Items filtered by date: June 2013
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 16:51

Random Soul: Happy Feelings

Throw some funk and soul into your blender, add jazzy house vibes on the side, and what’s your end product look like? Random Soul is what. 

The DJ duo of Yogi and Husky, Random Soul return to Brisbane this weekend. 

“I got brought up on a lot of '80s, a lot of disco, some really old stuff from the '50s, as well as hip hop from the '90s, so there's a very mixed vibe,” explains Husky. “What we like to put into our music, I guess, are influences from everywhere. It's pretty broad, we don't hate, that's for sure.”

The process of making their own music has always been for the love, as Husky explains. 

“It would obviously be amazing if we were in a style of music that was commercially popular and everyone was making loads of money, but with that said it probably wouldn't be as cool or as special. It's always been tough, but nothing worth having is easy to get.”

Their live shows boast a nostalgic and happy feel, and utilises a range of elements specific to the duo’s style.

“There's vocals from Yogi, and he's got his keyboard with him too. It's a pretty interactive sort of show and we'd like to think we bring a lot of energy to the stage. There’s a capellas, keys, vocals and [Yogi] plays a bit of percussion in there as well to keep things interesting.” 

Now, Random Soul are keen to explore more collaborative work with other DJs/ producers. 

“Collaborating is something we really enjoy. When Yogi and I work together we have our own formula and sound that we work with, and when you have someone else to work with they tend to bring a different dynamic, and you end up with a product that you wouldn't of necessarily had when you started. The list we'd like to collaborate with is a mile long. You could say other house guys like Miguel Migs and Joey Negro, to singers like Steve Downs.”

For the time being, it's all work and no play according to Husky.

“The label probably has the next four releases ready to go. For us it’s just heads down, and working on a whole bunch of new singles. We're also doing another EP with Dutchican Soul and Dave Mayer from Amsterdam, so it's all happening.” 

Random Soul headline Hed Kandi at Bacchus Sunday June 9.

Published in Electronic
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 16:51

Delicacy: Actor Interview

The Brisbane Arts Theatre is bringing a daring psychological exploration of extreme human behaviour, sex and violence with its latest production 'Delicacy'.

Directed by Lucas Stibbard, written by Julian Hobba and inspired by the now infamous 'Der Metzgermeister' (The Master Butcher) case, the play stars Cameron Hurry as one of the leads and will be an intriguing, boundary-pushing evening. You have been warned.

Describe the show in 5 words?
Tense. Humorous. Confronting. Shocking. Enjoyable.

What is your role?

I play Neil. The guy who answers Denny's advertisement to eat someone.

How did you come to be part of this? Did you audition? What did that look like?
I auditioned just like everyone had to. Lucas, our director, put me well at ease. I was able to follow his direction and I knew I'd be able to work well with him. I knew I would be challenged as an actor which is what I wanted.

Do you find it confronting to be part of a story that deals with this subject matter?
When I first read the script, it was like what I was reading wasn't really happening. It was surreal, like a dream. It's set inside a home and some very private and extraordinary things happen. All this made me want to do it more as I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone.

Have there been any crazy/ weird/ awkward behind-the-scenes stories you can share?
Trying out, in full public view, how I needed to cut off a certain (fake) appendage was interesting. We needed to see how the blood looked and we were outside on the grass so we wouldn't damage the floor inside. Seeing someone shove a (stage) knife down their pants and see blood pour down their legs while five people calmly look on would have been one of the weirdest things people walking by would have seen!

Why should audiences come see this?
It's something they've never seen and very unlikely to ever see again. They'll be laughing one minute and gasping in shock the next!

Anything else our readers should know?
Don't believe the "hype". If you've read the synopsis you're expecting to see a certain type of show. So come along and leave your preconceptions at the door!

'Delicacy' is on at the Brisbane Arts Theatre until June 15.

Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 16:36

Dialectrix: Slightly Different

With the release of longplayer ‘The Cold Light Of The Day’, Sydney-based rapper Dialectrix says it’s different from anything else he has made.

“I've been making records for a while now," says Ryan Leaf aka Dialectrix. "This time around, given the fact that Plutonic Lab has done more music than I've done, he was instilling into my head that we should be trying to do something that people aren't doing. If we started to feel like we had done a sound, personally between us two, we would stop and start again. It was an effort to find a uniqueness amongst our sounds and that became a heavier aspect of the record."

Ryan says the title of the record summarises the dark time period he experienced while writing most of the lyrics for this collection of songs.

"It was a time where everyone who was involved in it were going through some drastic life changes. I lost a family member at the exact same time as the birth of my first son. The title set the tone for how a lot of the songs turned out. The album is a snapshot of that person going through that stuff. I guess it was a venting record in many regards." 

Ryan tries to keep any public input as far away from the creative process as possible, to avoid it impacting his approach to music.
"I try to detach myself from any particular followers that I may have. I don't want to know who listens to my music. I don't want to go in with an objective to make a party song, a live song, or a song for radio. I heard this quote from [the creators of] ‘South Park’ that they have no idea who watches ‘South Park’. I would like to approach music the same way, just doing it to my own standards."
Ryan has concerns about the local scene moving towards an "Australiana-pop" genre that isn’t  related to old school rap.

"A lot of the commercial artists are becoming less hip hop and are incorporating more pop. I would consider it to be Australiana-pop with a rhyme potentially on it. I'm going to try to make records to birth a reaction in people potentially going, 'hey, that guy is doing something slightly different, I'd like to be different myself'."

‘The Cold Light Of Day' is out now.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 16:29

Masta Ace: Guns, Forties And Blunts

It's two hours before Masta Ace takes the call.

"I'm sorry, man," his promoter eventually tells me after my fifth call attempt fails. "He's still in the shower - they kept bringing him back on stage at the end of the show. Call back later." I wait and wait, silently wondering who chose Masta Ace's hold music; it sounds like an electro version of 'Greensleeves', though it could just be the latest Daft Punk single. When Ace does finally answer, any feelings of annoyance I'd had suddenly wash away. The man's humbleness takes me off guard - he's genuinely apologetic, regardless of the fact he's committed no wrongdoing.

"My apologies if I sound a little off-kilter. It's 5 in the morning where I am and I'm feeling a little drowsy."

It's difficult to wrap your mind around the immense scope of Masta Ace's career. To put things in perspective, his debut LP 'Take A Look Around' dropped in 1990, a year before the World Wide Web became available to the public. Nirvana's 'Nevermind' hadn't been recorded, cassettes were outselling CDs, only three episodes of 'Seinfeld' had ever been aired, and Scene Magazine didn't even exist. A long time has passed since Eminem's favourite rapper impersonated Biz Markie on 'Me And The Biz'. Ace is no longer "standin' on the corner/ calling cuties on the portable" - this a different artist on the phone, one that's endured hardship, wrestled with change, and is forging a legacy.

"At the end of everything I don't think I'm really the right person to determine what my legacy is. It's up to the fans. The last few years in particular have been incredible for me, but my legacy hasn't been completed yet. I still have more work to do, a lot more things to accomplish. I'd like to expand my writing; I've been sort-of working on TV shows and a couple of things. So I'm hoping I can expand my writing to other areas that aren't behind a mic."

The prospect of Masta Ace creating a television show is obviously intriguing. I press him for details, but this MC has seen too much over the years to give anything away.

"I can tell you that I'm excited about it. But I can't really go too deep into it because it's just an idea. I don't want to put my idea out there in the universe so that somebody else can swoop in and take it from me... It's happened a few times actually. Some were intentional and some were completely coincidental. You have an idea to use a particular loop or sample and you're excited about it, and somebody beats you to it."

For many, their first taste of Masta Ace came when a friend told them to listen to his second album, 1993's 'SlaughtaHouse'. It's a blatant, virulent hip hop statement, one that completely rejects the rise of commercialised G-funk and gangsta rap that was sweeping the airwaves in the early ’90s. At the end of the album's first track 'A Walk Thru The Valley', a student in his 'Hardcore Rap 101' class tells his teacher he doesn't have a gun. "It's not important whether you have a gun or not," responds the teacher, "just act like you have a gun."

"It's funny, I was watching this interview of myself from '94 and they were asking me about that album. I was just looking at this interview today! The thing that I said was... when we used to listen to the radio we would say, 'let's see if this guy can get through a whole verse without mentioning guns, forties or blunts’. Every artist would fail within about the first four bars. I wanted to challenge artists to [break away] from that."

When an artist pours their heart and soul into their music a timeline is created; album by album, the listener is able to trace that person's growth. It's arguable that Masta Ace is a case in point; each LP represents a crossroads in his life, from his emergence from relative poverty, his battle to forge a path independent from the control of the major labels, to his latest album dealing with the loss of his late mother. The end result is an MC who is not only aware of where he stands, but who knows the boundaries of the game and the finesse required to make a living behind the mic.

"I think you can be a good artist without experiencing it. But as far as being an MC, a true MC by the true meaning of the word, I feel that struggle makes the music feel more real. Hearing a rapper rap from the point of view of the struggle and hearing them talk about the struggle is what hip hop is all about; that's the essence of it. I think cats who haven't gone through anything, who had two parents in their household, lived in a nice house, both parents had jobs and they didn't want for nothing... I think those kids have to try harder. They would literally just have to fake it. They're probably better off just sticking to commercial pop."

Masta Ace plays The Transcontinental Hotel on Saturday June 15.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 15:45

Live Review: Martha Wainright

If this first show (Tivoli Friday May 31) of Martha Wainwright’s Australian tour is anything to go by, the rest of the country is in for a real treat.

 DSC9596Melbourne indie group Brighter Later opened the night with their brand of warm electro-pop before Martha took the stage to raucous applause. Jumping straight into ‘Four Black Sheep’, she played songs from her latest album, ‘Come Home To Mama’, as well as a few old favourites.

Between numbers, Martha had the crowd laughing with impromptu banter about underwear, taking acid and joking with DSC9795 bass player/ husband, Brad Albetta. Her stage presence can be described as nothing short of charming and she exudes aninfectious playfulness.

The performance was also the debut for Martha’s first Australian band mate, pianist Ben Grayson. After a slew of songs including, ‘Leave Behind’, ‘Jesus And Mary’ and ‘Ball And Chain’, the rest of the band left the stage while Martha and Ben performed three Edith Piaf songs from ‘Sans Fusils, Ni Souliers, A Paris: Martha Wainwright’s Piaf Record’.

Personally, this was the real highlight of the evening; her ability to cover Piaf’s unique voice is truly uncanny. She rounded out the night with a few solo acoustic pieces which included a song from a musical written by her mother and sister, as well as one from ‘Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert For Kate McGarrigle’. This show is a must-see for any Martha Wainwright fan.   


Published in Rock
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 15:30

Andrew Stockdale: Lone Wolf

Andrew Stockdale has found his happy place. He’s sitting at his house in Bangalow, just outside Byron Bay, looking out at the rolling hills and feeling an overwhelming sense of contentment.

“Byron Bay is a very inspiring part of the world,” he says of the north coast hippie enclave. “It's just ridiculously inspiring — you could create so much art and so much music continuously here.” He thrives on the nurturing qualities of the area, and the forgiving landscape. “You feel like people who are living in a shack with next to nothing have as good a quality of life as millionaires living on the beach,” he says. “You could fall asleep under a tree here, and it would be a nice tree with a nice view!”

If Stockdale has found contentment in his personal life, he also seems to have found it in music. His old band, the gnarly blues rock outfit known as Wolfmother, went through various line-up changes over the years, reaching the point where the singer decided to go it alone. His new album, ‘Keep Moving’, is a line in the sand — it features members of various past Wolfmother line-ups, but is credited to Stockdale himself.

“I've seen a lot of bands who've continued with only one guy from the previous line-up, and there are a lot of expectations placed on that guy,” he says. “I don't want to be that guy, and I don't feel like I am that guy, so I stopped being that guy, you know what I mean?”
The level of expectation attached to a solo album is different, Stockdale insists.

“When we started Wolfmother, we were really happy that we had a sound and a style. We had fat guitars and cool drum fills and I was singing in a high register and things seemed to gel. That sound became Wolfmother — that was the brand, and that was what people expected.”

In recent times, the idea of writing songs in the trademark Wolfmother style lost some of its lustre.

“I've moved on. I don't want to be a slave, creatively speaking. I don't want to go into a record thinking, ‘well, the songs need to have these certain ingredients in order for them to work’. I don't need to pull out my big red stamp and go 'BANG, this is a Wolfmother song’.”
‘Keep Moving’ is a big, sprawling album, featuring everything from heavier, psychedelic rock tracks to more laidback acoustic jams. The songs are immediately recognisable as Stockdale compositions, but the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed than either Wolfmother album. Take a song like the acoustic 'Suitcase' as indicative of this new approach.

“I really love playing that song,” Stockdale says. “It's got a really relaxing quality to it. I've found that I really like writing songs without expectations placed on them.”

This freedom in part came about because Stockdale produced the songs himself. He's spent a lot of time in big LA studios with big producers, he says, and there's a certain high-pressure mentality that goes along with that. There's a right and a wrong way to do things, a feeling that the decisions made in the studio will determine your success or failure.

“That's how we walked into the first Wolfmother record, that's how I learned to be in a studio.” Since then, it's fair to say Stockdale has… chilled out. Much of ‘Keep Moving’ was made in his home studio, and says the sessions were all about capturing the energy of playing live.
“Going into this, we thought to ourselves, let's be spontaneous, let's set up some lights and some incense and dress up in some cool clothes, let's be actors in our own movie and make it up and break the rules.”

Andrew Stockdale's June tour has being postphoned due to international commitments based with the release of the new album. Dates will be rescheduled. ‘Keep Moving’ is released Friday June 7.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 15:25

The Whitlams: Memory Lane

Australian icons The Whitlams are touring their catalogue of classic songs, accompanied by an entirely female orchestra.

The Whitlams have been a fixture in the Australian music scene for the last two decades, having formed when Tim Freedman and ex-Plunderers member Stevie Plunder met at the inaugural Big Day Out in 1992. Their achievements have included numerous ARIA Awards and a number one spot on the Triple J Hottest 100 for the 1997 single, 'No Aphrodisiac'. It's safe to say one would be hard pressed to find an Australian born before 1995 who isn't familiar with The Whitlams' music in some way.

Despite this, founding member and frontman Tim Freedman is loathe to acknowledge the band's place in Australian music’s hall of fame.
“I don't think about it. It's always exciting when a song breaks, but after that it just becomes part of the background to be honest. You don't wake up and think 'I'm a national treasure', especially if you're not ... We've played shows for the last two weekends but these days I'm just a single father and bon vivant.

“Some of our highlights were the big shows we played in London about ten years ago, because that was a blast. But apart from that, having four successful albums in a row was the main thing because we persisted, and that takes a lot of dedication.”

Named after deposed Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, the band has always actively endorsed their social and political views, which have generally reflected the current Australian political climate. Freedman penned well-known anthem 'Blow Up The Pokies' after the gambling related suicide of fellow founding member Andy Lewis. The band also made headlines in 2006 after their refusal to play for Australian troops in Iraq. But Tim says political activism was never a conscious objective for him as a musician.

“It only happened when there was a social issue that was burning my anger. It's only been four songs out of seventy that have been political, and they were about the pokies and the Olympics and East Timor. To be honest I don't view us as a political band, actually. We were just more political than other pop acts because I would say what I thought in interviews. There's very little party politics in any of the songs, just some references in 'The Road Is Lost' and 'Little Cloud' that were pretty obvious, when John Howard had been in power for a long time.”

Having previously collaborated with various state Symphony Orchestras, the group is once again giving Brisbane punters the opportunity to see the music of The Whitlams get the full orchestral treatment. They’ll be taking to the QPAC stage for one night only with Symphonie des Femmes — Australia's only entirely female orchestra.

“It's four guys singing about matters of the heart and behind them is a faction of beautiful talented women; it looks really weird,” says Freedman of the decision to feminise the band’s catalogue of soulful music for the lonely hearted. “They play beautifully and if I get sick of cruising the audience I can always cruise the stage.

“It's a concert best experienced by people who are already familiar with The Whitlams' music but it's a huge, lush, over the top version of our catalogue. I think they'll have a new appreciation of the orchestral possibilities because we had seven composers who have done a wonderful job arranging for the orchestra.

“We asked the composers to use the whole orchestra, so there are a lot of new melodies, and they didn't confine themselves to the melodies that were on the album. They added lots of parts to the songs, lots of melodic themes.”

Tim thinks the current incarnation of The Whitlams is the most lively yet.

“I see The Whitlams as three different bands,” he explains. “The first two albums were scrappy acoustic stuff, and then there's the band that toured 'Eternal Nightcap', and now there's the present band which got together in about '99. They're all very different bands, but this band has probably kept its style quite cohesive. It's hopefully quite a rowdy thing now when we play live, although I must admit when we play with an orchestra we have to be a lot more measured. That's the best way to play with an orchestra, to make sure you can hear the subtleties.”

The Whitlams play Qpac with Symphonie Des Femmes Friday June 21.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 14:45

Scene Magazine Back Issues 2011

Scene Magazine back-issues have moved to our national site, scenestr.

You can read them all here.

Published in Flipbook
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 06:18

Live Review: Saideira

Brisbane’s own slice of Brazil materialised at Greenslopes Bowls Club on Saturday night (June 1), transforming the humble sports venue into a mini-Carnival.

The first thing to catch my attention was a plume Afro-Beat-Drums14of deliciously-scented smoke betraying the location of the Brazilyum team, whose barbequed delights were an excellent introduction to Brazilian culture for my stomach.

Big was the word of the night. Big plates of food, big sounds from the drums, and ceiling-scraping headdresses on the dancers.

The night began with a display of strength and control, as Xango Capoeira showcased their agility. The moves were breathtaking, all high kicks and twisting handstands that had the crowd gasping and wishing we had even half their coordination.

The same sentiment was carried into the dance class that followed, where the girls from Sambaliscious coaxed booty-shaking and hip-swinging from all. Music was the highlight of the night, with Coisa Linda warming things up with gorgeous, authentic Brazilian tunes. Headliners and festival organisers, The View From Madeleine’s Couch, commanded the stage next, and their soulful, marimba-heavy, rhythmic music became the perfect backdrop for the return of the Sambaliscious girls—in authentic Carnival costume. When the Afrobeat Brazilian drummers added their percussion to the mix, the effect was intoxicating. It was impossible not to smile, dance, and enjoy doing what Brazilians do best—partying.


Published in Reggae/ Roots
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 05:36

Fete De La Musique

Grab an instrument, hit the street and start performing — that’s all it takes to become a part of Fete de la Musique in June.

Jazzy hip hop rings out from a barbershop; at a train station just around the corner a girl with an acoustic guitar breaks into song. It’s a travelling festival of sorts and anybody can get involved. This is the magic of World Music Day. BCC Councillor Krista James, who plays an active role in Brisbane’s version as Lifestyle Chair, says it’s a way to breathe new life into the city.

“There are over 500 cities around the world that are involved now to make it World Music Day. Although we're always looking for ways to activate the city, it just became an opportunity that our Creative Communities Department in Brisbane City Council thought was a really great way to get people into places around our city that aren't usually used through music.”

The all-inclusive event boasts a variety of talent, from seasoned musicians to people just wanting to participate.

“Anyone can register to be in Fete de la Musique, so we are trying to develop all residents’ passions, whether it be for playing an instrument or singing or dancing, anything to do with music. This is the sixth year, so anyone who loves making music, whether they're professional or aspiring, are welcome to join.”

Musicians are urged to quickly register online. “We're still encouraging people to get online and register their interest on the website; we've got 175 venues across the city so we'd like to see as many musicians as possible turn out to use them to their full advantage. It's all about being involved whether you're playing a recorder and a triangle, or you're a professional performer, and it's all free.”

There are hundreds of potential stages, and musicians of all tastes are expected to take part. With next to no limits, it’s all about getting involved for the love of music and community.

“If you have your local shop, or a bus stop across the city or a space where you want to perform like that, usually you just register where you're going to go and it is put up on the website, so people can find out where the music’s going to be. There are no tickets, there are no box-seats, and there are no headliners. It's just World Music Day on the 21st of June.”

Fete de la Musique takes place all over Brisbane Friday June 21.
Published in Jazz/ Fusion


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