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Feature Records for the week beginning Mon 17 Apr 2017
feedtime Gas (PBS Feature Record)
Sydney’s feedtime crawled out of the grimy Sydney underground in the late 70s with a sound that is at once tough as nails and artful in its simplicity. Always more revered in the US than at home, their legacy as a touchstone in the formation of grunge was solidified with a Sub Pop retrospective boxset in 2012. Gas, feedtime’s first record in more than 20 years, shows there’s no sign of a band cynically going through the motions, but a vital player in Australian punk making a welcome return, and still sounding as raw – and as dangerous – as ever. Recorded, mixed an mastered by Mikey Young, Gas has all you’d expect to hear from the band – the thunderous, metallic bass tone, primitive, driving rhythms and bluesy slide guitar conspiring here into a beautiful cacophony, as it has done for just shy of 40 years.
Review by Cam Durnsford (PBS Music Coordinator)
Sophie Hutchings Yonder (Featured on The Breakfast Spread)
Pianist and composer Sophie Hutchings is an artist who makes music that defies simple categorization. It’s hard to know exactly where to place Hutchings’ music, and I suspect equally hard to know exactly where you might discover it. At times these compositions sit within the subtle, intimate realm of ambient music currently being championed by the likes of Nils Frahm or Nico Muhly. At other times however the compositions carry a quiet optimism reminiscent of fellow Australians Rae Howell or Luke Howard. In common with each of these artists is Hutchings’ ability to make completely new music sound so incredibly familiar and evocative.
On Yonder a sense of nostalgia underpins much of the content spread across the album’s six tracks. As the album title suggests much of the content of this collection of music elicits in the listener memories of home from far away destinations. Instead of the unfamiliar sounds, smells and stimulations of overseas travel Hutchings instead shares with us the quiet, reflective sense of longing that can sometimes catch us when we’re away from loved ones or just the familiarity of our own circumstances.
Over five albums Hutchings has mined an aesthetic seam that has the acoustic piano at its aural core. On Yonder we hear that piano augmented by strings and other textures but it’s very much the piano around which all of these works are based. The album closes with ‘Pipe Dream’ and in a loving embrace of her chosen instrument Hutchings has allowed the recording engineer to capture the delicate mechanical sounds of this wondrous piece of instrumental ingenuity, now some 300 years old. The attention to detail in the recording of this album makes listening to Sophie Hutchings’ Yonder an experience that is shared with the performer, and certainly an album worth sharing further.
Quietly understated and delicately realized Sophie Hutchings’ Yonder is an album of rare warmth and compelling beauty.
Review by Owen McKern (PBS Program Manager)
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