It’s been last month for electronic music out here in the Antipodes. To recap-
• LUCIANBLOMKAMP dropped a true art and then backed it up with a video.
• Young Franco released a two track EP
• Ribongia’s ‘Slave Trade’
• Andrei Eremin teamed up with Fractures for co-single ‘Ghosts’
• That Ryn Weaver track prod. Cashmere Cat, Charli XCX etc. Not really [at all] Australian but holy moley, so good.
• Tim Shiel returned to the game with a new EP
• The Kite String Tangle followed Given The Chance w/ Arcadia which is, IMO, better.
• The first Ara Koufax single dropped and was hailed by the whole internet as the best single on the internet (Nielsen Ratings, July)
• Oscar Key Sung remixed Oscar Key Sung turning Holograms into Hollow Grams
• THAT LOWER SPECTRUM TRACK.
• Fortunes finally released a second song.
See what I mean? So many #Things happened. Meanwhile on commercial radio, Run To Paradise got played 43 times (actual truth) so they definitely still do support Australian music and that’s before we even consider the 62 spins for Silverchair’s Straight Lines. The industry is saved! Back to beat world again though because there’s a new one out today that I’d like to apply to our collective ears like a t[r]opical cream
You’re already familiar with L D R U because he’s had a fair bit of remix action out through Future Classic as well as plenty of Triple J support for his flumetown banger ‘The Tropics’ but this one is a different beast entirely. Give It All spends its first minute and fifteen seconds building sitars on hand drums and signposting a drop that ultimately [thanks be] never comes. Instead it flips into a Caribbean banger replete with panflutes and a ragga vocal part that surely, surely couldn’t be sample. It just couldn’t, right? That patois energy rides the beat far too perfectly for it to be a sample though the alternative is that L D R U has allowed the sample to be the beating heart of the track and restrainedly and articulately wrapped the instrumental elements around it. But again, I really don’t think it’s a sample.
Posting this one up for no other virtue than the trembling energy across the track. Not to imply that there’s nothing else to it but the unbridled mania of the thing is what got it over the line to start with, you feel me? I once saw the dude play an opening set at Brighton UpBar and I say with no hesitation that some toes were tapped and heads nodded. I’ve got myself a feeling right down in my deepest bones that you’ll be hearing more about the ol’ Ribo over the next year or so. He’s got an EP out this Friday through October Records.
I can’t even imagine being Andrei Eremin. Several reasons why, the first of which I’ve never bean a creative visualist and at best I can imagine myself maybe slightly taller or with slightly darker shade of brown hair but even then my mind’s eye is struggling. Secondly, I don’t have the slightest hint of an audio-engineering skillset. Thirdly, I’ve never had to experience the sort of monotonous introduction he has to sit through with unerring regularity. By now, if you don’t know that Andrei Eremin is also a studio warrior with an extravagant resumé, then this is your stop, please depart the vehicle. Thanks for your patronage and maybe we’ll see you soon. No I’m being rude, we don’t all look at liner notes. Anyway, if you didn’t know, now you know. I can’t speak for the man himself but I suspect he’s either fearfully tired of those studio credits being wheeled out or proud as punch so Andrei, I’m sorry / you’re welcome.
He’s partnered with Fractures on a co-single called Ghosts. Now the idea of a co-single might terrify you but stick with me here, it’s not as outlandish as it sounds. ‘Under Pressure’ by Queen and David Bowie is a sort of co-single in that it was released as the work of both artists and similarly you’ll see ‘Ghosts’ appear on the Fractures EP in July as well as on whatever the hell Andrei plans to release under his own name. I’ve it on good authority that he will be shirking traditional release formats in favour of a vapour only release. Reportedly it will make use of new technologies and spells that allow the consumer to hear an entire record, immediately, just by inhaling it as a thin mist. The vapour itself will be free but the nitro-inhaler needed to consume this haze looks to be exorbitantly expensive with first estimates upward of £65,000.
You’ll pay every single pound though because the song is winner and the guy is a keeper and a staple of the business we find ourselves herein. Fractures vocals are the centrepiece but don’t be mistaken, they don’t end up so by chance. It’s the surrounding production and the decision to let things sit when they need to sit and again draw forward when necessary that makes this a cohesive piece of work and a tasty morsel indeed. More please gentlemen.
Ever since the onslaught of media attention following 2013′s ‘Calendar Days’, Dick Diver could have been working with major label producers to birth the perfect amalgam of dolewave and catchy synthpop to break into the Australian mainstream. It’s a story that has played out countless times throughout rock history. Thankfully though, the streak of restless rebellion is strong in this Melbourne band, and instead of the above scenario, we are gifted a surprising lo-fi vinyl release with refreshing political clout.
‘New Name Blues’ is an upbeat lament, a sad song in a major key. It’s a drawling account of the current state of things suspended under a delicate piano line. It’s tongue in cheek but it comes from a place of truth and sadness. ‘Dreamtime is done. Howard, Kochie and Bolt? They won.’ Dick Diver lyricise what even a cursory internet search into Indigenous health statistics in this country will confirm (and leave you with a big empty feeling in your stomach).
As if words weren’t enough, the whole thing ascends about midway through the track to a mournful passage of call and response between wandering slide guitar and a distant saxaphone. The reverb grows like an overwhelming wave, before it fades out and falls apart in a lazy malaise.
I know the phrase has become fundamentally devalued through overuse but here we go again, “contender for impending record of the year”. Yes, I know we’re only one song deep but I may have snuck a listen to the full bouquet of songs and there’re multiple moments across the thing that stood out for me. Moments of genuine electronic music ingenuity and creativity like the several that are present across ‘Help Me Out’.
I’m going to start at the beginning because I’m a sequential cat but the beginning doesn’t simply mean the vocodered vocals. That means the bass drum and metallic clicks that underpin the breathy soundscapes drawing to mind misty mountains and cold fog. Disorienting and directionless and monotone in all the best ways. Then the beat sucks out all before it and the synth calls its name and the all the elements are thickened over themselves with the breathiness of those early samples now a heavy gasp. The vocoder is gone and the vocals are real and present but there’s still a surprise yet. ALL earlier sonic touchstones are dispensed of leaving us with only a wandering sax line, an elongated sub-bass floor and a few ticks and snaps. Then no beat at all, just those vocals filtered through again.
Lucian has been at this game a while now, my first exposure coming through Holly’s now defunct blog East To West (RIP) in early 2013. The songs featured on the containing self-titled EP should have seen far more internet love than they initially did (guilty.) but I suspect they were problematically ahead of their time. Even now that EP would stand up as one of the most innovated things dropped this year had it only just been turned around but it’s a new day so keep your eyes to the front.
Yes Please, always ones to know a good thing when they hear it, have signed on to get this LP into our collective iTunes and hopefully pressed onto wax at some point.