In a collaboration that feels so organic, it seems painful to think that it took this long to organise, Melbourne kings Rat & Co and Milwaukee Banks have teamed up for a thrilling track entitled “Monitor”. It has the immediacy and edge of anything Action Bronson and Freddie Gibbs have ever done, which, for a few white guys out of gentrified Melbourne, is insane! They have a flow and creativity that surpasses any sort of preconceived bias you might have about Australian hip-hop. The brags are heart-stopping, the production is a mixture of sudden-ness and alert bass, and the chorus proves that not only can Milwaukee Banks actually rap, but they also have some breath-taking pipes as well.
I talk a fair bit of shit about the ol’ wub-wubs on this blog of the Gods, but this stuff I’m about to unveil is for the sophisticated dance lovers. It’s for those who have a Gucci pinga purse, and wear their bum bags with a seal fur lining. These people can afford speed-dealers from the top rack of the 7/11, and use Evian bottles for their bongs, not those pesky Mount Frankies or Gatorades. This is for the intelligentsia fist bumpers:
Sui Zhen – Infinity Street
There’s a slew of female R&B/production virtuoso artists floating around at the moment, from obvious nods at BANKS, to local legends KUCKA, Rainbow Chan and Banoffee. But Sui Zhen, man, she takes the cake. She also takes all the other delicatessen delights, because goddamit, she’s earned herself a righteous snack. “Infinity Street” is the first single from her upcoming debut album, and it’s a tight Grimes-esque bubblegum explosion of pink synths and icy claps. It’s Grimes brought to an even more wide-eyed innocence, cuter and more surreal than anything that’s popped up recently. This music is gorgeousness incarnate, more charming than the Prince himself.
I’lls – Fifty-Phiphti/ Asakusa
I’lls, a Melbourne electronica group that sound like The King of Limbs under a muffler of sleep, have quietly but surely returned with a brand new 7″. Two tracks long, the result is a shuffling escapade of lite electronic pattering, more Jon Hopkins-esque that any of I’lls work before. The opener “Fifty-Phiphti” builds upon slow-burning layer after layer, Flying Lotus’ ‘When The Quiet Comes’ acting as a bit of a influence soundboard. There’s a lot of cool jazz occurrences, and they’re moulded delicately and expertly into wordless samples, taking what Seekae exposed the world to on their debut, and revitalising it for a modern audience. Follow up “Asakusa” continues the dreamy beats that combine the noises of outside with the technical proficiency of someone who’s spent a while inside. The ensuing 8 minutes is something you want to check out.
Milwaukee Banks – Pluto Bounce (friendships Post-Apocalypse Grave-Rave Remix)
Apparently, Milwaukee Banks are a ‘cloud rap’ group, and whilst I don’t know what the fuck cloud rap is (nor do I care), I do know that these guys are crazy talented. The amount of chemistry apparent in their EP and music is something that even someone with only the faintest idea of good music will instantly be drawn to it.
Another Melbs group going by the name of friendships have contributed to a remix EP (featuring previous remixes from LUCIANBLOMKAMP and Andrei Eremin), and they’ve completely flipped and distorted the original track until it resembles an exoskeleton of its former self. Whereas the original could only be described as “dope-ass”, this renewed track harnesses the shuffling dance-floor potential, scooting eclectic sounds across a dark and moody atmosphere that must have involved some voodoo magic.
Leisure Suite – Leisure Suite EP
For the most part, indie acts add electronic flourishes with one of two possible outcomes occurring. One, the band could end up completely sucking (see: RUFUS, Chet Faker’s album, Alt-J). However, there’s another chance that the electronic stuff brings to light the intricacies of the band, and such is the case with Leisure Suite. Absolutely stunning, every song on this far too short EP is arresting, a straightjacket of subtle but emotional jams. Leisure Suite are sincere and gorgeous, and this EP is a surefire success indicator.
Some bumpers and grinders that you can munch through the night to. See you in the recovery ward:
Jon Hopkins -Form By Firelight (With Raphaelle Standell)
Recently announced on that killer Laneway lineup, also featuring Eagulls, Flying Lotus, Future Islands and Caribou, Jon Hopkins has dropped a new one to get all introspective to. Like previous albums, “Form By Firelight” is about as slow-burning as they come, like watching a star slowly shine and then die out from the sanctuary of a spaceship window. It’s both horrifyingly beautiful, and gut-wrenchingly sad.
Milwaukee Banks – Hazy (LUCIANBLOMKAMP Remix)
Man, two soon-to-be juggernauts have combined to create something that makes you feel like you’ve broken through the Matrix. Slightly unpredictable, and yet completely soothing. Seriously, forget bangerz, this is your mash right here. The perfect pub diet of laidback raps, soft and glitchy synth work, and a finale that makes it feel like you’re in a cryogenic freeze chamber.
Tincture – Swim Good (Frank Ocean Cover) Earlier this year, Brissy’s Tincture released one hell of an EP. If you haven’t heard it, and you’re any sort of fan of Oscar Key Sung, Collarbones or The Harpoons, then prepare for your heart to jump in your throat and choke you for not having got around to it earlier. Although Frank Ocean is the definition of ¯\ _(ツ)_/¯, Tincture has the vocals to make something MEH work. Add his signature glossy glitches, and there’s a completely re-worked and fantastically better song.
Sails- Fireworks and Rain If you’re a fan of old mate Four Tet (fuck, I wish he was my friend), then you’re going to lose your absolute shit over Sails. Slow, glitchy-ridden beats that swell and pop, like bubbles made from all colours of the rainbow. “Fireworks and Rain” is completely enchanting, and goes fro quite a lite sort of hypnotism, so there’s no juicy carbs in there. Nup, nothing artificial, just wholesome, stringy beats. My pilates teacher would be so on this.
Mark Barrage – Sez Better Finally, there is the hypnotising lead single from Mark Barrage, from his forthcoming record ‘Surplus Behaviour’. Although I got no clue what that ‘Surplus’ part is about. Barrage is about as minimal as they come, channeling old mate up Jon Hopkins up the top there. “Sez Better” is pretty much compiled of an organ line that somehow manages to be melancholy rather than creepy, and pairs it with some crumbling analogue and snares. Whilst that might not sound like a whole lot, Barrage compiles it into a soundscape that brings the emotions, and he brings them hard. It’s the kind of song that makes you be able to go up to your girlfriend from Year 6, and tearfully cry, “I forgive you…bitch”. “Sez Better” also makes for great consoling music when you’re locked in the back of the paddywagon, post-verbal assault of the girl who has completely forgotten who you are.
Milwaukee Banks may be new, with just a recent EP to their name, but their already creating more waves than a water Pokemon on its home turf. Sure, they’re Australian, but besides a slight accent, they’re more akin to proteges of DOOM or Madlib.
Their new video for their track ‘Hazy’ shows this, as Edo and Dyl rap in black and white, as the focus of the camera wobbles, giving the effect of being trapped in the eye of a dope ass hurricane. Visually, there is a whirlwind aesthetic that lines up very nicely with their brand of top-notch hip-hop.
Jensen Interceptor-System Addict
System Addict is an EP’s worth of material that sounds like the Devil got himself some decks. The title track is some seriously twisted shit that curves around a simmering boil of synthetic stabs into a looming corpse of a vocal. It’s the kind of thing you’d want to listen to at 2am exactly when the drugs kick in. SInister, wicked and overtly in your face, Jensen Interceptor makes the kind of music that you wouldn’t show your Mum, but would listen to non-stop. After hearing this EP, all I want to do is go to a club. I have never uttered that sentence before now.
Seekae-Test & Recognise
Seekae sure have shifted direction since their last release. Whilst their previous albums stunned with their transcendent but mostly similar glitch-ridden electronica, Seekae are warbling between two different paths on their upcoming third record. There was the heart-shredder ‘Another’, and they’ve followed it up with a new one called ‘Test & Recognise’. This track is like having a sunset stroll with the guys from Tron, glacial synths zooming horizontally by as Alex Cameron’s voice unveils itself.
Milwaukee Banks-Sweater Made of Gold
‘Sweater Made of Gold’ is like if MF Doom teamed up with an angel with a velvet voice, and they made a Riff-Raff song. The lyrics are semi-ridiculous/all about love, and comes off like Melbourne’s answer to FISHING. However, it’s the production that stands out here, these big, clipping beats crawling beneath these shrill, quaking synths. Good shit here, good shit.
The last couple days have been very, very good to the Soundcloud community, as a brand new Sydney entity (who also happens to be behind the amazeballs No Good Festival happening tomorrow feat. Rainbow Chan!) has been releasing a shit tonne of new and amazing tracks. My personal favourite of Fat Ronaldo aka the smiling, portly dude coloured like The Hulk with a tan, is ‘Goldeneye’ a paranoid…nay, schizophrenic electronic track that sits on constant edge whilst a single sci-fi note (The X-Files?) pierces the underbelly of the track. It’s fucked up in al the right ways, and seems like a soundtrack to a hellish nightmare taking place inside the head of an ex-KGB agent. Fuckin’ PTSD amirite?
I’m seriously behind on so much amazing new music. Seriously, prepare your earholes to become plagued with wayyyyy too much new music that you’ve probably heard about before, but haven’t yet gone through the ‘RYAN SAAR APPRAISAL PROCESS’ quite yet. It’s kind of a big deal, or at least my Mum reckons so. Anyway, here’s a couple thumper tunes worth wrapping your ears around.
‘Cedoption’ is one of MJ’s newest songs, at least since last year’s record. I much prefer this kind of weird, Chemical-Brothers-ish style. The falsetto, clanging with the steel jungle percussion, the warping synths and general deep space vibe of the thing creates the sort of sense that Midnight Juggernauts are about to unleash some total mind fucks upon the world that we’re probably not ready for. Did everyone just shit themselves? Because they should have.
Milwaukee Banks-Rose Water (prod. by Kira)
Don’t look up Milwaukee Banks on Google, or at least chuck ‘band’ or ‘music’ on the end of there. Otherwise you’ll be hit with a laundry list of boring, as every fucking dead end capitalist temple/the place where happiness is handed out with no consequences comes up in the Milwaukee region.
However, if you heed the ‘band’/’music’ tag advice, you’ll get smacked with this pretty thrilling track, with some crazy similar vibes to Black Vanilla, Collarbones and FISHING. If that doesn’t cause tremors of excitement, then you’re probably paralysed with previous tremors of excitement. Laid back raps dealt over velvet synths and a R&B chorus that make you want to do crazy things, like ‘be social’ and ‘make friends’. Slow down Milwaukee Banks, you might just make me Mr Popular or something!
Feral Media Mixtape-Autumn EP (Angel Eyes, Lower Spectrum, Golden Blonde, Comatone)
I’ve posted about the previous Feral Media mixtapes a fair bit, and with a single look at the lineup on the current Autumn EP, it comes with little wonder. These guys have managed to pull off the impossible, and garner some new shit from the likes of Angel Eyes (!), Lower Spectrum (!), Golden Blonde (!) and Comatone (!). And yes, the exclamation marks are fucking necessary, especially when we’re dealing with electronic proteges like these artists! LISTEN TO THIS MUSIC! IT WILL MAKE YOU WEEP! The stuff here is insanely fucked up and strange and weird and synthetic and prosthetic and radiating and dangerous and holy shit, have you heard Angel Eyes’ contribution!?
Do yourself a favour, and cop this free download, before the apocalypse occurs and you never have the chance to experience this wonder.
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.