Items filtered by date: April 2013
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 15:03

Maundz: Rascalist Behaviour

Part of Melbourne’s irrefutable hip hop collective Crate Cartel, Maundz is the outspoken rascal of Melbourne's rap-scene. Now he’s headed north this weekend’s independent hip hop feast, Stand Up.

The outspoken rascal of Melbourne's hip hop scene... what sort of rascalist behaviour has Maundz been up to lately?
Same thing different day as always yo! Top secret rascal bizzo.

Footy season is underway; how's your team tracking? September action in the tea leaves?
I actually go for Brisbane (I’m an old Fitzroy boy) so that's gotta win me some brownie points yeah?? Early days yet. The day after Stand Up I'm gonna hit the Gabba with the crew and watch us demolish the Dees, I can't wait! Let's go Lions!

You're in Japan at the moment - holidaying, work - bit of both?
Holidaying. I haven't slept in two days; gone hard in Tokyo the last few nights, and now definitely feeling the repercussions.

Is Maundz an early riser? Or do you prefer sleeping through the majority of the daylight hours?
Early riser unfortunately. Those bills and studio sessions don't pay themselves out here. I need a good sleep this arvo though for real!

Tell us a little bit about the Melbourne collective Crate Cartel?
We got Geko, Discourse, WIK, Fluent Form, Raven and myself. We've all been doing this lil hip hop thing for eons now. We do it ‘cos we love it and that's that.

CC is the team? How important to your development as an artist has Crate Cartel been?
It's been huge. The amount of work that these dudes put in to honing their craft is fucking amazing man. It's driven me to push hard and roll with the rest of the pack for sure. We're out here doing our own lil thing and trying to get the word out the best way we know how, and that's by making straight up hip hop.

You're headed to north to perform at the Stand Up event — it's a huge gathering of underground, independent hip hop. Going to be a huge night, right?
I really can't wait man, we always have a blast in Queensland. Brissie heads are my peoples! Definitely one of the nicest line-ups I've had the pleasure of getting up with. Dwiz, Gil Goon and the rest of the crew have done a number on the scene!

The interstate rivalry between the different crews; is it still part of the culture of the scene?
Love is love! If cats are salty on each other because of location they need to get their shit together and focus on the important stuff. But hey, ain't nothin wrong with city pride though, right? You gotta fly your flag.

Everyone seems to be the ‘next big thing’. Are you happy trawling away on the independent beat, letting others grab the spotlight?
I've been trawling for years now man, and that's what I'll keep doing. If things ever get bigger, dope, if not, no sweat. I can only be me. Respect from the hip hop heads is more important to me than shiny accolades anyways.

Pre-show. Is Maundz a ball of nerves, sitting in the corner focused; or the centre of attention, hyped and ready to explode?
I'm a pretty focused dude I guess. But give me a few beers and I'm ready to go balls out and wreck shop!

The next Maundz release; where are you at with another studio effort?
Just breezin’ through new beats at the moment. Working on a few little other projects with Geko and my younger brothers Afro funk band. Music music music! It don't quit.

You gotta choose between The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad — who's back you got: Rick or Walt?
Sorry world, but I think I'm still the only dude that hasn't seen either show. Randy Marsh or Moe Syzlack, now that's a fuckin noodle scratcher!

Maundz joins Lazy Grey, Kings Konekted, Tommy Illfigga, Ciecmate & Maggot Mouf and host of locals when Stand Up lands at the Hi-Fi this Saturday, April 27. The action kicks off at 2pm.

Published in Urban
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 09:31

Flume: Left Alone

Eighteen months ago, you had no idea who Flume was. Now it's impossible to imagine our musical landscape without him.

He claimed four spots in Triple J's Hottest 100 (including the highest local placement), he's selling out a massive national tour, and — most absurdly — his self-titled debut album beat One Direction and Justin Bieber to the top of the Australian charts.

“I like seeing myself up there next to P!nk and Bruno Mars and all these dudes,” 21-year-old Harley Streten laughs. “It's nice, because it's like, 'Man, we spent no fucking money on this release, and we're fucking you guys up, and it's awesome. I'm sure you're great dudes, but fuck you, Universal.' No, I shouldn't say that, I'm probably burning my bridges right there.”

At this point, it'd be a foolhardy music industry exec who'd take offence to Streten. Everything he touches turns to gold, everybody wants a piece of him, and expectations for his next LP are already sky high. He'd prefer you didn't tell him that, though.

“I'm trying not to think about any of that,” he says. “I'm just making music for me and not being influenced by anything else. I just want to keep it pure, rather than contaminate it by thinking about making music for my audience. I don't want to spoonfed them. I want to push them again, I want them to listen to something they might not usually listen to. I feel like that's my responsibility, because I'm in a little bit of a taste maker position right now.

“I could just sit back and write another record of similar stuff, and it'd probably do well. Kids would eat it up and I'd make money and that'd be fine. But what I want to do is something quite different.”

For now, Streten's focus is on his brand new live show — complete with his own signature prop, the 'Infinity Prism'.

“We were looking at stuff like Amon Tobin's crazy projections, but I guess [Daft Punk] were an inspiration, too. What we really wanted was that performance aspect. What I do is not so visually stimulating, so having a really unique light show, something really special, that was the path we wanted to take... it's kind of the next stage, I feel.”

'Flume' is out now. You've already got it. Flume plays Brisbane Riverstage on Tuesday May 7 with Chet Faker.

Published in Electronic

On Friday night Brisbane was once again honoured to be visited by the one and only DJ Krush. A true innovator in the world of instrumental hip hop, Krush has long been viewed as one of the best in the business.

Arriving in time to catch our very own impressively tusked Walrii representing for the Dub Temple Crew, the seafaring creature treated us with a small insight into the sounds that inspire the man. Melbourne beatsmith and experimental hip hop darling AOI was soon to follow throwing down in a style so uniquely his own: staggered beats, crushed bleepy synths and occasional microphone ramblings made for an incredible way to warm up for Krush.


Krush himself was a sight (and audible experience) to behold. The heavy jazz influences were apparent within his signature downbeat style — there are truly very few acts that can pull off a sound as mature yet engaging as Krush. Over the course of the next hour and a half we were treated to a menagerie of sounds encompassing his entire career thrown together with classic material from Shadow and our very own Hermitude. The man’s skills on the 1s and 2s was truly something else — watching him manually destroy a tune live is simply a mindbending experience. 

Last but certainly not least a massive thank you to Coniston Lane, Consume and Mad Heckler for putting this show on; and I couldn’t write this review without making a massive mention of Monkwhy, whose visuals truly pulled the night together. It was great to see so many heads come out for such an occasion and I can only hope that he returns to our shores ASAP.


Photos: Ben Knight

Published in Electronic
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 09:09

Opiuo Vs Spoonbill: One On One

Ahead of their joint national tour, we asked Jim Spoonbill and Oscar Opiuo to sit down and have a chat with each other.

Oscar: Name five things you can’t live without?

Jim: Making tunes, sharing in quality fun times, the rockin’ mob that I luckily have around me, exploring new weird and wonderful places and of course delectable tasty delights: especially eggs.
Now you name five things you can’t live without?

Oscar: Weird, entertaining and supportive friends, inspiring music, whanau, Thai food, symmetry.
I know you like eggs, but why did you call your label Omelette?

Jim: I think it’s a good representation of the tunes; a suitable metaphor for the sort of music that Omelette Records releases. It’s a melting pot of diverse sonic flavours amalgamated and served up as wholesome tasty grooves.
How did your love of music begin?

Oscar: It all started very early playing drums at age two, then onto big music festivals on my parent’s land around age eight. Along came The Gathering, a beast of a music festival where electronic music was thriving pre-2000 in New Zealand. I saw some insanely cutting edge inspiring acts on gigantic sound systems, got loose in the rain, and saw some craaaaazy crazy goings on.... I was hooked!
Encouraging a diverse range of sounds with Omelette Records, where do you hope to see music in Australia head?

Jim: I hope to see solid growth and support for independent music. I hope as a nation we stop listening to poor renditions of past musical glory, and look to the future of crafting and celebrating new sonic expressions.
You’ve witnessed crazy goings on as a kid. What’s the craziest thing you’ve witnessed at one of your shows?

Oscar: Fuck, that’s a hard one, I’ve seen a lot of crazy shit, but I guess on my last European tour I saw a juggler try to swallow the end of his juggling stick, and messed it up, ending up throwing up on the bouncer. He obviously got smashed and thrown out. Whoops.
To encourage this direction in the Australian scene, what’s the biggest piece of advice you can share with emerging electronic producers?

Jim: Staying true to who you are and what you want to say, and not being too influenced by what seems to be trendy and popular at any given time. Crafting a unique self-expression through your artform is the best path to a long and fruitful artistic career that you can be proud of.  
Where do you get the best response from crowds globally?

Oscar: Another hard one. I think to be honest it’s a mix of where people go the craziest, but also where you feel the most connected, and that would have to be here in Australasia. People seem to really get what I am up to, and it makes all the difference to feel like this is where I built my musical career. I am forever going to do all I can to provide the best possible shows to this part of the world. Just like a five-piece live Opiuo band that only features here.

Jim: Have you ever worn an adult diaper?

Oscar: Yes. Have you?

Jim: Yes, at that mental party at 6am, and you were also jogging around in your bulk ace whopping nappy too! Don’t you remember?

Oscar: Hahaha, oh fuck, yes I do.

The Opiuo Band joins Spoonbill at the Hi-Fi Saturday May 4.

Published in Electronic
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 09:00

Caitlin Park: It's Folktronica

To most, folktronica is not a genre that rings too familiar.

But Sydney singer-songwriter Caitlin Park has slowly been making inroads with this musical niche over the past few years, culminating in a national support slot with Big Scary.

“I think the general public would be astounded by the word, but exactly as it sounds, it's just folk music mixed with electronic. It's really fun, I love the word, I love saying it, and I love that people recognise that I'm doing something different to interpret it in that way.”

So how does one become inspired to come up with such a unique styling?

“I studied music at uni, but also did a little bit with electronic music and also sound in film. So we got to do a lot of sound foley, which is basically post-production treatment. So it was really fun doing the musical side to it with the foley on top, and I got really inspired by that.”

What makes Caitlin Park a breath of fresh air is not so much how she creates her music, but what she chooses to do so – finding inspiration within old films, and using samples from them to complement her sweet folk style.

“The sound of 1940s and ‘50s films is so beautiful. I just really love the sound of it, like when you play a record from those days and you get that crackle. The way they recorded the sound back then just had a really unique colour.

“Also the dialogue and their scriptwriting and use of metaphors was really elegant – the way they spoke was just really regal and beautiful.”

Despite being quite a young musician, Caitlin is already looking to evolve her sound and possibly move away from her folk roots and towards a more expansive sound.
“I'm starting to write songs that are a lot more focussed on the vocal melody and arrange it around that. With 'Milk Annual', it was very much based on the roots of folk music, but I'm slowly becoming more and more interested in beatdriven pop. Less about traditional folk and more about exploring textures and structures, so maybe taking the acoustic guitar out of my hands for a live show and creating a more textual beauty.”

Caitlin Park supports Big Scary at Alhambra Friday April 26.

Published in Pop/ Electro

Brisbane’s We All Want To thought up a pretty cool and unique way to celebrate their recently released album, ‘Come Up Invisible’. They chose to perform this particular show last Friday night in a way we’ll likely never see again, with a different guest featured on each song as the lead singer.

The Judith Wright Centre was sold out, with We All Want To band members – Tim Steward, Darek Mudge, Melissa Fraser, Skye Staniford and Dan McNaulty – taking to the stage. However, the band made it quite clear right from the start the night wasn’t about them; it was about the songs and the guest performers. One can only imagine how strange it must have felt for them to hand over all their songs to a bunch of outside contributors, who would interpret and manipulate the material as they saw fit. The finished product was successful, no doubt rewarding and fun for everyone involved.


The guest performers were comprised of a diverse and eclectic mix of musicians, mostly from Brisbane. Danny Widdicombe (The Wilson Pickers), Sue Ray, Jeremy Neale (Velociraptor), Dom Miller (The Rocketsmiths), Alastair McRae (Inland Sea) and Sabrina Lawrie were some of these. Special mentions must go to the beautiful Seja Vogel (Sekiden/ Regurgitator) for her sweet styling of ‘Automatic’, Hannah Shepherd for singing ethereal loops while leading a hoard of percussionists, and Helen Franzmann (McKisko) for her general awe-inspiringness.


As this was a seriously organised event with many people to coordinate, the show was hosted by an MC and broken into two sets. There was an even a costume change!

Photos: Danielle Golding

Published in Rock
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 08:31

Owl Eyes: Out Of The Dark

For many artists, working the press can be a drag. But for Brooke Adamo it’s just a relief to be out of the studio.

Adamo made hay in late 2010 and 2011, releasing a brace of critically acclaimed EPs during a hectic nine-month period under her Owl Eyes moniker. A feature for Illy and sold out shows followed, as did a tour with The Wombats. And then, silence.

Adamo had talked in the press about knuckling down after the Wombats tour for an album to be released in October of 2012, but the end of last year passed without any record. Indeed, it took until Friday just past for ‘Nightswim’ to finally be unveiled.

“It’s exciting,” she says. “I was writing the album for a long time, I didn’t do hardly any touring or anything like that. So you start to get nervous: ‘Is anyone going to care about this coming out?’ Things like that. But I think just in the last few weeks, since the single [‘Closure’] was rolling out and I’m just doing a lot of interviews and it’s been really great.”

Adamo has just stepped through her hotel room door from a Rolling Stone photo shoot, so the wired excitement in her voice is understandable. But the 22-year-old sounds like a totally different person to the relative up-and-comer who spoke to Scene in mid 2011. Then she was shy and reserved; now you can barely get a word in.

“There are always going to be delays when you do something creative. Or there are always going to be some hiccups along the way. I think I just wanted to get it right and just take my time with it and not rush something that I wasn’t proud of. You’ve always got to set yourself a deadline, otherwise you’ll never get it done, but I’d rather put something out there that I’m proud of and not worry about the dates. There was a little bit of heated discussion with the team, and I was saying, ‘It’s not ready yet. I’m not putting it out.’ I stood my ground and I was really assertive, because at the end of the day it’s my thing, my creative process and I just needed a little bit more time before it was ready.”

Adamo’s confidence is reflected in ‘Nightswim’. It’s a bold record, building on the slick indie electro pop of her EPs to reach for something that carries plenty of conviction. But she confesses to finding the process of compiling an album harder than she first anticipated.

“It was definitely harder, and I think in the beginning I made it harder on myself just by having a freak-out thinking, ‘How am I going to get this done?!’ Because obviously at the start you have a deadline and you have to be finished by then. You work yourself up because it’s an album. And then once you get over that you think, ‘This is what I’m here for. This is what I want to do.’ And you just get it done.

“And it kinda changes and it grows and it evolves. It’s a great experience. It’s a bumpy ride, but it’s worth it. I’m starting to get a lot of great feedback from people who have the album, so that’s really nice.”

A hallmark of the early Owl Eyes EPs was Adamo’s close work with Jan Skubiszewski. And while the Melbourne producer played a major part in ‘Nightswim’, the delays in recording meant he had to move onto an upcoming Cat Empire record. Enter Stylaz Fuego and Cameron Parkin, who brought to bear their considerable experience and contributed to the record’s wide scope sound.

“It’s a really important chemistry you have to have with a producer,” Adamo says. “I met Stylaz and instantly we had this musical connection. And I wanted to latch onto that. And I also want to be inspired by them. He was on the same path as me: we had the same vibes and we liked the same music. It was a great start and we didn’t look back.

“And then we bought in Cam and he was much like the icing on top – our go-to guy – ‘Listen to this. Do you think that’s good? What do you think we should add to it?’ We formed this relationship via email, but Stylaz is very close to him … So yeah, I loved surrounding myself with a great bunch of people who I’m inspired by and have the same views as me. Because if you’re in the studio with someone who’s not on the same wavelength it’s not going to work, obviously.”

The more you talk to Adamo, the more you realise what a labour of love this LP was. The concept of creating a longplayer is on the industry back burner in 2013, record labels preferring to focus on singles and other shorter projects. But releasing an album was a childhood dream for Adamo.

“A lot of people just buy a single now on iTunes, and it’s so easy to access one song. And that’s why record companies are pushing for singles. I think for an artist it’s really important … It’s this idea of something that you want. I don’t know, but I really felt strongly about making an album and going through that process and pushing myself a little bit more than just putting five songs on a CD. I wanted to create a story and play with different sounds and bring it all together. And I think it was good for me to go through that process.”

Now the process is taking these sonically vertiginous songs into the live arena. Ask Adamo if she and her band are ready, and she laughs.

“Not ready just yet. Throughout that process I’ve been trying to deconstruct the songs and making them fit the stage and making them alive. It’s hard to take a song that you’ve recorded in the studio and put it onstage. You’ve got to pull it apart and find the bits that you like about it. That was the part for me. You can play around with it and if you get bored with it you can always re-jig it. It’s really fun and really interesting trying to learn them or trying to get the guys to learn them. You get to think about things and I’m hoping to have back-up singers, which will be really exciting. For me, personally, it’s going to be really exciting and it’s all new music for me.”

‘Nightswim’ is out now. Owl Eyes plays The Zoo Friday May 10.

Published in Pop/ Electro
Monday, 22 April 2013 22:54

His Merry Men: Bring The Funk

Live At Bond is bringing the funk this weekend with His Merry Men.

Born of funk and soul, nine-piece Brisbane outfit His Merry Men have been grooving their way around the east coast, making their name as one of the country’s premier funk acts. Bass player BJ Perry says that although they’ve toured extensively, averaging 50 shows a year, they have absolutely no desire to slow down just yet.

“I want more! The whole band wants more, we crave live performance.”

Formed in 2009, the band combines a classic sound with a slew of different genres including surf rock, electronica, hip hop and reggae. Their debut album, ‘King Of Loud’, earned them generous radio play, with single ‘Bobby Got’ making it to number one on the Triple J Unearthed chart. The band hopes the combination of this success and their busy gig schedule will help bring funk music back to Brisbane’s music scene.

“There really isn't a scene in Brisbane at the moment … a lot of people come to a funk gig and they’re like 'oh man this stuff is groovy' but they never hear it ‘cause it's not really on the popular media stream. We just want to try and put it out there and say 'funk's still alive guys, it's still grooving!'”

His Merry Men bring this energy in abundance to their live performances with suave outfits and dance party attitude to boot.

“Expect everything! Definitely expect a lot of dancing and a lot of energy. That's one thing that we bring to our live shows, and dance moves that everyone can join in on.”
Scheduled to play Live At Bond this Sunday, there’s talk of a planned special performance.

“It's really good to be involved in Live At Bond … they had The Bamboos play last month and they're putting us on this month, which just happens to coincide with Pop Culture Week which is pretty awesome. So we're hoping to kind of reinforce that theme in our show somehow; I can't let go of any secrets right now.”

Their performance also falls on the last night of the Gold Coast Film Festival, so expect a running theme throughout. “It's all kind of linked together and it's a very multi-purpose show.”

His Merry Men play Live At Bond Sunday April 28 (3.45pm). They also play the Caxton Street Seafood Festival Sunday May 5.
Published in Reggae/ Roots
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 05:33

The Poof Downstairs: Theatre In Preview

Describe your show in 5 words?
A play that never happens. 

What is it all about?
It's about me introducing a play that, as I said above, never actually happens. Or, rather, little bits of it happen during a protracted introductory speech which, it turns out, is the show. So it's a sort of replacement performance that the audience realises, in the end, is really the prepared performance. 

Being autobiographical — do you feel exposed and vulnerable on stage?
No more vulnerable than I feel doing any other piece of work. The point is that it's not really autobiographical. If anything, it's a spoof of a one-man autobiographical show. I think if you listen carefully to the things I'm saying a lot of them are quite unbelievable. 
Your favourite line and why?
I can't tell you my favourite line because it's a joke and I'd spoil it for you, so I'll have to think of another one. I'll give you half a line: "… which is why I've developed, certainly in a sexual context, anyway, a predilection for being sat upon.'"

Whatever happened to your other play 'The Penis'?
It remains eternally a work in progress, but if any curious audience members would like to see more of the penis I could show them afterwards.

What have been some reactions from the audience to this production?
Walk-outs, tomatoes, standing ovations, some very odd questions ("Was that your life?") and a marriage proposal which I'm still considering.
Any crazy/ weird/ funny behind-the-scenes stories?
I was performing the show in Wales when an over-enthusiastic audience member ran onto the stage to join me for the curtain call. He jokingly grabbed one of the wigs I use, put it on, took his bow and then ran off, with my wig. I never saw it again. 

Why should people get off their couch to come see this?
Because it's more fun and more demanding than television. Also, I'll have travelled quite a long way — via Korea, if I survive it — so I think it would be nice to have an audience.
Anything else readers should know? I'm writing a novel called ‘Human Waste’ about a man who discovers an enormous human poo on his drive. Not sure if I'll turn it into a piece of theatre.

See Jon Haynes in his play 'The Poof Downstairs' from April 24-27 at the Brisbane Powerhouse.
Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 05:12

Blatwax: Sick Beats

Brisbane multi-instrumentalist and producer Blatwax won’t let something as minor as a broken computer stop him from bringing the goods.

Having spent his youth submerged in psychedelic blues and progressive metal, 23 year old Blatwax aka Blake Chandler says he found his calling when he accidentally discovered the electronic dance music scene.
“When I was about 15 I was obsessed with grunge music and I played lots of guitar and basically sat around in my room for years recording crap on Garage Band. I hated electronic music and then one day a friend dragged me to a rave and I was swept off my feet and ended up diving headfirst into it.”

With an upcoming show at the Hi-Fi supporting successful electronic artists Opiuo and Spoonbill, Blake is excited to be on the same bill and optimistic that technical difficulties won't get in the way of a good time.

“I've played with Spoonbill and Opiuo before at Rainbow Serpent Festival, that was really cool because it was a much bigger crowd than what I'm used to. I've seen Opiuo at the Hi-Fi a few times and his shows always sell out. Unfortunately I won't be able to bring my regular live rig to this one because my computer has died ... For now I'm going to have to revert to typical old school DJ tactics. I'm very out of practice but it will be good fun and an interesting slant on the live show.”

With the surge in popularity of electronic music in America, Blake says the Australian scene is headed in a positive direction.

“In Australia, a lot of the EDM scene focuses around the psychedelic experience, at least in the underground anyway. More recently it's changing because of artists like Madeon and Skrillex and it's become a lot more mainstream which isn't a bad thing at all. It's made people tighten their belts and become better producers. In Australia Opiuo and Mr Bill and a lot of glitch artists are in this odd middle ground between rave culture and a mainstream slick sound, so I'm really happy with how things have turned out.”

Blatwax supports Opiuo and Spoonbill at the Hi-Fi Saturday May 4.

Published in Electronic
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