Rob Masterton’s new batch of electronic songs with feeling popped onto the internet this week and all of our week’s are that little bit brighter for it. He’s a Melbourne based producer that I’ve never met in the time that I’ve been living down here (wanna get a beer next week Rob?) but we chat over twitter every now and then and he invariably keeps me updated whenever new music is ready. Well, here’s an entire new EP for you to rally around. He’s cheating a little because track four is a remix but in essence it’s meant as a precursor to the full length he’ll be releasing in 2016 through the same Seattle label Hush Hush.
I’ve singled out the first track from the EP because like the last SMH track I wrote about, it’s a warmly produced piece that makes me feel a little hopeful, a little wistful, a little nostalgic. It’s called ‘Crazy About You’ and it immediately drew to mind another song that I really liked but which sat on the tip of my brain-tongue, my cognitive fingertips brushing the edge of the handle each time I tried to grab it cleanly. Lots of listens later though, and I now know that the song is Heaven’s On Fire by The Radio Department which makes plenty of sense since that song too is an absolute delight and a staple of the DJ sets I play in my car with my wife and child. Anywho, that song and this song, they’re both worth an immediate listen but if you’re got to drop some money on either, please deposit it into the SMH purse because he is about to become a dad and probably bankrupt for it.
I reserve a certain few overly hyperbolic praise for a couple of top tier artists. Not commercially top tier, but top tier in the heartranks of this particular digital publication. I’ve toyed with the idea of creating a Sound Doctrine canon but it’s always felt too self-important so I’ve settled with just covering every bit of work a certain few artists release without reprieve. Among the alumni are artists like D.D Dumbo, Oscar Key Sung and today the very, very special Lower Spectrum. His last EP/video (out through Zero Through Nine) elicited some fairly strongly worded praise from these dry lips and found itself placed squarely at the top of my best of 2013 list. So, as the glow of your monitor and my words intermingle, know that I have been anticipating these new Lower Spectrum songs for a minute or two already and the giddy praise that pours forth might be tainted by disgusting, putruid subjectivity.
‘Proxima’, like everything else that Ned Beckley has worked on, is meticulous in its clarity. He’s one part producer/musician, one part raw sound designer. Every single note is just so, a part of an overall narrative that could only be structured around sounds that speak. The attention to detail when it comes to aural nuances sees him score fashion weeks, ballets, short films and sometimes even long films which traditionally differ from short films in terms of duration. Mostly, they are longer. I won’t get too bogged down in the structural elements of this thing because I’m always more interested to talk about what I feel than what I hear and talking about me is terrific while writing about how things sound is quite hard.
This new single is an overwhelmingly heavy thing, battering you not with any ominous ‘heaviness’ as prescribed through metalcore or grind but the sense that something truly colossal cometh. There’s no fear in the face of the glacier but there sure is a whole bunch of awe. It’s no wonder it’s taken Beckley as long as it has to deliver new music, he’s evidently been tube feeding high calorie meals to this song for nigh on eighteen months until it reached suitable girth to overburden our airwaves. Now it’s in danger of pulling our silly blue planet out of orbit and plunging us all, screaming into the sun. Cheers Ned, didn’t need a planet anyway.
There’s an EP due out sometime soon via Pilerats which will redefine physics
I was going to write about the new Drones record but I don’t think I have the requisite minutes right now to do proper justice to what is a culturally loaded song that’s also innovative as all get out. Instead, we’ve got this one, the new number from Sydney’s Ribongia, through Sydney’s October Records, getting written about on [formerly] Sydney’s Sound Doctrine. I feel like I’ve gone out early and placed this in the shadow of The Drones but here’s what I’ll say, if you’re making music anywhere, in any format, you’re probably already in the shadow of the Drones so don’t feel too hard done by. If you can hit play on this track and remain completely static then horrible, horrible news; You are in fact deceased. Sometime in the last few weeks when you were preoccupied by one task or another, you died. You’re dead now. You’ll be missing out on doing some of your absolute favourite activities over the coming months. Breathing, circulating blood, le parkour – they’re all over. You’re dead mate. RIP you. The worst thing is it could be months before anyone finds your body because you live in Preston. This is taking a bit of a morbid turn though, you don’t want to start writing about Ribongia only to later find yourself deep in a post about Preston. I’ll alert the proper authorities, you just go in on this level 13 danceable track, if you do it right then maybe you’ll be reincarnated as a thundergoose.
You can see and hear the last time Ribongia appeared on Sound Doc right here.
I was sure I’d written about Piecey when Women Are Beautiful was released but after a surface level google it seems like I never did. He’s a Sydney producer who signed a blood pact with Stoney Roads Records so as that he’s going to release a bunch of records with them in the next little while. Women Are Beautiful was the first thing that came from their arcane agreement and though it might have brought me 90% of the way towards a sounddoc post, it’s this new remix of La Mar that’s thrust me over the precipice. La Mar are similarly from Sydney and have released some recent singles through Stoney Roads Records theyselves but this new remix is a high point for all involved. The bassline coupled with those metallic, industrial synth tones makes for a song that is constantly threatening to attack but never so basic as to devolve into the ominous drop. It stays clever, it stays careful and it keeps you attentive for it’s near seven minutes.
If I were to describe an artist as from “Australia-via-Oakland”, that’d be confusing right? Are they an Australian in Oakland or are they from Oakland and now they’re in Australia? I struggle with that one regularly and the case of Hazel English is another example. I did a reasearch though and can tell you she’s an Aussie in Oakland which more than qualifies her for a Sound Doctrine write-up. Quality has never been a factory, just geography and cultural heritage. Gentle synths, gentle guitars, gentle vocals, gentle reverb and a simple rolling beat make for very easy listening and there’s a hook in the chorus that’s had me going in on repeat listens this week. On the spectrum of reverb, this one probably comes in somewhere between Bored Nothing and High Highs but on the spectrum of my heart it comes in around about… you know, in there a bit. If you click through to her soundcloud you’ll also find two other similar lovely tracks.