Sleeve Notes: January 2012
One of our most anticipated releases in the New Editions series, Jewelz is the result of a long-term collaboration between two prolific Sydney producers, Thomas William and Scissor Lock. The pair gave audiences a first glimpse of their project with a face-to-face match at New Weird Australia’s ‘Unpopular Music’ event in 2010. Since then they have retired to the studio, throwing around both their unique sounds, and the occasional battle analogy. Parrying each other’s blows with hooks and counter-punches – they have delivered an expansive album laden with texture, unexpected hooks, and broad temporal arcs.
Outside of this collaboration, both producers have developed signature sounds and individual styles. Marcus Whale’s relentless restlessness has seen him present a unique combination of manipulated voice, feedback and laptop processing under his Scissor Lock pseudonym, as well his much-lauded Collarbones project with Travis Cook (aka Cyst Impaled) and his debauched faux R&B boy band Black Vanilla (formed with Guerre and Marseilles). In the other corner, Thomas William is a fixture of Sydney’s experimental music scene, shapeshifting through many guises as a musician, teacher, and director of artist run initiative, Serial Space. His blend of shifting synths, broken percussion and unstable tunings has so far featured on three full-length releases, two as Cleptoclectics, and a third most recently on Melbourne’s ‘This Thing’ imprint.
In Jewelz all of these ideas and elements are naturally and effortlessly combined, a true representation and culmination of their stellar endeavours to date – an undeniable knockout.
1. Cadillic 05:12
2. Jewelz 08:15
3. Omega 09:22
4. Qusqu 09:33
All music by Marcus Whale & Tom Smith.
Mastered by Tom Smith
Sleeve design by Heath Killen.
“Jewelz is aptly named—a little treasure. But not in the shiny conspicuous way of precisely cut and polished gems, rather the intrigue comes more from the strange geological forces at work—the melting and compression—that has gone into forging each of these raw sound compounds. Each sonic fragment making up the music is a curiosity, the samples alluding to something—a song, an instrument, a texture—almost recognisable but ultimately remaining elusive. These are then crafted into a set of songs that have enough angularity to offer a challenge, but essentially are still a pleasurable listen.”
Real Time Arts, March 2012
“The product of a collaboration between Sydney producers Thomas William and Scissor Lock – the former a Director of a contemporary art space and the latter one-half of experimental beat outfit Collarbones – Jewelz is, rather unsurprisingly, completely surprising. The four-track EP, of which most songs are over eight minutes long, is a testament to artistic sonic exploration and blissful beat craftsmanship.”
Rave Magazine, February 2012
“the perfect antithesis to Phil Spector’s endeavour to write and produce the ‘perfect’ pop song. On their first collaborative EP Jewelz they pursue an imperfect pop implosion … Like a many-layered trifle, William and Scissor Lock have produced a never-ending vista of microcosmic moments within an expansive audio-phonic universe. Get your spoons out and dig in.”
The Thousands, February 2012
“The entire thing is rounded out by the shimmering bliss of Qusqu, a track that comes the closest to a traditional sense – like Sigur Ros mixed with Pimmon with Birchville Cat Motel producing the most wonderful chill out experimentronica. I love this sort of music – both transcendent and challenging, Jewlez is a very fine release indeed.”
Ducks Battle Satan, February 2012
“Forget what you know about music associated with Cadillacs. You’re not going to see David Banner, Outkast nor the shortas ridin’ to this. Instead this can be heard as what might be mating calls of the Sorns [from C. S. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet]. With the scattering of various tones from what could only be described as bent and twisted array of stem whistles these two Aussies Thomas William and Scissor Lock have painted a landscape of deep jungle rhymes.”
Head Under Water, February 2012