Thank you so subscribing to the Athletica Newsletter! This is a mail out curated by a new artist each week, with a Spotify (or, this week, a Soundcloud) playlist, a BuyMusicClub list to buy those tracks on Bandcamp, and a section for curators to writewhatever the hell they want. It also includes a Bla(c)k Live Matter resource, updated weekly (see up top).
This volume is curated by Jhassic.
Jhassic is one of Sydney's vibey house kings.
Known for his sonic marriage of chunky Chicago house, RnB/rap, and South Asian instrumentation, Jhassic's sets are opulent, lush, and laced with his own edits (his remix of Solange's Almeda is a sunset party mainstay). They've landed him slots commanding dance floors across Sydney and space to create live experiences.
Listen back to his 2019 Secret Garden show featuring slam poet Atmavichara/Srisha and performance artist Radha here, trawl the rest of his Soundcloudhere, and grab something from his Bandcampbefore Bandcamp Day is done!
Music Jhassic Made...
Something different this week! A Soundcloud playlist of 100% Jhassic flips available to download for free to add to your library/slot into your sets. House beats under your fav rap vocals within...
Grocery Lucky Dip - save $20 or however much you prefer. Go to a supermarket or grocer you haven’t been to, extra points if it is culturally diverse and not familiar to you. Buy things you’ve never seen before, look up the Youtube tutorials or information online on how to prepare it (not the videos of white people saying it's disgusting because they haven’t done their research), or better yet just eat it if it is ready to eat. Learn about different methods of cooking, flavours and the history of how these foods came to be. There is so much to learn from other cultures, and we’re super lucky in Australia to have a conglomerate of many.
Jhassic'sReview of 'The Slow Rush'
Every couple of years a work of art comes along and resonates with you so much it becomes part of you. It may have come at a time in your life where the thematic elements directly correlate with what is going on around you or in you, so much so that you start questioning the concepts of divinity, coincidence or both. The Slow Rush (2020) by Tame Impala is that for me.
Context is key. Kevin Parker’s previous album, Currents (2015), marks 5 years since I went to my first ever Splendour in the Grass with a group of friends I did not know I’d be calling family in due time. Parker’s graduation from loose psychedelic rock to tighter, chunkier hip-hop elements whilst maintaining a distinct playfulness within the composition, birthed an album so replayable, layered and important for its connection to the times I shared with my friends and self, during those moments in Byron. Currents was essentially about Parker’s separation from a partner, the duality of simultaneous longing and dread for romantic partnership, his grieving for the death of a relationship and scattered around were the silver linings he found during a seemingly chaotic but growth filled time of his life. “Nangs” also just bangs. If you’ve had a silly balloon you’ll understand.
Fast forward 5 years and my friends and I have picked all the flesh off Currents to the bone, scurrying around desperately, whilst we nibble at its B-Sides and the ghost production on certain singles such as “Tomorrow” by Kali Uchis, we needed more Tame – and we got it. Right before COVID-19 locked us inside with only a Zoom hole to peak out of most of the time, The Slow Rush was born. It’s really odd when you listen to an amazing album for the first couple of times. You don’t process it wholly immediately due to all your biases, expectations and excitement. It takes time to break it down, song by song, bar by bar, layer by layer. It takes time, but the effects are ever lasting.
“One More Year” starts The Slow Rush with echoing vocals faded in and out, begging the question – how long is this shit gonna last? What are our markers of time, what IS a year, its “52 weeks, 7 days” over and over? How do we measure ourselves using this universal concept? Where were you a year ago? Where will you be in a year? How long will the COVID-19 pandemic keep us inside, away from the club, away from whatever was ‘normal’? One thing I love about this track is the electronic drum pattern Kevin uses, a 4-to-the-floor kick, a side tom-tom and open hi-hats, very reminiscent of house music, making it very mixable too.
“Instant Destiny” is a blast of old Tame Impala falsettos, huge reverberating vocals and beautiful synth patterns. We’re back baby. The songs holds positive mantras and affirmations within the lyrics, and helps you manifest these positive energies with its delightful tunes, sweeping melodies and crescendos.
“Borderline” is a song about boundaries. Whether it's about setting them, crossing others’ boundaries or the boundaries of countries, the single’s strong bassline, piano chords and chunky drum beat encapsulates the evolution of Kevin’s sound perfectly. It’s probably one of the songs you’d show to someone if they were inept enough to not know a single Tame Impala song.
“Posthumous Forgiveness” is such a fucking banger. Like holy shit, if you compare this track to Innerspeaker days, it could be easily confused with two completely different artists. Growth. Experimentation. Upgrades. A strong, electronic, strobe-like synth flashes as the weapon of this track’s war, starting strong and bold, but then crumbling towards a softer, dreamier, and more reflective approach – the reason why will make more sense shortly. An interesting note here, is that Kevin recently uploaded a few posts on IG which give an insight into the inception of his relationship with sound. One was a midi-keyboard, which appears in almost all album covers, and the other were recordings done by his father. The recordings themselves seem to be either snippets of originals or covers of well known songs, point being, the sound is EXACTLY what Tame Impala is. The amount of reverb in the voice making the vocals sound like they are being sung though a giant hall, the soft falsetto tones of his fathers voice are just some of the elements which are so Tame Impala-esque it becomes obvious where Kevin’s inspiration comes from and who he’s talking about during this track, his father. The first part is climatically epic, flashing, strong and emphasised, and the second part is much kinder in nature, dreamscape-esque, reflective and full of melancholic memories Kevin wished he’d shared or showed his father, one being having “Mick Jagger on the phone, thought of you when he spoke”. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
“Breathe Deeper” is a breath of fresh air after the heavy tones of the previous track. It is one of the many tracks where it has a danceable rhythm made possible by the chunky drum patterns, deep guttural bass tones and beautiful vintage sounding piano arrangements. It’s all in the track name. Just calm down, “do this and get through this” and “breath a little deeper, should you need to come undone.” Listening to these kinds of tracks just makes my urge for Kevin to collaborate with rappers and other musicians stronger. Imagine Anderson Paak spitting and singing on a track like “Breathe Deeper.”
“Tomorrow’s Dust” is another track, which makes me think Kevin, like myself, is continuously thinking about how the concept of time has changed and is changing throughout life. With time, time changes, its meaning, perception and the understanding of it. Did you know you’ve already lived half of your perceived life by the time you’re around 18 years old? One of the most beautiful acoustic guitar patterns accompanies soft conga drum ostinatos, ripping electric guitar riffs and synth patterns organised in a soft crescendo making this track one of the most blissful feel good tracks this album has to offer. The lyricism speaks of the futility in the little things we can get caught up in in life, and how much that really matters “and in the air of today, is tomorrow’s dust.” This Carl Sagan-like comparison reminds me of the “blue dot” picture, and the futility of the struggles which take up most of the space in our minds, but barely anything in the universe.
“On Track” is a song everyone needs in their life. Especially now. Starting with dreamy piano, slow motion imagery of returning to your home after a long-ass day, and how much that’s worn on you, is painted in high resolution. 1080p no potato cam here. The track then picks up the pace with that familiar Tame Impala instrumentation and blasts out an affirmation applicable to anyone “strictly speaking I’m still on track. Troubles keep falling in my lap, but strictly speaking I’m still on track, strictly speaking I’ve got my whole life.” This track validates our hardest times, our struggle and then tells us that we’ve got it, we’re gonna be fine. Another thing to note with this track were the lyrics “I know it’s nearly August” which was just perfect timing when listening to it pre-August 2020.
“Lost In Yesterday” is about self-talk, mindfulness and the rewiring of the brain that we have to do to face trauma’s and anxieties large and small. “If it calls you, embrace it” reminds me of following your path, your destiny and your calling. “If it haunts you, erase it” is reminiscent of accepting vulnerability, letting go and surrendering, forgiving and making peace with concepts from your past which stagnate your day to day. Another track to add to the list of songs on this album which focus on how the mind works, and how as one grows older, they have the choice to re-wire, re-focus and re-imagine.
“Is It True” is a bop and a half, which belongs in the ever-growing category of danceable songs on this album. For some inexplicable reason the synth reminds me of a Mario Kart level “Moo Moo fields”, I love it. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and is the perfect track to bop to. The newer approach Kevin has grown into, ie the emphasised bass-line and less syncopated drum fills as per psychedelic-rock and chunkier four to floor drums is perfectly shown in this songs first few bars.
“It Might Be Time” is a fucking personal attack on me. How dare you Kevin? The audacity? “It might be time to face it. It ain’t as fun as it used to be. You ain’t as young as you used to be. You ain’t as young as you used to be.” These realisations Kevin is having about getting older, being “cool” and the question of relevance, the ideas of not having the same tastes, stamina and carefree attitude as you had are ever so present in my life too as I approach my 30s. I would not be caught dead at a club, 9 bourbon and cokes deep, dancing to whatever was playing anymore. It’s true, I’m not as “fun” as I used to be and yes sometimes my sister will have to show me a TikTok more than once so I get it. There’s something really cool about a shared experience. “All my friends are growing up, and moving on, I must be missing something, cos I just wanna keep this dream, alive for now… nothing lasts forever” is a perfect rendition of the transitions we face in our late twenties (later on, if you’re the child of an immigrant), and how these can sometimes be painful experiences as comparison, culturally accepted milestones, expectations and your own demons can get in the way of all of this. It’s a beautiful fucking song. It’s really real out here man. Shit.
“Glimmer” is sick. Nice one Kev. Might do a remix idk.
“One More Hour” had a lot to live up to being the last track on an epic album, as “New Person, Same Mistakes” set the bar incredibly high. Fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint. The 7 minute track is a journey within a journey, ranging from soft keys to large crashing cymbals and rough guitar riffs, all expertly stitched with the fabric of crescendo and ghosted notes, adding texture to his instrumentation – although Kevin has become more progressively electronic, it's obvious acoustic, real, live instruments are not only deeply respected but essential for him. It’s a song which encapsulates the entire album’s thoughts about time, growing up, not being as cool as you once thought, affirming yourself, forgiving your loved ones, forgiving yourself, trauma and all the transitionary elements into a simple of message of be yourself “as long as I can be the man who I am”. The track concludes with a repeating message eventually fading in volume, which is the perfect end to a journey that provides you with almost too much to process at first, primed for “One More Year” (track 1) again, so you can listen again, again and again.