In the last 12 months, 17 year-old Gab Strum, aka Japanese Wallpaper, won Triple J’s ‘Unearthed High’ competition, played Splendour in the grass and helped soundtrack the new Zach Braff film. Why did so many good things happen to Gab? Because the way he takes ambient sounds and morphs them into radio-ready pieces of uplifting drift-pop is both unique and very difficult to do.
Japanese Wallpaper may be young in human years, but in music years he’s older than most. Check out this EP he released three years ago when he was, I guess, 14 years old? His sonic pallet has changed so little, but the impact of his work has increased dramatically. I guess this goes to show how important songwriting really is in electronic music. Just listen to his latest single ‘Between Friends (feat. Jesse Davidson)’. Damn.
Well, Gab has been kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to compile a playlist of seven tracks he can’t stop rinsing right now. The resulting montage of stirring electronica is so cohesive that it could be an album in itself.
Be sure to thank him in person at the Northcote Social Club, on Wednesday September 30. Get tickets from The Corner Hotel while they last.
Keep up with Rinse & Repeat.