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An online magazine 2013-16. Artists on artists. Music, food, travel, art and culture. Now a tribute to our late editor Susie Surtees (2/6/53-22/7/18)

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Artists on Artists

BY FIRE (2014) EP

On 30, Nov 2014 | In Artists on Artists | By jane


Future Soul artists Hiatus Kaiyote have served us a delectable appetiser from ‘Choose Your Weapon’, their much-anticipated sophomore album due out in March 2015. I’m over the moon that we didn’t have to wait until then to hear this otherworldly music. The meeting of these great musical minds transcends simple earthly definition, but I’ll do my best. These artists are well worthy, given the rocket-ship of midnight oil burned in order to sculpt this intricate sonic masterpiece.

As the title track of the EP ‘By Fire’ opens, drummer Moss’ succinct yet fluid feel, melds with keys player Mavin’s liquid tone and bass player Bender’s deep rich pulses, creating a vaccumy vortex, underscoring the smoky ethereal sound of Nai Palm’s vocal. Sections of the track slam together like colliding tectonic plates, and new continents of rhythmic and sonic possibility are born. The hook is a mesmerising speedy descending unison melody between vocal and keys. Stellar production values crescendo around 3:20 with multi-dimensional vocals, swooping synths and Hiatus’ signature ‘gangster polyrhythmic shit’.

‘Laputja’ has echoes of a bygone jazz era, with Nai Palm’s vocal used to maximum elastic dexterity, percussively scatting, then lulling and soothing. Her delivery is a perfect balance of clear intent and free emotionality. ‘Molasses’ is as sticky and delicious as the title suggests, vocals smoldering with a rich, husky sweetness. Throughout the EP, Mavin’s synth tones shine with sophistication parallel to pioneers Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock in a modern Australian incarnation.

The truth is, Hiatus Kaiyote emit frequency in such refined form, that they already count Prince, Erykah Badu, and ?uestlove among their fan base. It’s truly inspirational—proof that uncompromising dedication to your art can have a ripple effect that permeates beyond the dilapidated mainstream industry, and fertilise fresh musical ground with all emphasis on creative intent.

What soothing balm to see music of this calibre transcend perceived boundaries and achieve such international traction! You can’t deny quality and innovation. I breathe a sigh of relief to know that droves of young music appreciators are now turning on to jazz, funk, soul and boundless psychedelic sonic adventure.

Listen in your car—you’ll be on the edge of your seat and may need to mind the accelerator. This music keeps you guessing. Even after hundreds of listens. Bring on the album.


Review written by Aurora Jane for Mojo Juction – ‘Artists on Artists’


Stream the pre-release here (courtesy of Red Bull Music Academy)  

Available from iTunes December 2nd


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