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12 Nov Lower Spectrum – ‘Proxima’

Leading into the release of his ‘New Haze’ EP, Lower Spectrum has released what may be one of his biggest hit to date.

On ‘Proxima’ Lower Spectrum combines a number of elements both familiar and forward thinking within the genre to create a track that is simultaneously accessible, yet also breaches new ground. Fans of Lower Spectrum and indeed his peers will be drawn to the heavy leading bass, the rickety percussion and the infectious vocal sample, yet may also be caught off guard by the beautiful moments of melodic harps and heavy, impactful subs.

These combinations working together so well are a testament to the quality of the song writing on display, and will no doubt strike a chord with listeners. In addition to this the mixing is topnotch – not surprising as the mastering was done by someone who has worked with Low End Theory and Flying Lotus, Daddy Kev.

New Haze is due out early 2016 on Pilerats Records.

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12 Nov Premiere: Abelard – ‘I’m OK For Now’

Melbourne producer Abelard has sent us a premiere of his latest single, ‘I’m OK For Now‘. The artist behind ‘☆SEINWAVE☆2000☆ What’s the deal with airline food?‘ has been impressing this year with what he calls ‘glitterwave’ – a combination of chillwave, ’80s retro, and glo-fi.

‘I’m OK For Now’ even dips into RnB and neo-soul, with its slow hip sway and the sampling of reflective, relationship-focused lyrics. Meanwhile, the glitchy stutter-rhythm is reminisent of Tourist‘s old remix work under the name Little Loud.

Abelard is very meticulous when it comes weaving his lush layers together, rather than just piling them atop one another. The track also flows very organically, almost feeling as if it was a freeform performance recorded in one take.

The next step for this sound could either be bringing in a live vocalist who complements his soul-tinged sound,  or simply taking a few more chances, throwing in a few more twists and turns. Either way, Abelard is definitely more than okay for now.

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06 Nov 2200 – ‘The Rig’

If you’re a fan of Dan White, Rings Around Saturn, Rory McPike, or any other alias this Melbourne producer/DJ may go under, then brace yourself for his latest as 2200.

Gritty and uncompromising, Dan White laid the foundations for the heavier sound in his Melbourne Deepcast some months back. Now, finally, ‘The Rig’ has been given an official release through up-and-coming label Cult Trip. The full EP, Killed By Deaf, will be available December 4 and adds to the growing list of different labels his work features on, including Butter Sessions, Forbidden Planet, and his very own label, Rhythm Works.

Bordering somewhere between techno and jungle, a big rolling bassline is punctuated by urgent synths. Percussion elements too are equally frantic, a stuttering high-hat playing throughout.

The Dan White moniker proved Rory could satisfy the techno crowds, while Rings Around Saturn delivered some beautiful ambient sounds. Now, 2200 handles the heavier side of things. My only question is: what sound is next?

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05 Nov Good Morning – ‘Cab Deg’

Finally. I’ve been waiting to write up on ‘Cab Deg‘ since I heard Melbourne’s Good Morning closing out all their sets with it at CMJ in New York this past month. It’s the first single off their upcoming EP Glory (the follow-up to their 2014 debut EP Shawcross), due out in February.

When you’re watching about 10 bands play everyday at CMJ, it’s almost impossible to go home every night with the same song stuck in your head – but I did. There it was, the chorus of ‘Cab Deg’ looping over and over in my head, every  night. Not even ‘Hotline Bling‘ could compete.

While I was previously intrigued by Good Morning, Glory may just make me a legit fan. They have a smart team behind them in label Solitaire, and have enlisted the mastering abilities of the respected Simon Lam of I’lls. My only criticism is that the recording quality sounds more like early, lo-fi Real Estate, rather than the crisp, modern Real Estate. That transition is the next step for Good Morning; everything else is firmly in place.

Glory is out in February via Solitaire, as a digital download or black 12″.

Track list:
1. Overslept
2. Cab Deg
3. To Be Won
4. Give Me Something To Do
5. The Great Start
6. In The Way

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28 Oct Lily & the Bellows – ‘White lies’

It’s hard not to seem patronising when you call a band, or a song, ‘fun’. But I just cannot get that stupid adjective out of my mind every time I listen to Lily & The Bellows ‘White Lies’. Yes, they fall within one of the most saturated genres of our time (soul-pop), but there’s just enough variety within this to make it feel fresh and exciting.

Fronted by Sydneysider Lily So, the five-piece look to the likes of Amy Winehouse and Beach Boys as influences; however, I’d compare the concoction more to Jenny Lewis. The production is slick and the lyrics playful, and it seems that Lily & The Bellows are a band worth keeping an eye or two on over the coming months.

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28 Oct Au Dré – ‘Climax’

Melbourne multi-instrumentalist band Au Dré have just released ‘Climax‘, having said “see you later” to their keyboardist Nicholas Lam (DxHeaven) as he heads to Red Bull Music Academy in Paris. The band is comprised of Audrey Powne (vocals/trumpet) as well as James Bowers (JamBau/production), Gareth Thomson (drums) and Nicholas Lam(keys), who will be back after the course fresh faced and full of knowledge. You may recognise the all-star team from other bands like Sex on Toast, Clever AustinSwooping DuckVaudeville SmashThe Do Yo Thangs and Jaala.

‘Climax’ is bursting with colour. The track, though eminently palatable and upbeat, deals with a more sincere and honest story than you may expect. The production is replete with texture and, in combination with the pulsating drum and bass patterns, the overall sonic aesthetic is quite unique. From start to finish, ‘Climax’ is surging with surprises and fizzing with flavour.

If you like what you hear, check out their video for ‘Fool Me‘ below, and catch them at Million Dollar Pony Club as a part of Melbourne Music Week on November 15th at Transit Rooftop Bar.

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24 Oct Spookyland – ‘Bulimic’

Spooklyland are back with a new single, ‘Bulimic‘, and t’s not clear if it’s the first single from their debut album or not. Last year they released the EP Rock And Roll Weakling with standout tracks such as ‘The Silly Fucking Thing‘ and ‘Rock And Roll Weakling‘, which displayed not only the potential of the band, but also their intriguing lead man Marcus Gordon.

Marcus not only writes about interesting situations, but he has a voice that simply screams emotion, without confusing intensity or drama for genuine feeling. However, ‘Bulimic’ packs more than just Marcus, as the band explodes into post-rock territory during the second half of the song. Just when you thought Spookyland couldn’t get any more emotionally impactful, they find a way. This is a hungry band.

These guys don’t get talked about in Australia as much as they should, but you get the sense with ‘Bulimic’ that Spookyland want to change that.

Here’s our live recording of the title track from their last EP, ‘Rock and Roll Weakling‘.

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21 Oct Oisima – ‘Take Your Time (Mic Mills remix)’

Untzz Twelve Inch. strike gold again. The Adelaide label are quietly as hot as anyone in the country right now. Recently Arthur Miles has been on our radar with singles such as ‘Navajoa‘ and now our heads have quickly turned to the Adelaide producer Mic Mills, based on just this ‘Take Your Time‘ remix.

Remixing Oisima is always a good idea, but you get the impression here that Mic Mills could turn anything into pure magic. It builds for eight minutes, subtly evolving with every layer carefully chosen and gently dropped into place. At it’s micro level this remix is a work of art, but from a distance it’s got this glistering, sparkle that’s majestic. It makes me just want to run away with only this song looping in my headphones.

Say hello to Mic Mills.

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21 Oct Slum Sociable – ‘TQ’ EP

Slum Sociable have been making a stir with their unique brand of ‘lo-fo’ jazzy hip-hop, their debut EP TQ releasing today.

Opening track ‘All Night’ has been doing the rounds already – no surprise given its soulful vocal and oh-so-catchy faded synth riff that comes in towards the end. Tracks like ‘Apartment’ and ‘Luck So Far’ follow the same formula, letting the vocals croon out over a slower rhythm.

One of the more notable tracks ‘Paradigm’ exposes the trip-hop influences of Slum Sociable, an almost eerie worldliness that seems atypical for a couple of guys out of Mordialloc. The swirling piano and twisted drums shift the mood to a slightly more melancholy feel, showing slivers of Massive Attack‘s work.

The conglomeration of different sounds – from the obvious jazz, electronica and hip-hop, to the glimpses of trip-hop and acoustic – sounds like a potential recipe for disaster. However, Slum Sociable make it work without sounding scattered or indecisive.

Co-produced by Tom Iansek of Big Scary and #1 Dads fame, recently nominated for Best Male Artist at Best Victoria Music, all instruments and vocals are largely the work of the two artists Ed and Miller themselves. The EP itself is available to purchase on digital and vinyl format, right here.

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21 Oct Roland Tings – ‘Hedonist’

I know I’m a few days late on this one, but unfortunately I’m not Goro from Mortal Kombat, I don’t have multiple arms. Speaking of multiples, this new Roland Tings track ‘Hedonist‘ has several ear-pleasuring layers. He already released the best electronic Australian album of the year back in February. In fact it’s one of the best electronic albums, period, on the planet this year (although it has to said, that it’s been a below average year for electronic albums, part as a result of over saturation and general fatigue).

Now at this point ‘Hedonist’ almost feels like his just messing with his competition. Like watching an NBA player do a windmill dunk, when he’s teams up 30 points in the last quarter. It’s still got that John Talabot type of Balearic beat, but with less grey overtones. What Roland Tings does particularly well, is that he never limits exactly what his project can be, yet every song is clearly Roland Tings. You also never feel like you have heard the best of what he’s capable of making, yet what he’s already doing right now is a class above his peers.

He’s playing at Paradise Music Festival next month outside of his home town Melbourne, but before then he’s doing a North American tour.

Tour dates:
22nd October – 1015 Folsom, San Francisco, USA
23rd October – The Belasco Theatre, Los Angeles, USA
24th October – Bang Bang, San Diego, USA
26th October – Union Transfer, Philadelphia, USA^
27th October – U Street, Washington, USA^
28th October – Brighton Music Hall, Boston, USA^
30th October – Theater Fairmont, Montreal, Canada^
31st October – The Hoxton, Toronto, Canada^

^ AlunaGeorge

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