Australia’s musical output has been a little wayward over the years – for every Nick Cave, there were ten Angry Andersons; bands who promised much (think along the lines of The Triffids and The Go-Betweens), found it difficult to break out of being critically acclaimed into commercially successful. However, when it comes to dance music, there has been far more influence and interaction with the world at large.
Electro house and progressive house artists have flourished in Australia and are largely seen as trailblazers in the scene. The likes of Cut Copy; The Avalanches; Pendulum and Flume have opened up what dance has traditionally been received as into something approaching a new strand of rock n roll which any kid can listen to and legitimately have a go themselves. Such is the case with Eztain (aka Jake Colson), who has emerged from the outer reaches of Perth to become the next Flume.
Taking house into the future bass arena, his EP shows the wide range of emotion and power that dance has come to embrace, being music to think to as much as music to dance to. The soundscapes are easy to lose yourself in which each track bleeding their essence into each other yet still existing as standing out in their own right. Hugely promising, it’s only a matter of time before the wider world picks up on Eztain, further blurring how dance music is perceived and how it can evolve even further in the future.
The mysteries of how dance music are created are intriguing enough but how do you start with a blank canvas and end up with an electronic hi-nrg floor-filler AND work with Patriot Missiles every day? We searched for answers on your behalf!
Olisha Naicker has released her debut single, “Strangers”, opening up a whole new audience to a singer and dancer who already has a huge social media following online due to her popularity in Asia (due to her Indian heritage) and her home country of South Africa. Few South African pop stars have attempted to venture out from the comfort of their home surroundings, with the only notable musicians to have broken through previously based in a more standard roots/world music base.
“Strangers” is a straight-ahead pop/dance/soul ditty which doesn’t preach about world issues or lay on thick her background. Music without an agenda is a welcome relief!
Jak Chantler, the former guitar player of alt-grunge outfit Kingskin, who won the accolade of Kerrang’s ‘Best Unsigned Band’, is looking to move away from his rock roots into a more soulful sound with his debut solo release, ‘Shell Suit’, under the new guise of Short Sharp Scratch.
‘Shell Suit’ exudes distinct funky-vibes, akin to the sounds of Chic and Chaka Khan, yet with a more contemporary edge that draws on the dreamy indie-pop of girl band, Haim. This is all amalgamated by producer George Shilling who conforms to Chantler’s goal of creating era-defying, positive tunes.
Even more than the drummer of the band, bassists really get a bad rap. Or, more to the point, no rap at all. Routinely at the back of the stage with their microphone turned down, they might get the odd co-writing credit at a push. There are exceptions but this is very much the rule. Fortunately, it’s a rule artists like Lawrence Preston are happy to break.
Having rejected playing the trombone (good move, we reckon), he moved onto bass guitar, not just taking to its charms but studying the styles of the best, one of whom spotted his talent and inspired him yet further. The chap in question was Freddie Stone, founder of Sly & the Family Stone; and it was through his contacts that his career began to gain traction, spending much of the 1980s working in Dorothy Morrison’s band.
Having honed his skills, he has taken the step to release under his own name. Not before time, this is sumptuous lazy summer soul-jazz punctuated by his bass playing which has all the hallmarks of such greats as Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke. His emergence may have taken some time but it’s been worth the wait.
Living up to his name, shared with the Greek God, Adonis is really something spectacular. Not settling for just musician; the writer, producer, arranger, and singer has perfected his skills over a number of years, working with some of the most legendary names in music. Leagues ahead of many of his soul and pop contemporaries in terms of song-writing and performance, he is now striking out alone with his infectious sound.
His first single “My Different Lover” from the eagerly awaited album, “The Genies’ Out the Bottle” builds up the tension, making it harder and harder to wait for the release. Showcasing his spiritual philosophy as well as his musical skills. Moving away from the mainstream sex, scandals and break-ups, “My Different Lover” focuses on the deeply spiritual connection between two people. Taking influence from classic motown and soul and r&b from both 70s and 80s, the upbeat track is heightened even further by Adonis’ bass playing and multi-layered keyboards and vocals, giving a contemporary feel whilst still openly celebrating his influences.
Listen to “My Different Lover” here: https://www.reverbnation.com/adonis83
Recently we’ve learned that pianist, Antonio Domingos, has broken the world record for number of times two piano keys are hit in a minute – 824…which looks a bit like this:
He’s also made videos of him playing some of the world’s most challenging piano works at outrageous speeds, with more planned. In honour of Antonio, here are some more examples of record-breaking musicianship
Somehow, rather less impressive, the world’s fastest guitar player:
…the world’s fastest drummer:
…the world’s fastest violinist (or, alternatively, a novel way to make fire)
This is possibly barrel-scraping: