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June 28, 2023

Illuminate Adelaide serves up a month of electric music this July

Experimental, alternative and underground music lovers are in for a treat with the program featuring Yothu Yindi, Oneohtrix Point Never, Tourist, Unsound and more.

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  • This article was produced in collaboration with Illuminate Adelaide.
  • KLASSIK underground images courtesy of Jack Fenby.

Co-directors of Illuminate Adelaide, Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge, programmed themselves into a corner last year.

When you bring Gorillaz – one of the world’s biggest digital music acts – to Adelaide to play your festival, putting together an even bolder lineup for the next year becomes quite a challenge.

But the duo says it was simple: keep true to their vision of presenting cutting-edge, boundary-pushing and exciting artists throughout July.

“Our music program celebrates some of the most innovative artists of our time, with more concerts presented across Illuminate Adelaide’s five weekends than we ever have before,” says Rachael.

“From legendary groundbreaking Yolŋu band Yothu Yindi, to genre-bending electronic producer Oneohtrix Point Never, to a collab with Tahlia Petrosian and the Gewandhaus Orchestra, to a celebrated international experimental music festival – our music program brings musicians from every corner of the globe to Adelaide.”

Before opening up to artists from around the world, Illuminate Adelaide’s music program first presents one of Australia’s most-loved acts: ARIA Hall of Fame inductees Yothu Yindi.

The group will kickstart the music lineup, with a NAIDOC Week celebration on 7 July, performing at Hindley Street Music Hall for one night only.

One week later, a huge weekend of experimental, alternative and underground music makes its way to Adelaide direct from Poland.

From 14 – 16 July, Illuminate Adelaide teams up with Unsound for three massive events: flagship experimental music event Unsound Adelaide, late-night non-stop party Unsound Club, and a special set from renowned composer, producer and DJ Oneohtrix Point Never, supported by Australia’s own CORIN.

The Unsound lineup is anything but shy. Jam-packed with diverse genres and artists, it features provocative US rapper bbymutha; Ukrainian composer and sound artist Heinali, who performed music from a bomb shelter in Lviv in 2022; Guatemalan cellist Mabe Fratti, who plays everything from classical to pop; and Argentinian DJ Tayhana who is at the top of her game in the South American electronica scene.

Unsound is a project close to Rachael and Lee’s hearts, with Lee saying the program is “always pushing the boundaries of new and experimental music, bringing some of the best musicians from around the world exclusively to Adelaide”.

Backing up Unsound weekend is a completely different experience.

Tahlia Petrosian’s returning musical performance KLASSIK underground combines classical music with boundary-pushing visual art.

Scores from classical greats Bartok, Stravinsky and Cage will be performed by members of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Germany’s Gewandhaus Orchestra, with art from Tim Gruchy (21 July) and Joli Boardman (22 July).

UK electronic artist Tourist will finish up Illuminate Adelaide’s concert series, with a performance at Hindley Street Music Hall on 29 July.

Inspired by London’s underground raves and paying reverence to drum and bass, jungle and garage, Tourist (aka William Phillips) has been making music since the age of 12, along the way building a career that’s led to superstar collabs, spots at Glastonbury and Coachella, and even a Grammy.

Throughout the whole month, Illuminate Adelaide teams up with The Lab for three weekends of curated events at Live @ The Lab, including Thandi Phoenix, a NAIDOC Week event featuring Tilly Tjala Thomas, Rob Edwards and DJ MoZzi, and Adelaide favourites Slowmango and The Bait Fridge.

There’s also a concert from Murrawarri and Ngemba rapper, composer and producer DOBBY, who will perform his signature ‘drapping’ (drumming and rapping) style at Nexus Arts.

For lovers of music, Illuminate Adelaide is set to deliver a full calendar of gigs this July.

Illuminate Adelaide’s celebration of art, light, music and technology is on from 28 June ’til 30 July.

Explore the full music program here.

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