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Tuesday, 27 March 2012 14:07

Video: 360's Child

360 has had a child... well sorta.

The Melbourne emcee hasn’t been able to shake the mainstream media attention since his pseudo-beef with Short Stack exploded late last year.

Burning up the airwaves with his album, ‘Falling & Flying’, 360 has released the latest video clip from his debut effort.

‘Child’ was filmed at a skatebowl in Bondi.
Friday, 23 March 2012 11:00

The Herd: Better Alive

With another tour about to be unleashed on the Australian mainland by The Herd, the Sydney collective are celebrating the impending elefant stampede by dropping a new EP, ‘Better Alive’.

The title track, which features Thundamentals and Sky'High (who will both accompany their Elefant label mates on tour) is now available as a FREE download.

The EP includes several unreleased and exclusive tracks taken from the Future Shade sessions as well as a bottom heavy remix of ’A Thousand Lives’ by Darwin electronic duo Sietta.

The Thousand Lives Tour lands at The Zoo April 27 and the Great Northern (Byron) April 28.
Thursday, 22 March 2012 16:31

Joakim's Labyrinth

Dubbed the Godfather of French electro by I-D magazine and considered by many to be royalty of the French electronic music scene, Joakim's diverse and trendsetting musical tastes have earned him a pretty damn big global rep.

On the 'Labyrinth' EP you can catch Joakim’s darker DJ friends' extended mixes: a lush analog slow burner from Canadian duo and Domino Records regulars the Junior Boys, an even slower – borderline chopped and screwed – melodic mix from UK producer Lone and a dirty arpeggiated beast from Deadstock 33s and Stopmakingme.

Click for the Soundcloud link.
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:20

Top Five: The Getaway Plan


1. John Bonham - Led Zeppelin. I grew up listening to bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, Deep Purple and the Rolling Stones as my Dad was always playing their records. I don't know why, but Led Zeppelin stood out to me the most and I immediately had a fascination with the drums and started looking up to John. The way he played, his huge drums and signature beats, I just loved them.

2. Travis Barker - Blink 182/ Transplants. When I began high school I was heavily into punk rock. NOFX, Propagandhi, No Use For A Name and of course Blink 182. What can I say, Travis transformed all their earlier stuff into his own, technical signature beats and just put a new dynamic into the band.

3. Jose Pasias - Incubus. I began my fascination with this band when 'S.C.I.E.N.C.E' was released and that grew greater along the years. To this day, they're still one of my favourite bands and Jose is def one of my idols.

4. Derek Grant - Alkaline Trio. My first tattoo was the Alkaline heart and skull head and they are still my favourite band. Derek immediately stood out to me with his unique low sitting style with flat tom set-up; he's still a big influence on me today.

5. Atom Willard - The Offspring/ Angels&Airwaves/ Social Distortion. I don't know why but Atom always stood out to me. He has a quirky sense of humour and really seems to lose himself in the moment. He's super hard hitting, but also awesome to watch and super creative with whatever group he's playing for.

The Getaway Plan play Fitzys Loganholme Friday March 30.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:16

Top Five: Butterz'N'Ra


1. Koan Sound - "Meanwhile In The Future". Recent I know, but in my opinion this is hands down some of the most awesome sounding bass I've ever heard. Straight-up, screwface looseness. Big ups to the Koan Sound!

2. Tipper - "Ton Of Bricks". If we're going to talk bass, we can't go past Tipper. Always staying a few steps ahead of the rest, pretty much any track from Tipper is guaranteed low end theory. This being just one massive piece of work by the legend himself!

3. Roots Manuva - "Witness The Fitness". Simple, but catchy as f*$# and has a great rhythm. Never fails to be a hit on the dancefloor. The dub version is doing it for me at the moment. Witness the bass!

4. Stone Roses - "Fools Gold". The classic tune that's been a favourite of ours from the early days. Don't hear too much of these guys these days, but still definitely makes the cut for a wicked bassline.

5. Plump DJs - "System Addict". What can we say, we're suckers for any Plumpy goodness, but this tune is mega bass. Tearing analogue bassline, together with a huge plump beat, yes please!

Butterz'N'Ra perform at White Rabbit, at Woodland, Easter Sunday April 8.

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 15:16

Def Wish Cast: Top Five KRS-One Tracks

1. ‘South Bronx’. This has to be the most classic KRS track ever. While MC Shan was trying to tell people about Queensbridge, KRS repped his hometown borough of The Bronx to the max. He let everyone know that it was The Bronx who originated hip hop culture. This will always be remembered as the ultimate battle record. A true defining moment in hip hop history!

2. ‘My Philosophy’. Wow... this track blew us away when it dropped. It was the first track on Boogie Down Production’s second album, ‘By All Means Necessary’, and set the record straight from the start. You knew you were in for a dope album. Can’t forget the incredible cover of this album as well. This track propelled KRS to be seen as more than an MC. He was now ‘The Teacha’ to many of us hip hop lovers at the time.

3. ‘Still #1’. Boogie Down Productions dropped this gem on ‘By All Means Necessary’ as well in 1988. It was a prime example of KRS proving himself as the best MC, not by dissing others with nasty punchlines, but by using his intelligence to outwit any contenders. Plus, it samples the legendary track by All The People, ‘Cramp Your Style’. How can ya go wrong?

4. ‘Sound Of Da Police’. In 1993, KRS went solo and dropped a legendary album called ‘Return Of The Boom Bap’. This was the second single off that album, produced by DITC mastermind, Showbiz. It was one of those incredibly powerful tracks, which stood up against the oppression, racism and fear tactics used by the police against the people they were meant to be protecting — “Are you really for peace and equality?”

5. ‘Mad Izm’ with Channel Live. This is a classic track, which showcased the lyrical skills of Channel Live, a group discovered by KRS-One. It was, and is, the ultimate smoker’s song. We highly recommend putting this one on nice and loud in a smoke filled room.

Def Wish Cast support KRS-One at the Arena Friday March 9.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 14:05

Watussi: Top Five Cloud Formations

1. Cumulonimbus. Surely the almighty Zeus of all clouds: responsible for thunderstorms and flash floods, the Cumulonimbus is a malevolent, but majestic tower of icy condensation, with the kind of dark, brooding underside that makes you hear: “Kill da waaaabit, kill da waaaabit!" in an operatic refrain wherever you might be.

2. Cirrus Fibratus. Of the Cirrus family, the Fibratus captures all the elegance and drama of your standard Cirrocumulus formations, but without those pesky clumps! Some may remember Cirrus as the budget broomstick model from the fictional quidditch game of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Many cloud enthusiasts take mild offense to this, as clouds from the Cirrus family are amongst the most intriguing and complex, only forming at between 5,000 and 12,000 metres in temperate regions.

3. Stratocumulus. What can you really say about Stratocumulus that hasn't already been said? They are the blanket cloud, the fluffy, reassuring doona to the mattress that is our troposphere.

4. Altostratus. If Nick Drake were a cloud, he would almost certainly be Altostratus, probably undulatus in arrangement. Emotional and evocative, the Altostratus can bring light rain while still letting sun through it's ambiguous wisps, resulting in that most delicate of natural metaphors, the sunshower.

5. Nacreous. Nacreous are a rare, unusual breed. They are found only in polar regions, spying on snow foxes and narwhals from heights of 15,000 to 25,000 metres. Moisture is very scarce at such heights, and the physicality of these clouds is approaching astral. One might think of them as the titans to Olympus' gods, the Kronos to Cumulonimbus' Zeus: powerless and redundant in one sense, but wise and all-seeing like a quiet arctic ghost. Deep...

Watussi play the Beetle Bar Friday February 24.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:59

Blunt Instrument: Pocket Beats

One-half of local beat merchants Blunt Instrument, Luke Latimer gives us an inside look at the making of the duo’s latest EP.

Our new EP is called 'The Pocket', and is basically our take on what can be very loosely called bass music. It's the culmination of what has been a huge year of learning, trial and error and developing our production techniques to a point where we are (for probably about month anyway) happy with our sound.

We are both huge fans of instrumental hip hop, so we really wanted to try and bring elements of those production techniques into this EP: sampling old loops, vocals, doing cuts and reinterpreting old funk grooves are all major elements of the EP. The challenge was getting these old 'warm' (ie. crusty) sounds and getting them to gel with modern synthesized sounds and production techniques. 

The overall concept of the album was based on a term used by funk drummers — when they played a great groove it was called 'being in the pocket' (yes this is a direct Wikipedia rip). We really worked hard on trying to create interesting grooves on the EP to make it less like a lot of very rigidly structured dance music that you hear nowadays.

In the short term we are doing a few shows in the next few months that are going to be heaps of fun — supporting Opiuo at the Hi-Fi and a bit later on doing a festival in NZ. We also have a few new releases planned and some remix work including a tune for Lotek (Ninja Tune).

Blunt Instrument play the official Earth Frequency after-party at Barsoma Friday February 24.

Wednesday, 08 February 2012 12:14

Top Five: Men

JD Samson

I love men. I don’t know why people assume that feminists don’t love men. It’s just that we want to be equal to men. You know, get paid the same and everything. 

1. I heart Dan Savage. Not only is he hilarious, but he is so incredibly smart that I could potentially listen to him speak forever. Laugh/ cry /laugh/ cry.

2. Stevie Wonder. Stevie is a feeler. And that is inspiring to me. He marches to the beat of his own metronome. He has a dream. He has a plan, artistically, and his work feels so perfectly tangible to me. 

3. Jim Drain. Jim is an incredible artist living in Miami, Florida. Not only did I go to high school with Jim, but he is a wonderful person with wonderful feelings inside of him. He also makes the most incredible visual art that I am constantly wowed by everything he touches. 

4. Das Racist (a few good men) have made me have hope for the music industry. They did what they wanted. They did something with content, texture, pop structure. They did it all on one record and they did it because they knew that if they followed their heart/ brain connection that everything was going to work out for them. I believe in them as artists. 

5. Fred Armisen. Good guy. Great heart. Great comedy. Great charades player. Feminist.

JD Samson’s MEN play the World Theatre Festival at the Brisbane Powerhouse February 24.
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 11:13

St Jerome's Laneway Review

It was a remarkable effort by the organisers to get the entire festival under cover – however, as to be expected, there were a few ‘hiccups’ along the way.

Click here for photos.

One very big one was having headliners M83 hit the stage 50 minutes late to play a shortened set thanks to ‘technical difficulties’ and a noise curfew. But to their credit, when the band did finally emerge apologetically, they put on a crisp, high-energy performance that proved worth the wait. If playing breakout hit ‘Midnight City’ early on in the set was a peace offering, it was lapped up fully by the crowd who had all (fairly) patiently waited around.

Earlier in the day, things also didn’t start too well with sound problems inflicting Yuck’s performance at the EYOE & Young Turks stage. While the band aim for a washed-out vibe, unfortunately the UK band’s sound was just too muddy to fully enjoy their ‘90s revivalist indie rock offerings. Tracks like ‘Get Away’ which should have rang out clean instead sounded like it was coming from the house next door. However, they did enough to warrant seeing them at their own show.

The surprise packet for the day, Canadian band Austra, showed you can mix serious music with fun. Dressed in costumes that evoked Aladdin and his lamp, the genie up their sleeve was the remarkable voice of frontwoman Katie Stelmanis. Like many bands of their ilk, they owe a debt of gratitude to Kate Bush, but have managed to carve out their own style of dark electro pop.

One of the heavier acts on the bill, Brisbane duo DZ Deathrays had a simple mission – to play their tracks loud and fast. Their ‘thrash pop’ live assault was a distinct counterpoint to the sunshine-soaked pop sounds of many of the other acts on the day.

Who would have thought to blend together choral-trained vocals, harp accompaniment and a laptop? With Active Child, the mix works remarkably well. While a more intimate setting might suit their atmospheric music better, there were no complaints from the crowd when single ‘Hanging On’ was played.

While his debut album ‘Forget’ was a study in subtle changes and shadings of light and dark, at Laneway Florida-based George Lewis Jnr and his band were happy to play rock starts. Unfortunately he was scheduled against Feist, meaning a lot of people missed out on what was a hands down highlight of the festival. Announcing the imminent arrival of a new record by playing a few new tracks, it was the older songs that shone, and ‘Castles In The Snow’ was nothing short of epic.
Colleen Edwards

In the weeks leading to St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, promoters pledged more undercover areas and shade to combat the ‘Brisvegas heat’ that plagued last year’s event. But as the poncho procession made their way down Alexandra St last Saturday, it was clear that scorching summer heat would be the least of everyone’s problems.

Click here for photos.

One of few Australian acts to take to The Windish Agency Stage, or any stage for that matter, were Perth darlings The Panics. Opening with ‘One Way Street’, frontman Jae Laffer proudly announced: “This is my first time playing electric guitar on stage”. It would seem Laffer was determined to make up for lost time; playing the Gretsch electric exclusively until retiring to the keys for ‘Don’t Fight It’.

England’s Laura Marling treated loyal fans, and a number of wet weather stragglers, to a regretfully short, but unmistakably sweet eight-song set. ‘Ghosts’ was always going to be a crowd favourite, but ‘Sophia’ and ‘Rambling Man’ also stood up in a live setting.

Leslie Feist took it upon herself to educate her audience (repeatedly) as to what year it was: “It’s 2012. Check your calendars!” Why, thank you Feist. Maybe all the audio feedback finally got to her head… New album ‘Metals’ was well represented throughout the set, with highlights including ‘How Come You Never Go There’, ‘The Bad In Each Other’ and ‘Comfort Me’. The set closed with a rock-ready, and mildly disturbing, rendition of ‘I Feel It All’, which included a gospel-style rant, laced with arbitrary expletives.

From Feist to The Horrors, ‘sound issues’ continued well into the night, but perhaps the hardest hit was M-L8-3 (sorry, M83). Yes, there were ridiculous delays (50 minutes, to be exact). Yes, the set was cut short. But all things considered, Anthony Gonzalez and co. put on one hell of a show.
Jodie Grinsted

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