August 10, 2017

Touring: !!!


Artwork by Carl Breitkreuz

!!! TOUR DATES:

  • MELBOURNE: Thursday December 7 @ The Curtin. Tickets on sale now from Music Glue. Presented by RRR.
  • MEREDITH: Friday December 8 @ Meredith Music Festival. Ticket ballot open now.
  • SYDNEY: Thursday December 14 @ Oxford Art Factory. Tickets on sale now from Moshtix. Presented by 2SER.
  • + more to come!

!!! are one of Earth’s great live bands; something you have to experience in the flesh to truly comprehend.  To quote Aunty Meredith in her !!! wisdom:

“Designed for celebration. Built for energy generation. Engineered for euphoric elevation. Tested in all atmospheric conditions. Certified to issue failsafe moodproof bigband surefunk dancepunk. In poolboy shorts. Any beat that moves you is fuel for their six cylinders: twitchy R&B, queasy dub-disco, discotheque disco, romantic house, any quality propulsive groove. They turn any space into a dance club.”

Listen to “The Long Walk,” a brand new !!! track from a limited edition hand-stamped white label 12″ EP called Shake The Shut Up, available on their upcoming Australian tour: “a deliciously dirty disco-house groove elevated to celestial heights by gospel-tinged backing vocals” (Stereogum):

While  !!!’s  live  shows  are  something  to  behold,  they  underscore  the  sheer musicianship and songwriting that goes into recording their albums. It is a lot of hard work made to  look  easy.  “Most  of  the  songs  on Shake the Shudder  are  based  off  of  jams”, says frontman Nic Offer, “and  since  we  record  every  jam,  most  of  the  tracks  here  feature moments we  actually  recorded  from those  jams. Most  artists have  to dig  through  the  crates  to find  that one  sample  nobody has used  but  we  can  sample  ourselves,  having  been playing  this style of music for awhile now. As a band we try to play it the way the JBs would, as producers we try to mix it the way a DJ would.”

!!!

Shake the Shudder are words to live by and ones that !!! fully embrace. There are always fears to  be  faced  and  new  paths  to  forge,  and  those  uncertainties  never  hold  them  back.  They  just propel  them  to  jump  in  head  first.  For  years,  !!!  have  run  the  dance  band  gambit  and  become New  York  City  legends.  From  their  start  in  Sacramento,  to  Brooklyn  house  party  staples  and Union  Pool  residencies,  and  now  delighting  festival  stages  from  Primavera  to  FYF,  they’ve cemented their place as part of New York’s live dance scene — while others have drifted into the history  books.

Shake The Shudder is a product of !!!’s DIY punk roots presenting a harder edge lyrically and sonically,  while  incorporating  trans-Atlantic  electronic  music  influences.  Regularly  enlisting  the aid of talented female vocalists to elevate to their sound, this new album is no exception with the inclusion  of  up  and  coming  talents  Lea  Lea  and  Meah  Pace  showcasing energetic  breakout performances that only hints at what they do live. And Nic Offer is no easy frontman to keep up with on stage.

The  new  record  opens  with “The  One  2”,  diving  right  into  this  experimentation, “we’ve  always admired this style of dance music from afar and were curious if we could add our twist to it, our twist being a plotline and some attitude.” Immediately segueing into the soon-to-be live favorite “Dancing  Is  The  Best  Revenge” (below),  which  premiered  on  Last  Call  With  Carson  Daly,  the  record starts off with a bang and doesn’t let up till the closing groove “R Rated Pictures.”

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July 25, 2017

Touring: Nite Jewel

170721 Nite Jewel poster-01
Artwork by Alex Fregon

Mistletone is rapt to present Nite Jewel returning to Australia this October.

NITE JEWEL TOUR DATES:

  • MELBOURNE: Fri Oct 20 @ NGV Friday Nights. Tickets on sale now from NGV.
  • SYDNEY: Sat Oct 21 @ Cake Wines Cellar Door with special guests Buzz Kull + DJ Cole MGN (USA). Tickets on sale now from Eventbrite.
  • BRISBANE: Sun Oct 22 @ The Junk Bar. Tickets on sale now from Oztix.

Los Angeles electro-R&B luminary Ramona Gonzalez — aka Nite Jewel — returns to Australia as a duo, hot on the heels of her critically acclaimed new album Real High. Nite Jewel has been prolific as ever, also sharing a B-sides collection Real Low, last year’s album Liquid Cool, a limited edition 12” for Italians Do It Better, and two collaborative EPs (one with Bay Area rapper/producer Droop-E as AMTHST).

Nite Jewel has also had memorable collaborations with Dam-Funk, Omar-S, Julia Holter, Sean Nicholas Savage, Samantha Urbani, Zoë Kravitz and many others — transforming foggy, fading memories into crystal clear lucid dreams. Her latest collab with Dam-Funk (as Nite Funk) was named Best New Music on Pitchfork.

With Real High, Ramona Gonzalez updates her feminine inner dialogue to reflect the increasing challenges of hyper-modern society, in particular with respect to selfhood. Recorded over the course of four years in Los Angeles with the help of Grammy-winning producer Cole M.G.N. (Ariel Pink, Beck, The Samps), these songs of transformational love and relentless nostalgia range from expansive, futuristic balladry (“Real High,” “Part Of Me”) to gauzy dance-floor hits (“2 Good 2 Be True,” “The Answer”); the most focused and bold Nite Jewel effort yet. The timeless production, unique voice, and pristine song-craft of Real High create an irresistible combination that is only better on the live stage.

  • Real High is the album fans have been waiting for… Her whole attitude reeks simultaneously of someone not giving a fuck while also brainstorming meticulously, and her music has never sounded richer on so many levels. The album borrows heavily from the old-school R&B feel of pastime pop greats like Janet Jackson and Aaliyah while mostly marrying this visage to contemporary dancehall rhythms” – DROWNED IN SOUND

“HOW IT WAS” video:

nite

July 20, 2017

The Orbweavers: Cyclamen

Cyclamen

Mistletone is ecstatic to share “Cyclamen” from The Orbweavers’ new album Deep Leads, out September 15 on Mistletone Records via Inertia. Listen below:

Cyclamen Artist Statement

Subjects: plants, soil types, seasons, cycles, sleep, photosynthesis, classical mythology, quest

An evening invocation for protection through winter, and deep sleep. Cyclamen are associated with the Ancient Greek goddess Hecate, who is often depicted holding torches. Hecate in turn, is associated with knowledge of poisonous and medicinal plants, a mediator between mortal and divine realms, a goddess of the crossroads.

“We love bossa nova, and the cyclamen flower”, explain Marita Dyson and Stuart Flanagan (The Orbweavers). “Last winter we had a row of coloured cyclamen across the backsteps. They glowed like little torches against the grey weather of decay and transition. We listened to a lot of Stan Getz, Joao and Astrud Gilberto that winter, and looked out at the scarlet, purple, crimson and white cyclamen torches as night approached.”

“Cyclamen” springs from Deep Leads, the eagerly awaited new album by The Orbweavers following 2011’s Loom.

“Deep Leads is about buried and hidden things. Mining the land, the body and mind. Old rivers of feeling. Poison/panacea. Extraction/preservation. Escapism/courage. Deep sleep. Cycles of decay and return.

“Geologically, deep leads are buried ancient river beds which sometimes contain alluvial gold. In Victoria, they usually lie beneath basalt lava flows which hold younger waterways on the surface above. Deep lead gold mining required cutting deep, dangerous shafts through hardened volcanic rock. The shafts were at risk of cave ins and flooding from aquifers, and often did not contain the gold hoped for.

“To use this geology as a metaphor, Deep Leads is the underlying layer to our previous album Loom. Where Loom explored the basalt bed and surrounds of the younger Merri Creek waterway, Deep Leads heads underground and within, exploring industrial, agricultural and personal histories (Blue Lake, The Dry, A Very Long Time), heavy and precious metals (Radium Girls, Mine), internal realms of escape and quest (Poison Garden, Cyclamen, Nitrates). We recorded and produced Deep Leads at home in the Merri Creek water catchment area. There are many accretions of history along this waterway, and it always seems to find a way in to our work and life. The street we live in is a storm water course to the Merri. The album was mixed by the banks of the Merri in East Brunswick by James Cecil at Super Melody World, and mastered just uphill to the west, on Brunswick high ground, by Adam Dempsey at Deluxe Mastering Melbourne.” 

Cyclamen Lyrics

I will stay these winter days,
With cyclamen as torches,
Beacons against the grey weathering in my head.
Clay feet,
Sink close,
Sleep deeply.

Evening falls,
Unfamiliar ways;
With cyclamen as torches,
Lead me back to where it was I first heard your name.
Clay feet Proceed,
Fearlessly.

Scarlet, purple, crimson and white,
Give me a vision to take through the night,
Where you return is where we are heading,
Earth is a bed,
And sleep is remembering.

Scarlet, purple, crimson and white,
Dormant receiver storing the light,
Who is a thief and who’s a collector?
I invoke you:
Be my protector.
Remembering.

July 14, 2017

Ross McLennan: All the colours print can manage

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Mistletone Records is proud to share “Selling Good News” by Ross McLennan, the first single from his forthcoming album All the colours print can manage, out October 6 on Mistletone / Inertia.

Ross McLennan and his 10 piece band The New World will preview the new album in a rare live performance at Melbourne’s Post Office Hotel on Sunday September 24 at 4:30pm.

  • “McLennan puts a lot of himself into what he writes, each record is a reasonably accurate snapshot of his mental health; (and) his fourth solo record sees him balance his love of pop with some of the darker themes that naturally find their way into his songs. Anyone who has followed McLennan’s post-Snout work knows that the quality of his output hasn’t deteriorated in the slightest. Perhaps that’s because McLennan knows he must remain true to himself. It’s what McLennan has done throughout his entire career, and we’re all the richer for it” – DOUBLE J

A singular and illuminating songwriter, Ross McLennan dives deep into the collective subconscious whilst touching raw nerves which reverberate the anxieties of our times, giving his songs a revelatory and prophetic aura. The Ross McLennan hit factory has been open for business since 1991, when he formed Melbourne indie trio Snout and made an indelible impression on the Australian musical landscape throughout the 1990s. As Double J recently commented in their retrospective of Snout’s career: “Their shrewd handle on pop in all its forms meant that they could employ diverse influences into their sound – sometimes heavy, sometimes groovy, sometimes jangly – yet emerge sounding completely cohesive”. Since disbanding Snout, McLennan has made three unfailingly excellent solo albums and been shortlisted for the Amp (Australian Music Prize). Accompanied by his ensemble of strings, woodwind and a choir, Ross McLennan has manifested magical performances at Melbourne Festival, Brisbane Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse and the Famous Spiegeltent, and supported artists such as Cass McCombs and Matthew E. White.

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All the colours print can manage is the title of the forthcoming Ross McLennan album and a phrase from the song “Selling Good News”. As McLennan explains, “it refers to very human visions of paradise: pictures fleshed out in hues from a colour matching booklet. The colours have corresponding numbers. The colours might look different depending on the paper stock they are printed on, and the light in which they are viewed. The people in the pictures are wearing clothes in a modern neat casual style. Complete families have died and are strolling peacefully through paradise with all their limbs intact. This is not so different to how the narrator views the world.

“Some of the songs on this record are hopeful, some not”, McLennan reflects. “This album took five or so years to make, and there Is a whole other album on the cutting room floor. But I needed to get the balance between light and shade right.

“I wanted to make a charitable album. To have some things that you could dance to and smile about, but not sell out sadness and despair. Across the record, there is a corresponding tension between physical reality and the mental drift to abstraction/distortion, the connected and the dissociative. There are the iron clad rules of the rotating earth and then there is a banana peel. The narrator has foot in each camp.”

 

June 10, 2017

Toro y Moi: Boo Boo

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So delighted to announce that Toro y Moi is back with his fifth studio album Boo Boo, out July 7 on Mistletone Records via Inertia. Boo Boo finds Chaz Bear (formerly Bundick) exploring the dance-pop sound that his fans first fell in love with, with an added layer of deep, and at times dark, emotion.

Along with the news, Toro y Moi has released a vignette for the magnetic first single “Girl Like You”; watch it below.

Head over to Mistletone mail order to pre-order limited edition LPs, pressed on blue and white marble-colored vinyl while stocks last.

boo­-boo [ˈbo͞obo͞o/]

noun (pl. boo­boos) informal
1. a mistake. “you could make a big boo­boo if you leap to any drastic conclusions.”
2. a minor injury, such as a deadly car crash.

boo1 [bo͞o/]

exclamation
1. said suddenly to surprise someone. “‘Boo!’ she cried, jumping up to frighten him.”
2. said to show disapproval or contempt, especially at an athletic contest or musical performance.

noun
1. an utterance of “boo” to show disapproval or contempt. “the audience re­tweeted his comment with boos and hisses.”

verb
1. say “boo” to show disapproval or contempt. “they booed and hissed when he stepped on stage.”

boo2 [bo͞o/]

noun (pl. boos) informal
1. a person’s boyfriend or girlfriend.

ToroYMoi_BooBoo_Lead

“After 7 years of touring and recording, I found myself becoming self conscious about my position in life as a ‘famous’ person, or at least my version of whatever that is. My dreams had become my reality, yet I was somehow unable to accept this new environment. I couldn’t help but fall into what might be described as an identity crisis. A feedback loop of fearful thoughts left me feeling confused. I felt as though I no longer knew what it was that I actually wanted and needed in and out of life, and at times I felt unable to even tell what was real.

“During this time of personal turmoil, I turned to music as a form of therapy, and it helped me cope with the pain that I was feeling. I’d listen to the same ambient song over and over again, trying to insulate myself from reality. I fell in love with space again.

“By the time I felt ready to begin working on a new record, I knew that this idea of space within music would be something that propelled my new work forward. The artists that were influencing what I was making included everyone from Travis Scott to Daft Punk, Frank Ocean to Oneohtrix Point Never, Kashif and Gigi Masin. I recognised that the common thread between these artists was their attention to a feeling of space, or lack thereof. I decided that I wanted to make a Pop record with these ideas in mind. That idea for a record is what eventually became Boo Boo.” – Chaz B.

Boo Boo
1. Mirage
2. No Show
3. Mona Lisa
4. Pavement
5. Don’t Try
6. Windows
7. Embarcadero
8. Girl Like You
9. You and I
10. Labyrinth
11. Inside My Head
12. W.I.W.W.T.W.

 

 

May 18, 2017

Beach House: B-Sides and Rarities 

BH
Photo by Shawn Brackbill

On Friday, June 30, Beach House will release the B-Sides and Rarities album — a 14-track compilation of songs from throughout their career so far — on Mistletone Records, via Inertia. The album features two previously unreleased tracks, “Chariot” [listen below] and “Baseball Diamond,” which were recorded during the Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars sessions (both Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars were released, two months apart, in 2015). Beach House’s B-Sides and Rarities will be released on CD / LP / DL and is available on digital pre-order now. Pre-orders are now open for Loser edition limited clear vinyl and CDs; while stocks last — pre-order LPs and CDs here.

B-Sides and Rarities contains every song Beach House – aka Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand – has made that does not exist on one of their albums. Beach House says of the release:

WHEN WE ANNOUNCED that we were releasing a B-sides and rarities album, someone on Twitter asked, “B-sides record? Why would Beach House put out a B-sides record? Their A-sides are like B-sides.” This random person has a point. Our goal has never been to make music that is explicitly commercial. Over the years, as we have worked on our 6 LPs, it wasn’t the “best” or most catchy songs that made the records, just the ones that fit together to make a cohesive work. Accordingly, our B-sides are not songs that we didn’t like as much, just ones that didn’t have a place on the records we were making.

The idea for a B-sides record came when we realised just how many non-album songs had been made over the years, and how hard it was to find and hear many of them. This compilation contains every song we have ever made that does not exist on one of our records. There are 14 songs in total.

The oldest song is “Rain in Numbers” and was recorded in 2005, during the summer we formed the band. We didn’t have a piano, so we asked our friend if we could use his, which was pretty out of tune. We used the mic that was on the four-track machine to record the piano and vocals. It was originally the secret song on our self-titled debut.

Sequentially, the next couple of songs are from late 2008. We were so excited about “Used to Be,” that we recorded it right after writing it so that we could have it as a 7” single for our fall tour with the Baltimore Round Robin. We recorded our cover of Queen’s “Play the Game” in the same session. It was for a charity compilation benefiting AIDS research and we will continue to donate all profits from the song to that charity. As fans of Queen, we thought it would be fun and ridiculous to try to adapt their high-powered pop song into our realm. These songs were recorded at the same studio where we made Devotion.

There are a bunch of songs written and recorded in the 2009-2010 window. This period of time, as well as 2014, was our most prolific to date. “Baby” was written and recorded in October 2009 with our friend Jason Quever. “10 Mile Stereo” was recorded during the Teen Dream session in July 2009. Since we used tape, we often slowed the tape way down to create effects while recording. When we were doing that for “10 Mile Stereo” we decided we wanted to make an alternate version where the whole song was slowed down, hence the “10 Mile Stereo (Cough Syrup Remix).”

“White Moon” and “The Arrangement” were both songs that we didn’t believe fit on Teen Dream. “White Moon” originally appeared on our iTunes live session. Since that was recorded and mixed very hastily, we have remixed it to better match our current aesthetics. We have also remixed and included the version of “Norway” we did at that same session. The main reason we wanted to include “Norway” is that it features a very different bridge from the original version.

After the insane year of touring we had in 2010, we felt incredibly grateful to our fans for all that had happened. We wrote and recorded “I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun” during a break between tours and released it on the internet for free, unmastered. Well, it’s finally been mastered…

“Wherever You Go” Is another song from that era.  We always loved this song but thought it sounded too much like our old music. We paused writing it and didn’t finish it until 2011 during the Bloom recording session. It appeared originally as a secret song on Bloom.

“Equal Mind” was also recorded during the Bloom session. We really like this song, but pulled it from the record when we realized it had the exact same tempo as “Other People.” They are like twins.

The Bloom sessions led to “Saturn Song” as well. This song is built on a piano loop we wrote while recording Bloom. It also contains sounds recorded in deep space. It originally appeared on a compilation of songs incorporating space sounds that was released in 2014.

Finally, there are two previously unreleased songs from the Depression Cherry / Thank Your Lucky Stars sessions. They are called “Chariot” and “Baseball Diamond.”

B-Sides and Rarities (out June 30 on Mistletone / Inertia):

01 Chariot
02 Baby
03 Equal Mind
04 Used to Be (2008 Single Version)
05 White Moon (iTunes Session Remix)
06 Baseball Diamond
07 Norway (iTunes Session Remix)
08 Play the Game (Queen Cover)
09 The Arrangement
10 Saturn Song
11 Rain in Numbers
12 I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun
13 10 Mile Stereo (Cough Syrup Remix)
14 Wherever You Go

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March 28, 2017

Touring: Steve Gunn

Steve Gunn A2_web
Artwork by Carl Breitkreuz

STEVE GUNN TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Thursday July 6 @ The Basement with special guest Angie. Tickets on sale now.
  • MELBOURNE: Friday July 7 @ NGV Friday Nights, The Great Hall, NGV International. Doors open 6pm, Steve Gunn from 8.30pm. * SOLD OUT
  • MELBOURNE: Saturday July 8 @ Northcote Social Club with special guests Jess Ribeiro + Andrew Tuttle. Tickets on sale now.
  • BRISBANE: Sunday July 9 @ The Junk Bar. Tickets on sale now. *Matinee show added by popular demand; 4pm doors for 4:30pm start, tickets on sale now.

Mistletone is joyous to present consummate American singer-songwriter & guitarist Steve Gunn, coming to Australia for the first time on a soul expanding solo tour.

  • “Brooklyn’s Steve Gunn is the Ty Segall of Americana, a prolific musician who has released 13 albums since 2007, some with like-minded strummers such as Kurt Vile and Hiss Golden Messenger, others solo records such as 2013’s acclaimed Way Out Weather. In other words, he’s the hipster-friendly guitar slinger of the moment, in the spirit of John Fahey or Robbie Basho, with a lovely sun-glazed lilt to his fluid fingersmithery. On Eyes On the Lines, he pairs his pastoral leanings with tales of uncertainty; Night Wander meanders through nocturnal roots with the repetitiveness of a raga; Conditions Wild’s boppy pace and falsetto channels the 1960s; Park Bench Smile coasts along on rolling drums and a shamanic, moonlit arrangement. Gunn’s voice is so mellow that the songs’ words fade into the background at times – but then the guitar is the frontman here” – THE GUARDIAN ★★★★
  • “So intimate and so mysteriously distant all at once” – WASHINGTON POST
  • ★★★★ – MOJO

Steve Gunn’s music has always embraced expanse and movement. It springs from the simple and profound relationship between humans and their environment. Gunn’s most recent album and his debut for Matador, Eyes On The Lines (out now via Remote Control), is his most explicit ode to the blissful uncertainty of adventure yet. His brilliant previous album Way Out Weather (Mistletone, 2014) is still available on Mistletone mail order.

Gunn’s roots in the underground run deep, from his days in GHQ to his collaborations with Black Twig Pickers and Mike Cooper. He’s toured and recorded with Michael Chapman, and released two remarkable duo albums with drummer John Truscinski. His solo ventures, emerging over the past decade and culminating most recently the highly-acclaimed Way Out Weather, have been pastoral, evocative affairs. Here he embraces his urban surroundings through a series of songs that fully showcase his extraordinary ability to match hooks to deftly constructed melodies. Gunn is a consummate guitarist, that rare fingerpicker who can harness the enigma of the American Primitive vernacular without lazily regurgitating it. His playing is inventive and full of personality. His instrumental virtuosity calls upon a vast library of technical skills at will, but he’s never showy — his riffs and runs are always in the service of the song at hand.

And what a pleasure to have this music presented to the wider public.

Steve Gunn: Eyes on the Lines for Matador Records

The Eyes On The Lines song cycle melds thoughtful inquisitiveness with poetic reflection, fully embracing rhythmic uplift, allowing personal stories and impressions to live their own lives on their own terms. Gunn is more narrator than diarist; he pours real-life moments and real-life people into vibrant and evocative tales. Dreams and encounters spiral out – they form their own dramas and illuminate their own truths. Indeed, Eyes On The Lines works like a book of the finest short stories, its songs interlocking with an urgent necessity, forming an ever-questioning whole. In Gunn’s own words: “The music isn’t about me. It’s about characters, either real or fictional. It’s about images.”

And what are lines if not one of the foundational aspects of images? Lines on the road draw one’s attention to the lines comprising the landscape. Gunn’s music runs ahead and twists – like time, like the road itself. Guitar lines are highway lines are lines carved by the view out the window are the lines one waits in to get a quick meal on the way from one destination to another are lines one draws in the van to stay amused. It’s good to be out on the road and it’s good to be home, and each feeds into the other. This record sees lines run together and leap across one another.

He’s honest about the necessity of being comfortable in being lost. His music values the unknown, so it is always born of the present. We lose ourselves to find ourselves. With all of this comes humility. And gratitude. Listen to “Nature Driver,” a statement of thankfulness for the generosity of the plethora of kind souls who welcome travelers into their homes.

“Ancient Jules,” which opens the record, is a travel fantasy of a different sort. Built around a head-nodding motif, the song bobs and weaves its way through a tale which foregrounds the surprising joy that can come with a break – a deep sigh in the midst of an onrush, punctuated by the finest example of Gunn’s electric soloing to emerge yet. A song like “Conditions Wild” also rambles through strange clouds of roving. Interlocking strings, percussion, and vocals join in an irrepressible rush. This record is like that – the songs get lodged in one’s head because they’re catchy, but their atmosphere sends the mind reeling into memory and mystery.

These are songs you can take in quickly, but spend all the time in the world devouring. The very large and the very small are present in equal measure. The inability to categorize them within the avalanche of impotent diatribes that pass for categorization is a testament to their power.

Stories give us ways to discover meaning. They provide us with signposts – when we recognize our own lives within them, we clarify our existence. “Far from the world is the mystic fool,” Gunn sings on the opening track. The fool may be far from the world, but that doesn’t matter. The so-called fool is jacked in to the cosmos.

December 9, 2016

Touring: The Field

170131 The Field poster A4

THE FIELD TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Friday March 10 @ Oxford Art Factory with special guest Lucy Cliche. Late night show, only Australian club show. Limited early bird tickets on sale now.
  • VICTORIA: March 11-13 @ Pitch Music & Arts. Lineup and tickets info here.

Legendary Swedish instrumentalist and producer The Field returns to Australia for the new, all ages Pitch Music Festival, March 10-13 2017. Sign up here for full lineup and limited tickets.

Back in Australia to showcase his brilliant new album THE FOLLOWER, The Field’s fifth full-length offering after “From Here We Go Sublime” (KOMPAKT RSD 02 CD 57), “Yesterday And Today” (KOMPAKT 193 CD 72), “Looping State Of Mind” (KOMPAKT 241 CD 94) and “Cupid’s Head” (KOMPAKT 290 CD 110). Swedish soundsmith Axel Willner is well-known for his mastery when it comes to the allusive layering of loops, but it was with his last album “Cupid’s Head” that a newly-found, somewhat pressing snappishness started to replace the soft-hued sonics of his ambient-infused techno, imbued with a darker mood and stronger footing than before. A carefully gauged balance of stoic motorik and gloomy drones was key here – just as it is for THE FOLLOWER which goes even further in blurring the lines between concrete experimentation, body music and precisely laid-out arrangement, leading to one of the most rhythmically and texturally engaging listening experiences in Willner’s catalogue.

“As always when starting a new album, I wanted to do something that sounds fresh, but doesn’t stray too far from what I have so far done as THE FIELD – and that’s always the tricky part”, says Willner, adding that “the whole album came around through experimenting with a lot of new recording equipment and gear”. That source of inspiration seems to have worked rather well, with title track THE FOLLOWER opening on a surprisingly muscular groove and setting the tone for what could be considered THE FIELD’s most floor-attuned work yet – a raw bounce dripping with foggy acid and marching percussion catches long-standing fans off-guard while providing a perfect entry point for curious newcomers. Pulling no punches, Willner’s knack for entwined drones and mutating loops is very much in place, but finds powerful support in an excitingly sturdy bassline and guitar-like screeches. It’s been a few years since THE FIELD’s band dissolved, which led to more club-oriented live gigs – an experience that definitely informed THE FOLLOWER’s sound without interrupting this very personal continuum of expressive means. This is ambient techno on steroids, with a dose of metal machine music for good measure.

Follow-up cut PINK SUN quickly finds its pace with one of these perpetually rotating hooks Willner is known for, while MONTE VERIT specializes in tunefully glitched vocal samples with accompanying bass workout – a powerful and propelling album build-up that finds its first moment of introspection with the mountainous SOFT STREAMS, an exciting synth journey that emits both ethereal and kinetic propensities. RAISE THE DEAD presents THE FIELD’s focussed sonic storytelling at its minimalist best, gyrating around a basic motive for a while before joining an earthy beat and opening up the sunshine roof. It’s a winding, hypnotic track that also works particularly well as transition to the album’s remarkable closing chapter: the slow-paced REFLECTING LIGHTS shows Willner at his most refined, evoking his often-quoted appreciation of Wolfgang Voigt’s ambient project GAS as well as an obvious fondness for kraut synthesists and their trance-inducing exploits. “‘The Follower’ is about old myths, finding utopia and how mankind repeatedly makes the same mistakes over and over”, explains Willner, but he remains an artist who prefers keeping things uncommented and the mistery intact – his latest full-length certainly doesn’t need more introductions: it evidently shows a maturity and consistent evolution of THE FIELD’s trademark style of creation, but may very well be considered one of his most vibrant and visceral outings yet.

 

November 17, 2016

Touring: The Bats

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Artwork by Robert Scott; design by Alex Fregon

THE BATS TOUR DATES:

  • MELBOURNE: Saturday 28 January @ Northcote Social Club. The Deep Set album launch with special guests Loose Tooth + School Damage. Tickets on sale now from NSC.
  • SYDNEY: Sunday 29 January @ Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Sydney Festival. The Bats perform The Deep Set in full, followed by a “greatest hits” set. Tickets on sale now from Sydney Festival.

“Four decades into their career, The Bats continue to produce sparkling and chiming pop that sounds as fresh now as it does when David Lange was New Zealand’s Prime Minister” – NOISEY

Legendary Flying Nun flag-bearers The Bats prove their everlasting songfulness with a brilliant new album, The Deep Set (out January 27 on Flying Nun). The band has shared the soaring first single, “Antlers”, and announced an Australian tour, performing The Deep Set in full at Sydney Festival with a string section, plus a Melbourne album launch at Northcote Social Club.

Listen to “Antlers”:

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Five years after the release of their last critically acclaimed album, The Bats return with album number nine, The Deep Set. With the title conveying the long established and firmly embedded, it’s notable that it’s 30 years since The Bats began recording their debut album in the living room studio of a friend of a friend in Glasgow. This time around they recorded in The Sitting Room, the studio-sleep out-garage next to Ben Edward’s house in Lyttelton, New Zealand; following in the footsteps of Marlon Williams, Nadia Reid and many others.

With Ben Edward’s help, The Deep Set continues The Bats’ 21st century resurgence. Yes, this is The Bats so the chords still chug, the guitars chime, ring, and jangle, the melodies are clear and memorable, the rhythm section is unstoppable. But the band mines the darker, deeper sound that 2011’s Free All the Monsters revealed.

The songs remain reflective but that oft-expected sweet folksiness pops up less frequently. As the title suggests the music is richer, expansive, deeper. In their fourth decade as a band familiarity has come to mean a more careful treatment of each song. Is it maturity? It definitely translates into more depth and complexity but hey the songs are still as catchy as all hell. And as a lyricist, Robert Scott continues his mastery of the personal and pastoral, the landscape and longing.

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As always the key to The Bats is the emotion that their (seemingly) simple songs carry. They continue to mine that Mainland melancholy; the kind that somehow never risks being depressing. But of course that means there is lament and nostalgia, even if it’s only for last night. Taking us from the sun of Otago’s Taieri River to darkest Durkestan and apparently ending in the midst of contemporary New Zealand politics, The Deep Set continues the composed confidence of their recent albums with one of The Bats’ strongest sets of songs, fueled by ever-more powerful guitars.

If you grew up with The Bats their early recordings will always pull at your emotions but while less vulnerable and immediate than on their classic debut album, The Bats of the 21st century somehow manage to be more intimate and urgent.

October 25, 2016

Touring: Toro y Moi

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Artwork by Carl Breitkreuz

Mistletone proudly presents the return of Toro y Moi.

TORO Y MOI TOUR DATES:

  • ADELAIDE: Friday, March 3 @ Adelaide Festival. Tickets on sale now.
  • PERTH: Sunday, March 5 @ Perth Festival. Tickets on sale now.
  • SYDNEY: Thursday, March 9 @ Oxford Art Factory with Felix Lush + SKULL AND DAGGER. Tickets on sale now. * SELLING FAST!
  • BRISBANE: Friday, March 10 @ The Zoo with S>c>r>a>p>s + Spirit Bunny. Tickets on sale now. * SELLING FAST!
  • SYDNEY: Saturday, March 11 @ Days Like This Festival. Tickets on sale now.
  • VICTORIA: March 10-13 @ Pitch Music & Arts. Lineup and tickets info here.

Born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, Chaz Bundick unveiled his Toro y Moi guise in 2001, channeling a wide swath of stylistic influences from indie rock and ‘60s baroque pop to ‘80s R&B, French house and underground hip-hop. By the time he graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2009 in graphic design, Chaz had refined Toro y Moi into a captivating project, his hazy recordings touted as the sound of summer. His Mistletone-released debut album, Causers of This, followed in 2010 and garnered high praise from NME and Pitchfork. Chaz has proven to be as prolific as he is diverse, always pointing Toro y Moi in new directions while never sacrificing his melodic sensibility or keen ear for arrangements and texture. With 2011’s Underneath the Pine, he delivered a set of motorik space-age funk; his Freaking Out EP brought ‘80s-inspired R&B, freestyle, and quiet storm soul, and 2013’s Anything in Return effortlessly glided between smoky 4/4 house-tinged pop, electro-funk and late-night electronic soul. What For? captured the feel of a rock band playing together in the same room with members of his touring group as well as guest musicians like Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruban Nielson.

Last year Toro y Moi released Live From Trona, filmed in the middle of the Mojave desert; an entire concert album recorded live beneath the geological wonders known as the Trona Pinnacles. With a spectacular natural environment that feels otherworldly, the film pays homage to rock films of a previous era. As the sun sets behind the pinnacles, which formed thousands of years ago in what used to be a prehistoric lake, the supernatural setting weaves seamlessly together with 13 psychedelic tracks. Live From Trona offers viewers a surreal concert experience, placing them front row at a private Toro y Moi show.

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Toro y Moi pic by Jordan Blackmon

Given the state of modern music and its fabricated pop icons, what Chaz Bundick Meets The Mattson 2 achieves is a collective music victory in a new era of progressive soundscapes. Chaz has teamed up with the psychedelic-jazz grooves of The Mattson 2 for an album that unifies a trio’s creativity into a refreshing project of unhinged sonic originality.

Oddly enough, this collaboration may not have happened if The Mattson 2 hadn’t forgotten a drum throne at an Oakland performance in 2014. The twin’s longtime friend and photographer, Andrew Paynter, came to the rescue and called his friend Chaz to ask about borrowing the throne. Jonathan, the Mattson drummer (who’d also never met Chaz), accompanied Andrew to Chaz’s home in Berkeley where they were greeted by Chaz with a warm smile, a drum stool in hand, and Michael, Chaz’s dog (which his Les Sins record Michael is named after).

The next day Andrew and the twins met Chaz at a cafe in Berkeley to return the gear. Over coffee they waxed about music, design, furniture, and skateboarding. After a series of hangs with Chaz in the Bay Area, the crew decided to join forces and schedule studio time for their newfound trio. And the rest, as they say, is intergalactic, mega-creative history.

In February of 2016 the relationship was officially christened the night they finished tracking their new record. And to tie the knot with flare, they scheduled a secret show at the Battery and a historical public show at the Starline Social Club in Oakland, where the trio performed all new music from the project for the first time live.

The group and the album, Chaz Bundick Meets Mattson 2, explores psychedelic, jazz, and improvisatory influences ranging from Afrofuturistic Sun Ra, to electric Miles Davis, to groove-fueled Serge Gainsbourg and The Zombies. Grounding the album are break-beats, synthesizers, acoustic strums, and guitar fuzz reminiscent of David Axelrod and Arthur Verocai. With cosmic structures, timeless influences, rich harmonies, and melodic interplays, the trio brings an intergalactic edge to both their live shows and an album worthy of repeated visits.


Toro Y Moi: Live From Trona from Primary Colors on Vimeo.