This article was created in partnership with Hardware Presents, who are putting on The First NYD this January. Grab tickets here.
The New Year’s Day party scene is a crowded market. There’s myriad day parties, night parties, festivals, cruises, raves and more across Australia, each catering to a specific style or scene. In Melbourne especially, the day has become something of a replacement for lackluster New Year’s Eve celebrations—why, the thinking goes, have a shitty night out with a million others when you could have a great one with just your closest mates and some of the best musicians in the world?
That line of thinking is what gave birth to The First NYD, a new festival on January 1st run by Hardware, who have become known over the past couple of years for putting on Melbourne’s best summer sessions in the form of Picnik Electronik. The First NYD pulls from Picnik Electronik’s playbook; rather than pulling together a massive grab bag of performers, The First NYD is a small but tastefully curated lineup that appeals to a certain cross-section of likeminded festivalgoers. At Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Jan 1st you won’t find arena-filling popstars or superstar DJs, but you will find some of the most feverishly adored cult artists currently working, including upstarts like SG Lewis alongside stalwarts like Action Bronson and M.I.A. The lineup features a lot of deep cuts, so we’ve put together a guide that’ll help familiarise you with The First NYD’s stellar cast before 2019 rolls around.
Where do you begin with Action Bronson? The man is a born-and-raised New York City legend, and while he first became known for his Ghostface-like flows and raucously fun (and funny) raps, Bronson is now just as well known for his outsized personality, cooking shows and love of food, and the fact that he’s, well, Action fucking Bronson. Bronson has a deep discography, spanning five LPs (including his latest, 2018’s White Bronco), two EPs and four legendary mixtapes ( Blue Chips will go down as one of the all-time greats, surely,) but if you want to get into Action Bronson, there’s nowhere to begin except his star-making debut, Dr. Lecter.
Melbourne is renowned for its electronic scene, but when it comes to pop music there aren’t many standouts. When Banoffee—Melbourne artist Martha Brown—hit the scene half a decade back, she became a clear bright spot in the city’s burgeoning experimental pop scene. From her debut EP and its rock solid classics (“Let’s Go To The Beach” still gets a showing in Brown’s live sets, and it still rules) to last year’s SOPHIE-produced “Ripe,” Brown rarely keeps one aesthetic for long. The common theme is her commitment to writing weird, wonderful and insanely sticky hooks. If you’re just getting into Banoffee, start with “Muscle Memory,” her latest single—it’s dark, emotive and won’t leave your head for days.
We know, we know: you’re probably thinking ‘The Presets were cool when I was in high school, and they’re just a nostalgia act now.’ You could think that, but you’d be wrong: The Presets released Hi-Viz this year, one of the year’s most gleefully fun electronic records. While the duo used to indulge in greys and blacks, Hi-Viz finds the pair donning rave flouros for an album that implodes techno and house in a 90s rave vacuum. It’s stupidly fun, and proves there’s still life left where you wouldn’t expect it. All of Hi-Viz is great, but start with “Martini”—you won’t regret it.
Bloody Mary’s name is un-Googleable, but that’s no issue. The DJ, promoter and label boss is legendary enough: she runs Dame-Music by herself, performs as a hardware-only live act AND a vinyl-only DJ, and she’s performed everywhere from Tresor to Panorama Bar to Fabric to Space Ibiza. Don’t miss her set at The First NYD—it’s sure to be nuts. Want a place to start? Listen to her already legendary Beats In Space mix:
Have you ever seen KiNK’s Boiler Room London set? Here’s the thing: It’s weird and spacey and danceable, but it’s also insanely abrasive and deeply weird. There’s no categorising what KiNK does—all you need to know is that his sets are goddamn parties. KiNK is performing live at The First NYD, and if you’ve ever seen one of his live sets you know what a treat that is. Prepare yourself with all 45 glorious minutes of his live Boiler Room show:
Say what you will about the kind of spacey, lo-fi house that Project Pablo makes, but at the end of the day, you can’t deny it: man has talent. Of the sunny, introspective movement that’s cropped up in the past few years, nobody’s been doing it better (or weirder) than the Montreal native. January in Melbourne is about heat, friends, and dancing—and Project Pablo is sure to bring all three. If you’re looking for a soundtrack to the weeks prior to The First NYD, make sure to rinse (as it were) Pablo’s RINSE FM mix.
The First NYD is onsale now, with tickets selling fast. Grab your tickets to see Action Bronson, M.I.A., Banoffee, KiNK and more here.
This article was created in partnership with Hardware Presents.