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Happy's guide to Sydney Festival

Last night (Thursday 9th) marked the start of Sydney Festival – one of the most diverse and longest running cultural events in the country. The month long festival brings performers from all over the world to perform burlesque, hip hop, russian theatre and avant garde artistic installations. Previously bringing out international acts such as Grizzly Bear, Nicolas Jaar and this year Kurt Vile, 2014’s festival also hosts a strong contingent of local acts – here’s what we reckon you should take a geez at this January:

Sydney Festival

DONNY BENET & THE DONNY BENET SHOW BAND – 10-24/1/14

All modern electronic music has it’s roots in disco and Donny Benet brings dance music it back to it’s sexy roots with his synthesiser heavy Italo-Funk tunes and semi-ironic 70’s vibe. There’s not much that needs saying about the amazingness of the Sydney born Rice is Nice signee – just take a look at the official video for Don’t Hold Back. Donny will be a friday night resident at Hyde Park’s difficult to spell spiegeltent, which means you can catch him tonight, on the 17th and on the 24th.

HIVE + 100 MILLION NIGHTS – 21/1/14

100 Million Nights is an artistic collaboration between Sydney visual artist Daniel Boyd and Perth based modular signees Canyons (who we can’t believe we haven’t covered yet!), which has been toted as a reinterpretation of Aboriginal and Australian-European history. On Tuesday the 21st, the Opera House will play host to the artist’s three channel video performance with Canyons’ live electronic score – all collaborative AV works. I’m no art critic, but that sounds like a pretty sweet thing to witness after a solid blaze. The headline slot Hive is the solo project of former Battles frontman Tyondai Braxton, who will be performing complex electronic compositions using four musicians, racks and racks of modular synthesisers and live percussion. This one ain’t cheap with tickets starting at $44 + bf, but anyone who’s seen a gig at the legendary venue can attest to the fact that it’s well worth the dollars.

DJ TOM LOUD – 11 – 25th/1/14

If you’re among the few who haven’t experienced the musically chronological mayhem that is the Hot Dub Time Machine, this is the year to do it. Starting sometime in the rock’n’roll 1950’s and culminating in the four-to-the-floor beats of 2013, Tom Loud counts down year by year using top end video mixing alongside considerable mixing skills to showcase the best of this century’s pop music. It’s undeniably silly and even though you’ll have to sit through 10 songs from the 80’s, it’s a heck of a good time. HDTM will be on  every Saturday night in January starting this weekend (11th Jan).

FUTURE CLASSIC @ PARADISIO TOWN HALL – 24/1/14

In a time and place where anyone can set themselves up with a record label, the rise to superstardom of electronic label Future Classic is one of the great independent publishing success stories of the 21st century. Lapping up and promptly signing any and all talent that runs by the electronic world as well as having impeccable taste, the label will be bringing a crop of international and local producers to Sydney Town Hall in the final week of the festival. Jacques Renault from the Big Apple and Medlar from the UK will be co-headlining the house heavy spectacular with two banging summer sets with warm ups from local legends Touch Sensitive and Wave Racer and late night beats being provided by the FC DJ’s themselves. More than anything, it’s an excuse to get heaps loose in one of Sydney’s iconic historical buildings.

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