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GALLERY: STARS – LIZOTTES, NEWCASTLE

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 11, 2018

Gallery: Stars
Lizottes, Newcastle. November 4, 2108
Photos by Richard Hogan

After over 35 years, Australian country rock legends Stars are back with the original line up; Mick Pealing on vocals and guitar, Mal Eastick on guitar, Roger McLachlan on bass and Glyn Dowding on drums and featuring Nick Charles on guitar. At Lizottes in Newcastle last week, the band played a stunning set, performing tracks from their 2 studio albums “Paradise” and Land Of Fortune”, “The Andrew Durant Memorial Concert” and the new album “Boundary Rider “ Richard Hogan was there to capture the action.
https://www.starsofficial.com

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REVIEW: STEVEN WILSON – PALAIS THEATRE, MELBOURNE

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 11, 2018

Steven Wilson, Palais Theatre, Melbourne. November 10, 2018
Review: Joshua Batten Photos: Sam Irving

Depending upon who you speak to, Steven Wilson is either the king of contemporary Prog Rock or a reverse-engineered attention seeker. In other words, he could be construed as the guy who’s trying to be commercially successful while making non-commercial music. Still, whenever Wilson comes to Australia, it’s a pilgrimage for prog fans young and old, all converging in one place to listen to songs that run for upwards of 10-13 minutes, with shoegazer-inspired guitar chugging, heart-tugging melodic passages, and heavy riffs in odd time signatures.

After two successful club tours of Australia, this was Wilson’s first show at St Kilda’s Palais Theatre. The upside of this meant that he and his band had a lot more space to work with, and his rear screen projections and light show could be seen clearly throughout the venue. Unlike previous video openings to SW concerts, which were more akin to Art Installations beginning as the doors opened and ending as the band walked onstage half an hour later, tonight as soon as the lights dimmed the show began with two minute short video called “Truth”. The video is a bit too complicated to explain here, but suffice to say it did fit in with the theme of the To The Bone album and its title track, which deals with the modern issue of truth as an absolute being questioned, as the rise of fake news and strong political ideals becomes more prevalent. I therefore found it strange that the band chose to open the show not with “To The Bone” but with the album’s second track “Nowhere Now”, which deals more with society moving backwards. This was followed by the album’s first single “Pariah”, which features vocals from Israeli singer Ninet Tayeb, whose parts were played off a tape with footage of her projected onto the rear screen.

The Palais is a seated venue, which works well for some of his older and much younger supporters who wouldn’t have attended the show otherwise, but doesn’t work so well for his core fanbase of Metalheads who are used to standing for the duration of the show. Wilson himself acknowledged this in his first talking spot of the evening, at which point he asked us to come to a compromise – sit for the first half of the show, stand for the second. The rest of the first half consisted mostly of the more experimental tunes from Wilson’s solo catalogue, including “Home Invasion/Regret #9”, “Refuge” and “Ancestral”. These songs showcased Wilson’s composition side, while also allowing for solo spots from keyboard player Adam Holtzman and guitarist Alex Hutchings. “Ancestral” had the most complicated light show of the night, while “Regret #9” and “The Same Asylum As Before” featured some bizarre rear screen videos that tried to bridge the gap between surrealism and reality.

After the intermission, everyone in the audience stood up, and immediately the whole vibe changed. As the Porcupine Tree epic “Arriving Somewhere But Not Here” slowly took shape, the enthusiasm from longtime fans became apparent with plenty of people singing along. This was one of many Porcupine Tree songs I’d never heard live before, and as such it was one of the highlights of the evening. Wilson then gave a lecture on the beauty of classic “Pop music”, and how it used to refer to things like ABBA and The Beatles, not Justin Bieber and The X Factor. With this notion, he encouraged us to do some “Disco dancing” to an “unashamedly joyous piece of pop music” and launched straight into “Permanating”. Even though this track has polarised some of Wilson’s core fans, everyone in the room seemed to enjoy it, from the musicians onstage to the fans in the back row.

For the rest of the second set, Wilson & co presented some newer tracks like “Song Of I” and “Detonation” and songs that were played at his last Melbourne show, including “Vermillioncore” and “Sleep Together”. Given that Wilson seems to be so interested in sophisticated pop music, I expected more of those kind of songs from his back catalogue, like “Halo”, “Piano Lessons” or “Harmony Korine” … but then the encore came.

Re-entering the stage solo with just his Fender Telecaster, Wilson launched into a ‘busker’ version of “Even Less”, a song which hadn’t been performed on either of PT’s Australian tours, and one of my personal favourites. To hear it played in a stripped back setting was amazing, and it was followed directly by my two other favourites, “The Sound Of Muzak” (“A miserable song with a catchy chorus”), and “The Raven That Refused To Sing” (“Just plain miserable”) complete with Jess Cope’s haunting stop-motion animation telling the story in front of our eyes.

Special credit needs to go to the members of Wilson’s backing band, who are all technically proficient in their own right. The aforementioned Holtzman and Hutchings have great jazz fusion chops which they used to advance the technicality onstage, drummer Craig Blundell is super-tight and powerful with occasional extra fills to add a bit of difference to the recorded versions of the songs, and bassist Nick Beggs switched between picked, fingered and slapped bass as well as adding Chapman stick and powerful backing vocals to several songs.

Going to a Steven Wilson concert for the first time is like a rite of passage for progressive rock fans and music fans in general. However, if you’ve already seen him in an intimate club setting like I have, it can be hard to make the switch over to a larger theatre. Still, his show is one of the few that comes to Australia which combines musical virtuosity with choreographed lighting & carefully planned visuals. If you’re interested in music of the Radiohead/Muse/Pink Floyd vibe with a bit of Metal thrown in, check out Steve’s music and start saving for his next tour – you’ll certainly get something out of it.

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JORDAN RUDESS: FROM BACH TO ROCK TO AUSTRALIA

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - November 11, 2018

Jordan Rudess is best known as the keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire for platinum-selling Grammy- nominated prog rock band, Dream Theater and he’s on his way to Australia to perform his acclaimed solo show Bach to Rock: A Musician’s Journey. Fans can expect dazzling performances of material ranging from George Gershwin, David Bowie and John…

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FIVE MELBOURNE SYNTH FESTIVAL ESSENTIALS

Posted in Blog, Melbourne Synth Show News    //    Post Date - November 9, 2018

Heading to the Melbourne Synth Festival? Well ya should and here’s 5 big reasons why!
The Melbourne Synth Festival (Nov 23-25, 2018 Meat Market, North Melbourne) is Australia’s premier event dedicated to all things in the world of synthesisers, DJ equipment and electronic music making.

1. THE OPENING NIGHT CONCERT
Friday 23 November 7-11pm Meat Market North Melbourne
Festival Launch Event: Featuring Luke Million + Emah Fox + Beatrice + Honeysmack

The opening night concert offers up a fascinating lineup of artists from the Australian electronic music world featuring Luke Million, whose synth wizardry we first witnessed with his Future Classic releases. The Triple J waves are no stranger to Luke’s releases with tracks Arnold, Midnight and Fear the Night hitting radios and ears on high rotation. His trademark sound has been in demand with Luke crafting a string of remixes for artists including Tkay Maidza, Porsches, Young Franco, Moullinex, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool and even his own band The Swiss. Also on the bill is Melbourne-based Acid House stalwart Honeysmack, who will bring is vintage synth swagger to the stage. Honyesmack aka David Haberfleld’s work as an energetic and colourful live electronic act Honeysmack has earned him rare respect on the Australian live rock and dance music circuits. We’re also fortunate to have the uber-busy Beatrice Lewis performing. Just back from an extensive European and UK tour with one of her other projects Haiku Hands, Beatrice will be another act you won’t want to miss. Rounding out our electronic music blitz will be Emah Fox and her fabulous dark brand of synth pop, urgent beats and ominous synths.

Super early bird deal! Purchase a Festival pass for $45 before November 16, get into the opening night concert and it includes your entry into the Melbourne Synth festival for the whole weekend! 3 dates of fun for the one!

Tickets HERE and take advantage of our EARLY BIRD rates!

2. AUSTRALIA’S BIGGEST POP-UP SYNTH and DJ GEAR SHOP!
Saturday 24 November 10am-6pm
Sunday 25 November 10am-4pm
See, try and buy from a huge range of electronic music-related gear. There will be the New, Vintage, and Boutique. Hardware and Software. Synth units, plug ins and accessories. Headsets and Turntables. MIDI and Modular. You won’t see this much gear under one roof again this year!
Brands include: 1010 Music, Arturia, Avid, Bitwig, Buchla, Elektron, Eve Audio, Ferrofish, Focusrite, IK Multimedia, Korg, M-Audio, Moog, Native Instruments, Nektar, Nord,
Novation, Pittsburgh Modular, Propellerhead, Reason, Reference, RME, Roland, Steinberg,
Teenage Engineering, Tendrils (eurorack), Traktor, Waldorf, Yamaha and more.

3. WORKSHOPS & SEMINARS
MSF2018 offers an incredible opportunity to educate yourself in all things electronica in our 2 dedicated demonstration areas. Come on down and sit in on the many sessions being offered and ask those questions you’ve been pondering over. Our experts include Byron Scullin (MESS), the resequencer himself Christopher Steller, David Haberfeld (Honeysmack), Dave Whitehead (Roland), Ehsan Gelsi (Innovative Music), Davey Norris aka Dizz 1 and many more.

4. LIVE SETS ALL WEEKEND
Not only does MSF2018 offer our great Friday night launch concert but you can also catch DJ sets and electronic music performances all weekend. Artists appearing over the weekend include: Cannes 2018 Palmes D’Or winning soundtrack creator Chiara Kickdrum, ACM, Emah Fox, Honeysmack, Amelia Arsenic (just returned from successful USA tour), The Oddness, Sadiva, Ehsan Gelsi + LA-based Aussie Sergio Selim and more.

5. MESS tours
Take advantage of his wonderful opportunity to view and try the amazing vintage and 
state of the art gear at the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio. Based in Melbourne Australia, MESS is a unique not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the creation of electronic sound and music founded by Robin Fox and Byron J Scullin. The heart of MESS is the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio, a fully functioning sound production workshop representing one of the most unique, eclectic and historically significant collections of electronic instruments in the world.

Event Website: www.australianmusician.com.au/melbourne-synth-festival
Location: 
Meat Market, North Melbourne
3 Blackwood St, Melbourne, Victoria 3051

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HELEN CATTANACH (MOLER) – BASS

Posted in Artist Profiles, Artists    //    Post Date - November 8, 2018

Recently Melbourne’s 90s-era alt rock fans rejoiced at the news that the original members of dynamic post-punk pop trio, Moler, are celebrating 25 years since they first formed with a special one-off reunion show in Melbourne. Gracing the stage of The Curtin Hotel in Carlton on Friday November 23 will be founding members Helen Cattanach…

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DEAFHEAVEN 2019 AUSTRALIAN TOUR ANNOUNCED

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 8, 2018

Handsome Tours is proud to announce that Deafheaven will once again grace Australian shores next year, off the back of their latest album ‘Ordinary Corrupt Human Love’.

The tour follows Deafheaven’s famed 2016 visit, which saw the Californian outfit become the first black metal band ever to perform at the Sydney Opera House as part a stacked VividLIVE program also featuring Bon Iver, New Order and Anohni. This once-in-a-lifetime performance was described by Noisey as “dense, immense and immaculate” and inspired one MusicFeeds writer to herald it “one of the most enthralling and sonically captivating gigs of my professional career”.

Continuing the impressive legacy of their highly acclaimed second album ‘Sunbather’ and subsequent release ‘New Bermuda’, Deafheaven’s ‘Ordinary Corrupt Human Love’ sees the band expand on their kinetic sound with layered psychedelic vocals, jazz-inspired percussion, and intricate piano melodies. The album earned a stunning 8.5/10 from Pitchfork and the ominous crown of “true post-metal fusion” from Rolling Stone.

Formed in San Francisco in 2010, Deafheaven (vocalist George Clarke, guitarists Kerry McCoy and Shiv Mehra, and drummer Dan Tracy) made their debut with 2011’s ‘Roads To Judah’ and enjoyed an unexpected crossover hit with 2013’s ‘Sunbather’. Since then, the band’s genre-defying sound has made them one of the most divisive and disarming bands in modern metal and their lauded live show has recruited fans from all corners of the globe.

Tickets to these intimate headline shows in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney are on sale now and will move swiftly. Act fast.

DEAFHEAVEN
2019 AUSTRALIAN TOUR

Friday February 22, 2019
Perth Festival, Perth

Sunday February 24, 2019
Crowbar, Brisbane

Wednesday February 27, 2019
Corner Hotel, Melbourne

Thursday February 28, 2019
Manning Bar, Sydney

Tickets on sale now

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FIVE MORE BLUESFEST SIDE SHOWS ANNOUNCED

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 7, 2018

David Gray, Flogging Molly, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
Meshell Ndegeocello, Shakey Graves added to Bluesfest road show!

After scaling enormous heights with album sales over 12 million (including the highest selling album ever to-date in Ireland with ‘White Ladder’), BAFTA, Brit and Grammy nominations, a Q Award, two Ivor Novellos and much more, David Gray returns revitalised with a new perspective, energy and new sound to take to his adoring Australian fanbase. With a loyal fanbase and a plethora of albums to enjoy, there’s no doubt tickets to see David Gray live in Australia this April will be in high demand.

Quintessential Irish-American Celtic folk/punk band Flogging Molly is leaving California this April to once again dazzle Australia with their wild live performance tactics. Known for their distinctive fusion of traditional Irish music and often abrasive hard-hitting punk rock, their impassioned live show has won the hearts of many Aussies over the past two decades. They will continue in that vein, playing an assortment of shows in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.

Lukas Nelson, the son of Willie Nelson and friend of Bluesfest is returning to tour Australia with his band Promise Of The Real on the heels of tremendous accolades for his work on Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s ‘A Star Is Born’ soundtrack. With a bounty of invaluable experience under their belt, expect Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real to deliver an indelible blast of cosmic country-soul, the sound of American music will be reborn in Melbourne and Sydney this April.

American singer-songwriter, rapper, multi-instrumentalist and bassist, Meshell Ndegeocello is coming to Sydney to perform a headline show this April. Over the past 25 years Meshell has received significant critical acclaim including 10 Grammy Award nominations and credit for helping spark the Neo-Soul movement.

Shakey Graves a.k.a Alejandro Rose-Garcia was born in Austin Texas to a musical family and is best-known for playing a smoky, spectral fusion of blues, folk and rock in a stripped down one-man-band style established in 2007. His live performances can be deceiving. Up to now, he’s been categorized as an Americana singer-songwriter, thanks to his traditionally rooted songs, fluent acoustic-guitar picking, Texas roots and from wearing his cowboy hat, looking like a one-man country band. But, the tag will undoubtedly be dismissed as restrictive and irrelevant once discerning listeners hear his radical new album performed live in Melbourne and Sydney this April.

For further information please see bluesfesttouring.com.au

On-sale dates for ALL artists
Pre-sale 10 am Local Time Wednesday 14th November
On-sale 10 am Local Time Friday 16th November
Venues, dates and ticketing links

David Gray
Sun 14th April 2019, Riverside Theatre Perth
Tue 16th April 2019, Enmore Theatre Sydney
Sat 20th April 2019, Palais Theatre Melbourne

Flogging Molly
Fri 12th April 2019, Powerstation Auckland
Sun 14th April 2019, HQ Adelaide
Wed 17th April 2019, 170 Russell, Melbourne
Thu 18th April 2019, The Metro Sydney

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
Wed 17th April 2019 The Corner, Melbourne
Thu 18th April 2019, Factory Theatre, Sydney

Meshell Ndegeocello
Sat 20th April, The Factory Theatre Sydney

Shakey Graves
Mon 22nd April 2019 The Factory Theatre Sydney
Tue 23rd April 2019, The Corner Melbourne-
Wed 24th April, The Powerstation Auckland NZ

bluesfesttouring.com.au

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IT’S M. E. BAIRD’S TIME

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 6, 2018

M.E. Baird is a Singer-Songwriter and Artist. For M.E. Baird music and art is much more than just pursuits. They are his life force and foundation. M.E. Baird yields from the songbook of Folk, Rock and Blues with his own original interpretations that are enigmatic, deeply emotive, and visually rich.  His live performances are nothing short of compelling with his lamenting vocal style and singular stage presence.  Since beginning his career in 1992, M.E. Baird has toured nationally, and internationally, has written, and recorded four albums and several Up’s.  He has also contributed songs to compilations and soundtracks including original compositions for film and television internationally. Yet, he is practically unknown in his own country.

In 2014, M.E. Baird recorded FALL in Melbourne. His first truly solo album in twenty years. Due to personal circumstances and relocation north to New South Wales the album wasn’t officially released until May 2016.  FALL was an album burdened with personal tragedy, loss and grief resulting in an unavoidable sorrowful feel to the material.  The Album received critical acclaim and was hailed for its emotive intensity.

M.E. Baird’s follow up solo album and 5th long player, TIME is a tad more upbeat. At its core the album is a lyrical and sonic journey through age, experience and a testament to the passing of ‘time’. The tracks on TIME individually explore varied sub texts ranging from belonging, coming of age, corruption, migration, fortune, misfortune, contempt, loneliness and the joy of being alone.

All tracks for the album were written in the winter of 2016 and recording of the album began in the following winter. The album was recorded at Wild Mountain Sound Studio, Brisbane located amongst the sublime beauty of Mt Nebo’s Eucalyptus forests. The album was produced by producer/musician, Jamie Trevaskis.  Jamie and M.E. Baird had mused for some time about recording a new album together, with Jamie playing a leading and creative role in the co- production of the album.  When recording began it became instantly clear that Jamie, as a collaborator was be able to transport the songs sonically into a universe far beyond the ordinary.

It was important for the songs narrative to tell Jamie Trevaskis where the song/story needed to go sonically. Where a song needed to be tough, it had to be threatening, where it needed to be honest, it needed to be candid, where there was tenderness, it must be achingly forgiving and where there’s was anger, it’s uncompromised.  It was creatively vital that the album not pander to any genre, audience or expectations, of course, there is some hat tipping and influences evident; it would be arrogant to pretend otherwise. Both Jamie and M.E. Baird wanted to show that it is an album born of maturity, rigour, determination, and patience.

With this album there was a return to how M.E. Baird made records in the past. All tracks were recorded to analogue tape, predominantly live and with very little overdubs. This was done not for nostalgic reasons but for a more ‘authentic’ audio representation. It also places more emphasis on musicianship rather than software know-how and digital trickery.

In regards to band members, most notable in the line up is Welsh/Australian songstress Sali Bracewell with her piano/keyboard skills and extraordinary vocal talents.  Sali’s vocal dexterity is featured on many of the songs but most clearly on the title track, Time and My Girl. Also key to the process was long time collaborator, Hannah Jane who provided her distinctive and haunting string arrangements, violin playing and virtuous vocals.  Seconded from Brisbane, bands Sacred Shrines and Hillsborough for the rhythm section were new friends, Phil Usher on drums and Robbie Zawada on bass, truly two of Brisbane’s finest musicians.  Lastly, but certainly not least, was notable Brisbane singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Skye Staniford who provided percussion. The album was Mastered by Andy ‘The Master’ Stewart at The Mill Mixing and Mastering, studio, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.”

http://www.mebairdmusic.com
https://soundcloud.com/mebaird
http://www.facebook.com/mebairdpage

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MELBOURNE MUSIC WEEK DETAILS ‘FREE’ STUFF!

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 6, 2018


No dosh? No worries. Melbourne Music Week’s FREE program has you covered.

Melbourne Music Week (MMW) has shared details of the FREE programming portion of the nine day music event, ensuring incredible live music, engaging talks, and bold explorations of sight and sound are available for all.

Here’s  a few of the free events happening

Officially kicking off Melbourne Music Week’s opening night is a Welcome to Country at Fed Square on Friday November 16 at 6pm. The Welcome to Country will recognise and acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which Melbourne Music Week gathers and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. Opening night will then see an all-Victorian line-up grace the stage at Fed Square, with free sets by DRMNGNOW, ALTA (pictured above) , Sui Zhen and one of Melbourne’s favourite party starters, Ara Koufax.

The new MMW Busking Program invites emerging talent to partake in a paid programming slot throughout the week. Having seen the likes of Tash Sultana rise from street side performances to sell out stadiums, the program was initiated by City of Melbourne to celebrate and encourage busking as a legitimate pathway into the music industry. From the Night Noodle Markets at Birrarung Marr through to CBD alleyways and arterials, Melbourne’s up-and-comers will bash out their best wares, also taking home a 12 month permit to continue their craft.

There’s also a huge program of free panels and discussions under the MMW: Talks umbrella. Topics include ethics in music journalism, Melbourne’s night-time economy, sound healing and music therapy, connecting to the Chinese music market, how to run inclusive music events and more. The MMW: Talks program will also feature MMW headliner Jeff Mills, with an in-depth discussion with film maker Amiel Courtin-Wilson (Bastardy, Ruin, Chasing Buddha) on the visual worlds of music – a rare opportunity to hear from one of the world’s biggest names in techno. The MMW: Talks program is held in multiple locations across the city including NGV, MPavilion, State Library Victoria, SIGNAL and Melbourne Town Hall.
The Sound School 2018 Showcase on Saturday 17 November is a free, all ages event that hosts debut performances from synth, DJ and music production superstars from SIGNAL Arts, Phoenix Youth Centre and Footscray Community Arts programs as well as artists from their 2018 electronic music workshops in Melbourne.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s ensemble in residence, PLEXUS, will perform at the NGV on Sunday 18 November. The daytime performance is a contemporary response to the iconic Roger Kemp tapestries that adorn the Great Hall and is free with registration. Later that afternoon, Wergaia and Wemba Wemba woman and winner of Triple J’s Unearthed National Indigenous Music Awards, Alice Skye, will perform for free at the stunning MPavilion, showcasing her new debut album Friends With Feelings and its rumination of love, loss and life..

On Wednesday November 21, Jack Daniel’s presents a free gig at Cherry Bar featuring indie-rock band Slowly Slowly. Riding high from the release of their highly acclaimed new album St. Leonards, Slowly Slowly are proving exactly why they are earmarked to be one of 2018’s breakout independent bands.

On the same night, Rooftop Cinema presents NOW SOUND: Melbourne’s Listening – a free feature length documentary exploring Melbourne’s love for music. Directed by accomplished music film director Tobias Willis and produced by music journalist Marcus Rimondini, The documentary tells stories of the trials and tribulations that constantly threaten to demolish Melbourne’s iconic music culture and the unending passion that revives and sustains it.

13 of Melbourne’s most loved live music venues will swing open their doors for free on Thursday November 22 as part of MMW’s infamous Live Music Safari. From 3pm to 5am, locals like Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar, Section 8, The Toff, Boney, The Curtin, Belleville and Cherry Bar will host talent like HABITS, Mesa Cosa, HEXDEBT, Huntly, SILENTJAY, Regurgitator, Warped and Vince Peach for free. Leave the wallet at home and get ready for a musical meander around one of the world’s best live music cities.

For more detail on MMW’s free programming, visit the Melbourne Music Week website mmw.melbourne.vic.gov.au  

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MELBOURNE SYNTH FESTIVAL INTERVIEW: CHIARA KICKDRUM

Posted in Artists, Interviews, Melbourne Synth Show News    //    Post Date - November 6, 2018

Chiara Costanza (aka Chiara Kickdrum) is an Italian born, Melbourne based composer, producer, music educator and DJ. Her artistic appreciation and blend of music disciplines allow her to produce an eclectic range of musical outcomes. Classically trained in piano in Italy and later exposed to electronic music after moving to…

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