In recent years, electronica music has moved extraordinarily far in the world, and in Australia especially. Seriously, there is no other option but inevitable world domination by Australian electronic artists on the international stages. Earlier this year, an almost unknown Australian producer called Flume topped the ARIA and Itunes charts with his debut self-titled. Electronic, House, Ambient and Trance are all making a comeback, and they’re no longer looked upon as shit that people on drugs listen to. Electronic is fast becoming the newest popular form of music, and Australia is leading the way. In the coming years, look forward to Hermitude gracing the main stage at Big Day Out instead of the Chili Peppers, amongst these other names…
10. Motion. Picture. Actress- There doesn’t come a more Australian sound integrated into production than the work of Motion. Picture. Actress. Throughout the opening bars of their standout track ‘Ghosts’ the sounds of birdsong, wind rustling through trees, rain falling, and wind chimes echo, all strong reminders of an Australian bush landscape. Then a soulful piano jolts in, feminine alien vocals, a kicking drum beat and the rest of the track is pure brilliance. Much is the same for the entire EP. Aussie pride n shit.
9. Super Magic Hats- Super Magic Hats are a pretty well kept secret, and it’s dumfounding. They play absolutely next level shit. Regardless of how stoner that sounds, it’s 100% true. Listening to a Super Magic Hats song like ‘Charcoal’ is an experience. The shifts in sonic sounds, the constant bass kicks, the synth patterning that scatters then recollects…jaw dropping. To draw comparisons, I’d say they sound a lot like Purity Ring from Canada, only better.
8. Fishing-Hands down, the best new talent to be coming out of Sydney in the electronic spectrum of things. Made up of two young guys, that couldn’t be but fresh out of high school, they combine indie pop sensibilities with electronic synth fusion. Listening to a bouncy, floating track like ‘OOOO’ is like playing Mario Kart: super childish, super nostalgic and possibly the funnest thing ever. They’re entrancing live as well, speaking from first person experience, on the tours when they supported Deep Sea Arcade and Snakadaktal. Their latest single Choy Line is amazeballs.
7. Oliver Tank-Although a tad more vocal in his work than the previous entries, Oliver Tank is a feather in the cap for all contemporary Australian production. For an example, listen to the single off his ‘Dreams’ EP, ‘Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion. It’s tear-inducing stuff. Even before the violins in kick in at 0:40 seconds, the waterworks have started. In no other song in the electronic genre have I felt that a musician is baring their soul through their music than in Oliver Tank’s case. Every song on the EP is a mournful tale, and it’s heartbreakingly beautiful.
6. I’lls-Straight out of Melbourne,I’ll’s play some gorgeously hypnotic, and incredibly lustrous production. Imagine a slightly shit Radiohead, which is still miles better than the best glam band. It’s pretty fucking fantastic to just slip on some earphones, crank the volume, and slip into a trance. The band plays quietly harrowing sounds that soar and dip gently, and send shivers down the spine. Sourcing simple drums, piano, synths, handclaps, guitar and unintelligible vocals, the band’s debut EP ‘Threads’ has plenty to sink your teeth into, especially key tracks ‘Northern Quarters’ and ‘Thrice’.
5. Pnau-Kings of Australian hardcore trance. I mean, what’s not to love about these guys? They had a song in a milk ad, have got wildly insane video clips, provide epileptic inducing tracks, and were hand picked by Elton John to remix his classic hits. Let me repeat that. Elton John. Handpicked. Remix. Classic hits. Not many producers can put that on their resume. They’ve got a mental live show to accompany their equally mental music that slices and dices the brain like a Fruit Ninja katana.
4. Rufus-A tad more upbeat and dance inducing, Rufus are bound for dance floor infamy. Their music marks a turn from the usual head thumpers though, instead showing a softer, vulnerable side that, in my opinion, is way more appealing than listening to the days of the week being recited (cough, Black Eyed Peas, cough). Distorting themselves through a space-time continuum, ‘Paris Collides’ and ‘We Left’ are musical gems that tantalize, sparkle and jade the listener into submission. Rufus songs are the musical equivalent of a cocktease.
3. Hermitude-The Blue Mountains, an hour and a half West of Sydney, isn’t exactly a place where you’d think there’d be an abundance of musical talent. Hermitude, the hip-hop production duo from said Blue Mountains, are out to prove that stereotype wrong. One of the premier acts signed to Elefant Traks, the label started by Australian rap mogul Urthboy, these boys make complex, danceable tracks such as ‘Speak of the Devil’, which has an amazingly choreographed video clip. The title track from their recent album ‘HyperParadise’ is also mind blowing. Hermitude are amazing DJ’s, combining rap spirit with stellar production talent. I guess you could say they’re all right.
2. Flume-Flume is a young 21 year old from Sydney, who not only has re-invented Australian trance music, but branded himself as one of the hottest acts of 2012 by well renowned sources like Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and NME. Not bad for a youngster who only has two records to his name, an EP and a LP. The lack of material is by no means a jab at his talent, however, as every song on both records is musically complex and striking. The seething, tingling sounds just hit the right pitch and pace every single time, and diversity is Flume’s second nature. There’s collaboration with American rapper T-Shirt, as well as a powerful soul puncher in ‘Sleepless’.
1. Chet Faker- The bearded maestro certainly entertains an eclectic musical palette in his music. His most recent EP ‘Thinking in Textures’ is certainly reflective of his taste, with a dose of many styles popping their heads through his swirling, flawless production. For example, ‘No Diggity’ shows off his R’N’B side, a white man doing a damn good R. Kelly impersonation, and definitely pulling it off. ‘Nevermind Sleep’ is a scratchy, lossless sample trapping, obscure tribal chants shouting through hypnotic synth patterns, vaguely interrupted by distant crashing cymbals. The man is the Messiah of producers, and best of all he’s fucking Aussie.