After a five-year gap since their last album ‘Pacifica’, electronic powerhouse The Presets finally give fans what they’ve been waiting for in ‘Hi Viz’ – a high octane release with strong club influence that diversifies constantly throughout a 12-track offering.
‘Hi Viz’ begins with the introductory ‘Knuckles’, a track which is immediately immersed in a sparsity through various samples creating chaos within the mix before the restrained vocals of Julian Hamilton beautifully combine with the eccentric percussion. ‘Knuckles’ is amplified even further courtesy of the bright horns that come into play, setting the perfect podium for the hard hitting ‘Do What You Want’ to enter the arena with ultimate force. Showcasing their unique ability to create an electronically influenced track through the utilisation of organic instrumentation, The Presets manipulate the two realms to create quite a diverse mix whilst maintaining an ‘underground’ feeling to the song through the infectious, melody chiselling into our membrane bit by bit.
‘Martini’ accentuates significant groove through the solid foundations laid within the smooth bassline and tight percussion. With various splashes of colour through the subtle insertions of synth, the counter melodies created through the sampled vocals or Hamilton’s echoed vocals, ‘Martini’ cleverly utilises these elements to disguise a bridge created to allow the inception of ‘Beethoven’ to occur. Following on from where its predecessor left off, ‘Beethoven’ continues the central focus on drum and bass, whilst applying some intensified electronic components to accentuate a club atmosphere throughout the duration of the track before providing a ‘parody’ ending of classical music to signify a moment of reprieve.
Within ‘Hi Viz’ we are witness to several guest appearances that are a real treat for us all. The dark pop influenced ‘Out Of Your Mind’ sees Alison Wonderland on the vocals, displaying a rebellious nature in her delivery of her melodies that can be likened to Icona Pop. Meanwhile later down in the track listing we see indie/rock heavyweights DMA’s enlisted on the psychedelic dreamer ‘Are You Here?’. Drawing comparisons to Jagwar Ma, ‘Are You Here’ takes you on a cosmic journey full of swooping synths that create the ultimate podium for DMA’s effortless vocal delivery to reign supreme.
In the final moments of the album, we are introduced to a house influence full of groove and character within the composition of the tracks. ‘Tools Down’ steps it up instantly with a faster paced momentum centred around the catchiness in the repeated melody, as well as the flavoursome bass-line. A highlight within the album lies within ‘Feel Alone’, a 5:41 track that like ‘Tools Down’ focuses itself around the repeated melody ‘No you won’t ever have to feel alone again’, yet carries significant depth within its production through the utilization of a dance fuelled drum-line which builds alongside various synths that cut in and out of the mix. ‘14U+14ME’ originally builds itself as a more intriguing piece of music through the arpeggiated keys, yet crescendos into a throwback to ‘My People’ through the massive synth that slaps you across the face and gets you up on your feet instantly.
‘Hi Viz’ sees The Presets diversify their talents into a more club influenced direction, signifying that they are well and truly back with full sights on maintaining their status as Australia’s top electronic act.
“We have been working on this record on-and-off for 4 years (unbelievable, I know) and we are super excited to finally share it with you. However you’re experiencing to it today, whether you’re at home with the vinyl, in the car with the CD, or streaming it off your phone on the way to work – just promise us one thing – that you’re gonna blast it loud.
Thanks for you support guys. We fucking love you. Enjoy HI VIZ, and hope to see you at a show sometime real soon.” – The Presets