The two-day Made In America Festival kicks off this weekend in Philadelphia for the second year. The eclectic lineup features a variety of genre-spanning acts to appeal to a wide audience. Noting the importance of electronic music in America’s popular music landscape, curator Jay-Z has made a point to include a number of electronic artists among the other rock, hip hop, pop, and indie acts (including wifey Beyoncé, of course).
While some of the names are pretty big (deadmau5 and Calvin Harris, we’re looking at you), there are others that haven’t reached superstar status… yet. As with any music festival, sometimes the artists in the small print are just as worth checking out as the headliners. Below are our picks for electronic up-and-comers to catch at Made In America this weekend.
Bristol bass producer Redlight has been on the up since 2010 after his first releases on Digital Soundboy, home to fellow UK dubstep heavyweights including Dismantle, Breakage, and Caspa. Redlight’s blend of bass, house, and garage has earned him endorsements from the original UK dubstep trailblazers Skream and Benga—and that’s big. Redlight’s tracks balance the signature UK bass sound with catchy hooks that make them well structured for the dancefloor.
For two internet friends who linked up and released their first music a year ago, AlunaGeorge have been rapidly gaining notoriety. Electronic fans who were not already familiar with the duo were quickly made aware when they were featured on Disclosure‘s mega hit White Noise earlier this year. They went on to release their debut album, Body Music, this July, featuring Aluna’s sticky sweet vocals gliding over electronic beats. Make a point to catch their set this weekend and be seduced by sexy electronic pop songs with a soulful edge.
Unlike the other artists on this list, Jesse Rose is far from a newcomer—with twenty years of producing, DJing, and label management experience on his resume, he is a house music veteran. The London raised and LA-based tastemaker currently manages three of his own imprints—Made For The Night, Made To Play, and Play It Down—where he showcases the music that he loves. His own tracks are a blend of classic Chicago house and Detroit techno, and from his DJ sets you can expect his favorite house tracks made for the club.
Already big in the UK, London quartet Rudimental are bringing their big dance party to the US this summer. They blend drum & bass, soul, and hip hop into energetic tracks made for the stage, and they’ve collaborated with a variety of artists including Wale and Emeli Sandé (who also appears on the Made In America lineup). Rudimental’s live shows offer much more than the typical DJ standing behind the booth: they operate more like a band, with ten (or more!) people on stage during their sets playing trumpets, guitars, spoons (that’s right), and other live instruments.
Do you like indie music, but prefer to dance at a show rather than stand around? Robert DeLong might be your answer. This Seattle-bred musician started off as a drummer in an indie band, but became interested in electronic music after attending raves. Now, he combines both genres to create an original blend of dance beats and alternative hooks. In his live shows, DeLong brings life to his energetic tracks by bouncing between his samplers, mixer, keyboard, full drum set, and mics to provide his own vocals. He even re-programs Wiimotes and Sega controllers as MIDI-interfaces. MTV recently named him a Young Artist to Watch, and we agree—if only to nerd out over his Wiimote MacGyvering.
Check out the full lineup for the Made In America Festival here.