ReviewedSaturday September 28

The spirit of spring was buzzing in the air at Fuzzy’s inaugural Listen Out Festival. Continuing the Fuzzy tradition of lineups filled with international and Australian electronic artists situated across the indie spectrum, Centennial Park was awash with revellers embracing the burning heat and entertaining sets from Duke Dumont, Disclosure, TNGHT and John Talabot – with added diva antics.

The early highlights were the always-game local producers Soft War, with their upbeat house antics setting the vibe. Despite the heavy police presence and already mangled crowd, on the main stage local trio RüFüS kept the mood chilled with their dreamily sun-kissed stylings on ‘Sundream’ and radio hit ‘Take Me’. Moving to the 909 Stage, Spain’s John Talabot stayed true to the cerebral style of deep Balearic-styled electronica that had the crowd nodding away.

As the late arvo sun began to fade, Touch Sensitive – dirty moustache in fine form – heralded a distracted audience with his Italo-meets-porn disco sound; ‘Pizza Guy’ being the obvious standout. Though I’m not particularly fond of UK duo AlunaGeorge, their effervescent mix of R&B and deep house was surprisingly enjoyable as the sultry, leather-clad Aluna Francis mesmerised on ‘Attracting Flies’ and ‘Your Drums, Your Love’.

The main stage, however, brought the drama when Azealia Banks swanned on in a turquoise bodysuit, surrounded by a troupe of androgynous dancers. Things weren’t going well from the start, with beer cans being thrown onstage. Warnings from the irate singer proved fruitless as more cans were thrown, resulting in the New Yorker leaving the stage. After the festival organiser John Wall urged to crowd to be on their best behaviour, Banks stormed back onstage to zip through ‘212’ and then left once again for good. All in all, an awkward and slightly bemusing experience.

There was a strong British theme to the festival, and following the Azealia debacle, current chart-buzzing UK producer Duke Dumont cleared the air by delivering a stellar set of anthemic house. Accompanied by an eye-catching strobe and light show, ‘The Giver’ was the standout, while ‘Need U (100%)’ had the crowd in raptures. Definitely a set to cherish and remember. On the Atari Stage, the production superduo TNGHT (Lunice and Hudson Mohawke) were hamstrung by sound problems which they were unable to overcome. More suited to a club than an outdoor space, their trappy beats were largely ineffectual, which clearly disappointed an expectant crowd.

The day, however, belonged to headliners Disclosure, as Howard and Guy Lawrence, brothers-in-crime, showcased why they’ve become figureheads in the saturated electro-house landscape. The UK kids stick to a simple formula: fun. With their ubiquitous sketched face singing along as a backdrop onstage, Disclosure’s fans were treated to the group’s growing back catalogue. ‘F For You’ off their debut LP Settle kick-started proceedings, followed by fan favourite ‘When A Fire Starts To Burn’. Their UK counterparts AlunaGeorge came back onstage to perform ‘White Noise’, and the chart-topper ‘Latch’ closed out the set with its warped synths and wobbly basslines sending a satisfied crowd out into the night, humming along to a bouncy groove.

Larry Lai

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