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Future Music Festival Asia Debuts In Malaysia

The festival’s star line-up includes The Chemical Brothers, Pendulum and Hercules & Love Affair plus DJ Nikhil Chinapa, DJ Pearl and Jalebee Cartel from India

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Mar 15, 2012
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The Chemical Brothers

Less than a week ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit, the race track in Kuala Lumpur will turn into a festival site for the first Future Music Festival Asia to be held on March 17th. The festival, which began in Australia in 2006, makes its debut with a mixed bag of performances including a DJ set by UK electronica super stars The Chemical Brothers, who have performed at previous Future Music Festivals in Australia, Liverpool indie pop artists The Wombats and Miami rapper Flo Rida and acts from across Asia. Nikhil Chinapa and DJ Pearl join them on the bill, and are newcomers to FMFA along with Delhi’s Jalebee Cartel adding to the Indian electronica line-up at the fest.

Says Chinapa, who is also the Festival Director of the Sunburn Festival in India, “I’m really keen to see what kind of following electronic dance music has in Malaysia.” Chinapa hopes to catch UK electronica act Pendulum’s DJ set and American hip hop veteran Grandmaster Flash, who pioneered the breakbeat sound in the early Eighties. “I also want to watch Sneaky Sound System. I have never watched them before,” added Chinapa, referring to the electronica dance group from Sydney.

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Adam Matthews, director, marketing, strategy and business development of Livescape Asia, the agency that is organizing FMFA along with Future Entertainment, explained that the festival has been curated keeping a cross-section of music fans in mind. “It’s a crazy mix,” said Matthews, “We didn’t want FMFA to be just an electronic dance festival.” Matthews is rooting for MTV VJ-turned-DJ Ruby Rose from Melbourne and Malaysian duo Goldfish and Blink.

DJ Pearl plans to be in the audience for The Chemical Brothers’ DJ set. “I’ve played their records so often as a DJ that this is a huge opportunity to catch them live,” said Pearl. But she also has a few less mainstream, cutting edge artists on her must-watch list including London’s electronica duo Chase & Status. Pearl first saw a set by Chase & Status at The Great Escape festival in Brighton last year and has been hooked since.

Packing in 70 artists – 40 international and 30 Asian – on four stages sounds ambitious for a 12-hour festival, but Matthews assures that FMFA aims to “blow everyone’s minds” in its first year. “There have been side shows in Australia in various cities, but we’ll consider expanding in the next year,” said Matthews of the fest that has been planned as an annual build-up to the Malaysian Grand Prix.

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