SXM Festival hits the Caribbean island of Saint Martin from Wednesday 15th to Sunday 19th March for its second edition.
A huge line-up sees the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Nina Kraviz, Âme, Roy Davis Jr., Richie Hawtin, The Martinez Brothers, Black Coffee, RPR Soundsystem, Doc Martin and many more all spin across the event.
But away from the headline billings and legends on show, the programme offers a carefully selected roster of artists making major waves on the underground.
Below are five acts DJ Mag thinks will form highlights of SXM Festival when it lands next week.
Berlin-based DJ/producer Cinthie has been a favourite at DJ Mag for a hot minute, and the cut of rugged, bass-driven deep house that’s indebted to the classic Detroit sound we premiered last month demonstrates exactly where her productions are at right now.
As label boss of Berlin imprints Beste Modus and Beste Freund with Ed Herbst and stevn.aint.leavn, as well as the Unison Wax label with Diego Krause, Cinthie has become a mainstay of Berlin’s ever-blossoming house scene. And at SXM you should expect some of the vinyl-only magic that has seen her residency at Watergate become something of legend in the city.
Francesca Lombardo recently hit DJ Mag with her podcast made up of the floor-focused selection of sultry tech that has seen her booked to play some of the world’s biggest stages. It’s also the perfect accompaniment to the sun dropping on a Caribbean island to boot.
The Italian-born selector hits SXM hot on the heels of the remix package of her 'Remembrance' track, which was huge in 2015, so expect to hear that as her set comes to a peak at the winter festival.
Nico Stojan started out as a hip hop DJ in Germany over 20 years ago, but through his residency at Berlin’s Bar 25, has established himself at the fore of the same Berlin house scene Cinthie is also helping to propel to a global audience.
Stojan’s style of pared-back deep house, injected with modern jazz and soul is perfect for sunny days and after-parties alike, making him the perfect fit for SXM.
Through his Peculiar parties in east London, Bas Ibellini has become a mainstay at clubs including Fabric, DC-10, Fuse Brussels and Output New York.
He’s recently seen release through Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers’ Tuskegee label and Damian Lazarus’ Crosstown Rebels, as he continues to garner support from the scene’s biggest names.
His set at Sonus Festival last year was a doozy, and we expect nothing less when he hits the Caribbean next week.
Dutch-born artist Ion Ludwig has been making dance music for over a decade now, and much of his work served as a precursor to the producers on the highly revered Romanian minimal scene. Real name Koos Ludwig, the man behind the moniker remains one of minimal house and techno’s biggest mysteries though.
He’s seen release through labels including Alphahouse, Stock 5, Resopal, Thema and Motiv Bank, as well as his own Quagmire LTD imprint, which have included a number of hugely sought after limited vinyl-only releases.
Chances to see Ludwig spin are rare, which makes his SXM set unmissable.
Rob McCallum is DJ Mag’s deputy digital editor. Follow him on Twitter here.