Album of the Week
What I Breathe
August 5, 2022
What I Breathe is a jam-packed re-introduction to the eclectic world of Mall Grab. After a prolific run of singles, EPs and mixtapes to date, Jordon Alexander (the Newcastle-born, London-based powerhouse behind Mall Grab) finally releases his debut LP.
What I Breathe is a significant evolution from the lo-fi house offerings that originally put him on the radar of dance music fans around the world. Drawing on all of his influences, Mall Grab has created a multi-faceted, dynamic and broad-reaching collection of productions on What I Breathe. Excursions across the rave continuum – through jungle, breakbeat hardcore, electronica and grime – reference the rich musical history of his newfound home and his experiences DJing and creating music throughout the UK and Europe.
Featuring collaborations with Brendan Yates of US hardcore-punk band Turnstile, Grime MC’s Novelist and D Double E, rising UK producer and vocalist Nia Archives, as well as rare vocal features from Mall Grab himself, What I Breathe adeptly traverses the varied landscape of contemporary electronic music with Mall Grab’s unmistakable style.
MAMMOTH. & Silentjay
July 29, 2022
Naarm/Melbourne MC MAMMOTH releases his sincere and profound debut album OPUS MAGNUM. MAMMOTH.’s candid storytelling and pensive bars are laid upon soulful instrumentals, artfully crafted by acclaimed producer and multi-instrumentalist Silentjay. Born out of a close collaboration between the two artists, OPUS MAGNUM’s genesis lies in a trip the duo made to a remote forest cabin, with the mission to write and record as many songs as possible within a week. This isolated environment allowed them to become their most focused, introspective and vulnerable selves as artists; and what resulted is a deeply personal and authentic record rich in narrative, wrapped in emotive, detailed production. OPUS MAGNUM also bears features from some of Melbourne alt-rap’s finest, with contributions from Chef Chung, Son Ray and CD, elevating the release even further and securing its place as an instant classic.
July 22, 2022
INCOGNITO MODE is the debut album by enigmatic musical polymath Volta Hymn. Described as an Afro-futurist electronic coming of age, the album was written, recorded and produced entirely by the Ngunnawal/Canberra-based artist. The album’s distinctive sound is rooted in the music of Volta Hymn’s youth – electronica, post-punk and vaporwave – her involvement in DIY music scenes, and her subsequent work as a vocalist for soul and hip hop artists including Sampa The Great. Volta Hymn crafts an idiosyncratic sonic world that touches upon elements of avant-pop, R&B and downtempo electronica, while still managing to evade rigid genre constraints, pairing the album’s lush production with urgent, arpeggiated synths and sparse drum machines. Above these arrangements, her bewitching singing shines through on every track; at times lilting and choral, and other times direct and processed with autotune. INCOGNITO MODE is a vital antidote to misogynoir and intergenerational afflictions, and a captivating debut from a truly unique artist.
The Real Work
July 15, 2022
Experimental icons Party Dozen release their monumental third album The Real Work. The prolific duo of Kirsty Tickle and Jonathan Boulet have developed a cult following for their distinctive, improv-driven sound; drawing from a bevy of stylistic touch points including doom, jazz, noise, punk and industrial music. The Real Work sees Party Dozen branching out further than ever before, delving into Kirsty Tickle’s unconventional sax-filtered vocal approach, exploring venturing into kitsch 50s movie soundtrack references, and even featuring a guest vocal adlib from Nick Cave. Having already proved on their previous LPs that the duo can go larger, wilder and more inventive than many bands triple their size, Party Dozen take a quieter, more considered and at times tongue-in-cheek turn on the album. The Real Work showcases Party Dozen as the unparalleled masters of their own bizarre and magnificent corner of the musical universe.
A Colour Undone
July 8, 2022
A Colour Undone is Tasman Keith’s highly anticipated and triumphant debut album. A profound and soul-baring journey, the record deeply explores multitudinous experiences of love; whether that be the romantic or familial, as well as love for community and self-love. The record sees Tasman Keith as his most vulnerable self, undoing ego, envy, self-expectation and intergenerational trauma, eventually leading to a true and fulfilled understanding of self. Despite its earnest themes, the record emphasises Tasman Keith’s self-assurance, by exhibiting the growth of an artist who has not only tirelessly honed in on their craft for many years, but is also willing to take new steps forward both lyrically and stylistically. A Colour Undone is a 14 track odyssey that is sonically Tasman Keith’s most far-reaching effort yet, ranging from stripped back ballads through to auto-tuned R&B, bass-heavy hard rap to jazz and gospel-influenced hip hop and beyond. Stacked with features from local artists including Genesis Owusu, Kwame, Jessica Mauboy, Thandi Phoenix and Phil Fresh, A Colour Undone effortlessly traverses genre limitations and proves itself as one of the most musically and thematically vital albums of the year.
July 1, 2022
Soccer Mommy releases her mesmerising third album Sometimes, Forever. Brimming with the Nashville artist’s characteristically addictive songwriting style, the album elevates Soccer Mommy’s signature style to new heights by leaning into darker melodic territory and strikingly unconventional sound design. Teaming up with Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) on production duties, Sometimes, Forever sees Soccer Mommy painting with an even more vivid sonic palette than ever before, successfully deploying experimental production techniques in a way that tastefully enriches her much celebrated poignant-yet-relatable approach to lyricism and songwriting.
Gang Called Speed
June 24, 2022
Sydney collective SPEED release their debut EP Gang Called Speed through Last Ride Records and Flatspot Records. After years spent cultivating a strong community as members of various different projects in the local hardcore and metal scenes, the five members of SPEED joined forces in 2019, quickly developing their staunch and uncompromising sound. SPEED’s no-holds-barred approach comes through – not only sonically but also lyrically – throughout the 6-track release; tackling issues of misogyny, masculinity and racist hate crimes, elevating the importance of authenticity and taking ownership of your identity. Gang Called Speed presents a contemporary take on classic mosh-ready, thrash-infused hardcore. Sporting molten riffs, wailing guitars, and a pummelling rhythm section, all combined with a powerfully charged vocal delivery. Through their music and presence in the local scene, SPEED unapologetically showcase the power of resilience and community, with the release of Gang Called Speed realising the bands mission to put local hardcore back on the map.
June 17, 2022
Phases is the vibrant second album by South African musician Moonchild Sanelly. The Johannesburg-based artist’s signature bold vocal delivery and witty and commanding lyricism – delivered in both English and her native language of Xhosa – is featured alongside percussive and club-ready productions throughout the record. Phases is packed with anthems that champion female empowerment and liberation in many forms – Moonchild Sanelly unabashedly sings about body and sex positivity, freedom from toxic relationships and confidently backing yourself. Her self-described “future-ghetto-funk” sound encompasses South African regional club sounds like gqom and amapiano, whilst also touching upon house, pop and R&B. On the record she is joined by fellow South African artists Sir Trill and Blxckie, as well as other features including grime MC Ghetts, beatmaker TOKiMONSTA and alt-hip hop duo Sad Night Dynamite. The album’s name Phases is the perfect encapsulation of what it has to offer; from the range of genres it explores, the different South African sounds and styles it references, to the many facets of Moonchild Sanelly as a rapper, dancer, poet and woman.
Where In The World Is LUCIANBLOMKAMP?
June 10, 2022
Eclectic Naarm/Melbourne-based producer – and FBi Northern Lights competition alumni – Lucianblomkamp teams up with an impressive array of collaborators on his new album Where In The World Is LUCIANBLOMKAMP? Shifting from high-energy rap to blissful hyperpop, Where In The World Is LUCIANBLOMKAMP? presents Lucianblomkamp’s versatility and deftness as a producer, whilst showcasing each local feature artist’s signature vocal delivery or lyrical prowess. Written over years of sessions, Lucianblomkamp joins forces with an impressive array of local artists across a variety of sounds – from rappers like IJALE, I.E. and A.GIRL, to singers like Liyah Knight and MADAM3EMPRESS, electronic artists like Lonelyspeck and Darcy Baylis, to pop artists like Rromarin and Cookii. Where In The World Is LUCIANBLOMKAMP? is not only a testament to Lucianblomkamp’s growth as a producer, but also a celebration of exceptional local talent.
Nothing To Declare
June 3, 2022
DJ Haram and Moor Mother join forces as 700 Bliss for their hard-hitting and highly original debut album ‘Nothing To Declare’ on Hyperdub. Becoming a staple name in dance music for her Jersey club-tinged percussive productions, DJ Haram’s work as a producer and DJ is highly celebrated, in part due to her expert blending of Middle Eastern sonic influences into her own signature club music sound. Her involvement in the Philadelphia DIY noise scene made her the perfect pairing for experimental musician, poet and activist Moor Mother. A founding member of queer Afrofuturist collective Black Quantum Futurism, she is known for her distinctive dark and emphatic flows, razor-sharp lyrics, and varied influences of jazz, hip hop and noise. As 700 Bliss, the duo unveil their own influences and sounds as solo artists but recontextualise them into an idiosyncratic style that is entirely their own. On ‘Nothing To Declare’ Moor Mother’s noise rap is buried into heavy distortion, with analogue sound design, looming bass and bursts of raw drum. Being innovative and boundary-pushing artists in their own right, their union as 700 Bliss has resulted in a sound that is entirely unique and a perfect culmination of both of their musical journeys.