The cream of the crop.
Friday is here, which means it’s release day for a bunch of artists at home and around the world. With so many hot releases out there to tuck into, we’ve compiled some of the best to present to you for the weekend.
This week, we’re taking you to the dancefloor with two thumping new releases from electro dons Bicep and Logic1000, one of Australia’s best emerging producers today, plus new music from Jarryd James, Rhye and an expanded reissue of Australian blues master Chris Wilson’s seminal live album Live at the Continental.
This week’s top picks
- Bicep – Isles
- Logic1000 – You’ve Got The Whole Night To Go EP
- Jarryd James – P.M.
- Rhye – Home
- Chris Wilson – Live at the Continental (Vinyl Reissue)
Check out last week’s picks for the best new music you need in your ears over here.
Bicep – Isles
More than a decade after the duo first made waves in online dance circles with their Feel My Bicep blog and the slew of remixes that followed suit, Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBriar have now shared Isles; their second full-length effort to be released under the Bicep moniker. While void of the instant rave anthems that peppered their 2017 debut like ‘Glue’ and ‘Opal’, Isles is no sophomore slump – it’s a vivid, forward-thinking effort that pulls upon electronic influences far and wide to create a record perfectly suited for club soundsystems and headphones alike.
Many of the same synths and drum machines that featured heavily on Bicep’s debut still get a good look in across Isles, but the duo’s approach to production has evolved significantly in the past years. On tracks like ‘Cazenove’ and the epic closer ‘Hawk’, flangers drench the hi-hats to create a shuffling stereo spread in the mix, while the sweeping pads that cut through the middle of ‘Saku’ help to add momentum to the swung drums and pulsing vocal samples that swell beneath.
Isles also marks the first time Bicep have employed the assistance of vocalists on a full-length effort, and it’s a decision that certainly works in the record’s favour – as subtle as they may be, the contributions of Julia Kent and Clara La San to ‘Rever’ and ‘X’ help to balance out the duo’s electronic wizardry with a unique human element, with La San also popping up again for a standout feature on album highlight ‘Saku’. Essential listening for any electronic producer.
Logic1000 – You’ve Got The Whole Night To Go EP
After 2020 saw her relocate to Berlin and captivate the electronic world with ‘Perfume’ and remixes for the likes of Caribou, Christine & The Queens and Don Tolliver, Samantha Poulter – AKA Logic1000 – has stepped out with her first release of 2021, You’ve Got The Whole Night To Go. It’s a short, four-track EP that draws on the fundamentals of house and techno and repackages them into four tracks packed with unexpected twists and turns, reaffirming Poulter’s status as one of the most exciting names in dance music today.
The rollicking kicks and layered vocal samples of ‘Like My Way’ set a tremendous tone for the project, while the rave-ready ‘I Won’t Forget’ kicks things into overdrive with its filtered M1 pianos, bouncing bassline and syrupy R&B sample. Meanwhile, the synth melody that zig-zags throughout the mix of ‘Medium’ recalls classic Balearic beat, before EP closer ‘Her’ tops things off with a nasty mix of sub-rattling bass, squelchy acid bass and polyrhythmic percussion.
Despite clocking in at 18 minutes, You’ve Got The Whole Night To Go carries more substance and confidence than most projects that run double its length. It’s a sensational EP that poises Logic1000 as a potential new heavy-hitter in the scene, and we’re already frothing for more.
Jarryd James – P.M.
Six years after the breakout success of ‘Do You Remember’, Brisbane’s Jarryd James returns today with P.M. – a hazy, introspective release recorded around the world with the likes of Clams Casino, Andrew Wyatt and M-Phazes. Drawing on a contemporary R&B sound reminiscent of acts like 6LACK and Jeremih, James exudes confidence and inspiration across the album’s adventurous nine track runtime, resulting in a release that easily overcomes any possible notion of a sophomore slump.
Driven by a thumping breakbeat and soft bedrock of synthesises, ‘Problems’ laces James’ vocals in warbling autotune to create a stark contrast with his previous works, while ‘Don’t Forget’ layers harmonies atop of harmonies to result in an intriguing minor-major shift that serves as one of the album’s standout moments.
Meanwhile, the ebbing synths and pitched vocal refrain of ‘Let It Go’ – created in the Nicaraguan jungle with M-Phazes – also forms a major highlight of P.M., as does ‘Overdue’, a smokey cut produced by frequent Frank Ocean collaborator Malay that bears all the hallmarks of his woozy soundscapes heard across Blonde and channel ORANGE. It’s good to have James back in such fine form, and fingers crossed it doesn’t take another six years to hear what else he’s working on.
Rhye – Home
Toronto alternative R&B group Rhye made a name for themselves with 2013’s Her: a sensual, down-tempo debut that saw the duo’s sound compared to neo-soul trailblazer Sade. Three albums later – and after the departure of producer Rohin Hannibal – Rhye, now solely the project of lead singer Mike Milosh, has released Home: a record informed by minimalist arrangements, subtle grooves, and deeply moving songwriting to make for one of Milosh’s best projects to date.
Sweeping cellos and a shuffling drum loop sit beneath Milosh’s falsetto on ‘Safeword’ to make for one of the album’s most accessible cuts, while the hushed guitars and rising strings of ‘Need A Lover’ almost recall the more tender moments of Jeff Buckley’s back catalogue. ‘Come In Closer’ and ‘Hold You Down’, on the other hand, serve up some of Home’s more danceable moments, with Milosh making use of vintage drum machines and muted basslines to underscore the pang of his vocal performances.
Now four records in, Milosh seems to have hit his groove while working as Rhye, and it’s the sheer strength of his songwriting and production across Home that speaks for itself here.
Chris Wilson – Live At The Continental
A trailblazer for Australian blues and roots, Chris Wilson was a true force of nature onstage – whether playing solo or with the likes of Paul Kelly, Diesel, Hunters & Collectors or X, Wilson’s talent was immediately apparent, and resulted in many a captivating performance along the way.
One such performance in 1994 was recorded and released as the live album Live At The Continental, with the album now being reissued on yellow and black vinyl today in light of what would have been his 65th birthday to honour the legacy of the Australian great.
Expanded with an additional eight tracks recorded at the iconic Greville Street venue, Live At The Continental serves as a wonderful showcase of the talents of Wilson and his compatriots, guitarist Shane O’Mara and pianist Jex Saarelaht. It’s jam-packed with standards like ‘The Sky Is Crying’ and the passionate ‘Rose Tattoo’, while the jazzy ‘Landlocked’ serves as a eye-popping display of instrumental virtuosity.
However, it’s on opening track ‘You Will Surely Love Again’ that serves as the true standout here, with Wilson’s belting vocal performance acting as a bittersweet reminder of just how powerful of a performer he really was in his prime. All-in-all, Live At The Continental is a quintessential release for any Aussie blues and roots enthusiast, and it’s a record that’ll warrant many a re-listen.
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