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News October 27, 2015

Five acts creating big noise at BIGSOUND

Former Editor

Strung across 14 live venues in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, 140 bands descended on BIGSOUND over the past two days and nights, making this year’s three-day music industry conference the biggest yet. BIGSOUND wraps up today and with the hangover of its indelible live segment hanging over the last few panel discussions, TMN has listed five acts that are on everyone’s lips.


It’s any wonder these three Newtown workhorses were at first hesitant to sign a contract. After releasing their self-titled EP earlier this year and selling out their very first national tour – basically off the back of heartbreakingly iridescent single Delete – Mason, Tommy and Johnny have featured in NME in the UK, been touted by Blur’s Dave Rowntree and attracted label and agency interest from the other side of the Atlantic. DMA’s showcases this week were deafening loud, packed out, and just like their EP, left no room for banter. And so what if they sound like early Oasis and the way Tommy shakes his tambourine is reminiscent of Bez in the Happy Mondays? A moving melody delivered with splintered vulnerability and backbone is a renegade amongst the influx of overexposed music today.

Tkay Maidza

Earlier this year, this young Zimbabwe-born, Adelaide-based emcee signed a record deal with Universal; since then she released her official debut single U-Huh – co-written and produced by her touring DJ Elk – and is almost ready to release a debut album. Overseas comparisons will be drawn to arguably Australia’s most popular female rapper of the minute, Iggy Azalea; but aside from her self-professed ’ego’, that’s where comparisons end. Maidza’s penchant for EDM and rapid-fire palate-clicking puts her in a space of her own creation. Performing tracks like the Bok Bok-produced Finish Them and triple j favourites like U-Huh and Brontosaurus, it’s clear Maidza is primed for an overseas jaunt, for if she can win over an industry audience against all odds, at just 18-years-old, then she’s only half done proving her worth.


Last month the independent Melburnian rockers signed to UK booking agency 13 Artists, home to Radiohead, The Stone Roses, Arctic Monkeys and fellow Australian band Tame Impala, and on Wednesday this week local independent music publisher Native Tongue inked them to a worldwide deal. Since ditching their previous moniker The Boo Hoos in 2012, Apes have since been given nods of approval by BBC Radio 1 hosts Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens, supported UK acts Royal Blood and Band Of Skulls during their national stints and performed to packed venues at their single launch shows in Melbourne and Sydney. With so much praise coming out of the UK, it’s apposite Apes have lined up a four-date tour there next month, taking in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham, and if their showcase at the triple j Unearthed stage at Oh Hello! was anything to go by, Britain’s live scene is set to be humbled.


Since taking out triple j’s Unearthed Artist of the Year award last year, the Melbourne emcee has performed in all corners of Australia with producers Sensible J and Dutch, including festival slots on Falls and The Hills are Alive, released his debut full-length Raw X Infinity and supported Joey Bada$$ on his debut Australian tour – all while holding down a day job and driving his mum’s Yaris. Perhaps it was his two nominations for this year’s Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards (Best Independent Hip Hop Album and Best Breakthrough Independent Artist) or his shortlisting for the brand’s Global Music Grant that sent his delivery into overdrive, but his headline set at The Rev last night came straight out of the late ’80s boom-bap era. Undoubtedly, REMi will return to Melbourne with a handful of agency and label offers.


When the 20-year-old Melbourne producer released Help Me Out, the first taste of his debut album Post-Nature, in June, it was clear he’d been toiling in the psychedelic underground. Muffled vocal effects, quirky strings straight out of a dusty speakeasy and building epicenters of organised synth violence are just some of the effects he uses to sweeten what is, at its core, a seraphic melody. This week Help Me Out was nominated in the Best Independent Dance/Electronica Single category at the AIR Awards and his showcase of blanketing abstractions following Left. and Lower Spectrum at The Brightside saw the room shudder.


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