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Ravers Rock My Style… The AOR That Haim Forgot.


Genres come and go, and right now nothing seems deader than the dreaded trip hop. The once beating heart created by the likes of Portishead, Tricky and Massive Attack has been crushed to death by 1000 or more albums with the words “ultimate chill out” in their title. Ultimate Bore would seem more appropriate.

Another genre that has languished unforgiven since 1977 is soft rock or west coast AOR, although that one has chugged away, unseen and unloved, with scant regard to fashion. Christopher Cross, Lee Ritenour, Kenny G etc all have considered good taste and recognition unimportant alongside their multi-platinum discs. There is some sort of resurgence in the “Yacht Rock” scene (Poolside and Classixx), and in the palpable Fleetwood Mac worship of Ladyhawke, Haim, Daft Punk and Breakbot, but on the whole we aren’t tripping out to George Benson and Mike Post yet.

So by rights a combination of the two shouldn’t get us far.

And yet the new Zero 7 single (featuring Tom Leonard on at least the B side and maybe more) defies the gut feeling and sounds just like sunset on Ibiza. Or Huntington Beach. Especially this dub. Enjoy.



-TH

Chillin’ Poolside



Poolside is the 3rd album release from Melbourne’s two man hip hop crew, Low Budget.

“Cos when I’m dead instead of being laid in a grave we paid a taxidermist to stuff my corpse and put it on stage and press play I hate to say but it’d be a better stage show then acts around today”

In this day and age, the temptation of a no risk, no frills digital release lures the majority of independent hip hop artists away from the costs of putting out physical product. Low Budget bucked the trend with Poolside by offering a bunch of options that, had they been signed to a label, would have been shot down by cold, hard, P&L logic. I guess that’s the beauty of making music because you love it and not because you need it to feed you, you get to do what you want. Digipak CD, Cassette tape (yes!) and Vinyl the colour of Fiji water – Low Budget have you covered. Available in very limited quantities and all with varied track lists they tempted the collector in me to pry open my wallet and part with my hard earned dollars for each format.

Australian Hip Hop is a funny beast. A handful of groups break through and top sales charts with get up festival anthems, a tonne of others sit awkwardly on Triple J playlists, bookended between Indie Band A and B. Very few feel natural though and fewer still have that hard to define hip hop essence, that (for lack of a less ethereal, less pretentious noun) flavour.

Low Budget have that in abundance. Ignoring the world wide hip hop standard of fleshing out an album with guest bars from the hottest somebody and buying a bunch of beats by the checklist of must have producers, Low Budget are strictly in house. Producer/Dj Debonair P has created an albums worth of beats that sound like he has restricted his digging to 80’s funk and programmed them all whilst downing daiquiris at the yacht club – big bouncy synth bass and loose drums, cheesy guitar and tonnes and tonnes of cuts. Each track is sequenced so that it flows into the next, almost mixtape style.

Gentleman Gene handles all the mic duties, no guests. Refreshing and never stale, his subject matter is always good times, tongue in cheek. His wit and delivery are sharp and on point, his accent unashamedly Australian but far from awkward or grating.

Poolside is a solid, consistent album; everything from the artwork, song titles and production complement each other – you get the sense that they had a vision for the album long before they committed to tape.

Low Budget proudly walk to the beat of their own drum - Find Poolside and their past releases at http://www.gentlemansrelief.bigcartel.com/





-Mez