WITH an impressive line up, Falls Festival Byron Bay is set to be one of the biggest in terms of music.
Here are some of our picks of acts not to be missed this year:
- Grandmaster Flash: Saturday, NYE
JOSEPH Saddler, better known as Grandmaster Flash, is a Bajan-American hip hop recording artist and DJ.
He is considered to be one of the pioneers of hip-hop DJ-ing, cutting, and mixing.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, becoming the first hip hop act to be honoured.
Young Flash worked with thrown away electronic machinery including turntables, stereos, speakers and mixers, rebuilding them to suit what he was seeing in his mind.
As a teenager, he began experimenting with DJ gear in his bedroom, eventually developing and mastering three innovations that are still considered standard DJ-ing techniques today: Backspin technique (or quick-mix theory), punch phrasing (or clock theory) and scratching.
Flash also had a manually operated drum machine in the 1970s that he played with his fingertips he called The Beat Box.
Earlier this year, Netflix launched a Baz Luhrman series called The Get Down.
Set in New York in 1977, this music-driven drama series chronicled the rise of hip-hop and the last days of disco - told through the lives, music, art and dance of the South Bronx kids who would change the world forever. One of those characters is Grandmaster Flash.
- Childish Gambino: Midnight Saturday to Sunday, NYE
CHILDISH Gambino's Redbone is the second song to be revealed from his new album, Awaken, My Love! released last December 2 on Liberator Music / Glassnote Records.
Awaken, My Love! is a musical evolution, as Childish Gambino once again sheds his skin.
It has been described as "R&B meets Pink Floyd", by US music journalists, while others have cited an amalgam of rock, funk, and soul influences.
It is an interesting next step following the twice-Grammy nominated rap album, Because The Internet.
- Client Liaison: Saturday, December 31
THEIR image is playful and fun but don't underestimate this duo. Their music is solid, their songs are hits and their fans plentiful.
With their successful self-titled 2014 EP and their album Diplomatic Immunity (2016), the duo has cemented its reputation for quality 1980s-esque music with a hint of jazz.
The album was released in November and includes a track with ARIA Award winner Tina Arena.
They received a nomination for Best Music Video at the 2014 J Award but lost to Chandelier by Sia.
Their hit single World of Our Love is expected to rate well in this year's Hottest 100.
- Violent Soho: Sunday, January 1
VIOLENT Soho is one of the darlings of Triple J radio - with good reason.
The band's latest album, Waco, has pumped out hit singles such as Like Soda and Viceroy, but it was still a big surprise when Waco topped the triple J Top 10 albums of the year list, beating crowd favourite Flume.
Violent Soho's impact in 2016 was seismic, playing across sold out venues and airwaves everywhere, with their 'heavier than a boulder, catchier than ebola' style capturing hearts and circle pits.
Violent Soho is not slowing down.
- The Jezabels: Sunday, January 1
THE Jezabels had to cancel their 2016 world tour shortly before their latest album, Synthia, was released, because keyboard player Heather Shannon needed immediate treatment for ovarian cancer.
Last July, the band announced that Shannon was "feeling strong again after her treatment" and that they would start touring again.
Vocalist Hayley Mary (born Hayley Frances McGlone) and Heather Shannon both went to Byron Bay High School and had performed together as a folk duo in Byron Bay.
Synthia, their third album, came out on February 12, 2016, and includes hit single Pleasure Drive.
The Jezabels formed in 2007 after the four members met as students at the University of Sydney.
Their music was described by national youth radio station, Triple J, as a blend of alternative rock, indie rock, and disco pop.
- The Avalanches: Sunday, January 1
DURING a live interview with Triple J, The Avalanches announced they have a number of collaborations with other artists that did not made the cut for their second album, Wildflower (2016).
Will we get to hear any of them at Falls? Will they be released in 2017 as an EP or a full album? They won't say yet.
With music gems such as Frankie Sinatra and Subway, Wildflower was not just one of the most talked-about albums of the year (after 16 years of silence) but also one of the best.
The group returned to live performances here in Byron Bay with a performance at Splendour in the Grass.
Their live set up featured original members Robbie Chater on bass and Tony Di Blasi on turntables, alongside guest musicians Paris Jeffree on drums, Spank Rock as MC, and Eliza Wolfgramm on vocals.
- Matt Corby: Sunday, January 1
ON October 1, 2015, singer songwriter Matt Corby released his first song in two years, Monday - from his debut album, Telluric. The song was described as containing "lush, transcendent harmonies, wailing falsetto, folky boom-claps, and heartbreaking lyrics". Monday was voted number 53 in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2015.
Last February, Corby released another track from Telluric, titled Knife Edge.
Telluric was released last March and it captivated audiences across the country, debuting at number one in Australia.
- Bernard Fanning: Monday, Jan 2
BYRON Shire resident and Australian music icon Bernard Fanning has started recording sessions for his upcoming album Brutal Dawn.
The album, which will be the second part of his latest release, Civil Dusk, is expected to be launched in the first half of 2017.
The former Powderfinger frontman started work at his Tyagarah recording studio, La Cueva (Spanish for The Cave) with iconic local producer Nick Didia.
Fanning won his fifth solo ARIA award for Best Adult Contemporary Album for Civil Dusk.
If his latest shows around the country give any clues of what to expect from his Falls show, the gig should include old Powderfinger hits, some of his solo top songs, music from Civil Dusk and maybe even some surprise covers.
- Ball Park Music: Monday, January 2
ALTHOUGH traditionally considered a Brisbane band, three of the members of Ball Park Music grew up in the Northern Rivers.
Ball Park Music is a five-piece indie rock/pop band based in Brisbane, made up of frontman Sam Cromack (guitar/vocals), Jennifer Boyce (bass/backing vocals), Paul Furness (keys/trombone), and twins Dean Hanson (guitar/backing vocals) and Daniel Hanson (drums/backing vocals).
Cromack grew up in Lennox Head, and the Hanson twins come from Goonellabah.
The band's latest album, Every Night The Same Dream, made it into Triple J's list of the Top Ten albums of 2016.
Cromack said the band recorded their latest release live into tapes at Sound Recordings, a studio in Castlemaine, Victoria, that is completely analogue.
- Matty Rogers: Monday, January 2
FRESH from winning a spot at Falls Festival 2016 via the Foster a Band competition, Burringbar independent singer songwriter Matty Rogers has also achieved two big wins at the Dolphin Awards 2016: Song of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year.
He won Song of the Year for Walk to the Water, a song he said was about "taking the best of people and the not-so-good and learning to live with that instead of making relationships a disposable thing."
Rogers offers a blend of blues, folk, and rock with deep lyrics.
- Golden Features: Monday, January 2
AUSTRALIAN dance act Golden Features is stepping up to complete the Falls line-up.
After releasing a hit debut self-titled EP in 2014, Sydney producer Tom Stell is promising two new tracks - Wolfie, featuring Julia Stone, and Funeral - to get the party started at Falls.
In mid-2015 Golden Features kept the magic coming with his second EP XXIV, led by the haunting single No One with Thelma Plum on vocals.
The mask has become his signature item, but Stell is not really looking for anonymity.
The prop seems to compliment well his dark, bassy house music.
Golden Features is a surprise last-minute addition to the line-up after Danish musician MØ was diagnosed with pneumonia and had to cancel her Falls shows.
- Remi: Monday, January 2
MELBOURNE artist and emcee Remi Kolawole is one of those hip hop artist whose talent is accompanied by a whole lot of pizzaz. He didn't just arrive in the music landscape in 2013, he took the J Award for Album of the Year.
His latest album, Divas and Demons acts like a diary of the last two years of Remi's life.
A hip-hop and soul release at its core, Divas and Demons explores Remi's personal experiences from the state of race issues, to the personal demons of relationship breakdowns, depression and the ongoing challenges faced as an artist. The new album finds Remi working again with long-time collaborator Sensible J.
- Tkay Maidza: Monday, January 2
THE pride of South Australia, TKay Maidza has been on the music radar since the tender age of 17, when she released the stomping clarion call of Brontosaurus.
Her father is an industrial chemist and her mother is a metallurgist.
Her family moved to Australia from Zimbabwe in 2001 when she was five years old. They lived in Perth and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia before relocating to Adelaide in 2010.
She studied architecture at the University of South Australia before becoming a full-time musician.
With many collaborations, Ms Maidza has dominated Triple J airwaves this year with her unique fusion of hip hop and dance.
- Alison Wonderland: Monday, January 2
MESSIAH is the new single released by Australian DJ Alison Wonderland.
The song is a collaboration with Gold Coast producer Mark Landon, better known by his stage name M-Phazes.
He is best known for his production work with artists such as Eminem, Daniel Johns, Kimbra, Eskimo Joe, Bliss n Eso and Illy.
The song has received great acclaim critically and by fans, after Wonderland and M-Phaze met for a songwriting session the day they met.
"The song it's a very important one for me, and when there is chemistry in the studio, what comes out of that is very special," Alison Wonderland said.
- For details visit the Falls Festival website. Sold out event.
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