The party showcased that booking diverse and booking colour is critical in throwing a good party, not to fill a quota, but to showcase the incredibly unique array of talent on offer in Australia.
Naarm/Melbourne's Sugar Mountain has become one of the biggest dates on the Australian dance music calendar. The party has hosted some of the most iconic Boiler Room sets, from that famous Gerd Janson outfit, to epic, hype moments from Honey Dijon, to the incredible vinyl scratching and break beat infectiousness of Eris Drew & Octo Octa. One thing's guaranteed with every Sugar Mountain, and it's that epic sets prevail, and epic moments are imminent.
This year's Sugar Mountain was no different, and if it taught us anything is that women and women of colour are dominating and leading electronic dance music in Australia. Every set had a unique flare, every moment a unique bliss, thanks to the incredibly diverse array of selectors and talent on show. The party showcased that booking diverse and booking colour is critical in throwing a good party, not to fill a quota, but to showcase the incredibly unique array of talent on offer in Australia.
Local selector Darcy Justice opened the proceedings on the day. Known for her versatility as a DJ, Justice showcased her distinct presence behind the decks, chopping between R&B to rave, all deeply engrained with an element of soul and precision. Her set ranged from groovy and housey, to chuggy and minimal, across its rhythmic driven track list.
Then followed our Sydney/Eora based favourite, and legend of Sydney Lauren Hansom. It's crazy to think she's just making her Boiler Room debut, being one of the country and the globes best tastemaker and selector. She delivered what she does best, an hour of bright, powerful and infectious balearic house tunes, as she weaved through era's, continents and genres. Hansom embodies the one of truest arts of DJing, with the setlist proving she is one of the best diggers in the country, with impeccable, unheard of selections that are ready built to get bodies moving.
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This where the turbo energy began. Kicking off the rave stylings of the evening was Yuggera woman, radio host, producer and community leader dameeeela. Fresh off the back of the release of her debut single, The Shake Up featuring Tjaka, dameeeela dominated the Boiler Room stage. Following a melodic opening, the drums, the synths, the vocal samples were pumping, and the Sugar Mountain sub was working hard. The set channeled emotive classics, alongside catchy melodies which moulded perfectly with the sounds, rhythms, melodies of her culture. She's the first First Nations artist to perform at a Boiler Room, and she delivered one of the best sets the format has ever seen.
I can't believe I'm typing this, but even after the set from dameeeela, Naarm native and universally adored C.FRIM entirely stole the show. She delivered drum driven cuts that were dark, enthusiastic, energy fuelled, bounce fuelled, and all in all euphoric. She took directly from her distinct singular blueprint as a DJ, inspired by global club sounds that are forward thinking, evocative and diverse. We deeply love this set from C.FRIM, as she uses one of the biggest dance platforms in the world to confidently champion her own refreshingly distinct style.
Words by Parry Tritsiniotis