Here is another twisting journey into the inferno of the culturally relevant, with a deep slacker take on psych + the psyche. We have chosen a bitch’s brew of dust devils from in + around the Illawarra. Some tracks are so freshly captured they are still twitching + others are potent tracks we have only just been given access to from behind the secret walls of private SoundCloud accounts. The mixtape is at the foot of this journal entry + will automatically play or just require you to press play. Too easy.
You will not find all these tracks on the digital wallpaper of teenager Spotty-fy. This is solemn digi-crate digging for the grave music enthusiast. Climb aboard our flying monkey + surf to the conditions of spell wisdom with October’s new Freak-A-Zoid mixtape.
We kick off with atmosphere + a chill track from Wollongong’s ambient master, Chubi. This is his new track Need It. Yes, we do.
Coming in sticky is Apricot Ink + Summer Glo. Not officially Illawarra but they are gigging at the North Wollongong Hotel on 22nd October so we want to send them some sweet likes as a welcome to our coastal groove machine.
Where would be without Womp Krew. This Frankenstein ensemble of DJ + mixer parts, these guys are releasing + partying harder than we can keep up. We have been sat on this track for weeks + not it’s time to throw some electric into this monster for our All Hallows mixtape. This is the Krew’s outfit Bass Venture with the jerking body beats of Get Close To Me.
Hallucination-indie-pop of ex-pats Daley Road call us away on a dreamscape with new track, Mountainside. It has been a while since they were here but with this musical ouji board maybe they will get the bat signal to come back + play again.
Major Arcana, their latest EP led with its first single Never Better a few months back + we are featuring the eponymous track, Giant Glow. The band are playing at The TC (Wollongong’s Tennis Club, the latest cool new venue near the university campus) + there is a raft of rad heaviness surfacing for air at this venue, such as the awesome stardom-assured, Drift. There is definitely a nu-wave of punk gauge skate rock emerging from the Illawarra at the moment, which takes us on a leash to…
…Smoki Mirror, who crash into the mixtape with Insane. This has a mid-90s Pacific Northwest vibe that feels extra Lollapalooza + would sound awesome on the Dave Rat/Chilli Peppers home-made tour sound stack. We are made deaf just thinking about it + it feels awesome.
New sub-pop band Claimsmake return for a second month + a thrashing new track Hotel Decay, following their recent gig support of Seeker. See them live to drink in the chemical vapours of their punk-surf rock craziness.
The Milk Incident continue their grave ascendancy by pushing up the Sunshine Daisies. This band would not be out of place in the gig dungeons of London’s indie epicentre, Camden. A schizophrenic blend of de-tuned guitars + harmonies, it just bleeds summer festival skank that the kids will sing on their way through the ticket gates. Daisies has the potential to be the underdog break out tune of the season ahead.
Misty Lanes are back with a new sound + the freshly captured track of And We Are Here. This is a slow burn doobie of a desert-killer-on-the-lose film soundtrack. Someone call Tarantino, we have found an escapee making haste in a dusty old muscle car from Quentin's Manson inspired vinyl collection. We checked them out at Franks Wild Years in September and it was worth the lost afternoon in the clutches of a Franks cocktail.
Surely Shirley have just allowed us a peak behind their secret SoundCloud by sharing their plaintive call of Oh Faye. In the spirit of guitar-inflected regret, which we all clearly adore in our dark moments, the harmonic a capella is just screaming out to be laid out atop of a slab of unnatural EDM heart beats per minute.
Hot Apple share Old Age + if you are into those angst-ridden tracks of The Czars/John Grant that deliver skewering lyrics laid next to a bride of romantic guitar + wistful piano then Hot Apple are your body-bag. This whole genre, that includes Midlake + Shearwater (check out Midlake’s Roscoe – beyond the wizard’s sleeve mix + Shearwater’s Whipping Boy), would be happy shelf-mates with Hot Apple.
‘Dustbowl desert rockers MFV blend sinister psychedelic rock guitars with the wide-open country folk of the 1970s Laurel Canyon. The ever growing 6-piece craft murder ballads about the occult, environmental collapse + drunken cowboys. These are folk songs for the apocalypse.’ + we are deep disciples of such wig outs. These guys played our favourite local hang, Frank’s Wild Years in Thirroul, in September. Alongside studio mates + DIY 60’s psych-rock project, Misty Lanes, who were taking their new tracks for a mini-tour of the coast. Another shout out to nearby recording studio, Stranded Recordings, that just keeps churning out indie + alt.folk Australiana classics. Check MFV at La La La's on 30th September.
Wombarra pianist-led Brekky Boy blends instrumental electronic jazz to emulate the emotions felt when watching a Studio Ghibli film. Moments of chaos mixed with nostalgia + we have waited nearly a year for new music. They answered our call. We have chosen a new track Villars + they are on tour with a gig at La La La’s + surely more to come before the end of 2023.
Merci, Mercy is coming in from Sydney Metro for a gig at Kiama’s Changing Tides Festival alongside the UK’s Royal Blood this December, so get into that. We played her last track Shovel in the studio when it came out + we are adding new track Lonely & Horny for your listening pleasure.
Wollongong’s Cry Club have a few new tracks out at the moment but we couldn’t resist this one from the middle of the year called Hocus Pocus. They are out on tour
Regular drone-hop contributor Juddo Magic makes a last minute bite into the mix with his freshly transformed Vampire.
We’ve been shouting about Concrete Sea since the turn of last year + their new album has just been featured in the broadsheets. We are probably going to feature the band over the next few mixtapes but for this one we have chosen Generation Y for its slacker discontent.
The Dribs supported Satin Cali at The Beaches, Thirroul in September + we chased them for a new track as we haven’t featured them for a few months. Wasted Life delivers.
Heading down the grand pacific highway a little further than our usual cut-off point of Kioloa Beach, we invited Bateman’s Bay’s Freezer as they are on roster for a big night at the new TC (Wollongong Tennis Club) venue in October supporting local heavy ascendants, Drift, with a new EP out now produced by Chris Peruch. If decibels are your thing, then The Candyland Tour on Friday 27th October at The TC is for you.
Ok, we have hammered some eardrums so we are going to soothe you on the outro. Following on earlier from Brekky Boy, we have news to share with you guys. On the global stage Australia is hitting it out of the ball park on jazz. Every week we tune into a jazz show from London + every week a new Australian act is featured.
From Amy Winehouse vibes coming out of Melbourne to the gem we are sharing now. The Vampires are an established ensemble from Sydney metro area , they have a new album out + the have a great gig coming up in the the folks at WollConMusic Illawarra. This coastline is home to one of the largest regional conservatoriums in NSW + they are bringing The Vampires to the Music Lounge at Wollongong Town Hall on 20th October. From the new album Nightjar we have chosen the late album Talk Talk-esque ‘Waves’. Because who doesn’t bow to the greatness of Mark Hollis + this track gives us those total feels. Bring it on.
The late additions list. This is where the add those tracks from bands that may have missed last orders for the month + we squeeze in because we can. We add these in no order, just as the float back in.
On the very northern tip of the grand pacific highway is Engadine and we have just received the new track from Oniera with OK (blurrier). They are gigging in Sydney with one of our regular bands, Seeker on Saturday 30th September. Hopefully we will see them down the gp soon.
Yeeeww!. The love affair with Babitha and Marcus Index continues with a super-fresh track from Marcus dropped on 29th September at 10:00hrs and we added it at 10:05hrs. Marcus is from cult Australian band, Spookyland, which fits with this All Hallows mix of mayhem. Giving off serious vapours of Berlin Bowie and with Robert Fripp guitar vibes that are our mojo. Thanks Marcus for the awesome track, I Am. Check out his next gig at The House of Music + Booze ahead of much needed return to the Illawarra.
That’s our wrap of howlingly good tracks + next month we continue our journey through the underworld of the Illawarra’s counterculture, hidden venues + siren songs. As always, if you are a band, DJ, promoter or venue then send us your tracks via our Soundcloud profile to feature in the following month + introduce yourselves to new followers.