From St. Vincent to Laurie Anderson, Dark Mofo unleash a wild program for 2018
Dark Mofo is the darkest, most evil music festival in Australia. Possibly the world. In 2018, they unleash their most diverse and thrilling line up to date.
In the depths of a brutal Tasmanian winter, a huge array of artists come from across the world to push the boundaries of live performance and open our minds to new, exciting and often terrifying sounds.
Here are a few of this year’s highlights:
You know we’re crazy about St. Vincent – she’s the most innovative and exciting artist in indie rock today – and this June we’ll have the chance to see her tearing it up in the bleak and brutal Hobart winter. Her artful brand of cutting-edge pop just keeps getting better and better – evidenced in latest record MASSEDUCTION – and she’ll shine as a legitimate star of this winter event.
RELATED: The J Files: St. Vincent
Avant-garde composer Laurie Anderson brought experimental music to the mainstream in the early-80s, but has enjoyed a 50-year-long career of pushing sonic boundaries in all manner of different environments. Her impact on the worlds of music, theatre and art are immense and we can’t wait to see what she has in store for Dark Mofo, perhaps her most perfect canvas yet.
Legendary German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten return to Dark Mofo for the second year running, this time bringing their Lament show exclusively to the festival. This piece was commissioned by the Belgian town of Diksmuide to commemorate the outbreak of World War I, 100 years from the battle of the Yser. It’s said to be a strange, meticulously researched, compelling piece of music.
Former Crystal Castles frontwoman Alice Glass is one of the most iconic musicians of the past 15 years. Her performances with that group quickly became legendary, but now she’s out on her own and, with her first few singles and debut EP, has shown she can make brilliant pop music just as powerful, beautiful and unsettling under her own steam. The brilliant Zola Jesus returns to Australia to play support at this Dark Mofo show.
It might actually be impossible to have a bad time at a Jagwar Ma show. You can put that theory to the test when these psych-pop-ravers turn Hobart into a big party on the first weekend of the festival.
Warp Records artists Autechre have just celebrated 30 years since forming and they still sound as ground-breaking as ever. The British IDM pioneers are bringing their game-changing techno to Hobart for Dark Mofo, and they’re gonna blow your damn mind.
Lydia Lunch is punk rock royalty and her most recent Australian dates back in 2015 proved that she is as incendiary as ever. She’ll tear down your expectations of punk, jazz, poetry and no-wave with Brutal Measures, her new collaboration with Chicago composer Weasal Walter.
Willis Earl Beal won our hearts with his brilliant debut album Acousmatic Sorcery in 2012 and followed it up with the equally brilliant soulful gospel/folk record Nobody Knows the following year. Since then he’s remained prolific, but has become a far more curious artist. He walked away from a lucrative contract with XL Recordings (The xx, Adele, Radiohead) and now lives in a hotel in Tucson, Arizona. But he’s still got an incredible voice. These days he performs as Nobody, and plays music that defies categorisation.
British stoner-psych lords Electric Wizard bring their crushingly brutal blend of punk-infused heavy metal to Hobart for an exclusive show, their first Australia appearance in 13 years.
Archie Roach and Tiddas extend their tour to take in a date at the Dark Mofo festival. This is the first time Tiddas have played in 20 years and we need not explain again why seeing Archie Roach is literally always a great idea.
Canadian singer Tanya Tagaq won the prestigious Polaris Music Prize in 2014 for her excellent third record Animism. It’s a deeply affecting example of how traditional Canadian throat singing and cutting-edge modern electro can co-exist in such a powerful fashion.
Aussie singer-songwriters Angie Hart, Emily Lubitz and Ben Salter join New Zealand’s Tiny Ruins for Borrowed Verse, which sees the artists take on the literature of much loved writers and tangle them up with their own music.
Japanese noise icon Merzbow will blast your eardrums and your mind with his pioneering brand of harsh, beautiful, industrial madness.
British artist The Haxan Cloak released one of the most terrifying yet beautiful electro records of recent years with 2013’s Excavation and is perhaps best known as a collaborator on Björk’s fantastic 2015 record Vulnicura. His dark, icy, atmospheric music will be a highlight of this year’s Borderlands show at the Avalon Theatre.
And we’ve only scratched the surface…
Head to the website for the full line up, this is about as close as we could get to figuring it all out.
Laurie Anderson, St. Vincent, Electric Wizard, Tanya Tagaq, Einsturzende Neubauten: Lament, Jagwar Ma, Alice Glass, Zola Jesus, Nobody (Willis Earl Beal), Group A, Peder Mannerfelt, Demdike Stare with Michael England, ALTAR, Autechre, Iona Fortune, Berlin Atonal, The Haxan Cloak, Merzbow, Pan Daijing, William Basinski, Rebekah del Rio, Blixa Bargeld, Marlon Williams, Lydia Lunch: Brutal Measures, Jarboe and Father Murphy, Blasphemy, Portal, Batushka, Spire, Numenorean, Alexander Hacke + Danielle de Picciotto, Archie Roach + Tiddas, Laura Jean
Dark Mofo happens throughout Hobart from Friday 15 to Sunday 24 June.