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Green-eyed and grimy: the soul of Nick Hakim

New music from Nick Hakim, Acharné and more to check out and tune in to on air or via out Spotify playlist, updated weekly . . . a unique mix of music as ever for you

SERvin’ Up! – w/c May 29, 2017

Fazerdaze – Morningside
Jessica Says – Do With Me What U Will
Acharné – Innocence and Suburbia
Leah Senior – Pretty Faces
Nick Hakim – Green Twins
Justin Townes Earle – Kids In The Street
Cable Ties – Cable Ties
Helium – The Dirt of Luck/The Magic City
Steve Gunn – Dusted
Blond Ambition – Slow All Over

Hello,
Local lad Rick Bull hasn’t been too local of late. The Sydney producer – best known for his elastic electronic excursions as Deepchild – has accordingly been a resident of Berlin for many years but is now about to relocate to London. Also a one-time 2SER presenter, Bull has lived where he could eke out a career and his latest work comes under another name, Acharné. Moving away from the trademark throb of his house and techno exploits, as Acharné Bull conjures a way more atmospheric sound mapped out with evocative textures and intriguing sonic detail on Innocence and Suburbia. The title and overall noir vibe of the album suggests Bull has written the soundtrack for an imaginary city, one that reveals much more at its edges under the moonlight. Much like the darker ends of Massive Attack, Innocence and Suburbia is a decidedly immersive and urban experience.

Nick Hakim was born to Chilean and Peruvian parents who played him South American folk, growing up in Northwest D.C. where he encountered the fertile hardcore music scene and now lives in Brooklyn. In between he studied at the famed Berklee College of Music where he began to develop the sound that has forged his debut album, Green Twins. Green Twins sounds something like Tricky playing out a blue-eyed soul fetish, with dusty psychedelic soul beats priming Hakim’s hazy balladry. Warping the classic soul template as he does in the way with a grimy smear heightens the raw passion in his songs, putting a twist in his tales of reminiscence and wondering.

The Matador label – responsible for releasing the likes of Pavement, Cat Power, Yo La Tengo – also made space for some bands who undeservedly flew under the radar in the 1990s explosion of indie rock creativity. Helium, led by Boston’s Mary Timony, was one such band and now Matador have seen fit to reissue their work as a vinyl boxset. These albums are particularly ripe for reappraisal at a time when 90s-borne sounds are being reconfigured in today’s indie music vernacular and Timony in particular had her own idiosyncratic take, singular and impossible to emulate. While her new band Ex-Hex shows Timony’s garage-rock chops, in both Helium (as well as the short-lived White Flag with members of Sleater-Kinney), Timony’s keenness to exploit the winding permutations of prog-rock was a curio back then, bending the rules for the Riot Grrrl sound, slacker-pop and shoegaze. Timony’s lyrical stance cut through with the kind of tough cool and literary knowingness that Steve Malkmus took all the glory for. While of course these records never really went away, bringing them back into clearer view is simply, extremely, right on.

Also, new tunes from Big Thief, Citizen Kay, Small World Experience and Batpiss.

Enjoy it all on 2SER,

Andrew

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