The Perils – Old Man Saxon (Rap, Mixtape)
Old Man Saxon’s 2016 commercial debut The Perils is smooth and sharp. While only 4 tracks long, it avidly demonstrates the Colorado native’s highly potent rap intellect. The record itself is uniquely concept driven – a fascinating exploration of Saxon’s year living in his Ford Explorer during his bout of homelessness in 2014. Layered over a seemingly Nujabes-inspired jazz hop production by ThiefofBaghdad, Saxon sounds like a strange amalgamation of Schoolboy Q’s voice and Earl Sweatshirt’s flow, and I love it.
Idle Moments – Grant Green (Jazz)
The title track of Grant Green’s 1965 opus Idle Moments tells no lie as to the music it contains. While listening to the magical, laidback 15-minute piece, time itself seems to slow down and the next note seems another album away. Like an extended separation from a good friend, however, the phrase eventually arrives and the wait is undoubtedly worth it. This is Green’s eighth album and is arguably the virtuoso guitarist’s finest hour, with the uber-relaxed title track beautifully balanced by pieces with a faster tempo, such as “Jean de Fleur” and “Nomad”. Idle Moments is best enjoyed with sangria and a Cuban coastline. Ideally. Probably still enjoyable with cheap wine and the CBR glow.
Dipz Zebazios – The Delta Riggs (Psychedelic Rock)
In writing their second album, Melbourne based band Delta Riggs expanded their repertoire to deliver a diverse and authentic set of tracks to the Australian music scene. Dipz Zebazios is hallmarked with the band’s distinctive psychedelic aura, yet the variation between tracks makes for a complex album with each number adopting a unique pace and mood. Ranging from a chilled out indie rock feel to bluesy gospel, lyrics filled with wisdom and nonsense roll off the tongue of lead singer Elliot Hammond, his groggy voice riding the smooth electric baselines. In their bold and unapologetic manner, the band even pumps out the rap number No Friends with considerable competence. Other tracks worth mentioning include the fan favourite Supersonic Casualties, and Ornate Delicate Creatures, the latter of which reveals an unexpectedly softer and sweeter voice in Hammond. The band are set to release their new album Active Galactic in August, followed by a 3 month national tour – check them out at Academy this September.
A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead
As the long-awaited ninth LP of one of the most influential alternative rock bands of the modern era, to say fans had lofty expectations for its first 4am listen (its release time in Australia) was an understatement. Having been 5 years since Radiohead’s last record The King of Limbs, many hoped the album would present a new direction for the band akin 2000’s Kid A or 2007’s In Rainbows and, to our disbelief, it did. A Moon Shaped Pool sees a return to the desolate experimental rock of albums like Amnesiac, augmented through the heavy use of orchestras and choirs (perhaps Jonny Greenwood’s contribution, drawing on experience composing film scores such as There Will Be Blood). The result is a cinematic yet introverted, dreary but accessible, collection of songs that continues to solidify Radiohead’s place as one of the best bands of the 21st century.
Dial theory (Tony’s Slice) EP on Merc Records – M.K VII
After ruling the Stockholm scene for 19 years, Mark Seven has released his most intriguing E.P yet, revealing his talent for mixing old-school London acid and New York house. Mark Seven, who recently changed his alias to M.K VII released his EP Dial Theory last June, launching it in the midst of the Adriatic Sea at the Love International Festival. The slow vocal loops which consist of a phone conversation extracted from Kris Humprhies’ live set in the early 90s caught my attention while listening to his old school house set, which was closing the festival.
I felt compelled to know where the comical and intriguing samples came from so I popped my head over the DJ booth to ask “Hey, what’s the phone conversation?”, to which I received a proud “It’s by me, Mark Seven, you’re one of the first ones to hear it”. Soon after, I jumped on the Internet to absorb myself into M.K VII’s new sound to find that Dial Theory is an elaborate yet playful mix of Balearic synthesisers and 90s American techno.
The phone conversation plays out the interaction between an uninterested yet kind woman and a rejected man trying to score a date, full of despair. As the beats unfolds, the mood gets lighter and eventually short raps describe the revenge of the poor guy ending Mr. Seven’s track on a fun and playful note. No digital copies of this one yet, but it’s definitely an old-school goodie you’ll want on wax.