LISTEN: Alba – ‘Knokke/Law’

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If you’ve ever had one of those experiences where you’ve liked something on Facebook, forgot about them, and then they’ve suddenly popped up all over your barometers of ‘cool’, then Alba’s my most recent example.

There’s a bit to know about Alba. Being the first imprint for Plastic World, founded by Future Classic and Astral People alumni, Knokke/Law’s a solid release for a label touting itself as a home for ‘forward-thinking Australian music’. Whether Plastic World reaches the same level of ‘forwardness’ that the likes of New Weird Australia has, or if it builds off the success of its founding members is something that’s going to be interesting to watch in 2014.

Alba were once Albatross, off the now-defunct Life Aquatic. They’re a Sydney duo comprised of Thomas McAlister and Sam Weston, who first introduced themselves with Murder/Caspers Theme. It was a debut exploring minimal electronica that you actually should listen to, right now. Occupying a space that typified the reason why festivals like Sequence exist, Murder/Caspers Theme seemed to tap right into the bedroom-producer/beat scene that’s dominated non-Flume electronica over the past few years.

Now, enter Knokke/Law. Detroit House anyone? If you’re hankering for a boogie, then look no further than this release. Moving away from their otherwise ambient predecessors, both ‘Knokke’ and ‘Law’ combine the elements of Detroit that has been appropriated ever since. The 909 hats, arpeggiated crescendos, and the immersive synths grip where other local electronic efforts sink into melodic introspection. This is topped off by remixes from Detroit’s Jimmy Edgar and Rick Wade, that make this release’s lineage just that bit clearer.

And, if you consider the fact that their first signed act has supported Four Tet, Mount Kimbie, and Gold Panda, that’s a trifecta that I don’t think many local acts can put on their CV.


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