Australia's Sneaky Sound System took out two honors at the second annual Jagermeister AIR independent music awards, held in Melbourne tonight.
The Sydney-based electro/dance trio, who led the nominations tally with six, took off with the best independent artist trophy, and the best performing independent single/EP category for "UFO" (Whack Records/MGM).
The awards, organized by the Melbourne-based Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR), acknowledge local acts and labels not affiliated with major labels.
Sneaky Sound System is the crossover success story of the year Down Under. Its MC Double D (Daimon Downey) says, "Nobody wanted to release our album, so we figured we'd set up Whack Records and release it ourselves."
The self-titled debut has sold 100,000 units (70,000 denotes platinum in Australia) since its August 2006 release, and cracked the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Top 20. It also yielded three hit singles "UFO", "Picture" and "I Love It". The band also converted two wins from five nominations at the ARIA Awards, held Oct. 28 event in Sydney.
Also at the AIR Awards, best performing independent album went to "Grand National" by the John Butler Trio (Jarrah Records/MGM). Released in March 2007, the record debuted at No. 1 both the ARIA and AIR charts, and certified double platinum (140,000 units).
Other winners were guitar band British India (Flashpoint/Shock) for new independent artist; C.W. Stoneking's "King Hokumi!" (Low Transit Industries/Inertia Music) for blues and roots; Midnight Juggernauts' "Dystopia" (Siberia/Inertia Music) for dance/electronica; Gina Jeffreys' "Walks of Life" (Independent/MGM) for country and Ben Winkleman Trio's "The Spanish Tinge" (Jazzhead/MGM) for jazz.
Performing on the night were British India, political hip hop band the Herd's MC Urthboy, the Ben Winkleman Trio and roots band Blue King Brown.
AIR used the setting of the gala to introduce new genre charts to its monthly compilation of Australian independent music charts. In addition to the current country, blues/roots, and jazz charts will be a hard rock/punk and an urban/hip hop chart, while the dance chart will be renamed dance/electronica "to better reflect the diverse cross section of music which falls within the genre," says AIR CEO Stu Watters.