Saturday, 28 September 2013

Say Lou Lou cover Tame Impala's "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards"

Say Lou Lou aka twins Elektra and Miranda Kilby have handled the super popular “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” with much respect.

Their cover focuses more on the track’s clever lyrics and atmospheric sound than the psychedelic back work. A good decision on their part as it suits the moody slow burn of the duo.

For starters, they kick off with the verse (rather than chorus as in the original) and a slower tempo which allows for more audible layering. Despite the slow, whispery delivery their cover is by no means quiet. “It’s like there are several different worlds inside one song,” they wrote of the original.

They’ve got the changing dynamics covered. And what Say Lou Lou has added are these light feminine vocals in the back (no drama in recording overlay when you’re twins), which bring lyrics to the fore.

Here’s what they had to say on their cover (via soundcloud):
We’ve always loved Tame impala, not only because they’re a fantastic Australian band, but because it also hints at music we listened to growing up. There is something sweetly familiar and nostalgic about the music, yet still fresh and innovative.

Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ is really enthralling, it’s like there are several different worlds inside one song. How it feels like a simple rock song (with almost pop melodies) but with a field of colour bursts of warm layered instrumentation that re-invents itself throughout the whole song… but it wasn’t until we started making our own version that we discovered how beautiful the lyrics are – another world in itself – so we decided to strip the groove back and take it into another place.”

Published on Purple Sneakers.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Father John Misty - "I'm writing a novel"

In exactly what you’d imagine as “life on the road” for a Californian
musician, Father John Misty (a.k.a. Josh Tillman, former drummer of Fleet Foxes) brings us kids with hula-hoops, dressing room shenanigans and plenty of sitting and waiting in lanes with a cigarette in his new music video for “I’m Writing A Novel.”

The single comes off his 2012 release Fear Fun and channels Beat Generation antics with Tillman on road-trips, wandering the beach alone, and occasional self-narration: “this is where I fell over the other night.” The cuts between live shows and kaleidoscopic lights to amateur-shot scenes with friends produce the sense of an old Super 8 film.

“I’m Writing A Novel” is one of the more country-sounding songs off the album (rather than crooning Fleet Foxesfolk). Tillman generally looks like a fun guy to hang out with, serious at gigs but goofy at any other time – never mind that eccentric dancing where he seems like almost like a friendlier Jim Morrison.

Published on Purple Sneakers.

Album review - Damn Terran

Damn Terran (2013)               1/2 

Australian music seems to be going two ways these days – at the same time as an explosion of electronic producers, we’ve got these old-school garage bands with plenty of attitude and high energy music. Damn Terran is one such post-punk arrangement – especially known for their loud live shows.

The Melbourne group is fresh from performances at the annual Bigsound conference in Brisbane and has also just released their self-titled debut LP. You may have heard their single “Lost” from triple j Unearthed.

Damn Terran kicks off in full force – the track names and cover conjure up dark metal niches but this band has a good sense of rhythm. The twin vocals from Lachlan Ewbank (also guitarist) and Ali Edmonds (also on bass) create jarring male-female harmony. Ali E almost channels Blondie in the fierce vocals (or even the more contemporary Lindsey from Deap Vally).

It’s not all singing though – with shouting, chanting, and heavy drumming – we can only imagine the amount of sweat produced in the recording process. Damn Terran take the time to indulge in instrumental breaks rich in guitar, thumping bass and strong drumming (that’s Leigh Ewbank), which drives most of the tracks.

As the album progresses, it begins to sound more punk. The guitar is harder and subject matter veers towards drugs, drinks and relationships. In fact, some of their lyrics are almost soundtrack-worthy: “You are in a dark place/You are losing what is left of your mind/and I know that you’re leaving alone tonight.”

It’s not going to be for everyone but fans of Dune Rats, Violent Soho and DZ Deathrays will dig the upbeat messy aesthetics and “fuck it” lyrics.

Simon’s Song
A Killer
Wrong Things
Burlesque Dancer
So Ordinary
Uncanny Valley
In Your Dreams 

Published on AdamNOTEve.

Disclosure "You & Me" (Pat Lok remix)

We’ve seen some great producers coming out of Canada over the past year or so, including Ryan Hemsworth and Kaytranada. Pat Lok is another quiet achiever from the land of maple syrup and mooses.

Lok has previously worked on remixes for AlunaGeorge and CashmereCat and this one for Disclosure’s ‘You & Me’ smooths out the original with disco undertones and a house clap beat. He has chopped up the lyrics to mark the rhythm so the remix just misses the climax of the original “so please don’t let me.”

Nevertheless, it’s made for dancing – and is something completely different from the theatrics of the earlier Flume remix. The work is understated, playing on the subtleties of the funky interludes that Lok adds in while extending the song to an indulgent six minutes (in a good way).

Here’s what he had to say about his remix:

“So I’ve had these vocals stuck in my head since hearing Baauer play his version at Sasquatch (it was massive). Unfortunately trap doesn’t get into my DJ sets unless I’m really out of my tree, so I took a shot at doing a version for all the house/disco/techno jockeys.”

Most of Pat Lok‘s remixes are up for free download, check out his Soundcloud.

Published on Purple Sneakers.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Thief - "Broken Boy"

We are always on the look out for summer anthems and this one seems to be a prime candidate. “Broken Boy” transforms heartbreak and uncertainty into falsetto and handclaps, with enough of that dreamy Sydney sound to keep it light-hearted and danceable.

Thief (who you may previously know as songwriter PJ Wolf) has taken on more electronic in this project. With an indie twist, it’s not quite music for the club, but something in between.

“Broken Boy” has a synth interlude that harks back to 80s pop – never mind those lyrics (“she looked for me on the radio”). But the song also takes on the more minimalist structure of early techno with a modern, polished finish.

Published on AdamNOTEve.

Movement - "Us"

Movement have definitely kept to their initial brief of “night music.” The Sydney-based trio has performed small launch shows to festival performances and I can’t wait to see what else they will bring to 2013.    

Their latest track ‘Us’ is just as understated as its name, playing on the subtleties of R&B while creating an indulgent sound that ends up feeling a lot longer than a 3-minute single (in a good way).

Led by the soulful vocals of Lewis Wade, ‘Us’ is not as upbeat as Movement’s first single ‘Feel Real’ but instead fragile, with Wade’s voice almost delving into falsetto: “we could dance in the echoes.”

Photo: Facebook

Monday, 16 September 2013

Film Review - "Paris/Berlin: 20 Years of Underground Techno" by Amélie Ravalec

Paris/Berlin: 20 Years of Underground Techno (2012)              ★  

While electronic music is doing supremely well in Australia at the moment, we can’t say that it’s always been this way. We can only dream of regularly having warehouse parties and living up to techno hotspots Paris and Berlin. With links to the underground and drug scene, it’s no surprise that the mysterious depths of techno music have plenty of back stories. And Amelie Ravalec, 20 year-old Parisian filmmaker, has spent the past three years on research and production for her documentary film Paris/Berlin: 20 Years Of Underground Techno.

The film screened internationally in 2012 and it has returned to screen at the Sydney Fringe Festival after earlier success in Perth and Melbourne. At Leichardt’s Italian Forum the robotic sounds echoed around the room and as the opening interview of the film denotes: “It’s meant to be loud.”

Ravalec comes from a city where 16-year-olds have years of rave experience at and foten go to school straight from the party. Although born decades after the birth of techno, she said during post-screening Q&A: “It’s not my story but I managed to tell it.”

Most exposure in Austraila to the beginnings of techno stem from German artists such as Kraftwerk and Ancient Methods (both of whom have played in Australia this year). The documentary aims to not only explore the nuances of their music but also the historical background. In a series of thorough interviews with DJs and producers who were part of the original scene – we learn that the inhuman, apocalyptic sounds of the EBM scene pay homage to the mood of frustration after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. All of which originated in chaotic Detroit.

With a tradition of social experiment and creativity, it’s hard not to admire how much the original characters were breaking down barriers. Once the Berlin techno scene gained momentum, French artists quickly took interest but did not anticipate having to challenge the original image of the techno scene as a place for homosexuals and junkies. Interestingly, the comparison between the two cosmopolitan cities shows up Paris as a lot more institutional – and the nightlife, more exclusive.

Ravalec has dug up a lot of archive footage (no small feat considering a good chunk of it is analogue), which put us in place of the ravers and anonymous techno creators.
Not only do we plunge back into the EBM underworld but the film also explores the consequences of the Internet for the scene. Where techno began as a faceless expression- where the ideal setup was dark, loud and anonymous – international acts are putting more and more effort into creating an image à la rock ‘n’ roll star.

Ironically, with the rise of mass electronic events the techno scene is heading back underground and the sound alternatively venturing into dark dubstep. And the message remains poignant. The crux of the film celebrates self-expression and creativity during a period where individuals felt like they almost had no control over their surroundings.

Ravalec is now working on a film on industrial music, “Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay.”

Published on theAUreview.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Alison Wonderland (live) at Oxford Art Factory

Photo: Antigone Anagnostellis

High expectations come with buying a ticket to a live DJ set. Unlike a live band, they can’t often interrupt the music to speak to the crowd or ask for an encore. But that’s how Alison Wonderland has gathered a band of followers - with a live show that interweaves top songs of the moment and those you used to love - that makes for a memorable night out.

First support act Willow Beats - the eccentrics of the indie dance scene at the moment - had a chilled set but Oxford Art enjoyed their unique groove.
Next LDRU held his DJ post almost anonymously at the back of the room to keep everyone dancing while holding out for Wonderland. He played many a track from young Sydney producers, as he his also one himself, including Wave Racer and What So Not.

But surely what everyone loves about Alison Wonderland is the sense of nostalgia from hearing old hip-hop tracks like Ludacris’ “Move Bitch” among Kendrick Lamar and the latest dance-floor favourites. She kicked off her set with Disclosure’s “When A Fire Starts To Burn” which set the high-tempo mood for the rest of the night.

Never mind the trippy visuals to match – with two cubes suspended in the air featuring matching graphics alongside a Saturday night lights production. As if that weren’t enough to pump up the crowd, she sent out a huge confetti explosion.

When people choose to watch a DJ set rather than come across it sporadically – it seems like they expect to recognise most of the music. Alison keeps the tracks on for long enough for us to sing along in chorus before moving onto the next track to cure our music ADHD.

Although it was similar to her recent set at Splendour In The Grass, Alison played for slightly longer and it works well in a smaller space. Certainly the lights and lit-up AWD sign amped up her profile and when she bops up and down singing along to the tunes –sometimes with vodka bottle in hand- it’s hard not to catch onto her infectious party vibes.

Published on theAUreview.