“See, it sounds like a pop release, but that’s the trick! Once you realise this you can begin appreciating Unknown Knowns for the interweaving guitars and all the space used by the drawn out arrangements as the mini-album/extended EP sublimely unfolds.” – Drum Media
Featuring members of legendary Perth bands Umpire, Adam Said Galore and Blue Tile Lounge, Mukaizake combine intricate, dynamic guitar parts, borrowing heavily from math-inspired indie rock, with highly accessible song structures and strong melodic vocals. Their songs feature organic, reactive playing, with a depth and subtlety that is revealed on repeat listens.
The cliché ‘all killer, no filler’ is often bandied around with very little to back it up. In the case of Mukaizake’s stunning new release Unknown Knowns, the cliché applies: this six-song, half-hour mini-album is sheer perfection. Unknown Knowns kicks off with the fuzzy propulsion of single ‘The Yeah Conditioner’, immediately launching the listener into Mukaizake’s compelling corner of the musical universe. This is serpentine indie-rock at its finest, weaving hook after hook around your chest until you’re suspended from the clouds, a grin plastered across your face, unable to even think about listening to anything else. ‘Rule Norse’ ups the ante with a thunderously rollicking first half that follows with gorgeous layered backing vocals and hovering guitars in the exultant, expansive second half. ‘Corporal Steam’ winds the album down a notch with its chiming circular guitar harmonics and Geoff Symons’ plaintive vocals before ‘Frisbee’ launches the listener off the edge of a cliff attached to an electric boomerang of riffs and angular melodies. Then, the stunningly wistful ‘My Friend Flicker’ and the dreamy lament of ‘Slack Bees’ bring the listener down in a pool of dazzling songmanship.
Mapping The Static
Mukaizake’s brilliant debut album mixes elements of math-rock, indie-rock and post-rock into a sublime and mesmerisingly melodic whole. Mapping the Static presented a sound that was somehow innately representative of the best music of their home town of Perth, yet also traversed far beyond it. The scope of Mukaizake’s songwriting and sense of melody on their debut was, and still is, something to behold.
Mukaizake formed in 1999 when four friends banded together to create a new voice in the Perth music scene. The band comprises Dan Erickson (Bluetile Lounge), Simon Struthers (Umpire, Adam Said Galore), Geoff Symons (Umpire, ex-Adam Said Galore, O!), and Michael Lake (Umpire, ex-Adam Said Galore). The band have supported artists such as Mercury Rev, Death Cab For Cutie, Will Oldham, Dave Pajo (Papa M, Slint), Something For Kate, The Sleepy Jackson and Big Heavy Stuff, to name a few. Simon Struthers has produced albums for artists such as Felicity Groom, Bob Evans, Apricot Rail and The Kill Devil Hills.
After a lengthy absence from the Australian music scene, Mukaizake are set to release Unknown Knowns, the stunning follow up to their highly acclaimed 2003 album Mapping the Static. The band combines intricate, dynamic guitar structures, borrowing heavily from math-inspired indie rock, with highly accessible song structures and strong melodic vocals. Their songs feature organic, reactive playing, with a depth and subtlety that is revealed on repeat listens.
The recording for Unknown Knowns began back in 2004, when the band set aside a long weekend to lay down basic tracks. Soon after this initial recording, members of the band relocated to different cities across Australia, putting the band on temporary hiatus. The songs have since evolved, with the band utilising Forensic Audio, Simon’s recording studio, to record and re-work the songs over time, with the final mixes finally finished mid-2009.
The extended production and recording process gave the band time to fully realise the awesome potential of the songs. As a result, the six track mini-album is an inspired marriage of melody and composition, all held together by extraordinary musicianship.
Hidden Shoal is excited to end the celebration of its 10th year of existence with the new compilation album Eat Your Friends, comprising remixes and covers of Hidden Shoal artists, by Hidden Shoal artists. This freely downloadable album not only showcases the wealth of original music released through Hidden Shoal, but also the creative ingenuity and deft musical touch of the remixers and cover artists.
From searing solar-flared adaptations to delicately reconstructed covers, deep space jam reworkings, and shimmering ambient tapestries, Eat Your Friends reimagines the Hidden Shoal discography in new and beautiful ways, playing to all the strengths of the roster’s dizzying array of talent.
Includes remixes and covers by: Antonymes, Arc Lab, Glanko, Wayne Harriss, Liminal Drifter, Makee, Chloe March, Markus Mehr, Erik Nilsson, REW<<, Slow Dancing Society, Tin Manzano, Willem Gator, and Zealous Chang of music by: Arc Lab, Brother Earth, Cheekbone, City of Satellites, Medard Fischer, Gilded, Glanko & Daniel Bailey, Kryshe, Memorybell, Erik Nilsson, perth, Slow Dancing Society, Tangled Star, Umpire, and Zealous Chang.
Eat Your Friends is available now as a free download via Bandcamp and is also streamable via SoundCloud. Listen and then throw yourself into the wormhole as you explore the originals and more work by the remixers and cover artists. For all the filmmakers, games designers and others in need of engaging music, don’t forget that all tracks in our catalogue are available for licensing (film, tv, games, compilations etc).
Hidden Shoal is extremely excited to be celebrating its 10th birthday this month. It’s hard to believe that back in May 2006, Perth-based musicians Cam Merton, Stuart Medley and Malcolm Riddoch began Hidden Shoal Recordings as a means to put out releases by local artists. Tim Clarke, based in Melbourne, joined the team in 2007. Hidden Shoal has since gone on to become a much-loved independent label and publisher, releasing over 120 albums from a diverse range of international artists and licensing music from its catalogue across film, tv, web and compilation.
Stay tuned for special anniversary announcements in the coming months!
We’re very excited to announce that the stunning debut releases by Perth bands Mukaizake and Umpire – originally released in 2003 and 2009 respectively – have now joined our publishing catalogue. Umpire’s self-titled EP and Mukaizake’s Mapping the Static are each such accomplished debuts – and round out both outfits’ discographies for Hidden Shoal. Fans of both bands will know of the shared membership, and having all four releases by the two outfits together sets up wonderful trajectories and crossovers between them. These releases are mathy, rocky, languid and melodically rich.
Check out Umpire’s debut EP and album here, and do the same for both Mukaizake albums here. The tracks from all four releases are available for licensing (master & sync cleared) for film, tv, web, games and more. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any licensing enquiries.
Throughout the month of May 2012, Hidden Shoal Recordings is celebrating its sixth birthday. Later in the month will be the release of the latest free sampler album, Triangulating Nature, which compiles 12 singles released over the last 12 months. Other delicious surprises will be revealed in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more info.
Since starting up in Perth, Western Australia in 2006, Hidden Shoal has developed an enviable roster of genre-defying global and local recording artists. With 40+ acts from 10+ different countries, ranging from British ambient artist Antonymes through to American musical experimentalist Todd Tobias and beyond, the committed team at Hidden Shoal continues to play an integral role in promoting exciting new independent music.
As part of our 5th birthday celebrations, we’ll be looking back at the history of Hidden Shoal, year by year, casting some light on artists and releases that may have been overlooked. For one week, all releases covered below will be available from the Hidden Shoal Store with a 30% discount. Flavoursome!
In 2009, Hidden Shoal continued to release stunning music from around the world, including debut Hidden Shoal albums from Hotels, HC-B, Tarcutta, Sleeping Me, City Of Satellites and Elisa Luu, sophomore albums from Jumpel and Wes Willenbring, a third album from Sankt Otten, and EPs from Stray Ghost and Down Review (a new collaboration between Arc Lab’s Medard Fischer and Near The Parenthesis’ Tim Arndt).
2009 was also notable for the release of our compilation album A Million Square Miles, a project endeavouring to showcase Western Australian talent to the US (the titular million square miles). After more than three years of sharing independent music far and wide, A Million Square Miles represented a key facet of the Hidden Shoal Recordings story. The album brings together a pair of tracks from each of the then eight WA-based artists on the Hidden Shoal roster: Mukaizake, Apricot Rail, Fall Electric, Glassacre, Toby Richardson, My Majestic Star, The Slow Beings and Tangled Star.
2009 also saw Hidden Shoal join forces with The Caribbean and Scott Solter in a single EP. This not only began a special relationship with the wonderful The Caribbean and created an ongoing avenue for them to release some of their more experimental offerings, but it also began the label’s relationship with Scott Solter, which eventually led us to Boxharp (Scott Solter and Wendy Allen).
HSR046: Jumpel Deuxieme Bureau
HSR047: Hotels Where Hearts Go Broke
HSR048: HC-B Soundcheck For A Missing Movie
HSR049: The Caribbean Scott Solter Re-Populates The Caribbean EP
HSR050: Sleeping Me Cradlesongs
HSR051: Tarcutta Tarcutta
HSR052: Tangled Star That Time EP
HSR053: Apricot Rail Apricot Rail
HSR054: Down Review From Here, For Anyone EP
HSR055: Sankt Otten Morgen Wieder Lustig
HSR056: Elisa Luu Chromatic Sigh
HSR057: Various artists A Million Square Miles
HSR058: Wes Willenbring Close, But Not Too Close
HSR059: Stray Ghost Each Paradise Is A Lost Paradise EP
HSR060: Mukaizake Unknown Knowns
HSR061: City Of Satellites Machine Is My Animal
To coincide with the label’s 5th birthday celebrations, Hidden Shoal is proud to announce the release of the latest installment in its free downloadable sampler album series. Hydrozoa compiles 18 singles released over the last 18 months and lovingly sequences them into an epic journey. The album is divided into two sides, each a distinct listening experience in its own right – or, if you choose to digest the album in its entirety, it’s a graduated ride from the ambient and minimal all the way through to the widescreen and guitar-fuelled. Whichever way you slice it, Hydrozoa is a compelling creature.
Featuring Antonymes, Boxharp, City of Satellites, Elisa Luu, Hotels, Iretsu, Jumpel, Liam Singer, Markus Mehr, Mukaizake, My Majestic Star, Rich Bennett, Salli Lunn, Slow Dancing Society, Stray Ghost, Toby Richardson, Umpire and Wes Willenbring, Hydrozoa touches all the bases that make the Hidden Shoal roster unique, and massages them into a broad-ranging and utterly engaging whole. The release accompanied by a pdf booklet containing stunning artwork by Hidden Shoal’s Stuart Medley.
Download the sampler here.
Awesome Perth label and general doers of musical good Love Is My Velocity have set up a Pop-Up local music store as part of the WAMI Festival. In the words of the good LIMV folk,
“For the first time, LIMV present a pop-up local music shop to promote Perth’s hardworking independent labels. Come by 54 Lake Street (opposite the Elephant & Wheelbarrow) browse through a great range of CDs, records, vinyl, t-shirts, merchandise and related products. Stock is sourced from a thriving community of local labels, including Meupe, Hidden Shoal, Walking Horse Records, Badminton Bandit, Owls, Heartless Robot and Jarrah Records. The goods of the independent Perth bands and musicians are also represented. For local music lovers this will be the place to score hard-to-find wares and new special edition merchandise. For those newbies it’s the perfect introduction to a wealth of WA music.”
Hidden Shoal has also provided some freebies as if there wasn’t already enough incentive to wrap yourself in the splendour that is Perth music. Perth peeps should get their collective asses down to the store at 54 Lake St from Wednesday 19 May to Sunday 23 May between 11am and 9pm. Besides the store LIMV have also set up the Takeaway Tunes Temporary Recording Studio where a bunch of amazing Perth bands and artists will record tracks that will be uploaded to the LIMV site for free download. You can even stare the band out as they try to concentrate during the sessions (staring contests not endorsed bu Hidden Shoal)! Check times and details here.
RTR’s In The Pines is on again this year – their biggest and arguably their best fundraiser – and Hidden Shoal will be there to support! This year we’re chuffed to announce that Apricot Rail and Mukaizake are on the bill, both having been on hiatus for the last three months. So put it in your diaries everyone, and come on down on May 2nd for the festivities. You can see the full bill here and purchase tickets here. While you’re at it, take a listen to RTR here.
Mukaizake – The Yeah Conditioner Mukaizake – The Yeah Conditioner
Head over to the excellent Australian music zine Mess+Noise and read the feature article on our very own Mukaizake. M+N’s Adam Mills caught up with Simon Struthers from the band for a bit of Q+A. Great read, great band – what else do you want? Oh yeh their latest mini album Unknown Knowns. Deprive yourself no more at the Hidden Shoal Store.
Mukaizake – Slack Bees Mukaizake – Slack Bees
Excerpt: “What would happen if you took Red House Painters and gave them Wheaties before recording? Mukaizake’s languorous rhythms and stretched-out singing, as well as its minor-key melodies, do take a page from RHP. The songs hide a certain complexity, though, that might get them tagged as math-rock were the band to play them at twice their speeds. As it happens, playing somber math rock at half speed brings out subtleties that you might miss otherwise…. You barely notice that the band has been sneaking in the odd beat, the odd melody, the unusual attenuation of form because it’s always delivered fluidly and naturally. Maybe Mukaizake is best described as a thinking man’s slowcore.”
“While listening to this, and contemplating the automobile artwork, you sit with ears and senses open, waiting for some guitar hook or divine melody to capture you and force you to hit repeat. It doesn’t come. See, it sounds like a pop release, but that’s the trick! Once you realise this you can begin appreciating Unknown Knowns for the interweaving guitars and all the space used by the drawn out arrangements as the mini-album/extended EP sublimely unfolds.”
Excerpt: “Being spread across three different states isn’t the most productive way to keep the band going. We always had in the back of our mind that we’d release those tracks that we’d recorded. But with Dan and I living away it was too hard to get into a position where we could finish it off and release it… Now we’re only dealing with two states in Australia instead of three, so it’s easy for us to fly Dan back for a show… It was actually quite nice revisiting the tracks that long after it. A lot of things came a long way in the mixing. We did a bit more production and got a bit more creative with how we approached them… No additional recording was done to finish the songs. Everything you hear on Unknown Knowns was recorded in 2004 and mixed in late 2009. The main thing that changed in the mixing of the record was that we took a lot out. We were one of those bands where everyone was playing all the time, and part of coming back and revisiting the record was, ‘Do we really need that part going for the whole song? Is it better pulling out some of those those bits, creating a bit more space?'”
Excerpt: “Unknown Knowns seems blissfully unaware of the anticipation that surrounds it; Mukaizake sound like a band that don’t feel they have anything to prove, whose humble goal is nothing more than to write and record the best possible songs they can, expectations be damned. Unknown Knowns more than lives up to the promise of its predecessor. These six songs are everything the band’s patient fans could have asked for, as well as being strong enough to introduce Mukaizake to a whole new audience.”
Excerpt: “The best indie rock sounded experimental and exciting while still being accessible and interesting. Perth band Mukaizake nail this winning formula on their sophomore EP, Unknown Knowns….As with many indie bands, the lyrics are deliberately obscure and ambiguous. The meaning of the songs is conveyed in the way Symons sings them and the snippets you can make out. Put on paper, the lyrics probably wouldn’t be too impressive, but they work in the songs. More impressive is the tension in all of the tracks between melody and dissonance. Melody always wins, but Mukaizake does an excellent job of adding jagged edges to their songs.”
Excerpt: “Turn the clock back a few years and most people were convinced there was something in the water in WA because of the sheer number of excellent acts who called that piece of Australia home. Fast forward to 2010 and it seems our short attention spans have been diverted elsewhere in the search of the source of the ‘next big thing’. A Million Square Miles is a compilation…. Drawing together 16 tracks from eight artists, it successfully navigates the folk, indie pop and rock genres….A Million Square Miles is a pleasing and mellow offering that is easy-on-the-ear and reaffirms the fact that there is something in the water out west.”
Excerpt: “an intricate artwork that could only be have been made over such an amount of time….channeling such indie favourites as My Morning Jacket, Mogwai and Death Cab For Cute, an elaborate combination of strong guitar pieces, airy vocals and subtle, yet essential drumbeats is presented”
Excerpt: “‘The Yeah Conditioner’ is indeed a good-old indie-rock song. A neat rhythm, sublime bass-lines and nice guitars, topped with some fresh and melodic vocals. By ‘spinning’ the mp3 many rounds I realise this is an addictive song, with its swirling magic, leaving me eager to check out more. Looking forward to hear the album. “The Yeah Conditioner” is of very good condition.”
Excerpt: “Part math-rock, part jangly dream-pop, the six songs are a beguiling dive into the oceanic sounds of 90’s indie rock. Vocalists Geoff Symons and Erickson can both actually sing with clarity, lending the songs a sort of choirboy purity, even when singing about slashing tyres… The outcome is a pristine and intelligent composite of sounds old and new… It’s a heady combination, and one that hopefully won’t need another five years to reoccur.”
Excerpt: “This is the rare exhibition of musical aptitude that delights from start to finish, with nary a disappointment to be found. Being tagged by some as Australia’s answer to the British label 4AD, Hidden Shoal (HSR) does indeed specialize in a brand of music that places atmosphere, ambience, and texture high on the priority list. With an onslaught of reverb and delay effects that would put the Edge to shame, this album features eight acts that run the gamut from quirky playfulness (Toby Richardson) to hypnotic melodrama (My Majestic Star). Hidden Shoals’ impressive roster on A Million Square Miles is bound to shore up some buzz, and deservedly so: it’s an exhilarating listen from beginning to end.”
Mukaizake’s music is available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.