Back in early 2012, Blue Mountain beat-makers Hermitude dropped ‘Hyperparadise’, an album that earned them the 8th Annual Australian Music Prize, international recognition and consolidated their position as legends of Aussie hip-hop and electronic music.
Track after track of earth rattling hip-hop beats with a distinctive dance flavour garnered significant airplay, something furthered by a remix of the title track by you-know-who. If you’ve seen them play, Hermitude also happen to be amongst the coolest performers in circulation, reproducing many elements live on those lovely little MPCs. To say the least, they’ve set the bar pretty fucking high for themselves for a follow-up.
Released last Friday through Elefant Traks, LP number five ‘Dark Night Sweet Light’ has certainly done the trick.
Opening up with ‘Hijinx’ and the absolute monster of a track ‘Through the Roof’ (those horns, goodness), it’s immediately clear that Dubs and El Gusto have put every effort into refining their production techniques for Dark Night Sweet Light. The distinctive grooves carried on from Hyperparadise remain at the heart of the album, glitching up samples with synth lines around nice fat beats. However, this time everything just feels crisper.
Reverb heavy sweeping piano and synths lines are thrown against sharp percussion, providing a nice contrast in many of the tracks. So too are vocals effectively implemented, something that’s going to be a lot of fun live. ‘The Buzz’ released earlier this year as a single really stands out, the drop in which is ridiculous. Good ridiculous.
Other highlights include ‘Metropolis’, a kind of trap-influenced tune with a bit of 80s flavour, as well as ‘Bermuda Bay’.
Hermitude could have gone in any number of directions with their latest offering. The success of Hyperparadise may have compelled them to release something more experimental or toned down, or indeed something very similar. But no, everything about this album is bigger and fatter without going over the top.
In all, Dark Night Sweet Light is a well-executed and highly polished achievement from the dynamic duo. I can’t wait to see them again in June for a boogie.
Hometown: Blue Mountains, NSW.
Latest LP: Dark Night Sweet Light, released 15th May.
Sounds like: Bonobo meets a gangster and they get fucked up, but also have deep conversations. Nah I dunno, it’s good though.
Deaf, cold and drunk, Leo signing off.