SchubasTue Sep 03 2019

206

 at Schubas/Lincoln Hall

$15.00 [ $18.00 Door ] All Ages
7:30 PM
Tags: All Ages  

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The way music is distributed and consumed has changed quite a bit over the last decade or so. But how it’s released — drop two or three singles, then put your album out — hasn’t evolved much since the vinyl era. Known as a couple of the nicest guys in Australian electronic music, Set Mo reckon there’s a better, more ‘giving’ way of doing things…

To wit, since February 2018, the boys have issued a new track each and every month. The beardless half of Set Mo, Nick Drabble, says of the monthly tune modus operandi, “It’s quite disruptive from an industry point of view, but from a fan perspective, they’ve loved the format. They’re like, ‘This is so cool’, knowing that on the first Friday of every month they’re going to get something new. For us, it’s been liberating, not letting anyone dictate how we release our music. We set out to do this at the beginning of 2018 and we didn’t deviate from the plan. It’s been good.”

In addition to jettisoning the typical release schedule, Set Mo have also sidestepped getting locked into a record label. In July 2017, while mulling over potential recording contracts, the guys decided to independently distribute a single to keep the momentum going. Though they were uncertain how the track would go without a label’s thrust behind it, Nick says, “We put it out and it’s gone as well, if not better than any track we’ve ever done — got added to radio, lots of playlistings. People love it. When we play it at our shows, the crowd just loses it.”

The song in question, “I Belong Here” (feat. Woodes), received high-rotation support from Triple J, props from UK tastemakers Pete Tong and Annie Mac on Radio 1, and over 10 million Spotify streams. Like previous Set Mo anthem “White Dress” (feat. Deutsch Duke, 23 million Spotify streams and counting), it’s also reached certified Gold status in Australia. Witnessing the indy success of “I Belong Here”, they’ve been going it alone ever since. (And with more than 63 million Spotify streams and a million-plus monthly listeners on the service, things seem to be going OK.)

Set Mo will be releasing — independently, of course — their debut album “Surrender” in February 2019, featuring the eleven monthly singles plus five new tunes: sixteen tracks in total, written, produced and recorded in Sydney, Berlin, Amsterdam, Los Angeles and London.

Despite this globetrotting approach to music-making, and collaborations with artists from around the world, the guys believe there’s always a certain ‘Australian-ness’ to what they do. The other half of Set Mo, Stu Turner, puts this down to Set Mo’s music “having a feeling of summer, no matter what — a kind of carefree happiness or playfulness, perhaps. Australians, we have a pretty broad musical palette. Nick and I are into so many different subcultures and genres, and that comes across in what we play and what we make. You can’t just listen to house music or techno all the time, you know?” (Hell no. That’d be the stuff of “Nightmares” — coincidentally, the name of the snappy Scott Quinn collab you’ll have heard if you tuned in to triple j anytime last year.)

Listeners have responded enthusiastically to the diverse sounds Set Mo have been dropping throughout 2018, ranging from ravey breakbeat to dreamy downbeat to anthemic piano-driven house. “We’ve been getting DMs from fans saying, ‘This is so sick! We didn’t expect this kinda thing. Love it.’ Because what we’ve been releasing has been so varied, I think we’ve been hitting different eardrums with every new track, winning over new people. It’s been really positive in that regard.” The album’s title track “Surrender”, which dropped December 7, features an extended spoken-word sample from the king of inventive musical eclecticism, Brian Eno. Getting a personal seal of approval from the glam / ambient pioneer was, says Nick, “Pretty special! Awesome.”

The guys, who formed as a like-minded DJ duo in 2012 and soon progressed into the studio, completed their first US tour in 2018 and will be taking three of their featured singers (Asta from “Near”, Thandi Phoenix who sings on “Afterglow”, and Woodes off “I Belong Here” and another forthcoming single) on the road with the Electric Gardens festival in January. After a packed summer schedule (including their highlight Falls Festival set bringing in the New Year), Set Mo’s poised to debut a full live show and national tour, hot off the heels of the album’s release.

They may not be releasing a track a month in the coming year, but you’ll be hearing from Set Mo plenty in 2019.



TAGS All Ages,

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