Video: Rainbow Chan – Work

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Rainbow Chan has always been excessively cool, but this new song and clip has taken her to a new stance of god-like proportions. After listening to and watching “Work”, I feel the same way about Rainbow Chan as I do Beyonce – just mouth-agape, holy shit, that’s what a fucking boss sounds like. She just oozes with this effortless aura of chic that would make Fonzie’s head spin.

“Work” has everything you could want from a pop song – a stomping beat, a flourishing workout of percussion and potentially the best dance sequence since Kevin Bacon was gyrating his way through an abandoned warehouse in Footloose. Add in an abundance of leather, two notably boss backup dancers, and Rainbow Chan’s absolutely stunning vocals snapping necks to attention faster than a karate chop from Chuck Norris, and you’ve a whole new level of pop masterpiece.

Rainbow Chan’s debut album Spacings will be out on Silo Arts on August 26th. Catch Rainbow Chan bringing her incredible moves to either the first night of Volumes Festival on August 26th, or her album launch at Newtown Social Club on September 16th.

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New: Nakagin – Pines

Beautiful Sydney beats – now that’s a phrase that you don’t hear nearly often enough. Most of the electronic stuff that comes outta Sydney is either bland as fuck, or distortedly thrilling, like Black Vanilla. Instead, Nakagin has taken a cues from the old mates of Brainfeeder and naturalistic sounds, creating these sonic palettes that would makes Monet’s most lushly quaint water-lillies look like sketches from an aggressive 3 year old. “Pines” is so gorgeously sensitive, that it’s a surprise that he isn’t being championed by Joaquin”Mr Beautiful Eyes’ Phoenix.

New Electronic Music: Jon Hopkins + LUCIANBLOMKAMP x Milwaukee Banks + Tincture + Sails + Mark Barrage

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.

Video: Rainbow Chan-Fruit

There is so much to love about Rainbow Chan’s new video/song ‘Fruit’. The simple direction the video and song go for provides for effortless coolness, and the vibes are that of a quaint Grimes. It’s charming like how I imagine a date with Ty Burrell or Ellen Page would go down: smart, simple, and unique. I mean, how many other videos are you going to see where an intimate connection goes down over the fusing of a peach?

Album Review: Tincture-Tryst EP

After dropping ‘Tryst’ a couple months back, it became fairly obvious that the world was on the verge of getting its next shit-hot Australian producer. Not since Hayden James’ jaw-dropping EP of last year has something so timidly captured the hearts and minds of me, myself and I(if you’re confused, I exist on multiple planes of existence, like the Dalai Lama or the guys from GWAR). And now, the unsheathing of Tincture’s debut EP has arisen upon our souls. God help us all…

The first track from the EP is the recently dropped ‘Similar Circles’. You may remember that I turned into a bit of a fan girl, and tried to cut off Luke Dalton’s earlobes, hang them from my own earifices, and create a personal version of ‘Similar Circles’. A remix, if you will. Needless to say, Dalton calmly ‘talked’ me out of it, and I returned back to Sydney with an anomaly of bruises and my Buffalo Bill fantasy unfulfilled. So, it’s pretty obvious that ‘Similar Circles’ rules. Think of SBTKRT and Grimes getting together in the outback, and duelling each other in a knob-tweaking, vocal-shifting death match, with Moby’s early stuff taking the role of referee.

The EP then shifts into the killer mode, shredding all in its path into a submissive guest of the glorious R&B shuffler and EP namesake ‘Tryst (feat. Hazel Brown)’. This is like an amalgamation of all the flaming Future Classic stuff being rolled into a delectable, bit-sized treat that’ll actually chuck an Alien and burst its way out of your chest. Don’t get cocky. Although ‘Tryst’ shares a mild, surface resemblance to Flume’s early track ‘Sleepless (feat. Antony for Cleopatra)’, Tincture goes off in a completely different direction than Flume, preferring to bump and grind rather than contort and twist. And honestly, I prefer the way Tincture’s doing it.

The next tracks, ‘Treepanning’ and ‘Need U’ include even more of Dalton’s vocals, and at this point, it becomes obvious that Marcus Whale, and his various projects are probably a massive influence on Dalton’s work. Whale’s signature hushed tones cut with splotchy ‘n’ spliced electronica are faithfully re-interpreted to mass effect by Tincture. The R&B vibes become more focused and concise, and the splayed synths take on a more backseat feel, as the vocals become the main attraction. In case you’ve had trouble picking through the adjectives, this means that Dalton’s doing a spectacular fucking job.

Finally, ‘Heavy Water’ closes out the EP, and by the pubes of Skrillex does it shake things up. There’s some solid Major Lazer vibes, with steel-drum lazers shooting through a futuristic atmosphere of pipes and chopped female vocals. It’s like running through a smoky midnight jungle made entirely of Prince’s clothes and neon leftovers from Oscar Key Sung. ‘Heavy Water’ is fucking lush and exotic, alive to the touch, and probably the most friendly track on the EP.

Without gushing too much, Tincture has bolted out of the gate on his debut EP. But not only has he shunned competition, he’s finished this race and the next one, all whilst the competitors are tying up their laces and trying out that sick new pedals they stole from Astral People’s garage. ‘Tryst’ is an EP that moves with fluidity and confidence, and is helmed by a master of their craft.

For just $7, you can own a slice of amazing, available on Tincture’s Bandcamp right here.

New: Tincture-Similar Circles (free download)

Ahhhh Tincture, you fucking fantastic producer of holy goodness you! Remember that track ‘Tryst feat. Hazel Brown’? Of course you do, that song fucking blows chunks all over the modern world of Australian electronica. Flume and Oscar Key Sung need to up their game if they don’t want to be overtaken by a Brisbanaut. Tincture will get all Liam Neeson, Taken-style, and destroy everything you love in front of your eyes, collapsing the established empire through the power of fantastic tuneage.

For his major second single, Tincture’s gone with ‘Similar Circles’. This song rules harder than a Ric Flair ‘Woooo!’. It’s soulful as fuck, like Aretha Franklin on steroids, and the schizophrenic pulses on the hi-hats that slither around behind the slinky synth work makes my hair crawl on the back of my neck whilst I recede into a comfortable slumber. That shit’s called a paradox, and Tincture makes it happen! He’s breaking the laws of grammar and logic! This guy does not give a fuck!

New Electronic Music: BANKS + Youth Lagoon + Tycho + Scenic + Rainbow Chan x Cassius Select + ALTA + Oscar Key Sung x Black Vanilla

Bro, can you feel it? I’m peakin’ braj, I’m peakin’! Broseidon, I can’t feel my arms!

Such is the life of a gum-muncher. I’m here to fund that lifestyle! These tunes will be with you throughout the thick, thin and the paranoid moments when someone is watching you, and it doesn’t matter that no-one else can see them, they’re totally there.

BANKS-BRAIN

I really have to thank my spirit guide Luen for this one. This track is absolutely killer, in that it will cut your throat, empty your carcass of blood, and leave your lifeless, deflated corpse by the side of the road, but there are no regrets because this song was just way too good. Produced by the almighty Shlohmo, ‘Brain’ is a popping R&B infused track. It starts with sliding water-droplet subtlety, and then, funded by BANKS’ illustrious voice, moves into a pure orgasm territory. I won’t ruin it, but the short of it is that you need to listen to this track, because it will make you want to accomplish all your dreams.

Youth Lagoon-Worms

I went and saw Youth Lagoon on Thursday night. I’m not going to write a review for the show, because frankly, he kinad sucked. I love his music, especially his first album, but in live shape, it was a bit of a self-indulgent, cinematic mess. However, this new track from him is amazing. ‘Worms’ is precisely that, a slinky, earthly thing that slowly worms its way around. There’s a constant twinkling, but the whole thing feels underground, trying to make its way to nowhere in particular, searching for purpose, but at the same time, pretty content knowing that’ll just be your average worm. Stay humble Youth Lagoon, its what I love you for.

Tycho-Montana

Segue alert: Youth Lagoon has a mad, mad, insane, mad song called ‘Montana’. This next paragraph is dedicated to a song entitled ‘Montana’, that also happens to rule. What the Franco, James?

This is a lot more spaced out than the previous entries, an instrumental track that heavily lies on the ‘instrument’ part of that phrase. Not only does Tycho incorporate synths and ticks, but there’s a lot of classical instrumentation appearing-live drums, piano, guitar, various percussion…It makes for a layered, super intriguing track that has more texture than a cup of fro-yo with all the toppings.

Scenic-Ride the Thrill

Scenic are from Perth, which means there’s a de facto Tame Impala influence on there. I’m genuinely surprised they got snapped up by Future Classic and not Modular. Regardless, Scenic actually share more in common with label-mates Jagwar Ma, channelling that Madchester rave scene in all its Happy Mondays glory.

Swishy, hazed vocals washing over you, a pulsating, electric pulse and a thumping synth line that crawls all over the place like a drunk Spiderman on a skyscraper. Dayum Scenic, you got yourself a fucking great song!

Scenic are going to be opening up the Laneway festivities tomorrow in Sydney, so be sure to catch them. Unless you’re at The Growl, with me, in which case, its cool, all is forgiven.

Rainbow Chan-Milk (Cassius Select Remix)

I absolutely adore Rainbow Chan. Her cool, teenage melodies that are chirpier than Twitter’s mascot are to actually die for. I would stab Zeus for a chance to cop an exclusive listen to new Rainbow Chan material. I also adore GUERRE (remix alias=Cassius Select). GUERRE/CS is also very awesome. Glad we’ve established that. Moving on.

So when two adorable elements such as the aforementioned collide on a re-re-remix track, amazing is sure to follow in stead. Prepare yourself for a sultry remix that is not afraid to do its own thing whilst flashing the sex-eyes at you every couple seconds and make sure you’re watching. What a minx!

ALTA-Wandering

Melbourne group ALTA are prepared to rip open your expectations via the earballs, and ensure that you’re paying more attention than the poo-eating scene from Human Centipede. Think of Willow Beats and Super Magic Hats, super silky smooth stuff that gets you jittery behind your belly button.

On ‘Wandering’, ALTA still retain their tribal roots, going full on Amazon, but also adding stylistic elements, pulling back just when you want to hear more, and then pouncing forward right when you’re least expecting it. Basically, ALTA have got the listener hooked, and a lack of this stuff will lead to withdrawal.

ALTA are playing tonight (!) at Good God. Get on that shit.

Oscar Key Sung-All I Could Do (Black Vanilla Remix)

Final entry, though no less organ-failingly good. It’s another remix of Oscar Key Sung’s badooshhhh single ‘All I Could Do’, this time from Sydney tune-shiners Black Vanilla. Usually more R&B focused, this one takes a small sample of Key Sung’s vocal ‘…could…’, and then adds some trap claps and shimmering, trickling synth work to make this remix the ice-queen of all OKS remixes. YEWWWW!

Top 10 Things That Happened in 2013

Okay, just to clarify, this isn’t a list about the best shit that happened in 2013 for music. Although most of it is about some of the really, really great shit that happened, some of it is about some of the bad shit that happened in 2013. That is to be expected, so chin up buddy, dry those tears, and think about the sunny day that Violent Soho brought out their sophomore record, and forget about the time that Miley fucked a teddy bear. 

10. Chapter Music and I Oh You Records (tied)

This has just been such a fantastic year for both these top-notch Aussie record labels. Albeit on opposite ends of the music spectrum, and drastically varying in age (Chapter celebrating their 21st Birthday this year, and I Oh You celebrating their 4th), they have both released some of the best tunes this year, and rightfully won their place in the music community. Chapter Music released a stunning 15 or so records this year alone, with records ranging from the ‘dole-wave’ world-conquerers Dick Diver and The Stevens, to the long-awaited debut album from Primitive Calculators and another new one from The Cannanes. Meanwhile, I Oh You was out there putting on tours for the likes of Earlwolf, Foals (DJ’s) and getting the one and only Neon Love together for a reunion show. If that wasn’t enough, I Oh You also put out another one of my favourite records of the year, Violent Soho’s ‘Hungry Ghost’, and Snakadaktal’s debut record. They also managed to be a bunch of cockteasers and put out tantalising singles for City Calm Down and DZ Deathrays. If these labels can keep the pressure, there’s no telling how 2014 will end up.

9. New Shit From Bands That Haven’t Released Shit In A While

Beware, I’m not talking about bands that reformed, or broke their hiatus. I’m talking about bands that have never broken up, but have been ‘illin on the fringes of musical society, just waiting to return to form with strident singles. The aforementioned DZ Deathrays, Straight Arrows, HTRK, The Avalanches, Royal Headache, Seekae-just a few of the bands that blew us away with stand alone releases that said, “Fuck you, we’ve still got it.” If you haven’t checked out any of these singles…do it, you unintelligible ape!

8. Shitty Albums That People Thought Would Be Way Better Than They Actually Were

Ooooh, the first hot topic! I’m not just talking about Daft Punk here, there were so many built up albums this year that fell flatter than an ad campaign for Vaginal Warts. Arctic Monkeys, Sebadoh, No Age…just a short list of albums I listened to that I wish I hadn’t had, so I could dedicate more time to wistfully thinking about making sweet love to Robert Pollard. But that’s not even scratching the surface of bands like Cloud Control, Cults, Weekend, Soft Metals, Obits and Franz Ferdinand. A lot of bands that I was expecting to deliver stunning results returned with meagre offerings that either cruised along on the strength of predecessors, or worse, fucking sucked.

7. Solo Projects

For me, the term ‘solo project’ is a bit of a dirty word. Most of the time, they’re warning stories for the over-eager frontmen and women. Just ask Johnny Borrell, Johnny Marr or Noel Gallagher…if your album isn’t awesome, you kind of lose all credibility,and come off looking like a wanker. But luckily, there was a whole swag of Australian artists that went out on their own and wandered out as deadset legends. Nathan Roche, Angie, Kirin J Callinan, Geoffrey O’Connor, and Alex Cameron are just a couple names that released some stellar records this year that only get better with repeat listens. No point getting too much into it, just go fucking listen to them yourself. Trust me, these records are more on the Bob Dylan side of the solo spectrum, in terms of awesomeness.

6. Boutique Festivals

In a year where shit is getting fucked up ALL over the place for major music festivals, whether it be the gargantuan amount of drug related arrests, Blur cancelling on Big Day Out, or AJ Maddah telling people that their favourite bands suck tremendous amounts of horseshit, major festivals are becoming more and more fucked. I can’t tell you how pissed I was when I missed the chance to see Massive Attack, Superchunk, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Neutral Milk Hotel all in the same place for Harvest festival, only to see it collapse before my very eyes. And lets not even touch on hip-hop festivals this year, with Rap City, Supafest, Movement all being cancelled.

However, with the absence of ya boiz 50 Cent and T.I, boutique festivals have continually outshone their counterparts. The ‘original’ boutique festival, Laneway, has gone international, and their 2013 edition was fucking awesome. Japandroids, Divine Fits and POND all left massive dents in my brain, right were the pleasure centre is located. Other festivals like OutsideIn, Strawberry Fields and the upcoming, sold-out Secret Garden festival (which frankly has the most amazing lineup I’ve ever seen) continue to dominate. Oh, and Sound Summit was one of the most pleasurable and unique experiences of my entire life, a smorgasbord of musical delights that will probably never be collected in the same period again. Fuck me, if boutique festivals become a thing, how the fuck will yadda yadda capitalism, Soundwave, Nova 969, joke, haha.

5. Reformations-the fucking shit and the not-so-shit

Firstly, let’s talk about Black Flag. Maaaaan, did they fuck that one up. One of the all time greatest punk bands became a petty squablling bitch fit of the highest order, and at the end of it all, once-stoked fans where left with an album called ‘What The…’, which compromised of a bunch of piss-take ‘punk’ songs and an album cover that looked like ClipArt threw up. They fucking fired Ron Reyes onstage! Black Flag aside, bands that also wanted money to buy that brand-new toaster and reformed included Boyzone, The Backstreet Boys and Girls vs. Boys. It reads like a list of who-gives-a-shit.

However, on the plus-side, Jurassic 5, Philadelphia Grand Jury, and Powder Monkeys all put aside differences and got stuck into some gigs. And by some miracle, the mother fucking Replacements got together again! What! That’s amazing! I nearly blew a load when I heard that!

4. Electronic Music???

Electronic music has had a confusing year in 2013. On the one hand, there has been some absolutely froth-worthy local shit that has gotten tails wagging and genitals exploding. Touch Sensitive, Wave Racer, Cosmo’s Midnight and Hayden James have had stellar years, and underrated labels like Future Classic, Silo Arts, and Yes, Please have all shot to national attention, like synth induced erections. And let’s not even bother to touch on Flume-that guy gets enough deserved praise.

But in terms of mainstream music, the result has been mixed like a cocktail served by a squirrel with Parkinsons. Of course, Disclosure released that pretty killer album. But the likes of hardstyle trap from the likes of Baauer and DJ Snake, and the legions of mindless DJ’s that trample our radio waves that release forgettable single after another dilutes a lot of the mainstream appeal of electronic music. Not even new albums from Jon Hopkins, and Boards of Canada, or the embracing of the genre from indie rock icons like Arcade Fire and David Bowie, could distract from the likes of Knife Party destroying decent music. Although it is undeniable that electronica had a killer year on the local front, its better to forget that other shit happened outside of our shores.

3. Debuts

Face it, a lot of debuts came out in 2013, and they all rock me better than a hurricane. International props to the likes of Savages, FIDLAR, Eagulls, HAIM, Jackson Scott, SQURL, HUNTERS and Atoms For Peace. But that doesn’t even come close to the amount of talent that pooped out shining nuggets of debut gold this year in Australia. TV Colours, Gooch Palms, Bad//Dreems, Food Court, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, Zeahorse, Bloods…the list goes on…and on….and on. Batpiss, Clowns, Amateur Drunks, Reckless Vagina! Unity Floors, Day Ravies, The Stevens, SMILE! These are just a couple of my favourites, but you get the idea. There was a fuckload of bands that popped their cherry and the collective music community lost their shit. Blood was everywhere.

2. Miley Cyrus and the Death of the Child Star

Look, I actually don’t hate Miley Cyrus. I think her music sucks, her taste is awful, she acts and sounds like a spoiled brat and is a living cumstain, but she’s actually the perfect pop star that this generation needs. She’s like The Dark Knight of shitty, over-produced music. And good for her for completely shaking off the goodie Hannah Montana image.

But therein lies my point. The Jonas Brothers broke up this year, the Biebs has conveniently spray-painted, prostituted and retired (?) his way into a ‘bad boy’ image, and we all saw Miley nearly fuck Robin Thicke onstage at the VMA’s. Right now, there isn’t really a glistening child-star to sell t-shirts. Even Lorde, the youngest pop star of the moment is more grown up than the majority of twenty year old hipsters that infect her concerts just to say they saw ‘Royals’. She hung out with fucking David Bowie and Tilda Swinton for her birthday party!

Regardless, 2013 saw the Death of the Child Star, a feat that should both cause us to all be thankful, and astonished.

1. Local Garage Rock Hit a Fucking Peak

Garage rock, my favourite genre, has well and truly hit its peak at the moment, and shows no signs of declining. Seriously, attend any bar in any capital city in Australia, and there’s a 1-in-3 chance that there’s a garage rock band giving it 100% and blowing minds.

Not only is the live scene of garage rock well and truly at a high point, but the albums these bands are making are astoundingly good. Palms and The Gooch Palms released underdog debuts that blew everything out of the fucking water like a land mine in a kiddy pool. TV Colours took the usual formula and added dashing synths and samples to create a tale of fucked-up-ness that’ll have you massacring penguins just to get your hands on some more. And Bad//Dreems single handedly resurrected the sound that was left behind where GOD put it.

Outside of debuts, garage bands that have already established themselves continued to push shit further into the realm of amazeballs. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Witch Hats, Ooga Boogas and fuckloads of others continued to do what they do best-ensure that we, the shitstains of musical society, are enjoying their output more than humanly possible.

As if that isn’t enough, there’s new garage bands springing up all over the place, and the sound still hasn’t been tired out. Bands like Doctopus, The Living Eyes, Tiny Migrants and Adults are just a very small handful of the concoction of rock n roll music that is permeating our ears on a local level. If you haven’t done so, check out all of these bands and more.

We are living in a renaissance of the greatest form of amatuer music in all its forms, and the least you can do is contribute in some small way. 2013 was one of the best years for Australian music, garage and rock n roll specifically, because finally, all the years of hard work that these bands have done has started to pay off exponentially in fantastic records and performances. Get along to a show, buy a record, and ensure that 2014 means that local music is better than the last shitstain of a year.

New: Tincture-Tryst (feat. Hazel Brown)

Holy balls on a Pikachu, this song will blow your mind wide open in terms of what there is to expect in the IDM scene. The way this song is constructed…it would be easier if I just said that this song is smoother than 90’s era Brad Pitt throwing down shots of Baileys. On the surface, ‘Tryst’ is a romantic song, with a mushy chorus and female-male vocal turns. But the tip-tapping percussion and pixie twirl electronica, a mixture of minimalism and full-blown production (I don’t even know how that works, but it does), ensures that this track is more delectable than a serving of caviar with a successful sexual endeavour.

You can grab a free download of this stunner at Tincture’s Triple J Unearthed Page here.

New: Motion Picture Actress-I Keep Falling Around Here

Lovely tranquil new song from Brisbane’s Motion Picture Actress. ‘I Keep Falling Around Here’ is mesmerising in every sense of the word. From spaceship landing keys to wide eyed and uncertain vocal loops, to insect swarming synth and naturalistic wind chime overtones, this song has got it all. Just when you think the song is going to slow down, it amps right back up, and makes you cock your ear that much harder. By the time the song is finished, your ear will actually look like a corkscrew. Amazing stuff.