Various Artists : Darebin Music Feast
The Darebin Music Feast, which returns in 2012 with a bountiful program featuring over 180 events, spawned this excellent 12-track sampler that provides the music fan with a taste of some of the sonic delights bubbling away in this fine city of ours. Even Dawn (The Kinship) kicks off proceedings with the serpentine rhythm of the atmospheric Oma Shanty which sways and rocks as if floating across a restless ocean. Although Susy Blue’s jazzy vocals and playful melodies on the excellent Circus conjure fond memories of Clare Bowditch’s old indie combo Red Raku, she also manages to weave in the type of magical quirkiness often associated with artists such as Kate Miller-Heidke. Black Flamingo by Tek Tek Ensemble is a romantic and danceable instrumental which boasts haunting brass and suggests a glint of old Hollywood glamour in its swinging grooves. The Part You Haven’t Learned by The Darjeelings, which features spine-tingling vocal harmonies, builds from a laid-back vibe to an unlikely yet glorious collision of sweet folk pop and catchy, jagged post-punk. Brilliant! The Deans bring a mellifluous Mod-tinged vocal approach to the quietly powerful Matters of the Heart which oozes smooth vintage soul while Yeo’s Selma Blair is a folky toe-tapper characerised by an organic, stripped-back feel. 8 Foot Felix get suitably spooky on the creeping Halloween Blues which slithers seductively before embracing a groove-kissed lounge vibe propelled by a smokin’ horn section. The energetic Vardos, those talented exponents of gypsy music, will have you euphorically spinning around your lounge room, Polenta & Cheese in one hand and a glass of heart-starting firewater in the other. Komissar Kabaret’s Chopachop is wild, surreal and colourfully theatrical while the indie folk pop of Carried Away by Melody Moon is a charming gem filled with subtle and smart instrumentation. The imaginatively named seven-piece Monkey’s Pirate effortlessly mesh roots and hip hop on the funky Concrete Beast before this fine compilation is brought to a close by the gold-plated vocal harmonies of the Brunswick Women’s Choir on the stunning Mae Francis.
BY GRAHAM BLACKLEY
Best Track: The Part You Haven’t Learned THE DARJEELINGS
If You Like These, You'll like This: Sound of Melbourne Records-Sampler 2011 VARIOUS ARTISTS
In A Word: Bountiful