New: Marcus Whale – If

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Marcus Whale – one of the most constant heads you’ll see at any gig at Sydney. Also, the owner of some of the most impressive dance moves this city has had the pleasure of viewing. Seriously, when you head to a Collarbones show, there’s the unspoken law that you go for the music, but you stay for the dance moves. I didn’t invent the rule, it existed before I got here, and I’ve somehow become a disciple of it.

Besides Collarbones, Black Vanilla, Tennis Boys and Scissor Lock, (feel unproductive yet?) Marcus has been working on some solo material which melds his various guises and his background in classical music for a potent slow-burner. It begins with mournful piano droplets, introduces Marcus’ gentle vocals, and, with the help of some throbbing production and glistening strings, grows into a dark dance floor hit.

If this feels like a bit of a gush, it’s because it is. Marcus Whale occupies so many different territories with his music, and the sheer fact that he’s been able to mould all of his interests into something as beautiful and tantalising as “If” is a testament to his ability as a musician, vocalist and producer.

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New Electronic: NO ZU + World Champion + Movement + XXYYXX

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A bevy of tunes for you to use in your next DJ set to piss off people who just want to hear “Hotline Bling”:

NO ZU – Hi Gloss

NO ZU are going to be returning to Sydney this Saturday for At First Sight Festival, and I’m excited. You should be to, unless you hate fun. Because NO ZU are the definition of fun. They’re more fun that going to Disneyland with a Skip-the-Line pass. They’re more fun than having a wise-cracking talking parrot as your best mate. They’re more fun that travelling back in time to stop the birth of Tony Abbott.

Here, let me prove that fact to you right now, with their new jam “Hi Gloss”, six minutes of exotic, sensual, shoulder-rolling, hip-thrusting, knee-jerking groove. Listening to this makes me want to don a turtleneck/teashade sunnies combo and hop into a convertible on my way to a 1960’s nightclub where the STD’s are flying around like mozzies and no one gives a fuck.

World Champion – Shakes 

Also on the At First Sight bill are relative newcomers World Champion. They’ve been gigging for a fair bit, but “Shakes” is only their second track. Released through Future Classic, World Champion bring the vibes that only a true global winner can wring. With Madchester scrawled all over it, “Shakes” is about as euphoric and uplifting as they come, thudding without being overwhelming, and pop without being plastic. Fuck, it’s just a really fun song, y’know?

MOVEMENT – LACE (Demo)

It has been a long time between drinks for MOVEMENT, Sydney’s future R&B legends who propped up everyone’s ears with their EP last year. BUT IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG! TOO! LONG! To be fair, they’ve been opening up shows all over the world, but COME ON! The lumps in my throat from the last time I listened to “Like Lust” are subsiding!

“LACE” comes just in the knick of time, lightly ruffling those goosebumps that MOVEMENT pressed into our flesh so long ago. They might have left us in the lurch for a little while, but their return is enough to give the drools to anyone within earshot. “LACE” creeps at a depraved pace, as affecting as anything MOVEMENT have done before, breathing heavily until you can feel hot air rustling the hairs on your neck.

Apparently, it’s just a demo, but Jesus Christ, if this is the half-arsed version, I don’t think the world is ready for a fully-fledged reindtion of this. Furthermore, it’s a free download, at least for the time being, so grab it and store it in that iTunes Library playlist entitled “I Am So Lonely, Will Someone Please Touch Me? Please?”. Everyone’s got one of those, right?

xxyyxx – Red

 

The combination of xxyyxx’s age and talent is enough to give every big name producer out there a stroke of doubt followed by a mass existential crisis. If a 19 year old from LA can make beats as dark, brooding and sultry as “Red”, then what fucking hope do we have? Delete that copy of Ableton that you downloaded illegally anyway, push away the decks, and send those half-finished demos to the trash bin. I guess the only consolation prize here is that you can now spend more time listening to xxyyxx, and it’s hard to to find onus with that.

New Electronic Music Pt. 2: chunyin + Lovely Head x Pendant + OCDANTAR

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Remember when Pt. 1 came out? Life was so much simpler, so much more pleasant. Oh well, here’s Pt. 2, let the electronic apocalypse begin:

chunyin – Softcall 101

Chunyin is the side-project of Rainbow Chan, deviating from the intimate, hazy pop of her main gig into a more direct, experimental dance territory. She’s released a few tracks here and there before, including a recent collaboration with Thomas William, but “Softcall 101” is her first ‘proper’ single.

Stylistically, its very similar to the fantastic mini-LP released by Melbourne producer Null. chunyin strings along zaps of alien sounds that sound like they’re being beamed from the edges of the universe, and then thumps them over the head with thick, crunchy percussion.

Catch chunyin doing her thing this Thursday at Freda’s, supporting the legendary CORIN on her album launch. They’ll be joining by Electric Sea Spider from Melbourne, and Kimchi Princi and Ju Ca.

Lovely Head x Pendant – Take

Some more gorgeously experimental stuff from Sydney, this time courtesy of a team up between Lovely Head and Pendant. As icy as the palace of Mr. Freeze, “Take” wafts on a chilly breeze of sparse production and rich vocals. The voice here is seductive, keeping a nice contrast to the production until the conclusion, where the parallel lines meet and simmer nicely.

OCDANTAR – Sky Sea Client View feat. LIAHONA

Two things to get you interested in this – it’s the solo project of Josh Delaney of Rat & Co/SMILE, and he’ll be playing with Shigeto in a few weeks. If you haven’t clicked play yet, you’re obviously not a huge fan of music.

If you do need a little more convincing, then how’s this: Delaney’s debut track offers up Unknown Mortal Orchestra falsetto prodded by scant buzzes of electronica. It’s quiet and intimate, a really beautiful debut track that doesn’t fit easily into any genre trap. Given Delaney’s previous involvement in a few of the best musical experiments in Melbs, there’s a fair chance you’ll want to get on board OCDANTAR nice and early.

New Electronic Music Pt. 1: Rat & Co + Thomas William + Air Max ’97 + Thhomas

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Part 1 of 2 – make sure you tune in for the epic finale:

Rat & Co – Crumar3b

I have no idea what “Crumar3b” is meant to say, but honestly, I don’t even really give a shit. Rat & Co can be as mysterious and incomprehensible as they want, because when they’re making trip-hop like this, I don’t even care. They can put all the random numbers and letters they want in their title – as long as they keep up this standard of Brainfeeder-meets-Majical Cloudz style electronica, I’ll keep trying to figure out the Rubik’s cube that is this song title. P.S. it’s a free download!

Thomas William – Sleepwalk

Whilst “Tuition” offered an experimental introduction into what Thomas William had planned for his upcoming EP , it’s “Sleepwalk” that gets me actually excited. Lurching, sticky, haunted – that’s what comes to mind when listening to this. It’s like the intro music to The X-Files if that episode had been directed by David Cronenberg. There’s something intrinsically unsettling about this whole track, and it keeps you on edge throughout its entire run time. You could drop this in a set, and you’d have the whole floor enthusiastically grooving, but also constantly looking over their shoulder for the imminent appearance of Jason Voorhees.

Air Max ’97 – Core Work

Hands down, the greatest DJ name that has scorched Australian soil in the last few years. Fuck. Yes. Just look at that name. Look at that glorious title. Fuck. Look at it!!!!!!

Anyway, Air Max 97’s drill is pretty similar to that of Eugene Ward’s solo stuff (he of Dro Carey/Tuff Sherm fame). Scintillating clicks that sound like splatters of blood dripping down a well, booming echoes , and a near-constant whirr that’s not too dissimilar to those droning sounds you always hear in movies just before someone’s head gets sliced off. Very experimental, very dark, very great.

Thhomas – Clams Pt. II

I keep on forgetting to check in with Moontown Records – they’re easily the most productive label in Australia right now, and almost everything they’ve released has been awesome. They release stuff so quickly, and by the time I realise something’s out, they’ve already got something new on the horizon

The latest artist they’ve sucked into their vortex of productivity is Thhomas, a Melbourne producer who came out with that incredible “Heat Wave” song a while back. Anyway, he’s now got this track, “Clams Pt. II” out, and it’s definitely worth your seven minutes and fifty-four seconds. But it’s only three minutes and fifty-seven seconds???? Yes, but you’ll be playing it twice, won’t you? Because it’s that fucking good.

 

New: Roland Tings – Hedonist

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Roland Tings’ debut album was released earlier this year, and with the exception of Null’s EP, it’s the only electronic album from 2015 that has truly blown me away. What particularly made the record stand out were the lengthy, inspired rollercoasters that Tings curates – grabbing a whole mixture of elements, manoeuvring between them all, and then colliding them for truly beautiful finales.

With the end of the year drawing close, the man has found time to squeeze out a new track in “Hedonist”. Fuck me, how apt is that title? Roland Tings knows exactly how to clutch the pleasure gland, moving at a cascading free fall of unique splashes, jolts and whispers, but tightening and muscling it up when he has to as well.  It collects all the enjoyable aspects of his work, mashing them into a hazy eight minute throng.

For those who have yet to enjoy Roland Tings, it can’t go recommended enough – he’ll be playing Sugar Mountain Festival in Melbourne next year, which also features sets from Hot Chip, Royal Headache, Total Giovanni and Courtney Barnett.

New Electronic: NO ZU + Alba + Urtekk + Arthur Wimble

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A few vids and a couple new jams from the best knob-tweakers in the country:

NO ZU – Ui Yia Uia

As if this song wasn’t incredible enough, the video for the new NO ZU track “Ui Yia Uia” unleashes itself, presenting the world to the fever dream of the cast from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Saxophones blare triumphantly and bongos are tapped enthusiastically as bodybuilders flex next to muscular kangaroos and the occasional fern. All is bathed in goopy green and pink neon and Jesus Christ, this is one of the best videos of the year.

Alba – Operator 

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/139918911″>Alba – Operator</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/eugeneward”>Eugene Ward</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Jostling, acidic visuals queued up by Dro Carey are paired with Alba’s new jam that comes two years after their stunning track “Knokke”. It’s dark, minimal and feels like it was concocted out of a basement laboratory in the seediest corner of Berlin. It’s another huge win for Plastic World, who have put out releases from the likes of Thomas William, GL and Retiree…actually, this track is just a huge win for Sydney music in general.

Urtekk – Pockets

Urtekk are from Adelaide, and my computer keeps auto-correcting their name to Utrecht. Despite these two facts, they’ve shown, over the course of a few singles and EP’s, that they’re a group you’ve gotta get onto. Long, washed out synth build ups, tantalising tendrils of sound, minimal and dangerous…that’s how Urtekk roll. It’s so great, I don’t even mind the constant stress of having to undo my computer’s insistence that I’m spelling the wrong word.

Arthur Wimble – I Love My Love

Arthur Wimble – sounds like a character that got shelved from a shitty Jane Austen novel, right? A real proper gentleman that ruled Downton Abbey with an iron fist, gently wrapped in silk gloves.

Well, that’s not far from his musical truth. It’s just motion after motion of affection from Wimble’s debut, set to feathered, velvety production. It’s got that same sort of light, fluttering feel that has made Rainbow Chan’s music so essential.

New: World Champion – Avocado Galaxy

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World Champion have been fluttering around Sydney for a fair while, popping up for support slots here and there, essentially playing the prairie dog role. However, they haven’t yet released a track, choosing instead to let the minions of their live show be sole owners of the World Champion experience (c).

Well here’s a big old fuck you to the culturally elite tastemakers of Shitney, because World Champion just dropped their debut track for THE WORLD to see. No longer may you lord over the plebs of our fair city with the constant musing of “Oh man, World Champion were soon good last night….Oh, you STILL haven’t seen them?” *Cue furious collar pulling*.

If anything, the release of “Avocado Galaxy” is enough to make those in the ‘unseen’ category all the more jealous. Look past the ridiculous title, and sponge in the flared electro pop that puts World Champion up against the likes of Jagwar Ma and Scenic. Not bad company for ya first single!

New: Miles Brown + Taipan Tiger Girls

Two tracks that prove it Records are the bees knees!

Miles Brown – Apparition

Jesus, would you look at this dark, brooding icicle jab to the heart! With a twirling snarl as sinister as Scar from the Lion King, and assisted by some very cool stalactites of sound, Miles Brown knocks it out of the park with a soundtrack that’s like Scooby Doo meets the X-Files. The elongated alien whirrs that this singular entity is capable of is freakish, the way they’re stretched into ghoulish haunts are creepy, and the whole thing reeks of spot on dark wave musicality.

Taipan Tiger Girls – Motion

Here’s one that’ll split the crowd like Moses split the red sea. Some folks out there are gonna hate this like ol’ Tone hates equality. But then there’s the people worth hanging out with, and they’ll love this. Taipan Tiger Girls bring the drone, twisting their undulating noise at a frantic rate, with live drums spurring the process into some sort of heated debate between the instruments. This stuff, it fucks with your mind! It’s brilliant, and sickening, both at the same time! It’s all a bit strange, and thwarted, but would you really want it any other way? Can’t wait to hear this in the album format!

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!