Male Dominated Judging Panel Announced For Amp

16 October 2013 | 3:01 pm | Scott Fitzsimons

Panel features "right people for the role"

Only two women appear on the judging panel for this year's The Coopers Amp, which is widely considered the country's most illustrious annual Australian album prize.

Announced today, under three weeks before entries close, 11 individuals – including the Chairperson, Hoodoo Gurus' Dave Faulkner – have been named on the judging panel for the 2013 prize, which is $30,000 once again. Outside of the Chairperson, 50 percent of the judging panel is made up of retail representatives, while there are three journalists – two from Fairfax and one from News Limited. The list features no West Australian representatives and just two women – Renee Geyer and Jet Black Cat Music's Shannon Logan.

Today Prize Director Scott B Murphy confirmed to that there is one more judge on the panel than in 2012, which saw the a major overhaul of the judging format.

“For the first time since the inception of the Coopers AMP, significant changes to the judging panel were made and announced last year and were in effect for The 8th Coopers AMP,” Murphy said. “This change resulted in a reduction in the number of judges from more than 40 down to approximately ten.”

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He said the reduced panel was arranged by “finding the right people, so the total number of judges – along with the number of males and females – is decided upon by getting the right people for the role.” Murphy added, “We actually had two additional judges due to be on this year's panel, both were women, and unfortunately they had to pull out before judging began.”

The full list of judges includes:

Dave Faulkner (Chairperson)
Bernard Zuel (Sydney Morning Herald)
Renee Geyer
Tim Levinson (Urthboy)
Chris Johnston (The Age)
Mikey Cahill (Herald Sun)
Mike Glynn (JB Hi-Fi)
Christopher Powell (Blackwood Sounds, Adelaide)
Shannon Logan (Jet Black Cat Music, Brisbane)
Chris Berkley (Red Eye Records, Sydney)
Nate Nott (Polyester Records, Melbourne)

In addressing last year's re-configuring of the panel Faulker added, “The decision to reduce the number of judges overall was a very deliberate one, and was designed to reduce the risk of Amp winners being decided by 'the lowest common denominator'.

“There was a feeling that sometimes the least-offensive albums had a much better chance of achieving consensus rather than those daring kinds of records that polarised many. With too many judges pulling in too many different directions the only place where everyone's tastes would coincide would be the bland middle ground.

“The other important gain was that a smaller panel of judges could engage in more intense, robust discussion as to the pros and cons of any album. In the past, the unwieldy size of the panel simply made that impossible."

Current artists long-listed for this year's prize include:

The TongueSurrender To Victory
The Delta RiggsHex Lover Killer
Standish/Carlyon Deleted Scenes
Jen CloherIn Blood Memory
BeachesShe Beats
Kirin J. Callinan Embracism
The Drones – I See Seaweed
Bob Evans – Familiar Stranger
Abbe May – Kiss My Apocalypse
Big Scary – Not Art
Dialectrix – The Cold Light Of Day
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away

Entries close Friday 1 November at 5pm. Head here for details on how to submit an album.