With a fascination for music, dance, and rhythm from a young age, it took Mike a few years of stealing his mother’s crockery and wooden spoons and using them to make 4 to the floor dance floor tuna before he persuaded his parents to buy him a drum kit. He played his drum kit day and night, exploring all manner of eastern time signatures and Afro-beat grooves, absorbing sounds from wherever his dial up internet would allow. He began to compose little songets, and riffage, which he recorded in his bedroom using pre-historic software from the local library. Thus began his interest in computer music and audio production. His ears began to pine for the thumping kick drums he overheard on his sister’s Ministry of Sound Annual CD, and upon delving into what exactly made this enticing noise, he discovered Ableton Live. Now based in Melbourne, Mount Mike has been hard at work for a number of years honing his skills as a producer, and is ready to reveal what he has been working on.
Just An Animal & Turn Into Something were originally to be released as singles on EP3 and EP4 respectively. The decision to pair the two together was made as the band had realised a theme in both lyric and sound that could be presented as a thorough two part reflection of the human experience. Williams’ lyrical inspiration draws from Renaissance art to the domestic life & animal instinct and is poetic and modest in its delivery. The bands emphatic pursuit of a unique sonic palette feels near complete with the addition of acoustic guitar to their sound as they continue to develop a rich organic and electronic blend of acoustic and synthesised instruments.
Sweetland is a name very slowly climbing the ranks of the Melbourne and Sydney techno scene, and has today released his debut album, titled Out of Nothing.
A release dripping in typical Sweetland characteristics that we’ve come to love here at Stoney – excellently crisp production, and an endless groove littered with gritty and heavy textures – Out of Nothing is a brilliantly crafted journey from start to finish.
Kicking off with the aptly titled The Thunderclouds Crack, Sweetland draws his audience into a world of floating techno rhythms with pillowy pads underpinning the percussion. Modular bleeps dance in and around the sharp claps, whilst the pad continues to grow and temper throughout, until it gives way to the melodic high and a hefty bass line. This is a track that can quite easily find itself a home at the beginning of a night, or in the smokey early hours. An excellent introduction to a hugely impressive debut full length.
From there, similar to his hybrid DJ sets, Sweetland constructs a journey that slowly but surely progresses into the heavier tiers of techno. For instance, Sweetland dances through Innervisions-esque tracks such as Journey of the Dunes, as well as swirling and groaning efforts like Serious and Pfeffle, all the while maintaining a thunderous kick and that clean, clean production.
Track 5 is where Sweetland finds his home. Dimension of Dub pairs shifting and crackling percussion with an immense kick drum, and a dark, eerie drone. But this is far from its only layer of attractiveness: a muffled, blown out dub stab provides the lead while gritty bass notes provide a jumpy and paranoid veneer on top of the entire effort. Sweetland has not only supplied his listeners with a perfect dancefloor tool, he has showcased his dynamic ability as an artist and gives an insight to his capabilities as a producer – as if he hadn’t established himself enough. The huge breakdowns, shattering claps, and sizzling hats, this is the standout from an album of such high quality.
Sweetland doesn’t slow down there. Carrying the dub motif into Balkoni and drawing influence from Berlin on his creepy Daywalker, Night Stalker, he continuously builds and draws back so as to not bore the listener with similar veins of techno. This is exemplified clearly through later tracks like the messy textures of The Pressure and summery set-closer Ge Dang Dang.
While Sweetland is very slowly making his way into local techno royalty in his hometown of Melbourne, this debut album is a surefire stamp on his artistic credibility and capability. If there were any doubts about his production beforehand, they are completely stamped out.
Out of Nothing is released today via Suck Music and you can grab it via Beatport here. Listen to the full release below via the Soundcloud player.
Henry Rowe – Stoneyroads.com