We’re very excited to reveal Anna Lunoe as our secret guest! A DJ, vocalist, songwriter, producer – Anna hosted Sunset with Kato on FBi for many years before moving to LA in 2012. She arrived in the states just as her Anna Lunoe & Friends EP dropped on Future Classic, featuring collaborations with Touch Sensitive and Flume. In just a few years, Lunoe went from being virtually unknown in the US, to performances at Coachella and Lollapalooza, and shows with Disclosure, Diplo and Duke Dumont. This summer she’s touring with Jack Ü (Skrillex & Diplo), but first Anna will be returning to her roots to play one of her diverse and energetic headline sets at the FBi SMACs.
Taking cues from cross-continental club sounds and gold-plated production standards, Wave Racer’s blend of pixelated future-funk is fast taking the country by storm. From Jersey Club anthems to a sun-drenched hip hop instrumentals, his sound is best described as driving down Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road to the club of your dreams. We’ve watched the trailblazing producer jet across the seas to play high-profile festivals around the world, his debut independent release barely out of sight, but now he’s back down under with a confident live presence and a stunning EP on Future Classic.
Sydney’s favourite twin brothers are masters at producing genre-blending earworms that explore cross points between low-end house, lush beatwork and electronic mystery. Their music attends to the mind as much as the body. It’s energetic, erratic and completely inescapable – invoking a sway but begging for a dance. With their debut EP Surge and new single ‘Walk With Me’, much-hyped remixes, and support slots for XXYYXX, Cashmere Cat and Tokimonsta, Cosmo’s Midnight have reached fans in headphones and on dancefloors around the globe.
The Sydney-via-Blue Mountains MC Tuka holds a massive claim over the past decade of Australian hip hop, both as one third of Thundamentals and as a solo artist. His third solo album Life Death Time Eternal dropped earlier this year, beats and rhymes large enough to bring down buildings. He’s got a track record with the FBi SMACs – Thundamentals scored a nomination for Record of the Year at our 2014 SMAC Awards with So We Can Remember. Back from his first US tour, Tuka is selling out solo shows across the nation, culminating in a huge set at the FBi SMACs Festival.
It’s been nearly two years since Dustin Tebbutt’s acclaimed debut solo recording The Breach set us alight – invoking the bleakness of a Scandinavian winter and harpooning imaginations and hearts across the airwaves. Tebutt made a welcome return this year with the mini-album titled Home. Written, recorded, produced and performed at his own home, never has there been a more aptly titled work. Poignant and insightful, Tebutt has a way of writing immensely emotional works that hit their target every damn time – and his performance at the FBi SMACs will be no exception.
Seattle-Canberra duo Vallis Alps have recently made Sydney their home and we couldn’t be more excited to host the welcome-party. They released an outstanding self-titled EP of downtempo synthpop at the start of 2015, getting instant attention with the artfully produced, hypnotic single ‘Young’. They’ve since played headline shows in Sydney and Melbourne, and performed to a rapturous crowd at Splendour in the Grass. Judging by reputation they’ve built in a matter of months, their performance at the FBi SMACs will be the perfect cap-off to a stellar year.
In four short years, the Sydney club staples Black Vanilla have developed a style all of their own – a heady coupling of footwork-inspired beats and breathy R&B hooks. You won’t have missed their hits ‘Call Your Husband’, ‘Smacks’ and ‘Slug’ on FBi 94.5. Their sound explodes on stage, making for some of the wildest, highest energy club music our city has on offer. This trio of Sydney electronic music mainstays, Lavurn Lee (Cassius Select, Guerre), Marcus Whale (Collarbones, Tennis Boys) and Jarred Beeler, gets a dancefloor moving in seconds.
Among the biggest names in Sydney dance music is Eugene Ward, whose productions as Dro Carey and Tuff Sherm have shaped the sound of our city, infusing a warmth and personality into hard-hitting bass music. With releases on tastemaking labels Greco-Roman, The Trilogy Tapes and Ramp Recordings, Dro has drawn a global audience of serious fans. As a DJ, he slips between house, garage and grime with precision, throwing in his own stellar remixes of Terriers, Eaux and Cassius Select for good measure. Dro Carey doesn’t play live often, don’t miss his hugely anticipated set at the FBi SMACs.
Not content to rest on their laurels, two members of the classic Sydney outfit Red Riders decided up the stakes with a new project. Now a devilishly handsome four piece, Palms are merchants of the most raucous and charming indie rock going. Their just-released second album Crazy Rack kicked things up a notch with fast-paced, high-energy vibes. It was crazy-good enough to snag our coveted Album of the Week title. Tours with DZ Deathrays, Cloud Control, Bad Dreems and Surfer Blood don’t happen by accident – Palms are the real deal.
Two childhood mates from the Leisure Coast, Hockey Dad make lazy, hazy surf rock. Combining their passion for the ocean with a love of garage and old school 60’s surf tunes, Hockey Dad hit a sweet spot somewhere between snotty-nosed punk and head-nod chill. While their songs might be all seaweed, babes and beach houses, the boys command a whole new energy on stage. They’ve earned their rep for raucous, sweaty live shows. You’ll feel 16 again.
Montaigne’s powerful vocals command immediate attention, showcasing a talent well beyond her 19 years. Taking her name from the philosopher Michel de Montaigne, she writes songs that are deeply reflective, emotional and intelligent. The past year has been a momentous one,. Her EP ‘Life Of Montaigne’ has received well-deserved praise thanks to much-loved singles ‘I’m A Fantastic Wreck and ‘I Am Not An End’. You voted her in as the ‘Next Big Thing’ at last year’s FBi SMAC Awards, and we can’t fault your decision.
There’s nothing quite like the sound of Blue Mountains–born duo Fishing. They weave together glitched samples, downtempo beats and finely spun melodies into sublime, transportive electronic music. They’ve toured Australia a bunch of times, supporting SBTRKT, Cloud Control, Jonathon Boulet, and a bunch more. Fishing’s killer 2014 album Sly Glow scored our Album of the Week honour, and it featured fellow Sydney electronic music legends Lavurn Lee (Black Vanilla, Cassius Select), Marcus Whale (Black Vanilla, Collarbones) and Cloud Control frontman Alister Wright. They’ve got something brand new in store for their set at the FBi SMACs.
Hailing from Austinmer, a coastal town just south of Sydney, Shining Bird swept us up with the nuanced, breezy Australian sound of their debut album Leisure Coast. Just to prove what a damn fine catch it was, the lead single ‘Distant Dreaming’ was the third most played track on FBi in 2013. They’ve been huddled away in the Blue Mountains, hard at work on a much-anticipated follow up due out in 2016. The first offering ‘Rivermouth’ infuses their salty, coastal sound with the warm summer hum of the bush. It’s a great sign of things to come.
The Walking Who
The Walking Who is psych-rock trio Rohin Brown, Jay(Bird) and Paul Mclean, a mainstay on the Sydney and NSW South Coast scene for years. The band won FBi’s Northern Lights competition in 2014, sending them packing for Reykjavík to play alongside some of the best artists in the world at Iceland Airwaves Music Festival. Winning hearts with their jangly, spirit-warming live shows, they picked up a run of gigs and festival slots in the UK and Europe, returning home with the blissful tune ‘With Roses’. Having watched them kill it on the global stage, we can’t wait to have the boys play at home for us in Sydney again.
Holy Balm torpedo as far away from stereotype as their musical talent will shoot them. The local three piece combine kook, kitsch and killer beats, firmly grounding themselves in the hearts of the underground Sydney art and dance scenes. Loose, wobbly synth lines punctuate beats that riff on flavours of 80s house. Their live shows deliver big rhythms, rich textures with artists Anna John, Emma Ramsay and Jonathan Hochman at the controls. Their debut album It’s You is a rich cordial of weird, catchy and ‘move-ya-feet’ pop that is tricky but beautiful and their FBi SMACs set will be all this and more.
Twenty-two-year-old Gordi has turned heads over the past year with her unique brand of luminous folk pop. After a stint writing and working in Tanzania, Gordi relocated from her rural hometown of Canowindra to Sydney. A string of irresistible earworms followed, including ‘Taken Blame’, ‘Can We Work it Out’ and ‘Nothing’s As it Seems’. Gordi pulls together vintage vocal layering, earthy guitar textures and modern electronic production into pop tunes you’ll be stuck humming for weeks.
Wordlife are architects of music for your life. The duo of Kato and Adam Bozzetto combine their love of techno, ghetto house, rap, r&b and futuristic synthesised sounds to create positive and euphoric vibes – whether you’re getting down and dirty in the club or cooking dinner in the kitchen. It’s a forward-thinking sound that has seen the festival favourites score support slots for Hudson Mohawke, Rustie, The Presets, Ryan Hemsworth and many more.
An MC from Sydney’s South West, B Wise shot to the front of our thriving hip hop community with his breakthrough single ‘Prince Akeem’. He’s already toured with heavyweights including G-Eazy, Kid Cudi, and GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan. There’s an album on the way too, produced by a string of beatmakers including Nic Martin (360, Seth Sentry, Pez), Momo (Diafrix), Pro/Gram (Bliss n Eso, Hau) and FBi alum Raph Dixon (Jackie Onassis, One Day, The Meeting Tree). B Wise is on his way to the top.
Krautpop duo William Campion and Julian Sudek have only been stomping around as World Champion since mid-2014, but in this time they’ve gone from strength to strength. A deal with tastemakers Future Classic was inked off the back of their lusciously danceable debut single ‘Avocado Galaxy’. They’ve rocked crowds at Volumes and BIGSOUND, and snagged a prestigious track premiere on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1. While they may sing it’s “all downhill from here”, their huge early success proves otherwise.
Sampa The Great
Born in Zambia and raised in Botswana, the young MC fell in love with hip hop at a young age. Shunned by the scene early-on because she was a girl, Sampa the Great dug deep and kept her passion alive. Earlier this year she teamed up with local beatmaker Godriguez on the hugely impressive debut The Great Mixtape. It’s a jazz-tinged, J Dilla-dripped collection of evocative rhymes and beats that set our ears burning. Live on stage, Sampa’s fierce skills behind the mic and Godriguez’s tight production combine to make a compelling whole.
Italian born, Sydney based afro-juke/ footwork producer Ribongia makes music to make you move. Uncontrollably. With the word Ribongia translating to ‘chaos, rowdiness and general mischief’, his African-influenced electronica unleashes an unstoppable, addictive energy. Collaborating with Clap! Clap! and Populous, and sharing stages with Flying Lotus, Africa Hi-Tech, Gaslamp Killer and Shigeto, Ribongia has the pedigree – but it hardly matters on the dancefloor, where things get wild before you even realise what’s happening. Prepare yourself.
Sydney’s Polish Club are a garage-punk explosion. While the duo names smoothies like Otis Redding and Mariah Carey as influences, they have devoted themselves to becoming the loudest goddamn soul outfit you’ve ever heard. They take pride in their retro heritage, claiming to play pop songs 50 years late and twice the speed. Their music combines blues guitar, brash percussion and a ferocious vocals with youthful exuberance and an originality that tugs at your inner rebel.
Rising from the darker, grimier side of the Sydney bass scene, Moonbase Commander has chiselled a sound that stands between the worlds of hip-hop, juke and beats. His live sets are unrelenting displays of energetic movement, light and sound – a sight that blends effortlessly with his futuristic beats. Widely known for his forward-thinking flips and well sought-after remixes, MBC has worked with a growing list of talent, with names such as Cakes Da Killa, KLP, Frames, Olympic Ayres, Rattraps and more joining the list.
Hip-hop duo Coda Conduct (Erica and Sally to their mates) are an articulate, sassy and seriously talented pair. The Canberra-bred duo have been spicing up stages with their high energy performances and lyrical dexterity, supporting Thundamentals, Citizen Kay and Tkay Maidza to name a few. Hear them on FBi each Monday night hosting the hip-hop show What’s Good, with good tunes on the decks and tongues planted firmly in cheek.
Earning a permanent place in our hearts as guitarist and vocalist for The Preatures, Gideon Bensen has gone solo with his own brand of new-wave rock ‘n’ roll. It’s gritty, dark and full of soul. It’s a side we may not have known he had, but we’re damn glad he’s decided to unveil. Enlisting the help of co-Preature Jack Moffitt alongside Megan Washington, The Tambourine Girls and more, expect grungy vocals, dirty licks, and beats inspired by old-school hip hop and classic soul. You’re gonna have a good time, guaranteed.
Self-appointed Cosmic Sherpa and lifestyle guru, Dreems decries all boundaries and barriers. His hypnotic debut album takes you on a psychedelic vibeabout beyond all borders, and has earned support from taste-making dance wizards like Trevor Jackson, Ivan Smagghe, Roman Fluegel and Andrew Weatherall. On a personal mission to free you from the divisive shackles of flags and tongues – Dreems is for you, no matter your culture, sex or species.
If you’ve been to a Picnic warehouse party or club night, you’ve probably met Adi on the door or grooved to one of her DJ sets. Or you might have caught her hosting Sunset on FBi each Saturday night. She’s been busy making a home at venues across Sydney as well as playing the Sydney Opera House for Vivid Live and Town Hall for Sydney Festival. Adi comes armed with a backpack of deep and percussive house music from all over the world, ready to get your feet tapping on air and on the dancefloor.
Known as the greatest DJ this side of the left, the Honorable Anthony Albanese MP is throwing aside his official title to rise and become the glorious phoenix that is DJ Albo. An Inner West local, DJ Albo is known for his likeable demeanor both on and off the field – recently proving he’s not afraid to work up a sweat in the prestigious Sydney Community Cup AFL showdown. A commander of crowds and a beast in the booth, DJ Albo makes his festival debut at the FBi SMACs. If you’re anyone who’s anyone (and you’ve enrolled to vote) you best turn up to see Albo turnt up.
Did it hurt when you fell from heaven? Dance and installation artist Bhenji Ra is a shapeshifting celestial spirit descended from another plane. Ra’s fierce performances incorporate dance styles from vogue-femme to traditional Filipino. Ra dismantles hierarchies within dance, highlighting styles that have emerged outside Western, heteronormative and patriarchal systems. Ra’s work explores a range of themes including identity and otherness, representation and functionality.
We’d be barking mad not to love this mystical Sydney-based performance artist. Drawing inspiration from his long standing love of the Wizard of Oz and sausage dog Teena, Capra’s work takes the form of social and physical interventions designed to initiate healing. Working with communities to produce socially engaged performance pieces, David reminds us that art can be accessible, energetic and fun for everyone. This year has seen David Capra make a pooch-inspired commission for the MCA called Teena’s Bathtime 2015 and continue to engage with the arts community in Western Sydney.
Fearless and feminist, all-girl collective Hissy Fit use punk choreography and Riot Grrrl intensity to explore the powerful and ferocious potential of women’s identities. Their work seeks to reclaim the hysterical woman, awakening that part of us that is pushed under the surface by societal norms. The trio blow minds and shake bodies to induce an intoxicating mass hysteria. We can’t get enough.
Lewis Doherty’s work is bound to bring a smile to your face. From large-scale neon installations, to a creeping symphony of animatronic mussels, Doherty champions what others would consider trivial or childish. His work is funny and playful, but also muses on digital culture and what it means to be human. Whilst borrowing from the worlds of advertising and modern industry, Lewis portrays something universal and quintessentially human, exploring relationships between the frivolous and the commercial.
Michaela and Claudia Gleave
This sister act of multi media artist Michaela Gleave and video artist Claudia Gleave will collaborate for the first time at the FBi SMACs, presenting a work that explores the connection between sisters. Claudia’s usual practice investigates the nature of human experience, identity and heightened states of awareness. Michaela’s temporal works use explosives, balloons, cloud and snow to question our relationship to time, matter and space. Art that’s big on ideas – it must run in the family.
If a unicorn ate a million rainbows, 5 bags of marshmallows, some puppies and then vomited on a jumping castle, it still wouldn’t be as colourful and utterly delightful as the work of Rosie Deacon. Exploring obsession and absurdity, Rosie Deacon’s art is a celebration of all things kitsch, craft and Australiana. She creates fantasy worlds inhabited by handmade animals, brought to life with intoxicating colours. Rosie’s sculptures and installations are sure to give you the warm fuzzies, with a pinch of WTF and a twist of hell yeah.