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ListenOut_Wrap-up2

Listen Out, Sydney – Wrap-up

ListenOut_Wrap-up

After a successful first year, Fuzzy’s IDM Festival, Listen Out, returned to Sydney and brought with it a lineup that cheered on more homegrown talent than 2013. Flume was always going to be a huge drawcard and as such, two of the dates on the Festival tour sold-out. Sydney wasn’t at capacity but it still had a huge crowd ready to enjoy a beautiful day of electronic music.

Electronic music has grown exponentially over the past few years and the fact that this year’s Listen Out was such an Aussie affair goes to show that Australia is at the forefront of the genre right now. Apart from a herd of fence-jumping fools, Listen Out drew an appreciative crowd for those who didn’t want to shred for Stereosonic or mosh at Soundwave. Turns out, it’s a nice middle ground to be in.

Refer to our key below for the ratings of each performance. We also added the appropriate foods to accompany each set, just ‘cos.

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shlohmo

LA producer Shlohmo is a late night music-maker. His music is dark, insulated and smooth- everything that 3pm on a sunny weekend isn’t. Dressed in all-black, Shlohmo looked every bit as uncomfortable as the crowd. The thick bass tried to hug centennial park but it was just too large of a field to capture the brilliance of his sound. Shlohmo was one of the best bookings on the Listen Out bill but he was definitely disadvantaged by an afternoon set. There will surely be no complaints about his club-sets while he is here. The man embodies the RnB/electronica crossover sound that everybody is trying to emulate at the moment. It’s not his fault that nobody wants to grind in the broad daylight.

bondax

Bondax were the closest thing to Disclosure on this year’s bill. The English duo are making sunshine-infused deep-house music that, unlike Shlohmo, was perfectly suited to the mild, daylight conditions. Armed with a slinky female singer and a male who was slightly past his prime, the pair tailored a light, breezy set for an excitable and tipsy crowd. It was refreshing to see a live set amongst many DJs, with the pair performing mostly their own songs.

The track that started it all for them, Baby I Got That, brought with it an undeniable groove, while their super-smooth single Gold, showed that they can perfectly induce a bit of deep house with RnB. The height of the set came with their cover of Duke Dumont’s I Got U. For a crowd that wasn’t very familiar with their material, they were content throughout the whole thing. It was an example of perfect scheduling and weather-appropriate music.

ChetFaker

Chet Faker was possibly the most hyped name on the bill, after Flume, and he effortlessly filled the paddock to usher in the night time. There’s no doubt that his one-man show is a marvel and he did all the right things at Listen Out. 1998 was soulful where it needed to be and beat-laden when dancing was needed while Gold created an unexpected singalong. I’m Into You was the perfect partner for the dusky heat and had the thick crowd swaying in admiration.

Despite his moments of brilliance, a one-man show like Faker’s is best enjoyed in tighter confines. Some of the sound was lost in the expanse of the crowd and sounded a little thin at times. His moments of playing with his instruments were also a little unnecessary as some began to get restless. A festival crowd, after all, has limited patience.

zhu

Enigmatic producer Zhu could’ve answered all the questions at Listen Out but instead he answered none. He took to the stage with a screen covering him from anybody’s vision and launched straight into his mega-hit Faded. It was a euphoric, throbbing moment but the whole time it felt there needed to be another climax. You couldn’t tell whether he was singing nor see what he was playing and no matter how good it there was always the feeling that the crowd wanted more – probably brought on by the lack of presence.

Despite not seeing him, he had some great moments. His remix of Lana Del Rey’s West Coast was a moment of chopped and sliced brilliance and the light show that carried on through the whole set was a spectacle. His set-finishing cover of CHVRCHES’ Gun was also a hands-in-the-air moment that ushered in a rare singalong. With a huge set under his belt already it’s hard to imagine how long Zhu will be able to keep this mystery up. It seems to do nothing but put more pressure on him to speak with great music.

teed

With the sun completely gone, Orlando Higginbottom brought with him the type of DJ set that only the night time would embrace. Gone was the summertime sounds that permeated the afternoon, as the crowd welcomed a fist-full of bass, with a set of largely unrecognisable music. T.E.E.D is clearly a producer who digs a little bit deeper than most but he never came across as pretentious. For every instrumental banger, there was crowd-pleaser thrown in. They came in the way of the bombastic Core by RL Grime and Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan which radiated through an excitable crowd.

It’s obvious by his latest track with Aussie, Anna Lunoe, that T.E.E.D’s musical output is altering slightly but it’s no less impressive. Feels Like was a nugget of gold in the set- a slowly building, throbber that commanded the crowd to go harder. He finished valiantly on Household Goods, ensuring we got a little taster of just what to expect when he comes back (hopefully) soon with his live show.

flume

Listen Out could’ve only announced Flume on the bill and still pulled a massive crowd. He’s the golden-boy of Australian dance music and this truly felt like a homecoming victory run. His set hasn’t changed much since his solo tour earlier this year, but it was his first major Australian Festival headline set and it went down very well. Still looking humbled by his overwhelming popularity, he dropped hit after hit. Sleepless was followed by Holdin’ On which was topped by his Hyperparadise remix. He barely even needed to say or do anything, the crowd was so enamoured with his tracks as just an audible spectacle.

He was happy to share the spotlight for a little as he brought on label-mate George Maple for a new track and her new single, Talk Talk. The pair meshed perfectly together in a display of vocal prowess and intricate production- the most seductive numbers of his entire set. His remix of Lorde’s Tennis Court and On Top further proved the strength of the catalogue he’s gathered in a short time. Naysayers may call him overrated, but there’s very few Australian artists who can command an audience like Flume does purely with his own material.

Check out our Listen Out pics here. 

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SBTRKT’s ‘Wonder Where We Land’ reviewed

SBTRKT_Review

London producer SBTRKT has released his new album Wonder Where We Land today and the title alone leaves a lot up in the air. We’ve heard a bunch of songs from the album but none of them have really given us a huge clue as to the overall direction of the album. We’ve spent the whole week with the album, much of it in the air, but now we’ve finally landed in a land of jazz-infused beats, twists and turns and soulful vocals. We were left a little lost for words so instead we made variations of the SBTRKT mask as a way of reviewing the album…and then we found our words again so we added some for your convenience.

Wonder Where We Land (Ft. Sampha)

Wonderwhereweland

Indeed. SBTRKT’s debut album etched out such an iconic sound, there was always a question above what we would get. With gentle taps, sporadic keys and Sampha up front, this is the SBTRKT we’ve always known, however there’s always that hovering doubt of where he’s going to take the rest of the record.

Lantern

lanternmask

And this is where we land – right in the heart of an 8-bit world built upon strobing synths and J-pop beats, all the while a lurking atmosphere creeps up behind you. Three songs in and the darkness has been present in each. SBTRKT’s always been a producer who’s beautifully soundtracked the move from the club to the home and it’s no different here.

Higher (Ft. Raury)

Higher_RauryRaury is the most hyped young-gun on the album and he’s been recruited to help take the album to church. While Raury’s rap rolls off the tongue as quick as liquor slides over it, it’s all about that luminous chorus. Raise your hands to the air child, you have been saved.

Look Away (Ft. Caroline Polachek)

LookAway

While the darkness hovers throughout the album, it completely floods this track. Caroline Polachek’s heighty vocals are haunting and over-kilter throughout with an unsettling piano, enticing you to look. Polacheck brings a hip-hop flavour to the verses in what is an altogether odd but wonderfully successful detour for SBTRKT.

Temporary View (Ft. Sampha)

Temporary View

Sampha pops up four times on the album, but this one is the most similar to his contributions on the debut. It’s soulful, minimal and glittering but it really adds nothing to an album that thrives on moments of oddity. Following Look Away, this one centres you once again, making you comfortable but not excited.

NEW DORP. NEW YORK. (Ft. Ezra Koenig)

NewDorpNewYorkMask

Who better than to sing on an anthem about New York than Ezra Keonig? Alicia Keys did well and we tip our hat to her but Koenig embodies that sleek, socialite side of New York. Meanwhile, SBTRKT drops his most out of the box beat, oscillating between indie pop and jangling, warehouse electronica. SBTRKT knows, if he can make it here, he’ll make it anywhere.

Everybody Knows

EverybodyKnows

This one takes us straight into the heart of London. It’s grimey and the most intricate track on the album- a tribute to Jamie xx and those who spin beats on rooftops with a rare glimpse of London sunshine. There’s jilted keys, a throbbing beat and a hesitance that says “don’t dance, look cool”.

Problem Solved (Ft. Jessie Ware)

jessiewaremaskJessie Ware also collaborated with SBTRKT on his debut and she’s back her as a fully fledged star. With her new found stardom she could’ve easily overshone SBTRKT but she delivers a beautifully understated vocal over a jazz-infused beat. This pairing feels completely naturally and as such it’s the most effortless track on the album.

If It Happens (ft. Sampha)

IfItHappens

Sampha is in the blinding spotlight here, with SBTRKT taking a backseat allowing Sampha to sing like a love-lorn singer in a smokey jazz club. It’s a well-deserved breather and a warming track – an example of how SBTRKT can succeed with simplicity.

Gon Stay (ft. Sampha)

GonStay

It’s Sampha hour now and he’s cheered up a bit since the last track. For the first time, there’s no sign of that looming darkness – it’s full sunshine delivered through funky bass and a perky snare. It’s more indie-pop than London electronica but we’ll take it as a welcome flood of light into an otherwise shadowy album.

The Light (Ft. Denai Moore)

TheLight

It’s perhaps ironic that the light disappears on a song titled after it. Upcoming London songstress Denai Moore steps up on this heart-wrenching track. “Tell me I’m not the only one,” Moore sings sounding completely devoid of any more energy. At the same time, SBTRKT keeps upping the density of the track ending right in the thick of swelling emotion.

Voices In My Head (Ft. A$AP FERG)

Voicesinmyhead

It may take until the final track but here it all comes together. SBTRKT’s penchant for live instrumentation melds perfectly with his signature beats and the unsettling keys create an odd yet followable melody. A$AP Ferg’s rap is so full of character and woozy that you almost forget how batshit weird the whole thing is. If weird is the flavour of the album, then this track is the best indication that SBTRKT can pull it off with the utmost style.

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First Impressions: MØ, Elliphant, RL Grime + more

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First Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on their first (or second) listen. Each week we review six new songs from the past week, each giving them a score out of five and awarding our pick of the week. This week we introduce our guest contributor, Peter Rubinstein, who joins us all the way from Los Angeles. 

Made In Heights- Ghost

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/madeinheights/ghosts[/soundcloud]

Sam: I played DEATH by these guys about 1413 times which is about 1413 more times than I’ve listened to the U2 album, so as you can imagine I’m pretty enamoured with Made In Heights. Ghost only furthers my fascination with their minimal RnB-cross-pop sound. From the get-go the melody just effortlessly flows out with breathy vocals adding to the ease of he whole aesthetic. It’s almost as if JJ stopped smoking pot and went outside. 4

Lizzie: This track grabs your hand and instantly pulls you up to dance. The cow-bell-esque beat is a a bit of fun, and the glistening backing track is a little ’90s R&B. My favourite part of this song is the pace, ain’t nothing slow and boring about Made In Heights at the moment, that’s for sure.

Bianca: From the very first second, the syncopated rhythm of the cow bell bounces along with energy, setting the perfect backdrop to Kelsey’s sugary-sweet vocals and the romantic, wobbling synths. Love both the scratching breakdown and the synth solo finale which meld into the track so effortlessly. 4 Bianca’s Pick 

Peter: The tight percussion and rumbling synths are a great side order to Kelsey Bulkin’s soft and melancholy vocals in this track. I would have loved to hear more of the sexy R&B soloing introduced near the end, but the frequent evolutions throughout the song definitely kept my head bobbing. This is another great addition to the group’s already impressive catalog. 3.5 

RL Grime- Reminder (Feat. how To Dress Well)

Sam: Following the abrasive masterpiece that was Core this is a serious change of pace for RL Grime. So much so that it really sounds like a How To Dress Well song more than an RL Grime song. Tom Krell moves in and out of falsetto providing a sweet vocal that punches when it needs to. As for the instrumental, there’s really not much to say. It’s more of a subtle accompaniment to the vocal. 3

Lizzie: Is it just me, or does this sound like Justin Timberlake’s brother? I could easily add this heartfelt track to my depressed hangover playlist – that sounds like an insult, it’s not, there is just a time and place for tracks like these. 3.5

Bianca: Classic Krell, fitting more syllables into each line than one would think humanely possible. This is definitely a departure from Grimes’ usual trap offerings but it was definitely necessary to strip the production right back in order for the beat to live harmoniously Krell’s emotionally-stirring voice. Although downtempo & RnB in nature, it still has an underlying current of intensity, one that doesn’t sit too well with me at this time in the morning. 2.5

Peter: Following Steinway’s colossal release of Core, by far my most-played song of the summer, I expected this release to blow me away, especially with support from How To Dress Well. Sadly, I was pretty disappointed by the production on this one. The vocals seem very out of place and even off key at some points, and the lack of any musical progression left me wanting much more. Where Because of U succeeded in being a refreshing, slower anthem, Reminder missed the mark in this humble RL Grime superfan’s opinion. 1.5

Elliphant- One More (Feat. MØ) 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/elliphantmusic/elliphant-one-more-featuring-mo[/soundcloud]

Sam: Oh hell yes. This just proves my theory that Scandinavian girls are the best people in the world. The instrumental of this is so understated yet both their vocals are so cool and full of reckless abandonment. And this sentimental, Robyn-esque chorus hits and it’s like, why bother making music if you’re not from Scandiavia? This is a duo I whole-heartedly endorse and this may be the best work of both their catalogues yet. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

Lizzie: I am all smiles after listening to this. Such talent bundled all up into one song with a pretty bow on top. It has this perfect balance of pop and street grunge cool with MO’s short interlude sounding just magical. Love. 4.5 Lizzie’s pick

Bianca: There is such a youthful energy that emanates from these two. The vocals of the Swede and the Dane unite to make a sweet-talking duo that could get away with murder. Once the synths begin to escalate, their badassery really shines through amongst rumbling synths. Girl power, indeed.

Peter: These girls are truly talented. Elliphant and MØ’s vocal ranges complement each other perfectly as they maintain a provocative harmony throughout the track, transforming into a back and forth shouting match as the song comes to a close. The swell of energy keeps the whole production exciting and forward-moving. I think they’ve got a hit on their hands. Now if only they could get Grimes in the studio with them… 4 Peter’s pick

Yung Lean- Ghosttown (feat. Travi$ Scott)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frnOhVxF6Zw

Sam: Yung Lean’s hook in this is gold in my opinion. It’s dark and haunting that has this clumsy attitude that’s hard not to like. I know Travi$ Scott is the one to watch in hip-hop right now but his verses on this sound a little clunky. Only when Lean distorts the rap a bit does it sound in tune with the song. Having heard Iggy Azalea on booty this week I think I can forgive an offshoot verse because the rest is pretty great. 3.5

Lizzie: I am always a sucker to a warping synth, but it needs to be with the appropriate accompaniment. Young lean is an off-note distraction, who ruins the poor synths! Thank god for auto-tune, it is an attempt to make sense of all this mess. 2

Bianca: Yung Lean’s warped chant is giving me vibes of a monk’s sermon and not in a palliative, Enya kinda way. Seems like he’s Yung Leaned too hard onto the auto-tune. Which, by the way, doesn’t do much to disguise his inability to hit certain notes. 2

Peter: I made sure to recline against a wall before checking out Yung Lean’s new release. While the beat had me moving, the overall setup of this track is pretty basic. The autotune and lazy vocal hook were nothing new. He also mentions that he doesn’t “give a f*** about no one expect Lean” but later includes an entire section about all of his homies. Well, which is it?! I just want answers. 2

Montgomery- War Cry 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/iohyouparty/montgomery-war-cry[/soundcloud]

Sam: Tom from Big Scary is having a great year so far. First he was involved with Airling and now he’s jumped on production duties for this one. Montgomery’s voice is sweet and the whole instrumental of this is part-polished and part-industrial pop making for a Lorde-esque soundscape. It’s a good start but I’m sure there is more in the tank. 3

Lizzie: A classic example of a song that would blow you away if you away if you saw it live. It hits straight to the heart, whether you are a fan of her music or not. I am admittedly not the biggest fan, but I could appreciate it in its big room glory. 3

Bianca: Beautiful, clean production accompanied by an ethereal voice. I’m definitely getting Airling vibes from Montgomery and who better to produce her tracks than Tom Iansek? Dreamy and pensive, War Cry definitely has arresting qualities, although I did find myself becoming a bit bored towards the end. 3  

Peter: This one was way too corny for me. Even though Montgomery’s voice is pretty and controlled, the lyrics completely took me out of the vibe. Wishing she had said things she didn’t, trying to forget someone, “feeling the cold”…bleh. Not up my alley. 1.5

T.O.L.D- Lucifer’s Eyes

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/t-o-l-d/lucifers-eyes[/soundcloud]

Sam: We’ve always had a bit of a thing for steel drums at the interns and on Lucifer’s Eyes it’s really the hero of the song. I feel as if this is a guilty pleasure because it’s so outwardly enjoyable on first listen, but I suppose given he’s a new artist with a dark, mysterious look, it’s not really in the same way that Fancy is, is it? This track comes just in time for our Summer and it’s actually kind of faultless. And for that I remove one point. Nobody’s perfect. 4

Lizzie: This track could have easily found itself on the Tomorrowland After movie released this week. The floaty nostalgia is present throughout, creating this Summertime love story soundtrack. On my first listen I had this desire for the song to become more layered and intense, however after a couple more spins I have come to appreciate it just how it is, in all its simplicity. 4

Bianca: The second the steel drums hit my ears, I was sold. If an artist ever were to win my heart, it would be through the clanging of these Caribbean pans of heaven. Creating happy, tropical vibes, they provide a wonderful juxtaposition to T.O.L.D’s dark, brooding voice which leaves me to wonder whether I should be feeling celebratory or melancholic. Either way, it’s a nostalgia-ridden, evocative tune that’s dropped just in time for Summer. 4 Also Bianca’s Pick 

Peter: “I sleep with no voice, and wake with no name”: vague with extra cheese. I didn’t want to like this one, but the steel drums and droning guitar plucks reminded me too much of seeing big, magical acts like this at music festivals. Take these sounds and rhythms and add 30,000 swaying people, and I’ll listen to Lucifer’s Eyes any day. 3

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The 10 Commandments of Kanye West: Concert Review

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When Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and North West touch down in a country, there’s always going to be some fanfare. While Kim has been visiting the the country’s hotspots like Paramatta Westfield, Kanye has been making headlines with his powerful Yeezus tour. Despite the rants and reportedly telling disabled people to stand up, Kanye’s tour has been met with adoration. With Kanye in mind as the modern messiah, we analysed his 10 commandments while devouring his Sydney show.

I

The audience was incredibly responsive on Saturday night, whether it be from a single note in Runaway or the slight mention of Kim & North . The night before, he ranted about people not standing up, but on Saturday the crowd both started and ended the evening standing up, of their own accord, albeit a little more sweaty. Energy permeated the whole room with punters yelling to the hook in Gold Digger or calling back, “can’t a young nigger get money any more?” on Cold. It felt like a room of his biggest fans and of course, when he replaced a lyric in Good Life to say “It feel like Sydney”, everyone went batshit cray.

II

Kanye is an exhibitionist – an artist who’s made a career on being larger than life. His last album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, brought with it a live show with dancers, cranes and pyrotechnics, however, with Yeezus there has been a remarkable shift in attitude. The Yeezus tour was formed on the pretense that less is more. All he was accompanied by were two large screens and a few smoke machines; it was up to him to create the energy by aggressively rapping and stirring the crowd. Visually, it looked stunning, placing real Kanye as a mere ant against the god-like projections.

III

Kanye’s rants and general big headedness would have people believe that he’s self-centred but his setlist says a very different thing. He showed appreciation for his entire catalogue and formed a setlist that pleased the crowd and also pleased him. He only chose four cuts from Yeezus, spending much of the time churning out hits like Good Life, Jesus Walks and All Of The Lights. Much of his onstage energy seemed to be induced by the crowd’s energy and a greatest hits set that recognised what the crowd wanted was his greatest strength. And by the way, they all sounded incredible, from the hearty Rihanna hook of All of the Lights to that stomping brass sample of Touch The Sky.

IV

Throughout the night, Kanye paid homage  to his past inspirations, The Rolling Stones, U2 and his favourite artist of all time, James Brown. “I had the opportunity to open up for U2 on my second album”, he said, bringing up a particularly topical point, given the release of U2’s iTunes-infiltrating album. Despite having an ego larger than Darling Harbour, West has always been able to admit the brilliance of others, offering praise to rappers like Jay Z and Lil Wayne. Even when Pusha T came out in Runaway, he gracefully shared both the stage and the spotlight.

V

When Kanye released his difficult fourth album, 808s and Heartbreak, everyone scoffed at his use of auto-tune, yet on Yeezus, he used auto-tune from Hold My Liquor to Blood on the Leaves and no one flinched. His commitment to auto-tune seems to have paid off and in concert it’s actually quite emotionally affecting. He extended Runaway into a 10 minute-plus epic, ad-linking with auto-tuned vocals that sounded more Maxwell than T-Pain. Auto-tune seems to be one of the few ways that Kanye shows fragility. When he sang ,”all things are possible”, it created one of the more delicate moments of the night.

viKanye has always held his mother, Donda West, who tragically passed away in 2007, in high regard. On his last tour for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, he finished every set on his knees to Hey Mama, in one of the hugest, most humble moments of his career. On the Yeezus tour, he’s dropped Hey Mama from the set but her presence is no less felt. He called her his greatest influence alongside U2 and the Rolling Stones, to which everyone in the crowd cheered.

VII

Kanye’s rants weren’t extremely aggressive in Sydney but he said a few poignant things. “I take my responsibility very seriously”, he remarked at one point, referring to the way people are influenced by him. With it, he thanked those who stood by him through his artistic detours (808s and Heartbreak) and noted that he takes his audience’s opinion on board, whilst at times it may not seem like it. Although Yeezus was not the most radio-friendly album, the tour was crafted by a Kanye that was there to stir the audience into complete anarchy.

VIII

One of the highlights of the night came with Yeezus standout, Blood On The Leaves. Returning for an encore, the Nina Simone sample bellowed through the arena before Kanye emerged with auto-tune fragility. For those who didn’t know the song, it would’ve lulled them into a false sense of security. When the TNGHT sample dropped, the entire arena shook. Kanye threw himself around within an inch of his life, the lights strobed in anarchy and the bass absolutely tore a hole in the roof. It was a valiant, triumphant moment that even beat set-closer, Niggas In Paris. 

IX

It may seem hard to believe, but arena-tours can often swallow performers. If you don’t have the stage presence or the audience on your side, it doesn’t matter how many dancers you throw on, you’ve already lost. Standing against two large screens, Kanye looked like a mere man against a huge projection of himself, but he was by far the biggest person there. The reason? He was committed from the beginning to the end. If it didn’t feel right he’d start the song again, as he did on Runaway and Blood On The Leaves, and if the huge crowd was dipping, he’d let out a primal scream. From the minute he entered the stage to the thundering finale Black Skinhead, he was like a boxer attempting to knock-out the air around him. The music was loud, real loud. Songs like New Slaves and Power threatened to belittle him but his menacing confidence meant he always won, stealing the limelight by just having himself- one body- on the stage.

XKanye did a talk at SXSW where he said that if he’s going to work with something, he wants it to be the best. That’s why he waxes lyrical about Apple, works with Jay Z and married Kim K- he believes they’re the best. Incidentally, he also believe he’s the best and while it’s easy to take it as reckless arrogance, none of Kanye’s music would work if he didn’t believe he was the best. At the height of his popularity, he released an album like Yeezus, which is an industrial and, at times, difficult record, yet live, he has an audience of 15,000+ rapping along with him to New Slaves. “Don’t get too caught up in the hate,” he says at one point in the show and while at many times in his career he has, tonight he seems at peace. His last Australian tour was perfect, glued together by a pristine white set and flawless dancers. Yeezus is nothing like that. At times it’s gritty, raw and imperfect, yet Kanye wholeheartedly believes in it and as such, so does the crowd.

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First Impressions: SBTRKT, Kiesza, Flight Facilities + more

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First Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on their first (or second) listen. Each week we review six new songs from the week passed, each giving them a score out of five and awarding our pick of the week.

SBTRKT- Voices In My Head (Feat. A$AP Ferg and Warpaint)

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/sbtrkt/sbtrkt-voices-in-my-head-ft-asap-ferg[/soundcloud]

Sam: I was really worried when I heard Temporary View that SBTRKT was going to be offering up the same ol’ thing but how wrong I was. Everything since that track has been out-of-the-box, bordering on bizarre. A$AP’s rap over SBTRKT’s jazz-infused beat sits somewhere between Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar. It shouldn’t work, but my goodness, does it. 4

Lizzie: This track is very muddled and maddening – a real departure from what I am used to hearing from my beloved SBTRKT. Yes, it does emulate the “voices in my head” weirdly well, but it just doesn’t gel together well for me. A$AP is the only thing that cures my insanity when listening to this. 2

Bianca: Everything that SBTRKT has offered us from his new album has been so diverse and challenging to the norm. Once again, he has enlisted more talented counterparts to create something multi-faceted and weirdly wonderful. Elements of jazzy brass, combined with A$AP’s infectious spit of words and the piano solo finale create a jilted atmosphere, oscillating between confusion and calm. In essence, the environment of someone who actually is suffering from voices in their head. So so excited for Wonder Where We Land to land. 3.75 

Kiesza- No Enemies

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/kiesza/kiesza-no-enemiesz[/soundcloud]

Sam: Lay on the bass, reference ‘90s rave and throw down a killer melody and you’ve got me hook, line and sinker. This track is all about the powerhouse verses with Kiesza shredding with the vocals. It’s all very of the moment and throwback at the same time isn’t it? 3

Lizzie: I could definitely see myself dragging my friends onto the dancefloor with No Enemies. The ’90s beats and killer vocals are a fresh sound, and the breakdown at the end provide an easy and effective recipe for you to let your hair down and party on into the night. 3.5

Bianca: Every now and then, I question whether certain songs from the past would be successful if they were released in this day and age. No Enemies, with its thumping bass, power keys and Kiesza belting it out on the vocals, is the perfect case of a ’90s track subbing quite nicely into modernity. The ’90s is currently the new ’80s and this gal is so on-trend right about now. 

Arca- Thievery

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/arca1000000/arca-thievery/[/soundcloud]

Sam: This guy’s already produced for Kanye West and FKA Twigs so he’s got some serious cred and you can tell why on this first offering from his debut, Xen. The dense tones of this one really anchor in your brain, with the only relief being those flighty synths that permeate the track. The ebbs and flows, where he layers on the intensity and then pairs it back is what makes Thievery as captivating as it is. 4

Lizzie: Thievery has a soul, not quite sure why or how but it exudes an electricity which gets right to the core. I am still undecided whether I actually like the song, but it had definitely caught my attention, and opened my eyes to a new artist, which is not usually my style or taste. 3.5

Bianca: While some parts of the track bring back memories of my initial, screechy violin lessons back in primary school, there are some really nice sonic elements to this. Mind-bending and totally manic, Thievery ignites a kind of angsty emotion but I’m not sure I’m ready for just yet. 2.5 

Flight Facilities- Two Bodies

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/flightfacilities/two-bodies-feat-emma-louise-extended-version[/soundcloud]

Sam: Flight Facilities have made a name for themselves making music that’s suited to a boutique hotel lobby, but a little more melodic and interesting. Two Bodies has that same low-key vibe to it but Emma Louise hops on to give this sensual, personal vocal that saves the track from mediocrity. 3

Lizzie: Claire de Lune proved to the world that Flight Facilities are the great at creating ethereal, floaty, ‘Chill Out Album’ tracks with a killer female vocalist. Two Bodies is yet another example of this trend that the Sydney duo seem to be keeping. Sadly, this just misses the mark a bit for me – pushing the ‘minimal’ envelope too far, creating a boring vibe more than anything else. 3

Bianca: Flight Facilities are electronic masters and always seem to create the perfect vibe for drinks on a balmy Summer’s afternoon. Two Bodies paints the same kind of picture for me although it feels as if I’ve had a few too many beers in this situation. Love the steady synth and Emma Louise’s saccharine vocals but it’s verging on too dreamy for me that I almost want to nod off to sleep. 

Kid Ink- Body Language (Feat. Usher & Tinashe)

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/kidinkofficial/kid-ink-body-language-ft-usher-tinashe[/soundcloud]

Sam: This is just a straight up hip-pop record with Usher delivering a silky vocal hook to give it some sort of commercial-sensibility. It’s got the same sort of beat we heard earlier this year on Chris Brown’s Loyal and will most likely have the clubs going up, with alcohol-fuelled punters convincing themselves they can rap (I include myself in this). I wish Tinashe’s part was more prominent. Even by just harmonising in the background she steals the show. 3.5

Lizzie: This threesome works in complete harmony, proving three is definitely not a crowd. Body Language is little hip-hop gem which is not too in your face, very infectious and sure to be a hit on Kiis FM. I am glad I got to hear it before it becomes tainted by the dreaded radio overplay. 3.5

Bianca: It’s bouncy, it’s radio-ready and it’s honestly a bit boring for my liking. The melody leaves a lot to be desired and Usher doesn’t bring as much to the table as I would’ve expected. If this were to come on in a club, my body language would read that I was in desperate need of another drink. 

Sam Tiba- Deguisement

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/bromancerecords/bromance17-sam-tiba-deguisement[/soundcloud]

Sam: This is so off-centring that you’re almost made to stick around until the end just so you can make sense of it all. It wafts in and out of pulsating beats, crescendoing strings and stirring keys, traversing between the mellow and the club-ready. At every moment, there’s something delicious for the ears whether it be the perky vocal sample or the fluctuating levels of intensity. A surprise winner for me this week. Flawless. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

Lizzie: The start just grabs you instantly! It’s so jumpy and playful in all the right ways and weirdly, unlike Sam it made complete sense to me right off the bat. Tiba has struck gold here, producing a track which could be played almost anywhere and at anytime and provide the exact mood pick-me-up you need. 4 Lizzie’s Pick

Bianca: What a wonderful array of thumping beats, hand claps, synths and strings. There’s an element of Nintendo game in here, but it’s been squashed and stretched, muddled and mushed into an energetic, driving force that immediately hits you smack bang in the face. In a good way, of course. 4 Variety is the spice of life but unfortunately that’s not the case this week. Deguisement is also Bianca’s Pick 

 

 

bigsound_wrapup2

BIGSOUND day 2 wrap-up

Brisbane has once again been transformed into a new music haven with BIGSOUND rolling into town. With it, the annual music conference has brought some of the most hype-worthy names in music to play over a number of venues in Fortitude Valley.

It says something about the state of new Australian music that despite it being a lineup of many fresh faces, it stands up against many major festivals. In the past year, DMA’s have become NME darlings, Oscar Key Sung has become one of the internet’s most buzzed names and Tkay Maidza has attracted the attention of International producers Ryan Hemsworth and Bok Bok. The talent at BIGSOUND 2014 lineup doesn’t just stack up locally, the artists playing are garnering international attention as well with many of them likely to pop up on the SXSW roster next year.

The head may have been a little bit sorer than day one, but our new music caps were still firmly on for day two of BIGSOUND. It was a night that moved from dulcet electronica to rambunctious hip-hop, once again proving the sheer quality of Australian music right now.

Click on the tabs to move through the artists.

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bigsound2

BIGSOUND day 1 wrap-up

Brisbane has once again been transformed into a new music haven with BIGSOUND rolling into town. With it, the annual music conference has brought some of the most hype-worthy names in music to play over a number of venues in Fortitude Valley.

It says something about the state of new Australian music that despite it being a lineup of many fresh faces, it stands up against many major festivals. In the past year, DMA’s have become NME darlings, Oscar Key Sung has become one of the internet’s most buzzed names and Tkay Maidza has attracted the attention of International producers Ryan Hemsworth and Bok Bok. The talent at BIGSOUND 2014 lineup doesn’t just stack up locally, the artists playing are garnering international attention as well with many of them likely to pop up on the SXSW roster next year.

Last night we took a trip deep into the Valley to discover and celebrate the state of Australian music right now. And yes, we can confirm that it’s healthier than ever. Spanning countless venues, we donned our runners and zig-zagged around the Valley to check out the best new talent and for your convenience, we overcame our lack of sleep to make a cheat-sheet of BIGSOUND’s highlights from night one.

Click on the tabs to move through the artists.

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fi_9sept_2

First Impressions: Aphex Twin, Calvin Harris, Mary J Blige + more

FI_9Sep

First Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on their first (or second) listen. Each week we review six new songs from the week passed, each giving them a score out of five and awarding our pick of the week.

Aphex Twin- minipop 67 [source field mix]

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/warp-records/aphex-twin-minipops-67-1202source-field-mix[/soundcloud]

Sam: I was nine when Aphex Twin’s last album, Drukqs, was released so excuse me for not being overly excited about his return. Coming at this with fresh ears though, it’s an introverted, intelligent tune that bubbles along, working itself further and further down the rabbit hole. This is jam-packed full of sounds and melodies, but it sounds completely removed from dance music today. It’s weird, unexpected and yet totally captivating. 4

Bianca: This is a weirdly wonderful assortment of sounds that don’t even hint at a 13-year hiatus. I feel like a ‘How It’s Made’ episode could be made for minipop 67 [source field mix] to unravel the mystery behind the mash-up of analog and digital which have somehow been smooshed together to create a strange, yet, perfectly functioning piece of music. 4

Lizzie: This is very cyborg, I feel like I should be hurtling into another galaxy with Dr Who. I am really sorry to say but the last 30secs made me actually giggle out loud, just not my cup of tea! 1.5

Kindness- This Is Not About Us

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/kindness/this-is-not-about-us[/soundcloud]

Sam: I’m loving Kindness’ whole aesthetic for this new album. It has the immaculate tailoring of ‘80s MJ, the smoothness of Sade and the effortless cool of Dev Hynes. I’m not sure if this is the most exciting thing we’ve heard from him but it helps to formulate that image and sound that I imagine will all make sense on the album. There’s plenty of bells and whistles looping under Kindness’ most soulful vocal yet. In the words of the wonderful Britney Spears, “gimme more”. 3

Bianca: Came for the swinging vocals, stayed for the cowbells. The percussion and Kindness’ croon are honestly a bit too minimalist for my liking but the funky bass line manages to keep it from falling too flat. 2

Lizzie: The “sssssss” in his vocals are unshakeably distracting. Take him out of the equation, its actual are really nice mellow track. Great for running errands and what not, and who can say no to a cowbell! 2.5

Swick & Lewis Cancut- Wishes (Feat. Tkay Maidza)

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/shhsecretsongs/swick-lewis-cancut-wishes-ft-tkay-maidza[/soundcloud]

Sam: This is just a melting pot of a few of my favourite things really. Ryan Hemsworth is releasing this cut on his Secret Songs compilation and it just so happens that the first release is an all Aussie affair. Swick & Lewis Cancut’s beat is popping bubblegum born from the PC Music era while Tkay just kills ‘em all, singing rather than rapping for the first time. I know we’ve seen a lot of Aussies do well overseas recently but, my goodness, if this girl doesn’t beat them all, somebody strip me of any music credentials. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

Bianca: Tkay is just like Vegemite in the way that she goes with everything. Whether she’s laying down R&B rap or singing stylised, sugary-sweet tunes over a glitchy 8-bit beat, this girl is multi-faceted and is about to be Australia’s hottest export. And, unlike Vegemite, I feel the US is going to develop a taste for Tkay instantaneously. 4

Lizzie: This is such a pleasant surprise! It’s not my usual style but this is a great example of how to make a lollipop PC track and not drive anyone crazy (i.e me)! The two minute mark is a glittery treat, and something fresh and more feminine from Tkay. 4

Calvin Harris- Blame (Feat. John Newman)

Sam: My biggest tip here would be don’t look at the lyrics. It was only when I looked at them that I realised just how repetitive this is. Until then, I was content listening to Newman’s gravelly tones. In terms of Calvin’s beat it’s more of the same, isn’t it? It’s the same breakdown we’ve been hearing since Rihanna’s We Found Love. Then, it was a rush of blood to the head, now it’s a rush of nausea to my stomach. This guys the highest paid DJ in the world and he’s practically doing it in his sleep. Definitely a hit, but a personal triumph? I don’t think so. 1.5

Bianca: It’s just the same tried and tested formula from Calvin. Last year, he claimed he was “doing more dance music that probably won’t get into the charts” but it feels he’s slipped right back into over-familiar territory and mass-producing hits suffering from a serious case of same shit, different day. Where is the old Calvin we used to know and love??? 1.5

Lizzie: O oh spagettio, he’s got me again. As much as I want to resist his dance floor charm, Calvin has got me under his EDM spell with ‘Blame’. And the worst thing it’s totally not his best hit by FAR! John Newman delivers yet another whiny heartfelt overlay which is tolerable, Calvin brings his classic Calvin geddup…and sadly I can just see myself shamelessly dancing to this all Summer.  3.5

Theophilus London- Tribe (Feat. Jesse Biykins III)

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/theophilusl/tribe[/soundcloud]

Sam: Theophilus is relatively unknown but he has some damn cool friends including Solange, Big Boi and Karl Lagerfeld who shot the album cover for his forthcoming record. I played this out loud the other night and lost my shit. It’s got an effortless flow that’s both groovy and hard-hitting. This is a party-tune that would sound best to popping champagne corks and the trickle of spirits hitting ice. Smooth and so, so trendy. 3.5

Bianca: There is such an effortless groove to Theophilus’ vocals which have been deliciously contrasted by Brodinski’s eccentric, accelerated production. So many good vibes from this track with my only issue being that it ends too prematurely. 4 Bianca’s Pick

Lizzie: I feel instantly so much cooler for listening to this song. I am in love with the beat, the swagger and the CHORUS – oh the chorus. I have not heard a track like this in forever, it’s brilliantly layered and keeps you on your toes the entire time 4.6 Lizzie’s Pick

Mary J. Blige- Right Now (Prod. by Disclosure)

Sam: Disclosure are no strangers to working with Mary J. Blige, so where her guest spot on F For You felt a little intrusive, here she sounds completely at ease. Blige is 43 right now and constantly changing up her sound yet always keeping her gut-wrenching soul. Disclosure have toned it down on a notch on this one, as to not let their own exuberance flood Blige’s vocal and the give and take does them good. I can just see Blige strutting across the stage to this, glaring through people’s souls. Take not Swifty, Blige is the original queen of breakup songs. 3.5

Bianca: Disclosure’s trademark syncopated rhythms and poppy synths are all over this track with the duo laying down a flawless beat for Mary J to work with. These guys are just the right people to breathe life and ‘cool’ back into her music career. 3

Lizzie: I had such high expectations for this combo – Mary J and Disclosure – what could go wrong? The thing is nothing is really wrong with it, I am just not digging Mary J’s vibe, she just flatlines for me. Hats off of to Disclosure however, their backing production is a lovely tickle to the ears. 3

fi_1sept

First Impressions: TOKiMONSTA, The Preatures, Eminem + more

fi_1sept

First Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on first (or second) listen. Each week we each review six new songs from the week passed, each giving them a score out of five and awarding one our pick of the week.

TOKiMONSTA- Steal My Attention

Bianca: Awash with shimmering synths and layer upon layer of electronic goodness, TOKiMONSTA’s latest melancholic offering spins around and paces back and forth. She is apparently “going through some tough shit right now” and you can sense some kind of underlying sorrow in there. The marching drums and male chants really bring this one home for me. 4

Sam: I really dug TOKiMONSTA’s Realla and this one proves she’s on a bit of a roll right now. The high-pitched vocal sample just cuddles your ears along with the mellow synths. It may be a rehash of what’s doing the rounds right now stylistically but she does a damn good job of it. 3.5

Lizzie: The back beat really strikes straight to the heart. I love the squiggle horn beats – I know that only make sense to me but that’s how it sounds in my head. That, mixed with the high pitched-voice, is just gorgeous. 4 Lizzie’s really close second

Hannah: I’m a sucker for a great vocal sample and this is filled with them. I love the juxtaposition of the high-pitched Furby vocals layered with an almost ominous beat and deep house synth. It’s a perfect demonstration of how to maintain melodic integrity while citing some of those Japanese pop-culture influences we’re loving at the moment. 4 Hannah’s Pick

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/tokimonsta/steal-my-attention-off-the-upcoming-desiderium-album[/soundcloud]

The Preatures- Somebody’s Talking

Bianca: Look, it’s not you, The Preatures, it’s me. You have so much to offer and will make someone very happy one day but I’m afraid that person’s not me. 2.5

Sam: The Preatures are going to be that band that I’m still listening to when I’m a Dad (heaven help us) and my kids will think it’s really dorky. They’ve got a certain quality of longevity to them and it feels as if they’ll go down as a classic Aussie band. Somebody’s Talking helps that legacy. It’s funky, effortlessly delectable and Manfredi, once again, is a growling, charismatic frontwoman. 4

Lizzie: Great tune. Great tune. It’s got the energy to get everyone up and dancing – coordinated or not. Sam I totally agree with you! I feel I’m going to be dragging my kids onto the dance floor at a wedding with this gem. 4 Lizzie’s Pick

Hannah: Yep, that sounds like The Preatures talking alright. 2

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/thepreatures/somebodys-talking[/soundcloud]

QT- Hey QT

Bianca: Admittedly, when I was first introduced to PC Music, I was not sold. So purposefully kitsch and jam-packed full of ‘90s cultural references in the most obvious of ways, I wasn’t about to be tricked into enjoying it. SOPHIE’s Lemonade made no sense whatsoever, neither lyrically nor structurally, while A.G.Cook’s Beautiful  just sounded like a song from Dance Dance Revolution. Now the two producers have teamed up and it seems that two wrongs have somehow made a right. Upon my very first listen to Hey QT when dropped in SOPHIE’s Boiler Room set, I was immediately addicted to the so-called “Energy Elixir” and everything PC Music-related started to make so much sense. Trapped in my head like a gummy earworm and played in excess as a result, I can’t get enough of the candy goodness and matter-of-fact lyrics, the latter being curiously on point with the line: “I’ve got this new song and it’s the only one I want to play.” Maybe I’ve been converted, or perhaps I’m just on a sugar high, but this track is like a delicious pick ‘n’ mix that just keeps on giving and giving. 4.75 Bianca’s Pick

Sam: I have personally been a fan of all releases by A.G. Cook and SOPHIE, seperately, but I admit that they aren’t the most objectively likeable songs. I knew, however, that they were only moments away from a breakaway hit that would suddenly see people come around to PC Music. Well, this is it. What needs to be said about this song that it doesn’t already say. “They played your new song, it’s like nothing I heard before”, sings the character in Hey QT and surely she is talking about this song. Its melody is impossibly irresistible, the beats sound like bursting bubblegum and it unlocks ‘90s nostalgia aplenty. Something new and yet something so familiar. Unequivocally brilliant. 5 Sam’s Pick

Lizzie: It sounds like I am about to break into a cheer-leading routine. A chipmunk cheer-leading routine. However, in saying that I did find myself joyfully bopping along to the chorus. This is a lot me palatable than the other PC songs I have been regrettably exposed to. 3

Hannah: In every great pursuit, there’s an initial phase of innovation brought on by a forward thinker’s desire to push the boundaries of the box ever onward. That is what PC Music has been about until now. Now, however, comes the phase where people begin to understand that innovation. When unique concepts, or in this case unique music, become attainable and more importantly accessible. This retains the PC Music we’ve come to know, but does it in a manner aimed straight at the jugular of popular appeal. 3

Eminem Feat. Sia- Guts Over Fear

Bianca: I feel I’ve heard this one before, although this time with a constant, reverberating siren distracting me from what’s going on. Probably for the best. Sia’s voice is perfect as usual but the chorus renders it into tired, mainstream territory. Maybe I’m just not angry enough to relate so the impact is lost on me. 2.5

Sam: More inspirational rapping from Eminem with quips about the media and what everybody says about him. It really does feel like more of the same with Sia delivering her second hook for Eminem. She sounds floaty and melancholic but nothing could save Em from dishing up this wet cloth of a song. Also Eminem in general, ugh. 2

Lizzie: When I heard Eminem and Sia, I set the expectation bar so high…and *sigh* what a disappointment. Eminem is on a comeback and Sia is at the top of her game, why is there no chemistry? 2

Hannah: Eminem says “I just want to play my part,” and that’s exactly what he’s doing here. Still running that old poor-little-white-boy-rapper act he’s become known for, only this time he’s doing it with Sia not Rhi Rhi. Eminem peaked with Superman. 2

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/igapromotion/eminem-guts-over-fear-feat-sia[/soundcloud]

Redihno- Get You Off My Mind

Bianca: Just a little bit too much funk in the trunk for my liking. 2

Sam: Redinho describes this song as having a “cheeky kinda optimism” to it and he’s right. The instrumentation is perky with bouncing beats and sunshine-filled synths. Brendan Reilly’s vocal harks back to ‘90s soul and does a perfect job of working up lustful butterflies. However, just like summer love it feels like this song could be forgotten once the sun weakens. 3

Lizzie: It’s very Disco Stu peppered with a bit of R&B cool. With the turn of the season, I think it a great tune to bring that little spring in the step! 3.5

Hannah: The first 30 seconds of this failed to captivate me so I didn’t listen to the rest. I don’t think I missed much. 2.5

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/nmbrs/redinho-get-you-off-my-mind[/soundcloud]

Kero Kero Bonito- Sick Beat

Bianca: I Shazamed this bad boy a couple of days ago so surely that’s a pretty definitive sign that it made a good first impression on me. The flurry of in-your-face nostalgic references and washes of synths and glitchy pops are enough to have me hooked. Surely trumps Taylor Swift’s ‘sick beat’, anyway. 3.5

Sam: This has the same kind of feel as Japanese producer Tofubeats. It oscillates between j-pop, indie-pop and electronica with a bubblegum instrumental alongside kawaii vocals. Like the perfect dessert, it never goes overboard with the sugar pulling the instrumentation right back at times leaving the lead-vocal spraying off, what sounds like, Japanese. Such a fan. 4

Lizzie: Of all the Japanese style songs I’ve heard (except Porter Robinson), this one actually sits ok with me. It’s definitely the chorus which grabs me and keeps me. How does one dance to this though? 3.5

Hannah: Oh no, it’s a Eurasian M.I.A. Make her stop.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/kerokerobonito/sick-beat[/soundcloud]

Rustie_2

Rusty the dog reviews Rustie’s album, ‘Green Language’

RustieRustie‘s latest album, Green Language, is, as expected, an amalgamation of sound. Never forgiving, it’s a wild world through hip-hop and techno stylings. He’s created an 8-bit video-game world from bouncing, strobing and glitchy synths alongside tempos that spiral out of control. At time it’s beautiful, at times it’s anarchic but it’s always interesting and boundary-pushing. To review the album we pulled in a canine fan of Rustie, also conveniently named Rusty and let him react to the plethora of weird and wonderful sounds that Green Language has to offer.

1. Workship

song1

This sprawling, atmospheric beginning is barely enough to pique Rusty’s interests, but the ears are ready and he seems to feel the impending doom that is to come.

2. A Glimpse

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This is the first time on the album we get a hard delivery of bass. That coupled with twinkling synths and big cannons of sound have Rusty up and ready to hear what the Scottish producer will deliver next.

3. Raptor

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song3_2

That next song is Raptor, the first single which offers up manic, strobing synths and a beat that shoots straight to the chest. Just like Rustie has become known for, this track is an onslaught of sound, borrowing trap-influences for a little variation. Rusty’s bored demeanour show that he too feels that Rustie has given us a bit of the same here.

4. Paradise Stone

song4Song4_2song4_3

Now we’re talking. Those tropical synths have Rusty feeling playful. He’s been able to recline, pop the ear up and relax taking in this warm, mellow instrumental.

5. Up Down [ft. D Double E]

Rustie_song5

This is the first time we get to hear vocals on the album and Rusty is obliging with the direction nodding his head up and down. As a hip-hop track, it’s flavoursome, dense and rhythmic while it also works well as dance track, if you have two feet firmly planted and the knees bent.

6. Attak [ft. Danny Brown]

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/rustie/attak-feat-danny-brown[/soundcloud]

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As soon as that opening alarm sounds Rusty is ready to go hard. He’s off the chair for the first time and running around the room like Danny Brown in the video. It’s the most anarchic moment of the album with Brown barely pausing for a breath and as such, it’s impossible not to notice. A perfect centrepiece for an album by a producer who’s never been soft.

7. Tempest

song7

Once again Rustie follows-up a pacing track with a slower, dazzler. After the heart-raiser that was Attak, Rusty is more than happy to return to his throne and gaze out the window. Surely the world is turning into a video-game for him inspired by the 8-bit feel of this track.

8. He Hate Me [ft. Gorgeous Children]

song8_2

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This is the most outright hip-hop moment on the album. A cascading beat is basically the only thing backing up Gorgeous Children, on the sparse, He Hate Me. Rusty seems to have developed a penchant for Rustie’s dance-heavy side and sees this track as an opportunity to sleep.

9. Velcro

song10

The abrasive synths are back and Rusty is interrupted from his slumber. The song grows into gun-shot beats and perhaps, one of the grooviest bass-lines yet. Rusty cowers in his chair before realising this song is best digested standing up.

10. Lost [ft. Redinho]

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Vocal manipulation pops up for the first time on Lost and it’s a sound that barely registers for Rusty. Instead he gets lost in the leopard print throw he’s made his own. Nothing to see here.

11. Dream On

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This track is built upon a hazy, dreamscape and future RnB vocals that bring the tempo right down for a rare moment. Rusty has decided to take a kip but his ears are twitching every so often. This one’s a sleeper, but it’s probably best listened to in a slight daydream. Melodically, it slides over you like velvet.

12. Let’s Spiral

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Probably realising we’re close to the end of the album, Rusty has decided to enjoy this one on his feet. The triumphant, strobing synths are joined by loud clashes and it’s got Rusty doing a spiral of his own.

13. Green Language

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It’s a pleasant fade out, that allows the album to twinkle away. As has Rusty who has left his throne to grab some water and leave work for the day.

 

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