Mon. Jun 5th, 2023

From Anderson .Paak’s alter ego to “rickrolling” drones, SXSW 2023 was filled with magic.

Over the previous 25 years SXSW has change into a prized reserving amongst music business leaders who would normally communicate at NAMM, Miami Music Week and different famend conferences. At present, it is on a totally completely different degree.

Past a easy music pageant, convention, expo or bar crawl, or any of the opposite broad labels festival-goers sometimes use to explain it, SXSW merely appears to sprawl out somewhat additional. Between drone exhibits hellbent on “rick-rolling” onlookers by the 1000’s and sponsored pop-ups from company titans like Coca-Cola and White Claw, the size of manufacturing was immense. In some areas it peppered neighborhoods, and in some patches of downtown Austin it overtook entire metropolis blocks. 

For digital music business professionals looking for a profession launchpad, a networking alternative and even only a few cutting-edge instruments, SXSW may very well be a colossal win. Whether or not you have been shoulder to shoulder with us for all of the motion otherwise you merely want to see a little bit of what you missed, learn on to find these timeless gems.

They’re past easy nostalgia. These are the moments which have earned SXSW a spot atop the “should” listing for modern-day dance music professionals all over the place. 

Flamingosis at Antone’s

Shimmering with soul in a mullet that makes no apologies, Jersey-born Flamingosis jazzes up disco tunes with tinctures of hip-hop sampling and instrumentals. His breezy fades and sultry bass rhythms have been a frequent reminder that musically, he has one thing for everybody.

And maybe extra importantly, he isn’t afraid to get somewhat bizarre.  

Wreckno bought a file deal

Following a takeover occasion with Mirror Maze and Child Weight at The Concourse Challenge, Class of 2022 star Wreckno reported signing their first-ever file deal on social media.

Whereas the specifics of the pact are unclear, the truth that it befell on the time it did additional validates the near-mythic status SXSW enjoys as we speak as a smorgasbord of alternatives for hard-working professionals within the digital music house. 

TOKiMONSTA bought lifelike about TikTok tendencies and algorithms

Listening to a star go full supernova on a stage is one factor, however understanding their concepts in regards to the music enterprise is kind of one other.

That’s why the panel discussions at SXSW are such an vital distinguishing issue. From recording rights to social media advertising and marketing, the panel on “alternative value,” as an illustration, delivered various gems on all the things from algorithms to on-tour technique to TikTok content material.

DJ PeeWee’s all-vinyl set.

The rain poured exterior and the drinks at Native aimed to maintain up. Right here, considered one of SXSW’s hidden afterparties was careening off the heels of a satisfying set from Natasha Diggs.

With dwell horns and an all-vinyl set from Anderson .Paak’s turntabling alter ego, DJ Pee .Wee, Simply Blaze’s social gathering collab with UPROXX’s “Contemporary Pair” will go down in SXSW historical past as considered one of Austin’s most iconic moments on the intersection of hip-hop and dance music. 

Plant Music

By recording the harmonics that naturally emanate from vegetation, the individuals at PlantWave have developed a recent and distinctive contribution to the panorama of recent music.

In a dimly lit room dubbed the Plant Music Lounge, seating was organized one thing like a sound tub or a kindergarten at nap time. Right here, the brains at PlantWave showcased music that had been developed solely with these outstanding recordings. The end result was as meditative because it was enchanting.

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Revisiting the abilities of J Dilla

In what’s going to most likely be probably the most memorable panel dialogue from the convention, legends like Peanut Butter Wolf, J Rocc, DJ Jazzy Jeff and different shut buddies of the late J Dilla joined to speak about his artistic course of, his influence on hip-hop and digital music, and the formative experiences that led to the experimental sounds for which he was famend.

The dialogue even included Dilla’s mom, Ma Dukes, who continues to combat to maintain his reminiscence alive with the assistance of organizations like MusiCares.

Rickrolling drone exhibits

It wouldn’t be SXSW and not using a little mischief. In that spirit, 600 drones lit up the sky on Friday throughout the occasion and revealed a QR code to concurrently “rickroll” 1000’s. The prank was captured by a number of native information crews.

Kaskade and deadmau5 assembled as KX5 to play new music

Maybe probably the most unimaginable second to cement SXSW as a “should” for future years occurred when Kaskade and deadmau5 took the stage collectively as Kx5 on the Moody Amphitheater.

On the night closing out the occasion for Billboard Presents THE STAGE, new tracks like “Escape” and “Alive” from their recent self-titled debut album have been a primary pay attention for a lot of and a worthy send-off for the a number of hundred dance music followers who turned out for the present.

deadmau5 and Kaskade performing as Kx5 at SXSW.

Christopher Polk

Duke Dumont’s massive end

One of the vital gorgeous events of the ultimate Sunday at SXSW was after all on the Moody Theater in Downtown Austin. Full with lasers, a number of viewing ranges and grandiose builds galore, Duke Dumont’s set on the SXSW 2023 Music Closing Occasion made a long-lasting impression.

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