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Twin producers and all round cool guys, Cosmo’s Midnight, sat down with Imogen for some nacho chips and chats after performing at Splendour.
This dynamic duo have surged ever since releasing a remix of Flume’s “Sleepless” in 2012, allowing them to step foot into the big world of electro music. Since then, the brothers have released mind blowing singles like “Phantasm” and “The Dofflin” as well as their super lush debut EP “Surge”. In April this year, “Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (Cosmo’s Midnight Bootleg)” became another hit, demonstrating yet again the duo’s versatility and impressive style.
Cosmo’s Midnight talk about tunes, musical experiences and share what it’s like to work with big names, like Flume. Make sure you don’t miss tricks of the trade or what Cosmo’s Midnight are currently jamming to.
Photo: Imogen Llewellyn
IMOGEN: Can you tell us a little bit about the vibes at Splendour and what your festival experience was like there?
PAT: The first night was probably the best one, because it was when Outkast played and it was in this natural amphitheatre on the stage…it’s actually called the amphitheatre for a reason.
COSMO: It’s actually like a gladiator pit, you go to the top and look down and there’s literally twenty or thirty thousand people down there.
PAT: And it even wraps around the hill. There was like a bit more than thirty thousand people there.
COSMO: It was surreal.
PAT: And it was really cool, because during “Hey Ya” this dude lit a flare and another guy shot like a hand gun flare all the way out. And then they dropped the flare on the ground and it was just like *BOOM*.
COSMO: The vibe at Splendour in general – it’s very relaxed actually…the whole festival kinda ends at 12 am and like it keeps going in certain areas, but the main acts done. It’s quite a chilled schedule and it was pretty hectic in terms of the acts, because they were all clashing everywhere, but that’s bound to happen at such a big venue.
IMOGEN: How would you say your lives have changed since your music has gained momentum?
COSMO: Not much has changed in terms of what we do, but we play live a lot more and get paid for it now which is obviously a great change cause we can have a bit more independence.
COSMO: Yeah, we can go and do stuff – like eat some nachos! Which is something we didn’t really do before, but yeah we’ve gotten some good money. We’re hoping to travel to Japan with it, so that’s a really good thing. And I’ve gotten a bit fatter since I started getting paid cause I just eat so much. Now I’ve got money, I just can’t stop eating – it’s crazy.
PAT: It’s also really good, because we can buy a lot more music gear. So, we rented out a studio space, we’ve got monitors, good speakers, sound cards and keyboards.
IMOGEN: What’s it like to work with guys like Flume and Wave Racer?
PAT: I think from an outsider’s perspective you feel like these people are like gods and stuff.
PAT: Yeah, but when you meet them in real life they’re sort of just like exactly the same as anyone else, they’re just normal people. And you just relate on a musical level, it’s really cool and I feel like it’s really weird when people come up to you and are like OMG!
COSMO: Yeah, the way we react is so underwhelming and it must seem like we don’t like them – but it’s not like that at all, we just don’t know what to say. We actually knew Wave Racer before he was Wave Racer.
PAT: We’re on the same management as well.
COSMO: We’re all together. We hang out all the time, we’re literally mates. It’s really good to have that connection and we always bounce ideas off each other and work on stuff together.
PAT: Yeah, we share studio space.
IMOGEN: How do you go about choosing which tracks you’d like to work with and remix?
COSMO: That’s pretty easy to say, if it’s something that’s really ‘hooky’ in the original… we can take that differently and write a different thing around that.
PAT: Just like a melody or line that sticks out and you’re like wow, I want to reinterpret that and take it in a new direction.
COSMO: The way we go in remixing is to try and make an original track, we’re not trying to just do a variation – but to go in and make an entirely different thing.
IMOGEN: What’s your preferred venue for live performances?
PAT: I like small venues.
COSMO: Yeah, they’re more intimate. You’re right there in amongst the people. Everyone is a little less shy, I don’t know – people are a bit more reserved at festivals. Depends on the song as well.
PAT: I feel like you can play more inventive music when you’re playing in smaller venues, where as when you’re at festivals you kind of have to play festival music to cater – playing big exciting stuff.
IMOGEN: Who are your musical influences?
COSMO: Endless. We could talk about our recent influences? When we first started out as Cosmo’s Midnight – we were really getting a bit desensitised to the dubstep stuff. We liked it back it in the day.
PAT: Yeah, when we were still in school.
COSMO: We liked that music because it was what our older brother listened to, so we liked The Presets and Bag Raiders – a lot of electronic acts. We were like we want to make stuff like that, also a lot of french electro acts like Justice and SebastiAn. We really liked that scene, but we got a little bit disenchanted and wanted to make something a bit more lasting.
PAT: Something that can endure.
COSMO: Yeah, and when we’re writing music you can hear what we were listening to at the time and what we were enjoying at that time. We were making the chilled-ambient stuff and now we’re moving towards music similar to what we’re listening to now like Lido, 813, Calum Bowen and a lot of video game music. Video game music is so ADHD, but so enjoyable because everyone second there’s something happening. Three minutes can feel like a life time in a really good way.
PAT: I feel like everyone in the scene we’re doing right now is just sort of inspired by each other. It just feels like a big melting pot of musical ideas.
IMOGEN: What’s the funniest mistake you’ve ever made when playing a live show?
COSMO: Oh, they’re never funny. It’s just scary. Just accidentally pressing play on a different track and it just cuts out…. But I feel it’s kinda good because they see we can make mistakes. But yeah, it’s just small things like audio cutting. Like when we were playing at Splendour, the sample rate was really weird and making this buzzing sound and we were like: “ahhh” and changing it during the intro of the song.
PAT: I think people thought it was an effect of something, cause it was dipping the pitch.
IMOGEN: How would you describe the electronic music scene at the moment?
PAT: It’s very vast and it’s pretty progressive, people are trying to push stuff in new directions instead of settling into predictable things. It doesn’t really seem to be settling down into a genre. It just seems to be: music is just music?
COSMO: I think people are writing music more for songs now and not thinking about how it’s going to fit in anything. They’re not trying to make a genre, they’re just making what they feel like and then it eventually fits into a genre.
COSMO: I feel like the next level is always like to combine and conquer.
PAT: Isn’t it supposed to be divide and conquer?
COSMO: No, isn’t it combine? [laughs] Well, what we want to do is combine with our mates and then go to the top. The way to do that… people like A$AP (Rocky) and like Odd Future – it works. You all come together, give yourself a collective image and people really love the idea.
PAT: Even just like Sad Boys.
IMOGEN: You must be pretty busy this time of year, what’s in store for the future?
PAT: We actually took a couple of months of since March to write new material and we went into some studios and recorded some vocals.
COSMO: Yeah, we’re trying to work on getting a good backlog of tunes to see how we want to piece them together and put out an EP or something bigger. We’ve just had to write a lot of songs and step back from our live music part for a bit.
PAT: But, we’re going to be doing more club shows. We’re playing in Brisbane next week at the Met with Tigerlily.
COSMO: Next year, we’ll be going ‘round the world a bit. Probably America and Europe, but right now it’s kind of just like putting out some big singles for summer.
PAT: We’re doing a real cool New Year’s show as well in Melbourne, Beyond the Valley.
IMOGEN: Anything else you would like to say to your fans?
PAT: Keep at it [laughs]. Don’t give up whatever you’re doing!
COSMO: But yeah, if you’re producing the best thing to do is just to stick at it, always. People get so disheartened by the fact that they’re not famous yet and I know a lot of people that go into it with that intention. The main thing is just not stop! Stay posted! We’ve got so many new tunes to put up.
Hometown: Sydney, Australia.
Latest Song: AlunaGeorge – Superstar (Cosmo’s Midnight x Lido Remix)
Sounds like: Lido, Wave Racer, Flume
Say what? The boys study Arts degrees (Contemporary Music) at USYD – make sure you show them some love if you spot them on campus.
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Antoine Valentinelli (Lomepal) is a French dude you may not have heard of. However, the new release of his single “Chute libre” translating to ‘free fall’ is something you should be familiar with – it’s dope! This cool cat grew up in Paris and has been rapping from a young age. Since collaborating with friends from high school and randomly being invited to rap on their track “A la trappe” when a friend flaked out, he scored a one way ticket to enter the big world of hip hop.
Now, three years later and 22 years old Lomepal’s musical craft is less freestyle and more structured, labeling it as heading towards “pure music” in an interview earlier this year by Larsenic. Lomepal’s last album Cette foutue perle was released September last year and shares some of the same tasty vibes as his new single Chute libre. His reflections on live performances: “Stage is a science, like any other element in rap. It’s even an art for some,” make him a pretty interesting guy and worth a listen.
I think when you press play to “Chute libre”, you’ll agree with me when I say that: everything sounds better in French. Especially rap. Perhaps it’s the guttural language that makes Lomepal’s tunes roll with an easy rhythm.
So smooth. Such rap. Do you yourself a favour and take a listen. If you’re wondering what the lyrics are saying, there’s a heavy political commentary on current global financial issues such as the fight for workers rights and dichotomy between rich and poor.
“Arrête la chute libre” [Stop the free fall] Lomepal sounds like a serious guy, until you hear he loved watching Dragon Ball as a kid and now is seriously into TV Show Breaking Bad.
Future plans involve a new EP in the making, apparently in two contrasting parts (with darker and lighter content).
Hometown: Paris, France.
Sounds like: Stromae, Mobb Deep, Akhenaton.
Say what? Check out what old school Lomepal and his hip hopper friends were up to 3 years ago: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/ xlk1dc_nekfeu-x-lomepal-x-l-o-a-la-trappe_music
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Kito & Reija Lee are not only good looking but also create some pretty sweet music.
In this musical collaboration, Reija covers the vocals and Kito produces. It kickstarted when they released a track for Skream’s defunct label Disfigured Dubz and were then discovered by the ubiquitous producer Diplo and his label Mad Decent.
‘Turn Into You’ is a track from their aptly titled second EP. I love the uncomfortable trap beats at the start, where you don’t know what direction this song is heading in and you can’t quite find the right beat to tap along to. There’s also some excellent use of complete silence. Then it hits the chorus where the hook draws you in, and the song suddenly transforms into a pop number.
It’s a good four-track EP. If you like this, stream the entire thing on Soundcloud.
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Hometown: Perth, Australia – London, UK.
Latest EP: II, released 23 July 2014.
Sounds like: Phantogram, Grimes, Alison Wonderland.
Say what? In an interview with Vibe, they reveal that “Reija was born in a town of seven people and Kito grew up in a mud brick house, a six-hour drive south of Perth (middle of no where, or ‘out in the sticks’ as we say in Australia).”
Exclusively handpicked just for you, by Jane.
Here at art felicis, we’re gearing up for RY X‘s Melbourne gig with his single “Berlin” that was released November last year. Aussie singer-songwriter Ry Cuming (RY X) from the small surfer town of Angourie has been making waves after signing with Stockholm-based Dumont Dumont last year. Since then, RY X’s music has been featured on a European advertising campaign for Sony TVs. RY X has rubbed shoulders with the likes of Maroon 5 and Sara Bareilles and has developed a new soulful sound.
His single “Berlin” evokes a certain reverb-heavy guitar sound. Oh, so intense. Although the lyrics are minimal, “Berlin” manages to somehow reach into your rib cages and hold onto your heart.
You can feel it in your bones through the deep, rich vocals and velvet-smooth melody. Some may say RY X uses an overused anthem of love for his song material – but who doesn’t? It’s hard to prevent yourself from falling in love with his acoustic circles. RY X has the ability to produce a sound that has an endless cycle of emotional ripples. He gives us something we can all relate to. If you’re into Bon Iver and all things beautiful – I’d recommend giving RY X a chance.
If you’re a fan of goosebumps and oceans, head down to his exclusive Melbourne or Sydney show.
Hometown: Angourie, NSW, Australia.
Latest EP: Berlin, released 28 November 2013.
Sounds like: Matt Corby, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver.
Say what? RY X mentioned in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that Pearl Jam and Jeff Buckley had the greatest musical influence on him.
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Je suis la imaginer, Imogen
- Tacky – “Bad Babysitter” by Princess Superstar
- I am female with a body therefore I am subservient to males – “I’m A Slave 4 U” by Britney Spears
- I am a woman, recognise that you have nothing on this – “Two Weeks” by FKA Twigs
“Two Weeks” is a rampant storm that is raw, encompassing, emotional and intuitive to the often-confusing landscape of female sexuality. FKA Twigs nails it in what is the latest bombshell from her short but constantly improving trip-hop/future-pop catalogue.
Picking up a quicker pace and much more conventional song format than her previous releases such as “Papi Pacify” and ” Water Me“, Twigs has released a song that sits before, during and after a weekend altering your serotonin levels.
“Two Weeks” is a track that goes through all the motions (I see you, I want you, this isn’t really me talking, I love you, who the hell is that?, I wish I hated you, you are perfect, le sigh) whereas her previous releases seem to fit in at 6AM on a Sunday morning when you climb into bed after a night out and then on Tuesday when you find yourself staring at the wall before crying over the shitty batch of 2-minute noodles that you managed to make yourself.
The track starts off with an introduction that uses augmented vocal loops to set the beat of the song where we are led toward Twigs’ soft voice. Her voice is one that floats effortlessly between head and falsetto as she sings about the sexual gratification that comes from leading someone on and then, the longing and jealousy that occurs when they get over you and they get on with someone else.
Twigs takes ownership of her sexuality through her lyrical enunciation particularly when she gasps between the words “Got your mouth open” which builds a climax that flings us suddenly into the chorus. This is when shit gets hella intense.
Multi-layered synths fill out a building and drilling chord progression in the chorus that seems to fall short as the cadence ends on Twigs’ airy and light voice. This is seemingly the intention as the building of chords continues whilst Twigs’ asserts “Pull out the incisor, give me two weeks you won’t recognise her”.
It is here that we are confronted with a three-part harmony/army overlay as Twigs pushes “her” onto us.
The sonic overlay that comes from this reminds us of all the power that a woman can muster in herself when faced against another that stands in the way of love.
This is a notion that is further reiterated in the second verse when Twigs sings “I can fuck you better than her” (a bit obvious please).
And so, “Two Weeks” continues on as a song that you just can’t ignore. We are led to the bridge (which is essentially a high-pitched trigger on repeat) as Twigs’ finally admits to the transition from lust to reality but, not before she hits us with her reasoning which she cleverly crafts into a vocal melody line that smashes over the top of the chorus instrumental.
I know there are still five and a half months left of 2014 in which I will hear a lot of new and great tunes. Despite this, “Two Weeks” will go down as the best track of 2014 and once you listen to that masterful electronic composition, you’ll realise how.
So, go out, get your hump on and tell them FKA Twigs sent you.
Upcoming release: LP1 (due out 8 August, 2014)
Sounds Like: Portishead, Banks, Kelela
Say What? Before she based herself as a musician, Twigs was a professional dancer and scored a spot as a back-up dancer in Jessie J’s video “Do It Like A Dude”. Check out the video.
Paws and pineapples, Cat
Her full name is Takudzwa Victoria Maidza but let’s just stick with Tkay Maidza for now. She’s born in Zimbabwe and has only JUST turned 18. Can teenagers stop being more accomplished than me?
But actually, Tkay, you can continue. This girl is producing songs that Australia just hasn’t heard much of yet, and that’s exciting.
art felicis saw her briefly at Nina Las Vegas Presents, when she was riding the success of “Brontosaurus”. Her new track “U-Huh” follows a similar creative mash of electronic and hip hop with colourful textures, but it’s more melodic and features much more of Maidza’s attitude-filled, turbo-speed rapping. When this song premiered on triple j’s breakfast show Matt & Alex the other day, Tkay described it as, “a shout out to all the people that pretend to like you and be your friend.” U-huh.
Maidza will be playing at Splendour in the Grass next week, if you were lucky enough to secure tickets for that much coveted festival. If not, we’re going to have a Splendour wrap-up right here for you following the weekend.
Hometown: Adelaide, Australia.
Upcoming EP: Expected towards the end of this year.
Sounds like: Azealia Banks and MIA.
Say what? After performing in front of royals Prince William and Duchess Kate earlier in the year, Kate said to Maidza, “I tried to stop Will from dancing.”
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Exclusively and pretentiously handpicked just for you, by Jane.
Two months ago, Usher released “Good Kisser”, the lead single from his upcoming eighth studio album (yes you read that right, EIGHTH). Now I know that I ragged on about Jane and her crazed fangirl love for Danny Harley from The Kite String Tangle last week (check out our Twitter for the recovery conversation I had with Danny), so I will happily confess that I have a thing for Usher (who doesn’t?).
Nothing Jane-crazy here (hehe), I just attended Usher’s OMG Tour with a few friends at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne a few years ago (yes we held up signs), and have been a longtime fan since “You Make Me Wanna…” in 1997 (yikes, when I was 6). Oh, and my family owns an Usher teddy bear. My mum and older sisters purchased it from his first Australian Evolution 8701 Tour around 2001-2002 (I was too young to attend apparently), and the teddy wears a white t-shirt with Usher’s name printed on it, as well as a picture of him topless (???).
“Good Kisser” is all about kissing, as you can imagine. However, with lyrics like “Got lipstick on my leg”, critics suggest that it may be a sneaky innuendo about oral sex. The song is urban R&B and makes powerful use of percussion, with salsa drums, handclaps, and cowbells. There’s much to love about this song. Usher’s incredible vocal range isn’t hidden under layers of studio mixing, and the song sounds fresh and modern, while retaining Usher’s old-school R&B vibe.
And then magic happened when Disclosure released a remix of the song on their Soundcloud a little over a week ago. In Disclosure’s signature style, the remix layers percussion samples slowly, playing up the handclaps, and injecting the original with some synth and electronic production, giving the song a bit of a disco spin. Disclosure rarely get it wrong, and this dance remix is one we can definitely see circulating da club scene.
I’m not going to compare the two because I think they’re both pretty darn good in their own right, but I will admit that Disclosure’s version encouraged me to get up and have a little jig in my room, more so than the original. S’all good though. Usher shows off his incredible dance moves in his music video, and drums topless. Usher loses no points.
THE BREAKDOWN: Usher (see Disclosure here)
Hometown: Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Upcoming album: Little to no details have been released, but Usher stated in a FADER interview that “It’s gonna be freaking out of here.” !!! “Space and sky, that’s what it’ll be. You look up, and it’s everything you can imagine.” Expectations are high!
Sounds like: Diddy, Trey Songz, Ne-Yo
Say what? After Usher’s father died from a heart attack in January 2008, Usher became a vegetarian. Several years later, he adopted a vegan diet for health reasons.
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Ciao ciao, Arianna
There’s so much great Australian music being released recently that I’m having a difficult time sifting through all the emails and articles and feeds. Yes, I am complaining about how quality our music scene is right now.
At the forefront is Adelaide/Melbourne rapper Allday. We’ve covered a range of Australian hip hop acts at art felicis – including Ry, Remi and Bam Bam. It’s a divisive niche genre, but Allday straddles an area crossing pop , hip hop and electronic, and thus opens his music up to a wide range of fans.
Real name Tomas Gaynor, he’s just released his debut album Startup Cult which is currently sitting at number 2 on the ARIA charts. “You Always Know The DJ” is the second single off the album following the success of “Right Now”. I was a big fan of his older track “So Good” (damn that track is so good), but at a time when he didn’t have that many other stand out tracks going around, I had my doubts about his staying power.
However, since then, pretty much everything he’s released has been a solid effort, and “You Always Know The DJ” continues that run. This stripped back track with simple piano chords, minimals beats and a little bit of vocal manipulation still proves his knack for writing utterly catchy hooks while also keeping a certain level of raw, unrefined rapping. He’s stated that, “making music may not be healing the sick or feeding the hungry, but if it makes you forget your problems for a few minutes then I’ve done my job. Whether you buy the CD, buy the mp3s or even torrent the album, I hope it means something to you.”
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia.
Latest Album: Startup Cult, released 4 July 2014.
Sounds like: Jackie Onassis and Chance Waters.
Say what? One of the tracks in Startup Cult, “Another Night At Windy Point”, features bong sound effects.
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Exclusively and pretentiously handpicked just for you, by Jane.
Earlier in the year I watched Seekae perform at Golden Plains.
I won’t lie, I don’t remember much of it except that it was really hot and that they played at 3pm when really, they are a band that should be putting on the epic light shows that they are known for at 12am (these guys program their lights with their beats and create something close to a outer space nebula…seriously check them out if you can).
They probably played their new track ‘Test & Recognise’ and I probably really liked it. This is the end of the review.
Seekae has always been a band that I’ve found hard to describe. To me, they don’t just make “a song” as such but rather moments in a headspace that they beautifully recreate into something that listeners can relate to and imagine being in.
Piling layers of samples from analogue synthesisers over conflicting beats, Seekae decided to add the floaty vocals of Alex Cameron into their mixes and haven’t put a foot wrong since. ‘Test & Recognise’ is a step towards a more up tempo sound for Seekae and is a track that has cleverly crafted Cameron’s monotone vocals in a way that sounds sharp and snappy and they bobble over the syncopated percussion track.
A new and exciting path for Seekae and a great lead up to their new release later in the year, ‘Test & Recognise’ provides a good intermission for the fans waiting for more Seekae light shows.
Hometown: Sydney, Australia.
Upcoming album: The Worry, to be released September 2014 (available for pre-order now, here).
Sounds like: Mount Kimbie, Gold Panda, Four Tet.
Say what? Before they were called Seekae, the trio was called Commander Keen.
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Paws and pineapples, Cat.