To continue on our musical journey around Australia, this week’s Sounds From Australia finds itself on Australia’s western coast in the isolated metropolis of Perth. Check out previous featured artists here.
Perth is often dubbed the most isolated city in the world, sitting nearly 4000 kilometres from Sydney and actually closer to parts of Asia than its nearest Australian city neighbour. We spent a while living around Perth and spent some time in the city and the sense of isolation is tangible. Time moves slower there, the days seem to drag on forever in all their blinding brightness and unbearable dry heat.
But what it lacks in connection with other cities it makes up for with endless world-class surfing and a real blossoming psychedelic arts and music scene. In recent years Perth has churned out some of the Australia’s most globally celebrated artists, chief among them Kevin Parker of Tame Impala fame, who blew the world away last year with the release of their third EP Currents. On top of global critical acclaim and sold out world tours, Parker still invests a lot of time into the music scene of his home town and had a huge hand in the success of this week’s featured artist.
Where – Perth. One of the most isolated cities in the world and the capital city of Australia’s largest state Western Australia. Separated from the rest of Australia by 3000 kilometres of arid desert it’s had to make a habit of fending for itself artistically.
Who – Koi Child
What – A hip-hop and nu jazz fusion compromised of two pre-existing Perth based groups – Hip-Hop trio Child’s Play and Nu Jazz quartet Kashikoi. Their origin story sounds like something that belongs in the vaults of musical mythology. They were appearing in Perth on the same bill and held an impromptu live jam. Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) happened to be in the crowd and approached them asking them to support Tame Impala on their Australian tour.
This led to Parker investing time in the new project and eventually mixing and producing their debut self-titled album. Kevin Parker’s production is evident on the record, the bass line on Wumpa Fruit screams of Tame Impala. But beyond the heavy-handed influence of Parker, Koi Child are offering something genuinely fresh and original to an otherwise stagnant and boring Australian hip-hop scene.
Their music follows up a similar vein explored by the likes of BADBADNOTGOOD fusing nu jazz and hip-hop together seamlessly with a dash of psychedelia thrown in for good measure. Front man Shannon “Cruz” Patterson’s flow straddles a fine border between jazz rap pioneers De La Soul and UK grime, almost achieving something that could be deemed original and Australian.
The nu jazz ensemble is the real hero of the album. The driving brass solos, melodic keys and sharp isolated drum tracks take the tracks into extended, hazy jazz soundscapes which perfectly encapsulates the sun drenched stretched out days that seem to exist on Australia’s western shore.
Koi Child represent some hope for the future of Australian Hip-Hop. A serious outfit that are willing to experiment with sound and style and attempt to create something that could be considered as uniquely Australian. A refreshing turn away from a nation that produces and applauds utter tripe like “Cosby Sweater” and The Hill Top Hoods.
1-5-9 (Koi Child) 2016
Black Panda (Koi Child) 2016
Cruzy P (Koi Child) 2016
Have you listened to Koi Child? What do you think of the state of Australian Hip Hop? Let us know via our Social Media Pages!