The New Releases Show

Chris Cobcroft

Friday

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

About us:

Broadcast across Australia on the Community Radio Network, our nation-wide team do in-depth reviews of new, underground and most often Australian music. Click on the track listings below to read full reviews. Find more of our opinions on our Facebook and the Zedsite.

Producer:

Chris Cobcroft.

Contributors:

Blair Martin, Hillfolk, Fiona Priddey, Matt Thrower,  Andrew Bartlett, Andy Paine, Matthew Lynch, Kieran Ruffles, Jon Cloumassis, Jack McDonnell, Jack Jones, Boddhi Farmer, Aleisha McLaren, Dominique Furphy, James Chadwick, Judy Jetson, Sean Tayler, Alison Paris and Tristan Birrell.

Contact Us:

Any questions / music submissions: chrisc@4zzz.org.au

 

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09 September, 2022

On this week’s episode we have the smashing return of Australia’s favourite tech-death metallers, Psycroptic, Stereolab treat us to an expansive revisit of their weird, wide and wonderful back-catalogue; and reall owning the divine power within, we discover that it must be As Above, So Below, when it is the new record by Sampa The Great.

PsycropticRend AsunderAUS

Psycroptic: Divine Council (EVP)
 

3:53 Rend Asunder


Released: Now

 

- Psycroptic has dropped their eigth studio album and it definitely delivers the goods for the head- bangers. This album showcases the maturity and artistic development which the band has been honing for the past twenty years as one of Australia’s foremost tech-death metal acts. It’s an album which highlights the group’s signature sound, one which has been developed through the skilful musicianship of each member. They have, however, upped their expressive capabilities on Divine Council.

 

This is jam-packed with elements of gripping technicality and brutality. That iconic and wild guitar sound that is finely harnessed by Joe Haley continues to lead the sonic charge of Psycroptic’s distinct, audible flavour. The interesting qualities of each instrument have been extracted for the listener and presented in crisp detail, despite the break-neck pace of the music, thanks to the effective production. This attention to detail is particularly evident with the vocals as, throughout the album, the diction is crystal-clear. This certainly assists the apprehension of the provocative lyrics.

 

The frustration of humanity’s inability to deal with the pressing issues that the world faces right now is expressed in such a savage fashion on Divine Council. For example, take the issue of climate change. I barely need to say it's on everyone’s lips at the moment, it's certainly on Psycroptic's. A “[s]ustainable future is just a dream,” scream Peppiatt with help from Origin's Jason Keyser on Rend Asunder. There’s just something about the way in which these issues are smashed to bits against a wall of loud distortion, so clinical and technical in execution, that it’s just the most enjoyable and appropriate response to the problem.

 

Psycroptic's lyrics and vocal patterns are aided and abetted by more sophisticated harmonic and chordal structures than ever before, on Divine Council. It's not wholly different from the harmonic colouring that has been heard before on the two previous album releases: As the Kingdom Drowns (2018) and the band's 2015, self-titled record. However, the addition of Amy Wiles' vocals are maybe even more exciting in their sparing deployment here than they have been before: it's a really different expressive dimension for the band. Bringing real impact but also terrific contrast, the captivating, soaring melodies pierce the walls of brutality. It's not that dissimilar to the work of European symphonic metal acts and, given the difference between the fandom for those and tech-death, it highlights some bold song-writing risks Psycroptic have taken, which are clearly paying dividends.

 

A sophisticated, modern and enjoyable piece of work by one of Australia’s leading tech-death metal acts. Divine Council is an exciting album which is not to be missed by the head bangers.

 

- Ranil Cabraal.

Cong JosieLorelei In The NightAUS

Cong Josie: Lorelei In The Night (It)

 

4:04 Lorelei In The Night

 

Released: Now

 

- This is the first taste of an expansive remix album on the way from one of our favourite electro-terrorists. A 'throbbing darkwave' reimagination of this highlight from the first album. Looking forward to hearing the rest.

SyzygyAnchor & AdjustAUS

Syzygy: Anchor & Adjust (It)

 

3:47 Anchor & Adjust

 

Released: 14th October

 

- Our second It records alumnus for the week and the title track to the upcoming album from the splendidly gothic synthpoppers out of Naarm / Melbourne.

 

StereolabCybele's Reverie (Live At The Hollywood Bowl)

Stereolab: Pulse Of The Early Brain – Switched On Vol. 5 (Duophonic)

 

5:47 Cybele’s Reverie (Live At The Hollywood Bowl)

 

Released: Out Now

 

- Stereolab are back to boost their Switched On series, with the avant-pop deconstructionists enthralling with yet another collection of genre-leaping invention.

 

Pulse Of The Early Brain – Switched On Vol. 5 features music recorded between 1992 and 2008, the diversity, range of production/arrangement techniques and various musical paths creating an elegant, almost professorial excursion into various types of pop, exotica and avant-garde experiments.

 

For many, the big drawcards of this collection include the 1997 Nurse With Wound collaboration EP Simple Headphone Mind and (on physical editions) the sought-after Low Fi EP from 1992. The latter is the more essential of the two, showcasing the group’s noisier side with their trademark pop hum enlivened by primal Velvets thump and squalling, distorted organs. The title track Low-Fi is like Sister Ray distilled into five mantra-like minutes.

 

The Nurse With Wound tracks are more challenging, two tracks taking up just over half an hour as bip-bop drum machines scuttle along to voice experiments and musique concrete, kinda like Harmonia jamming with Pierre Henry – not for everyone, but there’s wealth for the weirdniks out there.

 

There are plenty more surprises – Robot Rock is an unreleased collaboration with sculptor Charles Long for whom they previously worked on a more austere series of songs called Music For The Amorphous Body Study Center. By comparison, Robot Rock is a straight-ahead Stereolab pop chug. Continuing in this accessible tradition is 2008 outtakes Spool Of Collusion, the electro-squiggles of Magne-Music and the post-disco fizz of The Nth Degrees.

 

We even get one of their most beloved songs Cybele’s Reverie sounding string-laden and lovely in a live performance at The Hollywood Bowl in 2004.

 

From the esoteric to the familiar, Switched On Vol. 5 shows the vaults bursting with exceptional material from these timeless travellers.

 

- Matt Thrower.

David VersaceSaguaroLOCAL

David Versace: Okra (La Sape)

 

4:22 Saguaro

 

Released: Now

 

- The album's out and we'll be covering that breezy La Sape style fusion that David Versace's been doing, in full, on next week's show.

Molly LewisMiracle FruitAUS

Molly Lewis: Mirage (Jagjaguwar / Inertia)

 

4:03 Miracle Fruit

 

Released: 16th September

 

- The new EP by the Aussie-American whistler-extraordinare is out next week, so we could hardly help but give the advance, Miracle Fruit, another whirl on the show.

Sampa The GreatLet Me Be Great Ft. Angelique KidjoAUS

Sampa The Great: As Above, So Below (Loma Vista)

 

3:54 Let Me Be Great Ft. Angelique Kidjo

 

Released: 9th September

 

- Sampa is back! It’s not like we couldn’t feel the weight of it, in the lead-up to her new full-length, As Above, So Below. As with her first, the numerous advances speak to ever greater levels of confidence. Honestly, who has a sophomore album where the description you reach for is ‘triumphant’? There’s a distinct danger that I might just revel in her glory here, so to avoid a complete hagiography, let’s get stuck into the details of her newfound divinity and why everything that is As Above, shall now be So Below.

 

The main shtick here is that Sampa, again tripping around the world, to Zambia (during much of the pandemic) and to the US has adopted, for the journey, a cloak of divinity in the form of Eve, the first woman. This avatar is an expression of what African women can be, a shining example to encourage their expression in a world which is still, largely hostile to the work of people of colour and women. The power she derives from channeling the original woman is easy to feel here. Gone is much, most of the self-doubt that characterised her last journey to Africa, captured in her debut album, The Return

 

It’s sad to note, if not very surprising, that the new record doesn’t feature much that’s Australian. Sampa made her feelings clear on 2020 stand-alone single, Time’s Up. It threw a lot of shade on the local music industry for how it treated artists like her. I’m sure her own experience is littered with examples, but for the wider public it might be crystalised in that time the ARIA’s cut her award acceptance speech, where she talked about empowerment, from their broadcast. I might not get invited to vote again (a blessing in disguise?) when I say, nice going ARIAS, I expected nothing less.

 

Well, with her new label, Loma Vista and dipping into markets that are ever so much bigger than the little cottage industry we’ve got going on down here, Sampa Tembo is magnificently unconcerned with the past and, flying through multiple styles, she manifests her inner-self in a really impressive way. Compact, powerful, dynamic, this is a record and an artist who really makes you believe that, infused with a divine power,  the future will be As Above, So Below.

 

- Chris Cobcroft.

e4444eSunday Taking Me To The MangrovesAUS

e4444e: I Spend All Day Dreaming (Dinosaur City)

 

5:36 Sunday Taking Me To The Mangroves

 

Released: 30th September

 

- e4444e treats us to some tricked out, acoustic, arty folk, ahead of the new record, I Spend All Day Dreaming. Coming on Sept 30th on Dinosaur City.

Makaya McCravenDream Another

Makaya McCravenIn These Times (XL / Remote Control)

 

3:13 Dream Another

 

Released: 23rd September

 

- An advance from the forthcoming album by the American drummer. One we should be reviewing in full when it arrives, on the 23rd of the month.

Stereolab & Nurse With WoundSimple Headphone Mind

StereolabPulse Of The Early Brain [Switched On Volume 5] (Duophonic)

 

 

10:46 Stereolab & Nurse With Wound: Simple Headphone Mind

 

Released: Now

 

- We played you some of the easier stuff earlier, now it's time for some of the weirdnik material we talked about. Hope you enjoy :D

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