December mixtape 2023 | universal daydream mix

Universal Daydream is the name of this month's mix. For no other reason than we liked the laying of previous patinas over a building that was once a Chinese restaurant, turned into a mattress showroom and then into a gym with scant regard for hiding its crazy layers in the 'new Marrickville' of Port Kembla. When history is airbrushed it usually comes at a cost of being different. We search out old signage and paraphernalia from the Illawarra's past, transcribe and then customise those elements into our street wear designs. Salvaging these elements means the apparel graphics are uniquely from this place, designed and hand finished in this place.

For those who are new to the GPC mixtape series, we source the freshest tracks from Illawarra artists or those with links to the recording studios and venues along the Grand Pacific route to celebrate the musical counterculture that makes this stretch of the pacific southeast a global creative hot spot. We then share the mixtape with radio stations around the world that have cool underground sounds programming. Nearly twenty tracks from this year's mixtapes have been picked up by overseas radio stations. 

As always, here is the write-up (underneath the mixtape section) with links to the artist profiles so you can follow them, links to their gigs so you can see them live along the Grand Pacific route and links to wherever they want us to link so you can grab their tunes. They depend on your patronage so let’s get to it. To be in to win guest tickets to some of these shows just sign up to the newsletter in the footer to enter and receive future guest list ticket info.

You don’t need to sign up for SoundCloud account to listen, just press play if the music hasn’t already started. If you do have a SoundCloud account you can follow us there and get all the archive in one place, as well as the ASSEMBLY series curated by Illawarra cool folk.

Too damned easy.


Hockey Dad – Still Have Room. Classic Hockey Dad with a romantic hit for the mid-afternoon festival swayers. Symbolic of this era of Australian sounds and radio friendly, this dreamy summer track is sure to hit big with their fanbase. With a 2023 finale show planned for their home town on New Years Eve at North Gong before the region loses them again to a serious tour of the USA until spring break.

Satori – Breaking Point – Satori is Rory Satori, a producer currently based in Wollongong. Rory is best known for his hi-tech psych-trance but has recently started focusing on more eclectic/experimental sounds under the name Hiraeth. His studio set up is sick. We are angling for an invite for a cup of tea and a biscuit with this new artist to our landscape. Get on board, folks.

Krisis – Sakura on Sinai. We know nothing other than they are based in Wollongong. There are so many stealth musicians in the region who intermittently release before the disappear for a few years. We could create a whole mixtape of just these caped-crusaders who by day are mild-mannered janitors but at night are studio super heroes. The track Sakura on Sanai reminds us of Nightmares on Wax/UNKLE from those super hazy mid-90s basement club nights that blended jazz, trip hop and atmospheric film slices. Keep these tracks coming.

Flowerkid – Used to be – Jumping into 2023 with Diss & Disappointed, the video filmed at the iconic Thirroul servo (read about that here) the new EP ‘Let It Be Enough’ is on fire. We chose this track as a signal of this more brittle yet lush sound he is creating. We can see him having a huge career writing tracks for others as well as himself. Just a really cool soul.

Benjamino – Face Is Changing. Segueing effortlessly from Flowerkid, we have Banjamino with this beautiful dreamscape that pluck all our chill out strings in an ‘All Back To Mine’ style that we can see Groove Armanda or Bent curating. His music has been featured on MTV , Channel 31’s 1700 and is gaining radio play throughout Australia (including on Triple J, ABC Radio, FBi, 2SER and SYN Media). Do not miss him emerging to play for the first time in a long time at 130 Art Studios alongside Meadowhip. We will be there. You should be there too. And you can. Just scoot down to the footer, sign up for the newsletter and we will draw the winner on Friday 24th November. Otherwise get a ticket before it sells out.

Hellcat Speedracer – Tomorrow 1988. There used to be a club night run by The Chemical Bothers back in the day called Naked Under Leather. This is exactly the kind of track that would be spun by them in that dark, sweaty disco box above an old student pub in Manchester. The Speedracers make us want to run dance tents at festivals again. Which is a very dangerous feeling. We are just waiting for their end of your gig announcements to get with these Zoros of Disco.

MFV – Delacroix. We confess. We love the MFV. Their americana Grandaddy vibes are like the sonic version of Michael Stipe and Natalie Merchant’s imaginary lovechild. They are the bourbon in our sunrise coffee. Recorded high up in the Illawarra escarpment's hidden studio, Rancho Relaxo, this band always have us turning up to their gigs.

Donny Benét – Multiply. From the opening bass slap, we knew this was a guilty pleasure. This would not be out of place in our late 70s crate of 12” amongst the Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘Fantasy’ and Gap Band ‘Outstanding’ bangers. If someone wants to start a club night featuring this kind of music, with artists such as Donny, First Beige and Nut Butter, mashed up with old skool hip hop DJs, we would be eternally grateful to trip down that rabbit hole every month. Our Sydney neighbour but a regular on the pacific southeast gig scene, Donny has a huge European tour scehduled for 2024 but we hope we get to seem him here soon before he disappears again.

Airline – Magnify. A hybrid group stretching from Sydney to Wollongong, we are late to the party with this one but we wanted to share what we have discovered. This track sits firmly in the spirit of the USA pacific northwest sound that always finds a welcome home drifting on the tide to Australia’s pacific southeast shoreline. There is a kindred pioneer city vibe from Seattle to Wollongong that translates through proto-punk and happenings rather than the machinations of the music industry cogs of first cities.

Hot Apple Band – Not Today. Another track from their new album So Long Noodle House (available on yellow vinyl, just like the Talking Head’s 12” rarity of Psychokiller) , their late 60s’/early 70s George Harrison vibe is just gorgeous. We added the awesome Changing to the last mixtape and we wanted to continue their assault on our Beatle hearts with Not Today. The album is out on 24th November and the band are playing at the Thirroul all-day, multi-venue festival on Sunday 3rd December. We will be bringing our bean bags and sitting down the front for this show. Get your ticket before it sells out or sign up for our ‘ear to the ground’ newsletter for a chance to win a pair of guest list entries for the festival. Just enter your email into the foot of this page and you will be entered. We draw the winner on Monday 27th November.

Oniera – Tangent Ways. Coming in hot from the northern reaches of the grand pacific highway, Engadine’s Oniera are a new band making waves with their good time baggy-indie-punk, which is a perfect sound for illicit beach parties and sweaty summer gigs. They remind is of early James, who can whip up an arena with a casual pulling out of a call and response hit. Catch onto them before everyone else does at Northgong Hotel on 17th December .

Tex Crick – Silly Little Things. We featured the new track from Tex Crick’s new album in the last mixtape and as he is heading back to his homeland shores from the US we have added another, ahead of his gig in Bellambi on 15th December. If Steely Dan’s pristine nineteen-seventies jazz-infused relaxed rock is your vibe than get on this album. It will not disappoint.

Chimers – Generator. It’s taken a couple of months of persuasion but we have finally locked down a Chimers track. These folks seem to be playing at all the best gigs and although we are yet to see them live ourselves it seems like everyone else is onto this band already. "Palpable urgency from Chimers…. the playing engulfs all in its path” is worthy praise from Triple J. Playing Saturday 25th November at La La La’s 4th birthday party and then onto their final shows of the year at the UOW bar on Saturday 9th December and some big shows supporting in Sydney. Do not risk the FOMO. 

Organised Chaos from Womp Krew – Like Water (organised chaos remix of DJ Boring). What can we say about the Womp Krew that we haven’t already said this year. Pushing out their own tracks and remixes every two week means we can’t keep up. Solid, solid, solid is all we have left in the tank. DJ Boring borrowed slices of The Prodigy in 2020 for this track so it sounds achingly familiar. One of our crew toured with The Prodigy back in the day of Fat Of The Land album, and have deep roots with them, so hearing this track was a wake up in our little HQ to some long lost love. If you haven’t yet seen the socials of The Prodigy tour in the UK right now, go check it out. It’s reassuringly insane. This remix by Wollongong’s Organised Chaos succeeds in making an three year old track sound even better. A NYE with the Wompers would be an awesome end to the year.

Stevan – California. This track was first surfaced as a demo/share by this prolific talent who could easily churn out a track a day and is always in the studio. We first picked up Wollongong’s Stevan when he was playlisted on the UK’s Radio 6 Music by their daytime DJ chanteuse, Lauren Laverne, who has a keen ear for fresh flair. Stevan recently performed at the Clearly Festival in Kiama and is sure to be back to his home town again soon. A hugely watchable musician that is just crazy talented and is just charm personified.

The Regime – Sunny Day. Another track from our neighbours over the Como bridge, this time from a band that features an every changing collab of The Polyphonic Spree proportions, with up to twenty participating musicians. We thought we would add this purely for the vibes from a collective that are only serious about their grooves.

Mittereboy – Storm Lines. We feature a lot of ambient and neo-classic in our mixtapes because we think the landscape informs much of this music in and around the Illawarra. What better place to listen to these tracks than looking out to sea or watch the sunset set over the face of the escarpment. We have an album by the crazily impressive Joep Beving from a gig he did in a Nuremburg art gallery a few years ago and we learned Dan Frizza AKA Mittereboy has Joep in his list of sonic encounters. It therefore comes as no surprise this first track from a promised album hits all the same skin tingles. If this is your vibe then check out his label, Third Eye Stimuli based in Bellambi for more releases and check out our ASSEMBLY series featuring ambient composer Medard Fischer curation on the SOUNDS journal.

This is the part where we start squeezing in some bands at the last minute....

Lemonise - Nordic Crawl. This is a tight one but these folks are playing The Vault in Port Kembla on Friday 24th November alongside the very watchable The Summer Guppys (who promise to share a track with us in the future). This may seem like 1970s slow vibe trad-rock but it is not. The band combines the traditional Australian Indigenous sounds of lead singer Jake Magi’s didgeridoo with powerful Nordic rhythms and catchy riffs on Nordic Crawl. To a very cool effect. We like this a lot and we glad we pursued this band to bring you this track. if you miss the 24th then they are with Hockey Dad on NYE at the North Gong Hotel, which is starting to look like an unmissable line-up for those that want to bring in 2024 with their foot on the monitor.

Human Noise - Magnolia. Fresh from their gig at The Servo, this new single is a slower and sparse track with some great held-back layering reminiscent of MTV Unplugged in the mid-90s. But to align them with Nirvana would do this band a disservice because their post-rock sound is more expansive than that. Their sets evoke legends from Elvis Costello, Interpol, Coldplay to The Only Ones. This is a band's band. It's a music lovers band. It's band that you would dig in the crates for. An enigmatic singer with a band so tight and taught the even light bends around them. One of the best gigs we've seen this year. Get on it.

Beth & Blue - Knife. A long, long awaited follow-up to Take It All and I Love You from earlier this year, these paired polymaths are a supergroup duo of world significance. For those that don't already know, this is the Queen of 2023, Babitha and the unstoppable Marcus Index, who featured in our October mixtape with one of our favourite tracks of the year. Their heartbreaking rock indie crossover is on par with Mazzy Star for giving us goose bumps of the romantic nature. They create filmscapes with their harmonies of self-mythology and psychoaustraliana that sound like a Paul Simon and Bobby Gentry crossfire. We cannot get enough of this band. They are our very own Father John Misty and Lana Del Ray rolled into a beautiful, blissed out longing. Perfection.

Aus Music Tshirt Day is on Thursday 30th November and all our AMPED tee collection will have profits from November sales going to the Support Act charity beneficiary. This is a nationwide celebration of those that keep the shows on the road and the charity provides care for our behind-the-scenes musicians and road crew when they experience difficult times.

Remember to sign up to the newsletter in the foot of this page.  You will be able to enter guest list ticket opportunities and hear about culture happenings along the grand pacific highway before everyone else.