LISTEN: Ara Koufax – ‘Brenda’

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The second single from Oceans Apart, a 19-track compilation showcasing Melbourne’s diverse club scene, mixed and curated by Cut Copy, dropped last week. If the other tracks are anything like as good as this one (and NO ZU’s contribution, the no-wave pilfering ‘Raw Vis Vision’ – replete with sax, disco whistle and cowbell – is a pretty fair attempt), then Oceans Apart could do great things for the local underground.

Ara Koufax is a new project from old hands Sam Gill and Luke Neher of Naysayer & Gilsun. It’s largely the result of a working beach holiday the pair took a little over a year ago to thrash out some new ideas. While Ara Koufax isn’t unrecognisable as the work of Gill and Neher, the sounds here are more expansive, less clean and monochrome, than the pair’s earlier material.

Their first single, ‘Converge’, is a warm, textured house track, with scuffed loops and a vocal that could have been plucked straight from a sweaty dancefloor in 1980s New York. ‘Brenda’, which unfolds in twice the time, is a much lighter affair. It sails along, with euphoric vocals taken from the late, great Brenda Fassie riding atop bubbling percussion and ascending keys.

Ara Koufax’s debut EP will be out soon on Downtime. Meanwhile, Oceans Apart is due for digital release on 11 November, via Cut Copy’s own Cutters Records, with vinyl samplers to come on 18 November. Preorders are available now from iTunes.

Don’t miss the Oceans Apart launch party at Melbourne Music Week on Saturday, 15 November, featuring Cut Copy DJs, Andras & Oscar, NO ZU, World’s End Press and heaps more.

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