Words by Vicki Winter.
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.
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