This year’s Dark Mofo in Hobart features a line-up of must-see musical acts from around the world. Jonathan Seidler nominates the top ones to watch.

Hobart’s annual Dark Mofo festival is becoming something of a rite of passage for art lovers who like their exhibitions with a side of the shadowy and mysterious. Held in the dead of winter, it attracts a wide variety of guests from Tasmania and further afield, thanks to a solid reputation for delicious food, underground art and breathtaking natural beauty.

With a sprawling program that takes in not only the lauded Museum of Old and New Art but also surrounding precincts, it’s easy to get lost in the goodness before you even arrive. This is especially true for music lovers, who are typically spoiled for choice at the festival. With that in mind, here are our top picks to check out if you’re heading towards the darkness…

SEE ALSO: Our Dark Mofo 2016 Highlights  

Zhu  

Although he may seem like an odd choice harmonically with his Top 40 presence and significant mainstream following, Zhu’s aesthetic is perfectly matched to Dark Mofo’s vision. An electronic producer who has never been seen in public without a mask and often uses effects to change his voice, the American mystery man will bring his icy love songs to the opening-night festivities.

WHEN June 10
WHERE Mac2

Hymns to the Dead

It really isn’t Dark Mofo unless there’s some black metal involved and this year the organisers have gone above and beyond with Hymns to the Dead. This smorgasbord of “hard, fast and loud” features metal bands from the Czech Republic, Greece and Sweden that are sure to rattle the bones and warm the souls of headbanging fans. If you like your tunes smooth, this is not for you. But for the rest, make sure your mittens allow for devil horns.

WHEN June 15
WHERE Odeon Theatre 

Mark Pritchard

A surprise announcement from underground music institution Boiler Room brings the addition of famed multidisciplinary musician Mark Pritchard to the festival. He will present a late AV show with visuals from feted Australian graphic artist Jonathan Zawada. Put on by Red Bull Music Academy, the show is free and spans decades of Pritchard’s innovative works across house, hip-hop, jungle and ambient sounds in two back-to-back sets.

WHEN June 11
WHERE Mac2 Backspace 

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Savages

By the time Savages’ second album, Adore Life, dropped earlier this year, this punk four-piece were already celebrated across the establishment for their intoxicating, aggressive brand of rock spiked with social commentary. Witness these loud ladies in full flight on the second weekend of the festival.

WHEN June 18
WHERE Odeon Theatre 

Ephemera Live by Tim Hecker 

Impossible to put a finger on and even harder to ignore, Canada’s Tim Hecker is one of the most intriguing artists today. Oscillating wildly between the experimental poles of electronic music, Hecker arrives in Tasmania for a special show with Red Bull Music Academy, called Ephemera Live, which explores the senses surrounding music, including sight. It’s a synaesthetic experience you’ll certainly tell your friends about.

WHEN June 15
WHERE Mac2 Backspace

Dark Mofo 2016 runs from June 10 to 21 in Hobart, Tasmaniadarkmofo.net.au 

SEE ALSO: Discover the Best Things to Do in Hobart with Our Guide

Image credit: facebook.com/savagestheband

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