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22 Feb Reflections & Round Two – An Interview with Shady Cottage Music and Leisure Festival


Words by Marcus Rimondini // Photos by Sarah Chav’


Last year, just outside of Melbourne, was the debut of a new music event for Victoria called Shady Cottage Music and Leisure Festival. The line-up and execution were such a success that the team is excitedly back for round two this year.

Sitting down with the Shady team last week – Nick, Marc and Will – we chatted about last year’s event, and what’s in store for this year’s festivities – as well as the free entry, pre-event party they’re throwing at Nevermind Bar this Sunday from 2pm until 11pm. The day will feature artists from the festival’s upcoming line-up, merchandise, ticket sales and a giveaway you may not want to miss if you are hoping to head to Shady Cottage this year…




Marcus Rimondini: Who and what is shady cottage?

Will: It started at a 21st. After that, I chatted to the guy who had the 21st and owned the farm we were on last year. I spoke to his family and they had no intention of doing it all, they were not that keen, but then some how at the end of the conversation they allowed us to do it. I left the house a bit confused, but we were all good to do it, so i started planning with the guy who had the 21st. Then the rest of the five of us jumped on board for last year. This year we have Ted on board as well. There’s also Rob who owns the farm.

Nick: The best way to describe it is, when we were running that 21st, it was all these bands we were friends with or we were in, and we set up and did all the sound, and we were like “this is great, we can do this on a huge scale”.

Marc: Music for your mates, by your mates.

Will: Yeah, exactly.

Nick: Like, the headliners from last year were people we had come across personally. It felt good to have a tangible connection between all the bands and the organisers, and I feel like that will reflect to the audience as well.

Will: I think the leisure aspect is important, is so it’s not just music.

Nick: Lot of room for activities.

Will: Like the bathrobe thing kind of came up the week before. The singer of Diet made that happen.

 

When and where was the first one?

Will: Last year in Trentham East, on the back paddock of a farm. It was slightly different to the 21st, which was in another paddock. We went there a few times and tried to figure out where we could put it. Then we thought ‘how about just in front of those big trees,’ and knew that was it.

Nick: That almost became our thing, having that illuminated tree backdrop thing. Our site’s a bit different this year, but we are going to do some funky tree lighting stuff.

 

What were some of the particular challenges that you faced?

Nick: I thought it went really well.

Will: Yeah for a first year festival, I thought it went really well, too. A few minor hiccups, but nothing we couldn’t fix.

Marc: Main challenge was managing 500 people. A lot different to a bar, it was something I hadn’t experienced before. Just making sure everyone is safe and in the right areas.

Will: The biggest challenge for me was all the lead up stuff. Dealing with the council can be a big headache. We did have some problems leading up, it got to the point where we were like ‘are we even going to go ahead with this?’ But it all turned out alright in the end. Thank god.

Nick: During the festival there was nothing that couldn’t be fixed with just a radio call. Like ‘theres somebody at the gate asking if they need two wristbands?’, and you’d just reply on the radio ‘No, you don’t.’

Will: Generators turned off, but they were fixed in five minutes. There were a couple of complaints from neighbours, but we knew those were going to happen. The amount of support far outweighed the complaints.

 

What were your favourite moments from last year?

Will: Ara Koufax. When they played ‘Brenda’.

Marc: The tail end of the festival, hearing that one song you’ve been listening to during the whole lead up… Then realising hey, we’ve done it – we’ve pulled off our first festival. It’s a great feeling.

Will: There was a moment on the Saturday night when I was standing up on the hill looking at the stage for five minutes doing nothing, it was pretty cool to look around and to be like ‘we actually did it.’

Nick: That one was funny because ‘Brenda’ by Ara Koufax was a sign post of when we get to relax and say everything is done.

Will: At 2 am. I didn’t shut up about that.

Nick: Playing was awesome. At the start of the set (Flamingo Jones) there was a huge kick, everyone had been sitting down until that point until the Conga-line started.

Will: One person had a watermelon on their head. Also, the weather had cleared up by that point too.

 

How has the planning been this year compared to last year?

Nick: Pretty good.

Will: I feel like we got onto it pretty early.

Marc: The most difficult part was just finding a new location. That was a little bit stressful.

Will: Like what I said about with the council earlier; we knew we had to move. I sat down with the owner of the farm again and did the same process as before. He said the only way it could happen again is if we have 100% no neighbours complaints. Like they go up there every weekend, they were losing faith with their friends and stuff. They live in Melbourne, but they’ve had that farm for 25 years. We spent 3 or 4 months looking for a new place.

Marc: Once we got the new place, everyone just went straight into gear and it started happening. We knew what had to be done by each individual person.

 

Is it easier or harder to set up this year?

Nick: It’s kind of exactly the same. It’s a new council and a new site, there are some unique aspects to it, the typography is a bit different, but it’s really just doing everything again. Like you have to do the permit applications and emergency plans again. The best part is that it’s the same, the worst part is that you have to do it all again.

Will: We have a huge emphasis on site management this year because they’ve extended the bush-fire season to that weekend this time. So we had to do our site management with an external company who are going to be there. The plus side is we might be able to do something about how cold it was, maybe have a fire going. It will add costs, but it’s necessary. That’s the only way the CFA will let us do it, and they’ve been really supportive.

 

Is there anything new added to this year?

Will: Well our leisure activities, that we haven’t released yet, are going to be interesting.

Nick: There’s more of a program this year in the leisure aspect. Last year the main activity was the Yoga on Saturday. We will have the gallery again and it will be bigger with better architecture and stuff. Almost its own space, separate from the main area.

Will: We are providing a bar this year as well as still having BYO. This will give people a place to also buy a drink, we will have our signature cocktail, and have a few market stores coming along.

Nick: Basically trying to beef up the programming from last year. The Friday’s going to be bigger.

Will: Huge emphasis on stage design again. Make it look less like a marquee.

Nick: A lot more vines.

 

More hay bales?

Will: Yeah the guy cuts up all the grass into hay bales, so there are 40 bales sitting there for us to use.

Nick: We got a legendary photo when Albert Salt was playing just as the sun was going down. It was taken from the side of stage, where Albert is leaning out from the marquee over the moshpit, and there’s this silhouette of this person dancing on top of the hay bales, completely out of bounds — but it’s the best photo.

 

When do you start setting everything up?

Will: We will do runs Monday and Tuesday, set up stages and marquees Wednesday, lights and audio on Thursday and tweak it Friday if needed. I’ve already change a few things, made the stage bigger to 9m x 9m. Makes it bigger out the back with the green room.

Nick: We try to keep the roles to what we’ve written on paper, but at the end of the day, if something needs to be done, we’ve all got hands and legs.

Will: The advantage is Rob, who owned last year’s farm, helped find the farm this year. It’s owned by a guy named Jeff, who was at Shady Cottage last year.

Nick: Shout outs to Jeff!

Will: Rob’s good relationship allows us to use tractors and help us move stuff around.

 

What’s the max attendees capacity at Shady Cottage and what would be your ideal amount in the future?

Nick: Our max this year is 500.

Will: That’s just punters. When you includes artists and stuff, it gets up to 650-700.

Nick: We want it to feel precious and intimate, with the right amount of space – but space is valuable. 500 is good, we want to keep it there for a few years, and then as we start to feel comfortable with the scope of what we’re doing, we might pump it up a couple hundred.

Will: The max I’d want to go would be 1,500. The whole idea is to keep it cheap and affordable for everyone. The business behind Shady Cottage is to do stuff outside of just a festival.

Marc: We want to get this down pat and go from there.

Will: There’s always little things you need to improve, like lights in the toilets.

 

Who are you most looking forward to seeing play live?

Will: Sunbeam Sound Machine.

Marc: Wesley Fuller.

Nick: I never have a bad time when Wax’o Paradiso are selecting. I’m really keen on that Sex On Toast song ‘Takin’ Over’, soon as that hook comes in!

Will: They are just 10 intense guys having the most fun.

 

Do you think Sex On Toast will keep their clothes on?

Nick: *laughs* I hope not.

Will: I don’t know, but I don’t think Diet will. Their next single is called ‘Clothes Off’ *laughs*.

Nick: If they take their clothes off, we will have some bathrobes for them.

Will: I’m open to nudity.

Nick: I mean, there has to be a moment between taking your clothes off and getting your bathrobe on!

 


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08 Apr The inaugural Shady Cottage festival was an impressive debut

 

Rolling into Woodend with a fangin’ headache, little to no sense of direction and an overwhelming sense of lethargy, I must admit I was starting to question my motives. I’d missed the first night of Shady Cottage due to work commitments, but due to its dense lineup and beautiful surrounds I chose to hitch a ride and join in on the party a day late.

The setting was well deserving of the accolades; sweeping fields littered with the occasional sheep or cow. Sitting at around 300 heads, the attendees had space to move, not confined to cramped restrictions or specific segments of the property. I found my tent, dropped everything and cracked a tinnie, en route to catch the last of Alice Ivy.

 

 

At the stage I was made aware of the festival’s first true teething problem. By the close of Andras and Oscar the night before, a set of speakers had called it early, leaving the organisers in a precarious position. Luckily one of the soundies took it upon himself to make the trip back to Melbourne, grab a couple of replacements, and bring them back. This level of practicality and decisiveness rang true throughout the festival, illuminating the clear potential for it to continue to grow in stature.

Alice Ivy is deserving of the focus she is currently receiving, with each release being undoubtedly stronger than the one before. ‘Touch’ is a gorgeous representation of the talent she possesses, with a sample-heavy intro that recalls stylistic similarities to The Avalanches, with a natural dancefloor crossover potential.

Crepes have just been that band for me for so long. That one you listen to all the time, and yet for whatever reason, are seemingly incapable of catching them live. Thankfully that all changed at Shady, as I was able to laze in the sun while they worked their way through their simply affable debut. ‘Cold Summers’ was a festival highlight, while the onstage charisma shone through brightly, with a faux-theatrical nature not too dissimilar to Foxygen.

 

 

Although initially hampered by sound issues, Melbourne five-piece Leisure Suite powered through a set that perhaps commanded a later slot than they were given. Steadily growing in both stature and numbers, 2015 was a big year for the band, frequently touring with standout sets at both Shebeen and Paradise. A medley of their own work with Alicia Keys had the crowd swaying, while ‘Great Expectations’ is one of those truly brilliant tracks that messes with your mind, leaving you unsure of whether it’s joyous or drenched in melancholy.

 

 

As the sun began to set, Flamingo Jones took to the stage at just the right moment. The weather had come good after a frosty morning, and the clear blue and orange skies were the ideal backdrop for some accomplished tropical jams. Nick Bond and crew have carved out a delightful niche for themselves, delivering infectious jams with just the right combination of vibrancy and polish.

Well replenished after a trip to the campsite, we returned to a stage boasting its biggest crowd of the weekend thus far. The sun had mostly set during the intervening performance by Albert Salt, and the punters were ready to cut loose a little, with DIET. proving a great option. The five-piece (consisting of the Flamingo Jones backing band with an alternate singer) were an enjoyable watch, the highlight of their set coming with a perfectly-timed rendition of the Australian Crawl classic ‘Errol’, which brought the crowd together for an impressively cohesive singalong.

 

 

Broadway Sounds were a band fit for the occasion. Specialising in absurdist banter and frantic party heat, they truly brought a sense of debauchery upon the wintery Shady Cottage scenes. Helping caress the day into night, their performance prompted one artist who had performed prior to label them the “best in Melbourne”. ‘Booby Trap’ and ‘Sing It Again’ are scorchers, while their onstage energy is simply unsurpassable. They made the transition from live performers to selectors feel seamless, which is a credit to both their songwriting and live presence.

CC: Disco! seemed to throw away the disco cape for the night, bringing a set that progressed from bouncing house beats through to some grittier techno. Undoubtedly considered one of Melbourne’s most brilliant selectors, CC confirmed that assertion with two hours that managed to illustrate her diverse taste without losing and rhythm or flow – possibly the set of the festival.

 

 

Few producers in Melbourne have released music with the consistency of Ara Koufax duo Luke Neher and Sam Gill. Since departing from the Naysayer & Gilsun guise, Neher and Gill have been dropping some sensationally lush house, which, in the case of the Adult Concepts, dips into the realm of The Field. Pulsing and textural, the pair are clearly onto something with this pathway. Giving us an idea of their tastebuds, they went track for track, keeping with the style of their personal releases. Tom Trago’s Crazy Days remix of ‘Tutti Frutti’ was almost used as a signal, and for the final half hour the pair continued to rise in intensity, with the crescendo coming in the form of their closing track ‘Brenda’, one of the duo’s earliest releases.

And with that I trooped off to bed. The cold got the better of me, and my overcoat of alcohol was wearing thin. I dozed off to the sound of The Neighbourhood Watch, and the gleeful laughter of those who were making up for their complete lack of inhibition with a visibly overruling sense of genuine pleasure. If this is taken as a microcosm of the festival itself, then I’d say for it’s first run, Shady Cottage did pretty darn well.

 

 

Note: Due to the criss-crossing nature of our music scene, the writer of this article has a personal or professional relationship with one or more of the people involved in this festival and its lineup. This in no way influenced our coverage of the event, and a secondary writer was brought on to provide a secondary point of view.

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01 Mar Ripe’s Australian Chart (1/3/16)

 

We start at #28 with the Melbourne duo Leisure Suite and their latest track ‘Shame‘, off their second EP Lay Low. If you’re a fan of Rhye or Banoffee, check them out. Great Earthquake comes in at #26 with ‘Thought Broadcasting‘, off an EP with the same name. It’s the work of the Melbourne-based Noah Symons, and the project sounds like a cross between a dreamy version of Ponytail and the sporadic patterns of Terrible Truths.

Melbourne hip-hop duo Milwaukee Banks slide into #23 with ‘Reincarnated‘, which will feature on their long-awaited debut album Deep Into The Night, out March 18th. I’m digging its Cities Aviv-styled production and the assertiveness of Dyl Thomas. LUCIANBLOMKAMP, also from Melbourne, comes in at #22 with ‘The Overman‘ off his upcoming sophomore album Bad Faith. You can catch Lucian playing along with Lower Spectrum during late-April in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

Speaking of Perth, we’ve got new music from Arvo Tanty, with ‘Forget This Mourning‘ at #20. The track’s dreamy loops draw comparisons to early Atlas Sound or Brothertiger, and you can hear the full Tender Yonder LP later this year. At #15 we have Wax Witches from the Gold Coast (currently residing in Brooklyn) – you may remember Alex Wall from Bleeding Knees Club. ‘Morning Flowers‘ has a strong The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart vibe, and it’ll feature on the new album Memory Painting, out on the 18th of March.

Totally Mild return at #14 with ‘Today Tonight‘ off their new three-track live EP Alive In Denmark, which also features another new live track called ‘More‘. ‘Today Tonight‘ doesn’t feature any drums, showing a more stripped-back side of Totally Mild. Low Lux from Sydney come in at #13 with their cover of ‘Girls‘ by Royal Headache. Whereas the original used adrenaline to carry its momentum, Low Lux have cut the pace in half and wrought a more nostalgic atmosphere. It’s a clever and well-executed cover, one that most artists wouldn’t have thought about attempting.

Brisbane’s Mexico City come in at #8 with ‘Rosewood Line‘ from their third album When The Day Goes Dark. If you’re wondering who Mexico City are, they’ve supported The Black Keys, Cat Power, The Drones and many more, sounding somewhere between Cass McCombs and Phosphorescent. Next, we have Summer Flake with ‘Wine Won’t Wash Away‘ at #7. After releasing the underrated Time Rolls By EP last year, the Melbourne-via-Adelaide trio are set to release a new album titled Hello Friends. ‘Wine Won’t Wash Away’ is ridiculously contagious and full of summer joy. Interestingly, it was recorded and mixed by Geoffrey O’Connor, who generally records slick, catchy, ’80s-sounding alt-pop songs.

We stay in Melbourne with SHOUSE featuring Habits on ‘Support Structure‘ at #6. The duo includes Ed Service of IO and Jack Madin of The Harpoons. We actually heard this track, reminiscent of Orbital or The KLF, in their Ripe Mix for us last month. The catchy vocal hook provided by Mohini of Habits could easily have been lifted from a classic early ’90s club hit.

However, the best new track of the week drops in at #2: ‘Got Something‘ by Jamal Amir. Jamal is part of the emerging Melbourne label Temporal Cast, featuring Cale Sexton and Kangaroo Skull. ‘Got Something‘ is straight up nasty smooth house, which makes me want to dance (even while I’m currently hobbling around on crutches). You can catch all three Temporal Cast artists playing along with Sleep D and Chiara Kickdrum this Friday the 4th of March at Goodtime Studios in Melbourne.

 


30. Mossy – ‘Electric Chair’

Uploaded: February 17th | Last Week: #27


29. James Blake – ‘Modern Soul (Asdasfr Bawd remix)’

Uploaded: February 13th | Last Week: #28


28. Leisure Suite – ‘Shame’

Uploaded: February 16th


27. Diet- ‘The Rip’

Uploaded: February 11th | Last Week: #25


26. Great Earthquake — ‘Thought Broadcasting’

Uploaded: February 21st


25. Stina Tester & Cinta Masters – ‘Deep Sleep’

Uploaded: February 12th | Last Week: #22


24. Charles Murdoch – ‘Open (feat. Chloe Kaul)’

Uploaded: February 15th | Last Week: #21


23. Milwaukee Banks – ‘Reincarnated’

Uploaded: February 24th


22. Lucianblomkamp – ‘The Overman’

Uploaded: February 24th


21. Marcus Whale – ‘My Captain’

Uploaded: February 8th | Last Week: #20


20. Arvo Tanty – ‘Forget This Mourning’

Uploaded: February 26th


19. The Sanctuary – ‘Miss You’

Uploaded: February 3rd | Last Week: #19


18. Hayden Calnin – ‘Cut Love’

Uploaded: February 9th | Last Week: #17


17. Jen Cloher – ‘Famously Monogamous’

Uploaded: February 14th | Last Week: #15


16. Mio – ‘Morning Sun (Dave Bixby cover)’

Uploaded: February 16th | Last Week: #14


15. Wax Witches – ‘Morning Flowers’

Uploaded: February 17th


14. Totally Mild – ‘Today Tonight’

Uploaded: February 3rd


13. Low Lux – ‘Girls (Royal Headache cover)’

Uploaded: February 21st


12. Lower Spectrum – ‘Masquerade’

Uploaded: Febraury 19th | Last Week: #11


11. Mall Grab – ‘Sun Ra’

Uploaded: Febraury 17th | Last Week: #10


10. Back Back Forward Punch – ‘Machine Believing’

Uploaded: February 4th | Last Week: #8


9. Fountaineer – ‘Still Life’

Uploaded: February 3rd | Last Week: #6


8. Mexico City – ‘Rosewood Line’

Uploaded: February 9th


7. Summer Flake – ‘Wine Won’t Wash Away’

Uploaded: February 27th


6. SHOUSE – ‘Support Structure’

Uploaded: February 24th


5. Ara Koufax – ‘Makers’

Uploaded: February 8th | Last Week: #5


4. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – ‘Write Back’

Uploaded: February 13th | Last Week: #4


3. Major Leagues – ‘Better Off’

Uploaded: February 10th | Last Week: #3


2. Jamal Amir – ‘Got Something’

Uploaded: February 29th


1. Nearly Oratorio – ‘Tin’

Uploaded: February 17th | Last Week: #2


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22 Feb Ripe’s Australian Chart (22/2/16)

 

Ripe’s Australian Chart is updated each week with our top tracks recently uploaded by Australian artists, ranked all the way to #1. You’ll find our chart below, and a weekly playlist on the Ripe SoundCloud.

At #30 we have Melbourne’s Daniel Trakell, who is set to release a six track EP titled Paradise in April. ‘Wasted Light‘ is the first single, and if you’re a fan of Tobias Jesso Jr., you’ll dig it. Also out of Melbourne, producer Asdasfr Bawd returns at #28 with a choppy dance remix of the new James Blake track ‘Modern Soul‘. I OH YOU‘s latest signing MOSSY has released his debut single ‘Electric Chair‘ that will appear on his debut EP in May, and jumps in at #27. It’s a cross between the vocals of Oasis and the slower jams on Tame Impala‘s latest album Currents.

The Melbourne duo at Stina Tester & Cinta Masters come in at #22 with ‘Deep Sleep‘ via Listen Records. It starts off a little like ‘She’s Lost Control‘ by Joy Division, before hitting a gothic spiral of ’70s analog keyboard. It’s not exactly The Doors; more like Blondie, or today’s comparison would be Austra. At #21, Sydney’s Charles Murdoch has released ‘Open‘ featuring Chloe Kaul from the duo KLLO. This soothing tune featured on Murdoch’s recently-released debut album Point.

Jumping up to #15, we have ‘Famously Monogamous‘ by Jen Cloher from the Milk! Records family. It’s from a collective Febraury release by the label, and it moves back and forth between sounding like Yuck in the verses, and Weezer in the chorus. Next at #14 is Mio, the project of Melbourne’s Lisa Miosku. Her lo-fi cover of ‘Morning Sun‘ could be mistaken for a single recorded back in the ’40s, her gentle, feather-light sound providing more tension headache relief than paracetamol.

Sliding in at #11 is Ned Beckley aka Lower Spectrum from Perth, who just dropped the second single ‘Masquerade‘ from his upcoming New Haze EP. The track tends to bobble up and down like a ’90s movie trailer theme song – which isn’t a bad thing, because by moving himself away from the strictly dance side of electronic music, he’s quietly carving out his own niche. At #10 is Mall Grab from Newcastle, who has uploaded the third (and title) track from his upcoming four-track Sun Ra EP. If you’re a fan of deep, minimal techno like Leon Vynehall, then start following Mall Grab.

Bendigo’s Fountaineer are set to release their first album later this year, and ‘Still Life‘ finds itself at #6. If Matt Berninger (The National) covered the album Slave Ambient by The War On Drugs, it would likely sound like ‘Still Life’. A lot of my appreciation for ‘Still Life’ sits within its subtle guitar details and effective, restrained vocal delivery. Another country Victorian band, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, continue their hot form with ‘Write Back‘ at #4. With every new R.B.C.F. tune at this point, I automatically assume it will have me shaking around in my chair, due to their endless slick guitar interplay and upbeat nature.

Brisbane band Major Leagues write dreamy garage-pop melodies as well as anyone in the country, and ‘Better Off‘ is another strong example. They make it sound effortless and that’s why ‘Better Off’ comes in at #3. The EP Dream States comes out in April, but I recommend catching them next month on their Australian tour with Alvvays, a band who impressed me at SXSW last year. Melbourne’s I’lls singer Simon Lam has a long-running solo project called Nearly Oratorio, and has nabbed the #2 spot this week. ‘Tin‘ will feature on his new EP in April and it has feels attached all over it when he sings “I’m home sick, when I’m out of you”. I loved the potential of I’lls, but I also can’t help but think that the stripped-back clarity of his own project will work even better. Nearly Oratorio has potential to be the project that makes Simon Lam a household Australian name.

At #1, Good Morning replace themselves with another track off their Glory EP called ‘Give Me Something To Do‘. You know you’re in a class of your own when you’re only competing against yourself. ‘Give Me Something To Do’ is their most versatile song to date, starting at a breezy pace with a casual saxophone before fading out, only to re-emerge with a guitar riff that gives me an excited smile every time. Damn these cheeky Melbourne buggers and their wizardry.


30. Daniel Trakell – ‘Wasted Light’

Uploaded: February 14th


29. Robert Muinos- ‘Mum’

Uploaded: January 31st | Last Week: #30


28. James Blake – ‘Modern Soul (Asdasfr Bawd remix)’

Uploaded: February 13th | Last Week: #28


27. Mossy – Electric Chair’

Uploaded: February 16th


26. River Yarra – ‘Song For Tan’

Uploaded: January 29th | Last Week: #28


25. Diet- ‘The Rip’

Uploaded: February 11th | Last Week: #27


24. Banoffee – ‘With Her (Roland Tings Remix)’

Uploaded: January 27th | Last Week: #25


23. Esese – ‘For Nuria (Lo-Fi)’

Uploaded: January 23rd | Last Week: #24


22. Stina Tester & Cinta Masters – ‘Deep Sleep’

Uploaded: February 12th


21. Charles Murdoch – ‘Open (feat. Chloe Kaul)’

Uploaded: February 15th


20. Marcus Whale – ‘My Captain’

Uploaded: February 8th | Last Week: #23


19. The Sanctuary – ‘Miss You’

Uploaded: February 3rd | Last Week: #20


18. Blake Gilray – ‘Coolabah’

Uploaded: January 25th | Last Week: #19


17. Hayden Calnin – ‘Cut Love’

Uploaded: February 9th | Last Week: #18


16. Alice Ivy – ‘Touch’ feat. Georgia Van Etten

Uploaded: January 27th | Last Week: #16


15. Jen Cloher – ‘Famously Monogamous’

Uploaded: February 14th


14. Mio – ‘Morning Sun (Dave Bixby cover)’

Uploaded: February 16th


13. Nolan House – ‘On The Wall’

Uploaded: January 29th | Last Week: #15


12. Chook Race – ‘At Your Door’

Uploaded: January 29th | Last Week: #14


11. Lower Spectrum – ‘Masquerade’

Uploaded: Febraury 19th


10. Mall Grab – ‘Sun Ra’

Uploaded: Febraury 17th


9. Hoodlem – ‘Kintsugi’

Uploaded: January 29th | Last Week: #9


8. Back Back Forward Punch – ‘Machine Believing’

Uploaded: February 4th | Last Week: #8


7. Cale Sexton – ‘Open Minded Meltdown’

Uploaded: January 26th | Last Week: #6


6. Fountaineer – ‘Still Life’

Uploaded: February 3rd


5. Ara Koufax – ‘Makers’

Uploaded: February 8th | Last Week: #3


4. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – ‘Write Back’

Uploaded: February 13th


3. Major Leagues – ‘Better Off’

Uploaded: February 10th


2. Nearly Oratorio – ‘Tin’

Uploaded: February 17th


1. Good Morning – ‘Give Me Something To Do’

Uploaded: January 27th


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16 Feb Ripe’s Australian Chart (16/2/16)

 

Ripe’s Australian Chart is back for 2016. Once again we’ll be posting an update each week on our top tracks recently uploaded by Australian artists, ranked all the way to #1. You’ll find our chart below, and a weekly playlist on the Ripe SoundCloud.

We start at #30 with ‘Baker‘ by Robert Muinos from Melbounre. ‘Baker’ is the third track on his latest EP titled You Are Alone. Robert channels the quiet sorrow of Elliot Smith with life observing lyrics you’d hear from Sun Kil Moon or Father John Misty. At #27 Diet from Melbourne are back with a follow up to their highly addictive first single ‘Your House‘. You’d likely slide ‘The Rip‘ into the surf rock genre, but it’s not the sunny surf rock kind, more the rainy and wearing a bodysuit kind.

Up in Sydney; Marcus Whale from Collarbones dropped his first official single that’s not a demo. ‘My Captain‘ finds itself at #23 with its industrial pop sounds. I can now see where Marcus Whale is trying to take his sound, and there’s definitely an interesting market for it. Back in Melbourne at #20 with the trio The Sanctuary, who pushed past that post-Flume sound with their first single ‘Miss You‘. The vocals carry a defeated and vulnerable tone that Oscar Key Sung routinely pulls off effectively.

The most moving track of the week goes to Hayden Calnin at #18 with ‘Cut Love‘. Hayden sets a very bleak landscape via Sigur Rós with Bon Iver vocals. It’s a combination I’ve heard many times before, but he sells the emotion well when he sings “cut love!”. The next producer is a little mysterious; I only know that Nolan House is based in Melbourne. At #15, ‘On The Wall‘ pops with ear-grabbing sounds that carefully get pushed and then released. It’s meticulous without sounding robotic.

We jump up to #8 with the Melbourne duo Back Back Forward Punch, whose name always reminds me BadBadNotGood. They’re back with the most addictive song of the week called ‘Machine Believing‘. It’s vintage Miami Horror with a deep house bassline. Not the most complex recipe, but good luck not wanting to dance immediately. The Vacant Smiles are next up. At #5, ‘Drenched‘ jumps out at you like early Surfer Blood or even The Strokes without the classic guitar hooks, but instead with a smooth and sneaky slow down change up one minute in. If you dig ‘Drenched’, I suggest giving the whole new album You’re Not Really Here a listen.

However the track of the week at #3 goes to Ara Koufax with ‘Makers‘. The confidence is glowing in the Melbourne duo right now. ‘Makers’ sounds like they’re just toying with us, that’s how effortless it sounds. When you feel like an artist is both teasing you and pleasing you at the time, you know the creative juices are flowing. The best part is that it’s hard to directly trace the influences behind ‘Makers’. Ara Koufax are coming into their own in 2016.

 


30. Robert Muinos- ‘Mum’

Uploaded: January 31st


29. Flume – ‘Smoke And Retribution’ feat. Vince Staples & Kučka

Uploaded: January 30th | Last Week: #25


28. River Yarra – ‘Song For Tan’

Uploaded: January 29th | Last Week: #24


27. Diet- ‘The Rip’

Uploaded: February 11th


26. Spookyland – ‘God’s Eyes’

Uploaded: January 20th | Last Week: #23


25. Banoffee – ‘With Her (Roland Tings Remix)’

Uploaded: January 27th | Last Week: #22


24. Esese – ‘For Nuria (Lo-Fi)’

Uploaded: January 23rd | Last Week: #19


23. Marcus Whale – ‘My Captain’

Uploaded: February 8th


22. Letran – ‘71221325-02’

Uploaded: January 13th | Last Week: #18


21. Smile – ‘Holiday’

Uploaded: January 13th | Last Week: #17


20. The Sanctuary – ‘Miss You’

Uploaded: February 3rd


19. Blake Gilray – ‘Coolabah’

Uploaded: January 25th | Last Week: #16


18. Hayden Calnin – ‘Cut Love’

Uploaded: February 9th


17. S M Jenkins – ‘Mikrowave’

Uploaded: January 11th | Last Week: #15


16. Alice Ivy – ‘Touch’ feat. Georgia Van Etten

Uploaded: January 27th | Last Week: #14


15. Nolan House – ‘On The Wall’

Uploaded: January 29th


14. Chook Race – ‘At Your Door’

Uploaded: January 29th | Last Week: #12


13. Mangelwurzel – ‘I.O.U.’

Uploaded: January 12th | Last Week: #11


12. The Drones – ‘To Think That I Once Loved You’

Uploaded: January 20th | Last Week: #10


11. Courtney Barnett – ‘Three Packs A Day’

Uploaded: January 11th | Last Week: #9


10. Liluzu – ‘Gunko’

Uploaded: January 19th | Last Week: #8


9. Hoodlem – ‘Kintsugi’

Uploaded: January 29th | Last Week: #7


8. Back Back Forward Punch – ‘Machine Believing’

Uploaded: February 4th


7. Le Pie – ‘Up All Night’

Uploaded: January 19th | Last Week: #6


6. Cale Sexton – ‘Open Minded Meltdown’

Uploaded: January 26th | Last Week: #5


5. The Vacant Smiles – ‘Drenched’

Uploaded: January 11th


4. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – ‘Wither With You’

Uploaded: January 13th | Last Week: #4


3. Ara Koufax – ‘Makers’

Uploaded: February 8th


2. No Zu – ‘Spirit Beat’

Uploaded: January 13th | Last Week: #3


1. Good Morning – ‘To Be Won’

Uploaded: January 21st | Last Week: #2


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11 Feb Ara Koufax – ‘Makers’

After making a name for themselves with the release of the emotive single ‘Brenda’ via Cut Copy’s imprint Cutters Records, Melbourne’s own Ara Koufax followed up with the release of ‘Adult Concepts’.

Now with the release of the EP, B-side ‘Makers’ has finally seen the light of day. Interestingly, ‘Makers’ stands as a counter point to the slow and at times atmospheric ‘Adult Concepts’, thought still holds the same level of sophistication in its arrangement. The B-side features a much more driven, even dancefloor-oriented sound that manages to express moments of light of dark without losing its direction.

Coupled together the tracks make for an EP that provides a whole spectrum of musical moments and, for the listener, fits in much more than a two song track-listing would suggest.

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29 Dec 100 Best Australian Tracks of 2015


Without a doubt 2015 has been the best year in the history of Australian music. The amount of quality tracks and artists that we couldn’t fit into this list was astounding.
What’s particularly exciting is the fact that most of these artists are new, which makes the prospect of putting together next year’s list seem even more daunting.

We would like to thank all the artists for making the music, the readers who share our site’s content, the writers who contributed this year, and everyone else who makes the Australian music scene extremely enjoyable to be a part of in our own small way.

Let’s do it all again in 2016.

100. Knightlife – ‘Solstice’

99. LUCIANBLOMKAMP – ‘From Afar’

98. Jess Ribeiro – ‘Kill it Yourself’

97. Oisima – ‘Take Your Time’

96. Flamingo Jones – ‘Skinny D.I.P.’

95. The Ocean Party – ‘Black Blood’

94. Cleopold – ‘Down In Flames’

93. Harvey Sutherland – ‘That’s The Fact, Jack’

92. Cool Sounds – ‘Control’

91. Bad//Dreems – ‘Hiding To Nothing’

90. Total Giovanni – ‘Paradise’

89. Woollen Kits – ‘Girl With Heart’

88. Zone Out – ‘Inside’

87. Frances Fox – ‘Jake The Flake’

86. Low Lux – ‘Rivers Roll’

85. Redspencer – ‘Ride It Out’

84. Abelard – ‘I’m OK For Now’

83. SMILE – ‘Boundless Plains To Share’

82. Snowy Nasdaq & Snowy Life – ‘Ironic Life’

81. Fraser A. Gorman – ‘Blues Run The Game’

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17 Dec Ara Koufax – ‘Adult Concepts’

As the year draws to its inevitable end Ara Koufax have managed to quietly slide in a late submission for one of my favourite tracks of 2015.

Adult Concepts’ is an exercise in minimalism and structure. It was originally written as an introduction to their live set and listens as such with its sparse beginnings and slow building layers. Ara Koufax’s label over the last year or two, Cutters Records, describes it as “driving house music from a bedrock of noise: a hangover of Spacemen 3 worship and lack of restraint.”

‘Driving’ is certainly an appropriate adjective here. A combination of thick bass and plucky guitar lines create a lead rhythm that is instantly memorable but it is the pulsing, atmospheric body of the track that gives it its constant momentum.

‘Adult Concepts’ is out now via Cutters Records.

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06 Dec Ripe’s Australian Chart (6/11/15)

Welcome to our latest feature – Ripe’s Australian Chart, where we post an update every Sunday on our top tracks uploaded in the past month by Australian artists, ranked all the way to #1. You’ll find our chart below, and a weekly playlist on the Ripe SoundCloud.

For this week’s new entries, we have at #25 ‘Spring 2‘ from Rat & Co in Melbourne, which is the second part of a two-track release (‘Spring‘ having been released last month). If you’re looking for some Boards Of Canada escapism, Rat & Co are worth diving into further.

LUCIANBLOMKAMP emerges from the Melbourne shadows once again with new single ‘Comfort‘ – although the track provokes unease more than anything else, skittering its way in at #22.

We get orchestral at #20 with Anatole up in Sydney. ‘Colours‘ is the second single from the upcoming Surrounds EP, out on December 18th via Teef Records. It’s filled with violins, viola, cello, double bass and a clarinet – I wish Bonobo was still recording music with real instruments like this.

The Shards make a reappearance in the chart posts with ‘Gossip & Bands‘ at #13. All we know so far is that they’re from Melbourne, and this song sounds like a softer number by Dick Diver. Both the previously-listed ‘Making Shapes Out Of The Ground‘ and now ‘Gossip & Bands’ feature on their latest EP, Best New Reissue.

The Melbourne duo Ara Koufax are back at #6 with their first new song in six months, and it’s called ‘Adult Concepts‘. If it sounds like an introduction track, it’s because it was originally written to be exactly that. If you’re looking for more gentle, sprawling electronic music like ‘Adult Concepts’, check out Tycho‘s Burning Man sets on SoundCloud.

I’d never heard of Julia R. Anderson from Brisbane until a few days ago, but I’m already very intrigued and ‘In The Beginning‘ jumps right up into #5 this week. She looks like Tune-Yards and sings like Melody Echo Chamber or Twin Sister, and sounds just as tantalising as all three of those artists. Remember the name Julia R. Anderson; her debut album comes out 2016.

I’m not sure how I missed the initial upload of ‘Black Dignity‘ by Sampa The Great from Sydney. It’s the first single post her head-turning The Great Mixtape debut just three months ago. She’s already been labeled a female Kendrick Lamar, but I hear Shabazz Palaces in the space-beats, and even early Clipping in her flow. This definitely won’t be the last time that she features in the top 5.

Peruw out of Melbourne drops almost ten minutes of deep tech house at #3 with ‘Namek‘. Fresh off playing at Earthcore, while in the midst of his own personal Geyser tour around Sydney and Melbourne, Peruw clearly has high ambitions. ‘Namek’ never tries to overexert itself, instead transfixing the listener within its own restrained parameters – the hallmark of a producer who knows exactly what he’s doing.


25. Rat & Co – ‘Spring 2’

Uploaded: December 3rd


24. Zone Out – ‘So Bright’

Uploaded: November 20th | Last Week: #23


23. Plum – ‘Reveal’

Uploaded: November 14th | Last Week: #22


22. LUCIANBLOMKAMP – ‘Comfort’

Uploaded: November 30th

21. Deer – ‘All Alone ft. Martin King’

Uploaded: November 17th | Last Week: #21


20. Us The Band – ‘And I Will’

Uploaded: November 24th | Last Week: #20


19. Anatole – ‘Colours’

Uploaded: December 1st


18. Max Savage – ‘Baby Don’t Cry’

Uploaded: November 18th | Last Week: #19


17. Nutrition – ‘Advice Needed’

Uploaded: November 19th | Last Week: #18


16. Marcus Whale – ‘If (Demo)’

Uploaded: November 10th | Last Week: #16


15. Luna Ghost – ‘Eyes Of Sleep’

Uploaded: November 24th | Last Week: #15


14. Flamingo Jones – ‘Fred Bear’

Uploaded: November 16th | Last Week: #12


13. The Shards – ‘Gossip & Bands’

Uploaded: November 4th


12. Lisa Salvo – ‘Give Me Your Love’

Uploaded: November 7th | Last Week: #10


11. Arthur Miles – ‘The Prince Feat. Babicka & HVCK’

Uploaded: November 11th | Last Week: #9


10. Lower Spectrum – ‘Proxima’

Uploaded: November 13th | Last Week: #8


9. Abelard – ‘I’m OK For Now’

Uploaded: November ’23rd | Last Week: #7


8. Sleep D – ‘Backstreets’

Uploaded: November 17th | Last Week: #6


7. Movement – ‘Lace (Demo)’

Uploaded: November 11th | Last Week: #4


6. Ara Koufax – ‘Adult Concepts’

Uploaded: December 5th


5. Julia R. Anderson – ‘In the Beginning’

Uploaded: December 5th


4. Sampa The Great – ‘Black Dignity’

Uploaded: November 12th


3. Peruw – ‘Namek’

Uploaded: December 3rd


2. Knightlife – ‘Solstice’

Uploaded: November 27th | Last Week: #2


1. Phantastic Ferniture – ‘Gap Year’

Uploaded: November 12th | Last Week: #3

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Top 100 Feature

22 Nov The Top 100 Melbourne Tracks, 2011-2015

 

I can say with confidence that, over the past few years, Ripe has become one of the best local sources of new music – especially so in our home town of Melbourne, which has proven itself to be an amazing source of talent. As we relaunch the site with a renewed focus on covering the best Australian music, we felt it was about time we shared our thoughts on the artists and tracks from our hometown that have provided the soundtrack to our time on the scene, and who have influenced our tastes going forward.

We started from 2011 for several reasons. While we officially launched in 2012, we were kicking around as a humble Tumblr blog in 2011. We also feel that there was a distinct shift in the Melbourne music community around that time, and that the intervening five-year period has been a very productive time for local artists. I think the sheer variety present in this list, even within our distinct area of coverage, shows why we’re so enamoured with our neck of the woods.

I’d just like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has worked to make Melbourne music what it is, as well as the artists behind these 100 songs and all the others we’ve enjoyed. I’d especially like to thank everyone who’s followed or contributed to Ripe over the years, and helped us to carve out our own tiny corner of the music press. We’re still committed to giving whatever small nudge we can to emerging artists, and we’re looking forward to collaborating with more and more people along the way.

Thanks everyone, hope you enjoy our list. – Brandon

 

Top 100 compiled by Marcus Rimondini, Huw Nolan, Brandon John, and all of our contributors. Edited by Michelle Doan.
Contributors: Alex Gleeson, Marcus Rimondini, Matt Bladin, Kassie Junkeer, Sam Chesbrough, Joshua Butler, Leah Phillips, Alana Scully, Ryan Saar, James McNiece, Jasper van Daatselaar, Ollie Leonard, Steph Studniberg, Michelle Doan, Brandon John


 100. Broadway Sounds – ‘Sing It Again’

“No other artist brings the amount of colour, vivacity, or vibrancy to the Melbourne music scene like Broadway Sounds. Their sound is bursting with life, their live shows leave you sweaty, and their video clips are irresistibly crazy. ‘Sing It Again’ makes me aware of the fact that Broadway Sounds have established a unique and distinct sound that I’ve grown to crave. You won’t be able to sit or stand still while listening to this, so make sure you’ve got sufficient dancing space for this one.” – Kassie Junkeer


99. Crepes – ‘Ain’t Horrible’

“As the first single off their debut EP Cold Summers, Crepes bring a fresh take on Melbourne slacker pop with ‘Ain’t Horrible’. This stripped-back track outlines the band’s songwriting ability, with nothing to hide from. The absence of any core guitar parts is what makes this tune, homing in on the original keyboard lines from Jackson Dahlenburg and the smooth, beautifully effortless vocals of Tim Karmouche. It’s this combination of vocals and keys that defines Crepes’ sound and makes them stand out as one of the most exciting Melbourne guitar pop bands in 2015.” – Jasper van Daatselaar


98. Love Migrate – Plagued Are All My Thoughts

“The unsettling vocal quivers of main man, Eddie Alexander, combined with a minimalistic drone soundscape have crafted a song (and album) that is simultaneously magical, delicate, brooding, unsettling, and peaceful. A host of musicians on this record are now probably better known for their other projects (King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, The Murlocs), but this album is a stunning example of the group’s versatility. Now, three years on, the band has just released a new EP called Shimmer Through The Night – certainly worthy of a listen for fans of this record.” – Leah Phillips


97. Peter Bibby – ‘Hates My Boozin’

“In the hazy world of Australian guitar pop, there is something of a barrenness in regard to easily identifiable voices. Sure, there’s Courtney, and before her Paul Kelly, but more often than not, the focus has been firmly planted upon the ‘slacker’ guitar tones, or the ‘Australian’ style with which the song is constructed. ‘Hates My Boozin’ is the first track in a while from this genre that has floored me, in its purity and authenticity. Bibby’s drawl makes him sound like an alcohol-fuelled poet. We need more of this shit.” – Alex Gleeson


96. Sex On Toast – ‘Takin’ Over’

“A slap in the face from the synthesiser and you’re onto a good thing. ‘Sex On Toast’, as the name suggests, is a tasty sensual party on acid (if you’ve seen them live, you wouldn’t disagree). This song is nothing short of their best work to date. Sprightly, energetic, sassy, and funky grooves galore earned this track a spot on our list.” – Leah Phillips


95. Sleep D – ‘The Magic Arpet Ride’

“Often when I listen to tracks with heavy arpeggio, I feel myself being carried through the song. So I was just stoked that our beloved Sleep D, founder of what is now a staple Melbourne record label, Butter Sessions, encapsulated this vision in his title. Sonically, he takes it to a whole new world (#Aladdin) of rolling magical arps and swirling cosmic planes. The hard-hitting pulse and warping whooshes make it an adventurous and somewhat turbulent ride at times, while the magical arps maintain a smooth undertone. It’s the sort of melodically artistic track you never want to end, because of the abundant amount of sound realms of which you warp in and out.” – Kassie Junkeer


94. Contrast – ‘Pipe Dreams’

“By the start of 2015, the shoegaze revival in Australia had grown large enough to the point where a day and night event called Roogaze 2015 was held at The Tote in Melbourne. Right in the thick of this lineup was the fundamentally sound band Contrast. While many of these shoegaze revivalists don’t necessarily reinvent the genre, they don’t disgrace it either. ‘Pipe Dreams’ was the opening track off their very solid EP, Less Than Zero. Rather than drown itself in self-pity with heavy reverb and nostalgic lyrics, ‘Pipe Dreams’ is on the front foot from the get-go, like bands such as Swervedriver or Spaceman 3. Every backing vocal, guitar distortion and drum fill is perfectly placed into position. You couldn’t re-record a better version of ‘Pipe Dreams’.” – Marcus Rimondini


93. Terrible Truths – ‘False Hope’

‘False Hope’ was released through Bedroom Suck Records’ 2014 double LP compilation, 5 years of Bedroom Suck Records. A standout on this 27-track release, Terrible Truths pack their psych-punk goodness into 1:59 minutes. The three-piece from Adelaide do the simple things so well in this track: defined tones, catchy riffs, and headbanging pace. When these elements are combined, it’s impossible not to jump around the room. It’s that kind of track. Defined by Rani Rose’s short and sharp vocal sections, this is one of those tunes that you find yourself playing over and over. It’s short, but it’s great. So great.” – Jasper van Daatselaar


92. ScotDrakula – ‘O’Clock’

“There’s something in this barnstorming hoedown that contorts my facial structure into positions of intimidating joy. Three-piece ScotDrak’ know how to throw a party in a live context, and this is the first track that truly exhibits this in a recorded setting.” – Alex Gleeson


91. Milwaukee Banks – ‘Pluto Bounce’

“This Melbourne hip-hop duo, Edo and Dyl Thomas, have been on the music scene for a while – producing, writing, and making some pretty solid beats. ‘Pluto Bounce’, the 2013 track that showcases their rhythmic prowess and creative lyrics, may be one of their earlier pieces, but is an entirely fitting choice for number 91 on our list. The undulating tempo and smooth base make it perfect easy listening, and stamp Melbourne as being one of the true hotspots for the development of RnB and hip-hop genres.” – Alana Scully

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