Monthly Archives: February 2014

Friday MixTape #182

Happy Mardi Gras weekend Sydney!

Friday MixTape Download

1. Dickystixxx – All I Need (ft. Skin Town)
2. Moon Boots – Don’t Ask Why (ft. Kyiki)
3. We Were Evergreen –  Daughters (Aeroplane Remix)
4. DCUP – Someone Told Me (Extended)
5. Tensnake & Jacques Lu Cont – Feel Of Love (ft. Jamie Lidell)
6. Shit Robot – The Secret (ft. Reggie Watts)
7. Chromeo – Come Alive (Grum Remix)
8. Psychemagik – Black Noir Schwarz (ft. Renegade)
9. Goldfrapp – Thea (Twin Shadow Remix)
10. London Grammar – Hey Now (Tensnake Remix)
11. Gorgon City – No More  (ft. Liv)
12. Hot Natured – Benediction (Lxury Remix)
13. The Alexanders – Don’t Miss (ft. Anna Lunoe)
14. Touch Sensitive – Slowments
15. Xander Milne – Let Me Fuse
16. The Young Professionals – Let’s Do It Right  (ft. Eva Simons) (Anoraak Club Mix)
17. The Presets – Goodbye Future (The Aston Shuffle Remix)
18. PACES – Open Up Your Eyes (ISLND Remix)
19. Madison Avenue – Don’t Call Me Baby (Motez Vicious21 Remix)
20. Cajmere – Brighter Days (Cassian Rework)
21. Talisco – Your Wish (Wankelmut Remix)


triple j: Hottest 100 Volume 21 is out TODAY!

triple j celebrated 21 years of their Hottest 100 poll on Australia Day, counting down the best songs of 2013. A mahoosive 1,492,619 votes were submitted by 173,658 music fans and over 5,700 Hottest 100 parties were held around the globe, making 2013’s Hottest 100 the world’s biggest musical democracy.

Wrapping up another huge year in music which saw some incredible new talent and sounds introduced to the world, as well as some old favourites coming back to dominate the airwaves. In the end it was Melbourne artist Vance Joy who took out the number 1 pozzie with ‘Riptide.’

triple j’s Hottest 100 double album hits the stores today, featuring a selected few of the Hottest 100 songs from the likes of Daft Punk, Empire Of The Sun, Disclosure, Arctic Monkeys, James Blake, Matt Corby, RÜFÜS, Goldroom, Arcade Fire, Flume, London GrammarTouch Sensitive, The Kite String Tangle and many, many others.

Hottest 100 Volume 21 – CD 1:
1. Vance Joy  – Riptide
2. Lorde – Royals
3. Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?
4. The Preatures – Is This How You Feel?
5. Disclosure – When A Fire Starts To Burn
6. Violent Soho – Covered In Chrome
7. Kanye West – Black Skinhead
8. The Wombats – Your Body Is A Weapon
9. James Blake – Retrograde
10. London Grammar – Strong
11. RÜFÜS – Take Me
12. Andy Bull – Keep On Running
13. HAIM – The Wire
14. Foals – My Number
15. Queens Of The Stone Age – If I Had A Tail
16. Flight Facilities – Stand Still (ft. Micky Green)
17. Illy – Youngbloods (ft. Ahren Stringer)
18. Cloud Control – Scar
19. Bloc Party – Ratchet
20. Grouplove – Ways To Go
21. Dustin Tebbutt – The Breach

Hottest 100 Volume 21 – CD 2:
1. Daft Punk – Get Lucky (ft. Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers)
2. Max Frost – White Lies
3. Flume & Chet Faker – Drop The Game
4. Matt Corby – Resolution
5. Rudimental – Waiting All Night (ft. Ella Eyre)
6. Chvrches – Recover
7. Arcade Fire – Reflektor
9. Bring Me The Horizon – Sleepwalking
10. The Kite String Tangle – Given The Chance
11. Thundamentals – Smiles Don’t Lie
12. Vampire Weekend – Step
13. Birds Of Tokyo – Lanterns
14. Goldroom – Embrace
15. Bliss n Eso – Act Your Age
16. Mikhael Paskalev – I Spy
17. Boy & Bear – Southern Sun
18. Lana Del Rey – Young And Beautiful
19. Touch Sensitive – Pizza Guy
20. Empire Of The Sun – Alive

Head on over to iTunes and pick up a copy of triple j‘s Hottest 100 Volume 21 to add to your collection.

Placebo: Monday Feb 24 @The Enmore, Sydney [Review]

Words by Justine McNamara.

Placebo returned to Australia to tour with Soundwave, for the first time since their appearance at the festival in 2010, to play us new songs off their latest album Loud Like Love.

They opened with ‘B3’, from their 2012 EP of the same name, and then backtracked to 2009 with ‘For What It’s Worth’. From the very start of the show, Brian Molko‘s voice rang out clear through the Enmore Theatre and pulsed its way to the very back of the room.

The band don’t display their energy by moving around the stage or interacting with each other, but it could be felt with every guitar riff and drum beat. Molko waited until after ‘Loud Like Love’, their third song of the night, to address the crowd (albeit briefly) while the guitarist moved onto the keyboard, and the keyboard player moved to play violin. This is the only point in the night that the sound wasn’t perfect. The Enmore need to be congratulated for this, they did a fantastic job of making sure every song was clear and every instrument could be heard when it needed to be. Well, except in this song. The violin and keyboard couldn’t be heard over the drums and bass in some parts of ‘Twenty Years’, but everything came together at the end, during the climax “You’re the truth not I.” The passion in this song could be felt from start to finish.

Arguably their biggest hit ‘Every You Every Me’ made an early appearance, and was played so fast that it was over almost as quickly as it began. It felt rushed, like the band wanted to get it out of the way as fast as they could to concentrate on newer material.

Their newer songs got a mixed response from the crowd. Some were clearly happy to hear them but others were really hanging out for some old hits. There was a slight lull in the set during Loud Like Love‘s album tracks, but single ‘Too Many Friends’ was very well received. It was incredibly funny to watch people take photos, and for me to be taking notes during the line “My computer thinks I’m gay. What’s the difference anyway? When all the people do all day, is stare into a phone?” Even when the band were poking fun at that very behaviour, no one could help themselves enough to stop and listen and put their phones away.

Those waiting for the hits were soon rewarded with ‘Meds’ – which was slowed down at first to confuse everyone, before it became frenzied and crazy from the second verse onwards – ‘Song to Say Goodbye’, ‘Special K’ and ‘The Bitter End’ appeared in quick succession. The band fed off the crowd’s energy during these songs, and that period of the set was the stand out of the night. ‘Special K’ was one of the highest points and hearing the crowd yell “Ba da da da da da da da” over Molko, and seeing arms in the air along with a lot of head-shaking, really showed how important that song is to so many people.

The band walked off stage to deafening applause and cheers, and that continued until they returned.

They played a slowed down version of ‘Teenage Angst’, that took me right back to my high school years and a cover of Kate Bush‘s ‘Keep Running Up That Hill’. ‘Post Blue’ had the crowd singing “It’s between you and me” back at the band, and finished the night with an electrifying version of ‘Infra Red’. Though they left out some of their biggest hits – ‘English Summer Rain’, ‘Nancy Boy’ and ‘Pure Morning’ to name only a few – Placebo‘s set was memorable. They brought emotion into every song and, as always, Molko’s voice connected with everyone there.

Rating: ★★★★

Here’s a full video album stream of Placebo’s latest record, Loud Like Love


Eminem: Rapture Australia 2014 Tour [Review]

Words by Tobias Handke.

It’s not often you can claim an Australian hip-hop festival a success, but that’s exactly what this years Rapture event was. Headlined by Eminem, it was a showcase of old and new, with Eminem ascertaining his presence as a ‘Rap God,’ while Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole offered fans a taste of what the future of hip hop looks like.

Thankfully, I arrived after 360 had performed – who, from all reports, was terrible – making it in time to catch former chef turned rhyme slayer, Action Bronson, currently one of my favourite rappers.

Bronson’s set up was minimal at best, with the burly rapper backed only by his DJ as he kept things Blue Chips 2 centric, with ‘Rolling Thunder,’ the Tracey Chapman sampling ‘Amadu Diablo’ and 80’s mashup, ‘Contemporary Man,’ just a few of the highlights.

Proving he’s a man of the people, or maybe just hoping for more of a reaction, Bam Bam waded into the crowd after a few songs, high fiving punters and necking their beers, which was great, apart from cutting his playing time by a good ten minutes or so while he made his way back to the stage, leaving his DJ to entertain with dodgy 80s dance efforts.

While a definite talent, the crowd seemed uninterested in Bronson, which was unfortunate; with bearded one more suited to club shows full of paying fans than a festival crowd waiting for the main event.

Up next was J. Cole, someone I find boring and uninspired, so it’s pretty hard to give his performance a positive review, but if I took anything away from Cole’s set, it was his level of professionalism. Backed by a tight band, harmonious back-up singers and two sexy dancers, Cole’s live show is on point, appearing to have put in a great deal of effort to get such a polished performance.

The crowd gave him a mixed reaction, with only his bigger tracks (‘Crooked Smile,’ ‘She Knows,’ ‘Power Trip’) really getting any reaction, Kendrick Lamar on the other hand, was a totally different story.

Having seen what he is capable of when he toured in 2012, I had high expectations, and boy did the LA MC deliver. Opening with the snare snapping ‘Money Trees,’ Lamar stalked the stage like a predator, dispatching songs with aggressive venom for an appreciative crowd. Lamar kept things good kid, m.A.A.d city heavy, with ‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,’ ‘Swimming Pools (Drank)’ and ‘Backstreet Freestyle’ causing the mosh to really start heaving. K-Dot took a leaf out of the Kanye West and Jay Z playbook with he spat his verse from A$AP Rocky’s ‘Fuckin’ Problems’ twice, reminding everyone a “Benz-is-to-me-just-a-car.”

While it would have been great to hear more tracks from Section .80, K-dot was happy to entertain a crowd predominately concerned with his recent work, ending things with the West Coast flavoured ‘Compton.’

By now, the crowd had reached fever pitch, and there was a real sense of nervous excitement reverberating around the stadium. When the lights finally went down, the crowd exploded as Eminem appeared on stage in familiar apparel – grey hoodie, shorts and sneakers – and launched into ‘Survival.’

Joined by hype man and fellow D12 member, Mr Porter, Eminem had the audience moshing and rapping along from the get go, with ‘Won’t Back Down’ and ‘3 a.m.’ keeping the energy flowing.

With eight albums to his name, the set list was always going to be diverse, and Em didn’t disappoint, with a great variety of singles and album tracks populating the night. Older numbers ‘Just Don’t Give A Fuck,’ ‘Kill You’ and ‘The Way I Am’ showcased the angry, aggressive Slim Shady persona, while new hits ‘Berzerk’ and ‘Love The Way You Lie’ demonstrated Em’s maturity as a rapper and songwriter, as well as his continued knack to write solid pop tunes.

Royce Da 5’9 joined Em halfway through for ‘Fast Lane’ and ‘Lighters,’ while Mr Porter was ever present, providing much needed vocal support throughout the evening. Eminem’s eight piece backing band also deserve a mention, helping flesh out his arrangements, as well as the female songstress whose strong voice helped out on the likes of ‘The Monster’ and ‘Sing For The Moment.’

If anyone still had any doubt about Eminem’s rhyming ability, it was quickly put to rest with ‘Rap God,’ a brilliant six minute head turner that featured Em rapping at his fastest without missing a beat, displaying not only his lyrical wit, but feverish flow.

The ‘My Name Is/The Real Slim Shady/Without Me’ mash-up induced a mass sing along before the chart topping, ‘Not Afraid,’ brought things to a close. Hoping there was still more to come, the crowd chanted his name and stomped their feet, before Em returned to the stage for an encore of, ‘Lose Yourself,’ as fireworks lit up the Sydney sky.

At 41 years of age, Eminem was just as enthusiastic and intense as when he first appeared on the scene some 15 odd years ago. Now drug and alcohol free, he seemed to be in a great place, reflected by his outstanding live performance that will be heralded as one of the gigs of 2014. While his new material might not be as controversial, Em is showing a greater range of work, and if he continues to put on live shows like this, there is no doubting he will go down as one of hip hops greatest MCs.

Rating: ★★★★ | | |

Kitsuné: New Faces [Compilation Stream]

Parisian label Kitsuné have gathered 14 new and unreleased tunes from some of their freshest signees and put them all onto one tidy compilation album for us all to ravish with our ears.

Titled Kitsuné New Faces the compilation features Solomon GreyYears & Years, PandaLxury – and even our very own Snakadaktal.

1. Antimatter People – Mossy Grounds
2. Gallant – Sirens
3. Lxury – Never Love
4. Solomon Grey – Last Century Man
5. Southern – Shout It
6. Years & Years – Real
7. George Fitzgerald – I Can Tell by the Way You Move
8. Panda – Eighty Nine
9. Hyetal – Jam the Network
10. Superfood – Bubbles
11. Snakadaktal – The Sun II
12. Clancy – Overdue
13. Kilo Kish – Turquoise
14. Rosie Lowe – Me & Your Ghos

Pick up a copy of Kitsuné New Faces now from iTunes. |

WhoMadeWho: Heads Above [New Single]

Danish lads WhoMadeWho share ‘Heads Above,’ the next single to fall from their forthcoming record, Dreams.

‘Heads Above’ is a smooth arrangement of beats layered in and around Tomas Høffding‘s soft and seductive vocals – sounding not unlike the by-product of a Grizzly Bear and Kisses collaboration.

Dreams is out next week on March 3 – get your pre-orders in now from iTunes. | |

Chris Malinchak: Forever [New Single]

New York City’s Chris Malinchak drops ‘Forever,’ a brand new tropical jam that is brimming with über sexy disco vibes, and as usual, a burst of sunshine in every beat.

‘Forever’ is available to download for FREE through here. | |

Pharrell Williams: Gust of Wind (ft. Daft Punk) [New Single]

Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams team up again on ‘Gust of Wind,’ taken from Pharrell’s forthcoming record, G I R L.

G I R L also has Pharrell working with Miley CyrusAlicia Keys and Justin Timberlake, and it will be available next week on March 4. Get your orders in now via iTunes.

Golden Features: Self-titled EP [Review + Stream]

Words by Jacqui Wonder. 

The debut, self titled EP from Golden Features is blowing up everywhere right now, with four experimental and completely original house inspired tunes featured on the slickly produced debut. I guess it doesn’t hurt to have a little mystery around your actual identity either, given the internet public practically lose their shit when they don’t know something; no wonder that the EP is almost up to 34,000 plays (and counting) on SoundCloud one week after being let loose.

We know this much; we can claim Golden Features coming from our golden shores right here in Australia and VAMP Music, the one’s promoting our mysterious producer are quoting (super legit) internet sources as saying “this cnt is gonna blow up like Flume did” and “this is the Australian version of Burial” – two not so shabby comparisons a week out of the gates (even if they did drop the c-bomb).

Identity and hype aside, you’ll be hearing these tracks get plenty of air and dancefloor-play. Opener ‘Tell Me’ has already been getting spins on triple j and features the Cosmo’s Midnight, Peking Duk and Emoh Instead favoured vocalist Nicole Millar. A deep and trippy soundscape perfectly offsets Millar’s sky-high chords and will easily fill dancefloors. A reverberating, arpeggiated, sonic sound greets you in ‘Factory’ – again favouring a deep house sound but slowed down and stripped of all vocals but a few grunts and moans.

‘Guillotine’ and ‘Maybe We are Different’ stand out as unique tracks in their own right (the latter being my pick from the EP), but Golden Features has developed a distinct stamp on all four, with high energy, deep house, bassy and sonic flavours featuring throughout. If this is the debut, I can’t wait to see what else our mystery man/woman has in store for us.

Rating: ★★★★ |

Black Atlass: Young Bloods EP [Review + Stream]

Words by Jacqui Wonder. 

Greet a modern day Prince via the nu-R&B stylings of Black Atlass’ latest offering, the Young Bloods EP.

Similar to the Artist Formerly Known as Prince before him, Black Atlass aka Alex Fleming has made waves both in musical and fashion circles, with his sound pushing R&B borders and his look is definitively easy-on-the-eye. I’ll let the fashionistas concern themselves with his stylings (my idea of fashion is a leather jacket and a short skirt), and I’ll focus on the R&B dripping, experimental electro audio.

Soulful, breathy and velvety vocals are a hallmark of the EP, and being Fleming’s own, they set him apart as a producer. Low tempo, experimental synth are where the similarities end across the six tracks that showcase a diversity of ideas and technical skills.

Lead single ‘Blossom’ has already clocked up an impressive 180,000 SoundCloud plays, with an expansive bassline augmented by syncopated synth lines and Fleming’s velvety voice dishing out ideas of first love.

‘The Rose’ and ‘Jewels’ are the standouts for me with soul infused vocals complemented by an experimental instrumentation where Fleming doesn’t shy away from laying it on thick or pairing it right back to a heartbeat like percussion line as in ‘The Rose’.

Overall Fleming is a sensual experience for the ears and the eyes.

Rating: ★★★

Young Bloods EP is out now on iTunes via Fool’s Gold Records. |

Architecture In Helsinki: I Might Survive [New Single]

‘I Might Survive’ is the new tune from Melbourne play-pop collective Architecture In Helsinki, the next cut from their forthcoming record NOW + 4EVA.

As usual AIH have delivered a playful arrangement of percussion, horns and vocal hooks.

Is it just me or does the chorus sound similar to TLC‘s ‘Waterfalls’?

NOW + 4EVA by Architecture In Helsinki will drop on March 28 via Casual Workout-Inertia.

They’ll also be hitting the road throughout April – all of those details can be found over at their Tour Page. | |

FKA Twigs: FKA x inc. [New Single]

The illustrious FKA Twigs has teamed up with Californian production bros Inc. for a one-off collaborative single, simply titled ‘FKA x inc.’

The project comes with a video which has FKA co-directing with Nick Walker, starring FKA and inc. in and around an abandoned house, in a desert. | |

Coldplay: Midnight [New Single]

Yes, Coldplay have a new single, and Yes we are sharing it on acid stag. Why? Because we can’t work out whether it is Coldplay or Bon Iver!

No seriously, it is Coldplay and their latest single ‘Midnight’ sees them moving in a new direction. Where exactly they’ll end up, we’ll just have to wait and see as they release their 6th studio album later this year.

For now, take a listen to ‘Midnight’ by Bon Iver Coldplay.

Beck: Morning Phase [Album Review]

Words by Tim Onslow.

“There’s no frame around your picture. 

Just a view through my back door”

The hardest working ‘slacker’ in music reawakens with Morning Phase, an album artfully adrift in the acoustic-based desolation and eerily graceful melancholia he previously navigated in 2002’s Sea Change, this album’s lovelorn twin. Although it’s been 5 years since his last LP, Modern Guilt, Beck has hardly been idle in the extended interim. Notwithstanding an only recently-publicised serious spinal injury, we had the 20-song sheet-music publication of Song Reader, production work for characters like Thurston Moore and Stephen Malkmus, numerous other collaborations, stand-alone single releases and a live orchestral version of David Bowie‘s Sound and Vision.

Beck made his name in the mid-90’s with drop-out stoner anthems like ‘Loser’ and ‘Devil’s Haircut’, the huge success of Mellow Gold and Odelay vaunting him to pop-cultural prominence as the readymade incarnation (he’s still somehow as cherubically fresh-faced) of the preternaturally gifted drop-out, an alternative icon for the MTV generation. But the genre defying mash-up style and laconic lyricism that became his signature sound belied what he has since demonstrated to be an ultimately profound and enduring enchantment with blues, folk and country.

Morning Phase finds a home for some songs that have drifted for years, even directly harkening in their first discarded emergence back to the Sea Change sessions, and some originally intended for an ostensibly country album attempted in 2005, then reprised and recorded last year at Jack White‘s Third Man Records studios. As a stated ‘companion piece’ to Sea Change, we find ourselves once more in a dreaming soundscape built upon acoustic guitar, lush strings, echoing vocals and lyrics of undeniably sad beauty.

First single, ‘Blue Moon’, is an immediately stirring slice of gentle melancholy, a beautiful melody floating over words that speak of loneliness, bitterness and guilt (“So cut me down to size so I can fit inside/lies that will divide us both in time”). Many of the songs on this record actually feel like crystallised moments of a form of self-counselling, soft balms for a bare soul, highly personal instructions that are searching for rueful wisdom (‘Say Goodbye’, ‘Unforgiven’, ‘Don’t Let It Go’, ‘Turn Away’) amidst a deep sadness.

The folk element is given space to breath; Nick Drake vaguely haunts ‘Heart is a Drum’, Simon & Garfunkel lurk in the shades of ‘Turn Away’, and Dylan appears to inhabit the lyrical imagery of stand-out track, ‘Country Down’. ‘Blackbird Chain’ is a soft-focus country love song, while ‘Wave’ serves up a bleak and unsettling atmosphere, verses sang over nothing but solemn strings (“If I surrender/And I don’t fight this wave/No I won’t go under/I’ll only get carried away”) and an outro formed by the repeated chant of “isolation, isolation, isolation”.

With all the anti-folk lo-fi nihilism of One Foot in the Grave, the hick-hop slacker energy of Mellow Gold, the genius audio-collage cut-up classic that is Odelay, the psych-folk bossa-nova and country blues grab-bag of Mutations, the excursion into flirtatious funk and Prince-posing Midnite Vultures, the Latin-flavoured pop of Guero, the indie-rock of The Information and Modern GuiltBeck has clearly demonstrated that he’s not a man in love with the idea of being contained in one genre. From mariachi to metal, he’s proved himself a deft master in any stylistic direction that his muse invites him. That said, on each of the above albums in his long career, and especially pronounced with Sea Change, Beck has also shown himself to be fundamentally formed from a blues and folk aesthetic.

Morning Phase marks a graceful, if downbeat, reunion with his first love. For all the mercurial sonic adventurism, he seems most at home with little more instrumentation than an acoustic guitar, a harmonica and a broken heart. There is yet another Beck album scheduled for release at some point later this year, said to be “completely different” to Morning Phase. We wouldn’t expect anything less.

Rating: ★★★★

Morning Phase by Beck is out now on iTunes, thanks to Capitol Records.

We’ll leave you with ‘Blue Moon’ | 

Indian Summer: Aged Care (ft. Benjamin Joseph) [New Single]

Indian Summer have unveiled their latest jaw-dropping, synth fuelled original single ‘Aged Care’ which sees them enlisting Benjamin Joseph of SAFIA for the vocal stem.

Accompanying ‘Aged Care’ is the heavy dancefloor beats of B-side track ‘Pin Tweaks’

‘Aged Care is available now from iTunes, thanks to Sweat It Out Records. | |