Figaro's picks for Pitch Festival 2018
Returning for its second year in 2018, Pitch Music and Arts Festival once again hosts the gathering of like-minded electronic music lovers in one of Victoria’s most pristine and biodiverse locations: Mafeking, the Grampians. A festival which is quickly becoming synonymous with offering high quality electronic music, once again delivers on its line-up that boasts enough local and international talent to rival some of Europe’s best dance music events. With just under one week to go until the festival officially kicks off, Figaro delves into the line-up and gives his picks for this years festival.
OR:LA (Friday at 6:30-8:30PM, Béton Brut Stage)
Kicking off our picks for this years edition of Pitch, is Northern Irish born and Merseyside based, OR:LA. A young producer/Dj who has really grown in prominence over the last couple of years, from her contender for Boiler Room set of 2017 at AVA Festival, to establishing her very own label: Deep Sea Frequency. OR:LA is an artist we can absolutely not wait to catch on the opening day of the festival and a rising star that you should definitely keep an eye on in years to come.
Motor City Drum Ensemble (Monday at 5:30-7:30PM, Béton Brut Stage)
One of the most encapsulating electronic artists of the modern era, fewer artists have been able to completely elate entire dance floors with selections. Some, have been high profile (his transition from James Brown to Syclops’ ‘Jump Bugs’ has found itself in the Boiler Room ‘Hall of Fame’) and as such, Motor City comes to Pitch as one of the most high profile names on the bill. It’s not without justification though. Motor City has forged his reputation for his ability to represent a vast array of genres in a single sitting, working his way through funk, disco, house, boogie with reckless abandon and graceful aplomb.
Not only is MCDE one of the most visceral minds behind the decks in recent memory, he is also a prolific producer. An immense library of work which includes the ‘Raw Cuts’ volumes, the ‘Send a Prayer’ EP and a smoking DJ Kicks commands respect and as one of the most diverse, exciting names on the bill, Motor City is as close to unmissable as you’ll get in the Grampians.
Moodymann (Friday at 8:30-10:30PM, Béton Brut Stage)
An artist who doesn’t need much of an introduction at this years festival is the house music pioneer, Moodymann. A native and heavy supporter of his local Motor City region, Moodymann has fostered the scene and produced tracks that have referenced stories of his beloved Detroit since the early 80’s. At Pitch, fans can expect a DJ set riddled with classic soul and jazz samples, the best new music out of Detroit and a brief halt in his mixing, where Moody joins the front rows of punters to replenish their thirst, whilst his backing dancers take the Dj reins.
Ben UFO (Sunday at 7:30-10:30PM, Vanish Point Stage)
Despite having never produced a track in his career, Ben UFO has forged a reputation for being one of the best performers on the planet. A selector known for his often sporadic DJ sets and eclectic track lists, UFO takes audiences on an unprecedented dance experience that pushes the envelope and continues to challenge genres. Playing on Pitch’s very own version of Melt’s sleepless floor the ‘Vanish Point Stage’ will be the perfect place to watch the sun set behind the Grampians while Ben UFO takes audience’s expectations of the directions dance music can go for a walk will be as memorable as they come.
CC:DISCO!/The Black Madonna (Saturday at 8:00-1AM, Béton Brut Stage)
From 8PM to 1AM the Béton Brut stage will be the place to be, starting with an artist who has sold out shows across Australia, a local legend and in Figaro’s opinion the best DJ in the country, CC:DISCO! Notorious for her smooth mixing, daring Disco and making audience members cry. CC will be the perfect artist to kick off your Saturday night and will surely go down as a highlight from this years edition of the festival. Following CC (and hopefully briefly going B2B) will be none other than The Black Madonna.
“I started another post-it… its half crossed out already”. This quote better than any sums up the last few years for ‘The Black Madonna’. In her 'Between the Beats' feature with RA she talks about life just 6 years ago, as a struggling, or, as she put it at the time, failing DJ producer, stuck in a dead end job with nowhere to turn. Finally (thankfully), the cards fell into place, productions started to be released on labels, people started to pay attention and the rest is history. The meteoric rise to fame has conjured a great deal of homework for the layman to her craft, a BBC Radio residency, one of the best Beats in Space mixes in recent memory and several notable closing slots at European heavyweight festivals and confirmed herself as a favourite of some of the most demanding venues, most famously Panorama Bar. If you are a post-it note scribed by the Black Madonna, you have great reason to be scared, here’s to hoping at Pitch she can cross another goal off.
Outside of her class on the decks, the Black Madonna has found herself as one of the most important pioneering figures behind the curtain of dance music. As the creative director of one of the most famous dance music cathedrals, Chicago’s ‘Smart Bar’ she’s pushed several egalitarian policies in an effort to move towards a more gender equal dance music culture and championed causes in favour for fighting depression amongst the DJ community. She is an artist who has, if nothing else changed the perception of DJ’ing forever, she is an inspirational pinup who has an enduring role as paving a way for female selectors to follow. She’s challenged agenda’s head on, something which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. She’s an artist who has faced plenty of adversity, done everything the hard way and, even now as a selector in incredible demand continues to thrive off these battles, battles she hopefully, and with everything we’ve come to know of her character, will continue to win.
While we have you here, feel free to have a listen of Figaro's Pitch 2018 Spotify Playlist.