There are two things we know about Arthur Wimble for sure: he is from Brisbane, and that his track ‘I love my love’ is an effortless downtempo ear-worm. Wimble’s anonymity does absolutely nothing to distract from the strength of this track, which could have been produced by Diplo for all I care – it wouldn’t make it any less beautiful. Wimble is the latest signing to Sydney’s TEEF Records, a solid addition and sophisticated direction for the infant label.
‘I Love My Love’ has a warmth to it radiating from a run of simple synth chords that have a definite James Blake brass-like quality to them, laying a smooth ground for the tinkling glockenspiel, or maybe it’s a triangle or something else Wimble founding lying around in the aux box. The vocal manipulation enhances rather than warps Wimble’s natural tone, with the smooth repetition of the vocal refrain reminiscent of The Internet.
‘I Love My Love’ is almost ruthlessly clean, so much so that it seems cruel for Wimble to have kept this track just under 3 minutes because there’s definitely room for an extended synth build or triangle solo in there. That could also be the James Blake fan in me talking, and if Wimble did go the longer route the track would risk copy-catting the British producer’s schtick. For now though this low-key artist is batting at a 100% strike rate, piquing my interest for both Wimble and TEEF’s future outputs.
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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.
Illustration by Lucy Roleff
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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.
Photos by Jess Gleeson
Over the course of BIGSOUND Koi Child, friendships, Cosima Jaala (Manglewurzel /JAALA) and Donny Benet allowed us to court them around some of Fortitude Valley’s least trash-laden alleyways and convenience stores for a few shots. Featuring Donny’s best Kirin J Callinan impression and some serious brotherly love from the Koi Child brood.
(View full set below)
It’s fair to say that Geelong’s ORB have taken a fair bit of inspiration from Black Sabbath. Actually, I’m certain these guys love Sabbath so much that they’ve stapled all 19 Sabbath records into a Sabbath suit and Mission Impossible-d a face mask replica of Ozzy Osborne’s face to wear while they wail to ‘Sweet Leaf’ and ‘Children of the Grave’. Doesn’t really seem like a bad way to spend a lazy Sunday, now that I’ve said it out loud.
Despite their tendency to mimic their favourite band – or perhaps because of it – ORB make for an incredible listen. Their debut EP, which was released to tape in January of this year but only uploaded to the www.com’s a week or so ago, is molten sludge goodness. Over five tracks of plunging, schlocky metal, ORB remind everyone what made this music so fun to listen to in the first place. These guys kick like a horse on acid, reeling off one gargantuan riff after another. The blistering centrepiece ’11th Commandment’ is exemplary of this vintage headbanging approach.
Even when we’ve got legends like Batpiss, Worm Crown and Horsehunter keeping metal well and truly alive, it’s good to herald the addition of ORB to the ranks. Over the next couple of months, they’ll be playing Maggot Fest 6 down in Melbourne, joining King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard in support of GOAT’s Australian tour, and playing with the Murlocs in Sydney and Brisbane.
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Tone. Mate. Life’s tough. You just got kicked out of your own house by your mates. Hey, I know how it feels – one time, the boys and I were having a cheeky kebab, and mine was taking a bit longer than usual because I got a mixed one, and so the boys started eating before I received mine, and when I turned to pay, they all bounced. Brutal. Trust me, we’re on the same page here.
What are you gonna do now? It’s nearly midnight. No one’s going drinking with you, no one’s going to drop any pingers. Chris Pyne might be up, but that guy is loose as. Forget about him. Focus. Breathe deeply. Why don’t you get it together and chuck on some New Lovers?
Look, I’ll be straight up – New Lovers are a bunch of bloody hippies. Nuisances, the lot. Probably work at art galleries or on Q&A. But these guys will make you dance, Tone. They’ll make you groove. I know you’re in doubt, mate; I was too. But you gotta give it to ’em, Tone – the lefties know how to play.
You’re feeling low, but this post-punk stuff is good – real good. Put down the drinks, mate, pick up ‘Fatal Shore’. Or chuck on ‘I Wanna Be You Tonight’. Oh – ah, shit, sorry mate… didn’t mean that.
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It’s BIGSOUND season again, and my humble home of Brisbane is ready to prove that we can do urban pretentiousness as well as the other east coast heavy hitters. We have a gluten-free brownie shop, those fucking donut milkshakes and even a cat cafe – because, shut up. More relevant to the swarm of music journos and broke-as artists about to descend on our fair city is that Fortitude Valley, home of the BIGSOUND conference, has a tobacco shop three doors down from Maccas – and at least two pubs where you won’t be the first person to order a drink at 9am.
Our relative smallness certainly hasn’t restricted our output when it comes to musical talent, it just makes the scene…well, a little incestuous. This has more of a talent incubating effect than birthing bands with mutant third limbs. Although there are plenty of great venues spread across the city and its suburbs, there’s no denying the few seedy blocks of the ‘Valley’ contain the city’s most well-loved live music institutions.
We gathered some Brisbane bands on this year’s BIGSOUND bill to share some stories. Here’s what Morning Harvey frontman Spencer White (far left) had to say:
Spencer: I was actually thinking about this the other day, comparing Brisbane’s nightlife precinct to Sydney or Melbourne’s. We don’t venture out to ‘The Valley’ (where all the BIGSOUND magic happens) anymore unless one of our bands, a friend’s band or a touring act is playing. Nonetheless, I personally feel more comfortable going out in Brisbane to Sydney. It’s pretty mental on a Saturday night but it’s fairly controlled chaos. All the bars are in one place so you have so many kinds of people in a four block radius. I don’t really know what the difference is between the cities, maybe I’m just a sook.
The fondest memories were usually around events like Bigsound or Valley Fiesta when a couple of our bands would be playing. The atmosphere is usually pretty happy and hectic so everyone’s usually on their ‘worst’ behaviour. Lewis and Jimmy (of The Belligerents
) used to live right above McDonald’s in Brunswick street mall. So for a few years there it was host to many after parties and spur of the moment late night shenanigans.
Our favourite places to go were usually Woodland (now Woolly Mammoth
) and Black Bear Lodge
for late night boogies. They have vinyl DJs and you usually run into someone you know so it’s a great place to find some fun. I reckon The Foundry
now has the potential to be the common choice for a Friday and Saturday night, it’s a great sounding mid-sized venue and has heaps of places to drink outside and smoke which seems to be the drawing card for the average Joe.
Mostly, ‘The Valley’ is a big maze of different people from different backgrounds (and on different levels of drunk) going from bar to bar. But we’re all in it together, and usually this ends up making a really great night out.
Catch Morning Harvey’s BIGSOUND show at The Foundry on Thursday, September 10th at 8PM.
Tam Vantage opens his debut LP forcefully, with the snarling guitar and dramatic synth riff of ‘High Definition’. Bolstered by a chorus of female backing vocalists, he places a hand on his hip and, in an arch sing-song, spits: ‘You don’t know what it’s like to break / to take and take and take / to take the dive then hesitate / to just break free when it’s too late’.
A Melbourne musician, Tam Vantage (Tam Matlakowski) once did time with inspired eccentrics the Stevens and as lead singer of Pop Singles (now defunct), whose only album sounded something like the Field Mice by way of Flying Nun. His new solo record picks up where the ‘Setting Sun’ EP left off, summoning a gothic jangle reminiscent of the Triffids and the Church, held together by a spiky, post-punk rhythm section. In a local landscape dominated by the jangle obsessed, Tam Vantage has staked his own ground.
Tam’s a talented lyricist, and ‘High Definition’ stylishly evokes the 80’s preoccupation with ‘plastic eyes and magazines’, and the masters of TV. Skew the references a little bit and he could be referring to the fantastical Instagram culture of Gen Y. ‘Well, you’re living in somebody else’s dream,’ he sings, ‘and I know how cold that can be’.
‘High Definition’ is out now through Lost and Lonesome and Beko Disques, with the album Life in High Definition to follow on 16 October.
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