NEW MUSIC: Million Square – First Block


Million Square (UK) released their new EP Spirit Bloom last month and one of the highlights is this track, ‘First Block’. Glitchy, effervescent, sparkly notes dart between the speakers above frantic scattershot beats. It’s IDM music but when a haunting, romantic saxophone enters the fray it takes on a new, jazz-leaning vibe and it works wonderfully.

London-based electronic duo, Million Square features double-bassist Max Luthert and saxophonist Duncan Eagles, who citing influences as diverse as Autechre and John Coltrane,  expertly blend the sounds of acoustic and electronic instruments.

ALBUM REVIEW: Forest Swords – Engravings

forest swords

This is Matthew Barnes’ first album on Ninja Tunes and if anyone thought that might mean a softening of his more caustic edges then they are mistaken.

Primarily instrumental electronic music, the vocals that do appear are generally spliced and twisted into choirs, like machines speaking in tongues. These are digital compositions but he still retains a primitive, organic percussive base to his sound.

Less dub-influenced than on Engravings (2013), Compassion still possesses the disorientating, otherworldly psychedelic patina that he coats his music in. It’s an often impressive and immersive exercise in ancient futurism that works both as an imagined soundtrack and a transportive headphone experience.

Chris Familton


NEW MUSIC: Ben Frost | Venter


Ben Frost is one of those unique composers working in the electronic realm who is able to harness the visceral nature of music. His tools are synthetic yet he always seems to build tangible, almost organic elements into his work. Live he does the some thing, bringing a physicality to his performance as he bends and turns dials and switches. He was spellbinding at ATP in Melbourne last year and I particularly love his albums By The Throat and Theory of Machines. This track, “Venter”, comes from a new record A U R O R A, due out at the end of May on Mute/Bedroom Community. It combines skittering percussion with nightmarish sheets of static and synths, apocalyptic yet also somehow comforting amid all the sonic scree.

Favourite Electronic Albums of 2013

DS 2013 elect favesIncreasingly electronic music is reasserting itself as a viable album length genre. Sure it still thrives on the single and the remix but more and more there are albums, primarily from the UK scene, that manage to straddle the headphone and dancefloor worlds or in some cases they work most effectively as immersive home listening experiences. Here are the albums that we found ourselves returning to most often in 2013.

Special mention to Burial’s Rival Trader EP which dropped late in the year and on first listens it sounds excellent. I decided to keep this list focused on albums but Rival Trader is no doubt one of the finest releases of the year and a great way to round out 2013.


1. The Haxan Cloak – Extinction


2. DJ Koze – Amygdala


3.  Zomby – With Love


4. Forest Swords – Engravings

square-600-1 copy

5. Fat Freddy’s Drop – Blackbird


6. Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle – Perils From The Sea


7. Depeche Mode – Delta Machine


8. Special Request – Soul Music


9. Machinedrum – Vapor City


10. Atoms For Peace – Amok


11. Disclosure – Settle


12. Darkside – Psychic


13. The Field – Cupid’s Head


14. Holden – The Inheritors


15. Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind


16. Jon Hopkins – Immunity


17. Tim Hecker – Virgins


18. Daniel Avery – Drone Logic


19. Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest


20. Logos – Cold Mission

NEWS: Voting now open in the Budweiser People’s Choice Awards


A couple of weeks ago we posted about the Budweiser People’s Choice Awards, the follow-up award to their search for Australia’s top electronic DJ/Producer (the winners of both awards will be announced at the Australian Independent Music Awards on November 7th). Voting has now opened so you can hit the link below to check out the finalists across a range of genres, cast your vote and go into the draw to win a night out for four people, including flights to Sydney, five star accommodation, and VIP attendance to the Australian Independent Music Awards (AIMAs).

Fingers crossed that the public sense of good taste prevails and we get something great like this rather than generic, nauseating pulp like this winning the award.


NEWS: The Australian Budweiser People’s Choice 2013 for rising electronic producers


We are always keen to see musicians given the opportunity to receive grants, scholarships and awards so it it great to see that following the recent Budweiser Producer/DJ of the Year Award the brewing giant is again throwing itself behind a another competition to find the best of Australia’s rising producers. This time round the award is free to enter and the winners will be judged by a public vote. Electronic music in Australia seems to be gaining a lot of traction in recent years from the underground sounds of Jonti, Rites Wild and Dro Carey right through to the populist appeal of Flume so there are bound to be a ton of producers throwing submissions together for this award, especially with the range of genres including dub, house, techno, pop and hip-hop.


After submitting their best tracks for free via HERE a shortlist will be selected, from which the public will vote for their faves. The winner will receive a $5,000 DJ Warehouse voucher and exclusive studio time that will lead to a limited edition vinyl pressing of their own record.

Voters will also have a chance to win a night out for four people, including flights to Sydney, five star accommodation, and VIP attendance to the Australian Independent Music Awards (AIMAs).

Submissions are open right now and close at midnight on Sunday, October 27th ahead of voting opening from midday on Monday, October 28th and ending at midnight on Saturday, November 2nd.

The four most popular artists as voted by the public will be flown to the AIMAs on November 7th, where the Budweiser People’s Choice 2013 will be announced.