Stadium techno is being turned on its head in this stunning Melbourne venue

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Stadium techno is being turned on its head in this stunning Melbourne venue

Melbourne Recital Centre's visually-striking Primrose Potter Salon will host acclaimed Melbourne synthwave arist Simona Castricum, in an intimate reimagining of stadium techno alongside the light and projection marvel of Carla Zimbler.

A celebrated musician, designer and architecture academic who weaves between synth pop, darkwave and queer electronic disco, as well as more abstract, dreamy soundscaping, Castricum’s lyrics and live performances dig well beneath the surface.

Her immersive live performance combines with Zimbler’s vivid, textural lightscapes for two nights across Friday February 27 and Saturday February 28 at the unique Melbourne Recital Centre venue, a must-visit place for any Melbourne live music fan.

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Castricum says the performances will aim to disrupt audience expectations of cisnormative culture, the way light demonstrates a venue, and of her unique take on techno itself.

“For SINK, the curtain of string hung from the asterisk frame serves as a literal extrusion of the graphic used in architecture and urbanism marking an event of significance,” she says.

“The curtain is also a metaphor for site: music and performance as a site of transing. It’s an event for destabilisation of the cisnormative world, of personal catharsis and revelation, and of connection to the nonconforming world. The projections evoke portals into emotion, of place, in wayfinding, and of strategy and process. The curtain’s vertical rotating axis suggests universal forces I cannot control, and often feel compelled, forced to resist. It lurks over my shoulder, it creates its own ceiling, of inescapable compression. The heavy lifting is tiresome. SINK suggests its ok to just surrender to it and find a place within it to rest. To fall, to sink.”

Castricum’s career has taken shape over nearly a decade now, bringing the Melbourne artist to the forefront of the city’s renowned electronic and dance music underground. Her first album, Exotic Ladies Of Birobidzhan, came out in 2014. Her next full-length release, #TriggerWarning40, arrived in early 2016. Her latest – and in our opinion, strongest – work was released in 2020: Panic / Desire.

“My transness, my queerness is characterised by this – finding a place of relative calm, and safety within the hostility of the cisnormative, heteronormative world,” Castricum continues. “Leaning into belonging, sinking into the darkness, dreaming of a future. Building my own cognitive world. To rise from the heaviness, to find the shallows from which to walk again, to find a way out of the deep, to be continued. Perhaps even to reimagine this site, this ceiling as a place to install my own beautiful chandelier. Utopia/Dystopia.

“My own negotiation with the cisnormative paradigm is to build genuine relationships, and exist freely in civic life. To drum, to dance, to sing. With you, together. In safety, belonging, permanence.”

SINK is happening on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 January 2023 at Melbourne Recital Centre’s Primrose Potter Salon. Tickets available here.

This article was made in partnership with Melbourne Recital Centre.