James Ireland and Hamish Rahn pair up again to create their own brand of ‘blissed out sadness.’
Hamjam’s just announced their debut album a/s/l?, due out on August 11th. Their first single is called Lean and the music video has been described by Remote Control Records as “a pastel reflection on domestic decadence, and an unfounded pining after early morning TV aerobics.” Which is ah yeah pretty spot on really so here you go.
a/s/l? musing on feelings of inadequacy, unrequited love and insecurities and steered by synths, the wait is finally over and it was worth it. To pre-order a/s/l? click here.
Listen / purchase ‘Lean’: https://hamjam.lnk.to/Lean
Let’s begin with two people.
Deep in the gloom a phone rings. They take the call. The voice on the line slips beneath her skin and curls its fingers around his stomach. You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, you can barely feel it. You can’t hold on tight enough.
These people, these sisters and lovers and pilots and brothers are joined deep beneath the surface, below knowledge, down where desire and depravity lie. The line goes dead and these two people catch a glimpse of what’s to come, as it retreats back into the fog.
A new work from Side Pony Productions (The Confidence Man, The Pride) and The Last Great Hunt (Falling through Clouds, The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer), The Irresistible is a reckless, intoxicating love letter to the subconscious.
Showing at PICA from the 14th to the 24th of June. we highly recommend checking this performance out.
As far as gigs go, this one was probably the nicest smelling one I have attended.
I don’t know where it came from really. I don’t know if it was the lady’s shampoo I was standing near or if someone was burning some incense in an art room or whether I am just slightly unhinged… but god damn it smelt like musk Lifesavers and it was so great.
So pair this with the comforting ambiance of Fremantle Arts Centre and a night that’s slightly colder than perfect and BAM you have got a good time.
Oh yeah, the music.
Henry Kissinger – the better one – is surprisingly cool. He’s probably my new favourite keyboardist (sorry Ray Manzarek) thanks to his bass fueled loops and beats that make me dance quite good without having to think about it too much.
Ziggy’s performance is astounding. I love Hip Hop. A lot. Discovering a new local artists I can listen to at home and follow throughout their career is why I keep going to gigs really. That and the exercise I guess. So give these guys a listen if you like your breakbeats and flows. Ups to JCAL as always, as well.
POW Negro hardly need an introduction sentence anymore. If you live in Perth you’ve probably already witnessed their wondrous live performance; theatrics, musical instruments and now these amazing visuals, and well if you live anywhere else, you can’t claim to be the music connoisseur of your mate group unless you know these guys, sorry.
On this particular Friday night, the gang was launching their single ‘Money for Portraits.’ The song in its self is a banger. Not just because its catchy but because its arranged nicely. The verses have great lyrics, the bridge is a highlight and really pumps you up for the riff driven chorus.
When I said musical instruments before I wasn’t just drawing attention to the fact this band plays instruments (shocking, I know) but more that Pow! Negro are a breed of artists that interchange the composition and roles of their members frequently.
This reminds me of A – The Beatles and B – the struggle millennials are facing to get a job; no one’s going to look twice at you soon unless you bring that little bit more to the table.
The drummer sings, the guitarist plays drums, there is a saxophone, singing and rap intertwine, there is dancing, banter and so on and so forth. I love it, but also am exhausted by the dynamics, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I guess the band it’s an accurate representation of life. Without stating the obvious, we all know art is a perception of society so what I am trying to say here is Pow portray feelings of the community on a small scale and humanity on a global scale well, which is ah kind of necessary, but a bit deep for a single launch review.
I existentially wonder what is next for music. I love the hybrid everything that seems to come with conscious human evolution condensed into one lifetime, but also still love simple well-though out compositions. Really, I don’t know what I want and I am sure you don’t either but that being said we can figure it out together. Something to look forward to in this post-truth world.
As an audience member and a music consumer I can kind of tell that each member is bringing their own vibes to the table behind the scenes and then as a band they pick up what’s good and work on something from that – obviously beautiful cooperation.
It really is ‘Zac de la Rocha-ish,’ but to be honest I’m sick of people comparing them to Rage Against the Machine. Like that’s accurate but lazy and they’re so much more.
They’ve nailed the funk, the melody and the jazz. Next up I would love to see more slow jams. They already have one or two – check out Sam | Saim on Soundcloud – which they pull off well.
RacketBall goes off as always and when performing ‘Hidle Ho’ they are joined on stage by Ziggy and MC Marley which made everyone smile. Trust me, I genuinely looked around and took note and everyone had their pearly whites on show.
A lot of their music is still not available online, or rather has been quite scarce in the past but with their Big Splash 2016 win, hopefully we will see more recordings pop up on the World Wide Web.
So anyway, that’s enough tangents from me – to wrap it up, can’t wait for the EP.
Maybe it’s because his voice is as smooth as a dolphin’s underbelly, maybe it’s because I read an article last year where he named his top 3 musical influences as D’Angelo, Radiohead and Fat Freddy’s Drop or maybe it is because the harmonies and tempo’s in his songs can entice a rolling sense of relaxation while simultaneously encouraging the listener to move their body.
Whatever you chalk it up to, there is no denying that there is something quite refreshing about Jordan Rakei.
On March 26th he graced Perth with his presence, performing at Jack Rabbit Slims with an amazingly curated line up of supports.
Grievous Bodily Calm were kicking off their first song by the time I walked in. The sound hit me in the face like a big beach ball I was welcoming with open arms. The drums were off to the left of the stage, the keys to the right and the wall of sound they created ebbed and flowed in fervent waves. Pierced, but not punctured, by the rolling sounds of Matthew on the trumpet, the vibe was gaining momentum. By the end of their set, the guys seemed to be enjoying themselves just as much as the crowd were as we all bounced along to this hybrid-jazz-funk that seems to be (finally) infiltrating the Australian scene.
Pow! Negro were up next. Awarded the 2016 WAM Award for ”Most Popular Live Act’ as voted by the public, their performance literally never disappoints. Front man Nelson brings a theatrical element to their set, his facial expressions and lucid dance moves are their point of difference; luring the patron into their narrative that is far from being based on fiction. Watching them perform padded out songs that grew from short verses heard in sets they played early least year is a pleasure and personally I can’t wait for their EP in October. The dynamics between band members are a joy to watch (re: Rhys on the drums) and the ambience is contagious as more people flooded to the dance floor while they finished their set with some old crowd favourites.
Ruby Ruby Ruby. It is hard to believe such a huge voice comes from such a petite lady but ya know what, it does and it’s amazing. I always feel myself getting wrapped up in emotions when I hear Ruby May sing because she is just that good. Her sunshine soul radiates through her voice and when she performs with the Chakra Khans it’s feels like a huge yet intimate family reunion everyone is over the moon to be invited to.
All these soulful sets were sandwiched with beats from Nicole Filev who dosent even really need introducing. Her name is associated with a good time in the local scene as she brings those disco and funk bangers most of us can’t remember the name to but LOVE so it’s like kind of bittersweet but of course you dance your little heart out to the track while you can.
Born over the ditch in New Zealand and currently based in London, Rakei finally hits the stage and cascades straight into his set. Seeing him perform with a full band, their dynamics and ability to merge perfectly produced production with creative improvisation is immaculate. Their enjoyment apparent. Rakei is not only an amazing singer but a multi-instrumentalist and his talent for creating perfect compositions is evident when he is performing on stage. Every inch of his body sways in time as all the impeccably placed sounds take the audience through a range of genres, all without missing a beat. ‘Blame it on the Youth’ was a highlight, a slow jam, crammed into a funky set that didn’t bring the tempo down at all.
Music consumers are looking for more. They’re looking for that human connection in their selection, the emotions, the soul and the improvisation of the essence of living through sound. We are seeing less of a lean towards the segregation of genres and more ‘fusion’ compositions. Hip-Hop artists rapping over jazz-noise, the funk of rnb mashed with catchy punk riffs, nothing is off limits – think Tom Misch, Questlove and Hiatus Kaiotye.
There is no denying that we are smack bang in the middle of an ‘intelligent music’ surge. In a time period where we are bombarded by different sources, an array of noise, a choice of representation of our identity – we want more than catchy beats and lyrics that get stuck in our heads, we want to feel, to be rattled in both positive and negative ways and Jordan does this oh so well – and I’m not the only one to notice judging by his sold out European shows.
So here’s the thing, I’ve been a bit slack on the ol’ blog posts lately and well I’m going to blame it on the huge amount of great parties going down in Perth at the moment/this Summer/actually always.
To make up for it I’ve got a tasty little morsel of an interview with Hindley.
Always the creator of his own narrative, Alex Hindley produces, creates, interviews and writes, and I’ll bet a red lobster that list will expand as each project he undertakes strengthens his own brand of creativity.
Describe your sound in 5 words, please.
Music for hate, for love.
I really vibe the artwork you choose to feature with your tracks, what is the process behind this?
I usually like to either create them myself or source an artist who’s work I admire. For example the WEAK, Dejection Psalms and Migraine covers are my design, but I’ve had art commissioned by Oliver Haidutschek and Feeb Lee or used art with permission from artists like Erin M. Riley.
A lot of people have said that Perth is in a slump, while others say the creativity scene has never been better. How do you feel about Perth right now?
Perth is a beautiful nightmare. It’s easy for diverse and unique talent to stand out, the acts who deserve a pedestal to play on, however it’s just as easy to fall from narcissism or climb from infamy.
When can we see you live next?
Always planning good live shows but I’d love to see the people come down for the 9th Beat down competition.
Your Top 5 Local Artists who are killing it on Soundcloud…
In no ranking;
Chiseko – Deep love for hip hop, no time for wave riding.
Your Girl Pho – Old mate Phoebe has one of the most dynamic voices and interesting production teams in Perth.
Tobacco Rat – Easily one of the most intense live performers in Perth, cares for the craft, creates for the dark.
TWERL – Tertiary institute classmates gone on the electronic uplift, really cool to see those two doing so well.
MAX BLACK – Impossible to deny the natural quality and flourish Max has with production, every new drop is always gold.
Also Kopano, my friend/collaborator/mentor is set to release big things on her soundcloud (and elsewhere) very soon so keep the peepers peeping.