Ribongia and Ego chat ahead of their Vivid show, Imaginarium

Vivid is probably one of the most exciting times of the year; artists from all over the world gather to show projects – not just gigs or art shows, but some definition in between, that blurs all lines of convention and seeks to go above and beyond. Vivid is, as its name suggests, big, bright and forward-facing. Go to Vivid and you’ll see the future.

One upcoming event that is exactly that is Imaginarium, presented by RIBONGIA and EGO. Described as an immersive journey through sight and sound, Imaginarium is set to take punters through worlds, real and previously unimagined. The two creatives have long existed separately, building up huge bodies of work, moving across medium and industry with ease.

Ego, a video artist and DJ has showcased work at Vivid previously and has made numerous video clips for labels such as Future Classic and Sweat It Out. His just as talented counterpart, Ribongia a producer, has supported acts such as Flying Lotus, Africa Hi-Tech, Gaslamp Killer, Opiuo and Shigheto with his addictive full live show incorporating synths, samplers, marimba & an array of instruments.

Both are known for their downright artistry behind their work and together they have created something that transcends a regular show, describing it as “The flood of sights and sounds bringing every surface and particle in the room to life, taking the room and the audience through a metamorphosis of their imagination.”

With their project being truly an indescribable experience, it’s much simpler and far more exciting to see the two artists discuss their upcoming event, work and well, life- in the lead up to June 10th at The Imperial Hotel in Sydney. Purple Sneakers were lucky enough to get the inside scoop, check it out below.

Ribongia:
Hey bro, what good?

EGO:
Ayyyy. Not much, just working on things for our next (really awesome) Imaginarium show!

Ribongia:
Yeah you are! 🙂

EGO:
How ‘bout you? Just dropped your new single?!

Ribongia:
Yeah dude been at it. The singles (Before The Winter and Sonder) are out and doing their thing. It’s always a crazy time. Very excited tho

EGO:
Dope, Before the Winter went down a treat at all our MONA shows!

Ribongia:
I know right?! That’s why I picked it as the new single aye…I swear I could see a twinkle in peoples’ eyes when we played it..

EGO:
Ha, so good to have a live test ground to see what works!

Ribongia:
It’s the best. So how was your show in Adelaide?

EGO:
I saw that twinkle ha! ✨ That was an art exhibition in my hometown of Port Lincoln. Was awesome to take my first steps into the ‘art’ world you know. Do something outside of clubs and festivals and music videos.

Ribongia:
Different crowd I’d imagine?

EGO:
Yeah its funny… I didn’t know how people would go with it but was awesome to see how people connected to it. Wanna do heaps more of it!

Ribongia:
Did you find you can give your work extra depth in a gallery setting?

EGO:
Yeah it meant I could focus on creating a single moment rather than trying to create this ever moving, twisting hour long odyssey. It’s good to have both. Speaking of ever moving, twisting hour long odysseys…. hyped for this Painting With Light gig June 10?

Ribongia:
Haha nice segue! Totally. Peeps love a good odyssey tho! yeah dude! When we came back from the MONA Imaginarium show in Tassie I couldn’t stop raving about it to all my friends…Keen for Sydney crew to finally check it out!

EGO:
Totally. What, for you, makes Imaginarium so good do you reckon?

Ribongia:
Tbh when we were prepping for it I couldn’t quite get the “immersive” thing BUT when we did the first show it all came together. I mean, I had never witnessed let alone played a show like that before…

EGO:
Ha, yeah, that room setup was wild! Five projectors… every wall was part of the show.

Ribongia:
The light, colours and sound are all around you….and so dynamic

EGO:
…peeps couldn’t escape it if they tried! 😂

Ribongia:
Everything seemed so alive..or at least the music was now light and colour as well. I probably sound like a tripper RN hahah!

EGO:
There’s def something trippy about it. I think for me, the visuals everywhere combined with the hype on stage, it’s like a snowball effect.

Ribongia:
Yep but remember we don’t condone the use of illicit drugs. lol

EGO:
No LSD required!

Ribongia:
No further comment… Hey I always wanted to ask..all your work seems directly inspired by nature…am I right?

EGO:
Yeah pretty much!

Ribongia:
What Aussie plants are you into? Can you educate us? 🙂

EGO:
LOL, I’m no botanist…but I do find myself researching and wanting to discover more and more what goes on around me. The breadth and complexity of plants alone blows my mind. And yeah I love natives, partly I think because they can seem so exotic, yet they’re right under your nose.

Ribongia:
Yeah, I feel that.

EGO:
I think that sort of sentiment is part of what The Imaginarium is about… exploring things that are exotic but are right there if we bother to look you know?

Ribongia:
Too true.

EGO:
I’d say you take a similar approach with sound yeah?

Ribongia:
Ah.. not quite…maybe in reverse somehow. I often start with a sound scape that is super foreign-sampling-music-referencing (is that even a word? lol) sounds from remote places but then reshaping them into a song form that is digestible to our ears. I hope in the process of blending exotic sounds to our Australian sensibility I create something new and unique.
Make sense?

EGO
Man – totally.

Ribongia:
Been on that trip for a minute now…

EGO:
Of course – its a wormhole!

Ribongia:
And now, besides the fact it sounds good, I found an actual meaning for it. I feel in recent times there has been a global push towards conservative politics and far right nationalism
it seems to me we are told that “foreign” is bad. All of the fucking time. In my mind that’s really stupid and backwards.

EGO:
Right on

Ribongia:
I hope that the music I make will inspire people to be a bit more open minded.

EGO:
Totally!

Ribongia:
At the end of the day if we look back at history we’ll find that the most progress we made as humans is when we mixed different cultures and learned from each others’ ideas.
Ok – rant over!
Hey, been meaning to tell you, killer job on Tigerilla’s new video! And fuck, how good is the tune!?

EGO:
Such a tune hey! That was a fun music vid to work on, always helps when the tune is sick.

Ribongia:
So what’s in the pipe line for ya?

EGO:
Always nice to change my styles up too…Well, first up this Painting With Light show – gonna be crazy! pumped to show Sydney what we got like you say.
Then, I’ve got some public art things and some pretty next level projects coming together, but not announced. 🤔

Ribongia:
Ooh shit, no scoop?

EGO:
Right now though I’m working on some augmented reality stuff, which is super exciting for me!

Ribongia:
Hehe

EGO:
There’s ya scoop!

Ribongia:
HA! Yeah dope, do you see that stuff getting into the music world? maybe in clubs…or live gigs?

EGO:
I don’t think so, not in a serious way anyway. At least I don’t really want it to. Live and IRL is always better in my mind.

Ribongia:
Yeah, we look at our phones enough as it is aye…

EGO:
I’m more interested in the visual art space. I’m working on turning my projected pieces into augmented reality versions that people can see anywhere, to remove the need for a projector and big-ass wall to see my work.

Ribongia:
That sounds so dope. you’ll have to show me some!

EGO:
Of course bro! What about you, beyond this Imaginarium show what’s on for Ribongia??

Ribongia:
Mainly finishing off the album. Also working on a new live show that I’ll debut later in the year. Also got some collabs on the go that I’m pretty pumped about. Also doing a fair bit of DJing…gawd! I used the word ALSO a lot! Hahaha. Forgive me, I’m not from here!

EGO:
Hahahaha. Album is sounding insanely tight from what you’ve played me. When you see that dropping?

Ribongia:
Probably September but you know how these things go..Thanks btw! yep, pretty proud of it thus far..

EGO:
Easy man, it’s sounding so rounded yet so diverse. No easy ting i’d imagine!

Ribongia:
Some tunes are harder then others but I enjoy I challenge. I like to keep the styles diverse but making sure they still sound like a Ribongia tune. I feel you do the same somehow. Your EGO stuff is always you – but so diverse. No?

EGO:
100%. I guess I kinda love everything and all styles so I’m always sampling and taking cues from everywhere but I REALLY love what I REALLY love so those things are always in there giving it that consistent ‘Ego’ vibe.

Ribongia:
Totally, well you’re a total gun at it. Feeling pretty lucky to have you work with me!

EGO:
And ditto bro! All the best putting the finishing touches on the album, the world needs that Ribongia record!

Ribongia:
Aw thanks! Alright better keep working then. You have a top day. Catch ya next week?

EGO:
Yes bro! Let’s connect and tweak this beast for the Vivid show.
🤛

Ribongia:
Fo show!

Imaginarium will showcase at  The Imperial Hotel in Sydney alongside Cosmos Midnight, Pogo and Muto on June 10th as part of Vivid 2017. Tickets are available here .

Keep updated with Ego and Ribongia on Facebook

INTRO BY LLOYD CRACKETT

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