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Introducing… 仙 Senzu Collective

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Look, the new music and visual art collectives thang circulating at the moment are hard to get a hang of, we get it. As a general rule, they are groups born from the hazy, unchartered dreamland of the interwebs specifically devoted to communicating in, slash navigating, a terrain of foreign symbols sans hashtag and @ symbols. And really, what is the internet for if not to #hashtag? Although these web-based collectives only began as a popular way to share the creative love in the late noughties, they come laden with what appears to be a prehistoric history of internal dialogue and communication, and an inherent assumption that, late as you are to the party, you’re already well versed in most of the underground-as-fuck artists on their bill. Right? Beyond their use of keyboard mash symbols, a sign of their internet savviness if nothing else, accessibility to these clicks-of-soundcloud is further complicated as very little is actually externally written on them. Take solace in the fact that while you were late to this weird bubblegum flavoured soundscape, Wikipedia’s invite probably got lost in the mail.

With that said, this week the interns would like to continue our cheat sheet initiative and introduce you to the musical stylings of the originally LA based Senzu Collective/Netlabel/Community of Artists. Self professed as a DIY NEXT LEVEL INTERNATIONAL CANOPY// (a huh), Senzu Collective consists of a group of hip hop producers and MCs from around the globe, pushing the creeping boundaries of experimental hip hop ever onwards with welcomed infusions of UK bass and LA’s beat scene. Roughly translated as a sage or enlightened person, in addition to their musical and visual stylings, Senzu works in collaboration with international relief groups and other artist collectives to create compilations as fundraising tools for those in need.

With 24 producers including Scott Xylo, Elyphant, and LA based producer ☿bluecrew☿aligned under their NEXT LEVEL INTERNATIONAL CANOPY// alongside 5 visual artists, the ‘Zu is one collective growing at an unstoppable rate, helped along by their monthly compilation series featuring artists such as RL Grime, Giraffage and Knxwledge and a more recent dive, along with the rest of the world, in the direction of the Future R&B offerings of The Weeknd and Jamie Woon.

Below we have a look at 5 of the must-know songs from the collective’s infinite back catalogue.

☿bluecrew☿ Elyphant ° Fairy Drops {☿bluecrew☿ gloomy gulch rework}

https://soundcloud.com/bluecrew/elyphant-fairy-drops

This is a distant memory of hazy summer afternoons spent somewhere between white-light lens flares and barely there white sheets, as Facebook bounces promisingly in the sun-drenched background. All brown legs and skin, ☿bluecrew☿ takes the undeniably smooth feels inherent in future R&B production right back to basics, allowing your imagination to run wild alongside the scaling xylophone and suggestive vocal samples.

falls everything different. everything same.

https://soundcloud.com/falls-2/everything-different-everything-same

everything different, everything same is an atmospheric example of flawless production. Blending an extended intro seamlessly into a soft, percussive baseline and echoey vocals, falls immerses you in his soundscape without a hint of reprieve. 

Bubblegum Crisis Loud Moves

The influence of Miami Vice is undeniably present in the San Francisco native, Harrison Pollock, aka Bubblegum Crisis’s production. Loud Moves has struck a dark chord in a way only retro can. While slick and shiny on the exterior, the song deals in a currency of debauchery lingering in the backstreets of a 1983. Bubblegum Crisis offers a little something different to the ambient stylings of falls and ☿bluecrew☿.

Sun Glitters / サングリッターズ Too Much to Lose

Different again, while Sun Glitters’ / サングリッターズ Too Much to Lose remains ambient and echoey, the strumming base billows with surprising strength beneath the vocalists longing dialogue. Pulsating forward, Too Much to Lose is defiant in a way Fairy Drops could never be.

SageVideōs L E M O N A D E B A T H S

https://soundcloud.com/sagevideos/l-e-m-o-n-a-d-e-b-a-t-h-s

Joining Senzu Collective in June 2014, South African lo-fi dream wave producer SageVideōs is a new comer to the Zu’s mix. In the same vein as Cashmere Cat, L E M O N A D E B A T H S is a track offering expertly mashed together bedrooms samples and bouncy feels.

To dive even further down the Senzu Collective rabbit hole, click here.

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Genre-pushing pop princess pairings of 2014

popprincessSomething’s been happening in the world of pop this year. Well, duh. Let me rephrase. A lot  has been happening in the world of pop this year. From Beyonce’s sly-dog release of Beyonce, to the alarming growth that’s firmly attached itself to Nicki Minaj’s behind, to Tay Tay getting busy exacerbating racial stereotypes while she’s shaking it off to Lily Allen’s comeback tour, it’s been a busy year for pop and its chart toppers. Controversial MTV appearances and obligatory twitter beefs aside though, what’s really interesting is that, in its fatigued 2014 state, pop just isn’t pop anymore. Blame exhaustion or simply growing out of that awkward preteen stage, pop is increasingly becoming less and less like the pop of the the late ’90s and early 2000s.

Once guarded by boy bands in matching outfits and bad die jobs, pop was a pristine domain reserved for the Britney Spears’ and Christina’s -before she was X-tina – of the world. A clearly defined realm, with the occasional true diva slash pop princess flourishing amongst a sea of Mandy Moore’s and Jessica Simpson’s. This year however, those same pop princesses that, in say 1999 or even 2009, would’ve been left to their preordained place on So Fresh of Summer and Ryan Seacrest’s weekly Top 40, have become, for all intents and purposes, transcendent. Chameleon-like, female pop artists of 2014 are opting to work with some seriously unlikely producers, and no, we’re not just talking about the David Guetta’s and Calvin Harris’s of the world. Suddenly, Ariana Grande is bosom buddies with Cashmere Cat and Miley’s a female rebel with Alt-J. And, do you know what’s even more interesting? As pop fatigues of its own pop game, and grows out of its own pop boots, those same unlikely producers are choosing to work back and undeniably helping to carve a new path for the future of a now more mature, dynamic pop. Here we have a look at just 5 unlikely pop princess pairings released over the last year that are helping to push the boundaries of the genre ever onward.

Ariana Grande and Zedd: Break Free

When Break Free dropped earlier this year, Grande’s Zedd produced mega hit broke all the rules on its way to freedom. Music camps everywhere sat perplexed facing the same conundrum, to like or not to like. Here was a song with undeniable pop appeal. With vocals bellowing out from yet another sequin-clad Disney Channel escapee, and a house-anthem quality to its thumping bass and roller coaster rise and falls, this song was surely destined for Top 40 success, buoyed by the starry eyed 12 to 16 year old girl market, while simultaneously anticipating ridicule from more discerning music snobs. Remarkably, however, it wasn’t just the aspirational tweens that found themselves crooning along to Grande’s grammatically incorrect chorus. Zedd’s production gave not only the song a level of unexpected credibility, but Grande herself. Instead of lampooning the 21-year-old for, well, what else are Disney graduates for? Pitchfork evoked comparisons to “Swedish pop mastermind, Robyn,” while noting Grande’s “sky scraping voice” was in top form. And Slate called it a “soaring pop ballad… propelled by synth chords and a pounding bass beat.”

Ariana Grande and Cashmere Cat: Be My Baby

Grande’s debut album My Everything is riddled with collaborations from Nicki Minaj and Jessie J, to The Weeknd and Childish Gambino. It’s well and truly old news, but in case you’ve been living under a rock, everyone wants a piece of this intergalactic pop princess. Perhaps the album’s most unexpected cameo however is by Norwegian producer Cashmere Cat who, not only produced Be My Baby, but in more recent weeks has released an alternative version to the sanitised edit that made its way onto Grande’s album. Brimming with blippy synths, all out gun shots and punch-packing chorus breakdowns, Cashmere’s re-edit is effortlessly cool in a way that the original could never be. While superficially the two artists find fans in diametrically opposed walks of life, collectively the same-same-but-different tracks somewhat unashamedly demonstrate a rumbling conversation currently taking place between chart toppers and the underground. It seems intrigue and a genuine desire to bust genre wide open is a priority on all fronts at the moment: Alien-pashing pocket rocket or super-side fringed cat alike.

Miley Cyrus and Alt J: Hunger of the Pine

Of all the pop princess collabs on this list, Miley’s sample on Alt-J’s track Hunger of the Pine was critically the least well received. Lifted from 4×4, a non-single track on Cyrus’s Bangerz album, Sam called the sample “beyond clumsy,” while Bianca vilified Cyrus for bringing her “big wrecking ball” in and ruining the track’s chance of truly “happening.” Billboard simply lamented Alt-J’s oversight in not sampling Nelly’s verse from the same song. A non-appearance by Nelly on any track is already disappointing enough, let alone when it’s replaced by Miley. Hunger of the Pine remains however, a crystalline example of how reworks, samples and collaborations between unlikely bedfellows attribute a fresh sense of credibility artists and their music. Suddenly Miley was not just Miley of Robin Thicke infamy, but Miley, an artist in the eyes of incomparable (thank god) Alt-J.

Jessie Ware and Cyril Hahn: Tough Love

Labeled breakout producer of 2013, Cyril Hahn has steadily been making a name for himself remixing and sampling the lofty vocals of female artists at the top of their game. From Destiny’s Child, to baby sister Solange and Californian outfit HAIM to a truly x-rated, quivering pants-party rendition of Mariah’s Touch My Body, it’s not surprising that the Swiss R&B re-animator quickly turned his hand to Jessie Ware’s Tough Love. Described as “the missing link between SBTRKT and Sade,” Ware was praised for the release of her down-tempo R&B, synth-infused pop album (yes, there is such a thing), Devotion, earlier this year. While there ain’t nothing tough about the original Tough Love, when in Hahn’s hands, the breathy pop-ballad is easily transformed into a house beat that bubbles frenetically under a vocal tapestry rich in high highs and slow burn crescendos. A Hahn remix is quickly becoming the tell tale sign of a true pop princess. Watch out Ariana Grande, he’s coming for you.

Sia and Four Tet: Chandelier 

Sia’s Chandelier caught attention for a myriad of reasons. Firstly it was her bold, unapologetic announcement of return after an extended hiatus between albums. Secondly, dat video clip, am I right? And thirdly, the incredibly powerful press and TV talk show performances that accompanied its debut, all seeming to herald the return of this unique artist, while firmly maintaining her shadowy space, just beyond the limelight’s desperately creeping finger tips. Read, Lena Dunham’s doppleganger act on Late Night with Seth Meyers and her back-to-the-camera recreation on Ellen. Pitchfork claimed Chandelier made “her previously released solo material seem impossibly minor by comparison,” while our own writer Sam noted a presences of guts in Chandelier absent in the work of contemporaries like Katy Perry. In the face of such pop stardom, producers and DJ reactionaries have two choices, run in the opposite direction, save daring to take on soon-to-be pop classic or conversely dive straight in, rework and take the track in a totally new direction. For his take on Sia’s Chandelier, British producer Four Tet chose the latter. Stripping out the instrumentals, Four Tet left Sia’s impossible audio intact, twanging over an fresh hip-hop inspired beat and softly sparkling keys. Like the Cashmere Cat re-release of Grande’s Be My Baby, Four Tet’s Chandelier is more than a remix or mere dialed up BPM. It reinforces pop’s sky rocketing power to transcend what has been a chaste genre and a willingness on the behalf of certifiably non-pop producers to encourage this fresh approach to limits and genre. As Sam says, the Four Tet interpretation just “adds extra edge as if to take it from the hands of Commercial Radio and plop it in Triple J’s lap.”

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City Spotlight: London, UK

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City Spotlight is a  feature where the interns go behind a particular city looking to uncover its musical trends and cool hangs.  This week we’re taking a trip to ye olde London Town. 

London is a tricky city to do for City Spotlight. There’s something to say for those cities with well, less creative potential to offer. Slim pickings can be a beautiful thing. As it is, London, much like New York and all those other cities with a back catalogue from here to Mars of songs written about them, has always had an allure about it that encourages the young and foolish to flock there in pursuit of dreams, wilfully turning a blind eye to the impracticality of said dreams. Yes folks, dreams are not worth following unless they’re practical. For many on the London music scene, they’re quickly and unapologetically introduced to the sheer volume of other talented hopefuls. They face the gruff no-bullshit POM-ittude on a daily basis and, before they can say “I’d like to sing the Elton John classic…” as if all of London were an X-Factor stage and all the men and women merely contestants, they’re chewed up and spat out, left to take the long tube ride home to godforsaken Zone 4 with nothing to show for their once-dream except the stark realisation that good is just not good enough and delusion doesn’t count for shit in a city where socks are perpetually wet and ears cold. Call it what it is though-a numbers game. With more and more wannabes trying each and every day, and more and more being turned away, there are, ridiculously, more and more making it. At the moment London is burst with younger-than-I-am talent so here are just a few names and venues making waves in the great British cesspool. 

Click below to explore the various facets of London’s music scene. 

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City Spotlight: London, UK

Where to catch a gig 

The Village Underground

In space that was once a railway coal store, a music hall and an eighteenth century theatre, currently resides the worlds first carbon neutral studio and concert space, The Village Underground. Part creative community and part arts venue, this venture sees a turn-of-the-century warehouse converted endlessly in the name of art exhibitions, theatre performances and music concerts. With Duke Dumont, Sebastien Tellier and Tiga all to play before the end of the year, it’s a good thing the “living roof” dampens concert noise. 

Royal Albert Hall

Where Adele gave that performance.

Fabric

Fabric is a mega-club like nothing we have in Australia. Having established a name for itself world wide for consistently bringing the party and holding its own among fellow London super-clubs Ministry of Sound and Heaven, it’s no wonder Nina Kraviz, Erol Alkin, BEN UFO and Wilfred Giroux will all be paying it a visit before the year’s out. Expect to pay a lot of money for a night you won’t remember. 

02 Academy Brixton

Becoming a music venue in 1983, The Brixton Academy, currently sponsored by 02, is a 5000 capacity venue that continues to attract artists from all genres and has been voted NME’s Venue of the Year 12 times in its short history. Its greatest claim to fame is hosting The Smith’s final show in 1986, although with a bill that includes SBTRKT, BANKS, Little Dragon, Jessie Ware and Caribou all due to play in the next 6 months, we’re sure thats going to change.  

KOKO

Previously known as the Camden Palace, KOKO is currently one of London’s premiere live music venues. In 2009 it host the iTunes music festival which attracted well over 45,000 people over 30 nights. Since its extensive renovations in 2004 under the lead of Mint Entertainment, the venue has seen Coldplay, Madonna, Lily Allen, Thom Yorke, Kanye West, Skrillex and many more grace its perfectly refurbished stage

 Click here to check out London’s Record Labels. 

City Spotlight: London, UK

Artists

Hawk House

On a typically sheets-of-rain London day, Vice writer Ryan Bassil best summarised just who Hawk House are and what they do when he interviewed them back in February 2014. The group “make music that slots somewhere between today’s weather and the warm balm of Spring. It’s motivational but scored in the grayscale realities of city-dwelling youth.” It’s true. Comprised of brothers Sam and Eman, and gods-gift vocalist Demae Chioma Wodu, Hawk House offer a spacious, 3am take on the grit and grime so firmly embedded within London’s hip-hop culture. With comparisons to fellow conscious hip-hop outfits such as The Roots, and Lupe Fiasco hard to deny, the groups’ debut EP, A Handshake to the Brain, features 10 tracks overflowing with sentences artfully constructed to include a few too many words tackling big picture issues such as domestic violence and unemployment that will take more than a few listens to appreciate in full verse. With that said, for a group so clearly advocating the power of the spoken word, even for ears lacking the audio agility to keep up with the prodigal rappers as their spits bounce and skip frenetically over a pond of soul and electronic production, Hawk House’s music maintains a clear rhythm and balanced harmony. Their EP effortlessly lulls you through in a dream-like state, perfect for that lazy, in-between-seasons day. Big picture issues are for another day anyway, right?

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/hawkhouseofficial/sets/a-handshake-to-the-brain[/soundcloud]

Kwabs

If there’s anything that the music industry of 2014 has taught us, it’s that disco and soul are back in a big way. In fact, *warning: generalisation ahead,* almost everything released this year can be distilled down to a little from column A or a little from column B. While the revival is a welcomed one, and disco fever is one sickness worth catching, the best artists are those who have managed to marry their roots, be it in soul or disco with the sound today and our seemingly endless penchant for top notch electronic production and synth, synth, synth. Kwabs is this artist. With an EP out and a debut album on the way, Kwabs very quickly recognised we’re a greedy audience. We want that sparse, glitchy backtracking synonymous with the best of London’s underground house, but we want to feel something that only soul can bring upon you. With songs like Into You, taking on a ballad-esque quality, there is a sense of deep, running urgency, pulsing through both production and voice as Kwab nails this balance. Strong, deep, dark and emotive, yet totally at home in the data-sphere and underground of 2014. 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/kwabs/into-you[/soundcloud]

Moko

London has a reputation for toughening you up. Hardening you. Acquainting you with the harsh realities of the world at an age when rose tinted glasses should be your go-to accessory. Bluntly, you grow up quickly in the frenetic shades of grey which perhaps explain why, at just 21, Moko sounds less like a fresh faced poppy ripe for the picking and more like a certified songstress-come-diva of the late 90s brimming with soul, house and trip hop influences galore. Like Kwabs, what is old is new again when it comes to Moko’s sound. There’s a uncanny familiarity, a maturity attached to tracks like Your Love that sound nostalgic and contemporary all at once. 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/thismoko/yourlove[/soundcloud]

Click here to check out some of London’s best venues to catch a gig. 

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City Spotlight: London, UK

Record Labels

PMR Records 

PMR Records are the current darlings of the record industry. Major names such as South Londoner Jessie Ware, no-need-for-introduction Disclosure, and Bristolian house producer, Julio Bashmore, signed to the label started back in 2009 by brothers, Ben and Daniel Parmar from their living room. Purporting a DIY ethos while happily marrying meteoric chart success with undeniable, underground credibility, a feat rarely attempted with the scathing call of “sellout” echoed hideously in the background, the brothers pride themselves on creating a “family atmosphere” where “artists feel comfortable to be themselves”. They were also featured on Vice’s web channel Noisey last year as director Dhillon Shukla followed the label gods to 2013’s Coachella Festival and have also recently been named by The Guardian as a label responsible for shaping the sound of 2014. 

National Anthem 

National Anthem signed HAIM before National Anthem was even a record label. Talk about complicating that old chicken and the egg debate. Knowing he was on to a good thing, upon seeing the Cali girls perform at a few industry showcases in 2012, James Passmore, a man clearly well versed in the ‘fake it til’ you make it’ mentality that surrounds so much of the creative industries, “confirmed the release of their Forever EP, then had to come up with a name for the label, find out how you get vinyl made (and) find out how you put tracks on iTunes.” Since then not only has HAIM continued to appear on festival bills worldwide and be labelled a runaway success of 2013, but Passmore has also released singles from Chrvches and fellow Californians’ Sir Sly, demonstrating a well trained ear for radio-come-blog friendly hits.  

LuckyMe 

Search record label LuckyMe in Google and the first hit you get is the collectives’ website unapologetically declaring exactly what they’re all about, Music. Art. Parties (and bullshit). Otherwise known as all good things in life. Hailing from the Glasgow School of Art, way back in 2002 the collective took their knowledge of art and designed and applied it to the music industry in an attempt to get their friends, Hudson Mohawke and Rustie, signed. An effort that clearly paid off as it wasn’t long before Warp snatched them up. Since 2007 the collective has evolved organically to include art direction, photography, events and international design studios. With a catalogue that boasts Baauer, Cashmere Cat, Jacques Greene, Hudson Mohawke and Lunice, a Rinse FM channel and some seriously impressive festival debuts including TNGHT at 2012’s SXSW festival, LuckyMe has continued to cultivate a creative environment for artists to springboard to the big time. Kanye and Drake have been all ears.

Click here to check out some of the best artists London currently has on offer. 

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Your September Music on a $30 Budget

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Here at the interns we’ve made it our on-going mission to spam your Facebook feed with as much free new music as possible. And, as far as spam artists go, we feel we’ve been doing a pretty good job at it. Agreed? No matter how good the track though, there is only a limited amount of gratification to be gained from a cheeky soundcloud link or vimeo clip even when it’s dropped right at your feet in a neat little CMYK package a la the interns. So, in order not to be threatened with that ever-looming “unfollow” button Facebook so kindly installed, we’ve upped the stakes and will now be bringing you a monthly gig guide with a twist so you and hear and see new music. This month’s challenge? Music and feed for under $30. Goooo!

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What: Clap Clap Riot

When: September 6th

Where: FBi Social Club, Sydney

Cost: $10

Budget Cuts: New Zealand four-piece Clap Clap Riot, are coming to Australia for the first time and are doing it on the cheap so you can too. Fresh from the release of their latest single All About The Weather, a trackfilled with surf-rock charm and catchy hooks, the modest price tag attached to this rock outfit will ensure you get gig and grub all for under $30. Hint, make a beeline for New York Pizza.

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What: [album release] Banks’ Goddess

When: September 9th

Where: An iTunes Store near you

Cost: However much albums cost these days

Budget Cuts: Banks is an all round intern fave so we highly recommend loading up that iTunes account and supporting this LA songstress the legal way. With singles like Goddess, Drowning and Beggin’ for Thread already released, we’re sure the album is going to be a killer. Treat yourself to a quality bottle of red and go all Bridget Jones’ Diary on it as you belt your lungs out to ballad after ballad after ballad.

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What: Kanye West Yeezus Tour

When and Where:

Fri 5 Sep, Perth Arena, WA

Sun 7 Sep, Adelaide Entertainment Centre, SA

Tue 9 & Wed 10 Sep, Rod Laver Arena, VIC

Tue 12 & Wed 13 Sep, Qantas Credit Union Arena, NSW

Mon 15 Sep, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, QLD

Cost: $99 – $149

Budget Cuts: Short of sneaking in, or milking your ex-girlfriend’s sister’s best friend who happens to be security on the door or knows somebody who might know somebody who might be able to get you backstage passes for a small fee paid in dignity and poor decision (good luck), this is a major budget blow out. Our suggestion? Reinvest that $30 in a bottle of tequila or two and watch all Youtube footage of Kanye, having a shot each time he refers to himself as a Black Jesus in one form or another or, for the more seasoned drinker, calls out the fashion industry for excluding him and his creative potential-come-genius. On second thoughts, better make that 3 bottles and a pack of Berocca for the next morning.

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What: Spookyland + Guests

When: September 19th

Where: GoodGod, Sydney

Cost: $13

Budget Cuts: At only $13 a ticket, make sure you shuffle on over to BBQ City for some post gig Bibimbap or share a jug of GoodGod’s Kool Aid with mates. Refreshing AND nostalgic mmmm.

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What: Miami Horror

When and Where: 

16th Sep,The Telstra Spiegeltent, Brisbane Festival

18th Sep, Zierholz, Canberra

19th Sep, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

20th Sep, Plantation Hotel, Coffs Harbour

25th Sep, Fowler’s Live, Adelaide

September 26th Sep, 170 Russel St, Melbourne

27th Sep, Read Earth Arts Festival, Karratha

28th Sep, The Newport Hotel, Fremantle

Cost: Miami Horror’s Wild Motion Tour comes in just under budget at a neat $25 plus $3.70 booking fee. Head over to Moshtix to grab a ticket before they sell out.

Budget Cuts: None. In fact, if you raid your parents liquor cabinet in an effort to “pre-game,” convince said parents to give you a lift to the venue, and secure a spot on Sydney’s Circus on Wheels otherwise known as a night rider, you’ve even got a spare $1.30 to pick up a Mc-Anything really to calm those midnight munchies.

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What: Listen Out Festival

When and Where: September 28th

Sat 27 Sep, Centennial Park, Sydney

Sun 28 Sep, Ozone Reserve, Perth

Saturday 4 Oct, Observatory Precinct, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

Sunday 5 Oct, The Avenues & Expo Place, Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane

Cost: Admittedly the $130 price tag attached to this puppy doesn’t quite meet the budget but, resourceful as we are, we’re not going to let a little thing like a $100 blow out stand in our way of experiencing the sweet sounds of Four Tet, Shlohmo, Ta-Ku reign out across Sydney’s Centennial Parklands.

Budget Cuts: There are a couple of options here. Short of jumping the fence with that $30 firmly tucked in your back pocket for drinks’ sake, you could gather 5 friends, each contribute your $30 to sponsor a single person to go and enjoy the day on your behalf with a $20 surplus for 1 all-class-all-the-time Redbull vodka. Strap a GoPro to their chest and it’ll be exactly like you were there, peering over muscly backs in attempt to see just who’s remixing Flume for the umpteenth time that day. Hint, it’s probably Chet Faker. Alternatively, find yourself a nice pub at the top of Oxford St, grab a glass of the house red and that $10 meal deal and listen out for the bass. Who needs rhythm or melody anyway, right?

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How To Dress Well: What We Learnt from Splendour in the Grass 2014

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As the dust settles over North Byron Bay Parklands; the port-a-loos loaded on to the back of unfortunate trucks and the festivities of the weekend replaced by abandoned tent pegs and forgotten cigarette butts, it’s fair to say there’s only one thing on your mind as you try to shake that three day hangover and realise you’re not as young as you once were: next year’s Splendour. While you sit at your desk, reminiscing about all the fun you two shared, and lamenting the demise of your brief, whirlwind romance, consider this; the best way to get over someone, is to get right back under someone else. So instead of waiting and wishing for Splendour in the Grass 2014 to call you and say come home, why not jump straight into bed with Splendour in the Grass 2015, his mysterious, seductively aloof cousin, who will hold you at that irresistible arm’s length for another year of teasing and hinting, promising big things and last-minute cancellations. When it finally comes time for you two to meet after a prolonged internet relationship and a rumour-mill in overdrive, you’ll want to put your best foot forward and dress right for the occasion. Here we’ve complied a fail safe guide to dressing for your first date with Splendour 2015 as per this year’s standout stars.   

Wigs

Andre 3000 proved that trying to maintain a blow dry is simply unnecessary labor amidst festival conditions. Ditch the 20 minutes spent in front of a mirror taming your mane in favour of a hides-a-mulititude-of-sins wig. This will let Splendour know while first impressions and personal appearance are a priority of yours, they do not detract from valuable time that could be spent roaming the festival looking for friends or in pursuit of elusive phone reception. 

Jumpsuits 

While greeting Splendour itself is a three day affair, it comes sandwiched between sideshows, interviews, pre-parties, after parties and traveling nonsensical hours to reach the far corners of this inexplicably large country to party with to comparatively small (yet equally awesome) crowds. The last thing on ones mind is selecting which party pants go with which ill-fitting crop top or which mini-skirt covers just enough ass without appearing prudish. Solution? The humble jumpsuit. Donned by the likes of OutKast’s Andre 3000 and Grouplove’s formidable leading lady Hannah Hooper over the weekend, the jumpsuit saves time and energy when it comes to dressing for the Splendour stage. Consider it your one stop shop. Slimming and sexy, go tight and shiny a la Hooper or get ready to race a la Andre.

Tight and Bright

Put Simply, Lily Allen and Kelis killed it over the weekend. Why? Was it because of their undeniable vocal ability and shared status as comeback queens? Perhaps. Was it because of their killer bodies and the unexpectedly large crowds they each drew? Maybe. Or was it because, when all is said and done, the two divas donned tight and bright attire like it was 2006, when we were all at our prepubescent best, running around flushed from a game of spin the bottle at yet another Tight and Bright themed party? I vote the latter. When greeting Splendour 2015, why not mix up the standard leather and lace hippie-for-the-weekend fair in favour of some neon highlights, and can’t-hide-no-VPL Lycra.

Slogans

When you meet someone for the first time, it’s more than likely at some point words will fail you. Be it because you’ve momentarily got lost into their glassy beer goggles, or simply because the awkward small talk has run out, when the words are gone, a slogan t-shirt is your saviour. Make like Andre 3000 and have what you’re thinking about emblazoned your chest. 

Shoes

Splendour stars know better than most that, as you stand above the crowd, staring out over the masses while 10s of 1000s of people belt out your lyrics and willingly kneel at your throbbing feet, it’s only polite to give them something to focus on as they lose their breath trying to match your lofty falsetto. Enter the statement shoe. Any girl worth their weight in Sex and the City quotes, and any guy worth their limited edition Yeezus Nike (Or was it Adidas?) trainers, knows shoes are where it’s at. Consider Sam Smith stomping about in his quintessentially British brogues, or Kelis teetering atop Back to the Future style barely-there gold wedges or Mark Foster bringing back the socks and loafers like a Jackson incarnate. It’s fair to say statement footwear is a festival fashion must… Unless of course it’s Hunter Gumboots.

Suits

Look, if you’re going to meet Splendour in the Grass for the first time and the idea of wearing a synthetic wig while jumping about in a jumpsuit selected from a palette of flamingo pinks and obnoxious oranges and stomping around in impractical footwear overwhelms you, you can always take the safe road, disregard all that has been said thus far and wear a simple, yet timeless suit like Big Boi or Yacht Club DJs

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City Spotlight: Chicago

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City spotlight is a bi-weekly feature where the interns go behind a particular city looking to uncover its musical trends and cool hangs.  This week we’re taking a trip to the current rap capital of the US – Chicago, Illinois. 

Ok, so we admit defeat. It seems all roads lead back to Chicago. From our feature on the faces of Future R&B to last weeks round up of Chicago rappers, inspired by Vic Mensa‘s new track Feel That,  to songs from Chicago-based artists regularly being devoured at our First Impressions table or featuring on our Top 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week lists. We just can’t get enough of the Chicago scene at the moment. With that in mind, it seems only fitting Chicago takes the limelight in our second instalment of City Spotlight. Be warned, the following is a hyperlinked minefield.

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Jeremih and Shlohmo Release EP ‘No More’

Having given us Bo Peep (Do You Right), when the duo collaborated for a Yours Truly Song From Scratch,” last year, which conversely went on to be one of the best alternative R&B tracks of 2013, a year later, LA producer Shlohmo and Chicago local Jeremih are back and have finally released their highly anticipated, well-teased, collaborative EP just in time for the weekend. The 6 track EP, No More, is fully downloadable at nomorenomorenomore.us in exchange for a humble email, while the title track No More, can be streamed below. Listen out for a guest appearance by Chicago local, Chance The Rapper, on the final track.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/shlohmo/shlohmo-jeremih-no-more[/soundcloud]

 

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