Flicking through the alphabetized
racks of your local CD emporium you’ll find that releases from Australian
electro wizards The Presets fit snugly between Pet Shop Boys and Elvis Presley.
Could there be some weird universal synergy to this? The strident beat of the
heart and the swagger of the hips: it’s at this musical cross point of emotive
technological peaks and primal caveman rock that one finds The
After two years studio silence, The
Presets (Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes) come rocketing back into the fray with
their sophomore album, Apocalypso.
Ranging from expansive, emotive techno, to future pagan house and choral space
funk, Apocalypso demonstrates the
band's undeniably canny knack for welding hook-laden pop to some of the most
singular and exciting sounds of tomorrow.
In less than four years Julian
Hamilton (vocals, programming and keys) and Kim Moyes (drums, programming and
keys) have worked their way up and out though the musical quagmire of
Sydney’s club scene to become
Australia’s foremost proponents of
twisted electronic pop. They’re now one of the most talked about and in-demand
live acts today with a catalogue of dance smashes to their
Julian and Kim had first met a
decade earlier as tearaway students at Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music: by day they
were battling Beethoven, by night sweating it out in seedy clubs to the strains
of New Order, Bjork and The Smiths.
They’d also collaborated in the
largely experimental band Prop, specialising in highly impractical exotic
instrumentation and non-vocal excursions in noodle.
The harder, electronic leanings of
The Presets came about when the duo chose an alternative guise to remix one of
their own Prop tracks. It was the antithesis of their Prop work, concise
hold-no-bars pop, and when paired with a lithe, pared-down live show, made for
compelling listening, viewing and partying.
Signed in 2003 to Australia’s
Modular Recordings (on the strength of demos which became their debut EP, the
dark Blow Up) The Presets planted
seeds throughout their hometown Sydney scene, which within 18 months began to
reach germination internationally.
Things warmed up substantially for
The Presets with subsequent releases Girl And The Sea EP (2004), and their
full-length long player Beams
(2005), which spawned the dance floor monsters Down Down Down, Are You The One? and I Go Hard, I Go
So began two years of non-stop
touring. From playing to clubs kids in Barcelona, New York and Istanbul, then to
thousands of S&M leather daddies at the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco,
to over one hundred thousand people at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and
every imaginable key festival in-between, Julian and Kim have covered
almost every corner of the globe with their take no prisoners live
Along the way the band has remixed
and been remixed by many of the modern dance music alumni. Additionally songs
were picked up for use in hit TV programs such as The OC, CSI: Miami and CSI: New York as well as appearing on dozens of
All the touring, the music they’ve
heard, the people they’ve met along the way, the parties and the tears, the
trials and tribulations have borne their sophomore release, Apocalypso.
Wrapping up after headlining last
year’s Boiler Room for the Big Day Out the guys packed up and relocated their
home studios to an isolated farm near Byron Bay in
Australia. For four weeks they began
work on how to best distil the experience of the last three years of their lives
as The Presets into their new music, in between attempts at to milk bulls, race
roosters and embrace life on the farm.
Writing and recording continued
whilst touring over the last European Summer. The band based themselves in
Berlin for two
months and in-between jet hopping to festival dates continued to chip away on
the album. Upon returning to Australian soil again they alternated between their
own home studios to prepare final mixes.
The first fruit of their labour, the
recently released My People, is
clearly a call to arms party, and unmistakably Presets in its sentiment. Tracks
such as Anywhere and the new single
This Boy’s In Love are clean hits of
pure, emotive techno that blossom with Technicolor ecstasy in their choruses. Talk Like That shoots straight for the
pop heart while My People and Kicking And Screaming aim squarely for
the dance-floor jugular. These unabashedly sharp pop songs are offset with
tracks like A New Sky which
nudges the balance of the record ever so slightly towards a more abstract future
Apocalypso trips across a cosmos of sound, and
self-assuredly succeeds in its ability traverse the belting soundsystems of the
clubs of the world while also sounding like liquid moonjuice coming out of the
speakers in your loungeroom.
Welcome to the world of Apocalypso.