Show & Tell: Luboku

What piece of equipment do you have to show us today?
My Moog Sub Phatty.
How did you come across this particular item?
It was gifted to me by a good friend actually. He had it sitting around gathering dust for a year beforehand, and at that time I was in the process of figuring out how I wanted to represent my sound live – I basically gave it a welcome home on stage and it’s been with me ever since.
 (Suss out Luboku’s Sub Phatty in action below)

What is it that you like about it so much?
I love its simplicity! It’s a two oscillator monophonic synth, with essentially limited routing. It makes you think a lot more carefully about how you sculpt the sound, and often you’ll come up with stuff that surprises you, which always leads to great ideas.
How do you use it and how has it shaped the way you write music?
Being a Moog monophonic synth, it’s best suited for bass parts in my opinion. So far, it’s played a crucial role in every track I’ve put out. The sounds that you can get through an analogue synth seem to fit every track without much effort. If I try to create that sound digitally sometimes you can be wasting time for hours. So in that sense it’s a massive time saver.
Plus, having a synth that I can manipulate and play around with tactilely has allowed me freedom to improvise and create parts with a bit more intrigue.
Tell us a little about what you have coming up?
I’ve just dropped a new EP and in April I’ll be heading out on my first tour in over a year – playing shows in Melbourne and Sydney. I’ve got big plans to release quite a lot of music this year and I’m excited for people to hear everything I’m currently sitting on!

Listen to Luboku’s new EP here, and head to his website for tour information and tickets.

Show & Tell: DRESS CODE’s Ollie Miller

What piece of equipment do you have to show us today?
My 1978 Fender Musicmaster
How did you come across this particular item?
I found this guitar in a guitar called Fannys Guitar Shop in Nashville while i was travelling across America last year. I went to a lot of guitar stores while I was there and a soon as I saw this guitar i knew if i didn’t take it back home to Australia I would seriously regret it.
What is it that you like about it so much
Because this guitar is vintage and hadn’t left Nashville before I purchased it (as far as I’m aware), it has a whole backstory that I’ll probably never know and I find that so cool. It’s not a common model so I never really see anyone else playing one the same, especially not in Aus. I also love how simple it is, it just has one pickup and not a lot of tonal options so the sound you get out of it is really down to your particular playing style. You don’t spend a lot of time fussing over what setting to use, you get what you get with this thing.
How do you use it and how has it shaped the way you write music?
When we’re writing in our home studio we like to lay ideas down as quick as we can while the idea is fresh in our heads. This guitar is great for that since its kind of a plug and play type of instrument. You don’t spend hours turning knobs trying to find the perfect setting- you plug it in, it sounds great, you get your idea down and move on to the next thing.
Tell us a little about what you have coming up?
Our new single ‘Candy Heart’ came out last Friday, following that we have a single launch on the 21st at the Crown and Anchor with our friends Keeskea and Cat Lucky. A few days later on the 23rd we will be opening for G Flip, Illy, and Hilltop Hoods at the ADL 500. It’s a very exciting time for us as a band!

Keep up to date with all of DRESS CODE’s exploits and endeavours here.

Neo-soul queen Jill Scott announced to play Vivid LIVE

Leading the charge is none other than Jill Scott, a pivotal figure within the neo-soul movement that swept the globe twenty years ago. Alongside Erykah Badu, Common, D’Angelo and The Roots, Jill Scott popularised the soulful, swung tones that continue to seep into the conscience of contemporary groove music, with her Words And Sounds album trilogy often being cited as cornerstones of the genre’s development. 

In a statement released today, the Sydney Opera House’s Head of Contemporary Music Ben Marshall celebrated Jill Scott’s influence, saying “In the era of Lizzo, SZA, Rihanna and Solange, Jill Scott’s significance and influence as an artist continues to grow and inspire audiences across generations. Having hosted Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Mary J Blige, Jill Scott is the last of the original neo soul titans to grace the Sydney Opera House and celebrating the 20th anniversary of her milestone debut exclusively at Vivid LIVE during Vivid Sydney makes her appearance here all the more special.”
Jill Scott will be playing four shows at the Sydney Opera House between Friday May 22 – Tuesday May 26. General public tickets for the concerts go on sale from 9am on Monday February 24, so make sure you don’t miss out.
Grab your tickets for Jill Scott at Vivid LIVE here.

Thundercat shares new track ‘Dragonball Durag’

The new single follows on from the announcement of his forthcoming LP It Is What It Is, which was supported by lead single ‘Black Qualls’. ‘Dragonball Durag’ tones down on its predessecors hard funk for a much more soulful, jazzy aesthetic, with frequent collaborators Kamasi Washington and Flying Lotus also appearing on the track.
It’s also got some of the best lyrics released this year – highlights include “Tell me, am I doin’ it right?/ I may be covered in cat hair, but I still smell good / Baby, let me know, how do I look in my durag?” It seems that Thundercat is well and truly getting weird with this new record, and we’re here for it. Listen to the new track below. 

Check out our Thundercat Gear Rundown here.

Reviewed: Steve Lacy – Melbourne, Friday February 14

As a line of teenagers snaked their way down a slippery Swanston Street waiting to pack into the venue, it dawned on me that the great thing about Lacy’s status as a young over-achiever seems to be that other young people are drawn to him. Whether fascinated by his work ethic, enamored in his Prince-like musical virtuosity or maybe even simply adoring of his irresistible charm and flamboyant image (once again, very Prince-like), the kids swarmed in their masses for Lacy’s Valentine’s Day show, and it made for one hell of a gig. 
Following a warm-up set from his touring DJ Bapari, Lacy took to the stage and wasted no time in diving straight into his set, which literally comprised of the entirety of Apollo XXI in its sequential order. Albeit predictable, there’s something special about seeing an artist deliver a body of work in the same order you would whilst at home with headphones on, and Lacy well and truly delivered. Kicking things off with ‘Only If’ and his ‘coming-out’ track ‘Like Me’, the young artist’s exuberant stage presence well and truly made up for the fact that he lacked a backing band, delivering some A-Grade banter between verses. The man literally bought himself a damn Valentine’s Day gift and had it delivered onstage without missing a beat – what a don. 

After flexing his bass chops to the tune of ‘Playground’, ‘Basement Jack’ and ‘Guide’, Lacy donned a Stratocaster and treated the crowd to Apollo XXI’s more sultry moments with ‘Lay Me Down’ and ‘Hate CD’, delivering a blistering guitar solo in the former track to the shouts of many a ‘woo’ and ‘YES BRUTHA’ from below. ‘In Lust We Trust’ and ‘Love 2 Fast’ also featured similar fretboard antics, and at one point Lacy even jumped onto a Moog Sub 37 to create a woozy wall of synths to ride out to, departing stage shortly thereafter for a costume change. 
Upon returning to stage in a purple Versace shirt and flowing white overalls (described as his ‘Valentine’s Drip’), Lacy concluded the Apollo XXI portion of his set with album highlight ‘N Side’ and ‘Outro Freestyle/4ever’, before delivering an a-capella rendition of early SoundCloud breakout ‘C U Girl’, triggering a pretty saucy singalong from the crowd. Whether there truly was love in the air or it was just the steamy, stale air from the humid venue playing tricks on me, it made for one hell of a special moment nonetheless. 

Lacy concluded his show with the Holy Trinity of cuts from his 2017 EP Steve Lacy’s Demo: ‘Ryd’, ‘Some’ and ‘Dark Red’; however, was dragged back onstage from the raucous sound of the crowd from below – and trust me, it was fucking loud. At this point, it was clear that Lacy was near-depleted of songs; an attempt to play another loose SoundCloud track fell apart as the chords slipped his memory, resulting in him getting a runner to rush his iPhone to the mixing desk to test out a new demo he’d been working on. You could have blindfolded me and I would have said it was a Playboi Carti track blaring over the sound system: as raw as it was, the crowd lost their collective shit to that demo. I guess that’s the magic of Steve Lacy’s sound in a nutshell, isn’t it?

Fender Japan tease new Art Gallery Collection

The Art Gallery Collection features two limited edition models: a Stratocaster and a Telecaster Custom, which have been painted by FACE and MHAK respectively. Both artists have had their work featured in high-end fashion collections, while MHAK’s work tends to draw influence from 1950s traditional architecture for a striking look.
As you can see from FACE’s Stratocaster below, pink is definitely the flavour of the month. I feel like this guitar would be perfect for a band like CHAI, and it just oozes a good vibe.

The Telecaster Custom, on the other hand, features a much more subdued design, taking cues from 1950s furniture for the embelishments around the body and on the fretboard. 

While there’s no word on whether any of these units will make their way to our shores, it’s still super cool to see the work of Fender Japan and how it differs from the American aesthetic. 
Head to Fender Japan for more details on these new models.