Video: Plum – Tiny Feet

1a6f91ef-8fa8-4b3c-bbd4-e68c4c9ec354

Like most sports, I suck at Racquet Ball. However, unlike most sports, I’m not embarrassed about it. Because fuck racquet ball – that’s the sport equivalent of dying alone, and only being found nine months later when the stench is too much.

Plum, the new project of Caleb Jacobs (The Cathys) utilises a game of racquet ball for his debut video. Maybe its a reference to my earlier allegory, maybe it was just an excuse to wear all white and goggles. Whatever the reasoning, the only thing that matters is that it provides a great background for “Tiny Feet”,  a pretty cool little tune that hums alongside the likes of Washed Out and Real Estate.

Advertisements

New: Cashmere Cat-With Me

Yes, the king of subtle chilltronica is back, the first taste of original material since he launched his Mirror Maru EP a while back. ‘With Me’ is a beautifully intrepid track that explores itself, like a curious dog. There’s a lot of shit going on here, but the magic of Cashmere Cat is that he doesn’t overblow the production and make it obvious. Even the epic parts, where the drums hit almighty peaks, sound as though they’re just meandering along at a logical pace. A fucking great song, ‘With Me’ is definitely going to be a favourite when Cashmere Cat rocks up for Laneway in February.

Album Review: Active Child-Rapor EP

Image

Pat Grossi, better known as subtle electronica artist Active Child, is a ginger, and therefore, I am under a loyalty oath to love and support every single move he makes. So far, he’s made that astonishingly easy. Active Child combines a stunning voice with blindingly holy-white synths, creating smooth, easy waves of sound that swirl into the stream of consciousness. The latest release from our fiery-headed icon, the ‘Rapor’ EP is, for the most part, a fucking fantastic continuation of Active Child’s 2011 debut record.

Now, the opener for the EP is one of the greatest things you have heard in a long, long time. Its like Latin Gregorian Chant getting reworked by God himself, y’know, like #PearlyGatesRemix. There’s an urgent nature to the vocals, which are compromised of manipulated howls, and the plucking strings attend this urgency with movie-like dramatacism. Listening to this feels like running through a forest with Daniel Day-Lewis, whilst Morrissey chases you, berating you for eating meat, or using paper or something. The follow-up from this ‘Subtle’ continues that urgent feeling, maybe not to such extreme effect, but definitely still mesmerising. And Mikky Echo guesting adds some nice pop flavour to the track, that could others be very two-dimensional.

‘Feeling Is Gone’ is another fantastic track, soothing night-beats washing over Grossi’s excellent vocals. Listening to this track is like having a montage of Morgan Freeman dying, that’s how much it tugs on the heart strings. ‘Silhoutte’ is another tear-jerker, however the piano and strings seem a bit overkill-ish. Luckily, the electro-pop princess of the moment before Icona Pop, Ellie Goulding, makes a very warm appearance on the track, providing some tip-toeing vocals. However, the song does feel like a bit of a duet for a Christmas Charity single or something, the ‘find your way home’ chorus, coming off very cliched and uninspired in comparison to Active Child’s other work.

‘Calling in the Name of Love’ brings back the vibes of pop, and its so good that the cliche drippings that were so inert in ‘Silhouette’, are nearly forgotten. ‘Calling In the Name of Love’ is still guilty of perhaps being a bit self-indulgent, but there’s a lot more energy from Grossi this time round, and the simple icy claps and shiny synths bring it to a bit more of a basic and understandable level, something more related to his earlier work. Final track ‘Evening Ceremony’ finishes the EP off strong, emanating a James Blake-with-muscles vibe, which of course means that it still sounds fragile as fuck, but not as wispy and glassy as ‘Retrograde’. That’s a good thing by the way, as Active Child will be able to thankfully establish that you can wring out a nice, downtempo electro track without sounding like you’re about to be carried away by a light breeze. 

Overall, besides some of the mushiness that gets a bit too prolific in the middle of the EP, Active Child proves that he’s back again, and his music holds a unique trademarked sign of honesty and blissfulness. 

HSC Study Playlist

As we draw closer to existential despair and nihilistic oblivion in the form of a month long series of quizzes known as the HSC, the stress and pain reach immeasurably high levels. Hence, with the English exams on Monday and Tuesday, I have prepared thee a playlist to chill you the fuck out for Hamlet. Dude was a whiny prince with daddy issues. I would much rather jam to Jon Hopkins than that. And Emily Dickinson? Fuck her and her spinster ways, go for some Touch Sensitive and Washed Out. That shit’s way better! Anyway, here’s a playlist of slow, bubbling electronica and chillwave to cool ya nerves. If this doesn’t do it for you, then chuck on some James Blake. Sorry I couldn’t meet your needs.

I’d say good luck, but I’m secretly wishing you all fail, and I come first in NSW, and laugh in all your sorry faces. HAHA!

1. Seekae-Another

2. Hayden James-Embrace

3. MT Warning-Burn Again

4. DJ Koze-Nices Wolkchen featuring Apparat (thanks for this one Jahra)

5. Bon Chat Bon Rat-Cerberus

6. Jon Hopkins-Open Eye Signal

7. Oisima-Glow feat. Adam Page

8. Oliver Tank-Sound of Silence feat. Fawn Myers

9. Toro Y Moi-So Many Details

10. Washed Out-Soft

11. Movement-Us

12. Rainbow Chan-Haircut

13. Planete-Ciel

14. cLn-Lose Control

15. SBTRKT-Gloss

16. Touch Sensitive-Body Stop

17. Fractures-Cadence

18. FKA twigs-Papi Pacify (thank you Clancy)

19. Thundercat-Heartbreaks + Setbacks

20. Black Vanilla-Call Your Husband

Album Review: Washed Out-Paracosm

Image

I have a confession. It is really hard for me to say, for I am a proud man, and I do not like to admit when I am wrong. And not only does this confession wholly place me in the realm of wrong, but to use a pride analogy like a boss, my honour has been ripped from the status of Ancient Chinese Emperor to common Roman pleb. Here it goes: I didn’t like the first Washed Out album. Shocking, I know. But, in my defence, my 15 year old tastes were more suited to the likes of Metallica’s ‘St. Anger’ and Marilyn Manson’s ‘Antichrist Superstar’. Long live shitty metal amirite? Right? C’mon guys, Slipknot are still a relevant band! Guys?

However, I HAVE GROWN. My musical taste has expanded beyond Theory of a Deadman, A Day to Remember and Three Days Grace. I’m finally within my wits to accept the forthright genius of chillwave, and it’s youthful master Ernest Green aka Washed Out. And just in time for his second, absolutely delicious sophomore album ‘Paracosm’. (For anyone that gives a shit, the song that really got me into Washed Out was ‘New Theory’, off the ‘Life of Leisure’ EP. That song is straight godly)

Onwards, to victory! ‘Paracosm’ is a beautifully naturalistic album, full of the kinds of hidden wonders and green intricacies of the Amazonian rain forest. It contains plenty of fluid motion and washed gulping refreshment in every song that is plastered across it sweet nine tracks. The whole thing is like a strawberry-pineapple crossbred fruit-vibrant, a little unusual, and fucking delicious. ‘Paracosm’ is one of the best albums of recent hearing memory because it’s a psychedelic, chilled electronic mix that hits every point of awesome on the colour wheel of amazing. Blue, green, red, orange, yellow, pink, mothafuckin’ gamboge…everything is chucked in, mixed well and popped out to sound well beyond orgasmic.

Although not the standout on the record, lead single ‘It All Feels Right’ seems like where I should start when explaining the legendary-ness of ‘Paracosm’. After the godly opening of ‘Entrance’, the listener emerges from Disney’s Tiki Room, and immediately starts tip-toing across step-stones to a chocolate fountain. Sound wonderfully weird? It’s about to get weirder. Green’s voice hazes over the track as strings cascade like a goddamn champagne flute, little taps resounding over and over in the listener’s brain cells, forcing you to fall deeper and deeper in love with the sounds of chill wave. ‘It All Feels Right’ is legit the sound of a flower blossoming. But that’s not enough. Washed Out keeps you hooked, easily transitioning to the chilled-party-with-all-your-best-friends vibe of ‘Don’t Give Up’. Fucking glorious man. Washed Out is like the N.W.A of naturalistic post-dubstep dream electro. Juxtaposition, I KNOW, but what’s literature for if not to be broken. It’s what Ice Cube would have wanted.

The good times, classic hits don’t stop there. Groove into the luscious canopy of ‘All I Know’ to hang out with some pot-smoking folk-rave loving 80’s hippies, or dive into the cool lagoon of ‘Paracosm’ to hang out with mermaids and dolphins. Poseidon’s even at the party, playing the harp whilst simultaneously doing coke off a dugong’s phallus. It’s a sight to behold, but can only be accessed through ‘Paracosm’. And I’m not even touching upon the holy ground of ‘Falling Back’, which illustrates lucid dreaming via harmonious synth, pitter-patter percussion and angelic vocalisation. Holy shit, has a song ever made you cry before? Well, ‘Falling Back’ can help you achieve that.

Going through Washed Out’s ‘Paracosm’ for the first time reminds me of the time I first heard The Avalanches, or Beach House, or even Toro Y Moi to a lesser extent. Just those wholesome, realised sounds of musicians knowing exactly what they are doing, exactly how to do it, and seeing their work come to fruition. Heavenly sounds that transport the listener to an emotional and vivid place, now that’s a rare thing to come across in music. It really cannot be overstated how well this album has been made and performed. ‘Paracosm’ has become one of my favourite albums of the year, along with FIDLAR, POND and Kurt Vile. Yep, it’s that good, and I would stake my phone plan to say that it’s not going to dull in vibrancy any time soon. Go and buy it here at Sub Pop.