One of last summer’s standout sets had to be Melbourne’s own Chiara Kickdrum when she debuted at Meredith Music Festival. On a night that featured King Gizzard, Sheila E and Mount Liberation Unlimited, Chiara still managed to be the talking point. In just one hour she demonstrated how to be commanding and concise within a sound that she’s very quickly stamped as her own.
It’s a signature sound that’s dark, focused and always in control, like a plane taking flight in the night and landing right on schedule, the only variable being the cities’ flickering lights. In a time when so many DJs are genre jumping to keep everyone happy, Chiara makes the audience come to her and I love it.
You can catch Chiara Kickdrum playing with DJ Kiti this Friday the 16th of June at the Dark Mofo & Red Bull Music Academy’s Transliminal event at the Hobart City Hall. Juliana Huxtable and Brooke Powers are also on the lineup. The fun begins at 10pm with limited tickets available on the door!
For her trading tunes Chiara Kickdrum choose the theme of Electro: “I love the drum programming and all the different layers of electro. One of the links I’ve chosen is actually an album, Aqua Team 2 by DJ Stingray, it’s a work in its whole and I think only works when you hear all the tracks together. These selections encapsulate the rawness and soulfulness of electro. It’s the perfect combination of human and the machine.”
Optic Nerve – ‘Another World’
Dj Stingray – ‘Binarycoven’
E.r.p – ‘Gallup String’
Morphology – ‘Subsurface Ocean’
Andrea Parker feat DJ Assault & DJ Godfather – ‘Freaky Bitches’
Ryan Grieve (Canyons) and Rachel Rutt perform together as Heart People. Their sharp alt-pop single ‘Show You‘ came in at #27 in our 100 Best Australian Tracks list last year, and soon after the Sydney duo proved it was no fluke with their next release ‘Voices‘. What I enjoy most about Heart People is their rare ability to be accessible to both casual listeners and those inclined to hear pop music with a more sceptical ear.
Their debut EP Homecoming takes on several diverse ’90s pop influences — and not the post-Spice Girls acts. Considering that late ’90s nostalgia is painfully cool again, I’m definitely on board for reminding people that there’s more to pop music than a mere sense of novelty and singalong vocals. A great pop single should still be able to impress as an instrumental, and Heart People’s music achieves that while portraying strong atmosphere, mood and ambition.
|H O M E C O M I N G
T R A C K L I S T
Heart People have chosen trance as the theme for their Trading Tunes selections, telling us, “We love music that takes us to that other place, where we can let go. Forget what you know. Become who you are.”
Love, Peace, & Trance – ‘Yeelen’
Rhythm & Sound w/ Tikiman – ‘Music A Fe Rule’
Muslimgauze – ‘Curfew, Gaza’
Luis Gasca – ‘Spanish Gipsy’
Raul Lovisoni & Francesco Messina – ‘Prati Bagnati Del Monte Analogo’
22 May Trading Tunes with Dianas
In 2015 Perth band Dianas caught my attention with the single ‘Of A Time‘, a track so good that I regularly throw it on in the car to this day. As I delved deeper into their self-titled debut album I discovered it was full of tight gems, so I was pretty excited when I heard that they had moved to Melbourne.
Now firmly established here, they’re gearing up for the release of their second album. The first single from which is a track called ‘Heart Of Me‘, which demonstrates they haven’t lost any spark since their debut LP. There’s a joyous feeling when listening to Dianas that the three band members genuinely enjoy spending time together — their chemistry is palpable and second to none.
Nathalie Pavlovic (Nat) from Dianas: “Feeling a bit nostalgic after finally releasing some new stuff, so I decided to go with songs that remind me of when we first started up as a band around 2010~2011, listening to these in our living room in Perth and dancing around. A lot of these bands were really inspiring for me, and I think listening to them around the time I was learning how to play guitar and bass it maybe shaped a lot of our sounds.”
Grass Widow – ‘Fried Egg’
Marnie Stern – ‘Transformer’
Vivian Girls – ‘When I’m Gone’
The Sandwitches – ‘Kiss Your Feet’
Best Coast – ‘Crazy For You’
The legends over at PBS 106.7 FM are in the midst of their annual two-week Radio Festival. While it’s not a music festival in the traditional sense of live bands and punters, it’s the most important two weeks of the year for PBS. They’re entirely non-for-profit, so to stay afloat they rely on support from subscribers — that is, anyone inclined to support great local music.
That’s obviously what we’re all about here at Ripe, so we assume if you’re reading this you’ll be inclined to become a member by clicking here.
Clare aka Press Gang from the program Zan Arcade is brilliant when it comes to pushing local music and pushing the boundaries. She’s kindly sent us some songs that remind her of personal break through life moments for this edition of Trading Tunes.
Press Gang: “As PBS FM’s 2017 Radio Festival is all about taking one small step towards being part of community radio, I thought about all [of the] small break through moments that happen in one’s listening life. The times that music kinda catches you a little unawares and gives you a little slap around the face. Not too hard, just enough to make you sit up and take notice. Now, life is taken up with quite a few of these moments (especially if you listen to a lot of music) so here are some that have had lasting repercussions for me.”
Delia Derbyshire – ‘Pot Au Feu’
“Delia Derbyshire was a pioneer and an inspiration. Not only was Delia instrumental in constructing a whole new sound palate, but their work defined significant forms for experimental music that people still follow today. Delia is awesome.”
Laurie Anderson- ‘O, Superman’
“This track was featured on Rage extensively when I was growing up. I am not going to lie, it scared the hell out of me. Nothing about it was inherently terrifying as such, but the disembodied voice and robotic nature was seemly so dispassionate, and so contrary to the lyrics, that I found it deeply unsettling. The tune, defying all immediate reason, is really catchy and it pops back into your head when you least expect it. Ultimately, it’s a bit of a masterpiece.”
The Mo-Dettes – ‘White Mice’
“The Mo-Dettes are one of those well placed, underrated bands that only released one album and disappeared into moderate obscurity. The band was formed by Kate Korris (The Slits, The Raincoats kinda sorta) and Jane Crockford (who wrote this particular track). The Mo-Dettes Drummer, June Miles-Kingston, played drums in Everything But the Girl and did backing vocals for Fun Boy Three. And yet, I only really know about them because they were on a weirdly expansive compilation that I found on the internet.”
Bikini Kill – ‘Suck My Left One’
“Pretty much every single Riot Grrrl band of the 90’s covered ‘Suck My Left One‘. It is entirely possible that I heard it 100 times before I heard the original. And it sounded like a giant, empowerment filled fuck you every single time. Being a youngster I didn’t realise how important having that kinda of energy would be, but it’s still an inspiring source of gumption.”
Peaches – ‘Fuck The Pain Away’
“Nobody was doing anything like Peaches when Teaches for Peaches was released. It’s like someone dropped a lit match into a petrol can of electro/punk music. People used it as their ring tone much more than you would ever have expected (due to lyrical content, rather than general tuneage). Still floods the goddamn dance floor. Not too bad for a collection of farting bass noises, over-enthusiastic hit hats and ribald lyrical content.”
08 May Trading Tunes with Ferla
Ferla caught our attention at the start of the year with the single ‘In The Night‘, a sexy track that resembles the work of Lower Dens, Timber Timbre or Twin Shadow. Slick, shiny guitars sizzling for five minutes while Ferla makes his presence felt — definitely one of the more complete Australian songs released so far this year. Ferla followed it up with ‘Wasted On You‘, which features more lively synthesisers (think Depeche Mode or Pet Shop Boys) and meticulous detail in the instrumental arrangements and hooks.
In the next few weeks we’re going to be treated to more tunes from Ferla, via the single ‘Breakups‘ on Thursday (11th of May) and his double EP release on the 26th of May. But what’s even better are Ferla’s live performances — they’re entertaining and full of life, so be sure to head down to The Tote on the 16th of June to experience it for yourself. Until then, delve in to these five tracks he has been obsessing over for the past month in today’s Trading Tunes.
Brian Eno – ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’
“Another Green World is an album that I have been repeatedly told to listen to because I “would just love it” — and so I’ve avoided it for a long time. I’m glad I waited. Apart from a couple of songs where the bass player is jizzing everywhere, it’s an incredible album. I made my way to it after becoming obsessed with Bowie’s Berlin trilogy of albums, then I bought a pack of Oblique Strategy cards and read up on Eno. There is a good Pitchfork review goes into Eno’s ethos of album making in greater detail (found here) but basically Eno was all about process over outcome, which is something I admire and aspire to. Listen to this record and get obsessed. But maybe skip the first two songs which are just total bass jizz.”
Cocteau Twins – ‘Cherry-coloured Funk’
“Another example of a band that I’ve been told to get into but haven’t ’til recently. Liz Fraser sings really gorgeous nonsense. It’s all glossolalia, but some kind of meaning gets across.”
Gareth Liddiard’s Cocktail Favourites – ‘Vincent Van Gogh’
“This is a cover of a Jonathan Richman song. It’s an example for me of how music can be redemptive. I think it’s made more redemptive by the fact that Gareth Liddiard is singing it. At the moment in Australian music there seems to be a very dark undercurrent and lots of free-floating anxiety. It’s fine, it’s good even. It’s cathartic. We’re living in uncertain times and Australia is an anxious country. Recently I saw Neil Finn perform at Golden Plains, and for the second time in the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre I cried singing along to his music. And I wasn’t alone, it seemed like everyone was crying or was deeply affected by his music in some way. I think it’s cos his music is redemptive and he is like a conduit of positivity and everything’s-going-to-be-alrightism. World’s fucked but 10,000 people can still get together and have a singalong.
Van Gogh suffered from bipolar disorder and cut off his own ear in a fit of mania. He committed suicide when he was 37. But Richman doesn’t sing about any of this. Van Gogh is the pre-eminent tortured artist, but Richman sings about how much Van Gogh loved colour. The song is a compounded love letter, about Van Gogh loving colour more than any other painter, and Richman loving Van Gogh in his dewy-eyed way. And now Liddiard is joining in on that conversation and it’s really sweet.
There’s so much in this song that speaks to me about art and why art is important and why I love music and want to make it for the rest of my life. I’m obsessed.”
Charles Ives – Piano Sonata, Concord Mass III ‘The Alcotts’
“What is this? Ragtime impressionism? I don’t even know. But it’s so sweet and expressive and full of surprises and it gets nice and abstract as it goes on. It’s ambiguous. I got turned onto Ives after watching Leonard Bernstein‘s lecture series (found here), which is another thing to get obsessed with.”
Dead Or Alive – ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’
“Solid pop music. There’s something so aggressive about this song. It has a kind of aggressive sexual energy. Also: Pete’s voice.”
Sydney three-piece The Nights have released their sophomore EP Beyond Desire, and it has some serious replay value. The Nights take meticulous craftsmanship cues from artists like Burial, Nicholas Jaar and Mount Kimbie, and impressively they could hold their own among those names. All three tracks on the EP have incredibly precise execution and wholesome electronic textures.
That said, their EP is versatile too. It suits sitting in your headphones on a train as much as blasting from speakers at a house party at 3am — it’s perfect for both a solo and a social listening experience. The fact that the band physically play the songs when they play live adds to the appeal of checking them out on their soon-to-be-announced Australian tour.
All six of their selected Trading Tunes tracks are songs I personally listen to on the regular. The band wrote us a note explaining their thoughts behind their choices.
Machinedrum – ‘Vizion’
Shabazz Palaces – ‘Are You… Can You…Were You? (Felt)’
Octo Octa – ‘Fear’
Tom Waits – ‘Swordfishtrombone’
Nicolas Jaar – ‘Three Sides of Nazareth’
Burial – ‘Ghost Hardware’
One of our favourite Queensland-based bands Blank Realm are back in Melbourne this weekend, playing at The Curtin on Saturday night. Joining them on an incredibly stacked line-up are Jade Imagine, Dag, Lehmann B. Smith, Primo! and Hachiku. This show is for the launch of the Split Singles Club, a subscription service created by the beautiful people of Bedroom Suck Records and Milk! Records. Over the next three months subscribers will receive exclusive 7″ vinyls, each with two singles curated by the two labels and custom cover art by local illustrator Steph Hughes.
The build up for every Blank Realm gig is exciting, but to aid in the anticipation Dan Spencer (lead singer/drums) has written us some notes on a few of his favourite tracks from the bands’ continually updated playlist — which you can find in full at the bottom of this very page.
Bobby Brown – ‘Hawaii Nei I’ll Miss You (Israel Bound)’
“I could have picked any track off the album Prayers of a One Man Band. It’s truly a classic. Released in 1982, and recorded as Bobby Brown lived nomadically in his van with only his dog for company, Prayers is difficult to describe. Once you get past the strangeness of it all, and the multiple personality disorder vocals, it reveals itself to be a stone cold pop classic.”
Catherine Ribeiro – ‘Paix’
“Probably one of the most under-appreciated artists ever, Catherine Ribeiro has a deep back catalogue, but I think ‘Paix‘ is the pick. I will never get tired of this record. A masterpiece of eldritch psychedelic folk.”
75 Dollar Bill – ‘Beni Said’
“My most played record of last year. Addictive stuff. They are a two piece, and use a guitar and a wooden box for drums. Think Henry Flynt meets International Harvester, but in miniature.”
Dominique Lawalree – ‘Dimanche Pluvieux’
“A recent discovery for me, this record is also from 1982. Truly beautiful stuff, he almost released an album on Brian Eno’s label but it fell through.”
Pink Section – ‘Jane Blank / Shopping’
“I’ve watched this vid so many times. Just watch. It’s great.”
Blank Realm’s Full Playlist
Frank Booker may be from New Zealand, but he’s heading to Melbourne this weekend for a whirlwind Friday with shows on two radio stations and a set at Copacabana. When someone as respected as CC:DISCO! tells you that he’s great, then you know Frank Booker is worth marking down on your calendar. A perfect afternoon-to-sunset DJ who can make you want to keep buying Mojitos until you’re out of cash. He has traces of disco and funk, combined with the ability to comfortably beef up the BPMs late into the warm night — and this Friday is looking warm (knowing Melbourne it’ll probably snow).
To get a sense of Frank’s style and influence, he sent us a Trading Tunes of his favourite ‘duets’ for everyone to enjoy before the coming weekend.
Vitamin E – ‘Kiss Away’
“I’m a sucker for Norman Connors tunes, and he produced this disco soul gem alongside Mtume and Reggie Lucas. Give me a soulful female and male duet any day, and the vibe is smouldering on this jam. Your love is just a kiss away!”
Ashford & Simpson – ‘Love Don’t Always Make It Right’
“The King & Queen, the original soul power couple: Nick Ashford & Val Simpson! They are behind so many fantastic tunes (as writers as well as artists). I could have chosen any number of Ashford & Simpson tunes, but I’m feeling this at the moment.”
Minnie Riperton feat. Peabo Bryson – ‘Here We Go’
“Minnie is one those singers who I can listen to anytime (like Marvin), but there is a slight melancholy vibe as well if you know her life story (she passed away very young, in the late 70s). Peabo Bryson turns up around the two minute mark and takes this song to another level. Wonderful!”
Stephanie Mills feat. Teddy Pendergrass – ‘Two Hearts’
“There is so much to love about this tune. Stephanie Mills on her own is great anyway, but once you add in the almighty Teddy Pendergrass, things go to another level altogether. An ultimate end of night jam for the lovers!”
Donny Hathaway & Robert Flack – ‘Back Together Again’
“Oh Donny! In the same way as Minnie gives you that melancholy, soulful vibe continues with Donny Hathaway. Tragic life story, but an amazing body of work, including his best dance floor moment: this collaboration with Roberta Flack.”
|3rd March – Stylin’ with Ennio Styles – Triple R Radio, Melbourne (12pm-2pm)||3rd March – Smoke and Mirrors with CC:DISCO! – PBS Radio, Melbourne (8pm-10pm)|
|3rd March – Club Coco w/ Rahaan, Rich Medina & CC:DISCO! – Copacabana International, Melbourne||4th March – Late Night session, River Bank Palais – Adelaide Festival|
Throughout January and February the Melbourne (via Brisbane originally) music label Bedroom Suck have been hosting some wonderful events at MPavilion, across the road from NVG in Melbourne. These events are called Bedroom Duets, where two acts who don’t usually work together team up for some lovely after-work live music around 5pm. Some of the acts who have played include Angle Eyes, Fia Fiell, Dag and Primo.
For the final event this Sunday, Elizabeth Mitchell of Totally Mild and Jess Ribeiro will perform solo sets. We love both of these artists, so we thought we would do something a little different for them. In this piece Jess Ribeiro has traded tunes (c/o us) for Elizabeth Mitchell (and the world wide web) to enjoy. She also wrote a poem using song titles, because she’s a clever one. Hopefully later this week we can get Elizabeth’s songs for Jess.
Jess Ribeiro: I wrote a letter to Liz;
I really like your style.
I like the clothes you wear.
You wear them with confidence.
I want to be confident too.
You are sassy.
I also want to be sassy.
Train me Liz.
And a poem using song titles,
It goes like this:
I Dress. Only for you.
No more home, No more love.
PJ Harvey – ‘Dress’
The Heartless Bastards – ‘Only For You’
SOKO – ‘No More Home, No More Love’
The Stooges – ‘No Fun’
Chic – ‘Le Freak’
Late last year I somehow missed the Melbourne via Brisbane band No Sister‘s live-wire self-titled LP release. The eight track album is twisted, post-punk in the shape of Total Control, Preoccupations or Protomartyr. Had we not missed the release, the closing track ‘Passing The Divide‘ would’ve made our Top 100 end of year list. But as they say, better late than never and next Monday (the 5th of February) somewhere between 5pm and 7pm, they are playing at the annual PBS Drive Live. To get you psyched, No Sister have sent us over their Trading Tunes.
“It’s very possible to draw a line – perhaps a little crooked and convoluted – from the post-punk of 1970s Australia to the post-punk of today, and yet very few people think of it. Or if this line is drawn, it’s a simple musical lineage that speaks of ‘the music’ without all of the other things going on — the social, political, ideological, economic etc etc etc. Post-punk is often seen as a blurry term which barely contains the multitude of musical groups and artists that pervade it. And yet for No Sister, post-punk signals a certain approach to music-making that doesn’t see ‘music as simply music’, but music as a kind of history; with contexts, connotations, innovations and paradoxes. In its broadest sense, the kind of post-punk we’re interested is the kind that re-imagines and re-invents the rock and popular song. The following list is a very thin line of Australian post-punk and while there’s clearly some big names we cannot fit, we’ve found that these ten bands in particular have all given No Sister something interesting and inspiring; they are what makes us want to write songs.”
Essendon Airport – ‘Science of Sound’
“A pop sensibility, minimalism, free jazz, post-structuralism, witticisms, post-punk attitude, synthesiser, prepared guitar, recontextualisations, saxophone, a 1930s drum kit with a cymbal on a spring — this is the stuff Essendon Airport is made of. Formed via Clifton Hill Community Music Centre, initially featuring David Chesworth and Robert Goodge and later joined by others, Essendon Airport released two albums during their time and this song, ‘Science of Sound‘, comes from their second album Palimpsest. Essendon Airport’s preoccupations were just as musical as non-musical; the recontextualising of the sounds and language of popular culture, an understanding of the cultural and economic references of their instruments and a dual-desire to look beyond both the old traditions of modernism and the new stagnations of capitalism.”
Pel Mel – ‘No World From China’
“Pel Mel were the new track through wild country during a time when Countdown was so heavily relied upon. Although the band did in fact perform on the program (though mimed), Pel Mel were refreshingly in contrast to the usual pap seen on the show. Sure ‘No Word From China‘ contains all the sharp and pointed sonic tropes of post-punk music as we’ve come to know it, but it is their ability in transforming this jaggedness into coordinated sonic craft which blurs the distinctions between neat and neglect. Born into a countdown to the new age Pel Mel embodied the make-do and make-shift attitude which (in some ways) helped define the initial vast post-punk landscape of the time, but were in no way make-believe (and they’re still going today!)”
Severed Heads – ‘Lamborghini’
“Perhaps the most seminal electronic-band to come out of Sydney in the late-70s are Severed Heads. Preoccupied by the use of tape cuts, loops and locked grooves (often as a result of ‘chance’), with further manipulation caused via guitar pedals and synthesisers, it was process-based music which oscillated between chance and conscious-craft. Severed Heads were as much about forming new ways of making songs as they were about re-amplifying sounds from their original contexts to place them in new and altered situations. It’s the musician as facilitator; political implications inextricable from their experimentation. And for all the cut-ups, loops and physical manipulations of sound, Severed Heads are still ridiculously danceable. We’ve included our favourite, ‘Lamborghini’, and it’s worth noting that this version was released before the Petrol EP, which contains the perhaps more ‘famous’ version of the song.”
Tsk Tsk Tsk / Tch Tch Tch / → ↑ → – ‘Pop Art’
“Signified visually as → ↑ → and verbalised as Tsk Tsk Tsk, Tch Tch Tch or even → ↑ →, the group stated in a pamphlet for their 1981 ‘Fuck Dance – Let’s Art’ Sydney Tour that their mission was “to articulate problematics… dealing with issues that are cultural, ideological, political, historical, linguistic and semiological. And perhaps occasionally artistic. (But only occasionally)”. Founded alongside Essendon Airport via the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre in the mid-70s, → ↑ → (pronounced Tsk Tsk Tsk, Tch Tch Tch or even → ↑ →) is less a band, and more of a concept that has both everything, and absolutely nothing, to do with music. (Mostly) made up of Philip Brophy, Maria Kozic, Leigh Parkill, Jane Stephenson and Ralph Traviato, → ↑ → (pronounced Tsk Tsk Tsk, Tch Tch Tch or even → ↑ →) centres on making itself uncentered and indefinable as it spans music, performance, film and visuals; from four-hour adaptations of Andy Warhol’s novel A, to performances of durational testing where a single note was sustained for over half an hour.”
SPK – ‘Sheer Naked Aggression’
“SHEER. NAKED. AGGRESSION; noise as confrontation. It is music that is both incredibly contextual, especially through its attempt to articulate its own version of politics via references to Marxism and psychiatric institutions. At times blatantly industrial, at other times inconspicuously commercial and at other moments strangely tranquil, SPK still feel progressive and contemporary; it still feels like the punk or pop song of the future and, like Severed Heads, the group’s experimentation is always rooted in a simultaneous desire to dance, or at least move. SPK knowingly worked within histories of rock music, as well as forming in a nascent electronic community – both of these circumstances, plus their political aesthetics, seemed to have given SPK a perceptively wide imagination for how sounds can be endlessly transformed, shaped and re-shaped. Perhaps one of Australia’s most overlooked international exports.”
Blank Realm – ‘Violet Delivery’
“The brilliant music journalist Andrew Stafford once passingly categorised Blank Realm as “determinedly lo-fi” and while Stafford has given the band numerous dizzying compliments, this little phrase always struck as the most apt. ‘Determinedly’ makes sense; Blank Realm always seem to have purpose and thought behind their style and songs. Even when it’s improvisational one gets the impression it’s never some goal to ‘feel’ the moment, but has purposeful style and contexts outside of itself. What started out as a noise band in mid-2000s Brisbane has spent ten years expanding and morphing into sculpted, tight art-pop songs that have purposefully retained their stylistic noise and texture; the Blank Realm personality. ‘Lo-fi’ is less a style for Blank Realm than an ethic. They’re obviously brilliant song writers but it takes effort to imbue a pop sensibility with styles and ways of playing that are almost anti-pop, anti-melody. Lo-fi is the purposeful decision to keep something dirty, perhaps something underground, or something that refuses commercial attributes. As a side-note, when No Sister was still forming and finding itself in Brisbane in 2014, we rehearsed at a storage centre where only one other band also rehearsed; Blank Realm. It felt metaphorically appropriate that they should be two floors above us, and there’s still the fond memory of the centre manager characterising them as “hardcore, kinda metal, heavy stuff” (the manager also thought we were a folk band). ‘Violet Delivery‘ is taken off the band’s fourth album Grassed Inn, a later album in Blank Realm’s stylistic trajectory from noise to noise-pop.”
Cured Pink – ‘Champagne’
“Cured Pink may be the Australian band that works most knowingly in some kind of post-punk, avant-garde experimental ‘tradition’ — sometimes it’s painful to speak this way, but other times such hazy categories feel necessary. Cured Pink have metamorphosed from various iterations from the group’s first self-titled release back in 2010. The explicit nihilism found in these early recordings have a more Glenn Branca/Cop-era Swans energy which exhibits a type of deadening/realm-like feeling found within SPK’s earlier brand of dissonance. Yet As a Four Piece Band is more refined, controlled and if not ‘concentrated’ without losing the thing we like to call ‘spirit’.”