Very rarely do I have those moments after listening to an EP or album and just have a blazing grin, from ear to ear. It’s not that there isn’t enough great Melbourne music out there, hell, MISMATCH was set up to bring more focus onto it. But, it is rare when you listen to something you know absolutely nothing about and have one of those warm fuzzy feelings of ‘man, we’ve got it good in Melbourne! These guys are just incredible!’.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an EP entitled Bad Blocks by a due called South City Sushi Cop and had that moment. With a name like South City Sushi Cop, I didn’t really know what I was getting into. But it’s one of the best thoughtful, ambient-techno pop releases I’ve heard this year.
Sitting at 6 tracks long, Bad Blocks is definitely something danceworthy, and hey, look, on one hand, it’s an EP 5/6ths full of dancefloor ready techno-pop bangers (track 5, ‘Seven Fields of Sigh’ offers some respite from the crazy moves). But on the other hand, and if you listen to the production, the instrumentation, and the reflective vocals, it has this really carefully constructed, interesting quality to it. There’s a heightened level of atmosphere, a bed of warmth sitting underneath every track that although the music itself doesn’t necessarily elicit a strong summer vibe, still helps to keep me warm on a cool Melbourne afternoon.
Check out a track by track, blow by blow account of the EP below.
Opening, and title track, ‘Bad Blocks’ brings that bedded warmth through right from the get go. Complete with a soaring techno four to the floor groove, it does an incredibly fine job of setting the scene.
As ‘Bad Blocks’ finishes, we’re lead into the rather more sporadic, manic, chiptune infused ‘Forest Spitting Cola’, a definite fave of the EP. The breakbeat groove that hits about half way through, really showcases the talents of these boys. Not in a way of, “Hey, we know a lot of shit and we’re gonna throw in everything we got” kinda vibe, but more as a representation of an organic, fluid approach to their music making – they’re not tied down to a set structure, they let the tracks go where they need to go.
Track three, Jade Mountain is perhaps the most straightforward club track on here, and acts as a really nice response to ‘Forest Spitting Cola’. Those close harmonies are also a feature that is consistent right throughout this release.
Track four, ‘Where You’re From’ also has a really strong club feel to it. There’s elements of Presets in this track, be it from the big chorus drops, or the pulsating, full-on kick drum groove.
Offering some level of respite is the 1:34 aforementioned ‘Seven Fields of Sigh’. Once again, built upon a bed of warm padded synths, the drowned out vocals force you to take a step back and let them wash over you, almost cleanse you. This track is beautifully placed, as it sits just before the EP closer ‘Faded Tiles’, another more intense, manic sounding track.
If this is what a new Melbourne electronic act can offer up as their first EP, then I reckon it’s pretty safe to say that they’ll keep on doing some pretty amazing things. This is an EP that has reaffirmed my love for good electronic music – a genre that can sound carefully constructed, but effortless at the same time.
Full EP available on Bandcamp