Surrounds, the second EP from Anatole (Jonathan Baker), landed today via Tommy Faith’s impeccable TEEF Records. A graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium, Baker wrangled a bunch of his former classmates to perform on the release, which features strings, piano and clarinet alongside his trumpet and laptop creations. Sophisticated and soft-hued, these organic elements are subtly propelled by light-handed production and gentle beats that skew towards handclaps, woodblocks and jazzy snares. There are vocals from Melbourne-based singers Rosebud Leach and Tash Parker, too, but Anatole’s pristine music is just as compelling without the added human element.
The Surrounds EP is officially out on 18 December. For now you can stream it on Spotify, and preorder here.
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.
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”.
If you thought the barrage of FOMO-inducing photos on of picturesque Lake Mountain was over – then shame on you. Good things take time. You should have known that we’d post our Paradise Festival photos a week later than everyone else with these film photos capturing moments of bliss, tinies and 90s latex cameos.
Film takes time to process, and so does the brain to process memories. The week after a festival, (especially one with a club) can be a rough one. Congrats to those who did attend. You made it. Thursday was a particularly shit one for me. Now that I feel good again the memories feel even better.
For those of you who did attend, maybe you will find your face in the crowd, maybe not. Either way you will look back with nostalgic warmth on the weekend that was. Maybe you are traumatised from lugging heaps of unnecessary crap up a mountain. Perhaps you only remember watching hippies making bubbles and wondering why club kids wear white at a festival.
Or maybe you don’t latch on to the negatives. I remember watching an unbelievable sunrise on Saturday morning that I wasn’t able to photograph with justice – and don’t have a big enough vocabulary to describe. Maybe it was dancing in the afternoon sun to Totally Mild and The Harpoons and thinking that everything in the world was alright. Whatever it was, this three-year-old baby of a festival is located in the most picturesque setting.
Paradise Festival is truly unique and will continue to do great things for local music. For those who missed out this year, the feeling that you could/should/would have attended will only intensify as Paradise grows older.
See you in 2016.
Check out our previous Paradise photo essays, here and here.
Julia R. Anderson began uploading bedroom experiments to Soundcloud during her high school years in the sweaty Queensland town of Bundaberg, aka that place where rum and your worst decisions come from. Anderson has since made the southward trek to the Big City Light of Brisbane to study music, all the while tinkering away at her unassuming swirling psych sound, and her ability to move from across the psych spectrum from folk to garage is proof the constant development is paying dividends.
‘In the Beginning’ is Anderson’s first proper release and continues very much in the same vein of her sizeable Soundcloud output to date – it’s music to daydream to. The video is exactly what I wanted it to be: a lush, strange trip through the park, featuring body craft and snippets of singing birds chime in behind her own confident drawl. I’m coming up stumps trying to think of Australian female vocalists with a similar sound, but I can definitely hear a bluesier Melody Prochet, the French artist behind Melody’s Echo Chamber.
‘In the Beginning’ is the first look into her debut album to be released next year, which will consist of a selection of old favourite from her Soundcloud page and new music and I’m hoping the infectiously upbeat dream folk track ‘Learn and Play’ makes the cut. It shows off Anderson’s ear for detail and feels as though it’s been composed from whatever musical bric-a-brac was on hand at the time of a creative burst. There is a hazy summer optimism about the song that holds your attention with it’s bubbling positivity where ‘In the Beginning’ loses a little steam.
Whatever your take Anderson has plenty of material to rummage through, and by the sounds of it 2016 will only see the proliferation increase.
Ross Manning is an installation artist exploring the kinetic interplay of light and sound. His sculptures are made of ordinary materials like plastic sheets and fluorescent bulbs that skitter and spiral, powered by mechanisms as simple as a belt attached to a ceiling fan. A musician as well, Manning is a former member of noise duo Faber Castell and Brisbane experimentalists Sky Needle, who make ‘primitive clunk’ on homemade or found ‘unstruments’. (His credits on Sky Needle records include ‘string panels’ and ‘electric dustpan’).
On 11 December, Manning will release a new solo work, Interlacing, via acclaimed experimental label Room40. Like the ambient compositions of label head Lawrence English, Manning’s music aims to reveal the strange flickers and frequencies usually buried at the peripheries of human attention. The songs on Interlacing shift unsteadily between the persistent thrum and squeal of electromagnetic-tape recordings and custom electronics, and the undulating, organic sounds of rope, driven by a slipstream, striking clock chimes and boards of nails.
‘Sinew & Cats’, the latest track to emerge from Interlacing, is piercing and dissonant. The sound moves from a needling electronic signal towards (as the title suggests) a kind of disembodied mewling. Though less tactile than previous single ‘Expand/Scatter’, with its random, percussive flourishes, ‘Sinew & Cats’ feels inherently spatial – like a sonar exploration of a dark, underwater cavern. See Manning’s visual interpretation below.
Craft is transient, as are its makers. When the creative hunch strikes, it’s not uncommon to move as far as we can from familiarity – but more often than not, we seem to return back to the places from where we begin. We spent a day driving around suburbia with Melbourne based alt hip hop group RaRa for our new ‘Suburbs’ series, which aims to shine a light on local musicians and their ongoing relationship with the places where they live.
Nestled in the cosy suburbia that is Melbourne’s inner east is Doncaster; more commonly known to locals as ‘Donny’. A leafy, working class suburb bordered by Eastlink and the Yarra, ‘Donny’ is marked by prams, modified Commodores and rendered 80s brick family dwellings with sloping double carparks.
Middle class Pleasantville seems miles from the the stomping ground where you would have expected RaRa’s slanted genre-bending hip-hop to have taken shape. But from what we saw driving around the neighbourhood; touring empty swimming pools, wandering into unused houses that were former party sites and visiting the family homes the boys still reside in – even if the four boys claim they’re “from another planet”, this will still be home.
Director / Film: Anthony Juchnevicius
Photography: Bec Capp
Animation: Nelson Armstrong
With thanks to: RaRa, Bec Capp, Annie Toller, Oscar McMahon
Featuring: RaRa (Ll’vo, The Lovely Me, KL, River Deep)
RaRa are launching their new EP Planet 2016 at Shebeen in Melbourne on the 19th of December, supported by ESESE & friendships.