27 Mar The Australian Take Over
The sudden widespread appearance of Australian music producers has taken some by surprise, as it has appeared almost overnight. As one of the latest influxes of talent into the electronic scene, this Australian faction has used the all-encompassing reach of the internet to spread their music far and wide. And people are listening. Australian producers and groups are rapidly gaining in popularity, with artists like Flume, Hermitude, and Ta-Ku rising to the top of the heap.
The spread of Flume’s success is in part due to the adoption of one of his tracks by Toonami’s Adult Swim, although he already has a number one album in Australia, and is set for greater success as his music crosses oceans to reach a more international audience. Flume is part of the vanguard of young musicians making music in their bedrooms. To many, he represents artists writing what they want, finding fans that will embrace it in niche markets, which in turn leads to mainstream success. Flume’s music has a freshness to it, in a music scene where it feels rare to encounter new talent actually trying something new, rather than repeating patterns and styles that have already been established by other artists. Flume’s music feels unavoidably upbeat and high energy, even, dare I say it, jolly?
Hermitude’s background as a group of multi-instrumentalists shines through in their work, allowing them to understand and embrace the value of all the instruments that their work employs. Music today seems to fall into two categories; on the one hand there is the popular, which is so easily accessible that it inevitably becomes bland and humdrum. On the other, there is the high-concept stuff that no one, possibly not even the artists themselves, understands. Hermitude, however, manage to walk the fine line between the two, expertly combining different genres and influences, creating a truly original sound. The album leaps across boundaries, utilising the wide array of skills at their disposal to create sophisticated music which is, almost paradoxically, incredibly listener-friendly. Far from chasing established or up-and-coming trends, Hermitude seem happy just doing their own thing.
Ta-Ku’s music has a deep richness to it. The opening moments of ‘Songs to Break Up To’, consisting solely of piano and percussion, point to the emotional and technical depth that is available to electronic music, but which is often ignored in the drive to make easily accessible, commercially successful sounds. Ta-Ku explores the darker, quieter underbelly of electronic music which we don’t see, or rather hear, enough of. Because electronic music is mostly, confined to clubs, it is rare to find an artist fully engaging with it in a way that Ta-Ku’s emotion-heavy music does. Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom, and Ta-Ku manages to achieve the same ecstatic highs as the competition, but there’s more room for the build-up, making the pay off, when it eventually arrives, that much more absorbing and exciting.
Fans today want more from electronic music than just repetitive sounds and beats that they can move to. They want something that they can engage with, something that does what music is really meant to do; make the listener really feel something. It could be that the laid-back, accepting and generally happy attitude associated with Australians, and by extension their music, is behind the sudden rise of these artists here, as well as in their native lands. More likely, it’s the fact that these producers and artists are working to forge their own path, rather than simply following the trends set by the mainstream success of their American and British forerunners.
Written by Freddie Rochez.