Two artists at the top of their game: Childish Gambino – dominating the world of rap, and Flux Pavillion – dominating the world of bass music. The two recently collaborated on the monstrous trackDo or Die
that was released on Flux Pavillion’s new EP Blow the Roof
. In an exclusive interview with Music Feeds
, Flux Pavillion stated that Do or Die
was actually meant to be a remix, but “the beat I was writing seemed like something new to both of us. It just had elements that we could both work with, so we turned it into a collaboration.”
Working on that track via email, it seems that they built a huge respect for each other, particularly when Flux Pavillion started watching Gambino’s starring role in US comedy Community
“I’d never watched Community
when we did the first track. Then because we did the track together, I thought I might as well watch the show, and its awesome. So now I’ve watched all of Community
. Then a few weeks ago when we were in the studio I was kind of star-struck. I was like ‘this is weird, I have so much respect for this guy’.”
Letting slip that he was in the studio with Gambino recently, Flux Pavillion expanded to tell us that they were actually working on a new track.
“I was in Sydney a few weeks ago when he was there for Big Day Out and I was working in the studio, so he came in and we’ve written another track together, which is pretty damn awesome.”
Expect a new track from those two soon. Who knows, it may even top the Kanye West & Jay-Z sample of Flux Pavillion’s I Can’t Stop
Although he had many convinced that he was releasing an album, Josh Steele aka Flux Pavillion instead opted for an 8-track bombshell EP Blow the Roof. It dropped on January 28, bringing his talent as a musician and producer to the fore with collaborations with Childish Gambino (could be the first of many) and Sway. A fact that may deceive you about the music that Flux Pavillion produces is the use of live instruments in the recording process. As his live BBC studio session ofDaydreamer with Example last year exposed, the man is a talented musician and incorporates much live instrumentation into his songs, albeit, heavily disguised. But it is this live instrumentation that he wants to bring more to the fore, as he discusses his exciting new plans for his live show that are completely different from what you’d expect from a live dubstep performance.
Flux Pavillion speaks of his interest in diversifying within electronic music that led to his collaboration with Diplo on Jah No Partial. He also gets into the finer details on the growth of trap music within the bass community, and why its growth is intricately linked to dubstep. With some artists like Example predicting the ‘death’ of dubstep, Flux Pavillion gets pretty firm on his stance as a prominent figure in the scene, intent on sticking by the genre that’s made him an international sensation. Also find out what he really thinks of Kanye West sampling his track I Can’t Stop in this raw interview with Music Feeds.
MF: Hey Josh, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today.
Flux: No worries man, it’s all good.
MF: The long-awaited EP Blow the Roof just dropped in Australia on January 28th. What have you done differently on this EP compared to previous releases?
Flux: For me it feels like a continuation of my sound. I think maybe the fact that I did an 8-track. I was kind of writing an album that turned into an EP. With that you have a lot more freedom to really kind of do what you want…not so much do what you want, but I think maybe to explore yourself as a producer. With an EP there’s actually a lot more stuff you can explore, like ‘actually, I might not have a drop on this one’ or I sort of go into different sections. So its a continuation of how I think about music and how I like to write music. So it’s basically just me exploring my sound a little bit more.
MF: We were expecting a long-player to be honest. Do you feel a long-player pressures you to explore an album-type concept, instead of focusing on key singles.
Flux: Yeah, well I think that an album is quite complete and final in a sense. That’s not to say these tracks aren’t final. It’s a body of work that’s built to be a complete coverage of you as an artist. Whereas in dance music…I’m confident writing tunes. So I could write a new track tomorrow. And an album is such a big thing, I want to be able to get those tracks out. I want to write music in a time when it’s right for me to write that music and then release it. Whereas an album is like you’re trying to completely encapsulate yourself as an artist in one project. But it just didn’t feel right for me right now to put out an album and say this is all that I am.
MF: Were there more live elements on this EP than previous releases?
Flux: They were less disguised than they normally are, with my singing and guitar on there. It’s always my own vocals, unless it’s obviously a girl singing. But it’s always my own vocal on all other tracks. And I’m always playing guitar or saxophone and stuff like that on there. But I tend to cover it with distortion or mix it in with something else so you can’t really pick it out. This EP seemed to work a lot more, bringing those elements out.
MF: I watched the live studio performance of Daydreamer that you did with Example last year in BBC studios and it was excellent. Are you looking to expand on that idea by integrating a live band into your live show?
Flux: Yeah, that’s kind of the plan. I want to try and take it in that direction. The new set-up I’m working with is without live drums, and is more of a three-man sampler set-up. So if you’ve seen that video, you’ll see there’s a guitarist, a sampler and a keyboard. I want to try and keep it to that and keep it electronic, rather than try to imitate sounds with acoustic instruments. I want to keep within the electronics and play it straight from the synth, or sample the drums straight from the sampler. So then I can actually master the track live myself, and make it sound as good as it does on the record. A live drummer is never going to sound as good as the particular snare that I’ve got in one of my tracks because it’s been created and produced in such a different way, and I don’t want to lose that with my live performance. It’s one of the greatest things about it – the energy.
MF: You’re right, some electronic artists like Chase & Status and Example definitely use a live drum kit to portray a certain energy to an audience. When will you start using this set-up live?
Flux: We are in rehearsals next week for a week and a half and we’ll see what comes out. I’m going to try to write a 60-minute set with all the tracks that I’ve written up until this point. If that works out, we’ll be doing some shows towards the end of the year, hopefully. It’s all based on the idea that I’ll get it right. If I don’t get it right, it’s kind of like – if it’s not broken don’t fix it. My DJing and the way I’m operating right now is working really well and is really fun and exciting, and feels really good to do. So I’m not looking for something to do instead. I’m working on a live set to add to that rather than to change it.
MF: Your collaboration with Diplo on Jah No Partial is awesome. It’s getting smashed on Australian radio. Does that single represent a growing interest in your crossover into other styles of bass music?
Flux: Yeah, definitely. The Blow the Roof EP is that as well pretty much. Before I started writing music, I was playing guitar and singing. As a singer-songwriter I wanted something more, so I started writing electronic music to accentuate that, so I could play guitar, have a synth line and sing. So my interest in diversity of electronic music isn’t a new thing to me. It’s a new thing to actually be putting this music out. I’ve been writing all these strange ideas that go across genres and don’t fit anywhere for years. I don’t know if I’ve felt comfortable putting them out or they didn’t seem to work. But in the place where I’m at now, and the place where the whole electronic music scene’s at now, it seems like the right time to actually get some of these experiments out there and see what people think.
MF: Kudos to you, you’ve created a sound that’s internationally recognised, and I think you can hear it consistently on all of your music, even when you change it up. That could possibly be why Kanye West and Jay-Z sampled your song I Can’t Stop. That’s pretty big bragging rights. What did it mean to you as a producer to be sampled by Kanye?
Flux: That was the main thing for me. The one thing I’ve always respected about Kanye is the tracks he samples and what he gets out of the sample. He makes this awesome.. like they don’t feel like hits. But they become hits because they are awesome. Like the track that he did with Daft Punk, and Gold Digger as well is just the implementation of samples within the track in a really kind of cool, creative way. And then to get sampled by him – apart from my respect for the samples he takes – was pretty insane. That was quite a proud moment.
MF: I feel like there’s a big growth in the popularity of trap music. You’ve even been noted to drop the odd trap song in your DJ sets. Do you feel like trap music is going to blow up like dubstep did?
Flux: You see trap has been about for ages. It’s been there since the start of hip-hop. It’s nothing new. But I feel that new minds are working with it. It’s not quite like dubstep, where it was a completely new sound. Like, there was old dubstep, which was a continuation of two-step and garage, and moving into dubstep was where the name came from. But then what I’ve found is that Skrillex and Nero have virtually taken that and made something a lot newer out of it. It shouldn’t really be called dubstep because it doesn’t really encapsulate all the things that the genre does. But that’s just the name that’s kind of worked. And I feel that trap has taken all the inspiration from all the hip-hop and old-style trap and is a continuation of dubstep, rather than a completely new thing that could blow up. I don’t think you can compare the two because they are actually intricately linked together.
MF: We spoke to Example when he was out for Stereosonic and he stated that ‘I feel like dubstep has been done to death, and there’s not that much exciting stuff coming out anymore”. Do you feel there’s much life left in dubstep?
Flux: Talking about the life of dubstep is talking about the hype, really. Hype always dies. Hype always dies in everything. But the actual music will still carry on existing, as long as people make it and those people make good stuff. So I don’t really see the death of a genre, but the death of the hype, because, there’ll be hype on all sorts of other stuff. That’s the way the world works isn’t it really, it is always a flavour of the month. Dubstep was just a big kissy pop with a flavour for quite a few months and it was such a shock to everyone. But, the music still exists and it’s still pretty cool and it’s still exciting to me. So I’m happy with whatever the world thinks of it. I’ll still make it.
MF: Who do you feel is changing the game in dubstep at the moment?
Flux: You see, dubstep as a straight-up genre, I haven’t heard too much that sounds that exciting. But I think that’s because of trap. Because, like I say, trap is so close. It’s the same tempo. So I get a bit excited by stuff in trap that’s been done by dubstep producers like Antiserum, who’s been doing stuff for ages. His trap is so cool, it’s something completely new to me. It’s a weird thing. The game’s been changed so dramatically that it’s gonna take a lot for someone to simply change it like that. These things bubble away in the underground for ages. There’ll be some kid out there, sitting in his room, doing something new and fresh. I may hear of it in a year, and the rest of the world may hear of it in two years. I’ll only hear of it first because I’ll be out there DJing and people like Diplo will play it to me. But it’s quite hard to change the game. It’s always just a sporadic, exciting thing.
MF: On the EP you collaborated with Childish Gambino, who just toured Australia with Big Day Out. He’s actually one of the most hyped acts in Australia at the moment. What was it actually like working with him?
Flux: Yeah, he’s a cool guy. Really awesome. I mean, the first track we went in together was Do or Die. That just kind of happened. I was looking to do a remix for him. The beat I was writing seemed like something new to both of us, rather than a Flux Pavillion remix. It just had elements that we could both work with, so we turned it into a collaboration. That was all done over email. I was in Sydney a few weeks ago when he was there for Big Day Out and I was working in the studio, so he came in and we’ve written another track together, which is pretty damn awesome. But I’d never watched Community when we did the first track. Then because we did the track together, I thought I might as well watch the show, and it’s awesome. So now I’ve watched all of Community. Then a few weeks ago when we were in the studio, I was kind of star-struck. I was like ‘this is weird, I have so much respect for this guy’. But now I’ve watched Community, it’s kind of a bit weird. As a musical entity and a musical brain, he’s not just a rapper, he’s a musician. It’s crazy. He’s such a talented person. I really expect massive things from him and I really hope I keep working with him for the next couple of years, because he’s an inspiring guy to be around.
MF: Thanks so much for your time Josh. We love the EP and hope to see you back in Australia soon.
Flux: No worries man. Thank you very much. Take it easy.
XXYYXX is the prodigal son of trippy, laid back electronic music. In 2012 at just 16 years of age, solo producer Marcel Everett dropped his unfathomably good self-titled debut album under the rediculous monicker (you guessed it) XXYYXX. It really makes you think - what the hell have I been doing with my life. Like Flume's success story of 2012 isn't enough. He undoubtably has a similar story, only he found his cereal toy DJ production kit fully formed with future versions of Ableton and full decks when he was 7 or something. Damn you America and your awesome cereal toys..
His tours of (being of drinking age in) Europe will undoubtably mean that we will be at the top of his game for his six date tour of Australia & New Zealand. He honestly doesn't care he is unable to slam down the bevies like our very own Harvey. He's more interested in charming your pants off with his seductive brand of electronic music that he labels as 'experimental bass'. Word has it he is working with our very own wiz-kid producer Ta-ku. Stay tuned for that.
For now though, get a hold of your tickets to XXYYXX. His music is quite simply mindblowing.
Tickets on sale now through Moshtix.
Thursday 21 March
Arcade Lane, Adelaide
Friday 22 March
Liberty Social, Melbourne
Saturday 23 March
Cassette Nine, Auckland
Wednesday 27 March
The Standard, Sydney
Thursday 28 March
Hippo Bar, Canberra
Saturday 30 March
Courtesy of Phillip Booth for the AU review
A single man sat in one of Oxford Art Factory's trademark brick inlets at the back of the Main Room, his head snapped painfully back against the ledge, half resting on the lip of his skateboard. He slept undisturbed through the thumping drum n bass and grime that warmed the audience up in the final minutes before Death Grips. Out of nowhere, a laid back instrumental opera song cut through the filth and he awoke suddenly. If he slept through Death Grips, he may as well of been dead.
A single throbbing synth signalled Death Grips' arrival. The red velvet curtains opened and two tall, shirtless figures rushed the stage. The imposing Zach Hill jumped behind his minimalist drum kit set up - a single snare, tom and bass kick. He charged into every movement with full pent aggression, emitting a raw jungle sound under the synth-noise that jumps around playfully at the start of Come Up And Get Me. MC Ride ran onto the stage pumped up, throwing his limbs wildly at the audience, winding the fans at the front into a frenzy. The synth-noise suddenly morphed into an entirely different beast - dropping into an absurdly deep baseline that felt like hitting a brick wall. In an instant the temperature soared as the mosh pit exploded with violent movement. The steam off their writhing bodies thickened the air.
The stage was constantly flooded in a shade of blood red. Like Death Grips were calling for blood from their fans. Urged by flashes of white light, their fans oblige. As if brainwashed into a state of sheer mindlessness by the nightmare rave Get Got. Its frantic electronic whirring matched by the speedy rhyme "get get get get got got got got, blood rush to my head lit hot lock." The intense tribal jerks of the two muscular members of Death Grips mirrored the confronting sounds they produced. MC Ride jerked the microphone like a cock in the faces of the front row of fans squashed against the stage wall, who's heads sat at the perfect height for more compromising sexual activities. Fuelled by his acts of hedonism, they respond with a crazed state of moshing you'd expect at a metal gig. Bringing Death Grips own statement that "(our music is) like taking a pill that makes you superhuman" to life.
Images flickered across two iMac sized screens, positioned vertically on a table behind MC Ride. A woman exposed her naked body and red leather gloves, flames engulf a car wreck and strange occult like symbols. The images are intentionally shocking and confrontational. Like their music. After all, their album art for No Love Deep Web was an erect penis with the title written on it in black texta. Lost Boys took their sound deep into the dark abyss of experimental underground electronica, it became almost like some form of satanic ritual.
Courtesy of Phillip Booth for the AU review
Bodies smashed recklessly into each other with violent enthusiasm. Others were thrown across the sea of heads. Many crowd surfed onto the stage where a single security guard tried in vein to eject them. As if guided by the "Fuck Off" (entry) stamp on their wrists, they ignored him and danced wildly on stage before stage diving back into the fray. Trademark electronic whirs throbbed, building the energy up and up for The Fever (Aye Aye). Hill built the song up with a simple bass snare combo before unleashing a frantic flurry of rhythms when it dropped into the first verse. MC Ride reciprocated, jumping around in a crazed state as he shouted "I got the fever". The electronic sounds they unleash in The Fever are absurd. One lunatic got on stage, pulled his shirt over his head and front flipped back into the crowd. MC Ride then decided he'd had enough of the stage invasions and grabbed some intruders, throwing them back into the audience aggressively. His crazed eyes, thick beard and rough prison-style tattoos would of been enough to deter most sane people.
I've Seen Footage dropped its funky underlying sample that sounds awfully similar to Salt-n-Pepa's Push It. It's an awesome sample. It should be noted here Death Grips production is brilliant. Live though, their so loud and heavily bass orientated that you often miss the brilliant sounds they have on their studio albums. Instead, you get an onslaught of sound that wows you at the very heaviness of it. I've Seen Footage was a great comedown to The Fever. Until this point it was incredible to note that Zach Hill hadn't broken rhythm once, there were no song interludes or breaks of any sort. Just flat out drumming. MC Ride threw himself around to the onslaught of sound, holding his mike as a weapon as he shouted vocals at his fans.
Courtesy of Phillip Booth for the AU review
Hill stood suddenly for the intro to No Love. He drops down with fury to slam his foot on his electronically programmed bass kick, launching sub bass so deep and forceful I felt my brain vibrate in its cocoon. Even MC Ride drops to the ground under its weight. Hill rises and drops again and again, smashing his tom with his clenched fist again and again lifting the intensity to absurd levels. The lyrics are shouted by MC Ride at the audience. His voice so absurdly deep, the words are hard to distinguish - bar the line in the chorus "madness, chaos in the brain." Fitting.
Finishing on the heaving bass of Lock Your Doors, they walked off as MC Ride's voice echoed repeatedly into the silent abyss. The crowd stood, shocked at what they'd witnessed. They hoped for an encore. It was never going to happen. Their dormant bodies confused after 50 minutes of straight aural onslaught and physical abuse. Like Death Grips, they'd given every ounce of energy they had. Death Grips live show was something that - like the first time I heard their music - left me wide eyed, jaw dropped. Their music is so confrontational and dark, yet they manage to drive it home live with this raw aggression and energy that crosses the boundary from being weird and fucked up to being shockingly awesome. Their sound is next level. Their live show takes their next level sound next level. Death Grips - holy shit!
The location of Falls Festival is gorgeous. Falls Festival lies about 10 minutes inland from Lorne, a busy little beach town on the Great Ocean Road. The pristine drive along The Great Ocean Road showed off a mouth-watering ocean view. The sun radiated from a bright blue sky, scattered with wispy clouds. The soft blue ocean meandered gently into secluded beaches and rocky outcrops. The traffic moved at a snail’s pace, but there were no complaints. Limbs hung out of car windows, soaking up the blissful day. Lorne is but a slight detour, as we turned inland. Leaving the coast behind us, we climbed uphill into the thick bushland that lay beyond. In little more than 10 minutes we were greeted by friendly staff and gruff pommy security, who emptied our belongings onto the road in search of alcohol and glass. Bah!
The timing of our arrival couldn’t have been any better. We’d lucked-out and scored a prime camping position about 5 minutes walk from the festival entrance. It was close to toilets, showers and the bizarre Pleasure (village) and was sitting pretty well next to the main walkway. As the erection of tents concluded and the first drink was thrown back, Muscles vocals floated by our campsite on the wind “woo, ahh, woo, ahhh”. Any nostalgic excitement was quickly extinguished by rumours that he was doing a piano set. Cue: drink.
We wandered into the entrance on dusk to see the crazed antics of The Cuban Brothers. At the peak of their lunacy one member removed his G-String and yelled emphatically, “Don’t take Ketamine! it will shrink your penis!”, as he stood fully naked with a mangina. The Bamboos followed with deep funk and soul, climaxing with I Got Burned, the absence of Tim Rogers’ vocals unnoticed.
The highlight of the night was undoubtedly Furnace and the Fundamentals. Remixing their way through innumerable covers with a live band, Furnace traversed the entire back catalogue of every epic dance floor-killing song that ever existed with finesse and energy, sending the crowd into complete hysterics over and over again. What an end to the pre-party.
Saturday was the official first day of the festival. The festival area itself is quite compact. The Valley Stage sits at the bottom of a steep hill, flanked on either side by stalls and bars. The Grand Theatre sits on top of the hill – a huge red and white striped tent. Good food and drink was easy to find, and the stallholders were friendly and always keen to chat.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard were the first to get the lazy crowd moving, starting a mini mosh pit with their punk-fused psychedelic rock. Splayed out across the stage seven members wide with the drummer in the centre, the grubby punks rocked out emphatically, as we bounced around in a mess of bodies and hair.
San Cisco provided a small change of pace on the Valley Stage, their sweet adolescent indie pop swooning the crowd like a kiss on the cheek from your high school crush. They sounded great live, in particular their cute-as-hell drummer, whose kit sounded superb. Sigh…any woman who can drum can have my heart. Tight as hell, the crowd sung Awkward and Rocket Ship with gusto. Their performance even allowed an overlooking of the terrible lyrics to Rocket Ship for a dance.
A big shout-out must be made here to the DJs who ignited the fun-filled dance offs that transpired between bands. They really kept a constant flow of energy over the course of the festival.
By the time Bombay Bicycle Club were on, the rain had arrived, making the hill facing the stage a giant slip-and-slide. A group of clever chaps made up of Channel V’ers and Art Vs Sciencers formulated a human tunnel (of legs) on the steep hill facing the Valley Stage. At one point there were 15 people lined up, and the only person who could make it all the way through was Jim Finn (from AVS) whose smooth jacket made him a human juggernaut. The summery vibes of Bombay floated up the hill, sending smiles over shivering bodies. Some tunnellers broke rank to dance to Shuffle, then ran back up the hill for a slide.
The good vibes continued as the rain halted and Django Django arrived in signature matching T-shirts. Opening with the throbbing synths of Hail Bop, they delivered their quirky guitar-driven synth pop from the very beginning with bundles of energy. It was the third time I’d seen them in 2012, and man did they bring it again, the bees knees of dancy synth pop. Playing the bangers from their stellar debut release, they had the crowd chanting, tribal dancing, and jumping for joy to their percussive goodness. Sped up versions of Default and Storm were massive, and Skies Over Cairo and Loves Dart were rapturous. Finishing with the apocalyptic siren of Wor, many were left gobsmacked about what they’d just witnessed.
Day One headliners The Hives arrived. Howlin’ Pelle talked. And talked. And talked. A few bangers were played, such as Hate to Say I Told You So, Walk Idiot Walk, and Go Right Ahead, plus their trademark teaser to Tick Tick Boom. The band turned a bit sour when a few drinks were thrown at the guitarist. Howlin’ Pelle shouted into the crowd, “If you fuckers throw another beer at my brother, I will come down there and kick your arse”. It was probably all talk though, seeing as they did talk a lot.
Day Two was opened by the driving rhythms and guitar riffs of Art of Sleeping. One of the crazy benefits of camping right next to the festival is that there is nothing like being woken by good music, let alone some of the best live music on offer.
A leisurely stroll into the festival on lunch was met (once again) by amazing music. This time Ball Park Music had the stage, ushering a chirpy “cheers cunts” to the audience as I eagerly awaited my bacon & egg roll and coffee.
The real surprise package was inside the Grand Theatre tent where Regular John delivered a sweltering set of hard rock. Their sound delved into 90′s alt rock territory with new single Slume, with a slight Billy Corgan tinge in his voice.
Jinja Safari pulled a large crowd in the Valley, but those expecting their usual antics were left disappointed. There was no stage climbing or Pied Piper follow-the-leader runs. Maybe it’s a sign that they’ve become serious musicians in recent times. As their music matures so do they. Their energy is still as enigmatic as ever, with live bongos and a naked saxophonist banging out tunes.
SBTRKT was one of the most highly anticipated sets of the entire festival. Given the strange time and setting of 6pm on the Valley Stage, SBTRKT arrived to monstrous applause and buzz, with Sampha on vocals and keys, and mastermind Aaron Jerome on live drums. The live drums allowed for some juicy live remixing of the percussive elements of each song. The biggest was Wildfire, which was masterfully mixed, so much so that no one even picked up on the intro until the synths and standard rhythm kicked in. Sampha’s vocals were stunning: so rich during Something Goes Right and Hold On, all the time layering percussion and samples with huge effect, simultaneously giving each song a different sound and feeling. SBTRKT recordings already have monstrous dancy energy, but live they take it to the next level, pushing it up a notch on heavier dance tracks like Sanctuary and Heatwave. Stellar!
Flume could have been mistaken as a headliner – the crowd in the Grand Theatre tent was so tightly packed that it clogged the entrances and squished those inside. People were climbing the fence on the road side through thorn bushes to get a glimpse of the dance music maestro. A warning had to be ushered before he started, it was so full. Opening with the trademark wob wob of More Than You Thought, he tore through his back catalogue. No crowd erupts as massively as they do to Flume. Dance offs were rife. People got low. Bodies flailed to and fro, up and down. There was moshing on shoulders. Hair flailed around like crazy. His latest single with Chet Faker was the most chilled of all his tracks. A new overlay of Kendrick Lamar’s Drank dropped over the top of The Anthem instead of his trademark Biggie Smalls mix.
Many were forgiven for confusing Flaming Chips with The Hot Lips. It was late, and they were both equally hot. Catching the end of Flaming Lips after Flume was tasty, his visual show an absolute ball-tripper to say the least. Singer Wayne Coyne ran around smashing a giant gong, which lit up in blinding flashes of light every time, hordes of female dancers crowding the side of the stage with psychedelic dance moves. Hot Chip were a step away from their psych rock, opening with Shake a Fist. Live, Hot Chip are an entirely different prospect. Their nerd chic oozed confidence as they nerd-danced around their instruments enthusiastically, the bass reverberating up the hill. Their female drummer Sarah Jones absolutely smashed her kit, incorporating some quirky instruments like a Caribbean steel drum, which didn’t look out of place next to DJ decks and guitars. Over and Overwas an unbeatable classic that didn’t seem out of place among new tracks Night and Day and These Chains. Their Fleetwood Mac cover of Everywhere was a nice touch on an awesome set.
The weather on Day Three of Falls Festival sealed the run of great weather, proving to be just as hot as the rest. I began the day on the highest hill to soak it all in. A sea of tents, cars and marquees curved their way across the open fields, encased by tall, towering gum trees. The sun shimmered off thousands of car windows in the valley. Trails of people scuttled along the paths that dissected the human settlements.
First Aid Kit captured the essence of the gorgeous summer day with their stunning Swedish folk music. They appeared on stage young and pretty, with a distinctive Bohemian vibe. Their long, straight hair hang lank over their cute animal tees. Two cute little girls danced around on the stage next to them as they sang The Lion’s Roar and Wolf with guts, their voices belying their youthful appearance. Their influences are far between. They stated a love for ABBA and then finished a song with a heavy riff from The White Stripes.
Sampology brought us into the night with a tribute AV DJ set with some masterful mixing of movie clips that was at times punchy and at times disjointed to account for the speaking of artists. No one really minded the long-winded 20th anniversary speech by the festival organiser and his parents because 2 Door was here to bring in the new year in style.
A beautiful full moon and scattered cloud flanked blue neon-lit trees and a yellow-and-red-lit stage as Two Door Cinema Club arrived to huge applause. From the opening of No One Can Talk, it was clear that they have matured past their age from the young party starters they were off the back of Tourist History. They were so tight at times it was hard to tell the tracks apart from the recordings, from which they rarely strayed, ripping through their biggest hits in Undercover Martin, What You Knowand Cigarettes in the Theatre. They warmed up the crowd for the new year coming with new tuneNext Year, then broke in the new year with banger What You Know. The sky exploded with confetti and hands as everyone indulged in a random or pre-planned snog to break in the new year in class (or lack thereof). Two Door Cinema Club – all class.
Review originally for Music Feeds http://musicfeeds.com.au/gig/falls-festival-lorne-20122013/
UK singer/rapper and Stereosonic main man Example has been tabloid heaven lately. Not only has his engagement to Aussie supermodel Erin Mcnaught simultaneously rocked every soap magazine and teenage boy’s dreams, but he also single-handedly tackled the entire suburb of Wigan over Twitter abuse. He didn’t seem too fussed about his overwhelming cascade of haters (reportedly 500 a day) quipping, “if they want to give me shit, I’ll give them shit back.”
Having dropped his fourth studio record, Evolution of Man
, just recently on November 19, he doesn’t mind opening up about his dark past, which no doubt influenced the heavier sound on the record. According to Example, the album acted as a form of self-therapy – in particular the song Come Taste the Rainbow
– that allowed him to open up about his failings with drugs, his personal relationship, and his ego, while also using it as a way to apologise to a lot of people.
Moving on from his big dubstep collaborations with Skream, Benga and Feed Me on Evolution of Man
, Example feels that now dubstep has all been done. Replacing wobbly bass with live guitars gave his songs a different feeling, especially when interpreted with a live band on stage. He even hinted at a move away from dubstep on his next release. Example dubbed himself as the only electronic vocalist – he’s not a DJ people – touring the world and the major festivals with a live band. He’s probably right, for some of the world’s biggest producers are chasing him for collaborations to go on his next full-length album that is already in progress
Stereosonic headliner Tiesto – the world’s biggest DJ – is interested in working with Example on his forthcoming fifth studio album. Currently touring Australia with Stereosonic Festival, Example let slip in our exclusive interview that Tiesto wants to collaborate. As one of the main live dance acts on the bill, Example is using this tour to capitalise on the colossal amount of dance music producing talent around him: “most of my next album is going to be produced by people at Stereosonic.” With his fourth studio album, Evolution of Man released a little over a week ago on November 19, he is wasting no time working on new material, already planning session time with Laidback Luke in the long break between the Perth and Melbourne legs of the Stereosonic tour.
He’s not content with snagging the world’s biggest DJ either, lining up an impressive group of big name producers to collaborate on his next release. Among the cream of the crop sit Diplo, Zedd, Dillon Francis, and Australia’s own Tommy Trash. It seems that Example is pursuing a different sound seeing that these producers’ favoured styles differ greatly from the dubstep influence that appeared on the latest release – most notably Feed Me, Skream and Benga. Example fans can look forward to an exciting prospect of an album that is already in the works.
Outside In Festival promised a tantalising lineup of exciting new and established alternative electronica. It was so good; they knew no one would want to leave. Thus, stamping a ‘no pass outs’ sign across the foreheads of staff and security – weirdos. Initial confusion on the triple stage set up in one venue was quite self-explanatory: they had three good dance rooms. The courtyard GoodGod Courtyard sending chilled beats floating into the afternoon sky as a teaser for what was inside.
Polygraphia playing The Factory Floor stage
A sign above a small door to the side of the courtyard read ‘The Factory Floor’. No it was not a sweat shop work floor. It in fact led to a small, dull room that was completely black. Floors, walls and ceiling. When crammed full it became quite clammy, or in Collarbones words “it’s so moist in here I can barely think.” The only light emerged from a large screen projecting images behind the stage, and a single laser shooting beams of green light into the crowd’s line of vision. It was packed. Polygraphia fumbled around with their glitchy electronic sound; the duo moving from drums to guitar to sample pads in a bit of a mess. Their beats as slightly off cue as their image; the lead singer’s bowl wonky bowl cut giving him the appearance of a tall human mushroom. Their saving grace was a single green laser that entranced everyone as it cut mind boggling shapes in the air through a thick layer of smoke – stars, cylinders and bars all produced in three trippy dimensions.
Mighty Boosh fans look this band up: Holy Balm. They hold an uncanny resemblance to Noel Fielding’s band ala Electro Boy. The man on keys channelled Johnny Two Hats, playing juicy 80s synths with stiff posture, tapping one heel to the beat. He introduced a song in a high class London accent. If only he was wearing a suit. An odd looking blonde stood as the central figure behind a drum kit, hitting symbols at random with whimsical strokes, moving her hands painfully slow, like one of those really annoying wizards in Harry Potter trying in vain to master a spell – Neville Longbottom perhaps. I’d watched enough Mighty Boosh. Time to go Fishing.
Fishing are the real deal. A packed Factory Floor were witnessing full, well rounded and measured glitch. From front of stage I looked back and witnessed a full room bobbing their heads in unison on the beat. One of the duo grabs the mike and starts rapping. He’s white and wears his collar top buttoned with hipster glasses, yet he raps with eye opening conviction about smoking weed. His voice layered with low end to give it more attitude as he raps “I’m rollin’ double sixes, I'm rollin' double sixes. Cash in my wallet, purple in my system.” Each verse exploding with more energy, egged on by intense strobes. His vocals changed suddenly - auto-tuned to a cartoonishly high pitch. The crowd smile at its cheekiness. The songs bombastic ghetto beat causing the dancefloor to writhe ecstatically.
A journey into the Main Room was greeted with the ability to breathe, the expansive space filled with the ghetto crunk and trap stylings of Triple J’s Lewi Mckirdy. Dressed like a grungy 90s dude with skull cap, rocking the classic high socks and skate shoe combo like it never went out of fashion. He couldn’t possibly be warming the crowd up for HTRK – their moody, down tempo sounds the opposite end of the electronic spectrum. It made no difference, starting 40 mins late after a solid half hour of technical difficulties. As HTRK start, Janine’s concerned look turns cold. Her eyes glaze over, staring dead pan straight ahead. The stage is drenched in moody purple lighting that meanders in slow circles. Images permeate the screens coming in and out of focus, often turning blank to cast the duo’s shadows onto the screen behind. The songs themselves are a haze of guitar feedback and drenched sounds, her vocals echoing dark and moody emissions into the large space. Their gloomy, ethereal songs perceived ungratefully by the impatient murmerings of the crowd.
A buzz of expectation precedes Oliver Tank. Quickly justified by opening with an amazing remix of Last Night I Heard Everything In Slow Motion, changing the structure adding new lyrics and a nice xylophone progression. His atmospheric sounds sliced only by his sweet voice in Beautiful, “I just want you to know you’re really special.” His love of Snoop Dogg made less subtle by Dropping It like its Hot, playing experimental guitar over the top. The crowd lapped it up, giving him huge props. Pretty stoked that Flume was next on.
Rapturous applause greeted Flume’s arrival “I dropped an album yesterday, so I’m gonna play some tracks off it for you”. Hells yeah he did! He opened with the signature wob, wob, wob of More Than You Thought. It’s so filthy – the crowd loses the plot immediately. He follows up with his gorgeous Chet Faker collaboration Left Alone, the driving rhythms of Insane, ghetto rap number On Top and the fun and funky Ezra. Flume is dead set the only dance producer that can consistently make an entire crowd lose their minds and dance like lunatics. Bodies flail everywhere, thrown to and fro. Not from the hip or waist, but the entire body. Small circles emerge and dance offs ensue. Everyone loses their inhibitions because everyone is like minded and no judgement is passed. Oh, except for one weirdo girl who consistently kept trying to put her finger in my nose (what the fuck). After her fourth attempt I had to give her the flick. Almost a vibe killer. But come on, nothing could possibly kill Flume’s vibe.
Rapturous applause: Flume
Wandering outside I experience the casino effect - day had suddenly turned to night. Chilled house music flows from the sound system and a crowd lap it up. A great aspect of this festival is that wherever you are, there is always space to dance. Even though it was sold out, the spreading out of the stages meant that you were never so crammed you couldn’t move. That’s what it’s all about!
Outside In was an alternative electronica festival for alternative people. The best dressed and best looking crowd I’ve ever witnessed at a festival. Next level style was everywhere you look. Everyone was there for the music and to enjoy it to the fullest. People get so into it and dance so looney that you feel encouraged to let loose and dance like no one is watching. When the music is cut on stage closer LV’s filthy UK drum n bass banger Sebenza
, the crowd shuffled out shouting “rubber bullets” (best lyric). The silence is piercing - no one wanted it to finish. Especially our ears.
Written By Andrew Nock for Music Feeds
Music Feeds couldn’t resist picking the brains of Conics for a classic Q&A ahead of their exclusive single release. The Sydney five-piece have spent a year between releases developing their sound, leading up to the sounds you will be hearing from new single Far Away. The indie dance punk outfit have been smashing their way around town with a number of impressive supports already under their belt, and are set to unleash their sound on Australia with this release. Proving their up-to-datedness with technology and what not (floppy disks are still in, people) Angus and Angus – yes, there are two in the band and it’s confusing as hell – attempt to give you more of an idea of the musical bombshell that is Conics. Read on!
MF: Whilst listening to Far Away, I get this instant craving to be sitting on a beach somewhere deserted, enjoying a beautiful sunset. There is this real feeling of escaping the daily grind to find a better place. Is this a part of the song’s concept? If not, what’s the real story behind Far Away?
Conics: It’s all about the things that happen in life that are out of your control. There are always consequences for your actions and people change, but that’s cricket.
MF: Every artist has a way of getting away to write and let the creative juices flow, and I understand Conics have their own unique place. What can you tell us of this place and why is it such a creative haven for you guys?
Conics: We tend to get fairly creative on our annual koala hunt, where we pack all our gear up and take it to the country – ie the middle of nowhere. We’ve done it a few times and it’s a blast! Playing through the whole day and night allows us to both come up with new ideas and work on parts that we think need improving. It’s really good that we are five best mates when writing; there are no grudges held about what we like and don’t like as we are all in this for the same reason.
MF: It has almost been a year gap in between releases for Conics. What’s been happening in this time lapse to prolong the process?
Conics: We’ve basically been travelling around and buying some fancy new gear. We’ve spent a lot of time working out where we want to go with our music and setting ourselves goals. We also took some time to concentrate on our sound: getting away from our influences that we’ve always had and always will, but developing a sound that is true to us; a sound that we froth on. We’d love to be able to put out our first EP early next year and do a national tour so that we can spread the Conics seed across ‘Straya.
MF: Conics sound often delves into electronics with intelligent synth work and samples. What drew you guys to integrate electronic elements into your music?
Conics: When Vodz upgraded from windows 95 to 98 and it came with this mad floppy disk of synth loops. We’ve also been into synths for a while and we’ve only recently found out how to make them work live and sound good. A lot of our newer material is a lot more synth-heavy: we’ve been trialing a whole bunch of electronic drums, samples and pads, and incorporating them into guitar-driven music is a fun challenge.
MF: You’ve supported a lot of great new Australian artists such as Flume, Gold Fields and Rufus. Does seeing these artists break out in such a big way this past year make you crave the same success?
Conics: We’ve been really lucky with the amount of great bands we’ve played with. When you chat and play with them, you actually realise how passionate they are for their craft and how much work they put into it. It’s really inspiring.
MF: You have a big show coming up to launch the new single. What big things have you in store to get the party started?
Conics: It’s all happening December 14 at Oxford Art Factory’s Gallery Bar and it’s going to be loose. Sons. Et Al and Colonies are supporting and they’re super good. We also have a new live set-up, which we are pretty psyched on, and we may be supplying confetti, balloons, and blow-up toys. Mum’s even bringing some egg mayo sandwiches, hopefully with the crusts cut off this time. Oh, and not to mention – it’s free entry!
MF: If we delve into Conics’ history a little, you guys met and formed in high school. Could you provide some insight into how the band was conceived?
Conics: We all started out in a couple of Blink 182/Parkway Drive cover bands. Then we moved on and did some other music with some other people – including a super hot chick drummer, bought some better equipment and ended up as Coneheads (later changed to Conics).
There was a lack of condoms present. “A condom-branded event
and no free condoms?” This loud proclamation was echoed by awkward chuckles down the line onto the boat. Instead, their outstretched condom-hungry hands were filled with drink tickets to ease their cravings. Durex, you subtle dudes. As the partygoers hustled to the bar for free
drinks, a swarm of photographers preyed on every Kodak moment imaginable. I’ve never seen as large a proportion of social snappers at an event. It seemed like every fifth gent was pulling a camera from his jocks! Reason being, You+1 festival had taken over The Starship inviting a sexy crowd that had one motive in mind – party to some of dance music’s finest DJs on a perfect Sydney Harbour day.
Interesting side note: minority of beards present (finally my hairless face fitted in!)
Rudimental kicked things off with a dynamite DJ/MC pairing. The act played through a host of songs zoning in on the best of what the UK dance scene is exporting right now. The honest and heartfelt track Spoons
absorbed the vibrant sun that bounced off the water’s surface, warming the bodies of those dancing soulfully in the spacious lower deck dance hall. The DJ set spanned many genres of UK dance, delving into the bass spectrum with some drum ‘n’ bass bangers, building to Feel the Love
as the MC shouted “I can definitely feel the love right now” in his cockney drawl.
A journey out onto the roof deck was greeted with the real view – none of this 360-degree tinted glass bollocks. There were fun tiki vibes provided by bamboo fencing
, plants, and giant tiki statues housing the edges of the boat and the two slick pilots manning the DJ booth. With the sun beaming down, there was no better place to be, Coronas in hand and listening to Flight Facilities DJ live. The chilled set of laid-back minimal and deep house mixed in with their brilliant production efforts nicely. Brows were creased as heads tilted upwards into the sky and sung the lyrics to Foreign Language
and Crave You
in sheer ecstacy. As a sole seagull glided low overhead in time with the boat, many bodies swayed to new single With You
and funky remixes of Miike Snow, Daft Punk and Friendly Fires.
Signalling Steve Aoki’s arrival at the end of their set resulted in a stampede of bodies to the dance hall, snapping the audience out of their tropical trance and into the realisation that the chilly night was upon us and one of the world’s best DJs was about to vibrate the ocean floor.
Arriving unpronounced, Steve Aoki appeared, to complete rapture from his fans. He even had his hands kissed like royalty by one overly keen fan, flailing at him over the barrier. Wasting no time, he hyped the crowd on the mic before dropping into a heavy song with a distinctive trap flavour. Before the song had even finished though, the sound cut out completely and he was left wandering around stage aimlessly – even dropping to his knees in frustration at one point – as the sound techs tried to fix the problem. Chants of “Steve-y, Steve-y, Steve-y” echoed the most Australian way we know how of showing support, and he was back in full force after a few minutes of confusion with a monstrous dubstep track. The crowd lost complete control of bodily function and flailed wildly as Aoki threw himself into the crowd and crowd surfed to signal the real start of the party.
To say Steve Aoki plays loads of EDM genres is missing the point. The point is more imbedded in his philosophy of music. He picks the heaviest, most mind-blowingly intense tracks imaginable from each EDM genre. I could swear he adds layers onto already renowned tracks by artists like Skrillex to further the mindlosingness. Can I now mention his bag of tricks? Cheers. The only other act I’ve ever seen with so many insane nut-busting tricks is Rammstein, and although a penis cannon (circa- Big Day Out 2011) would have been fitting for this condom-sponsored party, Aoki brought the party in his own signature style. It started with the champagne showers (no cringeworthy song to match), shaking it up, spraying it and spitting into the front rows in between taking healthy swigs.
Aoki spent as much time on the stage/in the crowd as behind the decks. Pre-planned set? Who cares! He made the crowd weak at the knees with his antics. Pulling out his inflatable boat, he went crowdsurfing on a boat…on a freaking boat. Why the hell not! His musical prowess was then showed by dropping the trademark beat of Public Domain’s Bass in the Place London
underneath the track that brought us all to our knees – Warp 1.9
. He slowed things down a notch with remixes of Kanye West and Major Lazer’s stunning track Get Free
before he segued into a new rave-worthy single Piledriver
that he’s released with Ozzie bass champions Knife Party. To top things off for the big finale, he pulled a bazooka-like liquid nitrogen-filled smoke cannon and sprayed it generously over the crowd, its icy tendrils cooling the sweat off the hot mess of a moshpit that he’d created.
Andrew WK take note – this is how to party!