Yon Yonson recently visited Mongolia, Russia and China – not for gigs though, more a family holiday. Andrew from the band has provided to us all the photogenic landscapes, Mongolian national costumes and soviet kitsch you can nuzzle up next to like fluffy white snow. Photos appear alongside tracks from Yon Yonson’s latest release, Hypomantra. If you haven’t had the decency to wrap your cheap mits around Hypomantra yet, I highly suggest you do. Listen and look below.
Andrew climbed a fairly perilous rock formation out in the desert and took this photo. He genuinely nearly died.
Lake Baikal is the largest lake in the world in terms of volume and it completely freezes over during winter. It just looked like a really cold beach.
Dog sledding isn’t a common traffic issue in Australia.
We stayed in a yurt in Mongolia, which is like a little hut out in the snow. This is us in the local get-up performing a ritual execution.
More photos below.
For those of you unacquainted, Castlemaine is a country centre that’s about an hour’s drive west of Melbourne. Situated between Ballarat and the Victorian capital, it once was a town fuelled by gold, then left to fend for itself after the hordes of new money left.In 2014 it still remains as a country centre, but it’s evaded the plastic re-hash of most urban centres. It isn’t mall-i-fied, and nor does it rely upon an antiquated mirage of ‘colonial heritage’ to get tourist dollars in. It is this town that now lays claim to DD Dumbo (aka. Oliver Hugh Perry).
Retiree have just dropped the film clip for ‘Together’, the lead single from their self-titled debut EP. These Sydney-siders make house music for your leisure days. It’s cool and slow, featuring acoustic and electronic instrumentation – plus just the right amount of cowbell. There are notes of an upbeat Arthur Russell in the muffled synth tones, airy vocals, disco-inflected rhythms and easy melodicism here, but with a deliberate Australian bent – check, for instance, the skip who introduces the video.
There’s also a suggestion of what Client Liaison might have been if they were born in the present day instead of shot into the future, mullets and all, from a cocaine-infested 1980s in which Ansett was a going concern and corporate Darwinism was à la mode. Appropriately, Client Liaison have done a remix of Retiree’s ‘Rain’ – or should I say an overwrite, taking the slippery original and producing a kitsch pop banger.
As much mixed press has been riled around Sochi 2014, it’s still clear that these kind of seemingly trivial global get-togethers do have some significance in bringing people together to fight over some small coin.The Music Alliance Pact kind of works in the same way, except we’re all much less competitive – instead working damn harmoniously to bring you the best new stuff from each part of our world. Along with us, there are over 26 blogs who take part in MAP each month. All the tunes you’ll hear below are as diverse as they get.
This month, our submission on behalf of Aus is a track by Promise Land, the new project of visual artist Johann Rashid (Home Travel, Eastlink) and producer Paul Harmon. Don’t forget to listen to Robbie’s accompanying podcast for this month’s Mapcast! This month, Mapcast features an extra tune from Russia to celebrate topical Sochi, the qualifying Jamaican bobsled team (the Cool Runnings dream!) AND of course, the Russian Police Band delivering a rather illustrious version of Get Lucky’.
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 26-track compilation through Ge.tt here.
Jimena Lopez Chaplin – Hombre Estrella
Jimena Lopez Chaplin is one of the finest emerging voices from the local scene in Buenos Aires. She has been a part of different musical projects, including the Varias Artistas collective formed by Lucas Marti. However, in order to fully appreciate her songwriting and musical talents, you should listen to her two solo albums, Ojos De Plástico (2009) and El Espíritu De La Golosina (2013). Hombre Estrella is a magnificent rendition of David Bowie’s Starman, with Spanish lyrics and arrangements by Jimena.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Promise Land – Recall
Promise Land is the new project of visual artist Johann Rashid (also a member of Melbourne post-punks Eastlink) and producer Paul Harmon. Their first single Recall has just been released on Hole In The Sky, the imprint run by Modular band Canyons. The track aims to inject a bit of the occult into contemporary urban life, with deep noir production from Harmon featuring eerie vocal samples and an agitated no-wave tick. Meanwhile, Rashid delivers a slick, strained flow that’s almost closer to chanting than song.
CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Look Vibrant – Sweater In The Lake
The battlefield is set: an infantry of soldiers carrying swords made of static, a volley of cotton candy-covered cannonballs and the melodic noise of instruments imploding. This is the sound of Montreal’s Look Vibrant in their element. Surrender now and face aural annihilation.
CHILE: Super 45
Jumper Joy – Calma Que No
Jumper Joy is the moniker for musician and composer Diego Palma who, since 2013 and after being a member of El Último Dinosaurio, decided to go solo on this playful power-pop project, splattered with references to psychedelia and shoegaze. Calma Que No is taken from his second EP released in January.
Listen to the full MAP list below.
WOULD YA LISTEN TO THIS?! I keep having deja-vu that we’ve written about these guys somewhere on this blog before, but I’m just probably under the auspice that everyone should know about Contrast already.
The Melbourne band describe themselves as ‘just a coupla blokes who like skateboarding and loud music’. Humility. Nice sentiment. The behemoth of whatever the heck is happening here really deserves your ears. Contrast play a sort of pepped-up ‘dreamgaze’, something that perhaps Slowdive coupled with a bit Primary Colours-era Horrors could have plotted in a small echoey bathroom. There are a lot of dull shoegaze bands out there, but this track is a decent show of how Contrast have cut up the genre’s lineage and nailed it right down the line. ‘Pipe Dreams’ is a reasonably huge track; everything from the explosive percussion to the euphoric pedal-driven swell diving in and out of Jack Crook’s casual delivery just DOES IT.
You can catch Contrast launching ‘Pipe Dreams’ on Friday the 7th of March at the John Curtin Hotel in Melbourne, with supports from Hollow Everdaze, Sagamore & Atolls.
‘Pipe Dreams’ is the first single from Contrast’s upcoming EP, set for release on April 4th. Super impressive band.
Facebook / Bandcamp
There are a couple of things Melbourne four piece Ohms do well. Firstly, they’re great at making rowdy garage punk. It sounds something like the Ramones clashing with The Vasco Era in a death match. They also do anthemic really well. Their songs seem to be created specifically to cause ruptures in your vocal chords from all the coarse shouting matches you’ll be having with your stereo. Ohms also exemplify that rugged, sticky-carpet feel of your favourite punk dive; the songs from their debut album Pity are like sweat personified.
The main point of Ohms is to get your heart pumping as hard and fast as humanly possible. I think the band must have made a blood oath to get all of Australia jumping up and down screaming, ‘No social life!’ at the top of their lungs and air-guitaring the shit out of ‘Great Riff Your Majesty’. And who are we to deny them their destiny? Just succumb to the loud, noisy bliss of Ohms and thank us later.
Ohms have a couple of gigs coming up in Melbourne – details below:
Friday, 28 February – Old Bar with Spacejunk, Motel Love, Waterloo and DJ Von
Friday, 21 March – Cherry Bar with Magic Bones and La Bastard
Facebook / Bandcamp
DMA’s are one of those bands lucky enough to have been caught early by label reps (in this case, from Sydney’s I Oh You) and sent into the world more or less fully formed – with a single, a video clip, a website, a ton of gigs and, dare I say it, the beginnings of a ‘brand’.
Billed as a band of ‘three frontmen’ – the pleasantly assonant Tommy, Matt and Johnny – DMA’s started out in Johnny’s bedroom studio in inner-western Sydney. Don’t worry though – this is definitely not homemade laptop pop.
Urgent and earnest, DMA’s sound like WU LYF on those rare occasions when Ellery Roberts chose to sing in words rather than wolf noises. And these boys have got the Madchester threads to boot.
The band’s first single, ‘Delete’, is a love song for the digital romantic (‘Don’t delete my baby/Don’t defeat her now/In the quiet of nothing/ To the hands of grace…’). It’s got a staggering outro that makes my chest constrict, the cathartic refrain coming loud: ‘Just let it all out’.
These guys might seem a bit self-satisfied in that video, but one listen and you’ll start to see why. DMA make guitar-led balladry in the 21st century feel absolutely vital.
Their EP is due out on 28 March; you can pre-order it here. They’ve never played a gig before, but they’re certainly about to – I hope they’ve been practicing.
Website / Facebook
Curlew is a brand new project from Brisbane musician Sam George-Allen, who’s previously turned heads from behind synths with space hippies Mega Ogre and hardcore punks Low Season (who also perform this song live, though very differently).
Curlew is not much like either of those bands. ‘Blood Disease’ is built around George-Allen’s vocals, with low synth that growls and pulses while the beats stay upfront. It’s not until the vocal loops come in that you get the true impact of this track, with aching harmonies where George-Allen shows effortless control over her subtly interesting voice.
There’s something here that reminds me a little of Kid A. Or maybe in what seems like a sacrilege to say, what I refer to as the ‘pling plong’ synth. This is an excellent debut from an artist who’s sure to keep impressing.
‘Blood Disease’ is available as a pay-what-you-want download from Curlew’s Bandcamp, where you can also check out a very pretty cover of The Drones‘ ‘They’ll Kill You’ too.
We’re putting on a show in Melbourne next weekend. Whether you’ve spent the last three months of Summer watching Parks & Rec re-runs or weeping in the Gelato Messina line or just doing plain ol’ nothing, we won’t judge you, people of the internet.
It’s the last weekend of Summer. It also is the weekend when Melbourne’s CBD is open 7AM for White Night, where this lob of a city transforms into into a giant pedestrian gridlock/ the most expensive government funded acid trip ever. On your way to White Night, join us from 8PM at Alia Arthouse for some pre White Night Melbourne jams with the best from the West; Hollow Everdaze, surf chumps Seven Year Itch and WDYBM label faves Zone Out.
SEVEN YEAR ITCH