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BEATTOPIA

by William Hancock.

Pitch Black – Filtered Senses

“New Light from out of the Pitch Black”.
There’s a track on this album I just can’t stop listening to. It is the deadliest, stealthiest most downtempo ninja of a track track I’ve heard in such a long time and it’s totally addictive. Reminiscent of some of Ninja Tunes earlier releases this dark, broken atmospheric nugget that goes by the name of Invisible Chatter is worth buying the whole album for on it’s own. Don’t get me wrong these guys talent for composition and production is admirable. But there’s always a standout tune on any album and for Mike and Paddy’s fifth studio album Filtered Senses, Invisible Chatter is it. Ninja. Tune.
Other tracks worth noting are Without The Trees for its atmospheric and spacious ambience fused with a slow and haunting beat. Pixel Dust for it’s uptempo brightness and an oscillator in the background that gives the pixies their wings. And Circuit Bent as a perfect introduction track for a trance set, to warm and prime in a countdown to launch-time.
Anyone stating their motto as : “If your never in fashion, you never go out of fashion” has gotta have a balance perspective on their outlook to life and this album’s track list seems to reflect that balanced and practical approach. Well planned, assembled and executed with precision. The genres covered and fused into one wholesome product are numerous with a predominant flavour of Dub, Ambient and Downtempo. For those of you who have enjoyed these guys in the past, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. There’s something in there for everyone. For me Invisible Chatter has been rocking my sonic world for months. Another rare gem in the treasure trove of alchemical sound.
Filtered Senses was released September 2, 2016 on Dubmission Records.

Society of Inner Light – Compilation.

“Dub Reggae Electronica Compilation Shows Both Sides Of The Coin”.

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The latest from Liquid Sound Design, Society of Inner Light is a solid compilation of classy electronica tracks with a nicely balanced infusion of dub and reggae. Tripswitch opens with textbook electronica piece Collider ripping into some toothy synth work and a solid carry. Kuba then changes tack entirely with a dub-infused psychedelic funhouse. Dub Trees and Jah Wobble rip out a pacy dub/psy/electronica number later in the piece that gets the foot tapping. But it’s Irresistible Force featuring Nick Turner and Youth (Mixmaster Morris Remix) that I keep coming back to. Layered synths, atmospherics, a nice little trumpet opening up the digital space and a bed of adventure through the cosmos. Spacious, relaxing and interesting. A fun loving compilation of dub and electronica with a side of seriously bright journey work. I guess that’s why life is called the great cosmic joke.

Fulton Street – Young People/Problems and Pain. (45)

“Melbourne Soul/Funk/R&B label going global”.

Ivan Katchoyan you little ripper.

Remember songs? That tell stories? With style? This guy. 

Prominent Melbourne funk and soul drummer of Cookin’ On Three Burners fame (check out Kungs remix of their track This Girl) has taken matters into his own hands and started releasing old school vinyl 45’s on his label Choi Records

It’s good solid gritty old school funk and soul you can get your teeth into. In an age of electronica and developmental songwriting it’s so very refreshing to head back to the roots where it all began.

Third cab off the rank is Fulton Street, a Melbourne based funk/soul outfit with beefy rhythmn and dynamic horn sections. Blending the essential elements of R&B and Soul into cohesive and original catchy tunes, these guys don’t miss a thing in the interpretation of that original sound from years ago we all know and love. The blistering A side Young People is followed by a slightly mellower yet equally inspiring Problems and Pain on the B.

From little things big things grow. Go Melbourne. 

Available now at www.fultonstreet.bandcamp.com of if the gods are smiling, on an old school vinyl 45 from Northside Records. A men.

Alucidnation – Peace Odyssey. 

“Downtempo Stayer Carves Sonic Niche”. 


Bruce Bickerton studied classical piano in the early years. After igniting his passion for electronica in the late 80’s during the ambient house boom, he began investing carefully in studio equipment. The early 90’s saw his collection of vintage Roland synths swell and with them his production skills and passion for sonic creation. 

After the success of Get Lost in 2008, Bickerton followed up strongly with Aural Architecture in 2013. Through several album releases Bruce has developed a predominantly analogue electronica sound, steering away from digital plugins and allowing the construction of his characteristic meandering beds to hold space for  well-constructed keyboard compositions. 

The latest release from Alucidnation is Peace Odyssey. A 13 track LP comprising of textbook melodic Downtempo Electronica, smattered with some excellent piano work and punchy-yet-discreet synths stabs. 

The opening track Plastic People sets a strong flavour for the rest of the album with bright, positive electronica and synth atmospherics coupling snugly. LED bops along in a similar vein, as does Mantis. A Reflective Mood is standout with the piano composition and execution of this worthy of an orchestra backing. The rogue is called A Paen, the Ye Olde name for a song of joy, praise or victory. Despite its unique sound the song seems out of place. The album closes with Taters and Sudetenland, both having similar formats with deeper feeling and more robust construction. Perhaps a hint of things to come? 

Classic Alucidnation. Well composed, nicely produced and tightly executed.

Peace Odyssey is available now through One World Music

Dubarray – The Sound Of Prana.

“Downtempo Fusion outfit shows spiritual side”. 


After success with the 2014 album Visions Collide, Sunshine Coast based outfit Dubarray have fused their signature sound with a new purpose. A slightly different spin on the bands ambient and downtempo worlds find founding members Brett and Kate Gadenne producing a positive and relaxing journey through what are essentially sonic guided meditations. This angle coupled with well-composed rhythms and class-A production make a winning third album for the four-piece fusion band. 

The Sound Of Prana holds together a host of yoga as well as meditation applications. An album with purpose. Intelligently composed,  well voiced and produced in a manner that only a husband and wife can. Have the lyrics been over worked? Hard to say. Is their a soul to this album. Definately.

Notable tracks include;  Red Earth with an almost out of place glitched-out synth hook that once the surprise subsides is really quite endearing although slightly repetitive. Connected is a didge-infused classic chillout sound. With soaring sax and keys taking flight alongside optimistic vocals and chanting, the album is a beauty in sound as well as direction. 

The band is one to keep an eye on. They’re not around for the short game. Living a lifestyle and a love of touring make these guys a long-term investment. Gaining momentum both in Australia and Internationally, Dubarray are only just now beginning to show a hand that has been planned for well over a decade. 

The Sound Of Prana is out now on One World Music

Pan Electric – Conscious Pilot


Third in a series of five reissues from Pink Lizard, Pan Electric’s Matt Coldrick (Green Nuns of the Revolution) has drawn from a range of different influences and musicians to blend the classic downtempo album Conscious Pilot

With hints of influence ranging from from the production of William Orbit to the synthesisers of Lemon Jelly, Coldrick manages to package the signature sound up into an tasty and nourishing degustation. 

Originally released in late 2007 the 12 tracks journey through ambient, downtempo and electro-chill. Incorporating input from sessions with award winning jazz-pianist Neil Cowley (Adele), pedal steel legend BJ Cole and ambient synth architects Ishq, the album is worthy of re-release in an era where popularity of the downtempo genre is exploding. 

Notable tracks include the soaring treble-infused introduction Orbital Overture, the vocal beauty of Sky Circles (featuring The Fantastic Laura B. From Big Chill fame) and When You Are Loved (featuring Julie Kench of The Swingle Sisters). 

The positivity and optimism of the composition combined with deft use of synthesisers and artful arrangements results in a timeless production. Arguably one of the best downtempo albums of the last decade. 

Keep an eye out for Coldrick’s upcoming record with Aarti Jadu under the moniker Quiet Earth, rumoured for release in September of this year on One World Music. Blending traditional Indian Bhajans with deft Celtic-infused guitar work, whispers of a spinoff electronica remix album have also been heard. 


Find Conscious Pilot on Pink Lizard Music (Rouge Reptile) or Bandcamp

Dub Trees-The Cerronnos Dub Rituals EP.


The musical genius of Martin “Youth” Glover has spread far and wide over the years. From Pink Floyd, U2 and Primal Scream to Killing Joke and The Fireman the music this gentleman produces has touched the world in many different modes and voices. 

Dub Trees – The Cerronnos Dub Rituals EP brings to us more of Martin’s talent through more flexing in diversity.  Four tracks of varying styles, collaborating with contrasting artists and sewn together with a common thread of Celtic and Hindu inflection. 

Deer Hunter (Azura Dub) blends classical Indian instruments and vocals with ancient Celtic, Galician and Summerian pipes winding their way through the 140 plus BPM psy-trance bed of kick drum dance floor acceleration. 

King Of The Faeries (Avengers Outer Space Chug Dub) is a highlight and as the name suggests presents a solid yet palatable chug of danceable mid-tempo groove, textured by layers of effected vocals and smatterings of exotic instruments. 

Atmabodha (Ritual Focus Dub) presents an almost ambient mix with haunting flutes and drones complemented by comfortable nature sounds. 

Ambient Storm (Dysgogan Derwydon Meint A Deruyd Dub) finishes the EP with a pleasant and atmospheric composition, detailed in the layering and variety of flavours used. 

“Third in a triptych of albums Youth has made with a specific Celtic / Hindu fusion” this EP paves the way for a full album of sound in the same vein, expanding deeply on the obvious themes. 

Composed by a master and collaborated upon by many this release on Liquid Sound Design gives a varied and impressive collection of sound and composition. However at times it bears asking the question of whether the world music instruments sit upon the electronica bed with a grounded seat. 

Another nourishing delight from a recognised master in the sonic arts. 

Coco’s Lunch – Other Plans.

“Acapella Female Vocal Group Blends World and Jazz for Trademark Sound”.

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This week Australian all female acapella group Coco’s Lunch launch their award winning single Other Plans with their new show of the same name. 21 years and seven albums have flown by for the now five piece vocal band, capped off by taking out the Best Song Composed category of the 2015 Australian A Capella Awards, written by band-member Lisa Young.

The track features a Southern Indian style of singing known as konnakol, a technique Lisa recently completed her PhD in. The song uses intoned and pitched vocal percussion to form melodies, bass lines and rhythmic textures, integrating Western Jazz and Indian Carnatic traditions to produce a depth of sound that is unique, strong and captured skillfully by engineer Hadyn Buxton.

The track progresses through various movements, rising and falling with the lilting layers of some finely trained and stunning female voices. The band features Gabrielle MacGregor, Nicola Eveleigh, Jacqueline Gawler, Emma Gilmartin and of course Lisa Young. “With 8 CD releases, tours in over 13 countries and a swag of awards and nominations under their belts, their songs are sung by choirs and vocal groups around the world and their music has been featured on countless compilation CD’s, short films and TV”.

The sound of female acapella group Coco’s Lunch in their new single Other Plans fits into the realm of the angelic. Rising and falling with the tides, textured by the water and flowing effortlessly through the movements, our ears are caressed by the sonic flowering of naturally crafted and organic musical bliss.

The show of the same name is directed by Noel Jordan of the Edinburgh Childrens Festival and was premiered at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival to outstanding reviews earlier this year. Catch Coco’s lunch busting out their new stuff at Bella Union in Carlton on Thursday the 5th of November, 2015. 8pm for around 30 bucks.

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Panorama Brasil

‘Second Album ‘Flor De Pedra’ Launch Live at Memo Hall’.
   

 Second album for Latin band Panorama Brasil ‘Flor de Pedra’ launches live at St. Kilda’s Memo Hall tonight. Spearheaded by virtuoso latin guitarist Doug De Vries and accomplished singers Diana May Clark and Jaqueline Gawler, the band take a musical tour through the rhythms of South America. Directed by long time student of Brazilian rhythms and percussionist Alastair Kerr, the show explores both familiar and unique sonic landscapes. Samba and Bossanova alongside Maracatu and Frevo rhythms, punctuated by De Vries witty and engaging narrative keeping a balance between the music and the mind. Also of note was Kerrs humorous, warm and well constructed introduction to the show and the band. 
With De Vries leading a face-melting couple of instrumental numbers early in the show with his seven-stringed nylon classical guitar, backed solidly by Kerr on a quintessential Brazilian percussion instrument called the ‘Pandeiro’and Jorge Albuquerque on bass. 
   Jacqueline Gawler and Doug de Vries lead Alastair Kerr and Panorama Brasil at Memo Hall in St.Kilda 

Jacqueline Gawler leads the first set with a sultry and soulful performance, rich in the breathlessness that can only be found in Spanish love songs. 

  
Diana May Clark fronts the band for a second set. Battling an illness earlier in the week the songstress bounced back admirably to add spice and humour to a complex and varied set list. 
  Diana May Clark fronts Panorama Brasil in their second set at Memo Hall 

The complex rhythms and masterful arrangements of this talented band are executed with artistic precision and infectious groove. The passion and enjoyment of the players is evident. Asher Henfry on flutes, Al Parsons on trombone and Matt Boden on keys.
Notable too is the venue. St. Kilda’s Memo Hall is situated out the back of the St. Kilda RSL club. Revamped and run by a Caravan Music Club partnership, the hall features a diverse program of entertainment including theatre, music, comedy, readings and film. http://www.memomusichall.com.au/about-memo/
 

With past shows including the recent Adelaide Cabaret Festival and The Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Panorama Brasil are a must see for all proponents of Brazilian, Latin, Jazz and indeed World Music at large. 
http://panoramadobrasil.com http://www.memomusichall.com.au/memo-gig/panorama-brazil/ http://www.beattopia.com http://www.kymatix.wordpress.com 
http://www.trpr.com
PR by Tracy Routledge.
Written by William Hancock. 
29th of August, 2015. 

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