Top Picks of Melbourne Music Week 2019

MMW Kubik + Sunshine & Disco Faith Choir 3 - photo by Kane HibberdOver the past decade Melbourne Music Week (MMW) has been a platform for taste-makers, a host for creators, a home for thinkers, and a stage for emerging talent and performers.

Running until Saturday 23 November, MMW will feature over 300 acts across 70 events and your chance to deep dive in to our city’s music scene, discover the new and experience the great. Australian Arts Review takes a look at nine events worth checking out:

Electric Sheep: Sound + Light + Design
Colour: Friday 15 November
This event will use sound, light and design to activate your mind and stimulate your senses. The event delivers equal representation for audio and visual artists, challenging conventional gig formats and showcasing Melbourne’s rich creative fields as they should be: collaborative.

Federation Bells
Birrarung Marr: Friday 15 November
Melbourne’s iconic Federation Bells are set for a techno reimagining as electronic producer Elisabeth Dixon premieres an exclusive commissioned work with a free outdoor dance party by the Yarra. Layering meditative drones beneath dark industrial beats, Dixon’s approach to sound design is rooted in both hypnotic, trance-inducing experience and the aggressive frenzy of industrial techno. Hear Dixon steer this public sound sculpture into wild new territory with a ground-breaking original set, supported by the hard-hitting drum and bass infused electro of NERVE and bass-heavy melodic techno of DJ-RMR.

Sound Bath: Change Your Frequency
MPavillion: Friday 15 November
Lie down in the tranquil surrounds of MPavilion and submit yourself to a restorative ritual of ambient sound, performed live by gong practitioner Mona Ruijs, collaborating exclusively for MMW with Rory McPike.

Sunshine & Disco Faith Choir
Kubik: Saturday 16 November
Melbourne DJ Sunshine say’s her sets are all about fun – earning her stripes in a myriad of different spaces around town, she’s created a sound that is truly her own. What gives her the edge is sheer versatility – you’re just as likely to hear bleeding-edge techno alongside tech house, house and disco all in the space of one beer. Now Sunshine is expanding her horizons. She has set up a record label Disco Faith Recordings, begun producing her own music and established Disco Faith Choir. Unlike anything else, Sunshine & Disco Faith Choir fuse house, techno, gospel, soul, into one monster performance.

VMDO Presents: Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow with Scott Cohen
RMIT Melbourne: Monday 18 November
A prominent public speaker and lecturer, Scott Cohen (Chief Innovation Officer, Recorded Music, Warner Music Group) travels the world evangelising new business models for the digital age. Streaming music and social media are driving the huge growth in the music industry. But that is about to change with the development of VR, AI, Blockchain and other new technologies.

Music in Exile
The Curtin: Thursday 21 November
Music in Exile is a not-for-profit initiative aimed at increasing access to resources and building industry networks for musicians from a migrant or refugee background living and working in Melbourne. This year, in partnership with Melbourne Music Week, join three artists from the Music in Exile label live in collaboration with some of Melbourne’s finest talent. Performances include Kang JJ x Karate Boogaloo, Ajak Kwai x Lisa Salvo and Maria Moles + Ausecuma Beats x ZFEX.

The Operatives Present Espionage
Kubik: Thursday 21 November
The Operatives has spent the last fifteen years reshaping the musical landscape in Melbourne, hosting unforgettable parties and tours, putting out fresh releases and solidifying themselves as integral players in Australia’s beat scene. They return to this year’s Melbourne Music Week with a fusion of modern soul, jazz, house, hip hop and R&B.

Immersive Sound Journeys in the Norla Dome
The Mission to Seafarers’ Norla Dome: Friday 22 November
Journey into a live, immersive, sensory sound-to-light world with The Convoy and Todd Anderson-Kunert and experience The Oracle – a purpose-built sound system capable of transmitting vast, deep and immense spectrums of vibratory volume. Also embodying textural subsonics, Todd Anderson-Kunert performs spatiotemporal synthesiser explorations.

Alexandra Gardens: continues to 23 November
For their 10-year anniversary MMW is heading back to where it all began! Designed by Balestra Berlin, Kubik is an outdoor music venue unlike any other, the structure lights up in response to music, a synthesis of sound and light. Last here in 2011, Kubik took over Birrarung Marr and till this day remains a MMW Hub fan favourite. Constructed from industrial containers, each unit houses LEDs, individually controlled by custom software that interacts with the beats and frequencies of live performances. This time around we’re crossing the Yarra and taking up residence in Alexandra Gardens from Friday 15 – Saturday 23 November with a new design.

Melbourne Music Week continues to 23 November 2019. For  more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Sunshine & Disco Faith Choir – photo by Kane Hibberd