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Live Review: Penelope Two-Five re-introduce the derelict 90's in their new EP

5 December 2017 | 10:02 am | Julie Fenwick

A great example of how todays youth culture is revamping the post-soviet 90’s club scene, shiny and new but in a derelict kind-of way.

Lost Tapes for Calvin is the debut EP from Brisbane club music duo, PENELOPE TWO-FIVE and is, endearingly, an amalgamation of thoughtfully written lyrics and innovative house/ techno beats. It embraces and introduces sounds that are finding increasing popularity in the Australian clubbing scene and, in doing this, brings a new take on the culture. #DadAcid is how the two describe their music on Soundcloud but the depth of genre does not just end there. Like all good emerging artists Penelope Two-Five offers something more and something not quite definable; the creation of new genres, conflicting ones and hybrids unheard of.

One thing I love about Penelope Two-Five’s release is a theme seemingly inspired by the atmosphere of large, open spaces, as well as the sounds that seem to fill them. 'Timelapse', the fifth track from the EP, is a great example of this. It’s futuristic, space-like and, throughout, mimics the sound of water dripping in an old, abandoned tunnel. But let's start from the beginning.

The EP begins with 'She', which consists of catchy vocals drenched in desolation and production that keeps the track upbeat. We then move to 'Constant Variable', which is a little darker and deeper, consisting of slow builds and is a good example of the EP’s acid twists. 'TVGA-9000' brings the beat back up and emphasises ‘trainspotting-90’s-type’ house, providing great contrast to the next track, 'Snowing In Dresden', which reintroduces the darkness: a heavy bass, angelic yet eerie undertones and whose intro reminds me of the tracks Gosha Rubchinskiy uses in his derelict warehouse fashion shows.

'Timelapse', as mentioned before, is futuristic and space-like with vocals that conflict, almost unbearably yet also attractively, with the backing production. 'Ox (Interlude)', the sixth track off the EP, is slow and beat-driven while 'Celestial, Pt 2', the seventh track, pulls back the lyrics and airs out the beat. The eighth and final track is 'Particle' and, from the outset, appears to be a slow end to the EP. In fact, 'Particle' includes an intense acid/house section, which intertwines spaced vocals before dropping off into atmospheric silence.

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Penelope Two-Five’s EP is a great example of how today's youth culture is revamping the post-Soviet 90’s club scene, with the EP holding a harshness in its production that is dimmed by its vocals; shiny and new but in a derelict kind-of way. What I also love about this EP is the placement of its tracks in correspondence to each other; it’s conflicting. It will place something upbeat next to something a bit darker; something more beat driven next to a track that is more lyrically dominant. By doing this, the duo emphasise the mastery behind each track and make sure what needs to be heard, is.

Penelope Two-Five are a great up and coming club duo that also possess the possibility for a more mainstream market. They are sure to make a mark on the upcoming year, 2018, and I hope to see them in a club or warehouse in Melbourne soon.