The south of the UK has been somewhat battered by winter’s winds these last few days, so as we scan through the remainder of our ‘Recommender queue’ – clearing through all those artists that we’ve had waiting for coverage before the year is out – we thought we’d turn to something rather summery. As the cold breeze blasts leaves against our window it is music such as this that removes us from our seasonal misery, transporting us to the sunnier foreign lands in our imaginations. This is music so infused with tropical heat, uplifting positivity and energising fizz that although the outside may well be cold and damp, inside we’re adorning Hawaiian shirts and sipping silly cocktails. Welcome to the delightfully animated world of Twinsy.
This duo are a kind of super-group from Melbourne, Australia, featuring Guy Chappell (from the Yacht Club DJs) and Michael Belsar (Hunting Grounds), although it’s well-documented that a third member works with them in the studio, by the name Adrian Thomas, better known as one of Australia’s best DJs, Ajax (Bang Gang). Whether this is a permanent new group, or a temporary side project for it’s talented protagonists is unclear, but what is sure is that this is one of those collaborations that uses up every ounce of skill and ability that their individual parts promised. Their trade is now classy electronic productions, with beats at the centre of what they’re doing, but this is an advanced level of dance music, with vocals, complicated rhythms and perfectly placed samples. This is the kind of electronic music that everyone will adore. It’s rammed with energy, makes you feel good, gets you up off of your seat and, well, dancing. Suffice to say their songs have been dropped into Recommender DJ sets ever since we got hold of them.
This is one of those collaborations that really knits together well. As you could imagine, placing professional musicians in the same room could have it’s pitfalls, as they all deliver ideas and input into the project. The different directions it could go are endless and it could easily result in a batch of dead ends or poorly forged accommodations of everyone’s suggestions, but not with this lot. This is a masterful lesson in fusion. Any basic physics lessons can teach you that fusion is what happens at the heart of stars, as they bond magical atomic matter together to form new elements. It is because these guys are so damn hot at what they do that they’ve clearly managed the rare trick of producing pure gold. And hot is the operative word here as the temperatures they achieve are not only tropical, but bright and highly energetic.
Their ridiculously sunny, self-titled EP arrived earlier this year. If you could distil Hawaiian shirts and Piña Coladas into a sound, that’s what Twinsy’s EP has managed. Just prior to the EPs release they found that their debut single, Water Bombs, received a high rotation on Australia’s major radio stations and the buzz has built up like a field of crickets ever since. That first single is a good example of their sound, with a school-yard vocal refrain, steel drum samples and a euphoric gloss to it all. Chappell had explained that he wanted to melt Armand Van Helden and The Beach Boys together, which seems impossible, but once he came across the ideas behind Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz project he knew he had hit upon a template. He wants to write something for everyone, something entirely un-offensive, yet credible and without the restrictions of pigeon holes. Back Of My Car continues the beach party but it’s a song that at first seems like any other Go-Team or Avalanches sample-fuelled melting pot, but once the vocals and guitars arrive it seems to twist and turn in a multitude of enjoyable directions. Keeping It Together pushes the vocals much further forward, with The Beach Boys definitely an inspiration. Although it’s cooler in temperature, it’s still comfortably smooth. Take Me Home is perhaps their finest track to date, with a million pieces making up the sounds and a set of cute vocals that manage to elevate the listener high enough to see the bigger picture.
There’s a sense of freedom and abandonment in their work. This project feels like it’s contributors have been released from the shackles of a band, with Belsar used to sharing a studio and stage with up to six people in Hunting Grounds, you can imagine the space he now occupies must feel enormous. And it shows. By ripping up their usual rules and designing something that seems like a collaboration of solo projects they’ve hit upon a new energy and it’s put them in a good mood. It’s that sunny disposition that’s created these satisfying songs. They wouldn’t have touched steel drums in their previous projects. Their live sets throughout Australia in 2012 have also had fantastic responses and they’ve mentioned a possible tour elsewhere around the globe in 2013. Whether that aligns with the eventual debut is album is unknown, but it’s all lining up an exciting year for them, and us. The timing of this post seems suitable in two ways, as not only does their music transport us from our wintery blog cabin to the beaches of next summer, but, like most other blogs, we spend most of the final weeks of the year tipping who we want to predict will be seen lighting up 2013 and Twinsy have the potential to make next year go nuclear. (MB)
TWINSY – TAKE ME HOME
TWINSY – BACK OF MY CAR