As the Australian music scene begins to enter a cautious state of normalcy following a few difficult years, the country’s musicians are still facing enormous limitations in working opportunities to support and sustain their careers.
The Australian Music Radio Airplay Project – better known as Amrap – offers an excellent pathway to airplay to the many community stations who have long championed Australian music in all its myriad forms. Providing exposure often before anyone else, community radio is a strong and unique network immune to passing trends.
In this Tone Deaf series, a different music director or presenter at some of the finest community stations from around the country get their opportunity to share the best community music discoveries from Amrap.
This week it’s the turn of 2SER’s Lachlan Holland, and you can check out their picks below.
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Beautifully produced, this is the 11th album from Melbourne’s Citradels, loaded with a feast of multilayered, airy psych-synth jams, and emotive sounds. The instrumentation is fantastic on its own and has a cinematic and retro-futuristic style that’s evocative of 70s krautrock and library/plant music.
The occasional vocal tracks sprinkled throughout heighten things further – check out ‘In Comes The Rain’. Featuring their own hand-built synthesiser, this is an excellent album, roaming across a range of tones and styles yet holding together sonically as a complete work.
A gorgeously produced and eclectic LP from Meanjin’s Padraig Parkhurst, which dives into everything from oddball spoken word, jazz, blunted trip hop, and unsettling soundtrack arrangements. Excellent collaborations throughout as well, including with Jessi Dunbar and Au Lait. There have been some fantastic albums on Amrap lately and this is just one of them. Definitely a (pleasant) trip.
Certainly one of Australia’s most prolific producers (among countless other things), Tim Shiel has always been notable for pushing experimental tangents in electronic production. This one is a much more club-ready surprise.
Harking back to late 90s/early 00s house sound, with a Groove Armada-like sample-based playfulness, it nevertheless has an intricacy and vibe that sets it apart and is a treat to hear. It kicks in nicely and sits in a sweet spot right through. Great tune.
One of the many excellent tracks off the First Sounds Vol. 8 compilation, this was a real standout for me. Strong and direct guitar-driven energy and an openness of sound with infectious melodies. This was also featured on his One More Chance album from February, released via Winanjjikari Music Centre.
The highly active Adelaide beatmaker has been releasing a tonne of explorative sounds lately so it’s hard to single one out, but this one jumps out in particular. The low-slung warm groove and broken beats on this are woven together with some excellent sample work and rapid dynamic shifts – it evolves and keeps your attention across it’s five-and-a-half minutes. Excellent tune by a great producer.
Reportedly made on Garageband during the 2020 lockdown in Melbourne, their debut LP is killer, filled with raw loop-jamming and unexpected twists that intertwine sampling with live instrumentation. Hard to pin down, it genre-jumps between songs with a no-wave and jazz-funk vibe to tripped out psychedelic pop. Unique album with a DIY aesthetic, but also with quality ideas and execution.
Excellent five-piece dream pop outfit based on Gadigal land who have been releasing melodically rich and dazzling indie-rock for quite some time now. Their latest is to type, dealing with heartbreak but with warm musicality as a cathartic remedy to the misery. Definitely a group to watch and with an album on the way in August.