Sydney based The Seaport & The Airport returns with their sophomore album Power Moves – a cohesive and embracing offering, much like welcome nostalgia or the tinkering of future possibilities. It boasts complex, yet danceable rhythmic beats and a platter of soundscapes and textures to graze on. A
The record was glued together with about a year of on/off procedures when Wuts describes a moment where he “properly got a hold of what (his) skull-meat wanted to do, and had learnt how to go about (kind of) doing it.”
To celebrate the LP’s release, the project’s mastermind Oscar Wuts has walked us through the record by track.
Invention, Purpose and Use:
This was the first track written after my first full-length release and I had a bit more confidence in the shape of my creation, obviously confident enough to ask some friends to collaborate. My good pal Shell Osis (Canadian-based composer and producer aka ‘Imperial Visions’) layered some brutal synths, and we added opening vocals by Kiwi m8 Ben Bro (aka Benny’s Videos, an upcoming artist based in Wellington). This always felt like the album opener and thankfully managed to work in my ‘boat-horn’ that had been sitting in the bank.
An Audience Of Small Pieces:
I took this one up to old mate Miles Devine (head honcho of psych lords Raindrop) in his rooftop lair at Mindfield Studios, where we ran elements through his old Moogs & various hardware toys to make some shiny things sound dusty, and some rhythms move a little wonkier. The ivories of my keys kween Shell Osis are also all over this one. Going for a bit of a Neptunes-meets-Nathan-Fake vibe here.
I first started going to raves in the late 90’s and it was all Dillinja, Photek, Source Direct, Dom & Roland that converted me – the first track that triggered me was when I heard Photek’s ‘ni ten ichi ryu’. It blew me the fuck away (and still does), in addition to hearing stuff like Digital’s ‘Waterhouse Dub’ at The Gathering (legendary NZ late 90’s/00’s NYE rave). I’m obsessed with how ridiculously tight those drums are. Being a drummer, I’m always making sure I do the break justice, so I spent time shaping the break to pay a little homage to my heroes.
I’ve always loved everything Mark Ernestus touches, from Maurizio and Basic Channel to the Rhythm & Sound stuff, so why not take some of them dubby Virus-y pads and throw in some sliced up Amen. This one’s a nod to the Doc Scott classic ‘Shadow Boxing’, plus I couldn’t help but to sneak in a token Wu sample. It’s the only one, I promise.
Two Trick Pony:
The cowbell. The shuffle. ‘The Worm’ break by Jimmy Mcgriff, one of the best…paired up with the Doggone break it’s a beat pudding.
This was written the week I went and got two grape-sized sebaceous cysts cut out of my head. I was in a medicated downer and up ended up being a lot slower than it sounded at the time.
I had been listening to Machinedrum’s Room(s) record a LOT and just fucking adore that constant shuffle he maintains throughout, so this can be the upbeat moment of Power Moves.
An older tune. Added some harp. Some soothing harp. Harp helps everything.
The Face of Dead Matter:
I have been trying to rope old m8 Jeff Boyle (from NZ post-rock lords Jakob) into doing a collaborative track for so so long, years in fact. But I finally got the goods out of him, and now this is one of my favorite tracks on the album.
My teenage nights were spent driving around the streets of Tamatea (Napier, NZ) in my Escort panel van, listening to freshly dubbed hip hop tapes – The Goats, that first Gravediggaz album, Black Sunday – through the car audio equivalent of a $4 bluetooth speaker from Paddy’s Market, this roller is an attempt at recreating that feeling.
A tag appeared on my back fence one morning. It said ‘Power Moves’. Some madman literally just bombed a big messy ‘Power Moves’ right there on the gate. I expect they’ll exclude this from the ‘Street Art Tours of the Inner West’ that I see frequenting the neighborhood, but it provided a superb title for a track founded on a Burial-style beat and some Chinese chant loops I found deep in an internet cave. I’m not even sure who ‘Power Moves’ is.
The One Who Can’t Take Any Of Them Along:
This was written around the time I’d been back home when my Aunty was passing on, so it’s a bit hard to listen back to. It’s nice to have music as a form of therapy, you lasso a mound of feelings and excrete them in an audio blob. A piano melody, a Reese b-line, a full stop.