Playlist: White Hot Melbournian Summer

10 years ago my knowledge of techno peaked somewhere between Darude and Daft Punk. After a solid decade listening to electronic music I now know enough to say that I like dance music, primarily disco-infused techno, house, deep house, funk, minimal and electronica. I’m not such a fan of grime or trap, and I’m still unsure whether bubblegum bass is brilliantly ridiculous or ridiculously brilliant.

However, in a world where you can stream Kraftwerk on your watch while you take a shit, genres have become diluted, even pointless. Cities, though, retain and propagate unique audial cultures, scenes and party vibes. Berlin, Chicago, Detroit, London, New York, Melbourne.

Melbourne belongs on that list.

After a couple of years away, I arrived home a little over a year ago. Smack bang into one of the richest electronic music scenes on the planet. This playlist reflects the past 12 months. Some of it is old, some of it is new. Some of it is from Melbourne, some of it just sounds good enough to be from here. It’s all funky. You can hear the playlist in its entirety on YouTube here

Tornado Wallace – Be My Ladyboy

Melbourne is many different sounds to many different people. Tornado Wallace is Melbourne to me. It’s slow, it’s ethereal and it’s impossible to not dance to. This guy – real name Lewie Day – has his fingers in more than a few pies and is coming to a dance floor near you soon.

Andras & Oscar – Everytime I Go

One of this duo has a voice that makes you want to bang him. The other cuts shapes that makes you want to bang him. I saw them début their Café Romantica LP live in a convent and I wanted to bang them both. Divine.

Flight Facilities feat. Bishop Nehru – Why Do You Feel

Bishop Nehru is 18 years old. In 2014 he was among the first signees to megastar Nas’ new record label, Mass Appeal Records. Sydney disco studs Flight Facilities were similarly captivated by the kid’s lyrical wizardry and produced this sleeper hit. This track displays Flight Facilities’ versatility but you probably should listen to the rest of their stuff too. It’s sexy dancy candy.

Real Lies – North Circular

This track immediately reminds me of The Streets. But more introspective, more electropop, more deep house: more Melbourne – but from the UK. Real Lies have a début LP on the way in 2015. If it’s half as good asOriginal Pirate Material I’ll be happy. This is an absolute belter of a tune.

Portable feat. Lcio – Surrender

Deep house meets The Arcade Fire. This is a dead-set love song that melts the heart: Let’s go to the movies / Get a coffee / You need to know me. This track takes me places. Hands up / I surrender.

Q Lazzarus – Goodbye Horses

Norwegian disco Don Todd Terje dropped this slow-burning classic at aparty I went to on New Years Day. As the crowd twigged to what it was – the song from The Silence of the Lambs – the place erupted. Terje can pick a record like no other – there’s a lot of Icehouse in this one.

Audion – Mouth to Mouth

Matthew Dear must be one of the most talented musicians on the planet today. He produces, spins records, plays instruments, sings – and just to rub it in he’s a pretty handsome fellow, too. To see where he gets it all fromwatch this beautiful story. As Audion, Dear does Detroit Techno foot-stompingly well – you’ll need Funktion-Ones for this.

Daphni – Yes I Know

From one supremely talented musician to another – Dan Snaith. As Daphni, he very much has his dancing shoes on, as is evident in this soul-driven house classic. Snaith, though, is better known as…

Caribou – Your Love Will Set You Free (c2’s Set U Free RMX)

It has been a golden few years for Dan Snaith. This song is brilliant in its original form, but when Detroit Techno heavyweight Carl Craig got his hands on it, something magical happened.

Daniel Avery – All I Need

This tune would be scary if it wasn’t so damn sexy. It’s hard to describe exactly what Daniel Avery is doing, but it’s all superb. I discovered his 2013 LP Drone Logic only recently and I’m still coming to terms with its scope.

Jon Hopkins – Open Eye Signal

A lot of Jon Hopkins’ stuff isn’t quite as accessible as most of the tracks on this list. In fact, I heard this song a dozen times before I actually realised it was Hopkins. This one is relentless. It makes my head explode.

James Holden – The Caterpillar’s Intervention

James Holden is a freak. Easily the best live set I’ve seen in the past year – you really do have to see this guy live to appreciate his genius. Watching him build earth-shattering beats from scratch has to be seen to be believed. The addition of a beast of a live drummer is the icing on a very trippy cake. Watch Holden work his magic here.

Vakula – New Romantic

Meredith Music Festival, December 13 2014, 3am. A glorified iPod DJ had just played a dull two-hour set. Enter Vakula, a towering Ukrainian house magician, who spun some of the most interesting dance music I’ve heard in a long time.

Legowelt – Experiential Awakening

Different but familiar. Not quite progressive techno, not quite deep house. Dutch synth wizard Legowelt has been doing his analogue thing for near-on 20 years. I know very little of it – I came across this track via the excellent Melbourne Deepcast – but this is one for the ages.

Coober Pedy University Band – Kookaburra

And back home to finish the set. The aforementioned Lewie Day (Tornado Wallace) sporadically teams up with William Paxton (one half of Melbourne duo Otologic) to form Coober Pedy University Band. This triumph has had Melbourne’s inner north stamping their collective feet since mid-2014. Wait until the Kookaburras kick in to feel a shiver down your spine.

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Brendan Park