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Sophie Min - SOLO VOL. 1 (2020)

LISTEN As the world continues to spend days apart, it seems an opportune time to review some solo improvisation. The past few years have seen local pianist Sophie Min become an ever-more established name in Australian jazz. Endlessly prolific, her growing catalogue boasts collaborations with some of Brisbane's most exciting players: the likes of Ben Shannon , Helen Svoboda , and Tim Green . With an orchestral project still in the pipeline, Soph has seen it fit to release curt, solo renditions of original compositions as SOLO VOL. 1 . While I've been an avid follower of Min's improvisational exploits, her playing style sits firmly straddled between the worlds of classical and jazz. GBDE 's childlike innocence recalls the early Romantic period while knottier (k)numbers like Just Exploded evoke Debussy's sombre approach toward ruminative registers. It's these aspects of impressionism that see Sophie skirting the framework of her compositions, chipping away
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Pink Siifu - NEGRO (2020)

LISTEN I've banged on about the hypnagogic hip-hop scene for long enough, praising artists like MIKE , Standing On The Corner , and recent convert Earl Sweatshirt for their dreamy explorations into sample based jazz-rap. LA based Pink Siifu sits adjacent to scene progenitors, New York's sLUms collective, plying their abstract poetry with rasped yet reserved fusions of spoken word and RnB. Real name Livingston Matthews , Siifu's approach to this style is best manifested on 2018's Ensley : a dusty, sunlit drive through crooned, Frank Ocean -esque introspection that's part diary reading and part lo-fi beat tape. As with most hip-hop, it's music borne from struggle, offering a strange sense of escapism amidst chaotic surrounds. If Ensley was a safety blanket, Siifu's new release is a stolen AK. A series of impulse reactions to America's social climate, it's an album so politically charged I'm hesitant to utter the one-word title in my colo

Autechre - AE_LIVE 2016/2018 (2020)

LISTE N MELBOURNE_220618 What was best concert you've ever been to? How much of it do you actually remember? The human brain has a tendency to squash experiences down into bite-sized sensory snippets and emphasise emotional impact, leaving us with heartening yet endlessly fallible recollections of past events. Now if you could hear that gig again, exactly as it sounded, what would that do to the memory? This is what I'll be exploring with the release of MELBOURNE_220618 , one of seven soundboards recently released by electronic heavyweights Autechre as AE_LIVE 2016/2018 . Quick caveat, this show actually took place on the 21st of June as I saw them in Tasmania on the 22nd, but erroneous titles aside let's move on. This tour, known by fans as 'onesix',  explored the 'deep mixing' practices of their studio work this decade, presenting dense palettes of post-human ambient and contorting them into sounds unheard. It's a

NGA2: heavy gore interview

Who's in the mood for some heavy gore ? 18 year-old Jordan Sigmund extracts brutality from his delicate piano compositions, each bar painstakingly mutilated in Audacity. His latest release, nothing ever happens like it does in the movies, came as a breath of fresh air amidst 4ZZZ's endless stream of local music submissions. Barely reaching the half-hour mark, nothing ever happens wastes no time dissecting ambience with surgical precision. Arcing melodies become stuttered motifs, stripped of context until new meaning emerges. Sibling cuts sulphur and sage inject momentum into oscillating chords through sharp bursts of glitched intensity. Each track's brevity comes as welcome respite, cutting ideas off before they've had a chance to get stale. I was interested to learn Jordan's background as someone whose music doesn't quite fit into a physical scene. Our interview covers his classical training, creative process, and various inspirations. nothing ever h

NGA2: Hot New Deconstructed Club World Tour

Our second episode kicks off with a Hot New Deconstructed Club World Tour (tm), where I play Hot New Deconstructed Club music from around the globe. Among the countries visited are Poland, China, Uganda, Switzerland, and Tasmania, representing a diverse spread of left-field dance music released this year. Here are 5 of my favourite tracks.  CALSUTMORAN - DIABOLIC SYNTAX A member of the post-Memphis collective Waistdeep Clique , CALSUTMORAN re-examines trap music's roots through an extra-terrestrial lens. In other words, he's equally obsessed with both xenomorphs and Three Six Mafia . It's a strange Venn diagram of interests, but the overlap sounds like no-one else. Diabolic Syntax opens with a skin-crawling soundscape of sculpted alien communique before unfolding into an otherworldly, mechanical trunk-knocker. It's an early single off Cal's next release PARASITOIDAL BIOCHEMICAL , and truly embodies those two words. Due early next year. https://soundcloud

Griselda - WWCD (2019)

DOOT DOOT DOOT DOOT DOOT DOOT DOOT DOOT DOO- If you're a hip-hop fan who hasn't heard the names Conway the Machine , Benny the Butcher , or WestsideGunn , then it's only a matter of time. Collectively known as Griselda Records , after Colombian coke-mogul Griselda Blanco, the trio of Buffalo rappers have been grinding their way to success for nigh on seven years. Each member has their own mixtape series, collabs between themselves, collabs with other rappers, and countless features on a whole host of New York projects. Success in the internet age is usually a matter of luck, but these homies sure mitigate the odds. More than just a rap clique, it's a family affair. Gunn and Conway are brothers, and Benny their long-time associate. A string of shootings and incarcerations culminating in Conway's partial paralysis led the three to focus on music full time, hustling their way out the streets. It's an origin story most hip-hop fans have heard before

Clipping - The Deep (2019)

LISTEN I DO MY BEST TRIPPIN' UNDERWATER Fresh off the release of horrorcore masterwork There Existed An Addiction To Blood , experimental hip-hop wunderkinds Clipping have dropped a 3 song EP of sea-faring sci-fi shanties. Appropriately titled The Deep , it explores the afro-futurist fantasies of Detroit techno heavyweights Drexciya , whose music soundtracked an Atlantis-esque society of drowned African children whose mothers were thrown from slave ships across the Atlantic sea. It's a concept so high-minded the Extended Play format seems restrictive, but Clipping's decade-long creative crescendo makes them ripe for the task. The trio have flexed their world-building muscle before, most notably on 2016's Splendour and Misery . There, MC Daveed Diggs ' narrated a space-bound slave's descent into madness following a ship-wide uprising-turned-massacre. Production team William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes flexed their foley skills to animate abandon

Lee Gamble - Exhaust (2019)

LISTEN ENERGY, CLEAR-MINDEDNESS, COMPOSURE, AND CONFIDENCE Emerging from Britain's jungle scene at last decade's turn, Lee Gamble has proven himself an artist in constant transition. Early explorations on Berlin's avant-electronic label PAN showed rare aesthetic confidence as Lee moulded lost jungle and techno into atmospheric collage, preserving genre roots within a sound all his own.  Now on Hyperdub , Gamble's mid-way through a sonic trilogy entitled Flush Real Pharynx , attempting to explore the pervasive nature of capitalism within culture. Things kicked off earlier this year with In a Paraventral Scale , pairing samples of luxury cars with airbrushed synths to set the tone. The EP was a leap forward for Gamble's world-building talents, bringing the scattered vision of 2017's Mnestic Pressure into glossy focus. I was lucky enough to see Lee perform Flush Real Pharynx in its entirety, and at the time it struck me as his most complete work y

Earl Sweatshirt - Feet Of Clay (2019)

TRIP AROUND THE SUN It's been almost 12 months since I gushed about Some Rap Songs, Earl Sweatshirt's third studio album and 25 minute meditation on mortal grief. At the time I praised Earl's collaboration with artists from the New York underground, shaping his sound with the likes of Standing On the Corner and Adé Hakim .  In spite of its brevity, Some Rap Songs remains a shrouded quandary, one brimming with effortless prophecies waiting to be unpacked for years to come. In the wake of this abstract classic came Earl's return to independence, severing a 6 year partnership with Columbia Records to "Do riskier shit" .   Feet Of Clay is a 7 track sample of this new direction, and Earl doesn't seem to be coming up for air any time soon. Its title based on a Biblical tale foretelling the end of empires, Sweatshirt paints a grim and complex picture of the uncertain future. Opener 74 comes bursting out the gate with a burdened beat cr

Pete La Roca - Turkish Women At The Bath (1967) [Obscure Jazz Safari]

LISTEN   If you'd prefer this review in audio form, an excerpt from my radio show can be found down below.  It features 'Sin Street', 'Majoun', and a lovely monotone.  So Pete La Roca follows up one of the decade's best jazz records with... another one of the decade's best jazz records. I'm serious, the guy did it again. Pete's second and final release is a powerful and elegant entry into the intimidating post-bop canon. Both albums feature a tight quartet playing eastern-tinged tunes, but each group has a distinct character. Joe Henderson lead Basra with commanding melodies and intimidating solos, matched by La Roca's incessant rhythms. Turkish Women hands duties to Sun Ra's sax disciple John Gilmore , who wrings impressive inspiration out of Pete's compositions. Gilmore's solos are more direct than Henderson's, he delicately slaloms scales to craft infectious melodies and evolves grooves around the entire ban