Get to know: The Operatives at Let Them Eat Cake

Posted by: Rebecca on December 30, 2013


With more musical decadence than Marie Antoinette could of dreamt of, at Australia’s answer to the Palace of Versailles – Werribee Mansion’s gardens – the second Let Them Eat Cake is right around the corner. Harking the New Year and a one-day-wonderland. If you went to the inaugural ‘cake you’ll know its a festival unlike any other – if you didn’t go; you’ve probably heard enough about it from your friends – if you haven’t, it only raised the bar a few miles for festivals this side of the hemisphere – oh, you know,  just casually FLYING LOTUS performing 2012’s only Australian performance and just about every electronic tastemaker from THEO PARRISH to BEN UFO with Layer 3 of suncream on playing the sort of sounds you want to hear every day of the New Year. And this year promises to be no different – especially with The Operatives curating a slice of the roster.



When talking of FLOATING POINTS we can’t help remembering his debut Australian tour at Melbourne Music Week 2012 – at midnight, Floating Points hit the stage with a massive crate of vinyl. Playing a set that captured the essence of his inspirations – from African field recordings to Brazilian records to 70’s jazz band The Pharaohs to sounds of the London Underground, Sam Shepherd looked completed at ease switching between them. A classically trained piano player and perhaps a genius scientist, his track choices were timed by a perfectionist’s beat. Definitely one of the most artful set’s I’ve ever seen live featuring the whole of the nine minute long ARP3, the epic from his latest EP Shadows. The track is hard to capture, with the stripped back warm synth lines and drum beats echoes, it is a sound that you sink into. Smouldering bass lines and jazz melodies lit up the room despite the flickering illumination and while the set grew darker and moodier Floating Points finished on an all smiling high to a seriously elusive record of 70′s Brazilian singer Célia – Para Lennon e McCartney.



From first playing in a sweaty nightclub above a Korean karaoke bar to selling out a headline tour, Jennifer Lee’s – known by her rabbit themed moniker TOKiMONSTA – has long had a fan club in Melbourne. Known as the ‘first lady’ and one of the founding members of FLYING LOTUS’ label Brainfeeder, it’s hard to believe that this exceptionally talented producer was once a student of classical piano and working in the corporate sector – especially when she’s dropping WU-TANG’s ‘Shame On A Nigga’ in her high-energy DJ sets. Backstage at her third show in Melbourne in her SOUNDCHECK interview, she jokes about her start as a career musician, collaborating with hip-hop legend KOOL KEITH and whips her hair back and forth to her incredible live gig. We cannot wait to see her back to celebrate the New Year.



One of the Operative’s own, with a career spanning multiple decades, genres, labels, and an almost incalculable number of collaborations, MARK PRITCHARD has built up an extensive list of monikers over the years. Though many producers now subscribe to the idea of having alter-egos, Pritchard has recently come full circle on the idea, and will be henceforth be producing under only one name—his own—and uniting his many styles and interests under a single umbrella. Whatever the genre Mark’s work has been characterised by his ability to of giving the music more room to get funky, and producing deeply emotional, and twisted sounds – guaranteed to get your groove on.



We can’t wait for the return of the UK’s most well-respected and inspirational drum n’ bass producer to Australia. With a career spanning over eighteen years and both a monstrous and seminal catalogue of original and innovative releases to date. His signature bass-lines and radicalized dubbed out sounds reach back to his childhood seeing his father run his own sound-system for nearly thirty years in the UK. The moniker ‘DIGITAL was given to Steve by the Ashanti Sound system immediately recognising his technical ability operating a sound system at the age of 14 also relating to the future, his youth and the emergence of the digital age and technology. Welcome back, ‘Down Under’, DIGITAL!



There are few artists that you see for the first time that completely draw you in with a single beat. At Espionage featuring RASHAD and SEPALCURE vocalist and producer ESTERE stood out on the bill. With only two tracks on her Soundcloud she’d already made a splash in her home of New Zealand with her undeniably contagious tracks ‘Cruel Charlie’ – about a terrible imaginary boyfriend – and the personal exploration, ‘Culture Clash’. Alongside being a featured vocalist for K+LAB, part of funk band Brockaflowersaurus-Rex, she has already gigged in London and Paris. Not bad for someone who’s only just picked up an MPC – which she names Lola. But none of those things seem to matter while she’s on stage and you’ll be able to witness her live at Let Them Eat Cake.



A13, Fugitive, Nam, Edd FisherS I L E N T J A YAmin PayneHans-DC / The Phantom Sun, Sean Deans and JPS will be reppin’ the Operatives signature and diverse sounds across various stages on NYD!


Photo Credit: Melissa Cowan Photography

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