Discover the best local electronic music at Futuresounds VII

Words by Lewis Brideson

Futuresounds Adelaide (the guys behind Sidechain and Electro Live) are back with the 7th instalment of Adelaide's best electronic music festival: Futuresounds VII.

Held this coming Saturday July 15, in conjunction with Fresh 92.7, Adelaide City Council, SAE Institute Adelaide, headspace Adelaide and Umbrella Winter City Sounds, the night will feature 100% live and local electronic music.

Spanned across 3 stages, 26 acts will play at the Crown & Sceptre, including Hunt, Auguste, Mio, Caroline Tucker, Lesley Williams and Daydream Fever. Yewth caught up with Patrick Lang of Futuresounds to chat ahead of the festival.

 Auguste, photo by Andy Nowell.

Auguste, photo by Andy Nowell.

Yewth: Congratulations on Futuresounds VII, quite a milestone! Did you ever see the festival having this many instalments? How has the project evolved over the years?

Patrick: Well thank you! It has certainly grown far beyond what we first imagined. Futuresounds I happened way back in 2013, with 4 artists on the bill. To be at VII, with 3 stages, 26 acts and so much support, is frankly quite staggering. 

Futuresounds I to III were smaller in scope, featuring between 4 and 6 acts at a variety of venues around the city. It was really when we moved to the Crown & Sceptre for IV that things started expanding exponentially - real credit has to go to the Sceptre team for letting us try something so ambitious and wacky.

From there on we started partnering with people like Fresh 92.7 for V & VI. Each festival since then has seen us work with new partners such as headspace Adelaide and the SAE Institute, which has been fantastic. 

We are always trying to evolve the audience experience too - we've been giving out downloadable samplers of performers' tracks for the last few festivals, and we're very focused on aesthetics and adding value.

Who are some of the newer artists we should keep an eye out for at the festival?

We have a number of new artists on the lineup this year, amongst returning favourites. It's of course such a pleasure to have the one-two electro pop punch of Hunt and Auguste on the Fresh 92.7 stage. You should also absolutely check out Caroline Tucker on the headspace Stage, and Lesley Williams on the SAE Stage - two dynamite, soulful singers definitely on the rise. You can catch chill-pop duo Water Park on the headspace stage - their songs are really, really lovely. And if you're after something a bit edgier, the Fresh Stage is being opened by Fugue State and Tough Boys, who are bringing Pendulum electro-rock vibes and 80s Devo spandex feelings, respectively. Really, there's something for everyone!

Back in 2015 we chatted about the growing community surrounding electronic music in Adelaide. How important is fostering this scene, and what advice can you offer fellow musicians and industry heads?

The sense of community is absolutely vital for electronic music. It's really a medium that encourages people to stick in their bedroom studios, tinkering with oscillators - and we love that, but we also love live performances! We have always been about getting people out of the bedroom and out on the live stage. I've really noticed the friendly collective of people we have gathered around us in the past year or so, and it seems to always be expanding. As for advice? I would say be open to all styles, all sub-genres. I've booked a bit of everything over the years, and I find something to love in every single act. A good, welcoming and open community will help to sustain itself - if people don't feel intimidated, they are more likely to join in!

What else do you have in-store for the Crown & Sceptre’s transformation this weekend for Futuresounds VII?

So much! We've got live visuals happening all night on the Fresh 92.7 Stage, courtesy of local visual maestro Poorly Dressed Nerd. He's been sourcing trussing and projectors and building frames to projection map things onto - so safe to say it'll be a pretty dazzling display! The gangs from headspace and SAE will be dressing their respective stages, so expect lighting, smoke machines, some more projections and much more. We're also incredibly excited that we've secured the crew from Glitter Gang, who are going to hang out in the beer garden for a couple of hours and paint people with glitter - which is both fabulous and totally free. So lighting, projections, interesting spaces... and sparkles! That's quite the combination, in our book.

As well as Fresh 92.7 and SAE Institute Adelaide, you’re partnering up with headspace Adelaide. Do you guys have any go-to words of wisdom or music that helps you through the winter blues?

Mental health is a cause that's very close to all of our hearts at Futuresounds, so it's a pleasure to be partnering with headspace again. I find that getting through the blues is a very personal thing, and different things work for different people. I like to listen to albums I know really, really well. Albums with lots of texture and melody that you can wrap around yourself like a warm blanket - for me, those are records like the Cure's Disintegration or the self-titled Bon Iver album. But do whatever works for you, and remember to do the basics - get enough fresh food and water, go for a walk every once in a while, and know that help is out there if you need it.

And finally, what else should we be keeping an eye and ear out for during this year’s Umbrella Winter City Sounds?

There's so much happening, it's crazy! I would be remiss if I didn't mention Electro Live, an event that Fresh 92.7 is running that we are partnering on. It's something we did last year for Umbrella, where we turned Cinema Place into a 'public lounge room' full of heaters, rugs and couches, and showcased some of Adelaide's best electro-singer-songwriters (there was also some brilliant video work by the awesome guys at Yewth...). I can't wait to see what the Fresh gang have put together this year, and they've got some fantastic performers on the lineup, including Hartway and Southpaw. That's July 19th and it's a free show, too.

Rundle Sounds is going to be great as well, with performers playing daytime sets in the Mall - we're partnering with Fresh to share a stage where you can see PNK FME and Caroline Tucker doing their respective sets. That's July 24th.

If you're into the heavier side of electronica, Dark Matter at Z-Ward looks absolutely insane. Drone, noise, ambient, visuals, the whole bit. They even have live tattooing happening. That one is July 21st, if you dare.

If you're not destroyed by that (in a good way) on the 22nd one of our favourite electro pop acts Nakatomi are soundtracking a roller derby match. Which is a sentence so awesome I can't believe I just typed it.

And finally, the Scouted showcase on the 28th is looking crazy. Lots of great electro acts too - Hunt, Electric Fields, Nakatomi... What a talented town we live in!

FSVII poster full 5 web.jpg

Futuresounds VII is on this Saturday, July 15 at the Crown & Sceptre hotel, details here.

Find out more about Umbrella Winter City Sounds shows here.