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FEBUARY ’15 MIX.

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I’ve always been a fan of change. Small change though. None of this life changing stuff. Just small things in everyday life that might be slightly different, that doesn’t knock all sense of knowing out of you.

I’ve had a bit of change lately. It a change in between those two extremes. It’s uneasy . It feels distantly right, but large. Fucking large. Music listening, against this, feels soothing, comfortable, and at times nostalgic. This tape for example has a couple of acts that remind me of my teenage years. Kids At Midnight and their warm expansive pop is something that I usually glaze over – it was the kind of music that only ever made sense to me in my teens, but I find myself now, being drawn to it’s ability to draw me back. Same with Planète. Although obviously quite different in style, that minimal sound was something I was lost in in my early 20s. The constant monotony of that beat had back then stripped all the meaning out of the word monotony. It helped me search for something, in it’s ability to enter you and embody you, in it’s ability to propel you forward in an incredibly calm way. It was meditative. It is meditative.

In the January mixtape I wrote about the consumption of new music being the one consistent thing in a life that is anything but (PhD’s are great, but man do they fuck with you). Music has an incredible ability to both transport you back to a particular time or person, as well as allowing you to make sense of what is going on currently. As people we’re constantly seeking out meaning – meaning gives us a sense of self and a foundation. Music, in it’s sonicness gives us a chance to derive meaning and place sense in things that may concern, confuse or excite us. It seems like an old idea of music acting as a soundtrack, and in many ways it is. But that’s because what music does, and how we experience it has been consistent over the centuries.

As I write, and slowly become more confident that these little ‘reflections’ aren’t something I’m going to cringe at when I revisit them in 20 years time, I hope to be offering that insight into the importance of music in my life, especially new music. I mentioned the idea of writing around music when I reviewed the new Dick Diver record over on MISMATCH.TV. It’s the idea that music itself is so impossible to describe properly, that describing everything else to do with it actually gives you a far greater insight into how the music is experienced. Maureen O’Shaughnessy’s opening essay entitled ‘Drive’ which appears in Christian Ryan’s edited collection The Best Music Writing Under The Australian Sun also does this, documenting the intersection of the personal and the musical against the backdrop of a last minute trip to Bluesfest one year.

So this tape, as I started to get into earlier, is pretty fucking important. Hopefully, we all have tapes, or even just songs that do this. I try and ensure that most of the tapes I make for maamf not only are an attempt at objectively suggesting the ‘best’ new music of the month, but also provide some insight into how I experience the music in the hope that you might relate.

So, at the risk of drawing this out a little more, some more words on the inclusions for this month’s tape. Edward Francis threw me in all sorts of unexpected ways; Darts and The Living Eyes reminded me of just why I love short, fast raucous who-gives-a-fuck rock’n’roll; and Ella Thompson, Tam Vantage and Ainslie Wills together propelled the belief that Melbourne is perhaps home to the best songwriters in the country, if not the world.

And all the others are ace too.

DOWNLOAD (Right Click/Save As)

Miks

FLIP THE SCRIPT.

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Yeah mate, seems everyone and their dog are doing the nu-hiphop vibe lately. With big wigs like Remy doing solid things and Milwaukee Banks  and Baro perhaps being at the top of it, it’s the thing to do. And just like the ‘Australian sound’ EDM thing that happened a while ago, it’s becoming harder for the top kids to raise their heads up above the rest.

Flip The Script feel as though they’re doing things a bit differently. Young dudes, both sing and rap. Both have a pretty cool unique tone in their voice and their flow is undeniable. And to top it off, production is all 90s jazzy vibe. And it kills.

Latest single ‘Acting Profound’ below, and if you dig, download their tape crewsin’ over here.

Sick clip too!

Miks

TEAMWORK.

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Marc Deaz of Grandstands and Alex Moodie of KIRA have combined to form Teamwork.

They’ve played together before in a little band called Surfing in Hawaii, but this Teamwork tip follows a more ethereal dreamy electronica bent.

As the name would suggest, Teamwork is a project that provides the opportunity for Marc and Alex to work with a whole heap of different Melbourne based musicians. The first taste, ‘Dramatic Sea Cliffs’ features the vocal talents of Alex Servinis from Ern Malley and is an early indication as to what to expect from the duo’s first tape, due out March 23 on Whalesmouth. Limited run of 30 tho, so keep an eye out.

As we slowly edge our way into Autumn and then Winter, these warm hazy sounds feel all the better.

Miks

JANUARY ’15 MIX.

2015-02-14 23.18.29 HDR-1 Oh yeah, new year, same old lazy habits.

New year, same old excellent monthly mixtapes tho, so, you ain’t gonna get all complainy on me now are ya??

I think what I like the most about this tape, especially it being the January tape released some three weeks into February and all, is what it captures in new starts. None of this music sounds ‘new’, as in different to the music released up until the 31st of December 2014. But it’s the constant in the my ever changing scenery.

I got a notification thingy from wordpress a couple of days ago saying “Happy Anniversary!’ and informed me that I registered my account  some 6 years ago. Maamf as it currently stands hasn’t been kicking around for that long (full, albeit brief history lesson here), but it acted as a nice little reminder for me in what has been important to me over the last 6 years. Writing and exploring my tastes is something I really enjoy doing – it’s something I’ve been doing in a full time capacity for two and a bit years now, albeit about other people’s tastes.

I’ve thought about giving up maamf, or changing it to just a mixtape site maybe, or just taking a back seat on it for a while. Even with Adam coming on board a year ago, and of course taking into consideration his manic life, it has at times felt like the only option.

On the other hand, I’ve also had some rather big plans for maamf – I’ve thought about introducing interviews, a more formal music writing section documenting the different scenes happening across Australia, doing a full redesign with a new (and better logo), finally buying the domain name so we’re not slaves to the wordpress corporation, and even starting a podcast.

What I hope is that all these things will start, at some point. What I know though is that for now, and potentially for the next 12 months or so, this little site will be the same sporadic weird insight into two new music loving nerds. Maamf still exists because I can’t not listen to new Australian music. It is my one constant.

Wank over (nah, actually, you prolly didn’t read the above overly ejaculatory ego fest. you just here for the music right? wouldn’t blame ya, what with this being a fucking good tape and all).

DOWNLOAD (Right Click/Save As)

Miks.

NATHAN ROCHE.

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There’s something about Nathan Roche‘s slightly laconic vocal delivery that gives his work this effortless, relatable touch.

His final (Yep, mate, last one) album is due out anytime now. It’ll be called Cathedral Made Outta’ Green Cards. The first taste of it ‘Phantom Blues’ weirdly feels like it could go forever (probably perpetuated by the never ending refrain ‘these are the never ending phantom blues’ right at the end of the tune). It instead harks the ‘death’ of Roche, at least in the musical sense we currently know him. Although he’s not necessarily ‘ruling out the possibility of a string of “comeback albums” in his post-rehab mid-forties’ (direct quote from his presser – it’s really something special), wrap your ears around this one and the album when it hits the internet and the shelves of music selling stores.

Thanks for the good, nice, friendly and welcoming times Mr Roche. All the best in your new travels.

Miks

ESESE + HANCOQ.

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New hip-hop vibes from Melbourne based collective ESESE.

The Eastern Seaboard Electric Sound Experience (fuckin’ rad name aye?) do them rap vibes, sing, make tracks and film. The first official release from ESESE as a collective comes courtesy of Hudson James Jr and features ace dude Hancoq on the vox. It’s called ‘AINTNO’.

As the local hip-hop game begins to ditch it’s aggressive in-your-face Australian vibe, it’s great to still see some of that bravado and forwardness but presented in a warmer sounding context. And sure, one day, that constant embracement of the jazzier 90s side of hip-hop will get old, but for now, when the production is this top-notch, it still represents something fresh in the Australian hip-hop game. Definitely keen to hear what more ESESE bring.

Miks

[PREMIERE] YOUNG HYSTERIA.

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Melbourne people may well have heard the name Jimmy Hawk before – he’s done a fair bit of solo work around town and had a band called The Endless Sea for a bit too. Jimmy’s latest project is Young Hysteria and is a collab with his mate Thomas Van Der Vliet. The guys have been kicking around for nearly two years now, and you may well recognise their single of last year ‘One Young Lover’. It was a pulsing r’n’b infused jam that was as equally dreamy as it was intricate and introspective.

Well, we’re lucky enough to be premiering the clip for that track this morning on this here site. It’s a kaleidoscopic night-time journey for the two fellas, complete with booze and babes and all those blurs and colours you end up seeing towards the end of the night. Sounds like my night last night/allmynights ohgosh :/

Rad clip tho!

Keep an eye out for these guys around town this year.

Miks

TWERPS.

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Let’s give it another shot
Let’s try it another way
Let’s put the puzzle
Back together, our way 

Twerps – ‘I Don’t Mind’ (2015)

I’ve come to not know what to expect with Twerps. I thought I knew after their first full length. It was ethereal dreamy guitar based music with the rough edges, the scuffle still there. It sounded polished, but the ideas and the thoughts and process behind those ideas were still on show.

Then, after last year’s Underlay EP gave me the impression that they were going to embrace that more lo-fi aesthetic, they came back with ‘Back To You‘, a track that to my ears re-engaged with that dream like state their self-titled debut had put me in. The flute like synth line was Underlay-esque, but whilst new, still reminded me of some of the more upbeat cuts from the debut, just using different instrumentation. The second cut from the bands new album Range Anxiety (due out Jan 23) was ‘Shoulders’. Again, this one also managed to induce a dream-like state, whilst also putting forward something new in a focus on Julia’s vocals.

Now they’ve let ‘I Don’t Mind’ into the world. ‘I Don’t Mind’ is a track that feels as though it could close out the band’s debut album. It sprawls and is messy in parts, but still with that polish. Dare I say it’s anthemic, especially in that big all engrossing chorus that hits. It feels the most familiar of the three tracks, all of which will appear on the bands second full length Range Anxiety due out on Jan 23. I’ve heard this Twerps before. This is the Twerps I fell in love with.

I think what I’ve realised is that the idea of ‘progression’ in music implies something very particular. It is something that suggests growth and this almost romantic notion of an evolution in sound. It implies leaving behind the old and constantly seeking out the new.

I think with this release though I’m beginning to question just how relevant a term like ‘progression’ is when talking about music output. As music writers we want to be able to tell a story I guess, and the notion of progression lends itself to that old writing trope of the traditional story-arc where it’s all about triumph over adversity and reaching a better place. In having this as the go-to though, the stories we can tell about the musicians we love are pretty lopsided, and dare I say in many cases, not all that honest.

What about those artists that don’t leave their older influences at the door after album one and evolve in that traditional sense? What about those artists that don’t embrace a more electronic side in their latter albums? What about a band like Twerps who instead of moving on from their earlier work, are open to working with the same sorts of ideas, sounds and influences?

The story of Twerps isn’t one simply about re-visiting and re-engaging with the old ideas. It’s about doing different things with similar ideas. It’s not about going back, in the same way as it’s not about going forward. Instead it’s about the now, and the real and direct experiences gained in the present moment.

If you’re lucky enough to check out Twerps as they support Belle and Sebastian around the country, or if you’re checking them out at Sugar Mountain or Golden Plains, then have a bloody blast. And if you didn’t realise they were playing these shows and are thinking of trying to head along, then details can be found here.

For those not lucky enough to check ‘em out live, then make sure you grab a copy of Range Anxiety when it’s out – you can pre-order on iTunes now or over on the Chapter records store. ‘I Don’t Mind’ got best new music on some big site called ForkPitch or something like that too. Can’t blame ‘em – it is a seriously wonderful jam.

Miks

BEST OF 2014 – TRACKS.

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BIG YEAR.

30 Tracks. Ready, just, for that partay tonight.

It’s been a hectic year for maamf. We’ve done some ace things – got a couple of premiere’s under our belt and some bloody incredible Australian music.

Easily the best, most important day of the year though was sometime mid Jan when I turned to a mate of mine mid Courtney Barnett gig at Goodgod and asked if he’d like to write for the site. That mate was Adam, and that was nearly a year ago. It’s been a big ol’ year for Adam too, what with a hectic job, and a real life human baby gracing the lives of Adam and his wife in May.

So yeah, the fact that he’s taken the time to write for this little Australian music site has been something pretty darn spesh and everything. Love ya dude! So yep, there’s been some big faves this year for me. Personal faves that have stayed with me, and as I more intimately learn about the music-making processes of young musicians, the way I listen to music has changed somewhat. Hopefully I’m a hell of a lot more appreciative of what goes into forming and shaping a song, from those melody ideas that hit you on the train, to the hard slog of perfecting a groove or riff.

I definitely am listening differently now. Looking forward to this time next year.

If this tape excites you, then make sure you grab a copy just below.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL TAPE!

Miks.

BEST OF 2014 – ALBUMS.

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Yep, here’s my list. What started as 26, then pushed out to 29, then again out to 32 and finally 34, is now down to 10. Bloody hard (of course), and there are so many that deserve a bit of a mention (more on that below tho).

This year was perhaps the first year though where there wasn’t a super clear cut standout. There were at least 3 that were vying for #1. And the rest of the 10 are in a super tentative order. I love doing these lists, but gosh darn, it’s been a year so full of solid releases that finding just 10 was a task.

So, in order to appease my own anxious self (I always look at lists a couple of days after I posted them and realise I forgot something), here are the ‘other 10′, the 11-20. Some of the one’s that just missed out on the 10 were:

Blank Realm – Grassed In

Harmony – Carpetbombing

Seekae – The Worry

Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders – Playmates

The Peep Tempel – Tales

East Brunswick All Girls Choir – Seven Drummers

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Oddments

Lowtide – Lowtide

ScotDrakula – SCOTDRAKULA

Old Mate – Old Mate

And here’s the other ten. The better ten (but only just). Unlike other years, I’m just gonna have this list and not crap on about them. They’re bloody good. They’re my favourite of 2014 for all sorts of reasons. I reckon that’s good enough. Streams be there for you as well as just below, a big ol’ mixtape with two tracks from each album smack bang for that partay you’re havin tonight.

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10. The Harpoons – Falling For You

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

9. Luke Howard – Two & One

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

8. Clue To Kalo – The Motives Records

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

7. Laura Jean – Laura Jean

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

6. Total Control – Typical System

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

5. LUCIANBLOMKAMP – Post-Nature

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

4. #1 Dads – About Face

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

3. Jane Tyrrell – Echoes In The Aviary

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2. Ciggie Witch – Rock & Roll Juice

1. The Ocean Party – Soft Focus

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Miks

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