Everything begins with Hiatus Kaiyote. From there comes my interest in the Melbourne scene, first concentrated in the very characteristic sounds of "future soul". Then there was Jordan Rakei, a New Zealander who gave Melbourne a shot before taking off to London, to see if he could make it big over there. There I rediscovered the warm touch and groove of Hiatus Kaiyote in his work without really being able to find a connection between the two. Real individuality, that doesn’t necessarily go together on this playlist, yet represents the second incursion of Melbourne into my musical universe. Added to this, the hearsay about a city where the culture, bars, and the nightlife were considered more abundant than those of its international neighbour, Sydney.
Hiatus Kaiyote started a movement and their heirs have no trouble or shame in acknowledging it. Among them is singer Allysha Joy, writer of her own albums and an active member of the 30/70 collective. "I'm making music with one of the Hiatus Kaiyote's guys. And the record we just released with 30/70 was mixed by Paul Bender. They’re like a family for us. It's really inspiring for me to see them keep growing. Nai Palm is an incredible artist. I learn by watching her! She’s a superb instrumentalist and a beautiful singer. She’s inspiring." On the playlist, 30/70 and their "Breaking - For This World to Change" measure to what extent Hiatus Kaiyote have had an impact on home turf. Did their success create the scene, in fact? Like them, the 30/70 collective is a nucleus from which other projects were born – Allysha Joy’s solo projects, the Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange, etc.
The absence of a rich past leaves the Australian scene free from the feeling of having to overly respect tradition. Musicians are therefore at liberty to help themselves to inspiration elsewhere – according to their desires. There is a clear taste for London, its broken beat, its penchant for dance and its emerging jazz scene, freed from the straitjacket of tradition, with its youth and collective promise. Electro, in its English future jazz style, is everywhere ("Jamaika" by Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange), in the development of broken beat and house ("Work it Out" by Horatio Luna, "Valley of Peace" by Teymori, "Something Better (Amin Paine Remix)" by Leisure Centre). It goes without saying, however, that the foundations are primarily African-American – jazz everywhere, via spirituals ("Bleeding Heart" by Audrey Powne) or something more classic ("Flowers" by Audrey Powne), R&B and neo-soul ("Sacrifice" by Silent Jay), funk ("Park and Ride" from Beatnik Collective) and soul ("Kill the Doubt" by The Cactus Channel). All these riches demand exploration and there’s much more to discover besides!