Wildkats, you can read my interview with those three guys here; Puente + Rosch are also a said do not miss. 


**Monday, January 2nd: Akbal Music Label Showcase: special gues Sebo K + Afrilounge / Robbie Akbal / Muan / Fredo Cortez / Mobius Strum / Max Jacobson / Dave Powers

Akbal Music is based right in Playa Del Carmen…


**Tuesday, January 3rd: Life and Death vs Scissor & Thread Label Showcase: Thugfucker / PillowTalk / Frank & Tony / Black Light Smoke

Another label showcase, coming both by way of New York: First about Life & Death, big cru$h alert. Based on a peculiar concept of a dark pop and house among other things, the Rome, Berlin and NYC label is outwardly a conceptual thing that honestly deserves more delving into, than fit for this post; read more about Life and Death here. Secondly, onto Scissor & Thread (Scissor & Thread says they are focused on providing platforms for artists with ambitious ideas…), this one’s for the heads – conceptual, contemporary, underground music. This is a do not miss.


**Wednesday, January 4th: Culprit Label Showcase: Lee Foss / Droog / Dan Ghenacia / Nymra & Sofisticated / Mightykat BUY TICKET

Besides the obvious, highly recommending Mightykat. If you know about Culprit’s parties on the roof of the Standard you know how impossibly cool they are. This is a do not miss.


**Thursday, January 5th: My Favorite Robot Label Showcase: special goes Shaun Reeves + James Teej / My Favorite Robot / Metrika / Donovan / Jonny Cruz and ***BPM 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVENT*** Soul Clap / Wolf + Lamb BUY TICKET

To name of but a few so critically acclaimed artists/label pairings without failing to mention My Favorite Robot and company or Soul Clap either would be an abomination of cool, hipster blogging doctrine; this doctrine is so hip it hasn’t even been written yet… Personally I’m a big James Teej fan and if you’re in the loop, well, you know about Boston’s prodigious Soul Clap; read more about Soul Clap and Wolf + Lamb here and here, it’s worth knowing. This is a do not miss. duh.


**Friday, January 6th: No. 19 Music Label Showcase: Art Department / Nitin / Deniz Kurtel / Tanner Ross /  Dead Seal / Louie Fresco / Miguel Puente

They’ve certainly been busy, adding their fair share of House, Techno and Electronica to the currently ubiquitous, indie dance stew… They’ve also, recently been given, by the almighty voices behind one of my favorite radio stations (NPR), I might add, the title of “Deadliest Groove of 2011,” via Tanner Ross (The track is called B-Side…); This is a do not miss.


**Saturday, January 7th: Rebel Cave: Damian Lazarus / Jamie Jones / Art Department BUY TICKET

The world over, the Rebel Rave has been getting people dancing, repeatedly staging their events in amazing locations. This is a seriously do not miss (and it’s also in a cave…).


**Sunday, January 8th: Hot Creations vs Crosstown Rebels: Richy Ahmed / Robert James / Russ Yallop / Danny Daze

Take one look around the blogosphere and you’ll see, read or hear something about Danny Daze; Richy Ahmed, Robert James and Russ Yallop, not as much… but you know what they say, “save the best for last” – so in keeping with the preceding credo, beloved as it is I might add, expect nothing less than superb house music from the likes of the straight up dopest quartet grouping of the festival. Recommended listening: listen to Russ Yallop’s Ibiza Voice Podcast here. This is a do not miss.


words by: Zach McCullough