Having played nearly every big festival from Glastonbury to Coachella, The Presets are recognised worldwide for their dynamic live performances. In 2008 they released the chart topping Apocalypso, selling in excess of Triple Platinum 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.
The duo are coming off a massive year following the release of their Australian Music Prize-nominated fourth albumHI VIZso it’ll beTools Downwhen the heat is on come February 1 and 15. The band are currently gearing up for the release of the collaborative RAKA EP with Golden Features.
WHAT SO NOT
When What So Not rolled out a giant chrome horse on monster truck wheels during his headlining Coachella set last year, it was his boldest reminder yet that he doesn’t play by the same rules as his peers. Now, with the arrival of his debut artist album, Not All the Beautiful Things, he’s continuing to blaze his own trail, forging a complete vision for what is now much more than just a dance music project.
Over three years in the making, Not All the Beautiful Things is about transformation and metamorphosis, a culmination of everything the Australian-born artist behind such massive anthems as “High You Are” (50 million-plus streams), “Waiting” (with Skrillex and RL Grime), and his remix of RUFUS du Sol’s “Innerbloom” (#30 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 list for 2016) has been working towards as he’s built his reputation as one of the most innovative producers in the game, garnering over 455 million combined streams (200 million on Spotify alone) in the process. More than an album, it’s a fully realized artistic statement in which What So Not is in full control of every aspect, from the stage design and visuals to the music videos and merchandise. “I didn’t want to put anything out that doesn’t cohesively match the essence of the songs,” explains the man behind it all.
To help represent the many moods and voices of the project, What So Not enlisted a small army of collaborators and guest vocalists, including Skrillex, Slumberjack, San Holo, Michael Christmas and legendary Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns, to name just a few. But perhaps the album’s most head-turning collab comes on “We Keep on Running,” which features rock supergroup Toto, whose classic track “Africa” What So Not has been dropping into his live sets for years. That their anthemic arena rock fits so seamlessly into Not All the Beautiful Things’ epic orchestrations is testament to how far What So Not has pushed his sound.
Not All the Beautiful Things is What So Not’s first release on Ninja Tune imprint Counter Records, which is co-releasing the album with his longtime label Sweat It Out, who have been with him since the beginning. “For me it’s the best possible scenario,” says What So Not. “Being such a fan of Counter and Ninja Tune for so many years, to be alongside acts now like Odesza and Bonobo and be part of that roster is very exciting.”
As much of a creative leap as Not All the Beautiful Things represents as an album, What So Not promises it’s just the beginning of what fans can expect from this exciting new phase of his evolution, as the artist who’s already co-headlined with Baauer and A-Trak and headlined festival stages from Coachella to Pukkelpop to HARD Summer looks ahead to his 2018 touring schedule. “We’re creating this entire world that people can step into,” he says. And whether that world will still feature a giant chrome horse – well, fans, will just have to wait and see.
In the past year Perth-based duo SLUMBERJACK have brought their music to new heights, turning out massive club hits like “RA” and increasing their total streams to over 40 million across platforms. During that time, musicians Morgan Then and Fletcher Ehlers have also pushed to a new level in their artistry and carved out a more boldly challenging sound than ever before. With their first-ever headline tour in the works, SLUMBERJACK now deliver a new EP that, in Ehlers’s words, “explores the dichotomies of light and dark and beauty and ugliness,” and ultimately creates a world unto itself.
Revealing SLUMBERJACK’s more refined musicality and heightened experimentalism, the new EP Fracture is a potent composite of bass-heavy club anthems, hook-driven pop tracks, and lushly cinematic pieces that show their film-score-inspired sensibilities. With its moody intensity and gorgeously jagged textures, the EP’s lead single and title track debuted in January and quickly became triple j’s most played track for several weeks. “Fracture” features a powerful vocal performance from Sydney-based singer/songwriter Vera Blue, infusing the song with an emotional depth that endures throughout the EP. “We want to create club tracks that have a story to them,” says Then. “You can dance to it at a festival or jam to it anywhere, but you can also listen more closely and study it and see how it relates to your own life.”
Along with bringing more exacting vision to the making of Fracture, SLUMBERJACK broadened their musical palette to add in obscure instruments from around the world. On “Cradle to Grave,” the duo use an Indian violin called a sarangi alongside a Japanese end-blown flute known as a shakuhachi, brilliantly offsetting the track’s more futuristic elements. A fittingly majestic opener to Fracture, “Cradle to Grave” came to life on a boat in Fiji as Then and Ehlers made their way home from playing the Your Paradise festival. “Everyone on the boat was sleeping and we were zooming over the Pacific Ocean and I thought, ‘I could sleep too, or I could try to write in this half-asleep, zonked-out state and see what happens,’” Then recalls. “So I started writing and saw the sunrise and kept writing once we were off the boat and at the airport, and 24 hours later the song was completed. It felt like a possession, like once I started I couldn’t stop.”
Fracture EP also features a Tuvan throat singer, who lends an eerie grandeur to the darkly charged yet ethereal “Paralyse (Figured It Out).” (“It’s so strange-sounding that it almost seems synthetic, but it’s really 100 percent human,” says Then of the throat singing. “When you hear that voice it feels like the world is ending.”) And for “Take Me,” SLUMBERJACK bring in the sarangi once more, this time conjuring up a frantic and feverish sound intensified by a relentlessly repeating bassline crafted by Ehlers.
Since breaking onto the Australian electronic music scene in 2014, Then (a Borneo-bred, classically trained concert pianist and former world-music artist) and Ehlers (a Vietnam-raised Australia native who taught himself to make electronic music at age 11) have tapped into their kinetic chemistry to guide their sound into new directions. With their synergy stronger than ever—and with multiple #1 tracks on Hype Machine now under their belt—SLUMBERJACK are currently focused on prepping for their upcoming tour, and aspire to deepen their engagement with each audience. “The show’s going to be about slowing down a bit and focusing more on what’s happening in the moment, rather than always looking to the next drop,” says Ehlers. “There should be moments where you just absorb something ugly or unusual, and then get the payoff later when you experience something beautiful. We don’t want to just have people going crazy the whole time—we want to give them a show that takes them on some kind of a journey.”
Motez’ soundscape pushes the boundaries of your regular house producer, going way back before he was making wholesome, wall-to-wall club cuts and rocking festivals stages. His classical piano know how and clear influences of the 90’s allows him to flex his skills and musical-taste across all of his releases, chalking up six Hype Machine #1s, an ARIA Gold single and dropping official remixes for Disclosure, Sam Smith, Goldlink and Ellie Goulding. Motez has join Diplo & Friends, Beats1 Radio and triple j Mix Up Exclusives to lay down his favorite selections. Motez’ back catalogue across Sweat It Out, Food Music and Universal/AATW speaks for itself. His streak of infectious dance-driven releases continued on from 2016’s ‘Down Like This’ ft. Tkay Maidza to 2017’s ‘Praise’, which led him to his first ARIA Certified Gold single, ‘The Future’ ft. Antony & Cleopatra. Three years in the making, ‘The Future’ is Motez’ most personal offering to date, receiving support from BBC- R1, KCRW, Live105, triple j, and amassing over 16 million streams.
Motez kicked off 2019 through the lush house groove that is 'Steady Motion' featuring Zimbabwe born UK based, KWAYE before indicating his hunger to give back to his club fans, with two dance-floor driven releases on Club Sweat to come over the middle of the year. Expect a new sonic direction for Motez as he explores new sounds and ways to produce that is feeling like his most exciting work yet.
On the road and to the stage, Motez has played to thousands at Splendour In The Grass, Holy Ship, EDC, HARD Summer and Electric Forest, fronted main support duties for Disclosure, RÜFÜS DU SOL and Fatboy Slim, and filled clubs all over Australia, North America and Europe. 2018 was busy with a sold out national festival tour with Fatboy Slim & Gorgon City, a main-stage slot on Mountain Sounds Festival and his biggest North America tour, including Electric Forest & Splash House. Motez welcomed 2019 in with a summer tour in support of his single ‘Steady Motion’, including plays at ForTheLove, Warehouse Collective Sydney, Foreshore and Up Down Festival.
Touch Sensitive is the ultimate triple-threat; as a producer, in-demand live performer and DJ, he’s a treasured slashie for artists & audiences alike. Whether it’s remixing Rufus, collaborating with Flume or touring internationally with Flight Facilities, he’s become renowned as the man with an ear for hooks and impeccable taste. ‘Lay Down’ continues this trend, combining the sky-high falsetto of ‘80s, floor-filling disco with the rhythmic dynamism that has become a standard in Touch Sensitive’s frenetic live performances. “It was fine line between sounding like right now and it being a bit more ambiguous as to when it was made,” says Touch Sensitive of his new material. “[Besides], today’s techniques are gone tomorrow.” Touch Sensitive is affectionately considered Future Classic’s spirit animal.
His affiliation with the label runs deep; ‘Body Stop’ was one of Future Classic’s first releases and he has played on hits for a sizeable contingent his labelmates, including Hayden James, Flight Facilities, Anna Lunoe, Charles Murdoch and Flume, his blue bass is now recognisable across many of their live shows. With ‘Lay Down’, Touch Sensitive finally steps fully into the limelight, dancing shoes at the ready. Never has a song’s title been quite so misleading.
Melbourne born, LA based artist and producer, BANOFFEE has become a staple in the electronic pop-music scene with her new wave, R’n’B sound, heightened with gliding synths, syncopated beats and textured vocals. More than just musically creative, Banoffee is quickly becoming a creative force in pop culture. Her influence has landed her features in Vogue, i-D, Oyster, Elle China, L’Officiel and Paper. Banoffee has toured extensively over the past year, including opening for Taylor Swift + Charli_XCX and King Princess. Her first full length album will be released early 2020.