It's a new year, and a new slate for live music. And also something something new challenges.
January alone is always promising, thanks to another stellar line-up by Laneway Festival, but there's so much more happening over the next few weeks, and we're excited. There are DJ sets by renowned producers, month-long programmes, glorious pop-punk and alternative rock moshfests, drum & bass and German techno nights — suck up the New Year melancholy, because 2016 is starting off with one heck of a gig month.
Not long after his debut DJ set here sometime last year, RAC is back to dominate the dancefloor with his hybrid brand of euphoric indie-pop and infectious dance music. Entertainment Weekly praised his recent song 'Let Go' as “a dreamy end-of-summer pop concoction that will have you grooving well into fall", so that should prepare you for what you'll get yourself into at Velvet Underground.
Esplanade: All Things New
Esplanade's planning a month-long programme of performances, featuring new and emerging musicians from Singapore. Get the full lowdown here.
Held on the sixth floor of the People’s Park Complex, this unique exhibition aims to respond to notions of the ‘public living room’, where distinctions between the public and private are blurred. They invite audiences suggest alternative ways treating the public space to explore the hidden potential of parking architecture in different contexts. Featuring a bevy of visual artists and craft workshops, the two-week long event also showcases a bevy of live music acts (The Pinholes, NADA, Nicholas Chim, and more) and DJs (Darker Than Wax, HBRYDTHRY, Syafii and more)!
Revision Music presents the second edition of Sub City in January. As (pretty much) the last bastion of the Singaporean drum & bass scene, Sub City is a welcome fixture in calendar of any basshead or junglist. This one features Revision founder Senja (aka Nez) alongside d’n’b staples Jaydah (ATTAGIRL), Kiat (Syndicate) and Presha on the decks, and Kane MC on the mic! But as great as that bill sounds, it's all topped off by Bangkok bass heavyweight Azek (of Phatfunk fame), who headlines this massive party.
Aliwal Arts Centre brings back their very own street culture festival for a crazy 2016 edition! Welcoming street artists, punks, skaters and musicians, this year’s Aliwal Urban Art Festival is a celebration youthful rebellion through skate culture - center-pieced by an exhibition by Cannot Be Bo(a)rded. Live graffiti, workshops and skate competitions will also be held alongside musical performances by the likes of Cesspit, Mediocre Haircut Crew, FAUXE, Fzpz, Take Two and many more!
Affectionately referred to as Papa Sven by pundits all around the world, we can’t think of a bigger name in German techno than Sven Vath. The Cocoon founder has been in the game for well over three decades, and amazingly enough, his sets are still as epic as ever. In the electronic scene, words like “legend” and “pioneer” are thrown around much too casually, but with Sven Vath no descriptions are more apt. He’s been around since the dawn and dance music and has continued to innovate ever since. Expect a magical, marathon set that’ll keep you on your feet for three hours (or longer).
A beatmaker who approaches hip-hop, jazz and R&B music with the kind of outsider wonderment (think Japanese hip-hop) that results in ultra-breezy tunes, Onra will be coming down to bless us with his repertoire of filtered beats and buoyant synthesizer-flavoured melodies with a live set. As part of The Deep End series between Moonbeats Asia and Zouk's Velvet Underground, expect this show to run past midnight, so your late Saturday escapades are all set.
As they say, pop punk isn't dead and clearly, with the mantra of 'Defend Pop Punk' taking its precedence on merch and social media accounts of various militant bands, tongue-in-cheek or not, Neck Deep has been one of the genre's biggest heroes — taking centre-stage at some of Wembley Stadium, Reading & Leeds Festival and even Madison Square Garden. Up next? *SCAPE Warehouse as they'll be making their SG debut later this month. If you're a die-hard pop-punk junkie at heart, you'll do good to witness this next generation.
England's premier metalcore outfit has gone full alternative rock, to the approval and chagrin of their massive worldwide fanbase. While it's certain that the band has welcomed a greatly accessible sound, it doesn't seem likely Bring Me The Horizon are setting their sights fully for the Billboard as they are just embracing a new era of the band's evolution, one that still seems mightily on their own terms. After their raucous live debut here in 2013, they're back to conquer local fans once more.
With what could be Laneway's best line-up in a while, we implore you to head over this year. But in case you need a reminder, check out the full selection of acts, which include electronic-pop figureheads Grimes and CHVRCHES, ethereal beatmaker Flume, pop-rock group The 1975, math-rock trio Battles, bass god Thundercat and so much more, it's truly lit.