27 Jan Banalarama featuring Sui Zhen, Terrible Truths, Mangelwurzel and The Harpoons

The local YouTube channel Banalarama, run by Zachary Bradtke and Nick Clarke, put together an ABABCd event on January 8th at The Gasometer Hotel in Melbourne. Presented by Creative Victoria, the lineup consisted of The Harpoons, Mangelwurzel (led by Jaala), Sui Zhen and Terrible Truths.

While we were unfortunately unable to make it down to this one, the footage is thankfully online now, and it’s a great insight into the variety of sounds currently coming out of Melbourne on a regular basis.


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21 Jan MUTO – ‘This Girl’ feat. M. Maggie

Local label Of Leisure have expanded their growing roster with the signing of Sydney producer MUTO with the release of his debut single ‘This Girl feat. M. Maggie’.

MUTO has made a name for himself remixing well know beats and other local producers over the last year while slowly developing a sound to build originals around. The production on ‘This Girl’ is thick with wonky swirling synth lines with frantic percussion and strings helping build the tension.

‘This Girl’s influences are clear but it works with them skillfully, creating a great platform for new york singer M. Maggie’s vocals. The lyrics, strange at first listen, have been described as portraying “a boxing fight as a metaphor for the dominance and suffering one can endure in a relationship”.

‘This Girl ft. M. Maggie’ is out now via Of Leisure

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21 Jan Premiere: LETRAN – ‘71221325-02’

A mysterious electronic producer from Melbourne, LETRAN (real name David Tran) has sent us his debut track ‘71221325-02‘. If you think that track title looks more like a file number than a final song title, it all makes sense when you hear the track, which sounds like a million tiny little robotic parts, beautifully working together in the search for something.

What exactly ‘71221325-02’ is searching for is unclear, but it makes me curious to hear more work from LETRAN. His sound sits closer to Aphex Twin than, say, DnB. It contains the breakneck speed of the latter, but it isn’t completely reliant on adrenaline to be enthralling. I’ve spun this track at least 15 times, and I still can’t remember all the twists and turns packed into its 4:41 body. That’s a good sign.

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ocean party

20 Jan Premiere: The Ocean Party – ‘Light Weight’ (video)

A pillar of Melbourne musical consistency, The Ocean Party have returned with ‘Light Weight’, the title track off their fourth album.

The Wagga expats visually continue on a similar thread to their previous works, using absurdism in a self-deprecating fashion. The clip itself is inspired by the DVD cover of the Tom Hanks film ‘That Thing You Do’, and the “pure frustration of trying to run video editing software on a death-rattling PC”. And I’m not entirely sure what to make of this information. Either way, the clip made me laugh, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. So that’s a big positive.

Somewhat unnsurprisingly given past releases, the comedy of the clip works as a lovely juxtaposition to the track’s content, delving into society’s unrelenting focus on the destination – one so overbearing that it can cloud judgement and lead to failure in reaching said destination. Condensed, the song is about missing your moment. In the words of the band, “I could very well be a 9-5 butcher living between smoke-breaks if I hadn’t got my head out of the clouds. One day you wake up and ‘here it comes’ has become ‘there it went’.”


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19 Jan Le Pie – ‘Up All Night’

Le Pie out of Sydney have released her first original recording since last years And He Said Honey, You Look So Fine EP. Which caught our attention in February when we heard the opening track ‘Secrets‘. ‘Up All Night‘ finds Le Pie now on the front foot with a beefed up recording around her.

‘Up All Night’ has all the rock chick confidence of Sleater-Kinney or Ex Hex and the guitar riffs rip just as hard as those savvy rock bands. “You’ve got me up all night, but not the fun type” shouts out the now confrontational Le Pie, especially when compared to ‘Secrets’, which I described as “soft garage-pop” in my review. What both tracks make rather clear is that Le Pie has no problems constructing multiple, melody hooks within one song. Overall another positive move forward for Le Pie.

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18 Jan Liluzu – ‘Gunko’

The tropic-beater Liluzu from Melbourne has uploaded the second track ‘Gunko‘ from his two track Heliotropic EP. Where as the previous track ‘Waiting On U‘ took a more mellow, pondering approach. ‘Gunko’ is lively and spry.

‘Gunko’ takes on parts of early sporadic Lone and even the bubbly side of the retro act Todd Terje. The term outsider-house comes to mind, because the arpeggios moments sound improvised, unrestrained and aren’t bass heavy, making them perfect for afternoon sets in the hot sun (A.K.A. park-parties). Overall ‘Gunko’ is played out like one big piece of string waving up and down in the wind, where you know roughly where it’s going, but it’s unpredictable enough to still be fun to chase.

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18 Jan NO ZU – ‘Spirit Beat’

The ’80s influenced alt-pysch, jam band NO ZU out of Melbourne are gearing up for the release of their second album Afterlife and ‘Spirit Beat‘ is the third taste of it. We’ve already heard and featured heavily ‘Raw Vision‘ and ‘Ui Yia Uia‘ on the site, making ‘Spirit Beat’ a refreshing experience. It doesn’t stray too far from the sounds of the previous singles, but it doesn’t indicate that the group are short of ideas within their sound.

What No Zu do really well for a big band is sound concise and focused, even when all the layers are flying in and out in close proximity. Every No Zu song (including ‘Spirit Beat’) has a core structure, like a dancer performing on stage with lights, lasers, smoke machine and streamers, but instead of blazing all of these tools at the time, each one is used in quick small bursts in order to highlight the dancers presence at the centre. In other words No Zu are clever choreographers of their own sounds.

Afterlife is available February 5th via Chapter Music on vinyl and digital.

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18 Jan Free Time – ‘Who Owns the Moon?’

Free Time are back with their first single ‘Who Owns The Moon?‘ off the upcoming album In Search Of Free Time. The band is the project of Dion Nania from Melbourne and the lineup currently features other Melbourne musicians from Twerps, Totally Mild and Terrible Truths.

‘Who Owns The Moon?’ actually manages to fuse key elements of all the projects the new members come from. The strong guitar lead of Totally Mild, the lo-fi clanging drums of Terrible Truths and the Sonic Youth sounding moments of Twerps. The least distinguishable character is in fact Dion Nania. That’s not to say that he’s lacking character, he’s just not demanding attention, despite strong emotional sentences such as “She opens that door to my heart, when I’m with you, it’s like an elevator to the moon”. The lyrical staying power is present, the band sound tight here and sounded even tighter when I saw them live at The Tote in Melbourne last month. I just hope this translates through to the full length album.

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14 Jan Album review: Charles Murdoch – Point

It feels like Charles Murdoch’s debut album Point has been a long time coming. The Brisbane producer first made waves in 2013 with a remix of a track by the then-blowing-up Flume, and since then his growth as an artist and producer have been expansive. The proof of this more mature, developed sound can be heard within Point.

Released via Future ClassicPoint feels like a good fit for the label, its evolving and forward-thinking sounds gelling well with the range of electronic releases the label has become known for. It is by no means, however, an expected or even safe release on their behalf. On Point, Murdoch pushes to engage the listener through subtle, delicate, and considered production. There are no exuberant ‘drops’ or stand out ‘radio plays’; instead, we’re presented with a collection of musical concepts that play out in a way as to give an indication of the consideration that went into them.

No doubt much of this consideration was done through the process of collaboration as many of the album’s tracks feature one or more artists. On opening track ‘Nothing For You (feat. KUČKA)’, deep, stirring bass forms a perfect counter weight to KUČKA’s light vocals throughout a song that sets up the listener for what to expect from the remaining tracks.

This is quickly followed by a stand out from the album,  ‘Frogs (feat. Ta-ku, Wafia & Hak)’. This coming together of four musical minds is apparent in the different movements the track flows through, from the driving vocals of Wafia, the wonky production of Ta-Ku and the darker, disjointed rap from Hak. The art of such a collaboration is to make these elements work together; on ‘Frogs’, they certainly do.

Chloe Kaul lends a unique vocal sound on the ethereal ‘Open’ and another highlight ‘Fray’. The vocal layering she has developed through her work in Kllo is clearly put to good use as ‘Fray’ grows to its climax.

Privacy (feat. Oscar Key Sung)’ makes an instant impression upon first listen through its combination of smooth RnB vocal rhythms over a dark and spacious bottom end. This notion is continued in the equally-striking duet with Oscar Key Sung and Banoffee, ‘Back To It’. Both artists bounce seamlessly off each other as their vocals pair together beautifully.

Solo productions on the album such as ‘Wash’ and ‘Straws’ create a perfect change of pace and allow the listener to get lost in the richness of the production on display. ‘Wash’ is perhaps the most abstract moment on the album, but gives Murdoch a chance to explore new sounds and directions perhaps not possible with the weight of a vocal top line. This freedom makes for interesting listening. The wonky lead synth line of ‘Straws’ rides effortless over the growing body of the track and provides one of the more danceable moments on a very solid album.

Point is out now via Future Classic

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zone out

26 Dec Zone Out – ‘Inside’ (video)

The dream pop duo Zone Out out of Melbourne consists of Dove Bailey and Ashley Bundang. They’ve been floating around the scene since 2012, but they grabbed our attention three months ago, when they uploaded ‘Inside‘. Their latest single ‘So Bright‘ also featured in our Ripe Australian Chart posts, but ‘Inside’ is more organic, fluid and encapsulating.

The music video features the band members wearing matching clothes and appearing everywhere inside the household of a couple. My favourite scene (that made me chuckle) is the awkward shower, where the boyfriend can barely lift his arms above his head due to the tight squeeze. Special mention goes to the next scene buried under the soil, simply because of the commitment to the video’s theme. In the end the couple find themselves outside, while Zone Out are still on the ‘Inside’.

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