Words: Alex Hindley
As each year draws to a close the pressure to have a expectation meeting or exceeding New Years' evening surges throughout Perth. Many attend house parties, clubs, beaches or lie to themselves and say they'll have a "quiet one with friends", however the 9 years running music festival Origin may provide one of the best experiences of the night. Offering an onslaught of local, national and international bass, electronic and hip hop acts to carry the crowds into the New Year, 2015's Origin did not disappoint.
As packed trains of eager festival goers rolled into Claremont Showgrounds, local rising talent LUUDE scored the new population pouring in with his infectious trap and future bass beats that have quickly gained him attention across the online and local communities. A set preceded by Perth duo TWERL, claiming an opening spot to the night after only forming this year. A local lineup of immense talent headlined by one of Perth's biggest electronic act's, Sable, whose incredible talent of gelling future bass synth tones and pop drums with his alter ego "Shadow" made for a varying and personal music experience. A powerhouse of genre manipulation, Sable manages to keep the vibe upbeat with his poppy, club bass aesthetics whilst slipping in deeper meanings such as with his track One And Only. It's a growing pleasure to see local artists making a creative difference within music, TWERL, LUUDE and Sable bring such a strong personality to their music and provided a fantastic reflection of what Perth has to offer in the world of electronic music.
Following Perth's finest was the first international act to hit the Pod stage for the night. Gentleman's Club was a cavalcade of sonically interesting bass beats, sharp melody loops and contained drum work. An eclectic, darker and intense track-list that encouraged a release of aggression and exploration of the trio's drum and bass efforts, coated in thick dubstep and trap elements. With the DnB culture in the UK being as strong as it is, the cultivated talents of members Coffi, Soloman and 50 Carrot were a welcome reflection of their home scene upon the comparably antiquated drum and bass culture of Perth. With their somewhat alternative performance, Gentleman's Club easily provided one of the more multifarious electronic setts of the evening, playing out to a setting sun and rapidly surging crowd as the final hours of 2015 came to a close.
As night crawled in, an animated Pusha T (a.k.a the president of GOOD Music) graced the stage and blessed the crowed by opening his set with guest verses from his Kanye West features, notably Mercy, I Don't Like, So Appalled and fan favourite Runaway. Whilst still peppering a guest verse or a remix into the set, Pusha T mainly flowed between his discography and payed special attention to his 2015 release "Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude", a critical success . As someone who is not completely familiar with T's work, it was a welcomed experience to be able enjoy his pure energy and lyricism on face value alone. Along with his on stage companions, T's classic flows and brazen themes blasted through the crowed, cutting fans and new comers into a bouncing mass of energy and enthrallment.
As Keys N Krates scorched earth with their massively popular trap beats, across the venue the London party troupe Foreign Beggars burst out into the Origin limelight. A blistering mix of rapid hip hop flows being spat out over predominantly jungle rhythms and intense dubstep portions spun out by DJ Nonames and fronted by duo Metropolis and Orifice Vulgatron. Unlike their hip hop predecessor, Foreign Beggars leave the raw, classic flows behind in exchange for speedy party anthem rhymes designed to raise hype levels as each verse built up to a grand bass exchange with tracks like Apex and a callback to their Skrillex feature on Scatta. With an attention to crowd response and involvement, supported by the gang of female civilians brought on the stage to help close the set, Foreign Beggars crafted the experience of a pure party environment, allowing niche and elitism to fall aside.
Niche did however make a mammoth revival as it collected itself into one debated mass of an internet culture kingpin, Yung Lean for the first time ever in Australia. Cultivator of the Sadboys movement, Yung Lean is a product of the independent generation, making a name for himself through his well produced cloud rap and trap music and his specific image and aesthetics which have arguably altered particular culture movements for better or for worse. It's a stale conversation at best and Origin crowds seemed to be without care for it as the largest wave of patrons pulled towards the stage in awe of Lean's presence.
Weaving in between his catalogue of slower, 808 intensive tracks and crowd favorites like Diamonds and Ginseng Strip 2002, Yung Lean kept the crowd actively jumping and singing with him. One of the most interesting performances of the night, he and his on stage counterparts knew how to entertain with the tools they created.
It's hard to not question Lean's popularity sometimes. It's not a great feat to point out his singing vocals are sub par but his support relies in his attitude towards the music, either get caught up in trying to make sense of certain aspects and fall off or embrace the new era rock star and push on with congregation of sadboys and sadgirls.
As the last hour of 2015 drew in, fans were divided across Origin as massive electronic acts Golden Features and Sub Focus began to bring in the new year along with one artist helping to bring UK grime into the mainstream - Skepta. Easily one of the most anticipated sets of the night, Skepta did not disappoint the masses counting down the minutes with one of the most adrenaline fueled and energetic performances of the night. Rolling out banger after banger with It Ain't Safe, That's Not Me and his mega successful Shutdown that had thousands shouting his own lyrics back at the stage in a frenzied unison. Skepta was well aware of the impact he was making on the world in bringing grime out of the cordon sanitaire the UK has kept it in, showing love to other rising grime talent Stormzy by performing over the instrumental from his mammoth hit Shut Up. Skepta closed his set in time for the last few minutes of 2015, leaving fans in brutal excitement and tensions as countdowns begun to a spectacular fireworks display, bursting over Origin and uniting crowds as the new year had finally begun. Welcome to 2016.
With one last hurrah for the year that was and one monumental greeting to the new one, fan favorite electronic king RL Grime honored Perth with his presence and delivered one of the best experiences of the new year on offer. As always, Grime crafted an impeccable mix of dance and bass tracks, cultivating the talents of other artists into unreleased edits such as a crazy mix of Kanye's Mercy and a gauntlet of beats of his own making. The first hour of the new year was blessed with RL Grime's infectious and world renowned dance tracks like a remix of The Hills, his own Scylla, Kingpin and the much adored Core. A true master of his craft, RL Grime headlined as one of the best and most loved performances of the night.
As the festival came to a close, Origin crowds were in true high spirits as some of the world's best electronic artists played them out with anticipation and joy of the possibilities a new year has for all. A night free of judgment, controversy and danger was a perfect introduction into the year of 2016.