Stars and Rabbit
The Venopian Soliude
Jin Hackman

The three-week Urbanscapes 2017 is in its 15th edition, writes Dennis Chua

THE region’s finest festival Urbanscapes 2017 returns to the city centre for its 15th year with a city-wide, three-week creative arts celebration from May 5 to 21.

Art attendees, festival-goers and pop culture vultures can look forward to exploring and experiencing the city as various venues come to life with programmes packed with music and performance art, as well as art installations, talks, thematic markets, workshops and experiential and interdisciplinary events headlined by homegrown, regional and international scene-shakers.

Urbanscapes founder and festival director Adrian Yap is excited about this year’s line-up.

“After 15 years, I believe Urbanscapes has garnered quite a following in the region for total creativity and cultural immersion. This year, we decided to hold Urbanscapes in Kuala Lumpur city centre as the ambience seems to hit the sweet spot for festival-goers.

“Telco U Mobile is also joining us as a partner presenter,” he adds.

The first phase of Urbanscapes 2017’s music lineup has British electronic music outfit Clean Bandit taking to the stage at KL Live on May 18 with their brand of classical-fused, feather-light pop tailored for the dance floor.

The Danish progressive rock trio Mew is at KL Live on May 10. The rock overlords last played in Malaysia in 2013, and are gearing up for the release of their first album Visuals following the departure of founding member Bo Madsen. Mew is supported by Indonesia’s finest ambient rock group The Trees And The Wild.

On May 6, Urbanscapes X Soundscape Records presents English rockers TTNG or This Town Needs Guns and guitar wunderkind Mylets from Indiana.

Sharing the stage are Melbourne-based Taiwanese electronic artiste Cloudy Ku, who will be on the turntables with a DJ set, Singaporean instrumental rock quartet This Is Atlantis as well as local rock act Swims.

Indonesian folk-pop duo Stars And Rabbit marries Elda Suryani’s enchanting, whimsical vocals with Adi Widodo’s expert arrangements.

One of the best known acts at home, Stars And Rabbit are masters of their craft — their sinuous soundscapes convey the vast, wild expanse of space where they tower over spectral sonical proceedings.

They play at The Bee Publika on May 12, and sharing the stage is The Venopian Soliude, our very own experimental electro-pop singer-songwriter.

The creative collective Hoax Vision takes over Urbanscapes House on May 5 with an invite-only opening party — Hoax In The House — which features a long line-up of the city’s best, up-and-coming young ones, such as Jaggfuzzbeats, lurkgurl, Orang Malaya, Viktoria and Youth Portal.

There will also be a screening of Tep York’s documentation of the city’s skate scene. For invites, stay tuned to Urbanscapes’ social media channels.

Perhaps the premier proponent of hip hop in the country, Jin Hackman of Raising The Bar will be Raising The Roof on May 12 at Urbanscapes House’s ground floor.

The hip-hop series sets the bar with a long line-up that pushes hip hop into the city’s consciousness, which includes budding rapper-producer Airliftz, true-blue emcee Dan Shiv, and up-and-coming rapper Kidd Santhe.

The heart of Urbanscapes, Urbanscapes House, beats on at the historic, heritage building of 2, Hang Kasturi, which again serves as the hub of all Urbanscapes-related activities and festivities.

At the crossroad of art, audiovisuals, and digital culture is Immersio the concrete utopia that challenges preconceived notions of sights, sounds and storytelling. The experiential event will be exhibited on the first floor of Urbanscapes House throughout the three-week festival.

ThisIsKualaLumpur is an enthralling photo project that includes an exhibition and talks on the third floor of Urbanscapes House, as well as day and night photography walking tours in the city.

Tickets: RM78 to RM218. Time: 7pm.

Visit urbanscapes.com.my for details.