November, 2018

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Posted in Blog, Melbourne guitar Show News    //    Post Date - November 29, 2018

Following soon after the Melbourne Guitar Show in August, we debuted the Melbourne International Guitar Night at the Toff in Town. The philosophy of the guitar night was to bring together a collection of local and and sometimes international, skilled guitar players to perform in front of a room full of lovers of guitar music. The aim was to create a regular event, where people could feel part of our amazing guitar community.

Curated by Drew Roller, the man behind the wonderful film Acoustic Uprising and supported by Australian Musician, the Melbourne Guitar Show and NAMM, the guitar night was back at The Toff this week and building on the spirit of the first evening, even more people attended and enjoyed a fabulous night of guitar music.

Despite global guitar guru Joe Satriani playing just a few blocks away on the same night, a packed house enjoyed fabulous performances by Adam Miller, Phisha, Cooper Lower, and Sonia Serin. Look out for news on the third Melbourne International Guitar Night in early 2019.


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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - November 29, 2018

The Under the Southern Stars 2019 concert lineup, touring Australia in January is one of the most impressive we’ve seen for some time, featuring Hoodoo Gurus, You Am I, Eskimo Joe, The Superjesus, British India, The Getaway Plan, and Scott Darlow, with Sheppard added for Queenslanders. The headlining Hoodoo Gurus…

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 28, 2018

A couple of weeks ago we sent New York-based, Australian artist/composer Nilusha Dassenaike along to the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York to check out a wonderful exhibition, Joni -Through Photography – A Celebration of Joni Mitchell. The exhibition featured classic and rare photos of Joni by some of the world’s finest photographers including Henry Diltz, Joel Bernstein, Graham Nash, Joel Bernstein, David Gahr and many more. If you are ever in New York, LA or Maui, visit the Morrison Hotel galleries and view some amazing photography and be assisted by attentive and knowledegable staff

Prints are available to purchase through HERE



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Posted in Blog, Melbourne Synth Show News    //    Post Date - November 27, 2018

If you’re going to launch a synth fest, you may as well do it in style and that’s exactly what happened last Friday night in North Melbourne. The inaugural Melbourne Synth Festival kicked off with a fabulous opening night concert at the unique Meat Market creative and performing arts space. Melbourne-based vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and electronic producer Beatrice had the honour of opening the show, presenting the audience with an exhilarating set of her exotic, ambient beats. Beatrice had only landed back in Australia days before, after touring Europe with her other project Haiku Hands and took no time to stride into a groove.

David Haberfeld aka Honeysmack set up his rig in front of the stage, allowing the audience to surround him as he menacingly paced the room, summoning the spirit of his punk influenced acid house rhythms. Using all-analogue, old school gear, the legendary producer, composer, performer, DJ, promoter, academic and educator built a pulse and splashed his rude synth sounds all over it.

The delightful Emah Fox took to the stage next, armed with a teal coloured keytar and delivered a powerful set of melodic yet intense synthesiser pop. Backed by Nat Grant on drums, the pair conjured an explosive blend of rhythms and beats, taking the audience along with them for the ride. As Emah told Australian Musician in our pre-festival interview, she hopes to dedicate 2019 to creating a new recording of her original material. Judging by the strength of her performance tonight, Emah Fox is going to an artist we’ll be hearing a lot more of in the new year.

With a double bank of keyboards, keytars and electronic drum pads, Luke Million was always going to make a lot of noise. If much of the music tonight had been for the mind, then Luke was out to ensure that everyone’s feet got a turn too. Generating loud, brash, 80s style sounds, it wasn’t long before the night turned into a joyous dance party. Million’s Triple J cult classic Arnold set the crowd alight, as he directed the crowd to bob up and down to the command of Schwarzenegger’s voice. Luke Million had came, saw and conquered, leaving the audience to chill down and contemplate a weekend of more performances, gear galore and enticing workshops at the very first Melbourne Synth Festival.

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Posted in Blog, Melbourne Synth Show News    //    Post Date - November 27, 2018

Amelia Arsenic

The Sunday morning of the Melbourne Synth Festival began in a dreamlike state, courtesy of Italian born, Melbourne based composer, producer and sound sculptor Chiara Kickdrum. The MSF stage was bathed in blue light as Chiara conjured transcendental, ambient moods, easing us into day 2 of the exhibition. It’s easy to see why the Palme D’Or judges at Cannes acknowledged her soundtrack to the short film All These Creatures with the first prize this year.

Of course, the shop floor was full of gear and attentive staff. You can check out the gear in a separate report HERE

Meanwhile over in The Stables area of the venue, Byron Scullin was once again illuminating attendees with his knowledge of synthesis and tales of how the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio came to fruition. Featuring all kinds of rare vintage synths, you really need to check the MESS facility out, it’s amazing ( Christopher Steller followed with his unique spin on wavetable synthesis. Next door in room 2, there were a couple of great sessions; one on the Yamaha MODX series synth and then Roland’s Davey ‘Dizz 1’ Norris on combining hardware and software, using the Roland TR-8S and Ableton live.

Back on the main stage, the much anticipated performance from Ehsan Gelsi was happening. Ehsan was probably the busiest guy at the synth fest this year, as he was not only playing but also working the exhibition floor as a product specialist for Innovative Music Australia and hosted several workshop sessions too. Ehsan thrilled the audience with melodic brand of prog rock before he was back at The Stables soon after talking modular synthesis, with special guests Andy Muscat and Ben Willis. Christopher Steller closed out the workshop day with another fabulous demo of the Waldorf Quantum.

Amelia Arsenic, the queen of risk has recently returned from a successful American tour and brought her high energy A game to the Synth fest, giving us a thrilling set of electro trash-pop. In our pre-show interview, Amelia promised Industrial beats, mayhem, noise, obnoxious subs, hair flips and head banging… and she and her partner in crime Peter Crane, delivered all of that and more.

It was fitting that David Haberfeld aka Honeysmack closed out the show with his pumpin’ punk attitude acid house beats. Dave had also been a busy guy at the festival, conducting a brilliant session on live electronic music performance on the Saturday. As he finished up his set, the local legend was surrounded by fans wanting to know more about his rig.

The first Melbourne Synth Festival is done and dusted. Thanks to the performers, workshop presenters, the exhibitors and folks that came along to check it out. If you came down, let us know what you thought of the festival … what you liked, what you didn’t and whether you’d like to see something like it again.

Byron Scullin MESS

Chiara Kickdrum

Ehsan Gelsi

Amelia Arsenic


Christopher Steller






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Posted in Blog, Melbourne Synth Show News    //    Post Date - November 26, 2018

Dave Whitehead of Roland

After a sensational launch concert the night before, the exhibition section of the inaugural Melbourne Synth Festival was open for attendees to see, try and buy the latest in synth, electronic music and DJ product. (Check out our gear rundown HERE.) Not only did punters get to view and play with the gear but they could also witness some performances by some wonderful local electronic music acts.

Sadiva begun the mornings proceedings with an energetic set of sweet beats, playing material from her latest recording ‘Minutes’. Returning to the stage after her Friday night performance, Emah Fox followed with her fabulous brand of high intensity synth pop.

Meanwhile over in the stables area, the folks from MESS (Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio) were impressing everyone with their collection of vintage synths. Inside Workshop room 1 Simon Moro of ninety Nine 100 studios was keeping his audience captive with an informative session on the fundamentals of Signal flow and other DAW must-dos. next door in workshop 2, Melbourne synth stalwart Christopher Steller was presenting a talk on Waldorf new Quantam unit.

After lunch ACM aka Andy Muscat was treating his audience to a solid set of techno beats. Sergio Selim, who had just flown in from LA, where he is now based, presented an energetic show, utilising his array of toys including the Roland AX-Edge keytar and is talk box. The Oddness, also known as Smash bang Records head honcho Fergus, delighted everyone with his progressive house beats.

The stables area was busy all afternoon including another session from Chris, this time a guide to synthesis types. Byron Scullen from MESS gave a talk on the history of electronic music in Melbourne. David Haberfeld aka Honeysmack dissected performance of electronic dance music with synths and drum machines. Roland’s Dave Whitehead was surrounded by his group of enthusiastic attendees as he discussed hybrid DJ sets. Ross Healy was up next for Sound and Music with a great session on the amazing BUCHLA synths. Sessions on Steinberg products and Moog synths finished up an intriguing day one at Melbourne Synth Festival, leaving folks to head back to the exhibition area to look at the gear with new knowledge onboard.

Christopher Steller session



Simon Moro

The Langos were popular thanks to Bohemian Kitchen

Ehsan Gelsi

Ross Healy on BUCHLA

Sadiva hangin out at Store DJ


Sergio Selim

Steinberg session

Honeysmack… David Haberfeld

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Posted in Blog, Melbourne Synth Show News    //    Post Date - November 26, 2018

On a rain-soaked weekend outside, attendees inside the Meat Market, North Melbourne enjoyed the amazing array of electronic music gear on show at the inaugural Melbourne Synth Festival. Melbourne’s serious gearheads were able to not only see, try and buy the product on show but also attend some wonderful demo sessions to check out the capabilities of some of the marquee gear.

LA-based 1010 Music showcased their line of Eurorack modules, including our sampler bitbox and our sequencer, toolbox. Electric Factory showed us their full range of Nord keyboards. Denon DJ Prime system (including the new SC5000M motorised media player). Large display of EVE Audio professional reference monitors. Akai Professional’s standalone MPC X and MPC Live and Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 (keytar).

Found Sound had a large number of modules to try from brands such as Make Noise, Mutable Instruments, ALM, Intellijel, 4ms, Doepfer, Industrial Music Electronics and many more. Innovative Music’s stand was very popular with some marquee synths brands including Novation, Moog, Elektron, Teenage Engineering, 1010 Music, Bitwig, Avid, Propellerhead, Access Virus, Studiologic. Retailer KC’s Rockshop offered a selection of interfaces, software and headphones from NI, Arturia, AKG and Steinberg.

Specialist hi-tech distributor Link Audio showed the full line of German made Waldorf synthesizers, starting with the synth everyone wants to play, the amazing new Quantum. We checked out the legendary Blofeld synthesizer keyboard and module and it was amazing, plus they also showed the range of Eurorack modules and the KB37 keyboard to mount them in, as well as the desktop synths Rocket, 2Pole and Streichfett.

The knowledgable Mannys Music staff were on hand to assist attendees with their queries on their range of Korg, Arturia, Universal Audio, and Native Instruments products.

Roland had a large presence, showcasing the complete AIRA range including the System 8 (now with JX-3P Plug-out included), TR-8S and VT-4, the new AX-EDGE Keytar, Roland Boutiques, Roland Analogue Modular and their Workstations with great specials across all products. They also had some amazing deals on V-Moda Crossfade headphones. Attendees were also able to rake a virtual 360 degree tour through the Roland museum.

Sound and Music launched their distribution of Buchla electronic musical instruments and showcased some of the iconic Buchla synth gear including the Music Easel. They also featured IK Multimedia’s UNO Synth true analog synthesizer and it’s editor software along with keyboard controllers from IK Multimedia and Nektar.
Hung To, Audiologist from Alpha Hearing was on hand to promote a greater awareness about hearing loss and hearing protection too.

Store DJ had all the latest cutting edge DJ gear from Pioneer and Native Instruments Traktor. Ableton, Korg, Arturia and more.

Synthstrom, a boutique electronic instrument manufacturer from Wellington, New Zealand were in the room too, showcasing the Deluge, a powerful and portable synthesizer, sequencer and sampler built for music composition and live performance. The Deluge now features a new 2.1 software update

Yamaha Music impressed with the latest new products on display featuring the full range of stage pianos and synthesizers, including the new MODX series. The great range of Steinberg gear was on show too including award-winning, technologically advanced music and media production products for musicians and producers of music and video.

Here are the exhibitor website links:














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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - November 26, 2018

Mike Love + Tim Snider @ Northcote Social Club
Review by Joshua Batten. Photos by Sam Irving

Not to be confused with the guy from the Beach Boys, Mike Love is a Hawaiian born singer, songwriter, guitarist and loop master, specialising in Reggae with elements of Pop, Dub, and Prog Rock. Like many of his international fans, I was introduced to him through a video of him and his percussionist Sam Ites performing a song called “Permanent Holiday”, professionally shot in a Hawaiian lounge room. The 10-minute song is a perfect representation of everything to be found in Love’s music, including memorable riffs, a catchy chorus, soulful vocals, lyrics that deal with spirituality and the modern corporate world, a virtuosic guitar solo and tons of effects pedals. The highlight of the song is its bridge, where Love builds up a vocal loop one syllable at a time. The video now has over 16 million views and has given Love and Ites the chance to play all over the world. When they played their first show in Melbourne at the Northcote Social Club in January 2017, I was there and I was blown away by Love’s talent and multi-instrumental abilities. Now, just 22 months later, the pair have returned, and I went along to relive the highlights of the first show and see if they could bring anything different to the table.

Only a handful of people had walked in and sat down on the bandroom floor when Tim Snider (Violin player for Nahko & Medicine For The People) took the stage, but as his set went on, more people arrived in time to witness the evening’s secret weapon. Snider’s 45-minute set consists of just five long songs, but every song had a different feel and meaning to it. Snider effortlessly switched between 5-string violin and acoustic guitar throughout his set, laying down loops on a Boss ME-50 pedal while controlling his numerous effects pedals with his bare feet. The songs featured were “Hurricane” (about dealing with change), “Traveling Man” (about the correlation between being barefoot and being free), “Jump In The River” (about taking a risk), and “Humanity” (about overcoming fear and taking advice from your parents). Finally, the set ended with an improvisation with everyone standing up, fully mesmerised by Snider and his hypnotic violin.

After a brief intermission, Mike Love and Sam Ites arrived onstage and immediately launched into two of their most popular loop-heavy tracks, “Movin’ On” and “Be Thankful”. Instantly a feeling of communal joy spread around the room, with everyone dancing and several die-hard fans in the front row singing along. The rest of the first hour consisted of songs that weren’t played at Love’s first Melbourne show, including “Jahwakening”, “Human Race”, “Upfullness & Love”, and “Neva Retiyah”. All of Love’s songs seem to revolve around the same sort of lyrical themes; unity, humanity, uprising against corporate takeover, and love. Love’s onstage persona seems to reflect these beliefs – he performs sitting down with bare feet (which helps him navigate his smorgasbord of pedals), and always has a smile on his face whenever he’s singing. Ites also deserves credit for locking into the groove without any difficulty, mainly playing bongos but also adding different sounds with timbales, cymbals, a cajon, an electronic snare and an electronic foot pedal, which was used as a kick or cabasa depending on the song.

After “Barbershop”, an ode to the rasta lifestyle with plenty of spacey delay modulating in the outro, Love and Ites invited Snider back onstage to add violin to “Penniless”. The original version of this song goes for about nine minutes with a short sax solo, but tonight’s rendition was a true musical spectacle. Snider’s solo went for at least five minutes, beginning with plenty of space and long notes, and ending up at an intense peak without compromising soul. Everyone in the audience was amazed, and I think I may have found my new favourite violin player.

Unfortunately, as soon as Snider left the stage, the wheels slowly started to fall off. First, there was the five minute interval while Love dealt with a technical problem, and then after problem-free performances of “Humble” and “Children Of The Heart”, Love spent a good chunk of the song “Good News” giving a lecture about how politicians have failed us and it’s up to us to make our own destiny. A beautiful sentiment, but to be honest, I just wanted to hear him play some more. Unfortunately there was another super-long speech right before the lullaby-esque “No Regrets”, this time about family and unity. I don’t object to one or two short talk spots in a show, but I believe that your music should do most of the talking. When you’re on stage for over two hours, and almost half an hour of that time is spent ‘teaching’ rather than performing, it becomes very hard to stay in the moment, no matter how positive the message is.

By the time Love and Ites finally launched into “Permanent Holiday”, the song that should have been the big showcase, many in the audience were exhausted and only a handful of people in the front were into it, even with an interpolation of “Get Up, Stand Up”. After one last song, “Love Will Find A Way”, with Snider once again sitting in, the two and a half hour show finally came to an end.

Despite the different setlist, enthusiastic audience and amazing special guest, the speeches that made the show run long ultimately lead me to the verdict that my first Mike Love show back in 2017 was a more enjoyable one. However, all three musicians who performed tonight are exceptionally good, and I highly recommend checking out their music online.



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Posted in Blog, Melbourne Synth Show News    //    Post Date - November 22, 2018

Your full Melbourne Synth Festival 3 day program is finally here! Check it out, plan your weekend and book now for early bird ticket specials

The Melbourne Synth Festival is Australia’s premier event dedicated to all things in the world of synthesisers, DJ equipment and electronic music making. See, try and buy the latest in music technology. Complete the experience with workshops and seminars and live performances from Melbourne’s cutting edge scene. The Melbourne Synth Festival allows for a fully engaging experience for the electronic musician, DJ and producer.

Download your #MSF2018 program pdf HERE



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Posted in Artists, Interviews, Melbourne Synth Show News    //    Post Date - November 22, 2018

Beatrice is an artist that carries you deep into the textured soundscapes of her cinematic bass music. A vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and electronic producer from Melbourne, she has an artistic bipolarity and sophistication that weaves itself through every beat, bar and polyrhythm. She creates compelling and intimate music with a gritty distorted edge that immediately…

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