Posts By Greg Stone

LISTEN: 0point1 – micro-flora

, , No Comment

microflora600

Mysterious Melbourne-based artist 0point1, aka Bob Streckfuss, returns with his latest collection, micro-flora. Following on from his beguiling 2014 debut, Clean Dirt, and the self-released follow-up EP, Embryo from a Collapsing Star, the music of 0point1 is startlingly original, melding digitally manipulated found sounds and instruments with intricate, skittering rhythms and ethereal vocals. The result is a unique marriage of the drama and cinematic grandeur of post rock with the erratic energy of IDM.

The cut-up field recordings and acoustic instruments which make up these rich sonic landscapes create an organic form of electronic music – a delicate tapestry that draws out similarities between the seemingly disparate complexity of animal architecture and computer software.

Facebook / Bandcamp / Soundcloud

Read Post →

LISTEN: Kane Ikin – Modern Pressure

, , No Comment

Kane Ikin

Melbourne-based producer Kane Ikin has been crafting his brand of brooding, slow burn electronica for a number of years. After a run of solid releases for the likes of 12K and This Thing, he finds a suitable home for his latest album on experimental UK label Type Recordings.

His new album, Modern Pressure, follows on from EPs Warehouses and Circular Tip, both of which saw Ikin’s sound emerge from the delightfully swampy murk of his earlier work, juxtaposing crisp sonic details with his hazy signature style.

As the title suggests, the album was created during a difficult period for Ikin. Pressures both financial and otherwise inspired a condensed period of creativity, with majority of the album written in quick succession. These struggles permeate the sound of the album, an unsettling twinge of anxiety underpinning each track.

Like Warehouses, Modern Pressure sounds like music for large concrete spaces, the cold sheen and ghostly echoes evoking stark industrial areas where programmed machinery replicates object after object with flawless precision. From the techno pulse of opener ‘Partial’ and ‘Tap Tap Collapse’ to the lumbering stumble of ‘Pulp’, the rhythmic elements play a more prominent role on the album, propelling the buried melodies along as if caught in their slipstream.

Modern Pressure is another impressive entry in Kane Ikin’s stellar catalogue, his sound growing and evolving in all the right ways.

Watch the stunning clip for ‘Tap Tap Collapse’ below and be sure to grab a copy of Modern Pressure pronto.

Facebook / Soundcloud / Buy

Read Post →

VIRTUAL MIXTAPE: Dro Carey

, , No Comment

Virtual-Mixtape_Lucy-Roleff

Illustrations by Lucy Roleff

Eugene Ward has been carving a path on the electronic music scene for a number of years now. Best known under his Dro Carey alias, Ward’s music has seen him explore grime, UK garage and other forms of bass music, clocking up releases on a slew of international labels including Trilogy Tapes, RAMP Recordings and Greco-Roman.

A restlessly prolific producer, Ward also releases music under a number of other guises: the rugged techno/house-leaning Tuff Sherm, the avant-club experiments of PMM and more recently, under his given name, the Paint En Pointe album, a selection of compositions written in collaboration with choreographer Patric Kuo for a series of performances in late 2014.

On his latest single, ‘Grow Lithe’, Ward melds bubbling acid-synth and rolling garage rhythms with his typically crisp production style. The single is taken from a forthcoming EP for Australian imprint Soothsayer, expected later this year.

 

For the sixth instalment in our Virtual Mixtape series, Eugene has chosen a selection of his favourite German experimental, Neue Deutsche Welle & synth-pop 7”s.

 

drocarey-final

Eugene Ward:

“For my virtual mixtape I knew that I wanted to delve into something forged in those dark and wide-reaching years of teenage taste. I got into dance music somewhat late in the scheme of things, probably only when I was 16. Before that, coming out of a jazz piano background I was generally drawn to improvised, avant-garde and heavy music. Really whatever could shock me – the kind of Internet-aided audio thrill-seeking that is endemic to reclusive or introverted teenagers. So there were a lot of options as far as the areas spanning ‘pre-Dro’ music taste. The reason I chose this somewhat loose category of Neue Deutsche Welle, synth-pop and German experimental seven inches is that it remains particularly relevant and inspiring to what I do now. Hopefully as we go through the tracks you will see that this was a legendary and fertile era for sound design and electronic music arrangement, one that goes far beyond the obvious linear relationship with European techno.”

Endphase – ‘Reise In Den Tod’ from 2 Hemden & 2 Hosen Vol. 1 (2003)

YouTube Preview Image

The interesting thing about this loose classification of seven-inch ‘synth-pop’ music is that since its inception in the late 70s/early 80s it has never really gone away. As such this track is taken from an earnest, dedicated early 2000s pastiche of the form. 2 Hemden & 2 Hosen was a long-running series of compilation seven-inch releases put out by the Kernkrach label, including some tracks that are so stylistically on point that you wonder if they’re actually archival rather than contemporary takes. Not the case here, however, where ‘Reise In Den Tod’ features some decidedly modern and sophisticated oscillations and filters. Yet these synth lines are backed with a genuine motorik chug and ultimately it hits the mark as far as the emotional vibe of this music – part saccharine, part gothic.

Im Namen Des Volkes – ‘Reaktorkern’ from Weisses Rauschen EP (2006)

YouTube Preview Image

Im Namen Des Volkes was an alias for Matthias Schuster, whose work typically resides at the more industrial end of this music. Veteran engineer Christa Brüggemann remastered this EP, drawing on unreleased material that was originally recorded 1979-1981. Brüggemann lends this archival release some amazing heft and crispness, which allows us to appreciate the arrangements and sound design. This release brings me to one of the core reasons for my love of this music: were these not the best snare sounds going in the 1980s?  Substitute them into Yeezus or a TM88 production today and I wouldn’t blink. Drums miles ahead of their time.

(more…)

Read Post →

LISTEN: Curse ov Dialect – Twisted Strangers

, , 1 Comment

Curse Ov Dialect

Melbourne-based outfit Curse Ov Dialect are without a doubt one of the most interesting hip hop acts to emerge from Australia. Their penchant for surreal costumes and onstage theatrics, and their outspoken criticism of Australia’s underlying racism puts them at odds with the endless stream of generic drivel currently being churned out. Instead of weakly mimicking US hip hop, a music intrinsically linked to the culture in which it was born, they instead incorporate their own cultural perspective and experiences into a hip-hop framework.

Over the course of their output the group’s crafted a unique sound. Trawling for samples through psychedelic rock, traditional folk and various electronic oddities, they hold these seemingly disparate elements together with a hip hop backbone courtesy of beat maestro Paso Bionic. The distinctive style of each MC and the interplay between them is another defining element of the Curse, with the rapid-fire delivery of Volk Makedonski, the endearing multiple-personality disorder of Raceless and the ethereal flow of Atarangi all adding to the tapestry.

This formula has struck a chord with local and international audiences alike, with the group’s first two full-length LPs released via Mush Records. At the time, the label was leading the experimental hip-hop charge, repping artists like cLOUDDEAD, Busdriver and Aesop Rock.

Seven years on from last album Crisis Tales, Twisted Strangers finds the group in fine form, picking up where they left off – poignant, politically charged lyrics underpinned by their signature multicultural grooves. Guest spots on the album include Japanese furioso Kaigen and Hemlock Ernst, aka Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands. Herring’s been clocking up notable appearances with a number of indie rap’s finest, including Busdriver and Cavanaugh, and it’s great to count Curse Ov Dialect alongside such luminaries.

Watch the video for the title track below and grab the full album on CD or vinyl via Monotype Records or digitally via Valve Records.

Curse ov Dialect will be launching Twisted Strangers at Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne on Friday, 13 May. Full details here.

Facebook / Bandcamp / Soundcloud

Read Post →

LISTEN: Gentleforce – Refuge from The Great Sadness

, , No Comment

gentleforce

Sydney-based producer Gentleforce, aka Eli Murray, first appeared on the scene with his debut album Sacred Spaces, a warm, immersive listen that contrasted sharply with the club nights he was DJing at the time. The album serves as a great introduction – informed by Murray’s wildly eclectic music taste, there are nods to numerous genres, all filtered through his pastoral, downbeat lens.

Sacred Spaces was followed by Looking Through New Window, a long-form live piece created for the monthly experimental sound series ‘Refraction’. Written for a live setting, the release has a more expansive feel, as musical themes drift in and out, dissolving into one another in a blissfully evolving soundscape.

Refuge from The Great Sadness is the latest album from Gentleforce, and it represents a tremendous leap forward for Murray. There’s an epic beauty that reveals itself over the course of the album. From the subtly treated field recordings of ‘Singing over Shibuya’ to the sweeping techno abstractions of ‘You hold my hand through the Gate’, the music consumes you, envelops you in its radiance. And while it’s easy to categorise the music of Gentleforce with labels like ambient or even drone, this belies the bigger picture. There is a sense of grandeur to the music, a majesty that’s uplifting without sounding overwrought or cliché.

Refuge from The Great Sadness is available digitally now.

Facebook / Bandcamp

Read Post →

VIRTUAL MIXTAPE: Making

, , 1 Comment

Virtual-Mixtape_Lucy-Roleff

Illustrations by Lucy Roleff 

Sydney trio Making have been crushing skulls on the Sydney live music scene for a few years now, and after a number of setbacks their full-length debut Highlife was released via Trait Records in September this year.

Following on from their debut EP and a couple of standalone singlesHighlife is a decidedly darker affair full of discordant guitar, razor sharp bass lines and complex rhythms. The album is an uncompromising aural assault, showcasing the band’s evolution both sonically and technically.

Fans of My Disco, Ohana and New York band Extra Life take note; Making are your new favourite band.

For the fifth instalment of the Virtual Mixtape series, the trio reminisce on avant-rap royalty Kool Keith and his somewhat chaotic discography.

making-illustration-lucy-roleff

Making:

Kool Keith is a pretty hard sell in the current rap climate – most people are into Drake and Rich Gang (so are we), but sometimes you need to go a bit more fringe. This video is probably the best intro – really let yourself become acclimatised to the logic at play here. 

Kool Keith – ’98 Year Old Refrigerator’:

YouTube Preview Image

About ten years ago I (Pete) became aware of Dr. Octagon. I think I ended up picking up Dr. Dooom next (check out his ongoing obsession with food…) The vibe here is split destroying the rap game (this track, ‘You Live At Home With Your Mom’ etc.) and brutal serial killer (‘Apartment 223’ etc.). Key line:

“Your fans are mad – your performance was garbage bag,

Look at these videotapes,

Walkin back and forth grabbin’ your nuts like the Planet of the Apes”

(read more)

(more…)

Read Post →

VIRTUAL MIXTAPE: Kučka

, , 1 Comment

Virtual-Mixtape_Lucy-Roleff

Perth artist Kučka aka Laura Jane Lowther first appeared on the scene with her self-titled debut EP for New Weird Australia imprint Wood & Wire. Throughout its brief but fertile life the label was responsible for releasing challenging, forward thinking music across a broad spectrum of genres making it a perfect fit for Kučka’s unconventional brand of electronica. The EPs mix of post dubstep beats, whimsical ambience and off-kilter songwriting revealed an irrefutable pop heart which caught the attention of French label Nuun Records, who quickly set about repackaging the EP to include her much lauded single ‘Phantasy’ and re-releasing it in 2014. 

After a number of highly successful singles, a chance but nonetheless high-profile collaboration with A$AP Rocky, and a slew of accolades Kučka now returns with her Unconditional EP released via new Inertia imprint Midnight Feature. The EP shows a refined, mature sound smoothing out some of Kučka’s sharper edges but leaving her eccentricities intact which should appeal to old and new fans alike.

For the fourth instalment in our Virtual Mixtape series Kučka focuses on the fertile music scene of her hometown WA, compiling her five favourite tunes from Perth.

Kucka

Illustration by Lucy Roleff

* * * * * * * *

Lower Spectrum – ‘Levity’

Opening with a repeated harp melody, Lower Spectrum gradually adds pads and a swelling bass synth into the mix and the result is an incredibly beautiful soundscape with cinematic and flowing textures. When the beats eventually drop they are accompanied by an arpeggiated synth creating a frenetic contrast to the track’s beginnings.

Methyl Ethel – ‘Depth Perception’

This track is taken from Methyl Ethyl’s incredible debut album Oh Inhuman Spectacle. Though not a single, this is my favourite track from the release. It begins with warped guitar sounds and hazy samples and gradually builds up with ‘Air’ like chords until the vocals come in towards the end of the track.

(Read more)

(more…)

Read Post →