Beautiful Sydney Harbour, there isn’t much else that can compare. Already home to the most recognisable building in the world, some mad geniuses decided to slap on a dazzling new coat of paint every year. Not just the House, but the entire city comes alive for Vivid Sydney with colour and some sweet, sweet music.
Come towards the light. Vivid Sydney is almost upon us, and here are 6 artists you shouldn’t miss.
Looking for some didactic excitement? Hmm, that may be an oxymoron. Anyway, just like his stage name implies, English electronica musician Tom Jenkinson pushes boundaries as if his superpower is eclecticism. He jumps around from breakbeat, to ambient, to acid, to drum and bass, and then back to breakbeat, in a matter of seconds as he traipses along in a very dense digital jungle. Far from the straight-forward electro-pop acts housed under Future Classic’s metaphorically small tent, Squarepusher will also be pushing the boundaries of your skull too, in order for your cranium to bulge enough so it can take in his Roland and mini-Korg mastery.
This 48-year-old American is like a really, really good plasterer, except that he’s not a plasterer, he’s a guitarist. So perhaps think of the plaster as musical genres, and the walls as songs. That probably works. This lo-fi luddite (you can believe him when he says low fidelity was all he could afford, unlike others) has made a name for himself deftly blending country, alternative country, folk, indie and Americana in an experimental framework. Formerly known as ‘Smog’ and like Puff Daddy before him, Bill Callahan went back to his real name in time for his 2007 release Woke on a Whaleheart. Since then, he’s put out five albums, and all in all, including his Smog work dating back from 1990, he has bunged out seventeen albums in twenty-five years. He’s probably the hardest working tradie to have ever existed.
Simon Caldwell is the main-est man of all time. Rumours on the ol’ grape vine have it that he’s an immortal embodiment of looseness, going from era to era to bring good times and chill vibes to the people. I personally don’t believe in immortality (tis a silly notion) but I can see the point: Caldwell undeniably has the iciest tunes to cool the hottest of hearts. Caldwell has his own show on FBi on Monday evenings, and together with his music industry mates runs Mad Racket, an occasional get together of deep house, techno, ambient, etc DJs who are mere accolytes in Caldwell’s school of getting loose. Word of warning: I’d personally advise against wearing pants to this gig.
French beatsmith Onra will be headlining the Red Bull Music Academy’s Free Opening Night, and will be followed by Dreems. The Frenchman is originally a hip-hop beat maker, but has spread his wings to incorporate various elements of electronica, including disco! How good is that? Also of note is his album Chinoiseries (‘Chinese series’) which he made from a clutch of thirty Chinese and Vietnamese records from the 1960s and 70s. That sort of experimentation plants him firmly in the Vivid attitude.
A Sydney producer just like Caldwell before him, Dreems is not to be confused with upcoming rockers Bad//Dreems, or another American artist also named ‘Dreems’. (Don’t people know of thesaurus.com? What’s wrong with ‘Delooshinz’ or ‘iMagi Nations’ as a name?). He calls his stuff “proto-globo-sexual soulstyle” which doesn’t really go anyway towards describing his music, but it does give us an idea about what length ruler we need if we’re going to measure how far his head is up his arse. If you ask me, and thank god you have, I’d say that Dreems pumps out an interesting combination of psychedelic, ambience, electronica and uh, actually, I don’t know. I should have just stuck with ‘proto-globo’.
Everything at Goodgod Minceteria!
I really want to know what sort of pies the fellas at Goodgod have their fingers in, because they always manage to pull out the weirdest and wackiest artists out of nowhere. Headlining the show is New York’s House of Ladosha, an experimental, crunky electro-hip hop duo (made up of Dosha Devastation and Cunty Crawford) that’s also into cross-dressing. Next up is Zanzibar Chanel, a jungle funk two-some from Melbourne who pump some bloody weird tunes and even weirder video clips. Victoria Kim is the third most senior act in Minceteria’s lineup, and yet another duo (this show itself is a collaboration between Goodgod and House of Mince; this is too many 1 + 1s to handle). Victoria Kim sell themselves as a “Asian Kick Drum Workout”, which is a pretty apt description for their breakbeat Korean-Australian electro stylings. Those three bands are pretty whacked out by themselves, so expect the three other names performing at this show (Slé ft. Bhenji Rå, Ariane and Kato) to hold up the high standard of weirdness.
FIND OUT MORE ON