Canyons – ‘Big City Lights’
Our great southern land has become renowned in recent years for producing blogloads of world-class dance music, particularly that of the indie/electro crossover. However, while our Cut, Copied, and Preset Juggernauts have all released stellar records and conquered the planet, our real strength down under lies in regurgitating trends from across the equator – with all dials set to “party” and a singalong hook slapped on top. This has become Australia’s signature sound, (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but when it comes to true innovation, the cities where it all began are still the hotspots – namely the colder climes of New York, Berlin & Paris.
Occasionally though, a group like Canyons slides in under the radar – giving the proverbial finger to populist convention and renewing faith in the ability to create something truly new in a saturated market. Canyons are a duo from Sydney (via Perth) and like fellow statesmen and new Modular darlings Tame Impala, their sound seems to have embarked on some far-out trip to drag itself across the Nullabor. This is the new psych – it’s dubby, downtempo disco that owes equal amounts to Balearic and 70’s rock. It’s that weird record playing in the smoky stoner parties of your mind. It’s dirty, danceable, and most incredibly, sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before – yet with enough familiar references to make you swear you had.
Canyons have recently released a split 12″ with Tame Impala, and will be sharing the bill with them at Modular’s monster Nevereverland fest in December, plus hitting the cities for Laneway dates. Could this double-pronged assault on the bastion of antipodean cool pave the way for a new movement in original Australian sounds? Probably not, but make sure to get there early and sway along to them anyway.
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Bag Raiders – ‘Shooting Stars’
It seems like our upcoming festive season is shaping up to be one of sublime summer jams; the kind of tunes that sound just as good on your car stereo as you cram in on your way to the beach or a festival as they do in a dark dirty nightspot after 3am. A slew of these gems are emerging from some of our favourite home-grown beatmakers i.e Empire Of The Sun, Miami Horror, and Damn Arms – but I think my favourite so far is the new Bag Raiders production Shooting Stars. The Sydney duo have been kicking parties into high gear for a while now – see last year’s ubiquitous stomper Fun Punch – but this release transcends the club and manages to be that rare thing – a truly brilliant pop song. The electrified power cheese of their earlier work is abandoned in favour of a more mellow approach, with swirling melodies slowly building to one of the most joyously bouncy choruses you’ll hear all year. Rhys of Like Whoah/Ted & Francis lends his vocal talents to this track and wouldn’t sound out of place on a Backstreet Boys record, but underpinned by that kickin’ disco bass it’s a deliciously pop combination that you can’t help but grin and nod your head to. Get this now or miss out!
Turbo Love is the other single that’s been thrown onto the web, and it’s more typical munter fuel. All thick, juicy synths, robot voices and a whole lot of Bang, it sounds a bit too much like a disposable Van She Tech remix from last year to get too excited about, but the ‘Raiders typically slick production talents make it well worth a listen.
The Turbo Love single with both of these tracks is out now on Bang Gang 12 inches and the boys are heading to Japan in December, so make sure to catch them before the year is out.
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Beni – ‘My Love Sees You’
Sydney producer Beni is best known as one half of Riot In Belgium, the club destroying duo who gave us 2007’s lip – contorting party jam La Musique. You know the one – with the excitable french girl moaning over lots of ridiculous buildups and bleepy fuzz? It was just about inescapable if you spent any time in the clubs or even turned on your radio last year. Anyway, it’s been many blog decades since then and with the Belgium bangers on the wane, he has turned his talents to this self-titled solo project. My love sees you is Beni’s first official cut, and it combines the charged peaktime vibes of his earlier work with punchy bass guitars, highly strung synths and plenty of euphoric vocal samples. The funked-up bass and disco influences sit nicely with Beni’s intense production – and will ensure a whole lot of slamming silliness on the floor.
Beni has just been picked up by international tastemakers Kitsune and appears on their new compilation (along with fellow Sydneysiders Ted & Francis), so this looks like another Aussie track to dominate overseas. Hear this one now so you can throw your hands up and dance when you hear it out this weekend!
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