Author Archive

Minilogue - Blomma

Blomma-Minilogue-Corcd033

Camped out on mattresses next to the fire over the long weekend, my friends and I took turns sharing songs, listening to the new Boards of Canada album and tracing patterns of our childhoods via rhythm. We delved into every facet of our shared musical identities, and laid out the identities of ourselves that we did not necessarily share. Next to the red and blue warmth, under wood panelling and late 1960s décor, we lounged on communal pillows and blankets, toes lightly brushing toes or hands.

I put Minilogue‘s “Atoms with curiosity that looks at itself and wonder why it wonders” from their latest album Blomma on for my turn, an album that was shared to me a few weeks earlier by a friend in that very room. I chuckled inwardly that my choice of song was actually a whole eighteen-minutes of bliss. We mused over the Swedish duo’s somewhat unusual name, and after some Googling, discovered that the name is actually the marriage of the words ‘minimal’ and ‘dialogue’.

Minilogue; minimal chatter, a turn of phrase that relies only on what is necessary, a short conversation or the story told through minimal music, the conversation between listener and producer that relies on seemingly nothing.

I hear Blomma as the dialogue between sound and subconsciousness. Every slight nuance within the tracks are gentle mappings of the human brain. There is a barrage of new information being facilitated through our ears whilst listening, even if we do not know it, like there is every day just seeing, thinking, smelling, feeling. Like the subconscious also, thoughts, sometimes non-distinct and sometimes vivid that float beneath our consciousness, mould together to produce a seamless facility of information. Through Minilogue’s perfection of the minimal techno genre, Blomma becomes the same river of seamless thoughts.

You can listen to the cleverly crafted sounds of Blomma whilst in a rush, as background music, distracted even, and think they hardly change. It is not an album, or indeed a genre, to be absorbed quickly and absentmindedly. It requires patience and a steady concentration in order to feel the bigger picture. That is the essence of minimal. But when you are listening, really listening, you can here the soft change in pitch, the whistle of a fucking pan flute and the greatest build up of all time where you think it’s just going to fade out but it doesn’t—it lingers, hovers, caught in the void between here or there, and then it releases.

To make an eighteen-minute track like “Atoms with curiosity…” you have to have patience. Not only patience, but also vision to see where you are going while remaining tied to the beginning and thus having fluency. I think it is a beautiful reflection of the subtle changes of human living—you feel like nothing is changing, perhaps stagnant even, without any great defining swings. But there are fluctuations there—beautiful fluctuations, where you and the music change from up to down, left to right and flourish in the growth that comes. Thing are changing even when you can’t hear them or when you forget to listen.

Perhaps the most challenging track on the album is “E de nan hemma.” The 45-minute, epic, ambient soundscape is void initially of the distinct four-to-the-floor rhythm inherent in the rest of Blomma. Instead, it is a room-filling, synthy orchestral piece, slow and lethargic, scattered throughout with wind chimes. We hear soaring, cheeping birds and panning synth sounds that pan softly throughout, as if slowly orbiting around the earth. Then at about the 22-minute mark, things evolve slightly, touching back down to earth, and continue to evolve. At the end of this track, you will wonder where on Earth you started from. If Blomma is a reflection of the subconsciousness and its myriad of thoughts, “E de nan hemma” is the subconsciousness at peace—still, in a meditative silence, without worldly worry or concern.

Clocking in just under two and a half hours, I’m not sure if in the past few weeks of listening I have even reached the final song or two of this record in one sitting. Infatuated by the first and second tracks, I find myself almost getting stuck on a loop sometimes, going back to the beginning, listening to them right through again and again. Like a loop of events, we feel déjà vu and notice varying subtleties. Even if it is the same pattern of sounds or the same arrangement, we interact differently with the tracks each time. The loops of Blomma resonate in different patterns for me. It is cyclic, interlacing and visionary—in couplets of songs, within each song, as well as from the beginning, right (when you make it) until the very end.

Blomma is out on Cocoon Recordings and also available on vinyl.

Pressed And - Stone Candles

Pressed And Stone Candles

I thought it was best to start at the beginning, in the place I don’t know, to learn where it is / what it is made of / where we may go. There are ties on the wall that go out through the door, and down the garden path and over the hill.

To where,
I do not know.

I assume it’s down the temporal path, through garden and musk, linking us with what has been, that of the past. It keeps the walls from falling down. Great red ribbons of space that flutter in the wind.

During the last few weeks, Pressed And‘s latest album Stone Candles has been a gentle friend of mine. Through the stresses of uni work, the impeding deadlines and general life peaks and troughs, its soft and calming manner has snaked its way through all sorts of events to soothe and release. By my side on (too) early train rides, clammy fog morns and through torrential rains, I have clung to it in search of meaning. However, while she has been there, a constant, I found this reflection difficult to write.

Even when you have 100% free, creative and boundary-less environments in which to craft what you will, it’s not easy. It’s not easy when the mind has limits it wants to impose on itself. Internal pressures, those sickly things—ideas on how you must perform, must be better, faster, wittier, more accessible, more experimental. We barricade ourselves in before we even set out to try. And when the pen finally does leave a mark on paper, a note recorded, a stroke on canvas, we know we can still do more. Such is the human condition.

It’s these internal pressures that will always be greater than any other, and while we try to overcome them—cut the brakes and plummet full speed like a bullet train running down a hill—we prevent ourselves. We’re scared of not being the best versions of ourselves, forgetful of how long exactly that takes.

What Pressed And has given me then, is not all the answers, the inspiration or the much-needed faith in self. Rather, it is a link to the past. Stone Candles is a gentle pool of recollection that I have been dipping my toe in and out of over the past few weeks and revelling in its temperate changes. “Haus” is the catchy sample and beat driven music that got me to this place to begin with. The absolutely spot on clang of guitars in the opening of “Boo” reminds me of long, adolescent nights crowded around my shitty speakers looking for a sign. And “Bored of a Lam,” with its sad, insightful lyrics speaks to me of quiet, lonely times removed and determined to rely only on self. “Nobody learnt about you. Nobody ever got that far.”

There is an interesting marriage here between guitar and electronic sound—an eager relationship in which the pair support each other in showcasing the brilliance of each instrument. It’s the coming together of the steady past, in the nylon twang and comforting thrum of the iconic guitar, and the future, with Mat’s voice manipulations singing out to the constant evolutionary nature of music. Throughout Stone Candles we feel a gentle easiness achieved in the extrusion of pop—pulling it softly, like ribbons, through windows.

We see as well the strands of influences that blow forth from distant places: a myriad of folk musings, a glint of country, a synthetic manipulation, an honest reverberation.

The importance, then, of this connection with what has been, is how it comes full circle. Full circle in the sense that it is a silhouette of the past that we do not forget, or miss, or challenge, but denote understanding in the form of growth. Growth, because with a keen eye and gentle reflection, you can see not necessarily where you have gone wrong but how you came out—differently, better, wiser. And when you construct internal pressures, all those barriers you put on yourself about what not to do, you believe that you will never be at the end of the path you want to go down. Your connection to past, however, reminds you how far you’ve come. Eventually, you will reach an end—the part in the circle where two lines meet and you become full.

Stone Candles is out on Mush Records.

Photo Journal

SEQUENCE

SEQUENCE Photo Journal Image

The 30th of March saw a huge array of Australian electronic talent under one roof for the first ever SEQUENCE—a mini-festival put together by myself (East to West) and Sydney label The Finer Things, which showcased all things experimental, electronic, dance-inducing and mind-blowing.

After stepping into the small and unassuming pub, The Old Fitz, guests were led through the sunny courtyard and deep, underground into the theatre—a huge black room dwarfed by the stage. People were in awe as they entered the cavernous space, eyes having to adjust from blinding sun to the almost pitch-black room, and they flitted in and out, in and out of this little world. The night saw live sets from Tea Factory, Spoonty, Mannheim Rocket, Nakagin, Guerre, Thomas William, Kane Ikin, Wooshie, True North x James IV Stewart, Cassius Select, Lindsay Tuc, Gardland as well as DJ sets from TGMN, Jack Sabbath, Ben Fester, Louis Pearse-Hawkins and Gareth Psaltis. Once the glowsticks got brought out though, well, you can imagine.

Spoonty:

Mannheim Rocket:

Nakagin:

Guerre:

Thomas William:

Kane Ikin:

Wooshie:

True North & James IV Stewart:

Cassius Select:

Lindsay Tuc:

Gardland:

Cassius Select - One

Cassius Select 'One' Cover

There is a beautiful blossoming and nurturing of techno in Sydney at the moment. Alongside the array of new nights, collectives and artists foraging into the darker tip of club music is a general eagerness and curiosity from all fans of all musical persuasions. At the forefront of this exciting transition is label Hunter Gatherer, run by the Gardland boys who have just released their second EP—Cassius Select‘s One. Cassius Select aka Lavurn Lee aka Guerre is one of just many who have been experimenting recently with the wild tangles of late night electronica. The result—a sparse and tribal release, percussive in nature, fluctuating from being too abrasive to not being abrasive enough. It throws you about doggedly until you eventually realise (in a flurry of motion) that it has taken you over and you are now dictating the complete release of your own body.

The last track rounding out the four-track EP is something very special. “Jamo” welcomes you in with open arms, taking your tired body that has moved relentlessly and soothes it with jazz-esque tones and a comfortable vocal patch. It’s the warm bed at the end of a long night. But even with your head to the pillow, it still itches you to move.

You’ll be able to Ustream Cassius Select live on Wednesday 17th at 8pm AEST, so head to the Hunter Gatherer website to check it out. He’ll also be showcasing his enthralling live show at the Hunter Gatherer label party on May 4th at the Red Rattler in Marrickville, Sydney.

Christoph El’ Truento – Sunflower

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An icy loneliness cuts through the night; you wander like the flaneur, trying to see what you have not seen before. Their is warmth in your hand, in the shape of a bottle—its brown liquid harsh and salty on your tongue. You scuff along cobblestones, cloak faded on the edges where it has swept the tops of puddles one too many times. You stumble, your hand reaches out to the wall; you steady yourself. It is cold and mossy to the touch. Woozy, your body stops to regain alignment and as you look up a light spills out onto the street. A scruffy red carpet warms the street and lays way to the frivolity of human interaction that bubbles up from the cellar. A saxophone wails. Rain starts in. You make your way down the stairs and out of the cold.

This stunning 7″ was introduced to me by the absolute legends over at #Jusayin. Christoph El’ Truento is a mindblowing producer from Auckland, whose experiments in musical form and mastery over saxophone, samples, and vocals enraptures the listener from start to finish. He has beautifully married his sonic jazz with laissez-faire meanderings. If you aren’t able to pick up the vinyl, you can also download it from his Bandcamp.

Storytellers

Lindsay Tuc

Lindsay Tuc

Storytellers takes a glimpse into an artist’s inner psyche through a story of their choice.

This edition features the very short story “THE AMAZING MOSCATO BROTHERS” by artist Lindsay Tuc.


It might have been 2008. I know for sure it was a Tuesday night. The Walrus and I (I’m serious, everyone calls him that) only ever did acid on Tuesdays, not that we did acid every Tuesday, just that when ever we took acid—it was always on a Tuesday. At the time I drove a 1992 black Mercedes coupe and wore a gold watch. I always drove because The Walrus can’t drive, he still doesn’t have a driver’s license and the world is better off because of that. I am very happy that I am alive and writing this story and I strongly discourage operating a sports car or any other motor vehicle whilst intoxicated.

I dig girls, women too; all sorts of girls. I also dig other things like records but this story is about girls. I can’t remember her name but she was big and dark and South African. We were doing exactly 99 kilometers per hour on the eastern freeway through the pelting rain to meet her and her friend at their town house in Box Hill—we took our hats off to avoid suspicion. The Walrus was text messaging the girls over some dating app I had downloaded for my shiny new iPhone. He loved using the iPhone, and he is good at talking to girls, which was perfect. A perfect storm.

“Moscato!” The Walrus yelled from the passenger seat, directly into my ear, as if he’d been kicked in the nuts. “We need to get some fucking moscato.” We promptly got the off of the freeway. Both of us knew that moscato was some kind of sweet wine and that the girls wanted at least one bottle to drink. We doubled back and slid into Brunswick East like Luke Skywalker diving his X-wing into the death star. “You know what we are” my trusty navigator said as a statement, not a question “the fucking amazing moscato brothers!”—he swears a lot. He went into some dialog about how we were valiant knights delivering sweet wine to two damsels in distress or some of the usual bullshit he spouts; I was concentrating on the road. Somehow we made it to the Railway Hotel in one piece. We strolled into the bottle shop like it was nothing and informed the poor lady behind the counter that we were the official moscato brothers and that we needed two bottles of moscato and a small bottle of whiskey pronto. I paid, The Walrus left a twenty cent tip.

Long story short, as this is a very short story, we made it to Box Hill in high spirits. Beeping twice as instructed we lit a cigarette to share and marveled at the tonal qualities of a Mercedes car horn. The two South African girls switched the light on and let us in.

“Aaaay it’s the moscato brothers!”

My South African princess was a lot bigger than she looked in her profile photo, her friend was pushing four feet tall at best and wearing a hospital gown and bracelet. The Walrus would like me to point out here that he had no intention of sleeping with either of these girls as he had a girlfriend at the time who was prettier than anyone else’s girlfriend I’ve ever met. That girl could stop traffic, and eventually left him for Jennifer Hawkins’ ex boyfriend. She never liked me anyway, so stuff her.

Sooooooo cuddly…I could have cuddled that girl for the rest of my life and still be happy with my accomplishments. I pushed my head into her massive bosom as she stroked my crotch and sipped moscato and it was fantastic. The tiny girl was on the opposite couch teaching The Walrus how to swear in Afrikaans. The room was littered with African animal plush toys, it was pure bliss. We were on safari. We had reached our destination. Time stopped.

According to The Walrus, the cursing lesson progressed into stabbing lessons as the very small girl in the hospital gown had a knife discreetly hidden upon her person. South African house music that we had never heard before was blaring out of the stereo, which I quite enjoyed until The Walrus suggested that we leave immediately…I suggested that we all get naked. The Walrus had had a knife pressed to his ribs and was bleeding. He stood up screaming bloody murder, pulled out his favourite aluminum knuckle duster and dragged me by the back of my shirt outside to the car. Dude totally killed my high.

Since then I have deleted all dating profiles, sold my car and enjoy cycling, not only for the financial benefits but also for fitness and public safety.

Friendships - my guts mixtape

my guts silo mixtape

Melbourne’s Friendships dropped this special mix this week as a little prelude to their joining with the Silo Records family in Brisbane. More details on that at a later date.

From Friendships:

This collection of songs are my gutz. An intestinal reflection of shit I have always and recently loved. Friends’ music. Musical heroes. Videogame culture. Internet. Real people; friends + family n shit.

Boom-bap feeds breaks, spews ghetto. Dumb house a capellas introducing local witch rhythms, swooning switchy skitz beat and croon singing shit. Dangerous booty, big groove and bass. Electronic Australiana and raw guitar slingerz. Delicate and hot shit, ya feel??

Hope you pricks like it. <3 U 4 ∞

Tracklist:

Crescent — “Burner”; IRL
Pcoat — “Division”; Show Me The Future
Zora Jones — “Money Cat”; Feathers
Koloah — “Model”; Russian Ghetto Compilation Vol.1
Squarepusher — “My Red Hot Car”, Go Plastic
Electric Sea Spider — “Honey Spoon”; Supercash
Remarc — “RIP”; Desert Storm Presents Ragga Jungle Vol.1
Sango — “Passinho Kuduro (Jon Bap Remix)”; Da Rocinha (Outtakes + Remixes)
OutKast — “Aquemini”; Aquemini
Obey City — ”Down & Up (Original Mix)”; Down & Up
LUCIANBLOMKAMP – “Leshan”; LUCIANBLOMKAMP
Henry Crawford — ”Quien Es?”; Quien Es? Quien Es?
The Underachievers — ”6th Sense”; Indigoism
Bodhi — “Deliquesce (Ifan Dafydd Remix)”; Culture / Deliquesce
B Kind 2 Me & friendships — ”2 Reel”; (unreleased)

Kohwi – “She saw two objects tied together by a finite length of thread”

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Her sight wandered along the limp thread, its two ends not visible. One end wound its way out the window, over the ledge of the 22nd floor of her building. It was cold, she could not leave her window ajar much longer. The other end trailed behind her, out the door, down the stairs, ’round the bend with its rusty coloured edge and burying itself deep into the foundations of her little flat. The cement was no longer cold, but it could not breathe. The thread had no end that she could see.

Kohwi is one of my best mates, and I have been obsessing over this song all week. I don’t know what exactly it is that gets under my skin, invites me to come along, to fall, even. Kohwi’s latest gem is this: “She saw two objects tied together by a finite length of thread”—this song could be infinite, forever rolling over and over again, a perfect circle from beginning to end. Its steady, unassuming hi-hat heartbeat breathes life into the cinematic legacy. In 11:36 we are reminded what is important—to slow down, to open ourselves to what is to come, to take it all in.

Lindsay Tuc – “Hanspeter”

"Hanspeter" art

I’ve been thinking lots about the future recently. Lots about my future, our future, the future of music, the future of the evolution of art. Will mankind ever get to a point where every art that can be made will have been made? Every sound heard, every track crafted, every genre birthed. Is it possible for us to create infinitely? For us to constantly evolve in our abilities, in the ability to craft something new. How close are we to this final frontier? Or, perhaps less ominously, does this frontier even exist? Will there always be art made that has not yet been seen?

It’s scary, you know, if you really think about it. I want to live in an age where boundaries are constantly being pushed, where we are all Techno Rebels that are going to make history and not fade into obscurity. When I’m old and sitting around my living room with the younger generations, I want to be able to show them our mark on artistic meaning. Furthermore, I want them to be able to do the same thing years and years and years into the future, in another living room, another time.

There is a really humbling feeling that the future, and these kind of unanswerable questions, imparts. You have to lay yourself down to the mercy of what is to come, be vulnerable almost, to what lingers out there just ahead. Lindsay Tuc’s latest tune, “Hanspeter,” encapsulates that essence. Its warbled noise samples and temporal fluctuations are futuristic—they dance with fate and its fancy. At the same time though, it’s grounded, not letting this essence dominate, consciously courting the future but not being privy to its internal workings.

We live in an interesting time, when sometimes the future wears you down with the weight of the world. Its important to think deeply about these notions when necessary, but don’t get so tired you can’t do anything in the present. Keep creating, keep letting beauty wash over you and keep finding boundaries and then step over them.