Four acts that ruled EMCPlay 2015
On Wednesday night, a hand-picked line-up of Australia’s most promising electronic music talent descended on Sydney CBD for EMCPlay, the closing party of sorts for this week’s Electronic Music Conference. House, bass and silky r&b took over four venues in the city, from the leafy rooftop at Taylor’s to the stone-walled basement of Crystal Bar. We’re still recovering from all the dancing, but in case you missed out here’s a recap on the best of the bunch. [Ed. note: extra shout outs to Buoy and Vanessa Elisha who killed it early in the night, Nicole Millar who debuted her killer new live show and Indian Summer and L D R U who closed it with sweat dripping from the walls.]
Perhaps one of the most unique artists on the EMCPlay bill, Ribongia makes African-influenced dance music that at first belies his Italian heritage and Sydney home. Traditional percussion instruments blend with hypermodern synth backflips in tracks like Journeys and Save The Children and we got to see it all come to life onstage in a very visual way. There was a percussion pad to be bashed away at, a keyboard to lay out melodies and chords, and even some sort of synthesised marimba. We won’t be surprised if he’s playing with the likes of Hermitude and Kilter before long. And who was watching from the crowd? None other than EMC keynote speaker Gilles Peterson.
Oscar Key Sung
He was once the ‘Oscar’ in Melbourne duo Oscar & Martin, but for the last few years, Oscar Key Sung has been releasing some truly stunning solo material. A raw talent behind the mic, he stopped us in our tracks at EMCPlay with his R&B chops, but it’s those genre-spanning beats underneath the vocals that complete the package. Spanning from the sparkly, high-tempo dancefloor magnet that is All I Could Do, to this year’s more sultry, bass heavy Brush and Altruism, it makes for a great show, and it was a real treat to experience it all under the stars this week.
EMCPlay was the fifth ever gig for Brisbane producer and instrumentalist Feki, but he’s no rookie to live performance. His other project, Yuuca, sees him sitting on the drummer’s stool, a very different game to his purely digital solo show which we saw underground on Wednesday night. Laying down silky bass and shimmering synths, Feki warmed the room up real quick after fellow Brisbanite cln, and we all slunk and grooved appropriately. Remember and You Make Me are always highlights, bringing the energy of harsher bass music to a more fragile emotional level which happened to be perfect for the room. Let’s hope those rumours of a more expansive live set are true.
They might write pop songs, but Set Mo are undoubtedly two of Sydney’s most enthusiastic house heads — anyone who’s ever seen one of their DJ sets will attest to that. The pair packed out the long and skinny second level of Taylor’s, making heads bobs and feet shuffle to some truly pumping tracks north of 120BPM. Whether they’re spinning their own song-of-note, White Dress, or something more classic, the vibe is always positive when Set Mo are behind the decks. The only thing worth complaining about was the lack of room for a cheeky fist pump, but that’s probably for the best.