by William Hancock.

Blackwood and Bunya Dreadnought.

Blackwood back and sides, Bunya top, Qld. Maple neck, Blue matchstick rosette, Qld. Maple and Blackwood bindings. Using some repurposed tonewood.



Traveller Prototype #3.

This is the third traveller prototype so far. It’s a variation on a lattice-braced system, using a plywood chassis with black bamboo fan bracing instead. 520 scale length. Repurposed tonewoods. Matchstick rosette. Standard-sized fingerboard and a little cutaway lined with ebony. The sound board and back plate were taken from full sized plates, thus allowing two ‘travellers’ per one single full sized guitar with the unfortunate liability of a cross grained orientation. An experiment. The back plate was concaved inside and out with a router to enhance projection and seems to have worked. The sound quality and volume is larger than one would expect from a soundbox of this size. It’s a work in progress and still a bit rough but a far cry from the first two. More experiments to come with a childrens model and another lattice braced design.


Spektrum – Last Inhabited Place On Earth

“London tech/house act returns with fresh release on Auckland dance label”

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Auckland-based dance label Beat & Path are spearheading their 2017 debut single release roster with a trio of tracks from London electronic band Spektrum.

Laying low since their 2007 EP on Data Records with Kinda New (We All Live & Die), Spektrum have returned with a classy, deep vocal-tech track with hints of electro and minimal. Two remixes add to the release with Dave Keno delivering a ‘peak-time monster’ and Beat & Path’s own Out Of Sorts reworking into a  ‘tripped out low slung disco groove’.

After the 2007 success of the Kinda New remix EP with mixes from Tiefschwarz and Dirty South (hitting NUMBER ONE on the UK Dance Charts) Spektrum are set to go the distance once again, this time with a fresh label, new angle and deep inspiration. Who knows what the future may hold?  A solid dance number blending deep tech-house beats with epic vocals.

Due out 25th of January, 2017.

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”.


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 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

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