Our 7 Must Hear Collaborative Acts of 2015
With more artists fusing together their influences to create ever expanding genres and sub genres, the logical next step to perfect this and explore further into new realms of music, is for artists to share and collaborate their skills and together become a whole new act.
This is something which is becoming more and more prominent.
The first collaboration which really caught my attention and which prompted my recognition of other collaborating artists was Darkside – the unity of Nicholas Jaar and Dave Harrington. Jaar is well known for his intriguing electronics and deep vocals which are still apparent in Darkside, however Harrington offers his guitar based influence to create a whole new beautiful sound.
With many acts that have come together, you can identify the influences from their separate backgrounds, sometimes these backgrounds lie at opposite ends of the musical spectrum, and on paper mixing them together might not make a lot of sense, but nothing truly original can be developed by sticking to what you know, and that’s what some of the following have done.
We have been huge advocates of PORSCHES from the moment we heard their first track ‘Horses’, in fact we loved them so much we brought them in to do a guest mix for our Purple Sneakers show and it blew our tiny brains.
Together CARL FOX and JESSE SEWELL make a tropical indie dance sound with their taster track being deemed as ‘the sound of summer’- a little lighter than Fox’s individual productions, nevertheless quite similar.
With only ‘Horses’ out at the moment prepping us for what’s to come, we can be sure these guys have chemistry, but before their next song release we are eagerly awaiting the ‘Horses’ video shot in Sydney, for which Jesse made a public event inviting people to come down for the filming.
TUXEDO’s music transports us all the way back to the 70s with their smooth funk-soul injected basslines and vocals. The duo is made up of a guy already established in the field of 70s soul- MAYER HAWTHORNE, and the other half JAKE ONE who is highly respected in the world of hip hop.
The 2 actually began exchanging mixtapes back in 2006 and then 2 years ago 3 tracks appeared on the internet, it is only recently however that they have been releasing tracks from their upcoming full length album ‘Number One’.
Although their music is inspired by the same era as Hawthorne’s work, TUEXDO have more of a dance floor feel, not only their productions but their DJ sets, in particular their most recent set in Rotterdam, they’re definitely a pair to experience live.
PARCELS are a relatively new project with their first EP ‘Clockscared’ only recently released on 28th February. This Byron Bay 5 piece is comprised from a collection of musicians from POTATO POTATO, LIFELINE and PROWLER, and have managed to evade the stigma behind the saying ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ and instead created a broth none of us thought imaginable, with flavours of 80s funk and soul, classic jazz and modern electronics.
The difference with these guys is that their productions are really heavy in each field of music they feature, strong electronically yet also with the funk and jazz and by some form of wizardry they make it work, really work, and that’s why their sound is so unique.
Those of you who followed our artists to watch in 2015 will recognise this new formation created through KASHIKOI, who have combined their nu-jazz skills with the electronic hip hop of trio CHILD’s PLAY, both genres brought in equal measures, creating a whole new vibe.
The creation of KOI CHILD wasn’t a slow nurturing over time, although the flow in their music would imply this, no, the 2 bands met after being placed on the same bill at a gig in Fremantle.
After performing they decided to get together to do an impromptu jam session, which managed to catch the attention of TAME IMPALA’s Kevin Parker. From hearing this new interesting development Parker invited them down to support TAME IMPALA at Rottnest Island and went on to record and mix their first track ‘Slow One’. The hype behind these guys is insane and it is in no way unjustified, now we’re just playing the waiting game for their next release.
TEAR COUNCIL are another new formation with only one song to their name so far, but it’s an extremely promising start. Both members of Tear council are former members of the electro pop band VAN SHE, however have also had separate projects, Matt Van Schie as one half of DU TONC and Michael Di Francesco under his solo alias TOUCH SENSITIVE.
This act differs from the others having already worked together in such a successful group, however their separate projects veered off into different directions and the single ‘Anywhere’ released through TEAR COUNCIL is a projection of these musical endeavours. It has that TOUCH SENSITIVE bassline and the chorus is leaking with that tropical feel of VAN SHE and DU TONC and those distinctive vocals from Matt.
Who would have thought a guy who began his music writing career after listening to Jeff Buckley’s album ‘Grace’ would eventually team up with a guy who’s grown up in a City where deep house was pioneered, well it’s happened. Ry X known for his chillingly beautiful vocals both as a solo artist and in his band THE ACID and Frank Wiedemann (one half of Âme) are now together known as HOWLING.
The pair released a one off track ‘Howling’ in 2012 just under their separate names, and from this was born a new Moniker for which they would continue to merge chill with dance.
Although from 2 completely different musical backgrounds, both artists have mastered the art of simplicity, using a stripped back approach to really engross their audience and that’s why it’s such a neat pairing, giving both artists a new edge to the music they know and produce. The new album ‘Sacred Ground’ will be out in May.
HWLS is a collaboration which differs from the aforementioned acts in that the pair that make it up, Ta-Ku and Kit Pop, are very similar in their music production, both making bass heavy, hip hop inspired electronic material, which is also the path that HWLS follows. This exception to the general theme we’ve developed here shows value can be added even if the artists expertise lie in the same area, it’s just about being able to relinquish control and work together.
In an interview with HWLS (just Kit pop), we found out that the 2 rarely actually record together in studio, instead they send each other what they’ve worked on so ‘it’s fresh to their ears’ sending it back and forth each time manipulating and adding their own elements. The only thing they need to work on now is actually naming their tracks, although their use of numbering is quite unique.
So this is where our list ends… in no way does that mean there aren’t many more new collaborative acts which we bow down to here at Purple Sneakers but the list had to end some time, and cutting it down hasn’t been easy.
Enjoy and be sure to keep an ear out for further releases from all these guys.
Words by Hollie Cunningham