Nic Brown and Misha Grace have an air of invincibility about them. Immortality even.
They're friendships (lower case, higher hands) an audio/visual 2 piece from Melbourne who play chaotic future sounds, storming drum'n'bass, post-Warp slammers and searing, ear-shearing techno. But the duo were nearly scythed into one when Grace had a fall from, well, grace last year. Misha dropped 5 metres off a roof at an after party in Brooklyn at CMJ New York and very nearly slipped off this mortal coil. "I honestly thought she was dead," her soulmate/bandmate Brown said. "Her eyes were in the back of her head and she wasn't breathing."
Grace escaped with only a broken humerus and Brown completed the tour himself. He got by. Now they're back at full strength and feeling immortal as they prepare to release Nullarbor 1988-1989 on September 30 via Dot Dash / Remote Control Records in partnership with US based label Mansion.
“The Nullarbor plain is the physical body of land that links Misha and I (Jerramungup, Western Australia & Footscray, Victoria),” says Brown. “We have conceptually created an audio/visual representation to the Nullarbor in 1988-1989. Isolation and incredible harsh landscapes. Blood, sweat and gravel. Dust kicks and kisses the Great Australian Bight. A time when the road was king and petrol was God”.
Grace has done a painting for every song on the record, including the too-soon-surely The Roof. Her works feature drooling, gnashing dogs, an obese man on an invisible crucifix blurting “God Bless America,” and blue and brown smeared figures, meshed with each other.
“When I got back from the ‘States after the accident, I had nothing. I couldn’t work,” says Grace. “I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t perform. I was on a small allowance from Centrelink so I rented a shitty studio in Footscray with it and painted for 6 months. I listened to the album, again and again and again and heard thousands of individuals trying to be understood and heard all at the same time. I see the mateship and the hateship, the loneliness and that popularity”.
Brown continues: “Sonically I wanted to draw from these ideas and set the listener in a scene, burning down the Nullarbor plain in a Holden V8, ciggie puffing out the window, running away from your life, the road folding around you like a blanket.”
friendships have racked up their flying hours. They've supported Erykah Badu, Thundercat, Purity Ring, Mark Pritchard, RL Grime and blown crowds away at BIGSOUND (Brisbane), Volumes Festival (Sydney), Paradise Music Festival (Vic), Golden Plains Festival (Vic), SXSW (TX) and CMJ (NY).
“My heritage is rural farming, but I've lived the last few years in city clubs. I wanted it to feel like a distinctly Australian album. I want people to be able to taste the salt of the land and smell the sweat,” Brown says. You can smell Misha’s acrylic paint too.
Nullarbor 1988-1989 includes lead single When I Feel Like Killing, I Murder, an exploration into a “Heart of Darkness” similar to themes Joseph Conrad wrote about in the 127 page novel Apocalypse Now is based on. "There's skull on my steel caps, legend, and I'm not happy about that," Brown spits in Jerramungup 1988, moments before 'Murder slashes in. The record features collaborations with Yaw Faso, thelovelyme, Unsoundbwoy and Habits.
friendships are alive and kicking. Ready to raise the roof and splinter the rules. Going in for the kill.
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Melbourne based producer Null worships mid-to-late ‘90s electronic music through a contemporary lens. His studio works are littered with a mix of sounds that span decades: from ‘70s synthesizer music, ambient noise, ‘90s classics and modern nightbus anthems.
Null’s debut EP ‘Almost’ was released in March 2015 as a co-release between Acéphale and Siberia Records. ‘Almost’ explores the diversity of the mid ‘90s catch-all genre "Electronica", essentially attempting to create a work that can wear the badge earnestly. ‘Almost’ is characterised by dense, saturated synthesizer lines and classic drum machines flirting with dusty breakbeats and ambient sound.
Null’s immersive live set has seen him share stage with the likes of Jamie xx, HEALTH , Hudson Mohawke, QT and Kenton Slash Demon.
Having received acclaim from FACT, Dummy, XLR8R, FADER & Thump, and an upcoming debut album set for release, Null has a promising year ahead.
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Marcus Whale is a musician from Sydney. Otherwise known for his leftfield pop duo Collarbones and club-centric electronic group BV, his solo material centres on surrounding his dramatic vocal delivery with an immersive soundworld of body-shaking electronics and chamber orchestral flourishes. His debut album "Inland Sea", a collection of songs accounting for the colonial ghosts in past and present Australia was co-produced by Nigel Yang of HTRK and released on Good Manners and Caroline in 2016. His live performances lead with a confrontational physicality outlined by the mechanical and relentless intensity of the two drummers that accompany him. Highlights include performances at Paradise Festival, Volumes and RBMA Weekender as well as supports for a number of kindred artists in HEALTH, Julia Holter, Julianna Barwick, Mika Vainio, HTRK and My Disco.
Melbourne trio Huntly have spent the last year building a reputation as one of Australia’s most dynamic and innovative live electronic acts. Formed by three best friends, Huntly make “doof you can cry to”. Celebrating emotional vulnerability and authentic connection to time, place, and their listeners, Huntly have been described to set new standards for dynamic songwriting, meticulous production and moving live performance.
Since the release of their debut EP Feel Better or Stop Trying in 2016, Huntly have garnered profound approval from local and international tastemakers (i-D, Oyster magazine, Thump, Indie Shuffle, The Music and more), and traversed Australian radio with features on Triple J, FBi, PBS and RRR. Huntly’s evocative dance sensibility has signalled a breakthrough in electronic soul music, bridging genres with the plaintive emotion tangible in Scrine’s lead vocals.
After a string of sets at BIGSOUND 2016, Huntly grabbed the attention of Spotify listeners and have demonstrated momentous organic growth with well over 1 million plays from listeners worldwide. For the release of their sophomore EP, Huntly signed to DIY boutique record label, Neat Lawn, run by super-producer Japanese Wallpaper. The first single released through Neat Lawn was the “sad banger” duet, ‘Please’, followed up by the full EP in 2017, Songs in Your Name. After a string of festival sets over summer, a packed out East-coast tour, and a sold out homecoming show in Melbourne, Huntly are well into their biggest year yet.
Melbourne beat-maker Deer, née Tom Hitchcock, is perhaps the most pronounced example of a quiet achiever on the current Austalian electronic music landscape.
Early forays into production saw release on enviably hip labels from Perth’s Pilerats through to NYC’s Mishka off the back of fortuitously timed collaborations with rising stars such as U V b o i and remix prowess such as his take on MssingNo’s single ‘XE2’, which featured in the majority of RL Grime’s 2015 live sets.
Consolidated buzz in quality corners of the electronic community gave way to coveted support slots for the likes of Ryan Hemsworth (whose also been spinning Deer’s tunes live), Shlohmo & Djemba Djemba as well as local legends Alison Wonderland and Nina Las Vegas.
After a standout headline performance at Sydney’s Sidechains, Deer was announced on the final lineup for Paradise Music Festival 2015.
Deer’s output has always exhibited a sophistication that defines him from his compatriots, straddling the intersection of bass, pop, club and more on the frontier of contemporary electronic production.