I love music festivals, especially ones where I don’t have to pitch a tent on muddy ground and be cold and wet for three days straight (Glastonbury anyone)? A day and night festival in an urban setting is great for all the reasons farm festivals suck. You don’t have to sleep on mud, if it rains you can get indoors, and let’s not even mention toilets.
But, some acts are better live than others, especially in an outdoor venue. I think the electronic, bassy acts will do better than the folkish ones. So, these are my picks for next year’s Laneway Festival at Gardens By The Bay.Hermitude is multi-instrumentalists Luke Dubber and El Gusto (aka Luke Dubs and Angus Stuart), an award-winning electronic production duo. Think spare vocals alongside warm electro soul, bouts of hip-hop, rap and deep bass parts. Who would have thought the Blue Mountains in Australia’s New South Wales will produce such a talented electronic/hip-hop duo? Hermitude’s latest album Dark Night Sweet Light is available for streaming on Spotify.
Hailing from Las Vegas’ Northdown area, Shamir Bailey’s debut album Ratchet is the best dance-pop album I’ve heard all year. With an androgynous countertenor voice that borders on falsetto at times, it takes a leap of imagination to figure that Shamir is a 21 year old black man who grew up hero worshipping Prince and Michael Jackson. Tracks like ‘Make A Scene’ and ‘Call It Off’ are very danceable, so wear your dancing shoes!
Not quite as danceable as Shamir but just as talented is Hudson Mohawke (real name Ross Birchard), a Glaswegian electronic/hip-hop producer affiliated with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music stable. Sophomore album Lantern came out a couple of months ago with a killer lead single that overlays a sped-up soul sample with glossy synths. If you can’t dance to Ryderz, don’t bother going to next year’s Laneway. You won’t have any fun anyway.
Below, Hudson Mohawke’s 60 minute Boiler Room set.