Just a few weeks ago a five-piece from Perth called Our Man In Berlin, released their debut EP Is it right?, featuring six fine examples of the type of atmospheric indie-electronic music these guys are creating.
Stream it in full below before picking up a copy from Bandcamp.
Our Man In Berlin also have a few shows happening around Perth in November, so be sure to go check them out if you get the chance.
Sydney duo Hugo Gruzman and James Lyell, aka Flight Facilities, are the kind of perfectionists you both adore for their meticulous production and zealous branding – and resent for the amount of time it takes them to do anything! Along with the rest of Australia (and the world), each year we anxiously waited for an EP or an album from the pair… and instead they would deliver a perfectly crafted electro house track which would make the cut on the yearly favourites list.
When it was revealed that the boys would be dropping a full length record of 14 tracks, expectations were sky high. What songs would they include? How would they package it? Would it be consistent with their branding and sound? As artists who so casually became eternally loved from a few released singles over the past 4 years, no one wanted to be let down by an album that didn’t deliver.
Down to Earth was released on Future Classics label on Friday, October 24. In true Flight Facilities fashion, everything was planned to perfection – from the teaser which spread hype all over social media months earlier; to the unique packaging of mini aeroplane usb’s with the tracks uploaded and branded flight sleep packs, the presentation was flawless.
Holding fast to the aviation theme, which originated from Hugo’s grandfathers flight company, the album begins as any flight does, with the captains greeting “thank you for choosing to fly with Flight Facilities”. The record then moves through each track with precise placement and a satisfying rhythm, do not shuffle the tracks on this one! You will definitely loose some of the magic if you do.
Despite their incredible talents, singing does not seem to be one of them, however recruiting incredible guest vocalists to do the job definitely is. Boasting an elite artistry of Australian and international artists, each collaboration succinctly delivers a new mood, or destination along the journey. In order of appearance we have:
Emma Louise and her soothing presence in ‘Two Bodies.’ You will probably never get sick of this song.
Reggie Watts in the bright, summer soul track ‘Sunshine.’ This will be played by every poolside this year, guaranteed.
Micky Green nailing the joyously upbeat ‘Stand Still’ with her unique vocals (that whistle melody though…)
The dreamy tones of Katie Noonan shining through on track ‘Apollo.’ Seamlessly blending with their trance house mix.
Christine Hoberg tugging at our hearts in ‘Clair De Lune’ (a personal favourite). There is something so hauntingly beautiful about the composition on this song.
The ever so funky Stee Jones grooving in ‘Hold Me Down’, bringing in some disco house, slap base, and sexy as sax to the album.
Owl Eyes, soaking the definite album highlight, ‘Heart Attack’ with her sweet honey tones. Be prepared to play this one on repeat (side note: Julian Hamilton from The Presets also had his hand in this song)
Bishop Nehru rapping his way through the cruisey, hip hop nature of ‘Why Do You Feel’
Title-track Down to Earth features Dennis Dowlut crooning over the pulsing beats of this banger.
Our very own pop princess, Kylie Minogue, giving ‘Crave You – Reprise’ some sweet, fresh blood with an incredible acapella rendition that flows into the original track.
Giselle, still owning the first ever release ‘Crave You’ and seamlessly ending the album where the whole thing began.
The record feels as though it is structured in the same way they would have put together a DJ set, perfectly balanced and mixed. You definitely cannot deny the amount of thought and planning that has gone in to creating this timeless record. The boys delivered, and all we have left to say is, thank god for perfectionists.
Here’s a Down to Earth music video playlist we put together
You can purchase Down to Earth on iTunes now, and also catch Flight Facilities on their upcoming tour across Australia, before they jet off over to Europe and the USA – find all of those details here.
Rising UK producer Jack Ritchie, aka Bearcubs, serves up his latest single today called ‘Touch’, showcasing his impressive ability to sing, write, play and produce.
This is a fine example of lo-fi electronica – a percussive drum beat maintains a ‘Touch’ of forward motion while Ritchie’s velvety smooth vocals weave seamlessly through his bouncing electronic production.
‘Touch’ will be available though iTunes on December 1, with thanks to Love & Other.
Earlier this week we premiered a Robin Parris contribution to the upcoming Electricity Remix EP from Sydney producer GRMM, and today we’d like to share another remix from that package with you.
This one comes from a Brisbane producer called cln, a young newcomer who’s had a pretty good run of remixes over the last few months for the likes of Crooked Colours, Kilter, Wookie and ODESZA, and now he has this rework of GRMM‘s ‘Electrify,’ featuring Father Dude, to add to his repertoire.
GRMM has also just announced his first headline tour around the country, and has invited cln to open the Brisbane leg in December.
There’s no doubt Aussie electronic duo Peking Duk have had a pretty full-on 2014 so far with their chart-smashing, AIR Award-winning single ‘High’ (featuring Nicole Millar), and just recently coming off the back of their huge sold-out national ‘Peace, Love and Sweatiness’ tour.
Before they get back into it all with performances in Indonesia and India next month, followed by Stereosonic and the Beyond The Valley festival back here in Australia this December, we caught up with one-half of the Duk, Reuben Styles, to ask him what the first CD he ever owned was.
The first CD I was ever given was a compilation of late 80s and early 90s hip-hop called ‘The Message – The History Of Rap.’ My uncle gave it to me for my 5th or 6th birthday as a gift of what I believe was his personal introduction to hip-hop. The album has early banger joints from Eric B. & Rakim, A Tribe Called Quest, Neneh Cherry and a shitload more legends and pioneers of the hip-hop genre.
My favourite tune of the lot would have to have been ‘Rapper’s Delight’ by Sugar Hill Gang. The lyrics included awkward and ironic stories that almost any kid in the world could relate to. One in particular being the classic situation of going to a mate’s house for dinner and feeling compelled to be polite and try finish whatever is on your plate, even when the “food just aint no good” and the “chicken tastes like wood”. You’ll struggle like hell to finish it all, to in turn just have your plate loaded up again by your mate’s mum. Too on point for words. As a kid I connected with that big time.
Strangely I forgot about this album throughout high school, and only in the last couple of years have rediscovered it and fallen in love with it again.
I mostly remember the album in general being loads of fun. The lyrics were entirely harmless and had no representation of being a ‘cop killer’, ‘gettin pussy’ or any cliché hip-hop resemblances we’ve heard time and time again. Perhaps this has helped teach me to steer clear of cliché lyrics and beats that sound like something else, as those kinda tunes get lost and forgotten in the sea with everything else. This album is still a must have for anyone today, and probably will be in 20 years.
Here is the Sugar Hill Gang with ‘Rapper’s Delight’
Coming off the back of hit singles ‘Grace’ and ‘Meridian,’ the debut EP Meridian from Zola Blood has been met with fervent anticipation. With the melodies and instrumentals of Snackadaktal, the vocals and structure of The Foals and the lazy texture of Glass Animals, this EP is moody and tranquil. Where this genre can often lend itself to repitition and lethargy, Meridian is far from lackadaisical. Zola Blood emulate creativity, diversity and inspiration throughout their EP. The more you listen to Zola Blood the more their late night broodiness grows on you and leaves you wanting more.
The opening track, ‘Grace,’ sounds a lot like Snackadaktal, with high pitched dropping sound effects and syncopated rhythms. The rhythm smoothly complements the languid falsetto of the vocals. The anguish of the bridge builds to a climax and the lyrics “got carried away” fill out the piece. This is a great opening track.
In ‘Leaves,’ the “oohing” and sighing between words makes the voice a key instrument, with an almost percussive quality. All the different elements of the song have an independent role that meshes together satisfyingly. Lyrics such as “all the leaves are falling down”, give the song a powerful sense of imagery like that of a novel.
‘Meridian’ is easily my favourite song on the EP. It is more upbeat than the other tracks, with a steady, beating pulse. The chorus is silky and the instrumentals powerful, with the picking guitar solos a stand out feature.
The EP continues with its clever variance with ‘Eyes Open.’ This track is darker and the use of percussion creates a fuller sound. The guitars play a more dominant role in this tune than others, carrying a melody as opposed to the picking of the earlier tracks.
Overall this EP is clever and thought provoking, whilst simultaneously relaxing and soulful. This is a great start for Zola Blood and I can’t wait to hear more from them.
You can pick up your very own copy of this EP right now through iTunes.
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