“Every part of this record coalesces together strangely, perfectly. And even among the towering, cinematic instrumentals – perth still craft a weird sense of sparseness that makes this sound like a bunch of opiate-swilling krautrock kings running down a sand dune.” – Who The Hell
Australian outfit perth shift effortlessly between psychedelic pop, folk-laced electronica and shoegaze, melding these disparate genres into a beautifully cohesive statement. The band’s magic lies in their ability to refract the individual members’ unique sensibilities through an experimental lens.
Where’s My Dystopia?
Where’s My Dystopia? by Australian outfit perth, comprises remixes of tracks from the band’s acclaimed second album What’s Your Utopia? What’s most startling about Where’s My Dystopia? is not only how beautifully it complements the original album, but also how well the remixes work together as an integrated whole. This is a reimagined journey through the musical landscape of the original album rather than a collection of disparate snapshots. Where’s My Dystopia? includes the single ‘Drank, Kites And Tomorrow’ remixed by GUM (Tame Impala and Pond’s Jay Watson) alongside radical reworkings by Seams, Filter Beds, Water Graves, Mei Saraswati, Valerio Cosi, Usurper of Modern Medicine, No. 9, Ghost Drums and Mental Powers.
What’s Your Utopia?
Australian experimental pop outfit perth deliver their sophomore album What’s Your Utopia?. The band have managed to meld psychedelic pop, folk-laced electronica and shoegaze into a beautifully cohesive statement – a tribute to the idea of a fond place, or utopia, quietly residing in ‘no place’, beyond ourselves. The band’s magic lies in their ability to refract the individual members’ unique sensibilities through an experimental lens; kaleidoscopic sound design is matched by the band’s songwriting dexterity throughout the album’s nine tracks.
Single and opening salvo ‘Drank and Kites and Tomorrow’ summons forth glowing brass arrangements, reverb-drenched vocals and skittering breakbeats crafted from found sounds, building into a krautrock jam reminiscent of Neu! and Caribou. The gorgeous ‘Saw Promenade’ reimagines the shimmering vibes of prime Tortoise on an Australian beach, while ‘Greasy Moon’ is an echoing, disorientating, addictive stomp. Finale ‘Viewmaster’ mutates from brittle, spectral space-folk into a heartbreaking robot waltz, before dissolving then regrouping into a delirious droning coda.
Babes, Water, Waves
The debut album from Australian outfit perth. Combines elements of post-rock, electronica and psych into a beautifully coherent and mesmerising whole.
Spawning from intercontinental collaboration, perth’s 2012 debut LP, Babes, Water, Waves, was born in many locations other than their eponymous hometown. However, geographical separation failed to distance the musical sentiments shared between three members of Apricot Rail (Matthew Saville, Justin Manzano and Jack Quirk) and songwriter Michael Dolan. A dual sense of triumph and melancholy permeated Babes, Water, Waves, conveyed through combining traditional instrumentation and pop structure with warbling organic samples, hissing analogue keys, found sounds and woozy vocal harmonies.
The band’s second album, what’s your utopia?, takes an eclectic approach to organic electronic music while evolving its scope and clarity. Recorded in a variety of locations, from a desolate cabin perched upon the surly south-west Australian coast to the glow of Studio 373 in Perth, the album was then mixed by the band’s Justin Manzano before being mastered by Simon Struthers (Mukaizake, Umpire) of Forensic Audio.
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).
With an acutely transcendent and atmospheric vibe, perth‘s ‘Drank and Kites and Tomorrow’ is a lucid and expansive slice of wave-gaze pop. Pulsing, agitated rhythms offset the cosmic streaming of synths, voice and guitars, eventually morphing into a kind of motorik ambient that counterbalances propulsion with serenity. – Wagner Hertzog
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!
Check out the first short film installment for the wonderful film portraiture series Mobile Moments 3.0 featuring a soundtrack by Hidden Shoal’s PERTH. The project is presented by The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights as a part of Fringe World 2015.
Created by Sarah Nelson, the project was conceived in 2011 for an artist residency with DADAA Inc. and was developed over a month working with youth from the Derby and Mowunjum communities in the Kimberely, Western Australia. In 2012 the project was presented as a part of the inaugural Proximity Festival, which offered not only a starkly contrasting environment as a backdrop for the films, but also a paying adult audience to the experience. The project returns for The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights program for Fringe World 2015. Mobile Moments 3.0 will merge these extremes and play with the possibilities of chance encounters across the city. Searching the streets and approaching participants only when a moment reveals itself, the artist is out there to connect and capture with a diverse cross section of the Perth community.
Our favourite Italian blog, Music Wont Save You, featuring our favourite Italian music writer, Raffaello Russo, has just published glowing reviews of Slow Dancing Society‘s The Cogent Sea and perth‘s Where’s My Dystopia? If you’re not fluent in Italian you may need help from the Google machine.
Hidden Shoal Recordings is excited to announce the release of the freely downloadable Where’s My Dystopia? by Australian outfit perth, comprising remixes of tracks from the band’s acclaimed second album What’s Your Utopia?
What’s most startling about Where’s My Dystopia? is not only how beautifully it complements the original album, but also how well the remixes work together as an integrated whole. This is a reimagined journey through the musical landscape of the original album rather than a collection of disparate snapshots. Where’s My Dystopia? includes the single ‘Drank, Kites And Tomorrow’ remixed by GUM (Tame Impala and Pond’s Jay Watson) alongside radical reworkings by Seams, Filter Beds, Water Graves, Mei Saraswati, Valerio Cosi, Usurper of Modern Medicine, No. 9, Ghost Drums and Mental Powers.
perth’s second album What’s Your Utopia?, which forms the raw material for this new remix album, manages to meld psychedelic pop, folk-laced electronica and shoegaze into a beautifully cohesive statement – a tribute to the idea of a fond place, or utopia, quietly residing in ‘no place’, beyond ourselves. The band’s magic lies in their ability to refract the individual members’ unique sensibilities through an experimental lens; kaleidoscopic sound design is matched by the band’s songwriting dexterity throughout the album’s nine tracks.
“Every part of this record coalesces together strangely, perfectly. And even among the towering, cinematic instrumentals perth still craft a weird sense of sparseness that makes this sound like a bunch of opiate-swilling krautrock kings running down a sand dune” – Who The Hell’s review of What’s Your Utopia? in their best of 2013 round-up
Head over to Bandcamp to grab your copy. Note it’s a “pay what you want” but throw a zero in there and still feel good – we live to give! And if you’ve not already indulged in the sonic and melodic majesty that is perth’s sophomore album, What’s Your Utopia?, then head to the Hidden Shoal Store to grab yourself a copy on CD or in digital formats.
The latest edition of the wonderful Textura magazine has featured downloads from Gilded and perth from their new remix releases along with Kramies‘ new music video. Check it out along with a swathe of wonderful reviews and features here.Gilded – ‘Cluttered Room (Shoeb Spartak’s Thriftstore Mix)’
Check out this fantastic video piece by Chad Peacock for a public work by the wonderful Stormie Mills as part of Re.Discover Bunbury 2014. The video features the gorgeous sounds of perth with their track ‘Old At Heart’.
We’re super excited to announce the release of the GUM (Jay Watson of Tame Impala, Pond) remix of the PERTH track ‘Drank and Kites and Tomorrow’. GUM’s re-working takes PERTH’s majestic original and streamlines it further into a Spiritualized-esque drone-pop beauty. The track is lifted from the forthcoming album Where’s My Dystopia? (May 1 2014) which features remixes of tracks from the band’s acclaimed second album What’s Your Utopia? by Mei Saraswati, Seams, No. 9, Usurper of Modern Medicine, Valerio Cosi among others.
“Over almost a decade, Hidden Shoal records developed a reputation as a consistently innovative and experimental music label, giving to us music of remarkable qualities whether it was the instrumental excursions of Gilded, the blissed-out indie of My Majestic Star, the electronica of Marcus Mehr, the alt.folk stylings of Kramies – the HSR list of significant talents was a lengthy one. I say was, as in 2014 or thereabouts, the Hidden Shoal label underwent a reorganisation of sorts, and it began to seem that one of the more influential Australian record labels of the recent past was itself going into hiding. Perhaps so, although only to return refreshed, renewed, invigorated and with its varying artistic visions intact – the Eat Your Friends compilation proves that the Hidden Shoal label is properly with us again.
One thing I’ve found when reviewing compilations is that not infrequently, when I put them into my music players, the tracks separate instead of remaining in their album folder, and that has happened with my copy of Eat Your Friends, encouraging me to view each of the tracks as a single release rather than view the album itself as a cohesive whole. Then there’s the fact that only some of its contributors are already known to me and so, ditching some of my preconceptions about what it’s going to sound like, I began listening to the 11 tracks in a random sequence, and prepared for the unexpected.
Firstly, there’s singer/songwriter Erik Nilsson’s “Moksha Can Wait”, a song which electronic composer Marcus Mehr has taken and adapted to his subtly developed production sound, a track that begins almost inaudibly and builds to a staggering crescendo of soaring, roaring electronic sound and with Nilsson’s guitar and piano providing a counterpoint to Mehr’s swirling atmospherics. The ambient chill of City Of Satellites is given an added gloss by Tim Manzano, although I’m not so sure what he’s actually done with the track – it does sound a lot like the City Of Satellites I know from their Machine Is My Animal album, although as the track progresses and the rhythm and bass begin to disintegrate into a dubby conclusion it seems more apparent where Manzano has left his mark. Arc Lab’s “Through The Burning Glass” is remixed by Glanko, beginning with a club-level bassline before levelling into a noir tinged synth epic. And just when you thought the tracks on Eat Your Friends were entirely instrumentals, Rew perform a cover version of Umpire’s “Green Light District” and they do it with a vocal, alongside the strings and crashing cymbals and haltingly uncertain rhythms, a highlight of an album each of whose tracks is in one or another way remarkable.”
“It’s impossible to leave out a band that is literally named after the city behind this piece; luckily they’re a super talented instrumental experimental four-piece. There are hints of electronica, shoegaze and psychedelia, all meshed into intense build-ups, washed-out vocals and heaps of Explosions In The Sky-level of emotion. Even with plenty of minimal moments, the haunting loops and walls of sound will drag you into the riptide of their cinematic world.”
– DIY Magazine (“The best new artists coming out of Australia’s most isolated city” Feature)
Translated from Italian by Google Translate. Read the original here.
“It is not a simple rehash of songs already released one below for “Where’s My Dystopia?” Organic work that shuffles the cards last effort of the Australian Perth quartet, ” Where’s My Utopia? “(2013).
The already kaleidoscopic original matter here is not simply transformed, but placed at the base of ten tracks from radically new forms, each of which emphasizes different profiles. To prevail, however, is undoubtedly the most dreamy and space, summarized in synthetic trails brilliant and visionary drifts kraut.
Among the participants of the ambitious project worth a mention GUM (Jay Watson of Tame Impala) and our Valerio Cosi. Beyond the banality of remixes.”
“Perth-based four piece band perth released their second album ‘What’s Your Utopia?’ towards the end of last year, an impressive collection that saw them veering between elements of post-rock, shoegaze and electronics whilst maintaining a cohesive sense of flow throughout. Six months on, this download-only album ‘Where’s My Dystopia?’ offers up a remix companion to that preceding album, with a diverse cast of predominantly Western Australian artists being called upon to rework the original tracks. If there’s one unifying theme here, it’s that most of the tracks here centre around gentle downtempo electronics, with the occasional undercurrent of glitchiness thrown in. Seams’ opening reworking of ‘Quantum Chronological’ sees rattling, house-tempo percussive pulse rolling alongside distorted drum samples as a rippling backdrop of glittering synths and stretched out vocal elements gets thrown through all manner of phasing, only for the snapping rhythms to suddenly drop out as feathery guitars trail out into the ether.
Filter Beds meanwhile turn ‘Sunday Stroll’ into a blunted hiphop glide that drapes dreamy layers of ringing percussion and melodic bass runs over a crunching backdrop of headnod beats as delicate guitar loops begin to seep into the mix, before Mei Saraswati’s remix of ‘Collapsible Lung’ kicks things off in ghostly IDM-laced chanson territory as eerie jagged rhythms and bleeping electronics flit against chanteuse vocals, only for things to get dragged off in a smoother leftfield RNB direction by the track’s end. Elsewhere, Tame Impala / Pond’s Jay Watson makes an appearance under his GUM alias, offering up what’s perhaps the closest thing to pop here, turning ‘Drank And Kites And Tomorrow’ into an epic prog-laced wander through reverb-heavy vocals and ominous detuned bass synths that’s a suitably opulent finish to this impressive remix collection. You can get ‘Where’s My Dystopia?’ as a name your price download from http://hiddenshoal.bandcamp.com/album/wheres-my-dystopia”
“perth are a relatively new four piece with three quarters of the band from promising post-rock act Apricot Rail whilst the remaining quarter is songwriter Matthew Dolan. This is very much a band effort of course but Dolan may be the key ingredient which could deviate the other band members from the “rockier” inclinations that threatened to undermine their good work.
If they must be pigeon-holed, perth belong in the subcategory known as ambient rock but in reality this only tells a fragment of the story. Each song is lovingly arranged with contrasting layers whether it’s a keyboard wash, crying birds, breakbeats, brass or, on ‘Drank And Kites And Tomorrow’, vocals which seem to have been exhumed from some obscure psych rock act from the 1960′s. The gorgeous ‘Saw Promenade’ brings out the xylophone and its subtly romantic feel is brought to the fore by its post-rock-meets-dreamy easy listening backing. The eerie, glacial ‘Greasy Moon’ recalls the mysterious, lunar sounds of Avrocar, then there’s the curiously subdued electronica of ‘Sunday Stroll’ and the twinkling, starry beauty of ‘Collapsible Lung’. All are excellent, complex songs which seem to exist in their own universe. Even the finale ‘Viewmaster’ can’t resist a touch of weirdness as it mutates from a fairly understated acoustic rock number into an odd coda of what sounds like cuckoo clocks and then there’s a chilling hidden track characterised by choral samples and stately piano.
‘What’s Your Utopia?’ is likely to be one of the most unusual albums you will hear over the course of a year. However, whereas other bands try too hard to sound different, perth blend their enigmatic layers subtly and ingeniously; never forgetting those key attributes of melody and emotion.”
“Perth are one of WA’s most enticing, yet mysterious and confounding, bands – not just for the un-Googleableness of their name. But it’s obvious how much they’re loved by those who know them. Their album What’s Your Utopia? catapulted Perth into the vernacular, and this remix album comes with expectation, which is met, fully. There’s a chilled house version of Sunday Stroll. GUM drives Drank And Kites And Tomorrow into a psych stratosphere, and the amazing Valerio Cosi gives Old At Heart a new lease on life. Stunning stuff, and more proof that Perth are groundbreaking.”
“Perth is the place of origin and a meeting of four musicians who have identified in the Australian city at the heart of a collaboration that on the occasion of the first album “Babes, Water, Waves” (2012) was held at a distance. According to the “What’s Your Utopia? “instead sees the band consists of three members of Apricot Rail and songwriter Michael Dolan work out a more organic approach, epitomized by the creation in presence, in places ranging from a study of Perth (just) a rudimentary environments of the south West Australian, nine new tracks in which they recast a kaleidoscopic synthesis of electronic pop from the broken rhythms and contours of dreamy psychedelia.
Right from the opening track “Drank And Kites And Tomorrow”, also released as a single, the Australian band fills out a patchwork of pronounced rhythmic emphasis, in which keyboards and vocal reverbs outline a texture from light flavor kraut, but updated to post-rock chicagoano and recent experience of mingling of languages, from Caribou to Flying Lotus. Not only is synthetic vibrations made the album, however, that the substrate shimmering sounds of interstellar engages arrangements of brass, escapes sci-fi and current environmental equivalents of sound fragments buttons but only apparently accidental.
Among tremors insistent and twisting by the dense grain foley, “What’s Your Utopia?” Gives, however, the best in the simplest steps and, in a sense, “pop”, or when the palette of the four Australian deviates to a nice pop folktronico mold Morr Music (“Saw Promenade”, “Collapsible Lung”) or to un’ambience dotted microsounds that may be rethinking the early Múm .
The more than ten minutes of the final “Viewmaster” then put the seal with an overdrive ratio fading leads into dense reverb drifts space taken by Perth with an album so multifaceted and visionary.”
“…perth (lower case “p” intended) are a part of this study and their sophomore recording “What’s Your Utopia?” continues in the vein of shoegaze/post rock that the label loves. perth’s approach is somewhat unique in that they don’t stick to just one of these styles but mix it up in a gorgeous and lush soundscape filled with found sound loops and beats, electronic glitches and scratches, the ever present breathy muddled vocals and that rich and full guitar and electronic sound that so much identifies shoegaze dream pop The lyrics are bittersweet tales of longing, hope, and sorrow. Lots of big breaths and sighs when listening but oh so true. Sometimes a listener just needs this sentiment expressed in this way. “What’s Your Utopia?” mixes it up enough to keep you guessing and then when you finally let go it becomes a part of your day. Not background music but “inside” music, music inside of you. Let go.”
Track of the Day - “Latest loveliness from Aussie dream studio Hidden Shoal sees the imminent arrival of the new perth single ‘greasy moon’. ripped from their forthcoming sophomore set ’what’s your utopia?’, ’greasy moon’ is a slow ice thawing slab of darkly unfurling majesty cradled amid a ghost light seasoning of subtle soft psyche strobes marooned in cool cold wave texturing and spectrally dappled and harnessed upon swathes of waxing and waning oceanic opines unto which a sense of a shadowy gravitas bleeds – best filed somewhere near the Church in terms of understated bruised beauty.”
“- Perth band, er, perth, are not just a presumptuously ungoogleable band name, but an unusual combination of things. Echoing reverb smothers synthesisers and a variety of instruments, creating thickly layered sounds unified by a fairly left-field, twee-pop sensibility. It’s similar to a lot of things, but not really, definitively, the same as anything else and there’s not much music you can say that about these days.
To give you an idea of what I’m saying, if you go and search around the interwebs for what people have had to say about this album’s advance single, Drank And Kites And Tomorrow, its pleasantly hypnotic bopping gets compared to a different band by everyone who hears it: Neu!, Spiritualized, Caribou, Animal Collective, Fourtet. Ok, so there’s certain aural themes running through that collection of pleasantly, semi-electronic experimenters, but one of perth’s strengths is that they manage to combine elements of all of them in such a way that each has their own moment, rising to the front of the mix in an unexpected but not unpleasant manner. It’s as though you tossed every single one of their influences into a kaleidoscope.
Another band that perth are undoubtedly channeling is Apricot Rail, and they must be a strong source of the almost overwhelming sensation given off by the band, that everything’s gonna be OK. It just shimmers off their music in congenially psychedelic waves. perth shares three members with Apricot Rail and you can hear that happily good-natured feeling that they always brought to AR’s amiable brand of post-rock. At their best it set them apart from all the other epic and apocalyptic post-rocking types. Sometimes though it just meandered along until it became a bit dull.
perth, if only from the breadth of their influences, are never in danger of being dull. Space rock, psych, prog, post-rock, art-pop, ambient, kraut, synth-rock-pop, even dance (listen hard, you’ll hear some drum’n’bass in there), all of these are jostling for place, in the most gentlemanly and unthreatening manner imaginable, of course.
Like an e’d up bush doof, when perth ask What’s Your Utopia? they have a wide range of their own for you to choose from, and you may lose days exploring the options. When it’s all as inviting as this record is, why not?”
perth’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.