Sydney production duo Cosmo's Midnight are one of the winners of our Listen Out competition. They'll be opening the 909 stage of the festival this Saturday, September 28 at Centennial Park, Sydney.
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
We started off making cheap imitations of the music we like at the time; Justice, Deadmau5, Bagraiders, Phantoms Revenge. We loved that stuff and we just did it for fun, we never thought music would get to the level it's gotten to. At some point we decided we had to change our sound if we were going to be taken seriously. Coincidently we were listening to some pretty cool stuff at the time that led to us making the stuff we do today. People like Flylo and Purity Ring, just to name the main influences.
You’re one of the Sydney winners of our Listen Out competition and will be playing the festival at Centennial Park on Saturday, 28 September. What are you most looking forward to about Listen Out?
Seeing the amazing acts that will be playing. We love Disclosure and TNGHT respectively they're all amazing song writers and have hit that perfect level between staying true to a genre and original, but also having pop sensibilities that make them so viable in the mainstream.
What can the crowd at Listen Out expect from the Cosmo’s Midnight live show?
A brand new live set. We've got heaps of new tunes for Listen out and we're going to be playing some of them for the first time. Should be pretty cool.
Tell us about the bands, producers and people in the Australian music community that inspire you?
Mitzi, Charles Murdoch, Sable, Wave Racer, Willow Beats, Leon Osborne, Collarbones, Polographia, Jonti, Tame Impala, Pond, FISHING... there are definitely more but that's all I can think of right now.
What else is coming up for you in 2013?
More singles...maybe a free EP, some more shows and lots of producing in the bedroom. 2014 is going to be a sick year and we've got to prepare for it.
Australian music is…?
…on the up and up!View Profile Hide Interview
For a pair of producers that spend their spare time tweeting about their favourite Portuguese inspired fast food chains, and television dramas about good guys having to do bad things to pay their medical bills; when it comes to their music, it's very serious business. Check out the interview for our Unearthed feature artist this week, Perth's Slumberjack.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
F: I would describe our music as sitting snugly in the middle of a spectrum with one end being pretty clubby, beats-oriented sounds and the other comprising of what you’d find if you searched for “beautiful, relaxing piano music” on Youtube.
M: To be frank, it took a while for us to discover our style. When we started we were heavily influenced by so many great artists; it was hard to think for ourselves when all we wanted was to be just like them (lol). I guess it’s like when you are in school and joining the cool kids is all that matters. I think we’ve matured past that now and learned how to channel what we love into what we really feel.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
F: Other music! We get really excited when we hear all the amazing and interesting music being created by the other musicians out there and that really drives us to get in the studio and make our own sounds.
What can punters expect from a Slumberjack live show?
We really enjoy doing DJ sets, which pays homage to where we started in the electronic music scene, but we also have huge respect for live bands. We’re fusing both the quick nature of DJing with the more organic approach of a live performance so Slumberjack’s live show is all about adaptability. We’ve set it up in such a way that we don’t have to stick to a set list which we feel can sometimes be too rigid. Everything is interchangeable in the moment so we can judge the energy of the room and choose tracks accordingly. Morgan plays the MiniNova synth and sings into a talk-box and Fletch is all about wild flailing arm movements over on the drum machine.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
F: I loved the video Emoh did for Ableton Live School and his advice which went along the lines of: whatever genre of music you’re making, use sounds and instruments which are the polar opposite of that genre. That’s why you’ll hear a lot of world music sounds and instruments coming through our beatsy and trap-esque tunes.
M: Best advice for me was from Mr. Carmack. We had the privilege of hanging out with him whilst he was in Perth. His tip = no rules. That was a real game-changer for us. Fletch and I were all about numbers, logic and precise technicality in our production work, but after seeing the man in action, we learnt to forget what we thought we knew, and just go with the flow.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
Pretty much anything with Dofflin in the name. It’s almost impossible not to be happy listening to those sparkly records.
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Our track, Felon. Loud.
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Definitely Night Cruise’s “Say My Wat”.
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
Circo is a local gig right? A very impressive one too. It was awesome to see acts like Sable, Basenji and Chiefs play out on the pretty impressive stages they had set up and getting the attention they truly deserve.
Tell us about the bands or people in the Perth music community that inspire you.
F: We’re surrounded by a wicked community in Perth with loads of acts doing their thang. DIE HIGH, a record label and collective which started around the same time that we did have been really supportive and have brought together a lot of the musicians in Perth - at times forcing us to collaborate on music by whipping us in the studio.
M: Lab Six for sure. The fam there also started around the same the as us and it’s so inspiring to see them grow and give back to the community through classes, workshops and live streams.
What are your plans for Slumberjack in 2014?
Make more music and meet more awesome people. Hopefully it will be something that we can do for as long as we can; making a comfortable living off music is the dream!View Profile Hide Interview
Wave Racer is 19 year old Sydney producer Thomas Purcell. His music is all sunshine and synthesizers and 90s gaming systems.
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
I've been making dance music for a few years actually, but I only put my first Wave Racer tunes up online about a month ago. After making primarily sample-based house music for a long time, I became more interested in synths and sound design and decided to go in that direction with my production. I'm interested in lots of different styles of electronic music and I think my tunes reflect that. But this kind of sound is still quite new to me and it's definitely still developing.
What’s a Wave Racer live show like?
I haven't done many Wave Racer gigs yet, but I like to keep my sets pretty upbeat. I use Ableton and a couple of MIDI controllers and basically DJ using that, but it's not really the same as a normal DJ set. Ableton allows me to be a bit more flexible and I do a lot of looping/mashing/glitchy effects and stuff like that. I also change tempo a lot and try to find interesting ways to mix between styles. It's good fun, haha! I'm really looking forward to doing more shows soon.
You’re into dolphins huh? Cool! Why's that?
Yeah I like dolphins, they're cool. I don't really know why, there's just something about them I guess. They're just really majestic and graceful, haha.
Who/what are some of the biggest influences on your music and why?
Artists like Rustie, Cashmere Cat, Hudson Mohawke and Girl Unit are all massive influences because they each have such a unique approach to their production and sound design. They sound like themselves and it's hard to compare their sounds to anything else, which is refreshing. But I also draw a lot of inspiration from lesser-known producers who are making amazing music – LiL TExAS, Mr. Carmack, 813, Djemba Djemba, just to name a few. I'm also really into 70's and 80's disco and soul music. I listen to a lot of bands like Shalamar, Luther Vandross, L.T.D, The Whispers, etc – the chord progressions and melodies in that stuff, it's so feel-good, haha, I love it.
What’s coming up for you in 2013?
Loads of exciting things coming up this year – I'm already working on remixes for some awesome artists that should be coming out later this year. I've also locked in a few gigs in August that I'm really looking forward to. I should hopefully be making some new originals soon too, maybe even get an EP together. Some labels have expressed interest so we might see some official Wave Racer releases, who knows!
Australian music is…?
…taking over. Watch out!View Profile Hide Interview
Just A Gent is the moniker of 17 year old electronic producer and DJ, Jacob Grant. The young Novocastrian is one of the winners of our Listen Out competition and will be getting the party started at Listen Out Sydney this Saturday, September 27 from 2pm at the Atari Stage in Centennial Park. Punters can expect top hats and bangers.