Music Reviews

ANGUS DAWSON – MY TOP 10 INSPIRATIONAL ALBUMS

Written by Dave Bruce

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The music that inspires Angus Dawson
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Angus Dawson is one to watch. If you haven’t heard of the West Australian producer yet, you will soon. Angus amalgamates meticulously crafted, intelligent layers and vocal hooks. He blends vocal automation with acoustic and electronic music, creating a sound that is instantly recognizable as Angus Dawson’s music; quiet the feat for someone at this stage of their career.

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Angus Dawson

ANGUS DAWSON

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Although Ocean In The Sky is only the first release from his debut EP Ellesmere St, Dawson has been making waves in the industry. His first single Battles has over 500,000 streams online and Angus has supported some of Australia’s best like Vera Blue, Emma Louise and Boo Seeka, to name a few.

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We wanted to know more about what goes on behind the scenes with Angus, and asked him to tell us a little about the music that inspires him. Angus had delved into his top ten most inspirational albums, to get a glimpse into the inner workings of this budding producer.

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1. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
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He’s my boy. I find it amazing how many people have such an intensely personal and strong relationship with his music, hell of a feat. I could ramble on and on about how much I love Bon Iver but people love lists, so I’ll do a list within a list.

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1. His songwriting. I have 73 Bon Iver tracks and I can safely guarantee that I love everything about every single of of them. When it comes down to it, it’s because of the songs, he’s an absolutely astounding songwriter. On first listen of 22, A Million it took me an average of around 10 seconds to decide that I loved that track and I’m prepared to be objective, he’s just too good. My definition of a song is, chords + melody, Justin Vernon is a master at both.
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2. Live show. If you’ve never seen Bon Iver live, then, shit I dunno, he’s really good. He takes with him one of the best bands going around, they’re beasts at their instruments and it’s a proper live show.
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3. Production. All three of his albums are immensely different in production with For Emma, Forever Ago being largely acoustic guitar and voice, Bon Iver captures a wide array of instruments for a full, beautiful sound and 22, A Million is super digitally glitchy and distorted while remaining ultra pretty.

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2. James Blake – James Blake
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Does this even need an explanation? Has anyone influenced that chill/electro genre that seems to be so popular now more than James Blake? James Blake showed me minimalism and space. James Blake showed me that you can add jarring and strange sounds to ultra personal and ambient music as well as everything else production-wise. James Blake showed me how to sing. James Blake showed me that no matter how hard anyone tries, no one will ever be as good as James Blake.

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3. Clean – The Japanese House
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I have such a deep connection to the music that Amber Bain makes. I found one of her earliest tracks through a blog. Every time I listened to it I enjoyed something else about it. I bought the first EP and adored all four tracks. Then she dropped another and I was dead, every track is an amazing piece of music coupled with really unique and clever production, which is pretty much exactly what I want to do.

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4. Incubus – Live at Red Rocks
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My brother bought me this live DVD for a birthday and I think it was one of those gifts that someone buys for someone else but secretly its for themselves, but the jokes on him because I ended up loving it. I loved Brandon Boyd melodies, Mike’s guitar playing and effects, Ben Kenney’s fat, tight bass lines and Josè’s genius drumming. Such a great band and I feel like this was there prime as I wasn’t a big fan of their super heavy early stuff or their poppy later stuff, for me, this was the sweet spot.

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5. Chet Faker – Thinking In Textures
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I remember this time vividly. I was starting to experiment with music, not sure where to begin or what I wanted from it. Back then my girlfriend and I had only just started going out and she introduced me to this EP. It was perfect timing. Although it was nothing groundbreaking, Chet Faker showed me the possibilities of making music by yourself and how well it can work. He made me see things a bit clearer. I rate ol’ mate Nick Murphy, good egg I reckon.

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6. Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions
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When I was younger I was in a three piece rock band and our heroes/biggest influence/inspiration were Biffy Clyro. I think we all discovered them at the same time and would always share a new song or section every time we had a practice. As a band, we loved the way they worked the three-piece sound and individually, we all loved what each musician played. The music I make now couldn’t be further from but at the time, Biffy Clyro were the be all and end all.

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7. Karnivool – Sound Awake
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My brother introduced me to Karnivool’s first album and I was instantly attached to the sound. Heavy, high energy and powerful while remaining melodic. I was learning to drive at the time and I can remember trying to crank it up and my Dad just casually turning it back down. Karnivool did things a bit differently, which I always respected. The timing and groove always had something spicy going on. Jon Stockman (Bass) made some incredible sounds and I actually bought my super expensive Warwick bass because I loved the way he made it sound. The guitars were always layered perfectly and the overall production was so on-point it hurt. Forrester Savell, who was the producer behind both records was pretty much the reason I got into production in the first place. Obviously my direction changed a bit, but for me, this is where it all began.

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8. Universes – Birds of Tokyo
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In my early to mid teens I was completely obsessed with Birds of Tokyo, they were my hometown heroes. I bought their first album at the Fremantle Markets and was obsessed ever since. To this date, I’ve never had more anticipation for an album than what I had for Universes. I was in a rock band at the time, and I always wanted to sound exactly like this guys. And I wanted to sound exactly like Ian Kenny.

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9. The Killers – Hot Fuss
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I think I bought this album when I was a little lad for no reason other than the band name sounded bad-ass, obviously I was a bit surprised by the music. But it was the best kind of surprised. There are so many bangers on this album. It played a pretty big role in my understanding and appreciation of pop music, especially because I was a bass player at the time, and these tracks had killer bass lines.

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10. Queen – Greatest Hits
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My folks bought this for me as a Christmas present one year when I was pretty young. Purely because Mighty Ducks 2 was my favourite movie and there was this scene at the end that featured ‘We Will Rock You’, and I loved it. So it copped a regular spin in my youth. I can also remember a time that I used to thrash ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ on the way to T-Ball as my hype-up song. I used to envisage myself smashing a home run into the dust and then I was the hero.

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AMNPLIFY – DB

Dave Bruce

December 5th, 2016

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Dave Bruce

My nickname is "The Amnplifier". Why? Because around here my focus is on being a conduit for providing greater outcomes than people come here for. My day to day "work" is living in the moment, and I love helping others concentrate on finding their connection to themselves through their experiences. Why start a music environment? The truth is I love music, I love writing, and I love life. I work with musicians every day, and I feel certain that I will be until they put me in the ground. I have been managing people in businesses of some sort for over thirty five years so along the way I have developed some "wisdom" from my regular and constant "observations". Amnplify your experience. That is what we want you to do here, and if you want to let me know why you do, or don't, you can always catch me on the Your Blog page. I have a regular spot there so let me know how you are going when you get the chance. Enjoy the new website, and enjoy the ride here as we keep introducing more all the time.

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