Electronic duo This Mess have just released the stunning album In Half Light – a blend of soulful instrumentation, electronic beats and hip-hop inspired production. Travelling around Europe, they chat to JOSHUA BUTLER.
Who are This Mess?
This Mess is Tace, who sings, plays synths and samples, and Jim, who produces the beats.
When and how did the band start?
We have both been playing music together for a really long time in different shapes and forms. We studied music together at Southern Cross University and This Mess started soon after we finished.
Describe your music.
Our music is electronic in essence but we both studied jazz at uni. I guess what we strive to do is create a balance between electronic music, which can sometimes be quite sterile, and the more organic nature of soul music. We are influenced by Hiatus Kaiyote, Flying Lotus and Burial, who I think really get that blend right.
How did your sound develop and how has it changed over time?
Our sound is still developing. I think we are getting better at producing and songwriting. Our first EP was much more instrument oriented as we had just come out of a music degree, whereas now the music is more sample based. I think if you listen to the album you will hear that our influences are really broad. I don't think we can really pinpoint a genre that we do as a band, I think our "sound" will always be a kind of elusive thing that continues to evolve.
Tell us about the new album.
We recorded In Half Light at our home studio last year. It's a pretty varied album which has its ballads and some really dance-oriented tracks. I think it shows our varied influences. I think each song has a pop or soulish melody but a solid groove behind it.
What's the Wollongong music scene like now?
The Wollongong music scene is a really tight-knit community which is really nice and I think it is starting to flourish. It is a bit hard for bands like us in more fringe genres because we don't suit being on bills with a lot of other bands and a lot of the sound systems in Wollongong venues aren't good enough for electronic music. There are lots of great bands coming out of Wollongong at the moment, though. I have no doubt that the scene will continue to grow - if the council allows it.
Next shows coming up?
We are actually in Europe at the moment trying to learn from the electronic music scene over here because it is so much bigger. We will be home in December and will be touring around then.
Any other info you think we should know?
Our single Suddenly from our album is going to be remixed by Bon Chat Bon Rat, Jon Convex and Wollongong producer Moonbase Commander.