When I wrote about the last Medium Punch x Matt On The Moon single I mentioned that the both of these artists were largely unknown. The first song piqued my curiosity with its intricate percussive loops and a buttery smooth voice. I was a little baffled by the way the track seemed to be two separate ideas smooshed into one, divided cleanly in half and then merged together at the end. Now, having heard the second single it’s fairly clear that this is the modus operandi for these collaborators and I suspect they won’t be all that unrecognised for much longer.
The new single is called Blue Sea Dwellers and it’s another schizophrenic track that spends its first half in the same territory as Jesse Davidson’s recent Ocean EP but the second half is, as last time, a whole nother place altogether. I think it’s more fun if I don’t tell exactly what happens and when but it terms of technical delivery and cohesion this song deserves high praise. The muted trumpet line that closes the song is a perfect production choice. It’d be easy to heap praise on Matt On The Moon for the vocal sections but this the beat end and sample choices are right on too. Shoutouts to 2:45 for the cut of that pedestrian crossing sound.
Here’s a pretty little number from Leaks, another of the Zero Thru Nine alumni. Somehow I switched my VLC player (the thinking man’s player) into 140% playback speed while listening to this and thought he’d developed a new faster paced delivery method which I was willing to accept without question, simply because Tom has a history of modulating pitch and with liberal abandon. It’s only on his past two singles that he’s begun including vocals on his tracks at all but his treatment of them shows he’s obviously not precious about the way they’re presented, manipulating them into instrumental sections rather than retaining them as crisp lyrical devices. I’m glad he hasn’t tried to enter that full voiced slow jam world that puts the vocal big, fat, front and center like a a hippopotamus on the empty open plains, woefully exposed and terrified that he may not be fulfilling his life’s true meaning. There’re enough producer vocalists out there trying to make over sung alt-R&B already and the most of them don’t stir me in the slightest. Lots of little arpeggio pieces and clever layering make this one feel sparse and cushioned, especially with that motorised base track moving up and down gears. Throwback to the last Leaks single ‘Often It’s You‘, also quite lovely indeed.
In other Zero Through Nine related news, I received my super special high powered auxiliary tuned micro four-thirds digitally stabilised quarter pocket 80% transparency Lower Spectrum vinyl arrived yesterday and though I haven’t had the chance to play it yet, it’s been emanating extremely positive auras at me all day so you know it’s gonna be good vibes when I get home with a perfectly aligned set of chakras. Scrawled on the pizza box it was mailed in, “Don’t trust cops”. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Now I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t heard a much rougher, tougher version of this song from a loooooooong way back. There were a few vocal neuroses but the raw essence of the thing was there. The band have reconstructed it over a stretch of months and it’s now a clean, refined ore from the rough piece of coal that once lived on the band’s bandcamp. It’s no diamond but I don’t think this is outfit works within the precious stone industry. Maybe Tiger’s Eye could be the closest they get, man those are some cool stones. Again though, not exactly precious. Anywho, in the time since that older demo went live, they’ve knocked together a proper EP, re-recorded LOVE, covered ILOVEMAKONNEN’s Club Going Up On A Tuesday and then convinced the Fader to premiere the thing. Although I don’t put much stock in premieres, a cosign from the Fader should be good enough for you and your notoriously low standards. Here’s both LOVE and the cover below.
My bud buds and semi-profession relaters over at Pilerats are releasing this HAMJAM record and sent me this track for my listening. Transparency. I’m writing about it because I dig it, not because we’re fellas.
Andrei Eremin aka Ony The King but also not really aka that name but I think it would be deserved and not out of the realms of possibility so maybe let’s make it happen. That’s the name of the dude who’s gone and remixed this Milwaukee Banks track. We’ve talked about him a couplea times before by virtue of his production work but also while listening through his originals and I’ve always been pretty heavy on the praise as befitting of his efforts and that run of form isn’t going to stop here. I was pretty middling in my feelings towards Milwaukee Banks before I caught their Bigsound set but I’ve polarised my opinions and they’ve moved in the right direction, provided you’re also a fan. I was filtering their records through a hip-hop lens and in that way it didn’t feel like it cut through too well. Not a skip-hop lens, just the same sort of measure stick you’d apply to a Jackie Onassis track maybe. It’a actually quite a tricky bar to measure up against because it demands not only forward thinking production but a vocal that is more modern than most Australian hip-hop but still an Australian voice. Then I caught the second half of that Bigsound set and I realised I was seeing them all wrong. The dudes aren’t going to be the next Jackie Onassis, they’re going to exist in the same world as Black Vanilla. Dylan isn’t an MC, he’s a vocalist which sounds arbritary but I promise it ain’t, I just don’t have the time nor the inclination to explain why. Something to do with the vocal’s relationship to the beat, etc etc.
Meantime, I also caught Ony’s own set at the party I put on which was always going to be a roaring success (because of me and my involvement and all the things that I do) but this fella span that remix and my word, it was onnnnnnn. Free download too. A straight shoe-in for any of y’all booking future DJ sets.
Episode 3 of Sound Doctrine’s post-modern theatre-art emotionscape Show & Tell saw us sitting in the living room of a friend of a friend of a friend watching Spirit Faces performing ‘Hurts Less Than Heartbreak’. It was strange hearing it performed stripped bare of the thundering electronics but in their place sits a dark, pondering series of chords punctuated only by the tap of fingers on smartphones and my own excited heavy breathing as exposed hammers hit strings. This one can speak for itself…
Filmed by Matt Davis at Silent Creative
Audio by Lewis Tems