GALLERY + SET LIST: Astral People Take Over @ Subsonic Music Festival 2013

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Over the past few years, Subsonic has grown to be one of Australia’s best boutique music festivals. I attended the event for the first time last year and upon entering the venue, the atmosphere was something I hadn’t felt in a very long time.

This year the festival took on board the suggestions of punters by improving the diversity of music, with acts ranging from the legendary veteran disco band CHIC (featuring NILE RODGERS), the USA’s FORT KNOX FIVE celebrating their 10 year career with a four decks DJ set, Netherlands tech-house specialist EELKE KLEIJN, the return of our very own AFRICA HITECH and many, many more.

It’s always fantastic to see different promoters working together and this year Astral People were given the important task of curating the Paradiso Stage on the last day of the festival. The bill for Sunday consisted of UK garage heavyweights ZED BIAS, DJ ONEMAN and DJ EZ, peculiar New York rapper LE1F, as well as a number of acts from Astral’s own roster including ALBA, CLIQUES and COSMO’S MIDNIGHT.

After early risers were greeted by the smooth disco sounds of DJ MODERN FAIRYTALE, Sydney duo ALBA took to the stage to play one of their renowned live shows, as the dance floor slowly started to get busier. They treated us with some of their yet to be released new material, as well as their own remixes of ‘On & On’ by SNAKEHIPS and ELIZABETH ROSE‘s ‘The Good Life’, which were a great kick start to the day.

Next up was COSMO’S MIDNIGHT, who made their way through a bass heavy set. Due to them being known more as a live act, I previously hadn’t got around to catching the boys in DJ mode, so it was interesting to hear what they’d come up with. They without a doubt proved they’re worthy in this department, displaying some of the best mixing I had heard from the weekend. Throughout their explosive performance we heard TESSELA‘s ‘Hackney Parrot’, ‘Plezier Anthem’ by PLEZIER and the DISCLOSURE produced track from LXURY called ‘J.A.W.S’.

The versitile BEN FESTER kept the party cranking and is a true professional when it comes to reading a crowd. He slammed down some cranking underground house and techno which was made up of GALAXY 2 GALAXY‘s ‘Timeline’, QUAZAR‘s ‘Day-Glo’ (Future Primitive Mix) and an edit of ‘Wonderland’ by MIC MILLS.

One of the strong points of Astral People‘s touring roster is their ability to mix it up musically. This was shown through the change over to MIKE WHO, who played a decent variety of house, disco and hip hop tracks. He began his set conveniently with the ZIMMER rework of CHIC‘s ‘Everybody Dance’, which NILE RODGERS and his crew performed live to a packed main stage in a 10-piece band on Friday night. Later in his set he provided us with the sounds of CHIMPO‘s ‘Skeng Teng Riddim’, ’95’ by NEW YORK TRANSIT AUTHORITY, before finishing up with RYAN HEMWORTH‘s remix of MAIN ATTRAKIONZ‘s ‘8ball’.

Being such an incredibly hot day, I decided it was time to find some shade near the river, which appeared to be an ideal spot for many people throughout the afternoon. Plenty of swimming was happening, which involved the company of umbrellas and a smorgasbord of inflatable toys such as turtles, sharks, crocodiles and whales. Surrounding the river was an absolutely stunning backdrop of enormous trees and beautiful green land.

After heading back to the action, we witnessed a brilliant set from DJ ONEMAN, which I don’t think many people, including myself were expecting at all. He played everything from EMINEM to DISCLOSURE‘s remix of JESSIE WARE‘s ‘Running’, to a throbbing remix of RIHANNA‘s ‘Diamonds’. This wasn’t your typical Subsonic set but that was the best part about it, as we were able to hear something a bit different. It’s safe to say that DJ ONEMAN nailed it.

It’s always a pleasure watching DJs have fun behind the decks and DJ EZ was a perfect example of this. Locking eyes and smiling with members of the crowd was a regular occurrence during his set. DJ EZ had the crowd in the palm of his hand and put on some amazing scratching, creating a performance all DJs should be inspired by. His selections consisted of the classic ‘Re-rewind’ by ARTFUL DODGER (featuring CRAIG DAVID), the DUBROCCA remix of NIGHTCRAWLERS‘ ‘Push The Feeling On’, among many other killer choices.

Due to LE1F‘s late arrival, garage old timer ZED BIAS was able to play an extended set, which really allowed him to take us on a bit of a journey. Midway through he pumped out some more of the most played artist on the stage, DISCLOSURE, who he recently went back to back with at The Warehouse Project in the UK. Watching him from the side of the stage made it clear to me he was having almost as much fun as DJ EZ had and although everyone’s exhausting weekend was coming to a close, the fairly large crowd still managed to find the energy to bust out some passionate dance moves along to JULIO BASHMORE‘s ‘Battle For Middle You’.

After ZED BIAS completed his set, American rapper LE1F finally sprung out onto the stage to energetically perform his anticipated live show, closing the evening on a positive note.

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Spending quality time with your best friends (while simultaneously multiplying them), in the presence of consistently good music, within a laid back and gorgeous environment, is exactly what festivals should be about. I’ve been to a lot in my time but this one has to take the cake and next year’s event can’t come soon enough!

Words and gallery by Tony Kingston. Top photo by Ivana Capture You.





During the week Tony works in a busy retail corporate office. Once day becomes night, there’s a good chance you’ll see him at a gig or DJing at a house party.