Volumes 2016 Mixtape

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Last year, Sydney got a huge leg up in the form of Volumes Festival, a multi-venue event that put a spotlight on all the fan-fucking-tastic music we get to call our own in this city, as well as a 11/10 show from Blank Realm. Even the piece of shit writing this sentence had a pretty good time!

Which is why I’m really happy that Volumes will be returning for another year! Not only have the team expanded to include an extra day and the Burdekin Hotel amongst last year’s venue collective of The Oxford Art Factory, Brighton Up Bar and Cliff Dive, but they’ve delivered a lineup that forces even a chode like myself to concede a gasp of “Wow…”.

The full lineup and tickets can be scored here, but if ya want a pick of the best of the bunch, read on below:

BV

Formerly known as Black Vanilla, the Friday night headliners will be bringing their ferociously dark party to Volumes for a night of hedonism. In their own words: “No once cares how well you move, so just move”.

FISHING

The last time I saw FISHING, they rapped in French, and then brought up the Al Wright from Cloud Control for a song that sounded like the spiritual successor to Underworld’s “Born Slippy”. I don’t know how the hell they’ll be able to top that, but after months away, honing new material, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that FISHING’s return to the stage will see a truly crazy performance.

Rainbow Chan

Rainbow Chan is definitely the best thing in electronic music right now. Every time I see, hear or even think about her music, the words “jilted pop perfection” brand themselves into my brain. Her debut album will be out by the time she hits the stage for the first night of Volumes, so make sure you get a good spot early, because you’ll be one of the thousands clamouring to catch the biggest sensation of 2016.

Donny Benet

It’s been far too long since the ripple of Donny’s smooth and sensual touch has been felt. The sophisticated lover will be sparing no expense on the Saturday night, enrapturing all those who dare to feel the heat. Fuck, I’m licking my lips just thinking about this.

Unity Floors

I’ll take any excuse to belt out “Nice Fit” and all the other classic hits these guys have made over the years. UF’s second album Life Admin should be out by the time Volumes hits, so there’s plenty of time to learn the lyrics to all the new classics as well.

Rolling Blackouts CF

Someone once called Rolling Blackouts CF “…the best band ever…”, and that someone is me.

Scott and Charlene’s Wedding

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, the third best Neighbours-themed band from Melbourne, hardly make the trek to Sydney anymore, so any opportunity to see them should not be missed. Besides all the classics like “Rejected”, “Lesbian Wife” and “Jackie Boy”, they also do a killer cover of the Go-Betweens’ “Karen”, so make sure you’re front and centre when they tear Brighton Up Bar a new one.

The Harpoons

I’ve sorely missed The Harpoons’ R&B-tinged synth pop – it’s lip-biting, misty eyed stuff, and I’m filled with anticipation at the mere thought of swaying along with hundreds of others to “Unforgettable”.

Summer Flake

Summer Flake’s Hello Friends has been my ‘Album of the Week’ for the past three months – I’m a lazy shit who keeps forgetting to update that section of the website, but there’s also a hint of truth to my mistake. Summer Flake’s disarming honesty, golden guitar and harrowing voice makes her the perfect recipient of such a prestigious award. Can’t wait to catch Steph Crase and co. when they swing through Sydney again!

 

Volumes 2016 takes place on Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th of August, all up and down Oxford St. Once again, tix and full lineup here.

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MIXTAPE: Heart Beach

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I’m as guilty as any other shocking blog/media sites that pulls out the token “OMG Tassie is so far away, amirite?” introduction when it comes to writing about bands from down that way. It’s lazy, unprofessional writing, and I always feel a bit shit when I do it. I guess it’s because I just don’t know the scene or bands well enough to express anything worthwhile in my articles.

However, that’s about to change, because I just got a top notch guide from Heart Beach, one of my favourite bands from last year. Their debut album from last year was brutally underrated – if I had my way, every single person in this godforsaken land would be required to own a copy and spin it at least three times a day. It’s such a magical album, full of blunt, beautiful musings on everyday life paired with splashes of guitar, a fantastic sequel to the likes of Beaches and Love of Diagrams.

Anyway, Heart Beach are coming to Sydney pretty soon to launch their new 7″, and I’m bloody excited. They’re gonna be fantastic, I just know it, especially if this list of top-notch locals they threw together is anything to go by. They’ll be playing The Record Crate in Glebe w/ Low Talk, Miners and Skyboxes. If you need any more details, you can find them here on Facebook, right after you check out this awesome guide to Tasmanian music.

1. Treehouse – Sick Stink

2. Drunk Elk – Your Beautiful Face

3. Small Black Lambs – Gold

4. Naked – Think About Death

5. All the Weathers – Beans 

6. PCM – Gone

7. The Native Cats – Lemon Juice

8. Tantric Sax 

9. Filthy Little Star – Keep On Whistling

10. Anthony Rochester – Mathematics

11. Peak Body – Fade to Black

Skydreams’ Great Classic Hits

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Skydreams, run by Telepath host and all round legend Nick Hollins, is more than just a blog. It’s a label, a photo-journal, long form music essay, detailed time capsule – there’s a lot of guises that Skydreams falls under. It also has a habit of covering some of the most interesting and burgeoning of artists. There’s plenty of bands out there that Skydreams has championed from the start, from Blank Realm, to The Laurels, to Day Ravies. It’s certainly helped me in the discovery of a few local bands I’d otherwise have no idea about, like Orion and Laurence.

Celebrating five years on top of the world, Skydreams has released a 25 song compilation featuring a few of the best Sydney bands they’ve picked up along the way, and it’s quite the spread. You’ve got regulars like The Laurels, The Holy Soul and Regular John popping their faces up again, as well as a few folks that have been around for a couple years, like Buzz Kull, Devotional and Option Command.  Then, there’s a heap of new faces – Spirit Faces, Super Galaxies, and Mezko for example.

However, it’s the variety of music here that’s the really impressing factor. Nine minute ballads, 60’s rock ‘n’ roll, throbbing noise, instrumental guitar beds, bedroom hip-hop…it’s all here! It’s exactly the thing that gets me excited about the Skydreams blog, that you can go through that Jukebox and find a completely different song on each page.

The compilation is not only name-your-price, but if you do put some cash forward, all proceeds go to Reclink!

 

New: TEEF RECORDS – Imperium in Imperio

Until a week ago, Sydney label TEEF had mostly just dealt with Spirit Faces. An incredible artist for sure, but knowing Tommy (and his fantastic website Sound Doctrine), there was sure to be something very special going on behind the scenes.

Voila! This incredible compilation just dropped, and fuck, if you’re not bowled over like Warnie just delivered the best spinner of his career over the talent on display, then you must be Ricky Ponting. Stick my head in a shotgun and call me Kurt Cobain, this blew my head off!

Not only do massive names like Collarbones and Leaks appear, but smaller wonders are put on display to showcase their huge potential. Planete rocks the house with a nearly ten minute glacier, St. South seduce harder than a clothes-less George Clooney, and Yon Yonson bring the world to a stop with their ever-impressive, King Krule-esque indie rock gem, “Figurine”. Although the majority of the talent here is from Sydney, TEEF still does a great job of representing the wealth tof electronic-influenced stuff that our fair nation has produced, with nods to WA’s stunning GRRL PAL, Melbourne’s glitchy web spinner Electric Sea Spider, and others.

The best part? All this stuff is exclusive to the compilation! No-one else has this!

ACTUALLY, THAT’S A LIE! The even better best part is that it all goes towards Nepal, to help with the devastating effects that the recent earthquake had over there. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? SPEND YOUR CASH!

Fuck Valentine’s Day Playlist

Whilst everyone else is staring into each other’s eyes, and talking about how much they love each other to the tune of anything by Collarbones, you are (read: I) sitting there with tears in yours eyes, chocolate being injected into your veins, and watching “Love Actually” with the volume blaring.

But fuck that! Fuck this over-commercialised holiday to make people look like terrible love interests because they spent the dole cheque on a 12 pingas instead of 12 roses. Here’s a playlist to fulfill all your unrequited  sexual desires. Because even though we are the most attractive of all, sometimes punx get lonely too:

1. Grinderman – No Pussy Blues

2. Death Grips – Have A Sad Cum

3. Beyonce – All The Singles Ladies

4. Husker Du – Don’t Want To Know If You’re Lonely

5. Shellac – Prayer To God

6. Jack Ladder – Cold Feet

7. Jay Reatard – I See You Standing There

8. Bjork – literally anything off her new album ‘Vulnicura’

9. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Getting Back Together

10. Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know

11. Richard Hell & the Voidoids – Love Comes In Spurts

12. A$AP ROCKY – Fuckn’ Problems

13. Beck – Lost Cause

14. Carly Simon – You’re So Vain

15. Keyshia Cole – Let It Go feat. Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliot

16. The Cruel Sea – The Honeymoon Is Over

17. Ben Folds Five – Brick

18. Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River

19. Twerps – Work It Out

20. Blank Realm – Reach You On The Phone

20. The Angels – Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?

Playlist: EXXE Records Inhalation Compilation

I’d say that anyone who’s visited this site before would become quickly overwhelmed with how much of it is dedicated to things of the lo-fi and local variety. I fucking love stuff that’s been spawned nearby, whether it come from a sharehouse in Marrickville or a two-up in Melbourne, or an unliveable shack in Brisbane etc. etc. Pretty much any city in Australia with a low-rent living space.

So, it’s with abundant pleasure that I found out that there was a new record label called EXXE Records that have collected a bunch of my favourite bands into a compilation, with a few exclusives and fan favourites involved. On a compilation of 13 tracks, there are twelve (plus one) songs of amazing and diverse sounds from around the country. Not getting around this cassette is a sin only Joe Hockey is capable of.

Before I get stuck into the bands, here’s a lil’ info on how EXXE came to be. Formed by a couple mates living in a share house in Moncur Street, Marrickville, EXXE’s bands are all linked by time spent there, where a lot of the songs on the comp were apparently bred into existence. Their basic mission statement seems to be to release their mate’s bands, all of whom happen to be really fucking good. Shit, they don’t even make a profit from these things, but rather use any money gained to fund more recordings. Fuckn dedication, amirite?

Onto the bands – the artists listed on here is like The Rich List of Australia’s Most Underrated. Sydney garbage-punks Housewives, Ghastly Spats, Drown Under and Snotty Babies, all of which have made scrabbled and scathing noise their purpose of life. There’s a fucked up snarler from the usually docile Beef Jerk, twisted pop smiles from King Tears Mortuary and The Friendsters, and quaint guitars from Mope City. There’s The Gun Club, via Beasts of Bourbon, sounds of Bad Guys, and dark, throbbing post-punk strangulation from Sacred Product. A new one from Kitchen’s Floor opens with tambourine and a gargantuan burp, before switching into their signature strum ‘n’ pine formula. Julia Why?’s contribution is probably the most professionally-produced effort, with limited hiss allowing for some fantastic Breeders-esque rock and roll. Sleep Debt, who haven’t been heard from in ages, also appear with “Day’s End” an instantly catchy and brusque howler that’s half-Dischord, half-Inner West pop.

Did you read those descriptions? Did you see how fucking good those bands sound? Even if you haven’t heard of a single artist on the ‘Inhalation Compilation’, the luscious descriptions of some ginger on the Internet must make you want to pick up music on a format many don’t even know exist. It’s simple – these are some fucking great, if unpolished, bands who champion the amateur aesthetic. You don’t need Rick Rubin to produce your single, or a mountain of coke to help ‘inspire’ you. All you need is a sharehouse, an instrument, maybe a four track, and a future compilation featuring amazing bands like this.

You can splash out and buy the tape here, at the EXXE Rekkids Bandcamp. Because you don’t need groceries for this month, right?

EXXE Records is gonna have a launch at The Chippendale Hotel in, yep you guessed it, Chippendale. Sleep Debt, Julia Why?, King Tears Mortuary, MOB, The Friendsters, Mope City, Destiny 3000 and Ghastly Spats are all gonna play for the cheap, cheap price of $12. Sick, see ya there.

Playlist: Skydreams

Here is an indisputable fact: FBi Radio is the best thing to have ever happened to Sydney music. Ever. Forget You Am I, or RIP Society, or The Red Rattler. Sure, those are all amazing things that have happened and forever shifted Sydney’s music in a positive, inspiring direction. But without FBi Radio, we’d still be living in a dark age of shitty music, with the only options on Friday nights being to go to the Entertainment Centre to go watch either a washed up nostalgia act, or a Top 40 clone. FBi presents an alternative that collects all the greatest parts of music, art and culture, and provides a platform for these things to scream and thrash and enjoy themselves, to an appreciative audience.

One of their flagship programs is Telepath, a Monday night program broadcast from 8-9pm, which focuses on the weirder spectrum of Sydney and Australian music. Its history resides in Sydney blog Skydreams, which is one of the best places to discover all sorts of weird and wonderful music, especially if you’re the kind of person who loves themselves some New Weird Australia mixtapes.

Recently, Skydreams turned into a label/mixtape service, with the most recent offering being the kind of thing a mad scientists concocts in a cauldron. There is such a fantastic mix of songs in this mixtape, from Spoonty’s glitchy “Under”, to the brooding carnivore that is Video Ezy. There’s harrowing stuff from Velcro, and simply stunning songs from Option Command, Yoshiko and The Laurels’ Luke O’Farrell. Shit, there’s even some jungle tuneage with the brilliant name “Dear DJ Rashad” from a group called Sails.

One thing becomes apparent very quickly: that these mixtapes aren’t put together haphazardly. They are curated expertly, defying the kind of amateur thrown together aesthetic that so many mixtapes have. The songs convey the attitude of both Skydreams the blog, and Telepath the program, shining a spotlight on underground Australian music of the Holy Shit variety. If you can’t see yourself chucking on this playlist, collapsing into your bed, and your life becoming instantaneously better, then you’re lying to yourself.

Mixtape: Oz Do It Better!

 

Fuck me with a spatula, and call me Gordon Ramse! There is no way anyone will be able to beat the eye-popping names on the latest mixtape from Peking Tapes.

Let me lay it out for you like this: Do you like Parading? Or Day Ravies? Or Shrapnel? Or Cat Cat? Or Wizard Oz? Or…fuck me, every name on this compilation is like Aus underground royalty, and every second you waste reading this is a second that could be spent buying this tape.

But if you insist on getting the blow-byblow, let’s start at the top: Andre begins things with a squelchy guitar romper called ‘Single Town’, and then Parading double down on that crunchy reverb with an exclusive single entitled ‘Try to Do A Good Thing’. From there, it’s one of my favourites off Shrapnel’s debut, a cool pop song called ‘Baby Picks Up’, followed by a jangly one from Cat Cat that manages to be both sad and relieved at the same time, the perfect song for when you’ve got your back turned on something.

Mac DeMarco on crack gets channeled excessively in the track, ‘You Were Mine’, from Colours, as lazy guitar mingles with clashing noise. The middle of this is a brilliant mind-fuck, moving between twinkling emptiness and a feeding frenzy of feedback. Day Ravies continue down this road of overblown noise in their contribution ‘Drink the Ocean’, a track that starts quaint and Pavement-esque, and then bombards the listener with squirming noise towards the end.

Wizard Oz dilute the waters with a frowning track called ‘Go Home’, a song swarming with warm synth work and lyrics that are more desperate than the Socceroos attempts at a World Cup.

Now, after a mixture of noisy and down-tempo tracks, Australia’s garage/slacker scene gets a chance to shine, with contributions from Cool Sounds, The Ocean Party, Thigh Master, Disgusting People and The Grease Arrestor. Each of these songs is warmer than a dole cheque, and they’ve got more heart than those lab-rats with organs grown on them.

The best mixtape ever ends with two amazing pop tunes from Snowy Nasdaq and Moondice, both providing tracks that could easily fit into the ‘Sexy Time’ playlist (that you’ve never used before).

To summarise, the title of this playlist doesn’t even remotely do the contents justice. Oz does music so good, they should outlaw other countries music, and just have this playlist on repeat globally. The songs on here are more or less the pinnacle of human achievement. Sure, there may be a bit of gratuitous hyperbole in that last statement, but until the other continents catch up and release a mixtape as good as this, then Australia wins the award for best underground music in the world. Take that, Brooklyn!

Playlist: Hand Games #20

Another month, another Hand Games mix, which is again totally free. That’s right, this mixtape of amazing music costs less money than my dignity.

There’s an absolute killer mix of tunes on here this month. Most notably, there’s the new one from Total Control, ‘Flesh War’. This song is the equivalent of a post-punk orgasm. It’s too good to be true, and it exists in a $0 format. There’s also the gobsmacking, riot-inducing ‘Plastic’ from Drunk Mums, and some lovely indie rock pastures courtesy of King Single, a side project of Bare Grillz/Lenin Lennon dude Robert Nedeljkovic. And I can’t forget the haunting murder-esque ‘Drone Transitions’ from Ela Stiles, that song is pure shivers up your spine.

But things would be boring if it was just guitars all the time, no matter how excellent those guitars were. That’s were the electronic and pop spectrum of Hand Games comes in. There’s killer tracks on here by Yon Yonson and Sex On Toast, the latter holding a pure sex vibe that would rival even the great Donny Benet. There’s also a beautifully tumbling shuffler courtesy of Yujen, entitled ‘Try It Over (feat. Chet Faker)’, and Sui Zhen has an adorable song called ‘Pipe Dreams’ that takes its cues from Grimes and Rainbow Chan, which is code for ‘this song is a guaranteed amazing one’.

Finally, the new Midnight Juggernauts side-project Turkish Prison features with the track ‘Ancient City Rebuilt’, Klo gets the slow jam hearts pounding, and Milwaukee Banks has a heavy flow and dark synth thing going on that’ll get fans of FISHING overtly excited. Overall, pretty fucking amazing mixtape.

 

Mixtape: Art As Catharsis-Distortion and Dissonance (free download)

I haven’t really gotten into my private passion of really, really, really heavy shit that much on this website. Mainly because I stick to the old school shit that everyone knows-Sabbath, Metallica, Slayer. All the obvious ones. Most metal nowadays is glossy shit that cops a couple rotations on Triple J’s Short. Fast. Loud before getting replaced with something that sounds exactly the same (cough, Northlane, Dream On, Dreamer, Amity Affliction, cough) So yeah, I usually just stick to whatever Cancer Bats, Pulled Apart By Horses and Cerebral Ballzy are doing.

That’s all changed with the release of this Art As Catharsis mixtape. AAC are a Sydney-based record group that have been pushing out some of the best hardcore and metal bands for ages now. And they’ve got the compilation to prove it. Totally Unicorn, Fat Guy Wears a Mystic Wolf T-Shirt, FVCK Mountain, Tanned Christ…if they’re interesting, solid and pummelling, chances are they’re featured on the Art As Catharsis mixtape.