Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram
Link to our TikTok

Live Review: Take a trip with River Yarra and Transit State's 'Gnome Gnowledge'

21 April 2020 | 3:30 pm | Jessica Negus

Melbourne-based producers River Yarra and Transit State have combined for a split release on Pelvis Records, titled Gnome Knowledge.

Melbourne-based producers River Yarra and Transit State have combined for a split release on Pelvis Records, titled Gnome Gnowledge. The six track EP is the label’s second launch of 2020, off the back of the latest iteration of their DJ Tools series last month.

Transit State is the moniker of Pelvis co-founder Ryan Powderly - whilst there are few Transit State productions to be found on the web, Powderly is developing a viral following for his Instagram documented productions, cheekily featuring backyard tools, tinnies and even a Doors Plus ad. It’s this sense of humour that brings Gnome Gnowledge together alongside River Yarra, the frog king alias of Raudie Mcleod. Following the success of his EP Frogmania on French label Antinote last year, Mcleod builds upon his idiosyncratic sonic template, drawing wide inspiration from older eras of dance music, organic Australian soundscapes and an otherworldly array of experimental textures.

Alternating between the two artists, Gnome Gnowledge takes a slightly different, trippier turn from previous Pelvis releases - making for both thoughtful home listening and uplifting dancefloor moments. Transit State opens proceedings with ‘Unseen’, offering nostalgic soundscapes laced with rumbling, rubbery synths, and continues the sweet sentimentality into ‘Backstroke Under Bridge’, which but for its warm guitar riffs sounds like something out of any much loved Nintendo game. Powderly’s final contribution to the release, ‘Angst’, plays with layered, warped vocals that ebb and flow over downtempo, choppy synths and cascading bleeps.

Second off the bat, River Yarra’s ‘Mopoke’ is moody and driving, gradually increasing in intensity and speed whilst punctuated by hypnotic arpeggiators. A similar formula is emulated in ‘Metrognome’, where expansive and organic percussion rises and tumbles into a heaving bassline that would provide a memorable atmosphere in a club set. Rounding off Gnome Gnowledge is the ten minute long journey through ‘Cooee’ - richly layered tribal rhythms ground this upbeat piece that takes the best from 90’s progressive house and trance and gives them a decidedly Australiana flavour. ‘Cooee’ encompasses Mcleod’s trademark style - playful, euphoric and a little kitsch, and would happily find itself stuck in the heads of ravers at a doof approaching sunrise.

Plug into the latest music with our FREE weekly newsletter

Gnome Gnowledge reaffirms Pelvis's place at the forefront of the Australian underground, with both artists providing some of their finest work to date. More of this please.

Words by Jessica Negus