Posts By Melissa Tan

SEQUENCE: Sampa The Great

, , No Comment

Sampa The Great-26

photos by Pat O’ Hara

We recently spent a cruisy Sunday with Sydney via Zambia songwriter Sampa The Great & her producer Dave Godriguez.

Sampa really hit her stride last year – rousing our attention with her expressive spoken-word prose, flanked by Dave’s progressive funk & jazz tones.

Pat shot series at Dave’s house in Newtown, before rolling onto their show on the rooftop of the Museum of Contemporary Art (how about that sunset, hey).

Get your free download of Sampa’s debut The Great Mixtape, then head along to one of her upcoming dates at Golden Plains, WOmadelaide or supporting Guilty Simpson. More information right here.

 

Sampa The Great-1 Sampa The Great-13 Sampa The Great-14Sampa The Great-17 Sampa The Great-2Sampa The Great-12 Sampa The Great-19 Sampa The Great-20 Sampa The Great-21Sampa The Great-23

 

(View full photo set below) 

(more…)

Read Post →

PREMIERE: S M Jenkins – ‘Mikrowave’

, , No Comment

SM Jenkins B+W

Forget cohabiting and childbirth. When all the records you once revelled in start reaching their milestone second and third reissues, that’s when it’s appropriate to start mourning your age. In just a few months, it’ll be almost 21 years since Pavement released their third record, Wowee Zowee –  an opus full of stoner oddities, and songs about castration, brazil nuts and other stuff only Stephen Malkmus could apply his half-baked, poetic genius to.

It’s a decent milestone to reference – as Steve Bourke has done. S M Jenkins (Malkmus’ alias on Wowee Zowee) is the new name of the Step-Panther frontman’s solo project. ‘Mikrowave’ is the first track off his upcoming EP, Out There In The Zone.

Bourke wrote and recorded the EP when he was living in “relative isolation” in Mittagong, in the NSW Highlands located 110KM out of Sydney. Bourke is on his lonesome here, so Step-Panther fans shouldn’t be expect the Superchunk anthems (cc: ‘User Friendly’, ‘Zombie Summer’) the band stirred up on Strange But Nice.

‘Mikrowave’ rolls on at a steady pace with the kind of breakfast positivity Kurt Vile rallied when he brought out ‘Walkin’ on A Pretty Day’. Try as you may – it’s hard to hate this song. Bourke’s nuances are affected with that self-effacing slacker drawl, here ironically singing about “saving time” instead of wasting it. Bourke notes that the track was about “trying to make the best out of whatever you’ve got going on”. And he does – as he murmurs some perspective over ‘Mikrowave’s melodic mid-tempo guitar line, assuring us that it’s alright to be just where you are. 

 

Out There In The Zone is set for release in late February.

Facebook / Soundcloud

Read Post →

LISTEN: Australia Day 2016 – Podcast

, , No Comment

Meredith_2015_WTH_BecCapp63

You don’t need to be the sharpest tool around to see that our country’s largest music poll – ironically held on Australia Day –  is hardly representative of the best local music being produced here (in our un-biased opinion).

To solve all that, Robbie’s made an Australia Day podcast. Plug in your headphones, swig something good and be that person who absolves all the cringeworthy cultural crimes, excessive meat consumption and heinous levels of ‘Hotline Bling’ outros that need to be drowned out wherever you’re BBQing across the nation today.

Happy listening.

Read Post →

MAP – January 2016

, , No Comment

49
Here’s another round of new tunes from our blog friends around the globe. White Lodge is our Australian submission this month, serving up some loose vibes with their track ‘Bleach Coma’.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 15-track compilation through Dropbox here.

 

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Sebasti·n KramerAbsolutos Principiantes

Listen to

2016 started with sad news about the passing of rock legend David Bowie, so we thought it would be a good time to share this cover of Absolute Beginners. It was recorded 10 years ago by Sebasti·n Kramer, former member of Jaime Sin Tierra, for a Bowie tribute album by independent netlabel Licor de Mono. Long live the Thin White Duke!

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
White LodgeBleach Coma

Listen to

Brisbane four-piece White Lodge have been busy the last few years, touring Taiwan with acclaimed Taipei-based band Forests, and supporting the likes of The Growlers and Thee Oh Sees on tour. Their latest single, Bleach Coma, serves up equal parts Brylcreem, surf scuzz and a dose of relentless psych-garage peddling. When artful balladry or an experimental noise opus just doesn’t cut it, White Lodge proves you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to have a good time.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Elza SoaresMaria Da Vila Matilde

Listen to

Maria Da Vila Matilde is one of the strongest tracks on A Mulher Do Fim Do Mundo, the acclaimed album released by Elza Soares in 2015. At 78 years old, this is her 34th album. This song has an experimental approach of samba, rock and jazz, and lyrics about a woman rising against domestic violence.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
MerivalA Better Deal

Listen to

First Rate People’s Anna Horvath is releasing solo music under the moniker Merival. You may recognize her voice from Swim Good’s song Since U Asked, which was featured in Ryan Hemsworth’s label Secret Songs and remixed by Star Slinger a while back. Now swing back with the gorgeous folk tune A Better Deal.

CHILE: Super 45
Oso El RotoOrdenacion

Listen to

To define Oso El Roto in a musical genre may be problematic. At the same time, it’s one of the best indications that we have something interesting on our hands. In Ekeko, his most recent record, Oso El Roto aka David Loayza is loyal to his own lo-fi style, developed during the 90s, which is characterized by absurdity, madness and childishness, and all amplified in his bizarre live shows. Ordenacion (featuring Dadal˙) is brand new for 2016.

(Listen to the full playlist below). 

 

(more…)

Read Post →

EXPAT: Bad Tropes, Berlin

, , No Comment

bad_tropes_4

Bad Tropes are Luke Troynar and Jonny Zoum; two Melbourne expats who’ve been developing their brand of subtle, acoustic pop in Berlin. The 35mm film photos below were taken by the duo (and a patient friend) in the studio and at some of the band’s favourite haunts around the city.

Empty spaces become amplified when you’re wandering through the city between late night and early hours of the morning – and these photographs capture that same quality found in the duo’s minimal sound. Bad Tropes skim from introspective acoustic moments to darker pop sensibilities. There’s hardly a drum fill to be found (sometimes a good thing) and lots of contemplative blank space to mull over. It’s hard to decipher whether the vanity pursuit the guys sing about on ‘Pretty Won’t Rust’ is trying to make a point or just poetic sarcasm, but it’s a chilled tune nonetheless.

Bad Tropes are working on their forthcoming LP, to be released in April on Wait! What? Records.

bad_tropes_6bad_tropes_3  bad_tropes_5  bad_tropes_7 bad_tropes_8 bad_tropes_9 bad_tropes_11

 

(more…)

Read Post →

MAP: December 2015

, , No Comment

JAALA_2_Jess Gleeson

2015 is done, and it’s been an excellent half-decade for tunes from all our MAP friends around the world. Our final submission for the year comes from the delightful Cosima Jaala who’s almost left Mangelwurzel in shadow with the debut record from her solo project, JAALA
.

On the subject of solo projects, if you’re wondering where Operator Please fizzled out to since temporarily insulting everyone’s musical memory with that song ten years ago, lead singer Amanda Wilkinson has has relocated to Glasgow and popped up as Scotland’s MAP pick this month – teaming up with Dananananaykroyd drummer John Baillie Jnr for a Christmas cover.

_____

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 17-track compilation through Dropbox here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Rubin y Los SubtituladosAdiós, Torino

Listen to

This year marked Zonaindie’s 10th birthday, so for this last MAP of 2015 we wanted to share a track from Rubin y Los Subtitulados’s first album, Esperando El Fin Del Mundo, which was released during our first year as a music blog. Adios, Torino is a beautiful ballad and one of our favorite songs by this great songwriter from Buenos Aires. We recommend all of his discography, which is avaliable on Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
JaalaSalt Shaker

Listen to

Salt Shaker is the second single from Melbourne art-punk Cosima Jaala’s debut album, Hard Hold. It tracks the troubles Jaala has coming to grips with her upbringing in a far-flung suburb on Brisbane’s coastal fringe. The lyricism of this track is emblematic of the raw earnestness you hear across the entire album, with Jaala seemingly pulling melody out of thin air. The unpredictable spikes and troughs keep you engaged throughout, as if you needed any more reason other than her finely executed vocal gymnastics. The track is a refreshingly honest account of a troubled time that avoids indie tropes and turns complex emotions into a beautiful song.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Alice CaymmiComo Vês

Listen to

Como Vês is the opening track of Alice Caymmi’s 2014 album Rainha Dos Raios. Born into a family of famous musicians, Alice is surrounded by some of the most prominent artists in Rio de Janeiro and contributes to Brazilian pop music (known as MPB) with contemporary electronics and experimentation.

 

(Listen to more songs below)

(more…)

Read Post →

PREMIERE: espher – ‘Arc’

, , No Comment

espher

Ben Pearson is an electronic artist, who goes by the moniker espher. Since relocating to Melbourne from Manchester earlier this year to focus on his music pursuits, he has released two EPs, Prism and Flux – both striking explorations into sound.

espher’s new video for ‘Arc’ features an array of multi-hued ink dilations, which shift radically from calm to chaos. Here, a deconstructed sample almost mimics the sound of phone static dissolved over a club beat.

YouTube Preview Image

Pearson has experimented with few vocal samples in his earlier work – but even for the absence of lyricism here, there’s a sentimental quality to the way espher reincarnates ordinary sounds. ‘Arc’ sums up the ambit of espher’s sound palette – one end coaxes an introspective’s version of events, while a penchant for upbeat, stark rhythms points at something a bit more bright.

I won’t divulge too much here, but if you like what you hear, would recommend listening/viewing ‘Fragments’, a series of thirty seven audio visual experiments by espher which “hint at the future and borrow from its past”.

Facebook / Soundcloud / Web

Read Post →