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Electric Empire

Electric Empire – Changin’

Soul infused four piece, Electric Empire, return to Australia after another sell-out tour of Japan, taking to the east coast in support of their recently released EP Changin’.  

The band have come a long way, travelled some miles and kept some good company along the way. They’ve played some of the UK and Europe’s most renowned stages, shared mics with WoS favourites Aloe Blacc and Ben L’uncle Soul, and are now back home putting the final dates on their month long tour of the nation, bravely bringing soul back to Australia.

We caught up with Jason Heerah, drummer for Electric Empire to discuss the new EP and all that’s lead to up its release:

As a band it feels like you guys have overcome some huge milestones, and whilst it could appear to the untrained eye that locally your hard work has gone (almost) unnoticed-  elsewhere you guys have gone gangbusters!  Is that a fair comment and how does that make you feel?

It feels great to be in the position were in at the moment. Were still completely in control as an independent band and we are very mindful of the fact that all our hard work songwriting to the creative direction, producing, recording and mixing has paid off. This work ethic is still the driving force into the next phase of writing and recording for us.  The live aspect of what we do is equally as important as we feel that after every gig abroad we are scooping up new fans.

You’ve played alongside some amazing artists such as Aloe Blacc and Mayer Hawthorne, have there been any stand out moments and how has that helped your sounds and they way you work? 

Yes we have been blessed to have been given these opportunities to help break overseas and to even a new market. I’d say this experience has helped by seeing how these acts like Aloe Blacc, Mayer Hawthorne, have found a way to release on a much larger scale commercially and still be in that soul bracket. Bringing vintage skills into today’s world.

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Electric Elements

Electric Elements – No Place Like Home

This weekend Sydney hip hop group Electric Elements  return to Sydney’s Brighten Up Bar in Darlinghurst with ‘Hand That MC A Mic #2′.  The high energy outfit take us through their new EP, No Place Like Home, taking time out to explain the music influences behind their EP and how it came to be.

“We wanted to write a little something to introduce our upcoming EP ‘No Place Like Home’. Perhaps even mention the lead single ‘Change Of Heart‘ that we have recently released and that can be found on Triple J Unearthed and YouTube. But we decided against it… Instead, we thought we would put something together on how we got to where we are musically. We have just spent the best part of 12 months writing and recording an EP and that kind of passion for something has to come from somewhere.

Well, as I (Pro MC) write this on behalf of Electric Elements, I realise that the passion most likely comes from my parents to start with, most notably my Dad. There was not a minute of the day he wasn’t playing something. Singing along to whatever came on. Schooling me to Creedence Clearwater Revival, Eric Clapton, BB King, The Beatles and about a thousand others. To this day my iPod is still half full of what he played me as a kid. I know deciBel is the same way. We have known each other long enough for me to tell you that he would not have the passion he does if his Mum wasn’t such a lover of music. Hell, we’ve even sampled vinyls she sourced for us in the past haha!

What we’ve done here, however, is put together a list of four albums that have been instrumental in shaping us, our music and the latest EP in any way. Obviously, there are countless we could have gone with, but we thought we’d pay homage to those Australian Hip Hop albums that have meant something. Enjoy the read.

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Ross Henry

Ross Henry

Having settled in Sydney’s inner west Ross Henry is a Brit abroad who’s bringing more to this country than your average pom. Unlike most of us* who seem content with sitting around on Bondi’s beach getting as sun burnt as possible Ross Henry spends his days writing and producing music from his humble home studio ingeniously put together using secondhand mics and strange spaces to produce a sound that is as warm, as it is inviting. With In Fields, his latest EP Ross Henry delivers a solid folk album, full of intrigue and imagination.

Thanks to the lovely people of Maths & Magic and the power of email we caught up for a little Q&A to find out more about this folk playing fella.

Hey Ross, what was it that took you from sunny southwest England to the inner west?

I guess I like seeing what’s over the hill. It’s a good thing to do something new or put yourself in a fresh context, you’ll always gain a lot from it. I discovered the inner west upon my first shift at the Enmore theater. It seemed lot more interesting than where I first arrived in Botany, wasn’t a great deal going on there.

Did the move impact the music you make and the inspirations for it?

Well I’ve been studying music for the last few years, that in itself has helped me develop as a producer. In a way I see my music more like little experiments. I love playing with new elements and ideas even more so now. I aspire to just keep learning and developing and that hasn’t changed, oh and to pay the bills with my music would be amazing!

Can you tell us about your recording methods used for your EP: In Fields?

I bought a couple cheap secondhand mics, decked out my state of the art studio (cupboard) with some very basic sound proofing and spent two weeks recording and mixing. I used lots of overdubs and close miked everything. I see each release as a bread crumb in my development so it’s interesting to listen back to the tracks. Despite enjoying the outcome of recording this way, I missed the stripped down performance, so I’ve included live sessions in the EP too.

So what’s it all about? Is there a musical theme that runs through the EP?

I’m a big fan of melody, small vs big dynamics (especially when I play live) and subtly odd rhythm. All of which seem apparent within In Fields. I s’pose it’s a little story about wanting something that isn’t there. I like the live recording best, it’s got more energy, a more organic raw feel.

What’s next for you & the EP (news/tour dates etc?)

I just finished up a few gigs recently in the inner west and I’ll be free from the shackles of education come August. Soon I’ll be locking in more Sydney (and hopefully Melbourne) dates for September/October. I’m also pretty excited about a few electronic/interactive elements that are sneaking their way into my sets. On with the experiments!

Spend a little time to get to more about this guy through his music below and I promise you’ll enjoy what you hear. 

*when I said ‘most of us’ I just meant me…

If you like Ross Henry – You might like First Aid Kit

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Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra – Want It Back

Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra

Sticking with the theme of new music & cool clips that seems to be emerging lately I was keen to display this masterful new clip from Amanda Palmer. The ‘cabaret punk’ performer was in Australia back in march to record her latest record from which this track, Want it Back, was taken.

Palmer worked with Aussie director Jim Batt put the clip together which was helped along by the artistic strokes of local artist Curran. Check out the cheeky Cherry Ripe that makes a guest appearance as a knowing nod to Aussie location. Palmer writes on her blog: “…it tasted BAD. sort of marshy-chocy-cherry-icky. still way better than vegemite.

The clip races along to the melody with text scrawling over her naked body, onto the sheets, her mobile and walls.

In a statement for the Guardian Palmer says: “I’m so comfortable being naked at this point that I almost forget … I’m also proud that that video has nudity, but it isn’t sexual or erotic … it’s using the body as a raw canvas, which I love.”

Theatre is Evil, the new album from Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra is out in September and owes its existence to the 25,000 fans who , between them, donated $1.2mil USD to the project. Combine this with Palmer’s jangling, electro-punk styled tunes and bare all performance and you have a record that is sure to go far.

Jump over to her site to grab a free download!

If you like Amanda Palmer – You might like Friends?

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Tigertown - Witches & Lions

Tigertown – Witches & Lions

Sydney six piece Tigertown are heading back on the road, bringing their enchanting blend of folk pop to a venue near you soon. Having already built on the successes of last year that saw Tigertown support the likes of Matt Corby & Emma Louise the band look set to make 2012 a year to remember.

Armed with a new management team in the form of Rowan Brand and Catherine Haridy (Eskimo Joe) and publicity from Mucho Bravado the band have just released a stunning new single Witches & Lions with a follow up EP scheduled for release imminently.

To celebrate these activities Tigertown are embarking on the ‘Age of Winter’ tour delivering their compelling live shows, full of magical harmonies and heartfelt lyrics to a string of cosy venues up and down the East coast. Witches & Lions is a strong return to scene and a signifier of what we can expect form the EP.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the band play live a few times, not forgetting the live set they played for us on Bondi FM, and they never disappoint. Sydneysiders should come along to the Hibernian House on 21st June for a magical musical experience that will not be forgotten.

Full tour dates below the Witches & Lions clip:

  • Sunday 10th June – The Queen’s Wharf, Newcastle
  • Thursday 14th June – Ed Castle, Adelaide
  • Saturday 16th June – Pure Pop Records, St Kilda
  • Sunday 17th June – The Workers Club, Melbourne
  • Thursday 21st June – Hibernian House, Sydney
  • Sunday 1st July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane

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Chance Waters

Chance Waters – Maybe Tomorrow

Lovers of Aussie hip hop rejoice! Chance Waters is back with a brand new track, Maybe Tomorrow, showcasing the ever diversifying range of material from this flourishing, local, talent. Having ditched his ‘Phatchance’ moniker on the eve of releasing Infinity, a smouldering precursor to his sophomore album by the same name, Chance Waters has signified his intent to be taken seriously as a major player in the scene.

Last year he performed at capacity crowds throughout his 3 week residency at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory; recorded tracks with the musically edible Charlie Mayfair and remixed the f@ck out of Gotye’s Somebody that I used to know, proving his music lives up to his mantra.

Maybe Tomorrow is a joyously off beat, piano led, hip hop track which deftly highlights another side of this often macabre artist. The chirpy tune features vocal talents of Lilian Blue and some oh so cynical lyrics that belie the complexity of melody which drives this song forward. Continuing the dream team format which has created much of this artists repertoire of works the song was produced by Adelaide’s One Above: The man responsible for tracks such as  Hill Top Hoods’ single I love it, which featured Sia and was a firm favourite on the Walk of Shame airwaves for some weeks.

You can download the single over at the Unearthed site but what’s perhaps most exciting of all is the fact that this Saturday, 12th May, those of you Sydney can catch the man in the flesh at the Kings Cross Hotel, performing at one of the mighty FBi Social gigs that have plugged the gaping hole in Sydney’s live music scene! The night will be an epic journey into the life of one of this country’s promising hip hop artists…. And that my friends is a fact.

People elsewhere can head to the Chance Waters site to catch a gig near you! Be quick though as there ain’t many dates left.

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Walk of Shame Greats

Walk of Shame Greats

Thank all of you guys for sticking with the Walk of Shame over the last 100 posts. Through the blog and the show at Bondi Fm I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people, some mighty fine musicians and damn fine gigs.

When there are so many other music blogs out there it’s great to think you take the time to pass by this little corner of the internet and hang out for a while. It has been an honour to bring you some brilliant music from around the world. I had no idea when I started this with Mr Timmy Magic that it would go so far:

Pickwick gave us our first American flag, with the inspirational Chris Assaad flying the Maple Leaf high for Canadians. Closer to home it has been an absolute delight to chat with the mighty Charlie Mayfair, the beautiful Julia Stone, and the breath taking TigerTown who played live for us after travelling for miles to get here. Between them they make up just a few of the brilliantly talented musicians and bands that have come through the Bondi Fm studio for breakfast.

If you like the last 100 posts be sure to help get the word out by sharing the links of jumping on facebook and hitting the like button, or join the conversation on our twitter stream to put in new music recommendations or requests.

The next 100 posts are sure to be just as exciting so keep on reading on. I will be working harder to bring you the best new Australian music and continue to flirt with our international musical neighbours to make the Walk of Shame an exciting music meeting place, with the radio show as your musical soundtrack for the weekend.

Thanks again and big love!

Ben xx

 

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