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.

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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!

Playlist: Australian Artists to Watch in 2014 (January Playlist)

Alright, two things.

1. I realise I’ve been pretty shitty about getting out the monthly playlists of songs that you don’t give a fuck about. Frankly, I haven’t been listening to all that much new stuff, just old school Mogwai, The Triffids and this band that Guy from Chapter Music was raving about called The Plants (check ’em they’re rad). So, consider this a January playlist.

2. A bunch of musical related things like the NME have been raving about bands they reckon will explode this year. Honestly, I don’t really give a fuck about Temples or Sam Smith or whatever bullshit Justin Vernon rip-off project is occurring. Now, I wanna talk about some homegrown talent that is sure to lay siege to your brains in this new year.

Before I get stuck in, I’d like to prefix this by saying I didn’t include bands that have had stellar years in 2013. No Palms, or Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys or Bad//Dreems, or anything like that. Definitely no Courtney Barnett after the outrageous (but certainly earned) amounts of praise.  The following bands and artists are ones that came on the verge of hitting big in 2013, but saved up their magic for what is sure to be a stellar following year. Get used to these names-some of them will begin to dominate Triple J, or at least your community radio station, some will begin to invade your hometown with shows, and some will break up, and it’ll be like they never existed. However, all are incredibly, incredibly good, and they’re only at a sapling phase. In 2014, watch these bad boys and girls grow into behemoths of the Australian music scene.

1. Go Violets

2. The Stevens

3. ScotDrakula

4. The Clits

5. Blood Plastic

6. Adults

7. Destiny 3000

9. Multiple Man

10. Circular Keys

11. Tincture

12. GUERRE

13. Cull

14. You Beauty

15. The Creases

16. Driffs

17. Bloods

18. Chicks Who Love Guns

19. The Frowning Clouds

20. Mining Boom

New: Black Lips + Gazar Strips + Casual Sex + Jugu + Tincture + Chalk And Numbers

Okay, a fuckload of new songs, all of them good. Its like Christmas. Lucky you.

Black Lips-Boys In the Wood

If John Travolta from Grease combined with John Travolta from Pulp Fiction, you’d have an idea of the swag overloads on this new Black Lips track. This song is so urban cowboy, its like a Clint Eastwood/John Wayne combination, a thought so impossibly awesome, if you dwell on it for more than a couple second, your brain will explode. The Black Lips tried, and only through the power of their sheer amazing could they pull through. From their experiences, they formed the new track ‘Boys in the Wood’. Supernatural avoidance of brain explosions are pretty fucking awesome, as is this song. It just makes sense.

Gazar Strips- Oversight

Okay, so this is how shit went down. Imagine if you were some shit little Padawan, then all of a sudden, fucking Chewbacca rocks up and gives you mad props on your lightsabre skills and offers to personally teach you how to use a Wookie crossbow? Well, that’s a great allegory for that time my favourite Aussie music website, Sonic Masala, asked me to check out their debut single on the record label the guys just launched.

At by fuck, is it not just the greatest thing you’ve heard in a while. Gazar Strips from Brisbane play a fudgey, slick combination of Joy Division, The Jesus and Mary Chain with, wait for it, Primus-like bass riffs. Those things just jump and strut like they’re coming straight out of ‘Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver’.

The song soon descends into this Sisters of Mercy goth thing, scraping up the barrels of blackness off the Brisbane band room floor and throws them down in a terrific show of angst. Man, this song is fucking killer!

Casual Sex-Then Again

Oh man, oh man, oh man! This shit is like eating a fuckload of chilli, having the entire rim of your mouth completely seared to a deathly pain, and somehow, Casual Sex turn that into an enjoyable feeling. Their sound is a kindly of sickly, oozing, vampiric take on The Horrors. If that band’s early stuff was molested by the likes of The Cramps, then you’d have something along the lines of what happens in the spine-tingling lies of ‘Then Again’. Both seducing and horribly terrifying at the same time, you’ll never view one night flings in the same way again.

Jugu-All the Girls

Something a little less dark, but by no means outside of the territory, this holds a little bit of pixie Amanda Palmer to it. Everything’s still doused in black, but now there’s a mystic sheen running all over it. Its incredibly attractive, but in the back of your mind, you just fucking know there’s a catch. Good luck trying to find it in the textually dense track. There’s those sprite-like vocals, dancing xylophones, and clarinet-or something weezing. Those constant, circular keys that wrap themselves around you, those are the final killers though, ensnaring you like a she-devil python. Jugu proves herself to be the anti-matter version of Sia, and I prefer it that way.

I’lls-Outright (Tincture Remix)

Holy fuck, now things are about to slow down to zanily over-the-top pace.We need to get Jim Carey or Adam Sandler in for this or something, because after the relatively breakneck darkness, there’s a remix of I’lls that I’ve in no way prepared you for. Off their sophomore EP from earlier this year, ‘Outright’ turns into a freezing, glacial monolith, albeit one that starts to get scaled by millions of climbers all searching for some holy shrine, right about 2:08 mark. As specific as that description is, I think its fitting, and I’m the one who’s writing this shit, so deal with it.

That one was by Tincture, the Brisbane maestro who shocked and awed with his track ‘Tryst’. You can grab it for free at I’lls Bandcamp, along with remixes by Rat & Co, Naysayer & Gilsun, Ktsche and Wabz.

Chalk And Numbers-Jump Up

And now for something really, really, really, exploitatively different. This is a track from the band Chalk And Numbers. They sound good, they’re critically acclaimed, they’re underground, yep, they’re from New York. Anyway, this is their contribution to a compilation coming out really soon based around Fraggle Rock songs. There’s only two people that watch Fraggle Rock, and that’s kids under 5, and stoners/trippers out of their fucking minds.

Anyway, the song is a sunshine-splashed, old school garage pop gem. Very girl-group, like The Mama’s & The Papa’s, but minus The Papa’s.

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.