Signature Series, Self Titled EP

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[Bad Party Records]


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Melbourne is a fertile place for music right now. On the international stage, there are big names like Tornado Wallace, Fantastic Man, The Tortoise, and Francis Inferno Orchestra making waves. But like many cities, there’s a mountain of quality artists lurking below the surface, whose profiles are yet to receive the attention they probably deserve. Examples include Sleep D, Bell Towers, North Pollard, Chubbie Boots, Andras Fox, Galapagoose, Andy Ukhtomsky, and Disrute. Signature Series — Dan Steele and Andrew Broughton — are the newest addition to this list, and their distinctive approach might make them even more deserving of attention than the rest.

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The duo’s self-titled debut EP was recorded over 48 hours, and comes via their own label, Bad Party Records. Its quirky strains wouldn’t sound out of place on Dublin’s Lunar Disko Records, a fact which fast distances it from the moody house sound most of the city’s producers seem interested in pursuing. “Canopy” best suits this description, kicking off the EP with an abrasive, grimy underside, but soon shading it with cool synths and sprightly pings. As these elements crescendo, they manage an unusual, special mood, equal parts elegant and slapstick. The bell-flecked “Mulga Man” is a little more heads-down, delivering its quirk in intense bursts, rather than a nice, even spread. Mulga is an Aborigine word with a few different uses, but to white Australians, it generally indicates rugged rural or bush areas. The EP is themed to “to represent a migration around Australia,” you see. Sometimes, attaching such concepts can be dangerous, strangling the music and making it suffer. Thankfully, there’s only thoughtful creativity here. “Rolling Marbles,” is the most notable in this respect, melding dark, moody licks of guitar with crisp drum patterns. If it has one problem, it’s that it sounds a little too live — too obviously loopy and repetitive. Despite this, Signature Series make an impressive debut all the more because they’re willing to do things a bit differently.

swk  on October 23, 2013 at 1:32 PM

this is great, thanks for the tip nick

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