HANDFUL: True North
"It's easy these days to think that [creating] music has become easy."21-Aug-2012
With an ear for samples and an elegant downbeat style, you can almost hear the inspiration and years of electronic music history in True North’s debut EP Bespoke that has been released through The Finer Things record label.
In this HANDFUL, the Sydney artist shows off an impeccable array of crafted electronica, from the 20 year old tracks of Groove Chronicles to the unparalleled Burial that have each shaped his sound. His own music, like the swirling and sparse Bespoke below and the elaborated re-mix of Network’s Lucky is a vivid and crafted take on contemporary dance music (and check this incredible Oliver Tank re-mix!) that shows great promise for the growing electronica movement from Australian artists. Scroll through the gallery to listen and read below True North’s interpretation of each track.
Groove Chronicles – Stone Cold
To get an idea of the direction of modern dance music you have to look to the past, and in doing so you’d need to stop and marvel at Stone Cold. Over 20 years after its release and it’s still meets all the incredibly high expectations we have for dance music today. The production is amazing, the deep bass and 2step shuffle inspired the likes of Burial, Pariah and Joy O to do what they do today, and it’s easy to see why.
William Basinski – D|P 1.1
Listening to music is an intellectually demanding experience. It changes constantly, it grabs at your attention with pounding drums, stabs and hooks. Great music often demands not just to be heard, but listened to. Often this can get a little much, and this is where I turn to William Basinski. He effortlessly weaves an intricate, emotional soundscape with such finesse that you could hardly notice, leaving your mind free to wander through the ambience.
Burial – Shell of Light
It’s easy these days to think that music has become easy. When you can download sample packs at a hundred clicks per second and have access to hundreds of different DAWs, plug-ins and midi-controllers with the sole purpose of dealing with these samples, it becomes an effortless task to put together something with a big bass drop and some hefty drums and call it a day.
But this is the trap electronic music creates for us: it draws us in with convenience and actively shifts the way we make music towards laziness. But it’s exactly because it’s so easy to do that music is hard. It takes throwing away something polished and satisfying on a base level to make something unique, and personal, and new. Something with character, something to remember.
Burial always reminds me that there is a world unexplored. His drums are often out by small fractions, some notes fall in the wrong key, the kicks and bass form a muddy foundation for his reverbed, ghost-like ambience, but through this thick nostalgic fog, you can still hear the skeleton of a distant banger calling out.
Crazy Bald Heads – First Born
For being released in 1998, this track is almost prophetic in how it stands up to current dance music.
Ramadanman – Don’t Change For Me
Ramadanman has been an influence on me since I heard his rework of Nina Simone’s Good Feeling on 2nd Drop records. He has an amazingly natural feel for percussion and minimalism and could make albums out of kick drums. This is Ramadanman at his best, flipping a James Brown drum break over warm synths, all drenched in heart-breaking, nostalgic vocals.