Del Lumanta is a Sydney based artist, musician, dj, educator and organiser. They are interested in skillshare and intersections between art and music through independent community processes.Their new album, Preparations is out on Room40 offshoot, A Guide to Saints. You can find it here. It was their first time experimenting with modular synthesis, taken from performances during Sydney Festival’s Masters of Modern Sounds at the Art Gallery of NSW in early 2019. It’s a fascinating album of peculiar wonky electronics, a really unique experience in electric timbres that we’ve been quite taken with. As a result we thought we’d ask about the music that moved them.
This from Del Lumanta:
During the recording of Preparations I was in a headspace that reflected on resources (the spiritual kind, I guess), how they shape different aspects of my music life and how I navigate space. Here I have selected music I would be sad not to know:Papaphilia – Peace Was Never An Option
My favourite release of 2019. Fjorn’s sound mutates + contorts through erratic rhythms, psychedelia and acid that feels like a moment of visitation. It goes deep to interrogate our understanding of peace and its flaws that bring to mind mainstream, and often half-baked conversations around ‘representation’ and ‘inclusivity’ e.g. the resurgence of (neatly packaged) political music within institutes and their sudden move toward ‘solidarity’ or ‘community’ as if a bunch of decorum could ever be a conduit to true justice. ‘Peace Was Never An Option’ pummels through the fragility of these ideologies and calls attention to colonial systems that these easy to swallow movements are symptoms of. If political progressiveness is the norm and capital is hooked into every facet of our lives, what exactly are we changing when we constantly side-step conflict? There is so much nuance and I feel winded with every listen. Upgrayedd Smurphy – #InterDimensionalMagic
An extension of their release #Peninsula, this Longform Edition plays with elements of music we know of Smurphy but it has been forced through a matrix, removing it from predictability of regular-degular dance and regular-degular self-serious, self-conscious deconstructed club music formulated for ‘da party’. There is a punkness here. Someone kindly book Upgrayyed Smurphy for an Australian tour! Fanau Spa – Fanau Spa
Magic happens when you pass a mic to a collective of rappers that aren’t just a bunch of dude bros who want you to recognise them (for what exactly?) and/or ‘make it big’. Fanau Spa’s lyrics are superlative, challenging and emotional. It is a reminder of the strength and authenticity of the collective and what it sounds like when people are actually having fun when they are working together.
Alice Coltrane – Turyia Sings + Divine Songs
Call me a hippy if you want, but I think it’s important to slow down and devote space to listen for extended periods of time – choose anything. It’s good for the spirit. These are albums I have listened to many times in the dark and ones I will take to the grave.
Brenda & The Big Dudes – Weekend Special
For a red hot second in my mid-20s I ran a club night named after this release. It encapsulated an innocence, openness and a romantic (and tragic) desperation for connection while mixing all the best ingredients of pop, soul and funk that I associated with the experience of the club. I especially wanted to play the Brenda Fassie discog and lots of gaylord disco, accompanied with a live act. Of course in true Sydney style, the night was unpopular, under attended and unsustainable. Feels completely daggy to think about now because clubbing has morphed into a different kind of beast. I still like to boogie to this regularly at home.
Naked on the Vague – Naked on the Vague
I would’ve been 17 years old the first time I saw NOTV. It was my entry point to the Sydney DIY scene and was like “Wot is dis?” The indirect vibe from the cool, worldly looking inner city kids felt like “You don’t know what no wave is?” I just pretended to know, went home and Wikipedia searched it straight away, haha. Admittedly, many years later I haven’t spent enough time and still don’t ‘get’ no wave. But it didn’t stop me from seeing NOTV frequently, they were properly weird, always did their own thing and made spaces easy to be in. Their practice sewed the seeds for my understanding of Sydney and the music communities within them. Their music brought on a sense of pending doom that is true to living in this city and there hasn’t been a sound out of Sydney quite like them since.