Album of the Week
JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown
SCARING THE HOES
March 24, 2023
On SCARING THE HOES, the new collaborative album between JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown, two decades of experimental hip hop collide. JPEGMAFIA brings his usual rapid-fire attacks on industry posers and twitter-finger critics, alongside his signature, hyper-detailed production style, bringing us into a kaleidoscopic digital world. Bass boosted drums punch through the chipmunked pop and soul samples, with the fourteen tracks constantly keeping you on your toes with its unpredictable, bombastic production. On SCARING THE HOES, JPEGMAFIA teams up with one of underground hip hop’s legends, Danny Brown. Known for his distinctive voice and memorable punchline lyrics, Danny Brown’s candy flipped delivery synergises with JPEGMAFIA’s own commandeering flow. SCARING THE HOES has an infectious energy and sense of fun, never taking itself too seriously. Yet its ever-shapeshifting and frenetic nature is testament to the craftsmanship of both artists; a reminder of why JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown have been, and still are, two of modern hip hop’s most cutting-edge artists.
March 17, 2023
Goodnight Neanderthal is the lo-fi, high-spirited record from beloved Sydney outfit GEE TEE. Fronted by the balaclava-clad Kel Mason, the punk band have amassed a local and global cult following for their raucous live shows, videos and out-of-print records. Released by iconic Sydney/LA punk label Urge Records, Goodnight Neanderthal features Ishka Edmeades (Tee Vee Repairman) and Ryan Ellem (Draggs) alongside Mason, and together they thrash across 10 cheeky and unruly tracks. Within the record’s speedy 18 minute duration, the band execute their scuzzy vision of catchy hooks, cheap synths, and grimey guitars, resulting in a record that is bursting at the seams with energy.
March 10, 2023
Witness K’s pensive self-titled debut is a masterclass in avant-garde yet restrained no wave, ambient and post-punk. The sonic intricacies of the record are explored through field recordings, Maeve Parker’s poetry and a complex array of instrumentation. Weaving in tense flute melodies, nebulous electronics and even a saxophone feature from Marcus Whale, the record is teeming with esoteric compositions and ruminative, soft-spoken vocal performances. Featuring some of Sydney DIY’s finest, Witness K’s record is subtle, precise yet brooding with atmosphere.
Bract X BAYANG (tha Bushranger)
March 3, 2023
The streets of Sydney are alive on REDBRICKGOTHIK, a collaborative album between Sydney DIY industrial/noise trio Bract, and MC Bayang tha Bushranger. A product of three years of experimentation between the two artists, REDBRICKGOTHIK is a brutal assault of sonic energy. Waves of whirring distortion and rattling percussion from Bract weld with sharp, angular bars from Bayang, a staunch declaration of working class rage. The record summons the sounds of the built city environment- the sweat, grime and violence of those forgotten and kicked to the curb in its creation. In BAYANG’s own words – “it is an earnest dedication to the resistant Sydneysiders who grew up freely remixing punk, hip-hop, noise, gabber and delinquency. It is the logical end of anyone whose spirit survived the redhot Sydney melting pot”. It’s a collaboration that represents the breadth of the sound of Sydney; not only its incredible music diversity, but the range of hidden experiences and revolts against the ever deepening urban sprawl.
Girl In The Half Pearl
February 24, 2023
Girl In The Half Pearl is the immersive new album from Texan artist Liv.e. Spanning 17 tracks – and about as many different soundscapes – Liv.e takes the plunge into a brilliantly produced sonic world that is expansive, ambitious and unrelenting. A rich and varied odyssey of sound, Girl In The Half Pearl warmly ushers us through psychedelic RnB slow jams at one moment, and propels us towards distorted, discordant melodies or frenzied breaks the next. Liv.e’s newfound, untethered musical exploration takes centre stage throughout the album, an approach which reflects the album’s origins and inner world; a process of growth, and of reclaiming womanhood.
Spiritual Healers, Defence Lawyers
February 20, 2023
On their debut LP, Spiritual Healers, Defense Lawyers, Eternal Dust take us for a trip to the murky worlds that lie beneath the Emerald City’s glossy surface. A loved fixture in the Sydney DIY scene, Eternal Dust have carved out their own distinctive brand of eerie and ethereal dream-pop. Lush, romantic guitars and driving basslines evoke the familiar warmth of 80s post punk, neo-folk and goth rock, and vocals drift in and out of ever-swirling textures, distant calls from another realm, or dreams just out of grasp.
February 13, 2023
Six years after her genre defying debut Take Me Apart, Kelela dives effortlessly back into a musical world she once pioneered, on her second album, Raven. An engrossing and fully enveloping listen, on Raven, Kelela captures the transcendent feeling of the club, fusing her unique take on pop and rnb with dancehall, techno and UK bass music. Along with her signature ethereal harmonies, extended explorations into ambient and minimal sounds also explore the radiant afterglow felt after the party winds down. Raven is inspired by a vital black femme perspective against the misogyny and racism rife in the modern dance music landscape and reaffirms Kelela as one of contemporary music’s most essential artists.
Teether & Kuya Neil
February 8, 2023
STRESSOR – the latest full-length collaboration between Teether and Kuya Neil – is a perfect union of unbridled, future focused hip-hop and left-field club production. Teether’s talents as unique and prolific vocalist, rapper and producer and Kuya Neil’s singular flair for production, his reputation as a DJ and as an in-demand collaborator are all on-show throughout the nine-track mixtape. Each track sonically traverses the broad vocabularies of club music: footwork, jungle, gqom and beyond; all topped with Teether’s biting yet mellow lyrical delivery. Featuring guest appearance from Sevy, ZK King, and Realname, STRESSOR brings some of the most exciting sounds being made in the Naarm / Melbourne underground into the stark light of day.
Sugar Coated Lies
February 1, 2023
Rapper, musician and producer Ziggy Ramo has delivered his soul-baring sophomore record, Sugar Coated Lies. Told across 13 searing tracks, Sugar Coated Lies is an introspective look into the way intergenerational trauma manifests. Considered, commanding and confident, the Wik and Solomon Islander artist’s seemingly effortless lyrical flow simmers above production that calls back to the golden era of hip-hop adorned with fresh sonic flourishes. An intimate and vulnerable release, Sugar Coated Lies features special guests including Alice Skye, vonn, Ladi6 and Jantine. Textural soundscapes unfurl throughout the record, with elements ranging from restrained guitar to eruptions of maximalist production, proving Ziggy Ramo’s talents not only as a powerful songwriter, but a formidable producer.
The Brighter Side Of Blue
January 23, 2023
Babitha shares her captivating debut record The Brighter Side Of Blue. Recorded mostly with in-the-moment live takes with Cody Munro Moore, the synergy of Alexi Grivas on guitar, Cecil Coleman (Body Type) on drums and Russell Fitzgibbon (Skeleten) on bass enmeshed with Babitha’s own lilting vocals and emotionally complex lyrics results in twelve luminous alt-country songs. The Brighter Side of Blue sees Babitha freely experiment with both traditional and non-linear narratives across multiple genres, touching upon folk to new wave, psych rock and pop. The record’s crisp, modern production place it firmly in today, and lyrically the album sees her wrestle with a spectrum of emotions; anger, grief, cynicism but also hope, yearning and a deep sense of gratitude. Borne out of a turbulent, yet highly transformative time in Babitha’s life, the melancholy of The Brighter Side Of Blue is eclipsed by a strong sense of optimism.