New: Buzz Kull – Dreams (Tennis Boys Remix)

Tennis Boys already proved that they were adept dudes when they blitzed through Corin’s “Riverboat”. But this is something special. Like, Star Wars Episode VII special. Maybe not that special, but still pretty special.

A team-up between Sydney’s two favourite Marcus’ (Whale and Thaine), Tennis Boys provide a dark and minimalistic drone to one of the most intoxicatingly brooding songs of 2015. Tennis Boys become militaristic and reptilian, shuffling in a predatory manner towards a hammering synth bruising. Fuck, this shit is venomous!

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New: Catlips – Fade

Hey, big fan, big fan of this one. Everyone’s mate Catlips, from the dusty old Perth has just put out a subtle, sensual blast of lusty house music. Sure, it was still 10 or so years before I became considered my parents biggest mistake, but Catlips has an innate ability to reflect the closed-eyes euphoria that I’m sure a lot of the folks who experienced the original wave of Chicago House. It’s got enough groove to constantly slick down the constantly kicking drums, and Catlips’ vocals are more on point than Robin Hood at an archery range. Get “Fade” into ya before you choke on mediocrity.

Interview: NO ZU

NO ZU is an electronic project like no other electronic project. Formed by Nicoolas Oogjes in 2007, and spurred by the “Heat-Beat”, NO ZU is completely indefinable, a broad mixture of horns, beats and exotic vibrancy.

NO ZU are teaming up with Sal of the legendary 80’s group Liquid Liquid, and playing a very special show at Goodgod Small Club, this Friday, January 30th. I caught up with Nick and Sal ahead of the show to chat about influences, staying independent, and the “Heat-Beat”.

R: You have an electronic version of the project – why do you have multiple versions of the same music? 

N: Well, the boring answer is logistics. One of us might go on a holiday, and we can only do it with a couple people. The other answer is that I don’t see it as any completely set membership – it’s always comfortably evolving and mutating. Keeping it that way, changing all the time, and moving back to a big band, which we’re about to do in Sydney, that keeps it a great and exciting project.

R: There can be a lot of members in NO ZU. What’s the largest amount of members that you’ve had?

N: Well, this one with Sal involves nine members, and we’ve gone up to 11 before. So, we try to set a record each time.

R: In terms of bringing more members on, or less, which one do you prefer?

N: I don’t know, they’re like my children. (laughs) You’re ruining the band, you’re making me choose between them!

Not to sound really hippie sounding, but I do see NO ZU as a lifestyle, and that’s why I have that joke “Heat-Beat is lifestyle” –it’s tongue in cheek, but it’s really how everybody feels. There’s no set membership, or which version is better – it was the same when I started the project by myself in 2007. It’s exactly the same band, even when there’s 11 people.

R: You use “Heat-Beat” a lot – what does that mean?

S: [NO ZU] gets the heat going. There’s a lot of creative friction, which makes a fire, which creates heat.

R: One of the most impressive elements is the eclecticism of NO ZU’s sounds – where do you find the sources for these sounds?

N: I try not to intellectualize it at all. I never listen to a song and think, oh, we need to get that drop beat in there, or, let’s get a bass line like that. It’s more about mood, and how music and different art forms have resonated with me and the other guys.

S: Influences are best digested when they’re fully presented. In that, we can’t really tell where they’re coming from. When you can’t really tell where they’re coming from, that’s because you’ve totally digested it, as opposed to just appropriating it. You’re totally inserted in the music.

R: Melbourne is very much considered a home for producers, but NO ZU doesn’t really fit in this scene, and it’s hard to pigeonhole you as anything. Is that how you prefer it?

N: Of course. It’s never about joining a club, or look over and think that you’re part of some movement. I don’t see any excitement in being involved in that.

We were excited to be part of Cut Copy’s [Ocean’s Apart] Melbourne Music compilation. But the thing that’s brought us together on that is that everyone’s an outsider. We share a similar ethos – open-mindedness from different periods of time, groovy music from weird places, obscure music and popular music mixed together in an unpretentious way.

R: How would you describe you’re collaborators for the Sydney show, Liquid Liquid?

N: One thing that strikes me is the really good balance we have in the set now. NO ZU is well known for being maybe overly-bombastic, and crazy.

S: Let’s say excitable!

N: Yeah! We’ve learnt to pull back, and it’s definitely a more considered groove, and it’s a nice dynamic to have in this set we’re working on. For want of a better word, it offers an eclectic experience.

S: It shows a certain continuity…in different feelings, in different forms of groove music. Music that more addressed that body than the mind.

 

Catch NO ZU and Sal P playing this Friday 30th of Jan at GoodGod Small Club. Tix here.

Album Review: Roland Tings – Roland Tings

The first thing you’ll notice about Roland Tings’ new album is the wetness. Douse yourself in it. Get it all lathered up in it. Slap it on like sunscreen. Because it is wetter than any tropical rainforest/sexual experience that your sick and twisted mind could conjure up. After pressing that little sideways triangle, you will be plunged headlong into a myriad of synths, beats and samples that are squelchier than biting down on fresh cherry tomatoes.

Don’t take the notion of wetness to mean that Roland Tings’ debut LP is a case of sluggishness, or something soaked beyond recognition. Instead, each song is immersed just far enough below the surface so that it springs back with extra force. Gravity is suspended as illegitimate forces of nature lay in suspended animation, blipping off each other in quaint excitement. It’s like a game of Space Invaders got stoned and all the aliens just decided to be friends – each lil’ neon fucker that was hellbent on destroying earth now just chirps in unison.

What makes Roland Tings so fantastic and easy to listen to is his ability to subtly ramp his songs into new gears, a feat that, in the age of the DROP, is remarkable. Instead of lambasting the listener into a seizure, or straying too far into ambience, he is able to warp his way between both worlds, creating an eyes-closed sphere of magnetic pulsations of electronica.

Roland Tings makes dance music the same way that Giorgio Morodor made dance music. He makes it feel effortless, endless progression of nuanced lushness that is ripe to be utilised for the soundtrack of baby making. However, closer inspection showcases the sheer amount of sounds that are being incorporated into a single track. That might sound like an obvious factor for electronic music, even necessary. But a song like “Devotion” or “Floating On A Salt Lake” spews forth such a myriad of intertwining jungle beats and dazed synths, you’d swear a Hydra had just discovered Todd Terje and was trying their hand at DJ’ing.

Simply put, Roland Tings makes dance music loveable again. Shit, I’m terrified of anything that raises itself above 90 BPM, and Roland Tings makes me want to dive headfirst into a STI-infected club in Ibiza, just so I can boogie the night away to “Pala”. Imagine the shapes that his warped whistles will make YOUR body contort into.

Listening to just one Roland Tings song is liable for intoxication – an entire album is cause for unholy celebration. A sole figure behind the decks manages to be vibrant, serene, exhilarating and unpredictable at the same time. His music is shimmering, about as reliable and delicious as jelly on a plate. ‘Roland Tings’ consistently amazes, an album that you can focus on a million times over and still be thrown by a niggling noise that probably doesn’t exist outside of a single recording session.

It’s Italian Disco from the Future. It’s Groove No.1 carried from the depths of the Amazon. It’s rave music for the Tumblr generation. To summarise – it’s an album that you fucking need.

New: Roland Tings – Pala

File this one under “Shit That Needs To Be Heard”. In the swoop of a mere 8 minutes, Roland Tings proves himself to be in the top tier of producers that, not only this country, but this globe should adore.

“Pala” is brilliance, a sci-fi jungle filled with synth chirps, steel-drums and whistles, fuelled by elastic rhythms that bound like a fucking jaguar. It’s like Todd Terje got hit with tropical fever. It’s brilliant.

New: Milwaukee Banks x Rat & Co – Monitor

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.

New: Touch Sensitive – Teen Idols

Taking a note out of Flying Lotus’ “Do The Astral Plane”, Touch Sensitive implements his carefree nature with some expertly chopped vocals and high-pitched snaps ‘n’ crackles with a track sure to dominate every stereo on Bondi Beach this summer. His work as a producer far outshines his work as a bassist in Van She, and Touch Sensitive looks to be pretty damn unstoppable. Listening to “Teen Idols”, you want to break out the shorts, put limes in your Mexican beer and invite everyone you’ve ever met for a huge pool party. Considering I live in black jeans and the only light I bask in comes from the artificial stereo bleeps, as a Yes, I’m Leaving record spins around, getting to feel “DEM FEELS” again is a pretty rare occurence. Damn, Touch Sensitive, I think you’ve cured Loner-itis.

Premiere! Wayfarer// – Haloumi

Press Shot

Over the weekend, I got myself more of a dose of electronic music than I’m used to, via the soon-to-be cultural touchstone of Outsidein Festival. What an absolutely insane festival! From big names like Seekae, DJ Spinn and The Pharcyde wrecking the semblance of reality, to small acts such as Andras & Oscar, FISHING and Black Vanilla proving their instrumental worth to our burgeoning scene.

Obviously, with the festival complete, it’s time to start viewing potential candidates for next year, beginning with Melbourne production maestro Wayfarer//. It follows strongly in the vein of the early releases of Cosmo’s Midnight, Basenji, and Wave Racer, with a little more interjection of Nyan Cat love. “Haloumi”, despite being an overrated cheese, makes for a blazing, excitable release from old mate Wayfarer//.

With mastering duties courtesy of Andrei Eremin, who’s worked with everyone from Japanese Wallpaper to Milwaukee Banks, “Haloumi” is a sonic headtrip of pattering taps, jilting synths and a constant urge to throw your hands in the air, a soon-to-be-festival staple. If anyone out there knows the Astral People dudes, someone needs to give them the heads up on this bloke before he’s organising a duel to the death with Dip-I-Dip-You-Diplo.

New: Lanks – Beach Houses

It’s been made abundantly clear on this website that the best kind of electronic music is the shit that makes you shit yourself in awe/has ties to Jon Hopkins. Those that go a bit further than the usual knob-tweaking and thumping bass makes all the difference, moving from standard floor-filler to bonafide thrillers.

Lanks falls into this category of beautiful demi-gods. His latest, “Beach Houses” proves that, if he had been born in the time of the Aztecs, folks would be performing ritualistic sacrifices to seek good favour from His Mightiness.

Sensual as hell, with bubbling vocals that could be found in a high-scale hotel lobby, and a pattering flute riff that’s going to make Mister Tumnus jealous as balls, Lanks makes himself out to be the Kanye West of Melbourne producers, where extravagance and masterful production are king.

New: Roland Tings – Devotion

And just like that, Roland Tings has dropped a brand new song that’ll make you give up any and all dreams of being a producer. Shattered synths reverberate with the strength of a thousand FEELS, man. If you don’t want to dance and re-enact some sort of shitty dance that you thought was cool at your Year 7 Social, like “The Shopping Trolley” or “The Fishing Pole”, then there is something insanely wrong with you.

“Devotion” is allegedly the first portion of an upcoming LP from Roland Tings. If he can make everything as instantly groovy and immersive as this JAM, then he can only have success and cocaine heaped upon him.