Posts By Ben Leonard

PREMIERE: Perfume Garden – Splintered Time

, , 1 Comment


Errol Hoffman sprang on to the scene as Perfume Garden in 2013 with the drum-machine backed post-punk of the Light Sail EP. It was a debut characterised by a blend of ominous synth drones and wandering guitars reminiscent of early Cocteau Twins. 2014’s Initial Vision EP followed suit, cementing Hoffman’s six-string prowess while introducing a more beat-driven production style.

Splintered Time is the latest release from the Brisbane producer and serves as both a culmination and departure from his past work.

Musically, Splintered Time builds on layers of grainy Casio chords and distant drums with warped lo-fi leads that would feel right at home in Bowie’s Low or Jodorowsky’s Dune, had it ever been made. Songs like opener ‘Endless Sentence’ push and pull in a slow progression that feels distinctly more cinematic then most modern electronic music.

Hoffman cites several sci-fi film scores as key influences for Splintered Time, including Blade Runner and its anime successor Cyber City Oedo 808. This can be heard in the album’s ‘80s style production, which Hoffman achieves through a mix of sampling keyboards and a healthy dose of reverb.

The record positively revels in the retro-futurism it so proudly wears on its sleeve, calling to mind everything from Vangelis’ film work to the more recent Oneohtrix Point Never. It’s an album that manages to remain dark and brooding without becoming suffocating, approaching the isolation of the 21st century with an eye for beauty, as well as melancholy.

Although Splintered Time is entirely instrumental, it manages to conjure up powerfully emotive images of decaying cityscapes and solitary figures, all the while giving a sense of gloomy romanticism that makes everything seem like its as it should be.  It’s the perfect soundtrack to enjoying your own post-apocalyptic fantasy on these long mid-winter nights. 

Splintered Time is out through Feral Media on the 20th of July.

Facebook / Bandcamp

Read Post →


, , No Comment


Luke Benge is a man of many lives. Astute readers may remember the New Zealand-born musician from his synth-pop swoonings as Rohypnotise or for his infamous exit from Beat Magazine in 2012. After spending the past few years in New York, Benge has returned to Australia to work on new music as Lucola Bang.

‘Snakes and Ladders’ is the first offering from his debut EP What Of It? and finds the multi-instrumentalist refining the wistful charm of his early work into a rolling heat-wave of warm synths and sticky-sweet bass lines. Fans of Kiwi contemporaries Boy Crush and Leno Lovecraft will find a lot to love in the new single as Benge’s hushed vocals permeate clouds of reverb-laden strings and bells.

With a new music video by avant-garde director Rhys Mitchell on the way and the EP out in full in September, we’re excited to have Benge back on this side of the planet.

Facebook / TwitterSoundcloud

Read Post →


, , No Comment


Wellington’s Al Green has been making music as Groeni for a little while now but has started grabbing some international attention with the recent release of his new EP, Hewn. The sophomore release is five songs of beautifully down-beat electronica, which fits somewhere nicely in the continuum between Vacation-era Shlohmo and the more recent Caribou stuff.

I first saw Groeni at Chronophonium festival back in January and  was taken aback by how developed the sound was for something that began life as a bedroom recording project. Reverbed 808’s rang out across the fern-covered Tapu Valley and I swear I’ve never heard a more perfect match of sound and environment in my life.

Labels like ‘post-dubstep’ or ‘bass-music’ get thrown around a lot these days and are enough to make you want to lose your lunch. Groeni, however, distills the best of those sounds into a warped, yet graceful whole which will have you day-dreaming in no time.

Facebook /  SUPPORT

Read Post →


, , No Comment


Fazerdaze is the moniker of Wellington born bedroom songwriter, Amelia Murray. After moving to Auckland to study music, Murray began layering guitars over drum machine loops and in the process created one of the most charming iterations of surf-pop we’ve heard in a while.

New Zealand has a pretty good history of churning out jangly guitar bands (everyone from The Clean to Surf City) but Murray really sets herself apart with Fazerdaze. Her debut EP brings together the driving rhythms of more traditional surf with multi-tracked harmonic vocals that feel like they barely touch the ground before floating right past your ears.

The whole thing is delivered with such effortlessness that it seems like Murray must have just sat down and recorded the whole thing in an afternoon. But don’t let that description fool you. Songs like ‘Somethink’ show off some beautifully intricate guitar work along the lines of Dustin Wong’s solo albums.

Fazerdaze has been playing a few shows around the country and with any luck we’ll hear more from her soon.

Facebook / Bandcamp

Read Post →