Items filtered by date: November 2013
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 15:42

Emoh Instead: Because We Say So

With his desire for perfection finally satisfied, Emoh Instead has at last released his debut EP.

“I couldn't get past certain aspects of the creative process,” laments the Sydney producer aka Chris Emerson.

“I was getting stuck in loops or stuck in writing a cool drop and not doing a breakdown and things like that. So, once I was finally satisfied will all of the elements and with the transitions between all of those, I was finally ready to put out a song.

“I’m not necessarily saying the song is perfect. It was getting through that creative process that I was satisfied with. Putting something out at the moment, with things going so well, if it wasn't up to scratch it wouldn’t be a good thing. So I am glad that I worked hard behind the scenes to make sure that it is.”

Having fired up the crowd at almost every major Australian festival, the release of his first EP, ‘Say So’, is definitely something to get excited about.

“I had a bit of a celebration on the weekend. We had a big party here in Sydney, it was the end of the Rufus tour and the whole Sweat it Out family had a little party down at 77. It was just crazy.

"We got kind of hammered and Matt has a studio down in Rush Cutters so we all went there afterwards. Then I looked at the time and realised that I had to be on a flight in two hours and ended up missing that and having to book another one.”

Chris is better known as one-half of the DJ party duo What So Not, alongside current ‘it’ artist Flume, who are renowned for their club-centric electronic dance mixes.

“A couple of people taught me some things along the way, but really when I started working with Harley [Flume] I'd never even touched a synth before, so he has taught me a lot. It's had a great influence on the whole thing.

“He is just from a couple suburbs away from me and we just met through mutual friends in the area. He saw me DJing in the club once here in Sydney and hit me up on MySpace of all things, and said 'man, I really like the stuff you're playing’ and it all just went from there.”

A crowd pleaser, Chris counts among his achievements his crowd-surfing skills, even managing to take the dive in Wagga Wagga.

“I got dropped once, but it wasn't that bad. It's literally only been once and I've probably done about a hundred shows this year. There are times when you're like, ‘Okay, it's not going to happen tonight’ – but you always try. You always try to get everyone amped up enough.”

The pre-release of his new EP’s single, ‘Why Can’t You (Say So…)’, had over 100,000 plays in four days.

“We were ecstatic about the amount of plays. Looking at it we were only expecting maybe 20-25,000, so to get 4-5 times what we were expecting was incredible. I guess it shows that people are liking it a lot which is great. It's the first time that I have put something out and it was quite daunting to do so.

“I just want to write music that people really like, that I like and that I believe in. I like doing music that I enjoy, and that I guess I feel is tasteful and hope that it's responded to well by the public. I love DJing, I love playing, I love going to the clubs – festivals are also really fun.”

Emoh Instead’s EP ‘Say So’ is out now.

Published in Electronic

1. ‘The Fire’ by The Roots. This song is a stand out for me. The lyrics paint a strong visual. “The only thing I feel in my heart is inspired/ By the challenge that I find myself standing eye-to-eye with/ To move like a wise warrior and not a coward.” Rhyming along to this before a show gets me psyched and ready to go.

2. ‘Desire’ by Pharoahe Monch. Soulful and uplifting. This is for those who are passionate about their goals. Once you’re driven or aware of where you want to go, you need to put your head down and push towards your destination. This song pays tribute to that desire.

3. ‘We Are’ by DJ Jazzy Jeff feat. Cy Young and Raheem DeVaughn. This song reminds me to remain present. We’ve all been through hardships in life. Each individual in this world has a story. The difference between those who get through and those who don’t is faith and persistence. I often come back to this song for inspiration.

4. ‘Be’ by Common. This is my favourite intro song to an album. Common’s lyrics sit perfectly over this soulful jam. “Walk like warriors we were never told to run/ Explored the world to return to where my soul begun/ Never looking back or too far in front of me/ The present is a gift, and I just wanna be.”

5. ‘Move On Up’ by Curtis Mayfield. Curtis Mayfield has influenced many great artists. He’s one of the most sampled artists in hip hop. This song is such a feel good jam! It’s the ultimate happy song. I wish I could have seen Curtis perform this live; one of my all time favourites. It puts me in the right mindset before a show.

L-Fresh The Lion plays the Trans Hotel November 9.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 15:28

Edward Scissortongue: Out Of His Shell

With his early memories of hip hop wrapped around the original ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie and Wu-Tang’s ‘Enter The 36 Chambers’, the UK’s Edward Scissortongue was always destined for a career holding a microphone.

Your bio states that the original ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie was the inspiration behind your love of hip hop; explain yourself, mister...
The first ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie (1990) was the first SUPER BIG craze to sweep over from the USA to the UK during my childhood. All I gave a fuck about before that was football and sweets. Along with it came a soundtrack riddled with all-star hip hop names featuring the likes of Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer — all the chart toppers at the time.

Spinning that 12" picture disc on my Mum and Dad's belt-drive turntable and learning the dance moves from all the music videos really introduced me to the culture. I fell in love with it and would like to take this opportunity to thank Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello. And Splinter too. Without your help I would be a death metal singer probably.

And who’s your favourite shell-backed mate?
Raphael all day.

‘Enter The 36 Chambers’ as your very first CD is pretty big... did you wear the laser beam out in the CD stereo playing that over and over as a kid?
That CD scared me, but drew me in at the same time. I was ten years old. My parents objected too. They didn't want their son listening to a CD that said multiple swear words in every bar, so I had to listen to it on the sly, or with headphones on. It truly is one of the finest rap records ever. It is EVIL.

Your early years of musical appreciation — who did you have on your Discman?
Pre-TMNT, I was listening to the stuff my parents were playing; classic ‘60s stuff like Mamas & The Papas, The Beatles or The Who/ The Doors/ T-Rex from my Dad. I had no real choice in the matter. My sister loved Take That. I didn't...

When I started buying music myself I was listening to Funkdoobiest, Naughty By Nature, Cypress Hill, Snoop, Slick Rick; any giant US hip hop that the local record store (Jay's Records RIP) had in stock. That was the only store in my hometown that stocked the imported US stuff. So long as it had a badass picture on the cover of some dudes throwing money and swinging TEC-9's then I would buy it.

Was there a watershed moment when you knew hip hop was your career path and spitting into a mic your calling card?
Yes. When I started spitting at house parties and people showed me love. It was like, these people are handing me spliffs and girls are looking at me all like 'heyyyy'. I knew then that rapping was the perfect accompaniment to my desire to be the centre of attention at all times!!

What is the perfect idea of fun for Edward Scissortongue?
Something that involves sunshine, moderate amounts of booze consumption and Arsenal smashing another team off a football pitch by four clear goals. If Arsenal lose then nothing is fun for at least 48 hours after the final whistle.

Your bio mentions your music represents the “battle with the pictures” behind your eyeballs... can you expand on that please?
The 'battle with the pictures' is a reference to my desire to delve deeply into the way my brain operates. I decided that music was the best way to explore my thoughts creatively and that is why I continue to push myself as an artist.

I am interested in delving into the endless layer-upon-layer-upon-layer-upon-layer of abstract thought that only my brain is capable of creating. Long gone are the days of me sitting and penning a verse about riding bikes or hating my job; the brain in my skull has a whole shit tonne of things to communicate below the surface of the inane lives we all lead in our own unique and sometimes spectacular fashion. If I want to learn about politics I will not listen to hip hop, I will read a book.

If I want to learn how to fix a car engine, I will not look for answers in a rap song, I will buy a manual. Hip hop for me is about exploring life without limits. I get told what to do in my life way too much already and refuse to let these limitations affect my music making.

Edward Scissortongue joins the Smoke My Tour at the New Globe Theatre this Friday, November 8.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 15:23

Dog Trumpet: Sticking To Their Roots

Dog Trumpet’s new album, ‘Medicated Spirits’, caps a long list of achievements for Australian artist and musician, Reg Mombassa.

“I always thought I would just be a painter or a drawer,” Reg (real name Chris O'Doherty) admits. “I started doing graphics pretty much by accident, really, because I was in a band (Mental As Anything) and we needed t-shirts and posters.

“Then other people asked me to do things and the guy that ran Mambo had seen some of the record covers that I did and asked me to do something similar for Mambo. It was really that all these opportunities opened up from doing other things.”

Dog Trumpet, who consist of Reg and his brother Peter O'Doherty plus touring members, recently released their sixth studio album.

“We tossed up [splitting the album into two releases], but we just thought tearing it down to ten or twelve songs would have been hard because we thought all of the songs were reasonably good, and we also had a few extra ones as well which we had already half recorded and started working on, so we were getting a bit ahead of ourselves and we thought we may as well put out a double album.”

Dog Trumpet have tapped into countless genres across the years. Subsequently, their discography crosses genres such as blues and country through to psychedelic rock & roll.

“In terms of instrumentation, Peter plays a lot of mandolin now which we didn't have on the first record. Our basic approach is still guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, but with the addition of mandolin. [Plus] I think Peter’s production and engineering has really improved vastly from when he started doing it. He's produced all [of our albums] except the first one. Without him doing that, I'm not sure that we would exist.”

For Dog Trumpet, sticking to their roots is what's important.

“Basically I played guitar and slide guitar with Mental As Anything so there's not an enormous change. A lot of the songs that Peter and I wrote and recorded with Mental As Anything are not vastly different to the stuff we do in Dog Trumpet, really.”

Dog Trumpet play the Brisbane Powerhouse Nov 14 and Byron Bay Community Theatre Nov 15. ‘Medicated Spirits’ is available now.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 15:02

Holy Holy: Stockholm Syndrome

Two years ago, while in Stockholm, Brisbane boy Timothy Carroll teamed up with Melburnian Oscar Dawson, who was in Berlin; the rest, as they say, is history.

“When I was living in Stockholm for a year trying to get together my next album, Oscar was in Berlin. Originally I guess he was just assisting me with demos, but he really pushed what had been my sound into this new place,” Tim  says.

Add Brisbane producer Matt Redlich (Ball Park Music, Hungry Kids Of Hungary) and you've got a new release from the group that was recorded live at Matt's new studio.

“The first track was one that I wasn't really sure what approach we [would take]. We ended up doing it one evening, just sitting in a circle with really low lamps on and mics everywhere.

"You can feel the band pushing against each other and the energy's kind of flowing. Recording on tape brings a kind of warmth.”

The group’s current single, 'Impossible Like You', has been gaining some serious traction lately.

“It's exciting; this song seems to have struck a bit of a chord and people are enjoying it. It's awesome that it's opening some doors.”

Opening doors indeed. This year Holy Holy have played with Emma Louise, Snakadaktal and The Trouble With Templeton. Showing no signs of slowing down, Holy Holy are now gearing up for a headline tour in November.

“It's a little bit scary actually because you wonder if anyone is actually going to come out. I hope that people will come to the show. I always like playing Black Bear. I work at Black Bear so it's a home crowd on a range of fronts.”

Tim has nothing to worry about, considering their last headline tour sold out. As for their name? Holy Holy aren't named after the Bowie song.

“I love Bowie, though, so I was stoked to find out later. I was thinking a lot of people might think that because it is a bit of a tradition.

"I've always had a bit of a fascination with double words and I've been interested with these old religious words that have this sort of resonance and power that create a sense of awe and kind of wonder.”

Holy Holy play Black Bear Lodge Thursday November 21.

Published in Rock

1. Iron Man. Chosen initially for his super human strength to assist with loading in, Stark would also provide cutting edge tech knowledge that could be utilised in amp repairs/ maintenance etc. His high levels of self-confidence would also translate well on stage.

2. Sherlock Holmes. Nancy Vandal have a poor record in mystery solving, and Holmes would be a major asset in this field. Riddles such as "where is Fox's jacket?" and "what key is this song in?" would quickly be untangled by the ace sleuth.

3. Obi-Wan Kenobi. Many a time has the lack of ability to perform Jedi mind tricks hampered NV's attempts to become a powerful player on the world music stage. From negotiating riders, to avoiding police fines for having feet sticking out of the van, NV see the ability to manipulate the thoughts of authority figures as an invaluable contributor.

4. Jason Voorhees. Making hilarious jokes while on stage is a key plank of the NV roadshow, but what happens when a punter thinks they’re being made fun of and wants to punch a band member in the head as a result? This perennial problem would be solved with the addition of Jason to our security staff, and we predict his violent behaviour would cut down unwanted crowd shenanigans by upwards of 50 percent.

5. Withnail from ‘Withnail And I’. We just want to hang out with him. He could be tour manager.

Nancy Vandal play the Miami Shark Bar Saturday November 9.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 14:32

Raul Midon: Radio Star

Blind from infancy, and with more soul than a church choir, Raul Midon has tried everything the music industry has to offer.

The list of artists Raul has collaborated with is impressive in both numbers and stature, ranging from Stevie Wonder to Snoop Dogg.

“I've obviously been inspired by Stevie [Wonder] and Herbie Hancock but I don't know if I would say that one has inspired me more than another. I think my whole modus operandi is that I am looking to many different kinds of music and different traditions in order to be inspired and to create my music.”

Raul uses strumming, beats and vocal-mouth trumpet sounds combined with his unique voice to create his own one-man band.

“There were certain turning points [in my music career], I suppose when I moved to New York in 2002 it sort of solidified my style as a guitar player. I kind of realised when I got there – ‘wow, there's 100,000 guitar players and singer/ songwriters, what makes me different from all these other people?’

"It kind of forces you to nurture whatever is unique or different about your approach to music. I think [by] putting [yourself] in that melting pot of really, really good musicians, it has this effect of either you find your voice or you leave.”

A radio enthusiast, his love for the old-school communication device hasn’t wavered.

“I've been into the hobby of ham radio since I was 12 years old. I think for me it is a sort of way to reach out to people. When I was growing up in rural New Mexico, we didn't even have a telephone so ham radio was my way to keep in touch.

"It's a strange thing, some people like stamp collecting or whatever, and for me the magic of radio has never worn off. I mean, right now I could sit here in my house and I could talk to somebody in Australia directly from their house to mine, not through the internet.

“People say ‘Why don't you just use Skype, it's the same thing?’ Well, it's not really. There is something magical about using the ionosphere to communicate directly to somebody.

"You don't have this massive billion dollar infrastructure that is associated with the internet – that's the only reason why we can talk all over the world on the internet.

“Radio is one radio to another, with a little bit of help from the ionosphere, that’s it. Whatever your antenna situation is, you can spend inordinate amounts of money on that too ... For me it's just magic, it's kind of like music.”

Raul’s forthcoming album sees him expanding on his already extensive mixed-bag of talents to include producer and engineer, with special software for the blind allowing him to host sessions in his own home studio.

“To me it's my crowning accomplishment. I have no idea how it's going to be received. It's an incredible achievement [not only] to have engineered and produced the album, but to have been able to get these collaborations to happen.

"I have got a song I wrote with Bill Withers on the album, I sing with Dianne Reeves, Liz Wright, Marcus Miller and Richard Bona. I'm really excited about the way it came out and this was a chance for me to shape the music in an even more complete way – as a producer, writer, player, singer and as an engineer.”

Currently touring internationally, he’s excited to be making his way down under.

“I've always liked Australia. I've always thought that it had some similarities to [America] in the way that it is this pioneering place. It's nice to go somewhere where people speak your language, even though I love going to places where they don't speak English as well.

"There is always some interesting food with different influences because you are so far away as well. I'm just looking forward to being there once again and also playing the new material.”

Raul Midon plays Brisbane Powerhouse November 25. Raul also performs as part of The Mullum Festival, which takes over Mululm November 21-24.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 14:24

Bluejuice: Do As They Say

I had high hopes.

After seeing the video for ‘S.O.S.’, the latest Bluejuice single, I was sure they'd done it. After years of torment, tears and pointlessly alliterated sentences, finally there was a way to rid the world of douchebags.

Sure, the clip also shows Bluejuice accidentally shooting down a plane and beating on a granny, but if Arnold Schwarzenegger has taught us anything it's that sometimes there's collateral damage. It was only when I spoke to Stav (yes, Stav, not Stavros) that my hope was suddenly and irretrievably assuaged.

“It's just a film clip,” he said. “It's not real,” he said. Well thanks for getting my damn hopes up for nothing. I hope you're happy, Stavros.

"Admittedly a lot of people have asked us for guns like those. I had to break it to them that a lot of that isn't real. As long as you have the budget for sweet special effects you can do anything you want."

The natural question that follows is: if Stav could rid the world of one type of douche, which one would it be? It's a good 20 seconds before he gives an answer. Gosh, there are just so many...

"Pairs of volunteers that try to get your attention in annoying ways as you're walking by them. And they're often for good causes and I'm all for that, but it's the way they come up to you and just try to shake your hand, or are like 'Hey, are you having a great day?!' or these other relentless sales techniques they've been trained in. I don't actually have a problem with the things that they want to talk about, just have a bit of respect for personal space at least!"

Put down the pitchforks, people. It's not that Stav has a problem with charity. I mean, have you seen his stubble? No, it's just that sometimes it's too early to talk about saving the world. Sometimes that damn UNHCR guy should just buy you a drink first. Maybe that's why Bluejuice decided to record 'S.O.S.' in London, so Stav could have a reprieve.

"We've done a few shows over there as part of showcases, but I would suggest [we're] not very well-known [over there]. Jake [Stone] flew over and worked with a few guys that helped produce 'Act Yr Age' and they brought in a whole bunch of awesome session musicians. We're buzzed about the results and it sounds great.

“Interestingly, there's this German company that's interested in working with us, because there's this Austrian MC that's released a hip hop tune called 'Get it Right' that samples 'Vitriol'. As a result this German label's become interested in the band and there's talk of an international version of the record."

I ask Stav if Bluejuice roll around in a large pile of money every time someone samples 'Vitriol', but apparently this is the first time it's happened. Is this really a thing? I feel like Stav needs to lodge a copyright claim or two.

"We haven't seen any results from it just yet. It's only ever been sampled once, to my knowledge. This Austrian MC just had a friend in Australia who played him 'Vitriol' when it came out, and years later he decided to make a bratty hip hop tune."

You may remember an interview that ran in Scene a year or so back, in which Jake from Bluejuice revealed his fear of getting old. At 32, he figured he was 'over the hump'.

"I figure everyone has that a little bit, but I don't obsess over it. I feel like I hear it from [Jake] weekly, if not daily... so not quite at the same level. It's fine, it's what happens. It's life. I think change is more to do with circumstance.

"Whatever phase in life you find yourself in, that probably drives change more than age itself. You find young people that are wise beyond their years, you find much older people that act like teenagers forever. I think it's a headspace thing."

One of the qualities that makes Bluejuice so appealing, apart from their tunes and videos, is the fact they’ll never say die.

"I guess bands are often like families. The bonds are very strong, but that doesn't mean they aren't strained at times. When you work intimately with people for such a long period of time you kind of know their rhythm and end their sentences.

"You know them very well. I think few people in life [with] work experience that level of closeness where you reveal fairly true parts of yourself to one another... as opposed to working in an office where the things that you share are fairly superficial. Being in a band, you share your deepest fears often."

So, when are Bluejuice most likely to hug it out?

"At the end of a really good show. You feel bound in victory, you have that united feeling of conquest. Each and every show is its own unique battle, really. This desperate battle to win people's attention relentlessly.

"Not that it's like that for all bands, but for Bluejuice that's what it is. That's really hard to do, even for just 45 minutes or an hour, to make everyone forget their own lives and to be completely immersed in how you're trying to entertain them."

Bluejuice play The Hi-Fi Saturday November 9. ‘S.O.S.’ is out now.

Published in Rock
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