Album of the Week
November 20, 2017
Sydney trio Sex Tourists have released their eagerly awaited self-titled debut album. In the follow up to a cassette EP back in 2015, members Darius, Ewan and Nicola have given us a tasty handful of full-throttle drum machines, vaporous bass and lo-fi drawls in ten immaculate tunes. This is yet another band off the roster of wonderful local label Paradise Daily, who have an almost prophetic ear for eclectic forward-thinking DIY music. Dark, groovy and otherworldly, Sex Tourists is a record spawned out of witching hour synth jams, finding its feet on a technicolour dancefloor.
Sampa The Great
Birds and the BEE9
November 13, 2017
2017 has been a huge year for MC and poet Sampa The Great. The year has seen her release an EP with Estelle and tour the UK with none other than Joey Bada$$. Her brand new mixtape Birds and the BEE9 is the icing on the cake. The Zambian-born, Sydney-based artist set her seat at the table of Australian hip hop with The Great Mixtape in 2015 and has since collaborated with Urthboy, Ecca Vandal and Jonti in their recent work, as well as Melbourne’s Remi who lends a hand on Birds and the BEE9. Over arresting vocal harmonies of gospel and neo-soul, heady hip hop bars and lush R&B piano Sampa extends herself as a storyteller. Her empathetic and forward-looking lyricism is often felt in the collective first-person, speaking from personal experience and pain within larger political and cultural contexts that ascribe certain meanings to race, gender, migration and spirituality. Birds and the BEE9 is a ritual of healing that sees Sampa The Great peel back the layers of the Afrodiaspora, and drink from the nectars of justice and karma – all with the purposefulness of a Black Girl Magic that radiates throughout all her work.
November 6, 2017
High-voltage and playful, Superlative Fatigue is the new album from acclaimed DJ and producer Errorsmith and his first in over 13 years. The album offers an experimental convergence of dancehall, UK funky, techno and glitch all finely-tuned by a producer who has clearly mastered his craft. The sounds and textures employed by Errorsmith on Superlative Fatigue are immaculate and crisp. It’s a sparse and at times challenging listen, but it’s been served up with a generous helping of humour as seen in track titles like “I’m Interesting, Cheerful & Sociable,” and the album’s tongue in cheek closer “My Party”. Errorsmith is a veteran of the club music scene, and his seriously long-awaited record is the perfect synthesis of raw innovation and avant-garde sound collage. He’s created his own musical oasis and we’re all welcome.
October 30, 2017
Melbourne’s Ecca Vandal has delivered her highly anticipated self-titled debut album, proving that she is the Aussie cyberpunk queen we never knew we needed. Ecca Vandal is a vibrant, dazzling collection of new tunes, making it clear that she won’t be boxed into a certain sound. It’s an album that packs a punch with blistering nu-metal riffs and splashing cymbals amongst shiny club synths and tight hip-hop beats. But the real beauty here is her ability to seamlessly fuse these multiple genres into a dynamic and cohesive body of work. Joining her are contributions from local legends Sampa The Great and Moonbase, as well her personal hero Dennis Lyxen from punk band Refused along with Letlive’s powerhouse vocalist Jason Aalon Butler. Unafraid to stray from the beaten path and stomp out new territories, Ecca Vandal is a rebel to keep your eye on.
October 23, 2017
Kllo, the electronic pop project of Melbourne cousins Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam have released their eagerly anticipated debut album Backwater. The album serves as the follow up to their glossy EP Well Worn which landed them on festival stages around the world. It was during this extensive world tour that Kllo waded through the figurative backwater of the unknown to create the foundations of their debut album. As a result, their full-length debut depicts inner adjustment to outer change and is as lush and bittersweet as we have ever heard from the Melbourne duo. Resting somewhere between UK garage, R&B and dewy electronic pop, Lam’s production pairs dusky synths with glitchy propulsive percussion, while Kaul’s voice is mesmerising and aching for answers amongst the sediment. Giving us space to think and breathe, Backwater is a coming-of-age album for the quietly hopeful and resolute.
October 16, 2017
Archy Marshall has released his second album under the enigmatic moniker of King Krule, a smoky and stunning work titled The OOZ. Following the 2013 debut King Krule album, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon and 2015’s A New Place To Drown, released as Archy Marshall, the Londoner is still dazed and confused but with a more focused sense of maturity and redemption. Picking at the scabs of sunken emotions, the album’s title refers to the fluids and grit that exude from the human body, a literal oozing out of the most undesirable and abject parts of our internal worlds – both literally and metaphorically. For Marshall this means the regurgitation of grimy, sleepless soundscapes and the woozy rituals of romance, disaffection, and paranoia. As we have seen over the years, the ingenuity of his writing is reflected in his production and intuition for transcending genres. Casting his unmistakable brooding voice over elements of post-punk, bossa nova, hip hop and future-jazz, The OOZ is a deep-dive into the cracks and crags of bleak cityscapes, railway poetics and writer’s block. This one is sure to be classic.
Take Me Apart
October 9, 2017
Try to catch your breath during Kelela’s stellar debut album, Take Me Apart. The culmination of six years of writing, the album follows the release of Kelela’s shadowy 2013 mixtape Cut 4 Me, and more recently, her 2015 EP Hallucinogen, which saw her pairing sumptuous R&B vocals with harsh, avant-garde electronica to create a sound that was uniquely hers. With writing and production help from peers such as Arca, Jam City, Bok Bok and the xx’s Romy Madley Croft, Take Me Apart is a highly perceptive manifestation of Kelela’s cultural and sonic inspirations. The second generation Ethiopian-American finds a pulse in R’n’B sex jams and brooding grime, jazz and West Ethiopian percussion – the kinds of freedoms that let her slip into the bloodstreams of Black womanhood, desire, and sexuality. As confident as ever, her voice drips, cuts, and unfurls, exalting in the boldness and mutability of her lyrics that span the beginnings, ends, and in-betweens of relationships. Take Me Apart is a dazzling, tempest of an album, with the kind of creative vision reminiscent of Afrofuturism, and the patient vulnerability of an artist that knows what she wants.
October 3, 2017
Three Futures is the third album from Torres, the alter-ego of Brooklyn-based Mackenzie Scott. In the follow-up to her 2015 release Sprinter, Torres delivers a heavily sensual album that distorts the traditional lens through which sexuality is typically seen in rock music. After the ravages of touring took a toll on her health, Torres started taking closer care of her physical and mental well-being, and it was this powerful change in the way she treats her body that influenced the hypnotic sound and tangibility of Three Futures. With a blooming kinetic energy in pursuit of self-love, Three Futures celebrates feminine indulgence and desire. Torres reimagines her body politics, taking up all the space she can and sees her at her most mature and confident, cryptic, and insightful. Like a David Lynch plot twist, something new will reveal itself in strange ways each time you listen.
Standing At The Edge Of The World
September 25, 2017
Sydney’s own Death Bells ruminate on hard feelings with their impressive debut album, Standing At The Edge of the World. Following the release of their self-titled EP early last year, the five-piece return with a bedroom pop and post-punk stew of effervescence and strength in defiance of loss, inertia and addiction. Delivering a brash and brazen wall of sound that is awash with radiant dancefloor beats, Standing At The Edge of the World is a hallmark of excellent local, DIY production.
September 18, 2017
Some five years in the making, Montreal-based producer Lunice has released his highly anticipated debut album, CCCLX (360). Off the back of an indefinite hiatus with his and labelmate Hudson Mohawke’s project, TNGHT, Lunice shows his flair for being an impressive collaborator, bringing artists such as Le1f, SOPHIE and Denzel Curry onto the record. Inspired no less by Puccini’s famous opera Madame Butterfly, his b-boy roots, and a keen interest in film, CCCLX is a neo-noir tinted record that experiments with tempo and space, boasting free-limbed and cinematic bass, trap and bubble-gum rap.