EXCLUSIVE: Urbanscapes 2012 to Feature International Icelandic Group Sigur Rós and Local Songstress Yuna Zarai

Photos courtesy of MN8 Above: Famous local songstress Yuna Zarai On November 24th and Sunday November 25th, we are requesting tha...

Photos courtesy of MN8

Above: Famous local songstress Yuna Zarai

On November 24th and Sunday November 25th, we are requesting that you mark your calendar for another important milestone in the evolving history of Malaysia. On these dates at Padang Astaka in Petaling Jaya the spectacular known as Urbanscapes, the creative arts festival that brings together communities and participants from the fields of music, arts, fashion, visual design and more, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with a two day blow out of truly epic proportions.

For the first time, Urbanscapes will be hosting regional and international artists including anthemic Icelandic sensations Sigur Rós, who will be performing on the Volkswagen Stage. Some call them indie rock, post rock, ambient or just plain ethereal. We call them a birthday present to ourselves, not to mention the best thing we could think of to close the festival on Sunday night.

Above: 9Maps, the modern indie folk-pop group from Hong Kong

Above: Froya, a singer-songwriter whose usual line-ups consists of Michelle Lee (Lead Vocal, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, programming), Melina William (guitar, synthesizers, bass, back up vocal) and Zalila (drums, percussion, back up vocal).

Above: Gabriel Robert Rawantas, fondly known as ‘Guba’ is a Sabahan singer-songwriter who has been singing his own written compositions for the past 13 years – albeit only to himself in privacy – until now. Guba describes his music as alternative folk.

We’re getting ahead of ourselves. Saturday features yet another Urbanscapes exclusive in the shape of a rabble raising homecoming set from Pharell Williams’ BFF and one of Malaysia’s top overseas ambassadors, Yuna. It’s been an incredible 12 months for the young woman who has rocketed from Alor Setar to Hollywood, and comes hot on the heels of her debut album and a US tour with equally fêted Brit singer-­‐songwriter Michael Kiwanuku.

Above: Folk-rocker or a slick soul singer, Charlie Lim from Singapore is well known amongst Melbourne’s musical elite.

Above: Love Me Butch is a Malaysian English post-hardcore band from Shah Alam. The band consists of Syarul Reza (vocals), Wing Meng (guitars), Kevin Kong (bass), and Jana Nair (drums).

However you look at it, Urbanscapes has certainly come a long way. From humble beginnings indoors at the now-defunct Grappa Soho in Bukit Bintang (2002) before venturing outdoors at KL Sentral in 2004. Moving to Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC) for three years from 2008-2010 and then settling in at our current home at Padang Astaka in 2011 which brings us up to this year’s two-­day, multi-stage explosion of music, creativity and more.

As with any edition of Urbanscapes, who knows where to start? At the four live music stages with a combined capacity of around 15,000 people? With meeting friends and shopping at Central Square? Expressing yourself in The Field? Delving into experimental visual arts installations in The Lab or maybe working up your eco credentials at Green Village?

Above: Sigur Rós, whose Vonlenska music touches every human soul on earth.

Though the size and scale of Urbanscapes has developed over a heady decade, what has always stayed true is our commitment to the community of creative artists who fill the programme of our festivals and the wider community of folks that come back to us every year to experience and enjoy it.

Above: MTV Iggy's Toksala describes Indonesia’s The Trees and the Wild "to have a sound that can tie your brain up in knots while you try to classify it, but it will always sooth your ears and lift your spirit."

Getting down to the nitty gritty, the roster of music and down and dirty creative types is constantly being added to. We’ve told you about headliners Sigur Rós and Yuna. Right now we can also confirm innovative Indonesian alt-­folkies The Trees and The Wild. Big Down Under and doing pretty well here and in his native Singapore is singer-songwriter Charlie Lim and Hong Kong folk-poppers 9 Maps. Then there’s the cream of Malaysia’s talent, an ever expanding list currently including OJ Law, Tenderfist, Enterprise and the frankly jaw‐dropping Darren Ashley Band.

Above: Darren Ashley's most recent work as a composer is electro pop music. His career started off as being the drummer of Busco (1st Place in MTV's Battle of the Bands Asia and MRSC's Songwriting Competition).

Above: Goldierocks(Samantha Louise Hall) is an international DJ, theatrical performer and TV/radio broadcaster. Her biggest gig to date, Sam DJ’d live at the Paralympics opening ceremony at London 2012.

Urbanscapes will also feature Ernest Zacharevic, the Lithuanian street artists whose murals have been transforming the walls and streets of Penang over the past 12 months. Shelah! will be doing what she does best and talking and gently scolding her way through the weekend. There’s Poetry Slam action from Poetry Café KL and architecture meets audio visual trippery from Kontak! and themancalleduncle. Adding to this theme of additional punctuation and symbolism is a photographic multimedia take on the Malaysian music scene from Monsoon+ and Senseless Art, plus physical and stage installations from the likes of KARYA.

Above: The Impatient Sisters from Kuantan has not looked back since their talent and unique harmony interpretations caught the eye of the cafe's owner where they performed at. We honestly love their song 'Comets and Stars'.

Urbanscapes 2012
Date: Saturday 24 November & Sunday 25 November 2012
Time: 2pm – 12 midnight (daily)
Padang Astaka
Lorong Utara Kecil, Seksyen 52
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

For the latest on Urbanscapes, be sure to check out their official web page, Facebook and Twitter channels.

Tickets can be purchased online at AirAsia RedTix and through KL Live Centre, Rock Corner (not at Bangsar Village branch), Victoria Music and The Bee outlets.

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