Hermitude have been there and done that, and that may be the biggest understatement of the year. Luke Dubber and Angus Stuart are one of the longest performing electronic duos in Australian music, originally forming Hermitude in the year 2000. Starting out with primarily hip-hop style beats, Hermitude’s sound has developed to incorporate a huge range of styles of music. It’s incredible to think that they’ve been making electronic music for well over a decade, and their latest LP Dark Night Sweet Light more than affirms their legendary status among Aussie producers.
Their fifth studio album and the long awaited follow up to their hugely successful HyperParadise came out late last week, and in Dark Night Sweet Light the boys deliver their most mature record yet. The crucial aspects that make this latest LP what it is are essentially twofold. Firstly it’s a hugely satisfying listening experience and the tracklist fits together in an incredibly listenable way to be listened in order one after another. As well as this, the diversity of samples, collaborators, and different manner in which various songs are paced on this album shows off Hermitude’s diversity and talent in its most pure form. Its big singles also have obvious potential to carry the record to success themselves.
One of the most important aspects of any LP lies in its potential to be listened to as a whole work of art. Dark Night Sweet Light ebbs and flows in a storylike way with up-tempo dance tracks placed throughout as well as several more chilled articles. It kicks off with the fast-paced and heavily synthesized Hijinx, and this is followed by the banging single featuring Young Tapz called Through The Roof. The direction of the album is then slowed down significantly through much more relaxed singles like the rumbling snare-dominated track Bermuda Bay and the mesmerising lyrics of Chloe Kaul on the spacious Crazy Love.
The intensity is once again lifted through the back end of the LP, with the absolute climax being undoubtedly presented through the already hugely popular single The Buzz which has one of the most captivating drops going around at the moment, and followed up by some heavy tropical vibes on Metropolis. Dark Night Sweet Light concludes with the piano-heavy Searchlight Reprise which is definitely a satisfying conclusion.
It’s also the diversity of samples that Hermitude make the most of that have made them successful of the years. There are numerous and very distinctive synthetic sounds that are used in most tracks on this album in varying ways, but the boys are also masters of incorporating samples from outside the box and using them in ways that you generally wouldn’t expect.
One example of this is the fantastically tasteful use of brass in Through The Roof where trumpet and trombone samples are used in the build-up to the drop. In Hazy Love feat. Chloe Kaul they make use of audio-crackling, the type that you might have found occurring naturally on vinyl records. Searchlight Reprise feat. Yeo makes masterful use of a melody build around a piano melody, and Shift is based around a mandolin-sounding riff that is used almost throughout the whole track.
Aside from the already released Through The Roof and The Buzz, the other huge single on the album is called Searchlight and features the gorgeous vocals of Yeo. Like the other two aforementioned singles, Searchlight is built around Hermitude’s classic Trap style percussion and buzzing basslines. But although these three singles will carry Dark Night Sweet Light into the charts, to fail to appreciate the rest of the album would be ab absolute travesty. It is truly a complete work of musical art, brought to you by two guys who have done it all, and who will surely continue to captivate audiences for years.
Hermitude Tour Dates:
Friday, 12th June 2015
Thursday, 18th June 2015
Friday, 19th June 2015
170 Russell, Melbourne
Friday, 26th June 2015
Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Saturday, 27th June 2015
The Met, Brisbane