Archive for September, 2015
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.
The project of Melbourne cat Alex Clayton, Asdasfr Bawd is a few songs into his young career and already has critics saying things like “bloody hell that’s a difficult name to spell correctly.” Weirdly I just mashed the left hand side of my keyboard and got lucky, so maybe that’s the way forward here. The first few songs he’s released have been clever and energetic, luring you onto the dancefloor with coy smiles and subtle banter. This one orders you onto it with threats and blackmail then makes it near impossible for you to dance. Alsp thunders through at 152bpm making even my simple head nodding look like an act of ferocious agreement. It feels like an angry Guerre and it manipulates bass in a similar way to the Sydney producer so I’m gonna use that as my main frame of reference to hang things off, especially since I’ve never really gotten my head around what exactly constitutes footwork as a genre. There’s a big ol’ Diplo / Nicky Da B sample on this one which I’m sure has been cleared and under no circumstances should you check on that with any label representative. Very happy to hear Nicky Da B popping up anywhere at all since his very sad passing last year, just listen to that flow.
It’s pretty hard not to hear Simon Lam’s voice and not immediately think I’lls, or maybe even that Nearly Oratorio record he did a while back. Nearly Oratorio is Simon Lam by the way, maybe I should have opened with that, and Simon Lam is also in I’lls. He’s an inspired choice for this track, a voice that doesn’t scream out, it just speaks to you gently above the changing elements of the song as they develop and build. Listening through I’lls, it’s easy to be surprised by some of the unexpected direction Simon takes vocal melodies. Often the vocal line doesn’t resolve itself and while it never feels uncomfortable, you’ll often walk away feeling unfulfilled. That’s a bit of what he does here, a vocal that never follows a pattern you can get used to and doesn’t allow you to settle. Andrei Eremin is really driving this ship though, and with a nautically trained hand, he’s done this a few times before. At least the mixing and mastering part anyway, the production part is still something he’s been growing into but this points at a set of skills that are going to make him a formidable player not only in the finalization of songs, but from the roots to the leaves. Also, apparently he can play the double bass now too so that’s a thing I guess.
His Pale Blue EP is out now, it’s lovely and you’ll love it at work, you’ll love it at home, you’ll love it during vocational training, you’ll love it on an airplane, you’ll love it on a weekend etc – here’s a link to download the thing
Reuben Ingall has released music with such a breadth of genre and format that it’s hard to deliver you a cohesive tale of who he is that would fit nicely into a pretty PR packet. The thought that something is going to be useless to the music business machine, now that’s appealing to me. A narrative detailing a two tracker live casette made by microwaving a pie in front of an audience (Reuben Ingall – Microwave Drone Ritual) or – and I quote – “A concept EP – mashups/collages in various styles of popular music, composed entirely of audio ripped from Youtube videos.” (Reuben Ingall – YouTube Will Eat Itself). These are the tools at the PR man’s disposal. Tools obviously not created in the interest of the PR man but piped direct to your ear bowls to challenge and stimulate you, the listener. So that’s where Reuben’s at. Also more literally, he’s at Canberra too.
Now this new one is from a new record called Microclimates and he’s releasing the thing this week. So give this track a listen and then move forward onto the record and know that you aren’t partaking in ‘the game’ but you’re just hearing a track for the sake of hearing a thing and maybe feeling a thing. The song is ‘Eyelids’ and it’s a song divided by a breath and broken by a piano tone manipulated into an error message. Then then simple earlier vocals become a harmonised call which would be beautiful if it didn’t feel quite so sad. Maybe it’s still beautiful, I guess it’s not dichotomous. The whole thing it’s most obviously characterised by the effected piano sound, clipped with other found sounds and satellites, quivering with feeling and telling a story prior to the arrival of any vocal.