Pitch Music & Arts returns with a perennial weekend of elevated electronic music and visual arts scented around numerous global dance deities and Victorian land escape. For four days this satellite community flows through an incompressible setting; swift-footed, well blended and sensually engaged.
Following the recent announcements that Pitch Music & Arts will host techno tastemaker Daniel Avery, the live electronica of David August, and the USA’s fastest rising techno star Avalon Emerson arrives the full international lineup (plus a handful of local artists)…
Below is a selection of featured artists, full lineup at bottom
Four Tet (UK)
There aren’t many that have received the reverence given to the UK’s Kieran Hebden AKA Four Tet: he is a true musical auteur. Spanning four studio albums; remixing a diverse range of artists from Bloc Party to Radiohead to Sia, and creating one of the most outstanding live shows in all of electronic music, Kieran Hebden is an extremely gifted artist who has won over critics and punters alike. Never one to be pigeon-holed, his career remains rooted in all kinds of musical camps, it’s this versatility that has seen him collaborate with acts as diverse as Thom Yorke to Burial to Steve Reich.
Charlotte de Witte (BEL)
In the short time she’s been releasing music, Charlotte de Witte has become one of the most exciting acts in techno today (if not all of electronic music). As we’ve seen on releases through Turbo, Suara, novamute and more, which include standout tracks like ‘Closer’, ‘This’ and ‘Control’, as well as ‘The Healer’ EP, de Witte favours an intense, minimalist style of techno that emphasises dark moods, vocal lines and heavy drums. A style that has earned her numerous main stage and peak-time slots at festivals and events worldwide.
Sven Väth (GER)
Sven Väth is quite simply unique. A legend in his own lifetime with a commitment and passion that has influenced the advance and evolution of electronic music: Clubs, record labels and careers have been launched by the hand of Väth. He is a risk-taking visionary, an instigator, an innovator and very possibly invincible. He is still highly active in 2017 which means an astonishing 35 years as a Dj – and an equally astonishing 17th season for his Cocoon branded event in Ibiza. It’s been 3 years since the techno don performed in Australia, and Pitch Music & Arts will have the Victorian exclusive to host the legend. Utterly professional, and utterly unpredictable, there is no one else like him. Not even close…
Âme b2b Dixon (GER)
It would be an understatement to call Dixon and Âme two of Australia’s favourite international DJs. Together they are responsible for shaping the sound of a generation through their influential label, Innervisions; separately they are known for their immaculate DJ sets which can take any dancefloor into raptures of ecstasy. There isn’t much that Dixon and Âme haven’t achieved in their illustrious careers, and recently they even hosted an Innervisions label party at the Royal Albert Hall, becoming the first dance music act to host an event of that nature in the historic building. Dixon and Âme will play B2B for 6 hours At Pitch Music & Arts in what will be an Australian exclusive. This will be unmissable.
David August (Live)(GER)
Germany’s David August is instinctively not bound to creative boundaries. While his live show takes various shapes and forms, free improvisation lives at the core of the artist’s fascination. Whether he performs solo for the Boiler Room or a Resident Advisor Live Session, recruits trusted musicians as part of his Ensemble, DJ’s traditionally or explores collaboration with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchestra Berlin, liberating moments of immediate expression remains a constant. It’s been five long years since the German imbued Australia with his brooding sound, and with the recent announcement of his new album which will be released this coming October, his return could not be timed better.
Denis Sulta (UK)
Denis Sulta has rapidly emerged as one of the most exciting new prospects from the ever-fertile Glasgow scene. (To end out 2016, he skyrocketed in at #26 on the RA Top 100 Poll, becoming the highest new entry that year). In the last six months, you couldn’t scroll through social media without seeing a video of Sulta absolutely owning a dancefloor somewhere in the world. A Sulta set is all about putting the ‘fun’ in ‘functional’, and you are as likely to hear a decade-old dance classic as you are an underground techno banger. This will be the Scotsman’s long overdue debut Australian visit.
Avalon Emerson (USA)
Avalon Emerson is from the desert. While she currently lives in Berlin, the music she produces comes from the dreamlike expanse and abstract textures of the Sonoran landscapes of Arizona. In her DJ sets and productions she offers a timeless narrative that reflects a passion for the sound design of new wave, the futurism of techno, the soul of American house and the exuberance of rave. Though she’s built up steam in 2015 from multiple sets at Panorama Bar, and globetrotting all around Europe and North America, she’s just getting started, and continues to outdo herself with original productions released on labels like Shtum, Spring Theory, Icee Hot, and her own DJ tool edit pool, the Cybernedits series.
Recondite emerged from the south of Germany with his extremely poised and elegant brand of live techno. Marked by a distinctly animate emotional core, his productions blur organic and synthetic processes into a melange that has reached far beyond the narrow realms of heady, heavy techno. His releases on Ghostly, Innervisions, Dystopian, Life & Death, Hotflush and his own Plangent imprint, are marked by an assured melodic instinct and an attention to detail that makes for crisp, intimate and expansive music.
Najaaraq Vestbirk, aka Courtesy, is a DJ and label owner from Denmark. Pursuing and finding rare success solely as a DJ means she’s invested fully in her craft. Endless hours digging in the more overlooked sections of the world’s record shops while championing the newest music coming out of her Copenhagen hometown has resulted in a unique and thrilling sound. Her sets are as much for the head as they are the body: A place where fast, streamlined stompers sit alongside whip-crack electro and churning, wrong-speed EBM, all held together by a common thread of smart and emotive melody.
Dasha Rush (GER)
Dasha Rush is a Russian-born artist who sees genre as a starting place, not a destination. She is a respected and well-travelled DJ and live performer, but her work is equally focused away from the dance floor – and sometimes away from the music itself. Her album ‘Sleepstep’ was a wonderful mass of contradictions: Dubby yet intense, brutal but tender, foggy yet clear. Not being one thing or the other is vitally important to Rush, which goes hand-in-hand with her strong independent streak.
Daniel Avery (UK)
The word tastemaker does get bandied about often, but in the case of Daniel Avery, it’s more than justified. Just listen to his monthly NTS Radio show where you can hear him play anything from dark ambient to banging, hard techno. His label Phantasy, the imprint he co-owns with Erol Alkan, is well known for shaping musical trends and introducing the wider scene to unknown talent. His cerebral take on techno has seen him become the face of a global scene – one that is a lifestyle choice as much as it is a musical one.
Eclair Fifi (UK)
Scottish-born, Eclair Fifi (AKA Clair Stirling) is currently one of the most favoured DJs on the scene. Introduced to dance music from an early age through her parents interest in Detroit Techno and Chicago House, she ended up DJing at some of the hardest, most reputable warehouse techno, Ghettotech and hardcore nights in Glasgow. Her encyclopaedic knowledge of Latin Freestyle, italo disco, rap, electro and r’n’b quickly saw her recognised outside of those harder scenes – and also cemented her credentials as a bona fide musical tastemaker. Currently holding down residencies for Paris Social Club as well as Hoya:Hoya in Manchester, she is considered to be one of the world’s most promising DJs.
Michael Mayer (GER)
To tell the story of Cologne-based Michael Mayer in a paragraph would be impossible. He is one of the most passionate, hardworking musician’s and DJ’s that you will come across. Michael’s day job co-running KOMPAKT has affected hundreds of tracks, labels and artists out there, and as a musician, Mayer has amassed a vast catalogue thanks to his DJ mixes (IMMER, Fabric and recently DJ Kicks), EP/singles, 3 albums (including the recent collaboration full length “&”) and remixes (most recently for Circle Sky, The Horrors and Jaguar Ma). As a DJ, Pitch Music & Arts Festival is one of the few stages left on the planet he has yet to grace…
DJ Harvey (USA)
DJ Harvey was called “the Keith Richards of dance music” by Rolling Stone Magazine when they named him one of 25 DJ’s That Rule The Earth. Best put by the man himself, “You can’t understand the blues until you’ve had your heart broken and you can’t understand my music until you’ve had group sex on Ecstasy.” Harvey tours the world at his own pace leaving plenty of time for his other hobbies: surfing, collecting hi-fi mantiques, vinyl and riding fast motorcycles. His music is a reflection of his lifestyle: fun, eclectic and high energy.
Dr. Rubinstein (GER)
Marina Rubinstein loves to DJ, but even when she’s perched in the booth, weaving together an invigorating assortment of hypnotic acid, ’90s rave and pumping techno, her mind is on the dancefloor. That “special feeling,” as she describes it, is something Rubinstein is constantly seeking, not just for herself, but also for those who come to see her play. Now based in Berlin, she’s become a regular at places like about blank and Berghain, but her talents have increasingly taken her around Europe and the globe to spin alongside a wide array of techno luminaries.
Marvin & Guy (ITA)
Marvin & Guy is a project created by Italian-based DJs and producers Alessandro Parlatore and Marcello Giordani. Originally producing exquisite disco edits through Japan’s Mule Musiq family, the duo eventually morphed their sound into a loose aesthetic all based on organic sounding techno and house. This move has seen them gain support from DJs who like their dance music served raw, emotive and song-like, including John Talabot who signed them to his Hivern Discs imprint.
Dusky are London born production/DJ duo Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman. After gaining recognition during the UK’s 2011 house renaissance with their breakthrough track ‘Flo Jam’, the duo have developed a reputation for classy, club-ready anthems ranging from their Beatport #1 ‘Careless’ to last year’s classic house homage ‘Square Miso’. 2016 saw them cement their reputation as a cult production force with their expansive and well received ‘Outer’ LP which was described by PopMatters as ‘one of the best records of any genre of the year so far’. As label owners, their 17 Steps imprint has released forward thinking house and techno from the likes of Bwana, Velvit, Trevino and Christian Piers.
Perel’s path has led her from her native Saxony straight into the center of Berlin’s vibrant club scene, where she has steadily made a name for herself as an eclectic DJ and cunning producer. Perel’s extensive sets are informed by a lush and harmonically rich sound that can be heard in her own productions as well, as she seamlessly blends upbeat disco and house with blistering techno, dollar-bin gems with the music of her friends. She aims to take her crowd on an extensive trip with unforeseen twists and open endings.
Oliver Huntemann (GER)
German Oliver Huntemann has been known as a techno great for years. With a recent move from his more techno-based production to what can only be considered as ‘rave’, Huntemann continuously surprises dance fans all over the globe with his sets which can range from melodic techno to face-melting bombs. 2016 saw Huntemann release a collaborative album with Dubfire called ‘Retrospective’, which featured an arsenal of originals and remixes from 2008 onwards and showcased many of the classic tracks the German is so well known for. One thing is for sure, an Oliver Huntemann set never disappoints.
Ross From Friends (Live)(UK)
British producer Ross From Friends aka Felix Clary Weatherall is the newest signing to Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder family. The 24-year old has a fistful of releases under his belt, a sound that is the distillation of a myriad of influences from hip-hop cut ’n’ paste culture, 80s Eurobeat, Hi-NRG and Italo into lithe, irresistible, raw dancefloor trax. His debut album, Family Portrait, released on Brainfeeder, has already been described as one of the year’s best releases, and as PopMatters remarked in their review: ‘It’s an album you can easily disappear into from one of electronic music’s most thrilling new talents’.
German DJ and producer tINI has been long praised as one of the leading figures in the house and techno industry. Based between Berlin and Ibiza, tINI is constantly on the fly making stops in the hottest nightclubs and events all over the globe, some of which being none other than Sonus Festival, Paradigm and Melt. After a huge European summer where tINI played dates across Italy, the UK, Romania and more, she will finally return to Australia to bring her imitable sound of techno and house.
Optimo are the duo JD Twitch and JG Wilkes. They each have over 20 years DJ-ing experience and in the last decade have become both renowned and highly respected for their memorable and ecstatic deejay sets. Twitch and Wilkes exhibit a unique disregard for genres and musical restrictions in their craft, creating a nightclub experience that strikes out into territories far beyond the accepted boundaries of club music.
Toni Yotzi (AUS)
Toni Yotzi is the Perth-born, Melbourne-based DJ who isn’t afraid to pair the most opposing and obscure of dance music genres in a way which seems completely natural. After co-hosting the Disco Science show on RTR FM, and quickly shot through the ranks in Melbourne’s very talented scene, she has now taken the next step in her career by performing internationally. She even got invited to play at global tastemaker stations like NTS in London, Red Light Radio in Amsterdam, and also the infamous Beats In Space Radio in New York.
You’ve probably heard the name of Banoffee AKA Martha Brown whispered amongst the punters attending every major Australian electronic music festival of the past five years. Starting her career in Melbourne, it didn’t take long for her minimal experimental synth-pop stylings to set her sights overseas. After releasing her debut EP ‘Do I Make You Nervous?’ in 2015, Martha headed for sunny California, packing her badass girl next-door vibes with her. This career-defining move has accelerated Banoffee to new heights, touring with Charlie XCX’s live band on the Taylor Swift USA tour, and releasing music that delves outsides the confines of conventional pop music, while maintaining that classic Banoffee flavour.
Pitch Music & Arts 2019
Friday 8th March – Monday 12th March
Check out Audience Republic for pre-sale tickets, for more info go to: www.pitchfestival.com.au