Skydreams’ Great Classic Hits


Skydreams, run by Telepath host and all round legend Nick Hollins, is more than just a blog. It’s a label, a photo-journal, long form music essay, detailed time capsule – there’s a lot of guises that Skydreams falls under. It also has a habit of covering some of the most interesting and burgeoning of artists. There’s plenty of bands out there that Skydreams has championed from the start, from Blank Realm, to The Laurels, to Day Ravies. It’s certainly helped me in the discovery of a few local bands I’d otherwise have no idea about, like Orion and Laurence.

Celebrating five years on top of the world, Skydreams has released a 25 song compilation featuring a few of the best Sydney bands they’ve picked up along the way, and it’s quite the spread. You’ve got regulars like The Laurels, The Holy Soul and Regular John popping their faces up again, as well as a few folks that have been around for a couple years, like Buzz Kull, Devotional and Option Command.  Then, there’s a heap of new faces – Spirit Faces, Super Galaxies, and Mezko for example.

However, it’s the variety of music here that’s the really impressing factor. Nine minute ballads, 60’s rock ‘n’ roll, throbbing noise, instrumental guitar beds, bedroom hip-hop…it’s all here! It’s exactly the thing that gets me excited about the Skydreams blog, that you can go through that Jukebox and find a completely different song on each page.

The compilation is not only name-your-price, but if you do put some cash forward, all proceeds go to Reclink!



New: Sails – Coastal Mixtape II

Last year, the one-man vibe machine that is Sails dropped an excellent mixtape of whirrs and beeps. After about six months, that whole shebang has gotten the remix treatment from some of Oz’s best and brightest producers. From Setec to Spoonty, Super Galaxies to Option Command, the talent is laid bare. It’s a slightly more colourful affair than the original, a bit of a tropical flip of Sails’ first stuff, but that’s to be expected considering the producers on hand.

Spoonty’s lush remix is the standout on here, a half-melting goop of shrill, thrashing beats, but the whole array on this mixtape is goddamn gorgeous. As if this is free download! Get on it before Skydreams get some sense knocked into them and exploit these musical prodigies for what they’re worth

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.

Playlist: Skydreams

Here is an indisputable fact: FBi Radio is the best thing to have ever happened to Sydney music. Ever. Forget You Am I, or RIP Society, or The Red Rattler. Sure, those are all amazing things that have happened and forever shifted Sydney’s music in a positive, inspiring direction. But without FBi Radio, we’d still be living in a dark age of shitty music, with the only options on Friday nights being to go to the Entertainment Centre to go watch either a washed up nostalgia act, or a Top 40 clone. FBi presents an alternative that collects all the greatest parts of music, art and culture, and provides a platform for these things to scream and thrash and enjoy themselves, to an appreciative audience.

One of their flagship programs is Telepath, a Monday night program broadcast from 8-9pm, which focuses on the weirder spectrum of Sydney and Australian music. Its history resides in Sydney blog Skydreams, which is one of the best places to discover all sorts of weird and wonderful music, especially if you’re the kind of person who loves themselves some New Weird Australia mixtapes.

Recently, Skydreams turned into a label/mixtape service, with the most recent offering being the kind of thing a mad scientists concocts in a cauldron. There is such a fantastic mix of songs in this mixtape, from Spoonty’s glitchy “Under”, to the brooding carnivore that is Video Ezy. There’s harrowing stuff from Velcro, and simply stunning songs from Option Command, Yoshiko and The Laurels’ Luke O’Farrell. Shit, there’s even some jungle tuneage with the brilliant name “Dear DJ Rashad” from a group called Sails.

One thing becomes apparent very quickly: that these mixtapes aren’t put together haphazardly. They are curated expertly, defying the kind of amateur thrown together aesthetic that so many mixtapes have. The songs convey the attitude of both Skydreams the blog, and Telepath the program, shining a spotlight on underground Australian music of the Holy Shit variety. If you can’t see yourself chucking on this playlist, collapsing into your bed, and your life becoming instantaneously better, then you’re lying to yourself.