Plenty of quirky European producers are beloved in the insular world of hard-core electronic music fandom. But few have risen from it to collaborate with the likes of Nile Rodgers, sign with a major label and be touted as a potential crossover star.

"I'm used to sitting on my own in a basement turning knobs and being happy with that," says Tensnake, born Marco Niemerski, sitting in the New York offices of his label home, Astralwerks, in February. "I always felt more comfortable in the background. I never planned this for myself -- but I'm not complaining."

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