I kept up with certain strands of commercial rap to the normal degree, and particularly enjoyed mix tapes from Cheef Keef, Travis Scott, and Lil Durk – there was piles of great rap in 2013 but I’m not sure it really needs further exposure via Crawlspace.
I also had a big year in terms of re-engaging with dance music in a serious way. Dance music was central to my early musical development, and heading off to raves around the time jungle was first blowing up are among my most potent musical memories, so it’s been great to see people like Mark Pritchard pushing that sound again. I drifted away from dance music to some degree over the last few years, being more engaged with lower tempos and more experimental music, but it’s been a revelation to rediscover the dance floor. I’ve kept up with Juke to a reasonable extent, with DJ Rashad’s ongoing releases through Hyperdub, and RPBoo’s Planet Mu release being highlights.
Sets I’ve particularly enjoyed this year have included, Omar S, DJ Rashad, DJEZ, Robert Hood, Shed, Heatsick, Container, Cliques’ Boiler Room set, Horse Macgyver’s consistently mind blowing sets, and Cassius Select’s ongoing performances. It’s also been a pleasure to be a part of a local scene of electronic musicians making exceptional and relevant music, and having a great time doing it.
In other areas, Mattin’s tour and series of performances was of interest, The Now Now continue to put together interesting bills, and I’ve hopefully contributed somewhat with my Night Depot series at Firstdraft Gallery, the highlight of which was probably Andrew McLellan and Michael Candy’s performance in July. It’s been great to witness an ongoing and deepening discussion around sound and experimental music in certain circles in Australia, and I’m looking forward to developing new critical approaches and ideas over the next few years in the form of a PhD, beginning in 2014.
In terms of my own performances, highlights included playing Sound Summit, Sequence Festival in Melbourne, various support slots through Astral People (who continue to put on so many amazing parties), and a two week residency at the Bundanon Trust where I managed to finish some demos which will hopefully become a release in 2014. I began working on a couple of releases scheduled for early 2014 through Room 40’s A Guide To Saints sub-label, and Megan Clune also helped me develop a series of compositions which were performed by an ensemble at the MCA during October, which was a huge learning experience. In terms of solo performance I managed to get away from computers for the first time in many years, and have begun performing exclusively with synths, samplers, vocals, and mixer feedback – which has opened up whole new approaches for me, and given me a fresh perspective on performing.
Overall 2013 has been a year of personal, musical and professional transitions, and I’m looking forward to more in 2014.