Rising from the ashes of several combusted bands and many genres of rhythm-heavy music, Mr Beats (Dan Monceaux) had a vision. Teaming up with VJ Buttons (Emma Sterling) in 2007, the pair decided to embark on a new direction in live performance as Supermarket, taking sequenced beats to the next level with improvised musical elements and a rich, video dimension.
Skating between the worlds of film, art and music daily, the creative Australian pair decided to pitch the idea for developing Supermarket to an Artists’ Residency in Buffalo, New York. The media arts organization Squeaky Wheel sponsored the development of Supermarket’s first music videos, which in turn became the first foundations of their constantly evolving audio-visual performance.
Two mini-tours and another artist residency in Canada later, Supermarket was equipped for even greater possibilities. GrandVJ software and new midi controllers replaced their former Numark’s NuVJ video-mixing rig, and embraced a multi-screen performance future. In their hometown of Adelaide, the massively popular Adelaide Fringe Festival has proven to be a fantastic annual platform for themed shows (Audio-Visual Immersion, Basement Beats & Beatburger) each one bringing in guest artists (among them DJ Trip, Amoeba Muzak and Atomitek) and raising the performance bar. With each outing, Supermarket grows larger, more immersive and increasingly improvised.
At Adelaide Fringe 2010, Supermarket performed with a string of live instruments and mixed visuals over 3 adjacent video walls in the abandoned shell of the Regent Cinema. Their performance was nominated for two Adelaide Fringe awards: Best Music Event and the inSpace Development award (for cross-media works). The pair also developed a remix of the classic 1919 silent horror movie ‘The Cabinet of Dr Caligari’ in Adelaide, and toured it to Perth for Kinetic Carnival. The film remix began as a re-score project for Silent Re-Masters, an initiative of the Media Resource Centre in Adelaide, South Australia.
Beyond Supermarket’s live shows, their videos have displayed in galleries, on the Rundle Lantern (a giant pixel art display sculpture in Adelaide) and at international film festivals. Each year, Supermarket also produces new works to display at SALA, the South Australian Living Artists’ Festival. This year, Supermarket rocked SALA’s Moving Image project launch with their show’s latest mutation: Supermarket’s Magical Mystery Tour. The pair were nominated for two SALA awards, ultimately receiving Runner Up for Best New Work in Moving Image.
From the south of Texas to the wilds of Canada and back home to Australia, Supermarket aims to offer something for everyone in its diverse array of rhythm studies, abstraction and pop-cultural remixes. Supermarket cuts away the verbal, academic headiness of the art scene, and strives to inject creative genre-bending playfulness into the fragmented club and electronic music fraternity.
If you haven’t seen a Supermarket show yet, be sure to click ‘Demand it’ on the right… if you can get 50 demands for your town, Supermarket will be sure to bring their Magical Mystery Tour to your neighbourhood at the earliest opportunity!