Joelistics draws on ’70 Asian pop and psych on his fascinating new album, ‘Film School’
15.03.2021

Joelistics draws on ’70 Asian pop and psych on his fascinating new album, ‘Film School’

Photo by Claudia Sngiorgi Dalimore
WORDS BY AUGUST BILLY

Joelistics joins Beat’s Turning Heads podcast to speak about his new solo album, Joelistics Presents Film School

Joelistics is the solo moniker of Melbourne producer and rapper Joel Ma. His new collaborative LP, Joelistics Presents Film School, is out now.

Ma began his career as an MC and instrumentalist with the alternative hip hop outfit, TZU. TZU released four records between 2003 and 2012. They’re perhaps best known for their anti-racism single, ‘The Horse You Rode in On’, as well as their third album, Computer Love (2008).

Joelistics’ solo journey began at the turn of the 2010s while he was living in between China and Mongolia. His debut solo album, Voyager, came out in 2011 and was followed by Blue Volume in 2014. Although he continued to rap and embrace the sounds of golden era hip hop, Joelistics’ solo records also infused post-punk, grunge and folk sounds.

Joelistics Presents Film School is his most deviant work to date, drawing on ’70s Asian pop and psych – and post-rock to create a surreal, cinematic listening experience. Parvyn Singh (The Bombay Royale) and Hailey Cramer (The Meltdown) add guest vocals while cellist Francesca Mountfort and guzheng player Mindy Meng Wang appear on multiple tracks.

In the podcast, Joel speaks about his Chinese-Australian identity, his formative anger and the divergent impulses that inspired the creation of Film School.

Check out the podcast episode below:

I will be back with another episode of Turning Heads next week. You can follow the podcast on SpotifyPodbean and through Apple.