International News: November 2018

November 4th 2018
In this issue: DJ K-SWIZZ, Raiza Biza, Tom Scott, Bene, The Beths, Tali, HIGH HØØPS, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and more!

Auckland's DJ K-Swizz has proved once again he's one of the best in the game at the tender age of 15. DJ K-Swizz, who has already won awards all over the world and is considered one of the best technical DJs at the moment, competed at the DMC World DJ Championships in London in October. It was a tough final against Japanese DJ Syunsuke, but K-Swizz walked away the Supremacy Champion of the tournament. 2018 has been huge for K-Swizz so far but he still has two big competitions coming up before the year is through. He'll be competing at A-Trak's Goldie Awards in Brooklyn, NY, next week which will be judged by the likes of proinment British producer Mark Ronson, DJ Just Blaze and El-P of rap duo Run The Jewels. He'll also be competing in the IDA World DJ Championships in Kraków, Poland in December. K-Swizz features in the awesome promo video for the event here.

Raiza Biza

Hamilton rapper Raiza Biza released Black Hole Sun with Australian artist REMI on Australian label Low Key Source on 19 October and it's already made its way around the world.

The EP, entirely produced by American producer Black Milk, premiered on Vice's Noisey (who called it "absurdly good") shortly before the video for single 'Runner' featuring Melbourne rapper Baro cropped up. The track has since been getting play on Triple J and MTV in Australia while 5Why listed it in their Fresh Beats feature. Bandcamp also featured the track ‘Jiggy' featuring Sampa The Great on their Bandcamp Weekly show.

Off the back of all this buzz surrounding the record, Raiza Biza sold out his upcoming show at Northcote Social Club in Melbourne on 9 November. He'll also be performing at The Lansdowne in Sydney on 16 November.

NZ @ SXSW 2019
240 showcasing artists have been announced so far for SXSW 2019 and among them are eight New Zealand acts! These artists are The Beths, The Chills, Emily C. Browning, Emily Fairlight, French For Rabbits, Hans., Jackie Bristow and Swallow The Rat. This line-up is already huge but we expect our local list may grow. Watch this space!

SXSW will be taking play March 11-17 in Austin, Texas, next year.

Avantdale Bowling Club

Avondale's Tom Scott returned to the local hip-hop scene in August with his new project Avantdale Bowling Club and album of the same name was still making waves through October. Indie Shuffle's Dylan Heneck reviewed the project, calling Scott "the first rapper in a long time that has kept me locked in for a whole album". Sophie Fischer of Germany's Eldoradio hailed Scott's "jazz hip-hop fusion" saying Avantdale Bowling Club has a lot to tell "not only lyrically, musically too". Heavy Metal blog, Heavy Blog Is Heavy, also wrote a suitably sweet review of the album for one of their "Unmetal Monday" posts.
The album is a must-hear and available for purchase now via Bandcamp.

NZ @ WOMEX 2018
A seven-strong delegation of New Zealanders attended WOMEX 2018 last month, including the NZ Music Commission's International Manager, Alan Holt. The conference took place in Las Palmas in Spain's Canary Islands.

WOMEX - the World Music Expo - is the biggest conference of the world music scene, featuring a trade fair, talks, films and a showcase festival. This year the showcase festival included Aotearoa's own Rob Thorne (Ngāti Tumutumu) who demonstrated his taonga pūoro instrumentation to a packed house. Ben Mendelson, a Founding Director of WOMEX, said it was an honour to have him perform at the festival.

Auckland's Bene has only released two singles so far in her blossoming career and Australia already can't get enough. Wickedd Child interviewed her about her new single ‘Soaked', and Monster Children rated the track too, listing it in their New Music for Old Ears article. The song was also selected for the Front Left playlist on Spotify which has over 320,000 followers, and her image was selected for the cover. She's got a lot of exposure through Triple J in the last month too, with ‘Soaked' being added to their playlists and her live performance of ‘Problems' with Petit Biscuit for the station's popular Like A Version segment.

The Beths
Aside from being announced for SXSW 2019, The Beths continue to kill it in 2018. The End of Year lists are starting roll out and The Beths have already been named on Stereogum's Best New Bands of the year. We're sure they'll feature on many lists to come. They were also listed as one of the most-played bands on Australia's Triple J in the week of October 9th and their single 'Future Me Hates Me' charted at #39 on the North American College & Community radio chart for the week ending October 30th.

In an interview with frontwoman Liz Stokes, the Boston Herald said "[their] vocal harmonies come off so naturally, so charismatically" while Chicago's Third Coast Review called their album Future Me Hates Me "easily one of the strongest rock records of the year". Columbus Alive also published an excellent interview with Stokes.

The Beths will be playing a few shows across the UK in the next couple of weeks and will be returning to Australia before Christmas.

After a couple of years away from the DnB game, Tali is back with a new record and European tour to boot. The Taranaki-born vocalist and MC has just released Love & Migration on Fokuz Recordings, who are based in the Netherlands, and you can catch her in upcoming shows in Germany and the UK. Tali is also up for Best Vocalist and Best Video for the DnB Arena Awards - we have our fingers crossed for her!

HIGH HØØPS, aka Jordan Arts, released his debut album as a solo artist. Called Seasons on Planet Earth, it was out via Auckland's A Label Called Success in September and people are vibing to it all over the world. NestHQ in the US loved the album and the track ‘Can I Get Love?' is getting play on BBC1 Radio Xtra in the UK. France's Pause Musicale also gave the album a positive review. Arts, who wrote, recorded, engineered and mixed the entire record, spoke to Australia's The Industry Observer in light of the release and his recent signing to Australian booking agent, Niche Productions.

Seasons on Planet Earth is available now via Apple Music.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra had already had quite the year after the release of their fourth album Sex & Food in April, but October showed us there's no slowing UMO down. They released instrumental album IC-01 Hanoi on 26 October via US label Jagjaguwar and garnered reviews from Uproxx, Pitchfork, DIY Magazine and Beat. UMO also featured with Daniel Caesar on a track called ‘Beauty & Essex' from US band The Free Nationals last month, much to the delight of The Fader who named it one of the 10 Songs You Need In Your Life This Week.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra are currently touring Europe and will hit the UK before the end of the month, playing at the famous Royal Albert Hall in London. Check our international tour guide for details!

Bits & Pieces

  • Fat Freddy's Drop's Milan show was reviewed in The Rolling Stone Italy.
  • Auckland-based Loop Recordings signed a new global and publishing deal with US-based Kobalt Music Group.
  • Julian Dyne's Teal was reviewed for Canada's Exclaim!
  • Josie Moon's single 'Rose Tinted' reached #1 on the Czech Republic iTunes Pop chart and #4 on the Czech Republic iTunes chart for all genres.
  • Christoph El Truento and Lord Echo were both featured on Bandcamp's Weekly Show for the week of 29 October.
  • Aliv3' from Kings featured on Spotify's New Music Friday in the Philippines (538k followers) and Spotify USA's Singled Out playlist (654k followers).


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