Latest

MONTGOMERY + JAPANESE WALLPAPER.

Screenshot 2014-12-19 13.21.53

Sometimes it all just hits you – everything feels as though it’s sitting in the right place. Things are moving at a pace familiar, but yet you’re still excited to see where it all goes. It reaches the points you know will bring you that extra buzz, that subtle push to the wry smile already forming. It gives you that warm and fuzzy, but it also gives you something else, something a lot bigger than that feeling you get. It feels as though it is actively accompanying something, maybe a memory, or maybe just this current moment, as you sit at your kitchen table after devouring your tuna salad sandwich.

It seems everything Gab Strum/Japanese Wallpaper touches immediately has this pureness and honesty. His latest, a remix of Montgomery‘s ‘Pinata’ took me everywhere that opening paragraph went. No doubt, as it accompanies the mad scurry that is the end of the year, it’ll add a calmness and a stillness – something I’m sure we could all do with.

The track is available as a free download until Boxing Day, so if you need something to play on repeat on Christmas morning as you jump on that plane back to the city you grew up, then this is your chance.

Miks

SLUMBERJACK.

Slumberjack2

Last time I posted Slumberjack I used so many mixed metaphors you may have been too tired and confused to even play the track. For a little balance I’ll shoot TOTALLY STRAIGHT this time.

These guys will surely be a very big deal very soon. I’d say as big as they want.
I will be glad about this, will attend their shows, will enjoy their shows.

I don’t know any facts you don’t, but their sound is bedding in and it’s pretty wild. Case in point, this ‘Horus‘ thingo.

The end.

Adam

NAKAGIN.

nakagin

Short version:
December antidote.

Long version:
I hadn’t heard Nakagin before, but when I heard his new Dwell EP I dropped all other “urgent” stuff and wrote this immediately. It’s a real salve to the mind in December chaos.

His is the kind of sound that would be right at home in the Ghostly stable – a kind of rainy day pulse that turns introspective and otherworldy when you press into it. It’s a delicate area to work in – keeping a sublime flow but also embedding enough character and identity to avoid a life as (admittedly well-curated) elevator music.

The reason I think he succeeds so well is a kind of emotive frankness. Like “here’s a feeling that happened, and I caught it with synths. Feel it, or don’t.” It’s not hyped or amplified or demanding – just kind of….pure.

The single from this Dwell EP is ‘Pines‘ and it’s lovely, but my personal fav is the simplest moment: ‘Cave‘. I think it’s the sound equivalent of a hug with a loved one when both of your minds are actually elsewhere. A kind of semi-faded sanctuary.

Clearly that’s an odd feeling to try and describe – but, lucky for you and me, there’s no real need. You have personal access to the actual song. In fact, I’ll just…
*trails off, backs away, puts earbuds back in, leaves with wistful gaze*

Adam

LITTLE DEED.

LIttle Deed 2

Yeep, posting Little Deed’s latest. Two from two for the mystery girl posted by yours truly.
That hit rate is pretty rare, since I am, as they say: ‘fundamentally and wildly inconsistent’.

But this is nice. Expansive.

I don’t know if she recorded herself in a large cave, or approximated that using digital signal processing technology – maybe none of us will ever really know for sure. But either way this one puts a fresh spin on an aesthetic I recall fondly from Florence’s Ceremonials. And if any part of you thinks that may not be a complementary parallel, then I think you need to listen to that album again.

Sounds like the epicness is even testing the poor soundcloud encoder, but such is our luck and luxury we can now buy a version captured with a fuller complement of bytes.

Also I couldn’t help but notice her Soundcloud is followed by people including Flight Facilities – to which I thought “hmmmm” and also “well now”. If they do ever do a thing together I’m calling that last sentence an exclusive.

Anyway I trust you value our new format, where we’re careful to review streaming encoder performance and who follows who on social networks. 2014 journalism is the best journalism.

Adam

DICK DIVER.

qazbtyjfzhqnydlubngr

I mean, really, as if I wouldn’t be all gushin’ over this. I mean, as if Dick Diver‘s 3rd album Melbourne, Florida won’t make at least the top three albums of 2015. I mean, as if, even with a slight change in sound, I wouldn’t just fucking love ‘Waste The Alphabet’, the new single from the Melbourne, Victoria based band.

‘Waste The Alphabet’ is intoxicating. It’s a fuller sound than their earlier work, and there’s a propulsion to it, and a directness to it. It’s only taken me a couple of listens, but I now reckon maybe it could get in the top of this year already.

Miks.

SPIRIT FACES.

Spirit Faces

How did he do it? How how how.

We like unpredictable, mashy electronic tracks because ART. It’s nice to hear new things. Genuinely new ways of vibrating air, as constructed by devoted humans. But, hip as you all are, let’s be real: these songs can oft be easy to admire, and oft pretty hard to live with.

So, we also like the warm hug of pop music because FRIEND. These songs don’t know a lot about the underground, they don’t chain-smoke or have crazy stories about what they did in Berlin. But they are friendly and trustworthy and they have your back. Or at least they don’t trip you over constantly, and some days that will do.

Not that I feel the need to talk to music blog readers about how we listen to different kinds of music because OBVS.

But, you tell me, which category does this Spirit Faces track fit in?

Right?

In a grail-chasing move, he’s balanced ‘Cloudplay‘ right in between these worlds, where the gravity of each cancels the other and it’s just….floating. Even a bunch of listens in it’s all loose and quirky and I can’t really expect what is coming at me next, but I ain’t panicked. I chilled.
Could this be ARTFRIEND?

Shouts to BUOY for bringing all her character and warmth, and giving things a natural woft and whimsy. Shouts to Mr Faces for his perfect sense of equilibrium, and of course the last chord – because HAIR METAL.

Hold off on your questions, no doubt all will be answered by the upcoming EP: probably with tidy taste and witty press because TEEF.

I’ve embedded the gynormo-player because I even feel friendly towards that little cloud.

Adam

HTMLFLOWERS.

htmlflowers edit

So this thing. Wayyyyy out of the park.

You might well think it’s a fine line between calling mess and calling genius, but my chips are always on genius with HTMLflowers. Chips being a proxy of value in various casino gambling games, so we’re clear. Except I don’t really know a lot about casinos. My credibility might remain safer under your ruthless scrutiny if I revise to say that my potato chips are always on genius with HTMLflowers. We let go of my fundamental point, but I do have some reasonable first-hand experience with potato chips. Safe to continue.

So maybe I’m ignorant to his influences, or maybe this is just wonderfully unique – in every little decision.

My test is simply this: imagine if someone looped this delicate orbit beat – say, in a dark echoey room. Maybe they put a speaker inside an old bell, or hung some warped sculpture, it doesn’t even matter. Because either way you could be imagining my favorite installation art piece of all time. Just like that.

So in my opinion you should enjoy the streamed item below, and also if you book Biennale or something you should probably hit him up. I’d not even be surprised if he already had a concept ready to roll, having some hints at his spectrum of creative output.

Potato chips on genius.

Adam

AINSLEY FARRELL.

ainsley farrell

I don’t always listen to folk, but when I do I tend to like it both succint and epic. Conceptually and actually.

Now that I think about it for the first time, maybe that’s impossible (or at the least unreasonable to demand)… but in stubborness I guess my reply to that would be some kind of shrug.
I don’t really seem to do meandering. I’m just not a meanderer.

So this Ainsley Farrell ditty grabbed me – an impossible little gem.
After the 30 second prequel we get rolling minor chords and even more rolling ocean metaphors – and you don’t get bigger and more mysterious than the ocean, do you? DO YOU? Well, except maybe for space. But space doesn’t really roll… and anyway shut up we’re talking about Ainsley’s song.

That aforementioned song I hereby refer to crams a lot of evocative, desolate sound into less than 2 minutes and it doesn’t even feel rushed or cut-off. Curious huh.

You are all here to witness the impossible moment where I post a song that meets my impossible folk demands.

Adam

OCTOBER ’14 MIX.

2014-10-29 14.14.42

oh mate. I mean gee whiz. Little Miksydicklefizz here is struggling to get these things up in a time appropriate manner. I’m currently facing perhaps the busiest time of my PhD which is basically just full of travel and stuff. And the field work has been absolutely excellent – couldn’t ask for better young people to speak to, but mate, not being in the one city for more than two weeks is getting to me. But hey, what is this? the little excuse club full of lilttle teeny weeny excuses?

Nah mate, it’s not. It is actually a pretty rad Australian music site (72nd best in the country – it’s a self-appointed title we’re all pretty proud of around here). And this here be the October mixtape.

I’ve taken a couple of liberties with this one – it was originally stuck at around 30 tracks and I did consider doing two tapes, coz, you know, two’s better than one etc (i’m single). At the top, I really do need to mention that the excellent Max Quinn has started a little music projoect – his Onomatopenis. His work ain’t up on soundcloud, so just as a little extra, if you download the tape (YOU REALLY SHOULD AND PLAY IT AT ALL OF YOUR PARTIES), then wedged between SCOTDRAKULA‘s ‘Shazon’ and Anatole‘s HTMLflowers remix is ‘Tarmax’ off Max’s first proper release. Also, I’m well aware that both Rolls Bayce‘s ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ and Luke Howard‘s ‘Cibi’ have been kicking around for a while, but they hit my radar in October (add another penny to the excuse club jar).

Bloody great tape though, full of everything. CHIEFS is doing some ace things at the moment – heaps of collab work. This track with old mate Owen Rabbit is pretty fantastic – hearing Owen in a different light is pretty great.  Gab Strum’s (Japanese Wallpaper) side project Càbãnå is also killing it – big Phoenix vibes and so is DXHeaven. A while ago I wrote about this new sophisticated pop/r’n’b that’s coming out of Melbourne. Really need to add DXHeaven to that list.

So yeah, there you have it. Part diary of a mad man, part talking about the excellent tracks in this ol’ tape.

DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE TAPE (Right Click/Save As)

Miks

GANG OF YOUTHS.

goy sm

Uh oh. Miks usually beats me to Gang of Youths posts but finally it’s me with a handful of sentences to try and explain why I can’t stop caring about what these dudes do. Could get gushy, you should brace.

Well if you put a gun to my head and asked me what the best art looks like, I would:
1. Suspect that’s not really your question. Because, you know, the gun.
2. Quickly pick a serious answer in a spike of panic (probably as you start squeezing the trigger), and blurt out: “just a human, easily seen.”

I realise that would be an awkward thing to say and I would still get shot. But it could be true and more importantly I think Dave Le’aupepe is a vivid example of this very thing.

Not so much in his press persona, where he is unpredictable and cut-throat honest, but still oddly mysterious. I mean there’s a whole other piece in that. But I’m talking songs.

Benevolence Riots‘ shows new colours sonically – there’s a flip to a resigned vocal that cuts through a surprisingly snappy song structure. But the key element for me is stronger than ever – the unusually deep heart. By heart I guess I mean that it has these undertones to it. Like a messy collision of many things I grapple quietly with myself, but spread out loudly in a spectacular, tragic, desperate, beautiful way.

For example, I get washed around from intelligent altruism to resigned devotion, dark cynicism to desperate hope, blue collar clarity to the confusion of human greatness, equality, craftsmanship, earning, failure and most of all: the deep unspeakable grind and reward of costly human relationships.

Heavy, complex, yes. And maybe I am too much of a fan to write this – but if you put this with their other songs to date, I swear all that stuff is in there.

It’s mostly Dave we’re seeing, though like most great bands I sense that the other guys have more to do with us hearing this stuff than we’ll ever know. Certainly these are an oddball bunch in their own right, possibly bonded now both as fun loving bros and more like actual brothers who have spent 2 years on a kicking bull together. That part you can feel live. But I’m digressing.

For mine, I’d take these songs straight. Like, neat. Raw on one of those prison cafeteria trays. Thus I’m not craving any more shimmer or dressing than we get here. But it is rather lovely shimmer, so I don’t mind if we get a lush record. As long as they keep Dave’s ‘easily seen heart’, I’m in.

Have I explained myself well? Maybe not. I still don’t really understand why I love this band so much. But I’ll say this – if we do get the album that these songs point at (next year?) I’ll be buying a physical copy so I can keep it near to me when I sleep. Music, hey.

Adam

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,449 other followers

%d bloggers like this: