RÜFÜS DU SOL have emerged as one of the world’s preeminent live electronic acts. The Australian three-piece, comprised of members Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George and James Hunt, have released two platinum-certified albums, ATLAS and Bloom, with their newly unveiled third album Solace ushering in a new chapter for the trio.
Solace finds RÜFÜS DU SOL charting new territory, exploring deeper subgenres and more potent lyricism for an entirely new side to the group. “It’s about finding a sense of hope in a darker time,” the trio says. The album was born out of a particularly poignant period for the band and thus trackles heavier themes such as the pain of loss and the persistence of memory.
“We’ve been through a big process,” the group says. “Almost a year and a half of our lives. We put all our hearts into making this record.”
Accompanying the album, the trio have created a brand new live show which will push their on-stage abilities to new levels. Bringing a host of new analog gear into the fold, as well as a revamped visual setup, the new live show will bring the magical spontaneity of the group’s studio process to the stage in unprecedented format.
RÜFÜS DU SOL’s ‘Solace’ tour takes them to some of the worlds biggest festival stages including appearances at Coachella, Lollapalooza Argentina/Chile/Brazil.
The Presets took shape in 2003 when Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes first met at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. They were quickly recognised for their ability to fuse elements of dance music with an energy more akin to rock’n’roll. After signing with Modular Recordings, the band released two EPs and an album Beams (2005).
In 2008 The Presets released the chart topping Apocalypso, selling in excess of Triple Platinum sales in Australia and featuring four hit singles, including the classic ‘My People’. Setting new standards for dance music in Australia, The Presets went on to win 5 ARIA awards (and 2 ARIA Artisan Awards) including Album of the Year, as well as the J Award and FBI SMAC Award for Album of The Year. Kim and Julian also shared the coveted Songwriter of The Year Award at the 2009 APRA Awards.
Pacifica was released in 2012, featuring Rolling Stone Magazine’s Song Of The Year, ‘Ghosts’. Pacifica was also nominated for an ARIA, shortlisted for the AMP Award, the J Award, and was Album of the Year in the Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph, and Electronic Album of the Year in the Sydney Morning Herald.
As well as making new music together, the pair also collaborated individually with other artists over recent years. Julian co-wrote Flume’s hit “Say It” and contributed to tracks with Flight Facilities, Steve Angelo and Meek Mill. Kim produced the new album for the DMA’s and has created remixes for artists including The Drones and The Jezabels while also starting an underground techno label called Here To Hell.
The Presets have been recognised worldwide for their dynamic live performances, playing hundreds of shows domestically and internationally, including key slots at renowned international music festivals such as Glastonbury, Coachella, SXSW, Exit, Melt and Splendour In The Grass.
The Presets returned in 2018 with their long awaited fourth album, HI VIZ, which debuted at #1 on the iTunes album chart within hours of its release and was nominated for two ARIA Awards as well as the prestigious Australian Music Prize. The record spawned triple j Hottest 100 favourites “Do What You Want” and “Martini”, with the latter nominated for Best Song at the FBi SMAC Awards in 2019.
The band are currently in the studio working on new music.
Wafia’s elegant, vaporous voice is as penetrating as a diamond bullet. Her songs have found champions in music heavyweights like Pharrell and collaborators like Ben Abraham, Finneas and Tak-ku. Her tracks, like “Bodies” and “Only Love” from her forthcoming VIII EP, are dance floor siren songs. It's big pop: triumphant, thunderous and crystalline. But dare to dig a touch deeper and one will find something more sweeping. Wafia, born Wafia Al Rikabi and of Iraqi and Syrian heritage, has personally felt the political tensions of our modern era. She brings it all to the fore in her powerful, boundless music.
Gaining support from legendary BBC Radio 1 tastemaker Pete Tong, east coast Australian producer Willaris. K continues to leave his sonic footprint in the electronic sphere on account of his progressive, eclectic productions and widely acclaimed live shows.
Tong singled out Willaris. K as the next artist to watch from Australia, saying “he has already got something that is really hard to attain. If I listen to an hour of music that was kind of similar to his melodic techno, when his track came on, I would know it was his.”
The latest release from 25 year-old Jack McAllister – double A-side "Natural Selection / Cobaki Sky (Prequel)" – has drawn comparisons to experimental masters Brian Eno and William Basinski alongside techno peers Jon Hopkins, Kiasmos and Sasha. The 2-tracker is the follow up to his debut EP Alchemy, a 7-track mini album that moves between thick industrial techno and sparse pensive melodic moments, exploring themes of transience, movement, darkness and currents.
That EP saw Willaris. K break through with multiple tracks scoring rotation on triple j, and the single ‘Dour Nights’ named by Pete Tong as the Essential New Tune on Radio 1. Groups of discerning fans as well as cross-over audiences have been drawn to Willaris. K’s forward-thinking sound, which led to the rare sight of dark, abrasive, instrumental techno making its way into the top 50 Shazam charts, Spotify Viral Charts and more. Triple j radio in Australia heralded him as one of their 10 Unearthed artists to watch in 2018 and beyond.
In 2017-18 McAllister played an unrivalled number of festival shows in Australia and NZ with over 25 live sets brimming with his trademark punk-influenced stage presence - all ahead of his international debut at Coachella last April, two sold out Australian headline tours seeing him move into 1,000 cap venues for the first time. Amidst that activity, Willaris. K made his European debut playing influential European events and clubs like Forbidden Fruit in Ireland, an appearance at Kurzschluss Warehouse in Slovenia, and a heaving show at iconic Berlin club, Watergate.
Known for his hypnotic and bass-driven soundscapes, Willaris. K has created a signature sound by seamlessly weaving together futuristic textures with organic field recordings and an incredible ear for detail and digital processing. In “Cobaki Sky (Prequel)”, the Australian Tweed Coast producer uses a range of wistful loops and melancholic chord patterns to steep his track in deep emotion. The release is of stark contrast to the rhythmic plucks of “Natural Selection”, a heavier club-focused production.
Alongside the Alchemy EP, Willaris. K curated the ‘Alchemy Exhibition’ where he collaborated with videographer Yeoseop Yoon for a series of stills and installations. The exhibition was showcased in Melbourne and Sydney and celebrated the release of an an arresting 12 minute video trilogy featuring “Alchemy”, “River Song” and “Dour Nights” by Yeoseop Yoon, as well as the hypnotic visual for “Perpetual Love” directed by LA-Sydney director, Kris Moyes.
But to understand the unpredictable auteur that Willaris. K is, is to understand the slightly obscure way in which Jack McAllister came to develop his craft.
For reasons that stretch back over a century, Australia’s six states and two territories each operate on a different electricity grid. For several years after finishing school, Jack was responsible for monitoring the power conversion at substations along the New South Wales and Queensland state borders. It was on these daily solo expeditions through serene bush and swampy marshland collecting hours of field recordings and lonely beats, that McAllister developed the unique sonic palette that we know as trade mark Willaris. K.
Warping ambient field recordings into textured beats, the clarity of space and time to forge inventive melodies, the stimulation of the natural environment thrust into heaving electronica. The swamp, the serenity. Pine-scented, dirt-speckled.
For the itinerant Willaris. K, it’s all about movement and emotion. Jon Hopkins’ hard-hitting “Open Eye Signal” melting into Nils Frahm’s mercurial “Them”. Being sent adrift by Bonobo’s uplifting “Second Sun” only to be capsized by Patrice Baumel’s angular “Surge”.
Through the process of being an electrical instrument technician working the state border substations by day and bedroom musician-producer-songwriter the piano-trained artist grappled with the frustration, self-doubt, introspection and triumph that comes with change. Alchemy was written over a period of almost two years spent creeping in and out of underground raves, digging up and twisting old samples, or recording the bones of songs as iPhone voice memos and then building them out.
“The tracks are a reflection of my life at that time,” he says. “It was a big transition period for my mindset, going from music being a fun hobby with no pressure, to self doubt, to finally backing myself. Eventually, I let go of the expectations I'd put upon myself realised I can make whatever I want, because that's where the most interesting ideas came from.”
Many of the tracks on the EP and the recent 2-tracker were built with his live shows in mind — which makes sense, given Willaris. K was born when Jack started making edits to play in his DJ sets. But the overarching vision for Willaris.K’s music has always been simple: “It has to make me feel something on an extreme scale.”
Lastlings is the artistic output of sibling duo Amy Dowdle (19) & Josh Dowdle (24). Self-taught musically, the Japanese-Australian pair has devoted the better part of five years to their craft, fine tuning their songwriting and production from their home in the hinterlands of Southern Queensland. Releasing two EPs to early acclaim, the duo found themselves having to make a choice between full-time musical pursuit and allowing Amy, then sixteen, to focus on finishing high school. They resisted the pull of the industry, Amy finished her schooling and in 2018 Lastlings returned with new music and the world at their feet. Now signed to RÜFÜS DU SOL's newly founded label Rose Avenue, they work towards their debut album due in late 2019, while continuing to develop their live show that has already seen them tour Australia and North America with RÜFÜS, and step onto Coachella's DoLaB stage and this years Splendour In The Grass Mix-Up.