WAFIA SHARES NEW SINGLE ’83 DAYS’

Photo taken by Ta-ku.

Australian vocalist and songwriter Wafia returns with her new single ’83 Days’, which premiered on triple j’s Good Nights with Linda Marigliano. Co-written with Ben Abraham and produced by Toro, ’83 Days’ is the is her first solo release since her debut XXIX EP in 2015 and the first track from her forthcoming EP set for release via Future Classic in 2017.

Wafia says of the song, “This song comes after someone I love wouldn’t stay. I developed an obsession with noting down the ways their absence was so loud and present. How intangible they had become. How intangible the memories I was left with are. How I reminisce on only the highest points of the situation that I know were so bad for me. How something that ceased to exist anymore could be felt constantly.

83 Days’ is the most recent release from the 23 year old Netherlands born, Brisbane-based Wafia Al-Rikabi, which follows the collaborative (m)edian EP with label mate Ta-ku and the duo’s subsequent world tour. Watch their performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert here.
83 Days’ is out now via Future Classic.

ALDOUS HARDING RELEASES NEW ALBUM PARTY

Aldous Harding has released her second album, Party, via 4AD / Remote Control Records.

Aldous Harding’s music is not for the faint of heart. Disarming in its desolate imagery and stark instrumentation, her songs draw from the core facets of life: death, birth, grief and love. There are few happy endings, but the power is in how Harding enters into battle; with a dancer’s grace and a boxer’s stance. She’s known for her sinister torch songs, gentle laments and eerie odes delivered with a charismatic combination of hubris, shrewd wit and quiet horror.

For her 4AD debut, Aldous (real name Hannah) Harding worked with award-winning producer John Parish (PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse). First single ‘Horizon’ offers an enticing portrayal of that collaboration. Harding wraps her effortless voice around a simple three-chord skeleton with poise and, at times, near violent intensity. The confrontational accompanying video, directed by Charlotte Evans, and produced by Evie Mackay, features Harding’s own mother performing a transfixing blend of Aikido and physical theatre in the New Zealand hinterland.

Latest single, ‘Imagining My Man’ is an intensely intimate listen as Aldous explores the curiosity of a lover’s idiosyncrasies. The video was created by ‘Horizon’ director Charlotte Evans and once again draws focus on Harding, tracking her movements throughout the city of Auckland.

With echoes of folk luminary Linda Perhacs, Harding’s work is one step removed from the modern world, lying in the more savage and dramatic terrain where Kate Bush and Scott Walker reside, wrought with a wry wit and tenacious gall. Party is Aldous Harding at her unnervingly best yet.

Aldous Harding – Party

1. Blend
2. Imagining My Man
3. Living The Classics
4. Party
5. I’m So Sorry
6. Horizon
7. What If Birds Aren’t Singing They’re Screaming
8. The World Is Looking For You
9. Swell Does The Skull

VALLIS ALPS RELEASE FABLE EP

The Sydney via Canberra/Seattle electronic duo, Vallis Alps, today share their Fable EP. Independently released, the EP is made up of an eclectic collection of songs that vary in tempo, tone and subject matter including previously shared singles ‘Fading‘ and ‘East‘, along with two new tracks ‘Run‘ and ‘Serity‘. Listen below:

David Ansari and Parissa Tosif of Vallis Alps say, “Our first EP was a body of work that contained reflections that were centred around the past; memories, dreams, surreal forces in our lives. The Fable EP takes on a more forward-looking outlook. We wrote it with the intention of conveying a crossroads in life, where you realise the beauty of youth and the lessons it can teach your older self. Each song is a concept that shows a snapshot of where we are in our lives and the things we are currently thinking and learning about; risk, courage, the power of the mind, joy, battling the ego and fear.”

This is the second EP from the pair who were first made known for their self-titled debut release in Jan 2015. With no initial following or team behind them, Vallis Alps topped charts, received heavy radio airplay and toured the world playing festivals and sold out headline shows.

In 2017, the pair have completed sold out tours in North America and Australia and are set to return to the states for their second run of shows alongside their debut US festival set at Lightning In A Bottle, Splendour In The Grass in July and a headline show in London in August. See dates and details below.

WORLD TOUR DATES

Mar 31 – Fat Controller – Adelaide, SA (SOLD OUT)
Apr 1 – Jack Rabbit Slims – Perth, WA (SOLD OUT)
Apr 2 – Jack Rabbit Slims – Perth, WA (SOLD OUT)
Apr 8 – The Metro – Sydney, NSW (SOLD OUT)
Apr 9 – The Metro – Sydney, NSW (SOLD OUT)
May 15 – Metro Gallery – Baltimore, MD (TIX)
May 16 – Spirit Lodge – Pittsburgh, PA (TIX)
May 17 – Hi Fi – Indianapolis, IN (TIX)
May 19 – Masquerade – Atlanta, GA (TIX)
May 20 – Gasa Gasa – New Orleans, GA (TIX)
May 22 –The Secret Group – Houston, TX (TIX)
May 23 – Mohawk – Austin, TX (TIX)
May 24 – Three Links – Dallas, TX (TIX)
May 26 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ (TIX)
May 27 – Constellation Room – Santa Ana, CA (TIX)
May 28 – Lightning In A Bottle Music & Arts Festival – Bradley, CA (TIX)
July 21-23 – Splendour In The Grass – Byron Bay, NSW
Aug 30 – Omeara – London, U.K. (TIX)

Tickets at vallisalps.com/live

A L L D A Y

After a slew of mixtapes, Allday has a healthy back catalogue to reflect on as he preps his hotly anticipated debut LP Startup Cult. The Adelaide-to-Melbourne emcee is fresh off a sold out tour with Sydney act Jackie Onassis, admist the whirlwind that is his rapidly growing career we had a chat with Allday to discuss the new album, what he has learned from putting out so many mixtapes, his growth as an artist, and more.

How are you feeling about the album release?

Yeah I’m pretty nervous I guess. I guess because the music is a bit different from some of my other music that people know. So like I could have given them a bit of an easier pop tune but I just made an album that I really like, I did the best I could at the time. I’m pretty psyched. I just got to believe in it!

You’ve put out so many mixtapes in the past. Has all this experience with putting out constant material helped with the process of making Startup Cult?

I think it was a bit detrimental [laughs]. Even though I’ve been rapping for awhile and I know how to craft a song on paper and rap a verse into the microphone, I was kind of lacking in the area of perfectionism and my understanding about audio quality; all these things that you really have to start thinking about if you’re going to make an album that’s comparable to other artists who you want to rival in the industry, like successful ones. That was a process I had to learn when this album started, because there was a lot of stress getting there. I feel like towards the end of the album I started to understand it a lot better.

What are some of the main lessons you learned during the recording process that you feel is going to help you in your career?

Well I think number one is like it doesn’t matter how long it takes, as long as it sounds good. I would often get really stressed and go through all these stages of grief while I was recording, but by the end I was like ‘oh man, don’t get so bummed about it, just keep going.’

Another one I learned was that if you do something you hate and you know you don’t like it, don’t think that you’ll like it later – you’ll hate it forever and not let it go. Just go off instincts.

Also EVERYTHING is your responsibility; handle your shit!

Do you wish you knew all that before you started putting out mixtapes or are you happy with how everything has gone?

Yeah for sure, some people have like older people, who can help them in and school them, but I guess you can only learn at your own pace. I don’t regret anything, but part of me just wishes I could have put in the same effort into everything I’ve done.

What do you feel are some of the benefits from having had so many mixtapes? I know you’ve said in the past that there are a lot of tracks that you don’t like yourself, but do you see some positive in it?

Yeah, I mean there was a lot of tracks for people to grab from. Some people might like five or six of my songs, and all five or six of those would be songs which I fucking hate. But something about that group of songs has really appealed to them. So that could kind of go in the different kind of sub-genres that I mess around with. Hopefully with this album they can still like all the music though, but the mixtapes was definitely a way to draw people in. So that was kind of the cool thing, and not having to keep people waiting like three years for an album because people have a short attention span these days. I know that myself, like bands I listened to three years ago I’d tend to forget about.

What kind of bands are you listening to at the moment?

I’m listening to heaps of PARTYNEXTDOOR right now – I really like that dude. The new Ed Sheeran album is really cool. I just re-downloaded all The Vines stuff, I used to listen to them a lot when I was young. And Future as well; I really like his album!

You’ve said that you draw a lot of your influences from American artists. Has the evolution of your sound mirrored the changes in commercial music over there?

Right now I know what kind of sound I want to make, and I always listen to that type of music. Since I started recording rap, I still listen to the same things as I did back then, but I’d just rap on anything. Rapping to me was more about the experience of getting to write my stuff down and standing in front of a microphone because that was fun. Only now am I getting to take more control of it all, so I can control the sound I want to make. Hopefully I can make something that’s interesting in it’s own right and has it’s own sound.

What kind of topics do you deal with on the Startup Cult?

Just like adjusting to this life, and my current situations. I’m away a lot from home touring and all that kind of stuff. It’s a lot less about high school and all that now; just kind of the stage of life I’m in – early 20’s and all that.

You have a very honest and open approach to social media. How important do you feel it is for up and coming artists to be as involved with social media as you have been?

Sometimes my lack of mystery can work against me, and some artists use that mystery really well! But I guess, with being myself, it works because it’s good for people to get to know me, and I hope it helps them enjoy the music a bit more as well.

You recently had a mobile listening party in Sydney and Melbourne. How did you come up with the idea of having a listening party on a private bus?

I originally wanted to just like get a car and pick people up but then thought about how we could make it bigger. So then we just got some fans onto a bus and drove them around; we got a bunch of selfies and they would call their friends and all that. I just wanted to thank them all for being such legends.

I’ve never been someone who has been made super cool by all the scenester blogs and all that, so it’s always been the fans, it’s always been about the fans over everything. So let’s not do a small listening party with bloggers, let’s do a fan bus listening party!

At the time I was like ‘these guys didn’t have fun,’ but then I would go on instagram after and read people saying it was the best day of their life and all that. Giving people that really cool experience was great, hopefully for some people they can have that memory forever.

Your profile is growing at a tremendous rate. Do you feel that once you get bigger as an artist you’d still have time for intimate events like this?

I hope so man, I hope we can do it to some degree. There would definitely be a level when it would get too much. I spend a lot of hours everyday replying to fans, I’m really happy to do that, but I can’t reply to everyone. I have thousands of messages and I can’t get to everyone, it really breaks my heart. That’s why I’m trying to move onto things like the bus idea, like not everyone will get to go but some people will get the chance to have an experience way better than getting a reply.

So you said that you have learned to not stick with songs that you don’t really like as you have done in the past. Do you feel like we will be getting the same level of output from you in the future?

I don’t know if it’ll be as fast as I was going with the mixtapes. I like putting out a lot of free music, but now when I drop a new link on the internet you know it’ll be something worth playing; that’s what I want for my music now.

If I see like an artist who I like drop a song on their social media channel then I don’t want it to be a half-hearted song, I want it to be something I’d put on repeat.

I’ve got a bunch of songs that I’m sitting on at the moment that I want to put out for free but I’m not going to, not until I get one that I really like.

This interview can be found on the AU review.

https://soundcloud.com/alldaychubbyboy/cult-prod-jord-levus

A N D R A S + O S C A R

Melbourne’s purveyors of “polite” house music talk the art of subtle persuasion, late-night table tennis and being vulnerable. Andras & Oscar sit somewhere toward the lighter side of Melbourne’s dance-music spectrum.

“Our music isn’t clubby, or rave-y”, says Andras, real name Andy Wilson. “It’s polite. If it persuades you, it does it gently.”

The duo’s debut full album may bear the name Cafe Romantica – after Lygon Street’s 24/7 Italian venue for late-night tête-à-têtes – but don’t get the wrong idea. This is not the duo throwing you onto a bed and having their way with you; this is them mixing you a Campari and soda and gently grazing your arm as they hand it over with a longing look.

Both individually successful in their own right as Andras Fox and Oscar Key Sung (real name: Oscar Slorach-Thorn), the pair decided it was onto a good thing after the critical success of its 2013 EP Embassy Cafe, released on Dutch label Dopeness Galore. One year on, Cafe Romantica is casual and synth based, with Andras’ pared-back production delicately balancing out Oscar’s pleading vocals. The duo’s sounds are soulful yet nervous, and always oozing leisure.

But if it’s not ripping up dance floors, what do Andras & Oscar envision people doing while listening to their music?

Slorach-Thorn suggests, “Having wines with four friends, making fun of mutual friends and having a little dance while doing it.” Wilson takes a different route, recommending seduction as the ideal activity. Just not for him.

“That would be a funny thing to do – trying to seduce someone by playing your own music. Hopefully we have better moves … actually ‘moves’ implies there’s some sort of trick to it … ”

“I would say I have the moves,” Slorach-Thorn says.

Moves or no moves, the pair set out to make a romantic album. Even admitting this fact sets Andras & Oscar apart from their more club-focused and up-tempo dance music peers. It has helped them to create a niche for themselves in the Australian music scene.

Wilson and Slorach-Thorn discovered their simpatico while living in a West Melbourne warehouse together a few years ago.

“Table tennis was a big part of it,” says Wilson.

“We’d both go out to a party on Saturday night and then at like 12.30am we’d both be back at home … wearing our dressing gowns and making music and playing table tennis instead of partying.”

This scene sounds like the ideal environment for creating Andras & Oscar’s music, most of which is improvised.

“A lot of it happens in call and response, or on the spot,” says Wilson, “That’s when we make the best music.”

Despite claiming he’s never felt quite comfortable within either the dance music or band worlds, it’s clear that both have warmly accepted Wilson’s output through Andras & Oscar, and what better proof than being selected to appear on Cut Copy’s recent compilation Oceans Apart; a comprehensive who’s who of Melbourne’s underground dance music scene.

“I actually used to think that dance music was for dumb people,” says Wilson, “But it’s fun being dumb, I’ve realised.”

“Although I think I have a really skewed perception of what is dance music – the most clubby songs I’ve written always get put on Best-of-Chill-Out-Ibiza-type compilations.”

This interview can be found on Broadsheet.

B A S E N J I

The newest addition to the Astral People family is Basenji, a producer who thrives in the middle ground between niche genres. With only a few songs to his name thus far, the Sydney-sider’s homemade blend of eclectic percussion and R&B-inspired melodies has already turned heads all over Australia, clocking up countless plays on Triple J and community radio stations around the country. The 21-year-old producer had a chat with us as our Monday Muse.

  1. How did Basenji come about?

I’ve been interested and working with music since I was maybe fourteen or fifteen, I think in the past year or so I started to take it seriously and treat it more than a hobby, and now I’m basically working full time with it.

 

  1. What were you doing before you created/began producing as Basenji?

I was making music with Wave Racer. That was something we did coming out of high school and while we were at university. We met each other in year seven and we’ve always been interested in the same things so it made sense to work together.

 

  1. You’ve been known to thrive in the middle ground between niche genres, which genres are your favourite to work with?

I don’t really think about genres at all. Genres exist to make things easier so you get a better idea of music. I really ever work towards genres and I feel like songs targeted towards genres aren’t really songs I’m interested in. it more about how soundscapes and textures work together, those are things that I’m more interested in.

 

  1. You’ve been announced to take the stage at this year’s Beyond the Valley festival, what can we expect to see during your set?

For me it’s a while away so I haven’t even thought about the songs I’ll be playing. Usually when I play a set I try to do a good balance between the songs people like with songs that they might not have heard yet. For me I’ll be putting a lot of my own music off the EP and stuff that no ones heard, which makes me a little nervous.

 

  1. Your talent has been described as colourful and chaotic brand of songwriting, would you agree with this statement?

Yeah I suppose, I’ve always considered a lot of my tracks to be quite busy. I guess colourful is the right word.

 

  1. You’re best buds with the likes of Wave Racer and some of the Cosmo’s Midnight guys, can we see any upcoming collaborations between you?

We have a whole lot of stuff we’ve been working on together. The hard thing is just finding the time to finish it off. We’ll continue working together though.

 

  1. You’ve recently becoming the newest addition to the Astral People family, how did that come about? Have you always wanted to work with them?

Yeah, they’re the best. I’ve met them a while before they started managing me. I remember when I first heard of them at a party, I kinda already became attached to them because they were kinda dealing with artists that I never thought id see in Sydney and that I always thought was a really nice quality. That I think what got me really interested in what they were doing.

 

  1. What can we see from Basenji in 2015?

There will be an EP hopefully at the start of the year. There will also be a few tours but everything is still up in the air.

 

  1. You’re a fresh young talent on the Australian electronic music scene; can you suggest any upcoming artists you’re into right now?

I’ve been listening to the Taylor Swift album right now, but I don’t wanna say that. I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff, there’s a dude called Murlo, he just released an EP called Into Mist. The music video’s just been released online and it’s already about to blow up on the music scene.

https://soundcloud.com/futureclassic/basenji-heirloom

 

 

 

R A C H E L G U Y

With the winter months well on their way, it’s no doubt hard to stay fit and motivated. We had a chat with Australia’s Leading Female Trainer, Rachel Guy, to find out the best ways to stay motivated and in shape during the winter chill.

 

During the winter months how do you keep yourself motivated to stay fit?

Motivation is internal. I also spend time with like-minded people and ensure I still see my trainer every week so I don’t deviate off the path! My membership site was purposely build to keep people ON TRACK year round which eventually becomes a lifestyle.

 

Where are the best places to train during winter?

Well regardless of the time of year, my preference is always lifting weights so in the gym!

 

What are your favourite fitness exercises at the moment?

Deadlifting, Dumbell Shoulder Pressing and Sprinting

 

How often would you recommend training for those of us working full time? Is it better to train before or after a long day of work?

40-50mins of solid work is more than enough if you are lifting weights. 20mins if you are doing interval training. Most people spend too long in the gym doing exercises or training inefficiently.

 

Can you share some exercises that people can easily do at home without being exposed to the winter chill?

I have a whole body weight training e-book on this but to pick my top 3 exercises I would say Squatting, Push Ups and Glute Bridges.

 

What are your three favourite workout tracks?

Hardest question ever! Depends on my mood. My favorites on my current playlist are Disturbed – Down with the Sickness, Marilyn Manson – This is the New Shit and Atreyu – Honor

 

What is the best way to recover from a day of hard training?

A good re-feed and sleep. Most trainees underestimate the importance of massage and recovery methods. A good sports massage is not pleasant!

 

During winter what are some of your preferred meals that still keep you feeling healthy and energized?

I love bone broths and a good old fashioned chicken soup! Also a massive fan of slow cooking. I often do lamb shanks or osso bucco.

 

What are your favourite brands to workout in?

Be An Athlete (BAA) or Under Armour.

 

Finally for those looking to get back to the gym, what benefits can they begin to see in their bodies with regular exercise?

I could write a book on this but here is a list of the top 10 benefits:

1)   Drop Body Fat

2)   Build Muscle

3)   Better Sex

4)   More Energy

5)   Feel better in themselves

6)   Make better food choices

7)   Improved Sleep

8)   Improved overall wellness

9)   Less injury prone with increased strength

10)  Improved self confidence