Filter Magazine's Culture Collide 2013 with Miami Horror (DJ Set) + more

Filter Magazine's Culture Collide 2013

Miami Horror (DJ Set)

After years in the making here at last is Illumination, the fully realized debut album from Australia's favourite psychedelic indie-electronic adventurers Miami Horror. With Illumination, Miami Horror has delivered on the promise of two years of teeth-cutting live shows and an ever escalating wave of buzz that's made the group bonafide blog darlings the world over. But what's most amazing about the grand arrival of Illumination is that the roots of the record stretch back countless moons to when Miami Horror began as just one synthesizer-obsessed producer huddled over a laptop in a bedroom-come-studio and the album itself just a spark waiting to be lit.

Kick started by Ben Plant, Miami Horror was created out of a love of Roland keyboards and French house, landing the young producer on everyone's radar overnight with a slew of sharp remixes and productions in his arsenal. Yet it was while Ben was punching out 2008's epochal Bravado EP that Miami Horror took off in a completely new and different direction thanks to the recruitment of Josh Moriarty, the wiry guitarist and dexterous vocalist that would become Miami Horror's powerhouse frontman. Together the two cut the lushly organic summer jam Sometimes with Josh on croon duties and the idea to drastically alter Miami Horror's genetic makeup into a crowd-swelling live entity was born.

"It started out that I didn't want to have any guitar on the album besides a little funk guitar or disco bass," Ben grins while explaining the turning point for Miami Horror's evolution. "But then Josh came in and started playing all these other parts that sounded amazing. Paired with what I was working on, nobody was doing anything like it, so I knew we had to turn those sounds into a live thing and just go wild."

With Ben and Josh wanting to flex their creative muscles and avoid the limitations of being stereotyped as simply a dance or electro act, the pair rewired Miami Horror's future, deputising two new talents with Dan Whitechurch taking up the keys and drummer and co-production whiz Aaron Shanahan completing Miami Horror's live transformation.

Since the switch Miami Horror has launched into dizzying new stratospheres, their well-polished chops as a live group making for some unmissable sets at Australia's biggest festivals leading to sell-out shows in Rio, Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles – the latter of which Miami Horror will call home when they relocate in September '11.

"I think we have a lot of energy live and people seem to really resonate with it," Josh explains of Miami Horror's live allure. "I've always been disappointed by that side of electronic music that's just two guys behind computers triggering samples with no connection with an audience. This is a real live rock band. I just want to excite people and make them have a great time at our shows," he adds when quizzed on his firebrand onstage persona. "People have, and always will love showmanship and it's something I always try to add to the performance."

All this time Ben had been further noodling away at Miami Horror's long-awaited debut disc and with the vision for a fully-blown and creatively shared band now fulfilled Miami Horror was able to pour all of their energy into Illumination, the record that's taken Miami Horror years to perfect and Ben a whole lifetime to get right.

Bunkering down in Ben's own studio in Melbourne, Illumination was recorded in typical Miami Horror fashion with the band opening themselves up to new styles and approaches which saw them call in a cast of guest stars including Swedish singer MAI, Melbourne based chanteuse Kimbra, Dappled Cities' wordsmith Tim Derricourt for a lyrical assist and also Neon Indian and Vega prodigy Alan Palomo who flew out from the US to add his distinctive haze to multiple tunes.

As well as crafting a truly classic album that begs to be consumed from beginning to end to fully uncover all the layers and engrossing sonic textures of each tune, Ben says the aim with Illumination was to present an accurate portrait of the band's current core and not make things too "glossy" and "hi-fi", with Ben himself producing and engineering the album from the confines of his bedroom.

As such, listening to Illumination is like a guided tour of Miami Horror's combined minds, with enormous flying grooves gliding through the speakers alongside nods to the deities of French house and vintage synth explorers like Giorgio Moroder and Jan Hammer, all mixed and muddled up with slabs of melting, fuzzy psychedelica, some wandering kraut rock bass-lines, enough star-gazing hooks to make Electric Light Orchestra blush, plenty of ear-catching pop swagger and Ben's own studied cinematic aesthetics. Never content to stand still, Miami Horror ambitiously test their boundaries across the album, experimenting with lush, almost chillwave instrumentals (see the gorgeous Infinite Canyons), futuristic disco gems (I Look To You), summer-bound party jams (Holidays) and anthem-sized synth epics (Sometimes).

Although all four members of the band admit to a serious case of perfectionism with months spent, refining, tweaking and endlessly perfecting Illumination, Ben explains the process was worth the time and energy invested. "We spent about ten months alone mixing the album, which is a process that should normally take two weeks," Ben laughs. "We always just said 'f**k it, we have to make the album that we want to make' and this is it. We made it."

Yes, this is their moment. And though it seemed like an electro-dreamer's distant fantasy four years ago, Miami Horror's same excited sense of wonder has only ballooned from then to now. If you haven't already heard the gospel, expect to be converted to the cause any second now.

Plastic Plates

Plastic Plates is the Dj/producer alias of Felix Bloxsom. Originally hailing from Sydney Australia, Felix is now based in Los Angeles. Plastic Plates’ distinct synthy disco sound has attracted both indie, dance and mainstream pop artists to commission remixes from Felix. These artists include Adele, Sia, Body Language, The Presets, Sam Sparro, The Human League, Sneaky Sound System, The Magician, Katy Perry and Mark Ronson and more…

2012 saw the release of Plastic Plates’ debut EP Things I didn’t Know I Loved” on french tastemaker record label Kitsune, with a slew of remixes to boot. With almost 2 million plays on Soundcloud and regular appearances in the Hype Machine top 10, Plastic Plates’ popularity around the world is steadily growing. This has taken him to all corners of the world to DJ extensively through Europe, the USA, Central and South America, Russia, Asia and Australia.

Stay tuned for new original releases and plenty more remixes in 2013!

If you’re reading this, you’re probably part of whatever is left of the music press in 2011. There is no reason to explain the state of modern, relevant punk rock to you; you’re paid (in one way or another) to know it all. Fittingly, there is no reason to outline any scene reports or regional histories that brought about the formation of Copenhagen’s Iceage. Its members are teenagers, presently 18 or 19 years of age, and as with most people that age, it doesn’t do any good to cite influences. Rather, Iceage mixes punk, post-punk, Goth and hardcore as if they invented it, and does such an excellent job of blending these tropes with the pent-up energy and frustration of the just-post-pubescent years of young mens’ lives, that they might as well have.

New Brigade is Iceage’s debut album (licensed from Escho Records of Denmark); 26 minutes of anthemic stress, of tension undiluted by worldly wisdom or amassed experience. Following a seven-inch single (recorded by Peter Peter, of the Sods and Sort Sol) and compilation track, New Brigade displays a confidence that substitutes worldly experience for the thrills of discovery, of knowing that it is possible to forge your own path in light of adults, the establishment, and prevailing wisdom telling you to do otherwise. In this tradition, New Brigade’s twelve songs rush past, long enough to hit you in the chest and short enough to make you wonder what happened. YouTube shows Iceage’s live shows to be frenetic, sometimes violent affairs with very little compromise in the way of sound or concept. You may get pushed around. Deal with it. This is a punk record from a punk band that plays punk shows. American audiences will get their first chance to see them play this summer, once they finish their current year of high school.

There likely will not be a record of this type so singular and stunning until Iceage makes another one.

With their fourth full-length album to be released in as many years, The Men proudly present the sweeping New Moon, their most intensely personal and immersive installment yet. Never content to draw on the same methods twice, nor to recline under the heel of expectation, The Men quit the city in early 2012 to head for Big Indian, NY – transforming a remote Catskills locale into a full-fledged stray dog studio home. Taking complete advantage of dry eyes and clear mountain mornings, the band has never before so thoroughly surrendered their writing process, or themselves for that matter, to the recording environment.

Entering with only the most skeletal sketches, the house was selected as an incubator for its technical limitations, 32-hour orbit and predisposal to celestial intervention. Familiar faces remain, the core of guitarists Nick Chiericozzi and Mark Perro, with drummer Rich Samis all returning from 2012’s much-acclaimed Open Your Heart. In addition, friend and producer Ben Greenberg (Pygmy Shrews, Hubble, Zs) officially joins the ranks as bassist on paper, and full-bore compositional partner in practice. Wayward brother Kevin Faulkner occupies his most substantial sphere to date, dreaming aloud on lap steel as before along with whatever else was demanded of him.

The Men’s oft-cited commitment to their “no-one-is-frontman” maxim surely insists itself all the more emphatically here… so much so that it practically creates a new band in the process. This unique situation induces a fresh fluidity amongst their roles and instrumentation, allowing for an expansion of palette and a contraction of focus. Piano, mandolin, harmonica, four-part vocal harmonies and even no-input harsh noise all weave their way through New Moon. Spiritually, it is hedged with as much leaden dirge and ecstatic abandon, as it is genuine saccharine steel-string levity, and an ever-tightening, no apologies pop concision. Summarily: New Moon is the remembrance of why green grass has to lean on the dirt beneath; it is a love letter devoted in bowed humility to the grand continuum, exposing the hoax of the great divide. Allegiances to the glowing patinas of Detroit and San Francisco, New York and Nashville all abound, but ‘nostalgia’ is not her name. The essence of New Moon is to revisit — never retread. Vibrational bonds are the silver that comes to line the long road home.

Come celebrate the release of GRMLN's debut 12" on Carpark Records with their debut at PTP. These are the sort of dreamy hazy sounds that would be equally at home on Captured Tracks, slotting neatly aside Beach Fossils, Diiv and Catwalk. Hushed vocals interwoven tendrils of wistful guitars alternating with anthemic leads. Just exactly as Dean Wareham prophesied long ago on the final Galaxie 500 album: This is OUR music.

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Filter Magazine's Culture Collide 2013 with Miami Horror (DJ Set) + more

Thursday, October 10 · 8:00 PM at The Echo