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02 Mar Cities, Scenes and Radio – An Interview with Moxie


NTS Radio host, founder of On Loop record label and parties, and general music enthusiast Moxie has been on tour throughout Australia, bringing her taste and energy to such cities as Sydney and Brisbane. Tonight she is set to play at Hugs and Kisses, for an intimate evening of dance. We had a chat to the London based DJ about her city, her experience of radio and university.

You have spent all your life in London, how has music contributed to a sense of belonging in the city?
Community is a big part of London and if you open yourself up to meeting people you can come across some truly exceptional characters. Especially at events such as Notting Hill Carnival & the rave scene. I’ve made so many friends from being at those types of events, some I only ever see in those spaces but when you’re all experiencing that same magical moment at the same time it brings you together. I love London and all the different people that live here, especially walking through certain areas, mostly markets and hearing people blast music from their stalls. For me that’s what makes London so special, all the different people who make it what it is.

You have mentioned that you studied at London College Of Communication (a fair while ago now), what was a project at uni you worked on that you would like to revisit today?
Ahh yes, my uni years. Feels so long ago now and I really miss it. I studied my foundation course at Central St Martins and then went on to do my Bachelors degree in print design at LCC. It was a pretty open course and I went onto design wall paper, ceramics, fabrics and screen prints. I especially loved painting with Gouache and my final degree was all about Tropical parrots. I’d like to start incorporating it back into my music stuff, especially with the label side of things. I’ve actually set some time aside to get back on it in April which I’m really excited about!

You have your finger on the pulse when it comes to up and coming artists/producers/dj’s, how important is it to you to bring into light new music?
It’s super important to know what the next generation are up to. I’ve always tried to be as open as possible. I remember when I was younger, the older crew would have a condescending attitude and say things such as “it wasn’t how it used to be” and all of that stuff, which I found really undermining. Everyone has their own journey and things change, we need to embrace that.

What is some advice you would give to such aspiring artists/producers/dj’s trying to get their music heard?
I’d say try to educate yourself as much as possible on what labels you like and where you think your music would sit best. Don’t send every single track you’ve ever made, tailor it to who you’re emailing and send the best of the best. Maybe no more than 4 tracks. The more time you take to write an email, the more someone will take to read it. Especially if you show you genuinely like or know what that person is about.

London’s radio culture is thriving, with the likes of Balamii, Netil and 199 radio further contributing to an already established scene, what could these stations (including NTS) do to further London’s and the Worlds music scene?
I can’t speak for the others but watching how NTS programme events all around the world and making sure to reflect the scenes they broadcast from is inspiring. They’re all music heads and are about discovering the most interesting and diverse music as possible. Back home they push the new and local talent which I also think is super important. You can have the big names, but if you’re not helping out the next generation then there’s only so far you can go. Radio is such a great starting platform and it’s definitely helped me loads in becoming who I am.

Over the years, what are some personal values you have taken from radio, clubbing and music in general?
Push yourself out of your comfort zone and don’t worry about failing. Everyone has to start somewhere and you can surprise yourself. I never thought I’d get into radio, but it just happened and here I am 7 years later.

What is the sort of vibe you are expecting at your Melbourne show? 

I’ve always heard great things about Melbourne, especially the club I’m playing at tonight called Hugs & Kisses. The whole tour’s been great, but I’ve been most excited about here. There seems to be a real strong sense of community and everyone knows each other which i love.  
Are you familiar with many Australian artists? If so who and how did you find them, meet them?  

On my travels I’ve been trying to educate myself on the scene as much as possible and for my next NTS show I’m planning an Australian take over. Names that I’m especially excited about are Roza Terenzi, Prequel, Tambo’s House, Turner Street Sound, Ken Oath & a bunch more. Also Michael from Noise In My Head is always repping loads of great stuff and Butter Sessions are putting out some quality music. I feel like there’s still loads for me to discover which is always exciting! 

Moxie plays Hugs & Kisses tonight. Tickets here via Resident Advisor.


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20 Dec A Community That Challenges and Informs – Off The Grid 2017


Words & Photos // Blake Creighton


A festival dedicated to zero emissions, zero waste and one that runs 100% on solar power, Off The Grid preaches a future of sustainability. It prompts the belief that as humans we can collectively piece together our skill sets, ideas and characteristics to create a community that challenges and informs. Plus, music.

Such topics discussed in the morning talks were; sustainability in your local community with Allison Rowe, Kate Nicolazzo, Michelle Isles and Taryn Lane, sustainability within business with Michael Alyisse, sustainability within construction with Prof. James Murray Parker, Dr. Jackson Clarke, Adam Styles and Prof. Yu Bai, and sustainability and Indigenous heritage with Linda Jackson. All of these talks where not limited to only sustainability, with each addressing critical discussions, and all of them leaving the audience well informed.

 

Jaala vs Man, perched behind her laptop and pieces of hardware, through droning synth, swirling ambience and field recordings, enclosed those who sprawled themselves underneath the solar panel stage design and beamed us up into space. For twenty odd minutes, whilst working challenging yet melancholy soundscapes, she had us orbiting through deep, dark space before strong screeching sounds had us pummelling back to the dusty gravel setting of the VCAA.

Dianas tenderly moved from electronic ambience to gracious indie rock. Rickety guitar, rhythmic bass, percussion and gleaming joint vocals harmoniously resonated throughout the small courtyard, accidentally interrupting the talks going on behind — the only incident of the day.

 

A trickle of punters waltzed through the gates as the second allocation of tickets allowed people in from 1pm to be apart of the remaining four hours of talks and ten hours of music.

Local favourites and down right gifted musicians Krakatau had the afternoon sunshine and near lush settings (all we needed was some greenery below our feet and in our peripherals) to themselves for a strong 45 minutes. Evocative saxophone, melodic synths, humble bass and teasing percussion worked the airwaves and settled the many who congregated in mere relaxation, in preparation for more dance unified music to stream out of the speakers.

Chee Shimizu’s tribal percussion fuelled the empty dance floor, building a set around left-field rhythms and sounds. The Japanese born DJ settled into his hour and a half as if it were an all day set, graciously weaving experimental tracks that created a vibrant dance floor.

Kaiit, with support from a bass, guitar, piano, percussion and three backing vocalists was entertaining to say the least. Her charisma and vocals encapsulated an atmosphere yet to be explored throughout the day. Tender Hip-Hop rhythms and sounds backed Kaiit’s phenomenal singing, before experimental house, techno and disco were to form a dance floor as the sun pierced through the solar panels above.

 

Melbourne’s own Toni Yotzi buckled everyone in for the next hour and fifteen minutes. She worked through dance heavy and eclectic percussive grooves, acid synth lines and intriguing melodies, all of which were, aside for a couple moments of wonkyness, mixed organically. Pacing herself and working the gathering crowd, the evening sun shimmered with our bodies and a transgression from dance floor four by four beats into eccentric disco came just in time for Sydney’s Ben Fester to see us through a sunset.

Track in track out, flowing off of Yotzi, Fester continued the rhythmic and eccentric grooves. Not conforming to any set genre and playing up to the now bustling crowd’s energy, a concoction of near flawless mixing and charisma paid respects to the last rays of sun that supplied the day’s electricity.

 

As the solar panels’ day of work harbouring the festival’s energy was done, so was Ben Festers, and Jay Daniel took the decks to close out the now crisp evening. Daniel is house music. And he is good house music. Just after a day of a mixed genres it was difficult to be engaged by the seamless four by four percussion and earthy bass. Welcomed by the majority however, and fuelling a riveting dance floor, Jay Daniel spurred the party on and closed Off the Grid in his own way.


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03 Sep Our Highlights of Dekmantel 2017


Words by Blake Creighton // Photos by Yannick Van De Wijngaert


Dekmantel brings together an impeccable lineup, incredible organisation, lush settings, solid sound systems and such a welcoming atmosphere that it is truly a festival that accommodates for a very special time. It also provides a platform for their affiliated and booked artists to test themselves as performers, musicians, DJs, producers and the like. It is a festival that is truly a haven for disco, house, techno, electro, acid breakbeat lovers.

With a significant portion of the world’s top and upcoming DJs, producers and artist all in the one vicinity, the standard of music across the three days was unbelievable. Set after set, the stages were heaving with crowds. Even between sets, the artists themselves could be seen enjoying each other’s craft – dancing and joining in as their peers performed for the crowds.

It was truly a three-day-extravaganza, with so much to be said about every aspect that brought together the pure enjoyment experience. As I spent my time there, I decided to note down my top tracks and sets so I could share them with everyone back home. This is my way of bringing everyone closer to the experience I had, to be right in the thick of it.

 

Phoung-Dan

Calmly taking over from Nina Kraviz, Phoung-Dan dipped into an intrinsic variety of slow jams that entwined into acidic breaks, wonky basslines and humbling movements of abstract sounds. His bubbly stage presence and calm approach on the decks allowed for him to dip and dive through a range of atmospheres that would test and be well received by the many who joined in on his sublime selections.

Rodhad

Having seen Rodhad a couple of times before, I had a feeling that this set was to be one of a kind. The essence of his flow came down to his unique reading of the crowd, feeling their psychedelic energy and perusing abstract sounds. The arrangements slowly built to unremarkable drops that flowed from the speakers in odd yet welcoming time signatures.

Joey Anderson

Just before handing over the speakers to Juju Jordash, Joey Anderson slowly mixed in classic track Trans Europe Express‘ from Kraftwerk, which fit incredibly well with Juju Jordash’s sound, serving to both signal to and toy around with the pair before they begun curating their incredible live set.

Inga Mauer

On three separate occasions, Inga Mauer entranced me through diverse selections and mixing. Piecing together a broad range of trippy tracks at the Red Light Radio stage early in the afternoon on Saturday to a slowly gathering crowd, the intimate setting and energy from Mauer created a fulfilling hour that set her up beautifully for her set at The Selectors.
Mauer’s Selectors set, of which I only caught thirty minutes due to clashes, moved through acid and bass-heavy techno, and was rounded off with a fun stage presence as she kissed ice cubes and threw them to the crowd.
The third and final time that I caught Mauer was at Radion on Monday morning. Walking into the main room as she blasted a post-punk/metal track that was slowly blended into heaving techno, her efforts fell on deaf ears as the babbling crowd were still heavily intoxicated from the day. Despite the lack of attention, Mauer lay down a range of melodic, acidic, entrancing yet heavy tracks till it was Objekt‘s time to take a hold of the decks.

Donato Dozzy & Peter Van Hoesen (hybrid)

Five hours and two geniuses of the minimal/techno/acid scene, who on a number of special occasions have been paired together to enlighten everyone; this time it was in compounds of Dekmantel’s UFO tent. Working together on an almost telepathic level, Van Housen and Dozzy moved through heaving rhythms, structured to slowly build and drop into bending synth, captivating acid, and booming bass lines as rolling percussion swiftly manoeuvred the dance floor.
I partook in the journey for four and half hours of the five and came out of the tent completely mesmerised by what I had witnessed. An unforgettable set that I wish every Dozzy/Van Housen fan gets to experience at least once in their lifetime.

Jon Hopkins

As I was sitting, collecting myself after being blown away by Peter Van Housen and Donato Dozzy’s set, a strong gust of wind brought across a short but intense downpour across the festival site. As many scattered under cover and to the bar to collect their free poncho, I proceeded to be mystified by Jon Hopkins at the back of the Main Stage in the rain as he dropped Daniel Avery‘s ‘Drone Logic‘. Hopkins entranced all that took cover, as a number of people around the edges of the covered area embraced harsh downpour.

Vladamir Ivkovic

It was as if the woodland settings of The Selectors stage was Vladimir’s home, with the festival just so happening to be on his doorstep, as he quietly wandered from his cabin out back to close out Saturday evening. Playing warm natural soundscapes with groovy soulful melodies and baselines, Vladamir slowly built his set from natural instrumentals into reformed electronics that held varied structures and crossed genres; consistently creating a bubbly and heartfelt atmosphere within each mix.

Illum Sphere

After catching the beginning of Illum Sphere’s set, I came back into the Greenhouse to the sounds of this masterpiece that stunningly drifted and built into the next track, creating a sense of suspense as the crowd waited for the anticipated drop.

Karenn

The UFO tent hosted throughout the weekend some of the world’s top techno affiliated artists, and Karenn (Blawan and Periah) for an hour took a hold of everyone’s mind, body and soul. Searching deep into some of the more obscure and hard-hitting sounds, implementing them through energetic structures, they unleashed an intelligent, vibrant and yet savage live set.

Lena Willikens

Playing a 4-5:30 pm slot, Willikens brought animated and bombastic sounds to the bustling and lush settings as the sun shined through the windowed walls of The Greenhouse. Bursting with energy and a clear vision of what she wanted to explore, Willikens instantly fixed everyone’s hangovers and depleted energy reserves from the day/night before, restoring each and every soul through charismatic and genre bending electronics.

 

Orpheu The Wizard

At the end of any festival, everyone scampers to find the perfect finale and as I got a little underwhelmed by the crowds reaction to Objekt & Call Super‘s eclectic set, I set off to find a vibing closing set which so happened to be at the smallest stage of Dekmantel, The Red Light Radio stage.
Playing psychedelic and charismatic house tunes to what would have been 100+ people, Orpheu’s selection built for a grand finale and within each mix had everyone busting out their last moves of the weekend in style.

Objekt

A last special moment was at Radion in the early hours of the morning. After the crowd had dispersed and the loyal music lovers were the only ones left, Objekt dropped a tribal percussion-based gem, Lena Willikens‘ remix, and this brought a heaving atmosphere back into the room.

 


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19 Jul PREVIEW: Dekmantel Festival 2017


This is both mine and Ripe‘s third time attending Amsterdam’s Dekmantel, so we have some idea of what to expect at this years’ gathering. With so many world class artists coming together for the 10th year of the festival, we thought we’d introduce you to a few of the more obscure acts we’re excited to see push sonic boundaries from the 2nd to the 6th of August.

ALEKSI PERÄLÄ

Drifting between euphoric synth, driving bass and relentless percussion Bristol-based Aleksi Perälä curates his live sets with a strong dance floor vision, piecing together a futuristic array of sounds that hold a distinctive atmosphere. His eerie, up-lifting, nostalgic sets create an experience many other producers are striving to construct, welding together a series of reflective sounds that are not confined to one seminal structure, constantly testing you as an auditor whilst engaging you as a dancer.

Aleksi Perälä performs his unique live set at the UFO stage from 15:00-16:00 on the Friday of the festival (the 4th of August).

INGA MAUER

Inga Mauer reveals her knowledge of a variety of genres with a unique approach to DJing, allowing each track time to progress and mixing in the next only when she sees fit, giving her DJ and radio sets a great sense of belonging. This applies to her production as well — a quirky, distorted and charismatic blend of techno that explores the depths of the electronic world.

Inga Mauer will unravel her brain from 16:00-17:30 at the Selectors stage on the Saturday of the festival (the 5th of August).

MARIE DAVIDSON

Poet, singer and producer Marie Davidson intertwines dark, sometimes frantic synth with strong interchangeable baselines, which dip and dive between varied structures and genres. Marie’s voice takes on varied personas from track to track, every chord and melody serving to test you. Years of experience and a refusal to conform to any one writing style has allowed Marie to develop a charismatic, indulgent and challenging sound.

Expose yourself to what will be a unique experience in the Greenhouse from 16:00-17:00 on the Sunday of the festival (the 6th of August).

 


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16 Mar PREMIERE: Niine – ‘It Never Was Up To You’


Coined as ‘avalanche pop’ with stunning vocals, warm guitar, blending keys and bass structure, Niine‘s ‘It Never Was Up To You‘ slowly compounds each element onto the next, instigating rolling movements of sound.

Based in Melbourne, Niine’s debut track has been lying dormant on their Bandcamp for the past 8 months and deserves to be in the spotlight once again via their fresh looking Soundcloud. As they carefully explore varied genres, each movement trickles into the next with charismatic neo-soul vocals, exhilarating psychedelic guitar and bass, percussion and keys that bring a cohesive clarity.

The re-release marks Niine’s return to the studio to work on their debut ep.


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16 Feb ALBUM REVIEW: Violet Swells – ‘There’s No Time Like Eternity’ LP






Warped guitars, dreamy synth, catchy vocals and mesmerising bass are inherent components in all psych-rock. Being able to present such sounds in a unique way, and being distinguishable from the cliches that the genre has formed is difficult. Tassie-based Violet Swells‘ second album, There’s No Time Like Eternity (released on Hobart’s own Zodia Records) not only acknowledges those cliches but presents them in their own passionate way.

Influences from artists like MGMTPond and Tame Impala are evident throughout, and at times the music strays into being very similar — yet this is not a negative trait. One of the great things about “genre”-d music is that we can celebrate new artists presenting existing sounds in their own authentic way. Over six tracks, Violet Swells explore those sounds and structures with confidence.

An immaculate flow is apparent throughout the record, with singular components heightening each moment through intricate solos. From catchy synth chords to the rippling, distorted guitar and humble bass, there is a moving and captivating element within each track of There’s No Time Like Eternity.

Another way in which Violet Swells have drawn on the history of psych-rock is through admirable vocals and lyrics, raising questions on abstract subjects and concepts. They express their own ideas in an original way, a way which works symbiotically with the music and creates an impressive soundscape across the record.

From the synth-lead ‘Midnight Masquerade‘ to the enticing and joyous ‘Infinity In Your Eyes‘, the calming interlude of ‘Apex Of The Sun Away‘ and the intricate concluding track ‘Amok Time‘, Theres No Time Like Eternity is a compelling composition of music. Well and truly on its way to becoming your favourite modern psych-rock album, as it has unquestionably become one of mine.

 


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10 Feb Carla Dal Forno & Gross Net, Live at The Islington, London (4/2/17)


Draped in the corner of The Islington‘s intimate band room, red velvet curtains climbed the backing wall of the stage, onto the one defining pole and over the equipment tables. Dim lights and the sounds of edgy yet atmospherical post new-wave filled the room. A vibrant atmosphere to behold as punters trickled in for Carla Dal Forno‘s headline London show.

As chatter moulded in with the background music, Belfast’s own Phillip Quinn took the stage. Performing under the alias Gross Net, Quinn drew the attention of the full band room his way. Unearthing quaint and emotive sounds, with a strong undertone of post new-wave. His set worked with vocals and an array of volatile electronics, creating a set that peaked in its concluding moments.

Gradually spilling back into the band room after a brief intermission between acts, Melbourne-raised, Berlin-based Carla Dal Forno took the stage with her bandmate.

Sensitising ocean recordings filled the at capacity band room, as Carla built a distorted and estranged atmosphere. Her set was a mix made up of old and new material, including an unreleased track ‘Kiwi Animal‘, the dark ‘Fast Moving Cars‘ and the popular ‘What You Gonna Do Now‘. Every intricate sound was uniquely recreated and arranged, allowing Carla’s vocals to admirably bellow throughout small band room.

As the set progressed, Carla’s awareness of the present crowd brought her comfort. Channelling each eye that silently gazed on her every move, she engaged everyone through her soft, dark and subtle instrumentals and vocals. Everyone was left feeling a sense of emotional connection after each track.

It was incredible to see the impression Carla had left as her set concluded and everyone made their way out. A small, dense wave of smiling, thoughtful and relaxed faces exited, leaving behind them a warm atmosphere in the empty, brightly lit room.


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10 Feb REVIEW: Lux Natura – ‘Reaching’




December 2015 marked the release of light on the willd-wood stream. A swirl of organic, downbeat and experimental electronica was Lux Natura‘s latest album. Every piece the Melbourne based producer puts his hands and mind to captures a clean, emotive atmosphere. ‘Reaching‘ is the latest track to surface on Lux Natura’s Soundcloud since 2015.

Unfolding over six and half minutes, ‘Reaching’ relinquishes a natural energy from the depths of Lux Natura’s hardware and software. A slow bass fueled beat paired with an array of wet, organic, slightly dark textures are softly built, allowing patiently structured percussion to encapsulate the ambient breaks that settle. As each element grows louder, an powerful atmosphere forms. Once greeted with silence, a shake of your head to rid the shock is recommended.

Having been inactive for over a year, it is a pleasure to hear a quality return.


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02 Feb INTRODUCING: Cold Hands Warm Heart





Sombre atmospheres paired with delicate time signatures. Harpist and vocalist Genevieve Fry, guitarist Travis John, percussionist Esala Liyanage, bassist and vocalist Georgia Harvey and Tokyo-based Yuko Kono on backing vocals and recorder form the Melbourne-based act Cold Hands Warm Heart.

From late 2012, they have created humble and moving pieces via a self titled LP and live recordings. Along with Wondercore Island featuring their track ‘Magnolia‘ on their fifth mixtape, Cold Hands Warm Heart’s limited releases over the years have achieved a lot.

They’ve supported the likes of Luluc and Ainslie Willis at Howler and The Gasometer, as well as playing alongside many Melbourne acts at The Old Bar, The Grace Darling and Shadow Electric.

A diverse sound flows between uncomplicated and tranquil ambient arrangements, around heartwarming harp and into pop, psych, folk and electronic compositions. Each movement is intelligently arranged with individual instruments seamlessly rolling together; constructing an inspiring and incomparable sound.

Cold Hands Warm Heart have a unique approach to a wide range of genres. This, paired with their experience playing live, presents them with an extremely exciting future.

 


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03 Dec INTRODUCING: Moontown Records


Since 2012, with around 42 independent releases, Canberra based Moontown Records are an example of an Australian label with fine taste. Moontown specialise in niche and up-and-coming acts such as Traffic Island Sound, Basic Vision, Thhomas, Corporate Vibes, Holden Hands, 30/70 and Octo.

Quite a few of Moontown Records releases are limited cassettes, with a few limited vinyl as well, whilst via their bandcamp you can access everything digitally. Moontown’s efforts are helping new, talented artists get that little break whilst contributing to our ever growing pool of quality music in Austraia.

To fully appreciate Moontown’s vast discography – a true exploration of various genres through Australian based artists that encompass the weird, wonderful and unique sounds of our nation’s talent – I’ve picked out a few releases that personally stand out to me, and highlight Moontown’s ear for eccentric atmospheres.

TRAFFIC ISLAND SOUNDMAXIMAL ELECTRONICS

Maximal Electronics‘ by Traffic Island is one of Moontown’s latest releases and takes you on a twisted electronic, psychedelic journey. A range of futurist synths are the structural base of the 13-track album with layered vocals, guitars and obscure samples forming a trippy experience that places you in the 1970’s.

BASIC VISIONGRAHAM AVENUE

Chilled, sunny afternoon vibes with a twist of abstract atmospheres, fitting into low-key house and psychedelic pop/rock is Moontown’s 32nd release, ‘Graham Avenue‘ – a sublime solo 4-track EP from Hamish O’Neil created under the alias of Basic Vision. Throughout the EP you hear strong Ariel Pink influences, but with a distinct push to steer clear of imitating such an artist’s vision. With captivating guitar riffs and lush synths, this short and peculiar EP is an exciting listen.

THHOMASTHHOMAS

There is always time in your life for sample based beats. Thhomas arranges strange yet fitting recordings with keys, drums, synths and guitar for you in a diverse 20 minute mixtape – coherently exploring 2 step, ambient, downtempo house and everything in between, with concise movements of sound.

CORPERATE VIBESSYDNEY TO HOBART

A vivid sonic road trip, Corporate Vibes have created a timeless piece of music that is what the east coast of Australia would sound like if it was a band. Warm synths, plenty of peculiar field recordings, grand guitar and uplifting melodies are just scraping the top of what this album offers.

HOLDEN HANDSHOLDEN HANDS CASSTETTE

The layers of synths and incredibly unique sounds that Holden Hands mould together over 13 tracks is captivating. Their self-titled debut album is rich and a whole lot of fun – it explores nostalgic, downtempo house with a surprising acidic burst, and blissful synth built ambience.

30/70COLD RADISH COMA

With their debut album hitting the airwaves and your ears earlier this year, 30/70 are hopefully an act you have heard of, especially with their recent debut on Boiler Room. Currently on it’s 3rd repress, ‘Cold Radish Hands‘ abrupt yet clean jazz instrumentals flow into electric rhythmic breaks and soul-defying vocals in a similar vein to Nai Palm, taking on an unique genre and bringing their own incredible touch to it.

30/70 play Wondercore Island‘s stage at Freedomtime on New Year’s Day.

OCTOOCTOBER EP

October EP‘ is a short build up of highly engaging rhythms, sounds and ambient builds that coherently flow into Trip Hop arrangements. The short EP holds you in its grips with an assortment of estranged sounds, that are never short of a mellow atmosphere even with a few enticing breaks.

 


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