Purdy – Deviant Nature SOFT007
Purdy wants to be played loud. How else can you get the full effect of the ’60’s exotica and psychedelic washes of bright, full sound billowing past you? There’s so much going on – trumpeting horns, wheezing synths, whispering vocals, hand percussion, samples and field recordings. In fact, it’s almost a crime not to crank it up so you can fully realise and experience everything.
Deviant Nature is an album that has a real sun-kissed vibe, a little similar to Caribou but much less shoegazey. Purdy has a joyful, childish exuberance and he’s painting it bright yellow across his music, which feels like playtime at the local kindergarten, just as chaotic but perhaps a little more contained. He also sings on a lot of the tracks, sounding a little Britpop. Yet don’t be discouraged – as he sings, the music is reaching around, trying to bury him because, make no mistake, this music is alive. It’s been fed too much red cordial and now it won’t go down for a nap.
It’s Sydneysider Kevin Purdy’s third solo album and it really extends upon the lush, beautiful, exotic strangeness of his previous two, as well as his other band the prog psych sweethearts Tooth. There’s also a real pop element to this album at times. It still possesses that library music quality but at times Purdy seems anxious to sing his songs. But it’s when they extend and break out, the sounds swirling around madly, the music just sauntering along casually, like the aptly titled Floating, Waving, Repeating Signs that you really understand the craft at play here. There’s so much going on, so many sounds. Yet it’s full without feeling busy. And when you get a chance to really listen to the amount of plates he’s spinning at once it’s nothing short of a joy. If you like your psych pop exuberant, exotic and cheeky then Purdy is your man.
Bob Baker Fish – Inpress 08/12/10
It has been five years since Purdy’s Fairytale Insurance and Deviant Nature is the culmination of his work during this time. The trademark Purdy sound is still there, with lush, layered psych-pop creating sonic landscapes that no other musician could muster.
While Purdy is known to work wonders all on his own, there is a collection of local artists present on Deviant Nature, including Jim Denley, Alex Crowfoot, Margery Smith, Christian Houllemare, John Maddox, Joseph Leonard, Donna Amini and Rory Toomey. The addition of great talent sees Purdy developing his signature sound, while enhancing his cinematic, psychedelic scope. While essentially an instrumental record, Purdy has used vocals to express his meaning, something not normally widely executed in his compositions.
The instrumentals are still there making their presence known, especially with the progressive styling of Tomijandalien. The album is a great blend of differing sounds and styles, from full-blown prog tracks to soft psych-pop (Missing you in the air, Majik Chimes) all the way to shuffling grooves (Floating Waving, Repeating Signs, I Know, You Said).
Purdy is a master of his art and Deviant Nature is concrete proof that his ability to create some of the best mind-bending music will only grow as time goes on. Here he has tied together so many different elements and has come away with an interesting and complete listening experience. He is one of Australia’s most imaginative producers, artists and arrangers; the long wait between albums was definitely worth it
Christine Caruana – Drum Magazine 8/3/11
That Kevin Purdy’s album is listed as electronic is at least as much about philosophy as it is about equipment: this is about constructing pieces from sources that are varied and not always immediately compatible but that, in the end, make pop music.
The last time the Melbourne based (Sydney actually folks) Purdy appeared in these pages was nearly five years ago with his group Tooth, which ranged across various shades of rock and studio-conceived music. Purdy on his own goes the same way. You may often recognise the stepping stones within the songs, but you can’t be sure of the direction in which you’re heading.
For example, in one sense, a track such as I Know, You Said is trippy acid rock that dances, coos and throws off sunbeams. But pull apart its components and you’ll find yourself hearing a laptop blend that isn’t far from the folktronica of early Tunng.
Maybe the story is in the names. A couple of telling track titles are In Her Head She Was Dancing and I Hear Voices…Voices. The latter opens the album like an antipodean take on Canadian producer Dan Snaith of Caribou, with sweet and sour elements that would shuffle into line for what would have made a fascinating late-’60’s Italian film soundtrack. The former is like putting a crooner into a hippie commune and watching as he goes native.
In both cases, the imagination takes over, leaving Purdy’s musical choices into the background to a certain extent. Far from being a negative, I think that’s what he wants: to free the front of your mind from details such as what’s making what noise, so you can take the whole trip with him.
Bernard Zuel – SMH Spectrum 22/01/11
Kevin Purdy has discovered a bright story line. The song of joy is more than peeking through, it is moving into glee club mode only slightly muddied by a psychedelic aesthetic that sticks to everything he does. Deviant Nature really does bring on the sunshine, almost psychotically; not unlike being at the carnival as a child with the merry-go-round on overdrive and the clowns laughing at the edges as happiness morphs into terror and back again.
Without the hyperbole it is a one man studio effort by long time Sydney underground stalwart who has brought in a diverse cast of musicians: Jim Denley (sax & flute), Christian Houllemare (bass & harmonica), Alex Crowfoot (vox & flute), Donna Amini (vox), Marge Smith (bass clarinet), Brian Hall (guitar), Joseph Leonard (bass & steel guitar), Rory Toomey (percussion), Niveen Abdelatty (trumpet), John Maddox (bass), Tim Batson (synths & farfisa), Kavi Samut (flute) and Jayson McBride (trombone). Which sounds generally the making of a fairly traditional setup, if it wasn’t seen from a point of construction with some parts sampling methodology and some the layering techniques of a studio magician. Such an ‘invocation’ loses itself back into that hyperbole, as indeed track ‘Majik Chimes’ would suggest.
It is the kind of loose solipsism of which musicians are quite fond. Quite a good story for children and a line which captured a generation not so long ago, indeed this album reeks of a sense of sixties nostalgia, or perhaps just the loose and wild landscapes of sound that were being created in that time. It captures at times the whole of the exotica oeuvre, all steel guitars and liquid sound, mixed in with a deft orientalist palate that marches straight into the territory created by a few English lads. It takes this sensibility and infuses it with sampling tricks, some insightful lyrics (which are slightly oblique), and almost ends up with a full blown psychedelic Brit pop album. The best example of this is in the track ‘I know, you said’ with its over joyous strutting bass, vocal chorus ‘bah bah bah bah bah..’, finger clicks, trumpet and a groove attack percussion combined with a spoken lyrical moral story. ‘Shackle and Kites’ also stakes claim to this territory, bright well written psychedelic pop with some very strange lyrics, which is essentially a love song.
Indeed I would contend that Deviant Nature is a love song in general, or that Kevin Purdy is in love, which generally translates into a highly listenable musical affair.
Innerversitysound – Cyclic Defrost – 23/11/10
Tooth – Mudlarking SOFT006
Tooth are a Sydney collective defying definition. Their aural murals are a soft-focus journey through some ’20s mescalin inspired hollywood dreamscape.
This double-disc set juxtaposes their rich aural murals with symphonic lounge funk, choral samples, and a cascading musicality and eclecticism – all achieve without diving into indulgence.
Johnathan Alley – Sunday Age – Preview – 4 stars -June 11 – 2006
For those who like a clearly defined music label, the sad news is there are good arguments for putting this album by Sydney trio Tooth into any of five categories. But because art is at its heart, whether
expressed as electronic musings, throbbing krautrock, adventurous rock, film noir soundtrack or the borders of jazz fusion. its most appropriate term is progressive rock. And proud of it.
In many ways they work in territory as likely to be occupied by American hip-hop’s DJ Shadow as German art rockers Can. Interesting company to keep.
Bernard Zuel – Spectrum – Sydney Morning Herald – 17th June 2006
Mesmeric Sydney trio, Tooth finally deliver their third sprawling album. Housed in a mystic double gatefold, the two disc epic swirls with creativity.
This latest set unfurls like a rolling fog, sometimes engulfing the listener in spiraling surges, elsewhere thinning into fine sonic mists. Again it’s a post rock cumulus alchemised from collected samples,
programming and live instrumentation, where wandering instrumentals go in search of gold.
we find ourselves in the near medievil Marketplace with Daevid Allen (Gong/Soft Machine) conjuring a dark, celtic lament. Allen is just one of the guests who add further guitar, moog, strings, marimba,
drums and horns, to a pot stirred by tooth’s wizards
– Paris Pompor – Drum Media – Album of the Week – 30th of May 2006
Somewhere within the specular triangulation of the kraut of Can, the linear jazz of The Necks and the tribal percussion of Arthur Nyman lies Tooth. Not short on ideas or material, the band’s third album is a
double album opus of audio exploration. Centred around their penchant for blissed-out groove,
Mudlarking sees this Sydney trio taking some adventurous steps into an unknown psychedelic heaven.
This heady mixture is a lot to get lost in, a strange brew that’s a remarkably impressive and totally uncontrived journey through a constellation of mini-utopias.
– Mark Leg – Time Off – Qld
I’ve never thought that Sydney trio Tooth were real. There’s was the kind of music that I’ve never considered could be constructed by humans. Possessing a confident, almost stately grandeur.
This double disc album is an epic, not just because it consists of eighteen tracks, but because of the way Tooth have extended their styles and approach in the interim. It’s a strange swirly mass of sound that exists like a giant fun rollicking soundtrack where you can throw around words like, Krautrock, psychedialia, downtempo, prog, and not ever get remotely close to the canvas.
There is not a single misstep. Each song is an opus. All you need to do is stand on the edge and allow yourself to get swallowed up.
– Bob Baker Fish – Cyclic Defrost – 1st June
Purdy – Fairytale Insurance SOFT005
Meticulously assembled and exquisitely produced, ‘Fairytale Insurance’ references the classic intricate production arrangements of Pet Sounds and Ennio Morricone as much as it does likeminded contemporary experimentalists such as Stereolab and Broadcast. Fluid, heartfelt and consistently intriguing, ‘Fairytale Insurance’ is confidently poised to further cement Kevin Purdy’s reputation as one of Australia’s most imaginative and adept producers and arrangers. Magnificent.
evilchris2 – IN THE MIX.COM.AU 4/5/04
This is a superbly named album, teasing at the central musical dualism it presents: grand sonic adventures and the mundane beauty of the everyday. As with any good fairytale, it’s a story filled with both dark and light, moments when hope dims and others of unexpected triumph. It’s populated by odd characters, mystical pronouncements and far-off lands and at the end of it we are the better for the journey. But it’s also got warmth to it that is intimate and gentle and immediate.
This is an album of rare beauty, of magical-realist tangents and heavily layered concoctions arriving like a noble messenger from another land. Here, the worn grooves of vinyl combine with lushly layered soundscapes and odd voices, slow-motion psychedelic space funk leading us deeper into the elaborate and fertile pathways of Purdy’s imagination.
This is music to lull you to sleep or to unwind your muscles at the end of the day. It’s subtle, solemn and evocative, layering a diversity of sample sources across meticulously constructed melodies and unexpected tweakings. It’s a psychedelic head funk as strange voices call out to you warning of the way ahead or speaking in hushed tones of things beyond perception, fading in and out of our journey, like figures in a dream.
The whole album has a strong dream-like (or trip-like) quality, evolving fluidly but unpredictably, sweeping us along with it. Spectators, audience, participants walking, dancing, floating under a deep burnished sky. Brightly-painted landscapes wobbling around us, under us, through us, a constant molten flow of past/future memory forgetting the danger, ecstasy, fantasy and reality brought to us by one of Australia’s foremost sonic craftsmen.
dragonballT – Vibewire 10/6/04
Extraordinary instrumental atmospheres
If the Orb simply made ambient music instead of ambient dance music, it might sound something like Fairytale Insurance. These lengthy tracks unfold like a dream, all half-remembered fragments and otherworldly textures. Kevin Purdy, the genius behind it all, mixes samples with live instrumentation so seamlessly you can’t tell which is which. Indeed, it’s often hard to work out exactly what is producing some of these noises. That’s precisely the appeal, though. Sleep Well is built on hypnotic tribal drums, hot and steamy as a jungle, before morphing suddenly into a completely different mood with acoustic guitars, harmonica and string lines. That’s nothing though compared to the hallucinatory The Secret Smile In The Camel Girl’s Eyes, an undulating, mirage-like dreamscape that is truly beyond description.
Actually, most of these tunes are beyond description – would it be okay if I just told you that it’s brilliant and you need to hear it for yourself?
RAVE MAGAZINE QLD – 27/4/04
This album is one that continues to grow on me, even after several listens. …..Some might recognise this musical genius as part of the formidable duo going under the guise of Tooth, but now leading the way as a solo artist in an underground scene where experimentalism is the vogue. Five years is a long time to have an album in the works but when something as good as this is the end result, there is no argument from me about how good this album is.
Rob Lyon – THE BRAG
While Purdy utilizes left-field production techniques and abstract soundscapes to carry this album of lush instrumental music there’s a noticable dark pop undercurrent throughout that adds a real freshness and energy to the recording
….This is world class and should be hailed as such.
Zolton Zavros RIP IT UP MAG 26/04/04
Purdy’s obvious meticulous attention has meant that Fairytale Insurance only gets better with each listen, the layers of density pealing off and reassembling, never quite revealing its secrets but beckoning the listener to keep coming back.
Geoff DELUSIONS OF ADEQUESY Rochester NY USA 4/5/04
Producer/multi-instrumentalist Purdy weaves together vinyl clippings to create a padded, colourfully meandering path to musical bliss. Impeccably selected layers of crackling turntable DNA fuse to form the fanciful character that skips and turns through this mythical and accurately named new album. The listener is thereby led on a kaleidoscopic journey with Purdy upfront conducting the psychedelic orchestra of live and imagined players. Past the rock post and post paste-electronics, a magical world unfolds with each instrumental track. This is truly inspiring stuff…….
Paris Pompor – Drum Media 1/6/04
… Fairytale Insurance weaves its way through some psychedelic, dreamy sounds…much of it sounds like a dream – or acid trip – where you find yourself walking in a slightly blurred orange glow of the sun, and all along the way there are new discoveries. It’s hard to describe the sound of Purdy’s music because of its unique qualities, but this is sure to please many people of many different musical persuasions
Clark Nova – 3D World Magazine 24/5/04
Eschewing vocals for the most part, the nine tracks that make up Fairytale Insurance traverse the musical spectrum, from the gorgeous Eastern-tinged sounds of “The Secret Smile in the Camel Girl’s Eyes” to the dubby “Here Come the Specials” and all points in-between. As it drifts through its various sounds, it’s pretty much impossible not to get carried along by Fairytale Insurance.
THE ELECTRIC NEWSPAPER 04/04
Fairytale Insurance is Sydney based musician / composer / producer Kevin Purdy’s second album proper. Difficult to pin down, it is a collection of flourishing, idiosyncratic textures, relaxed heartbeat pulses and spacious ambient musical themes. Tracks like ‘The Secret Smile In The Camel Girls Eyes’ lilt with happy go lucky motifs. Others like the superb ‘Sleep Well’ creep along slowly through pouring rain sound effects and reverb-drenched, melancholic guitar moans. Electronic manifestations are apparent, but do not replace musicality. An overriding sense of earthiness prevents the album from slipping into the plastic space, which is so frequently occupied by artists who release similarly assembled musical collages.
EVAN ALEXANDER – TSUNAMI MAGAZINE QLD 04/04
Tooth – Sirens From Here To Titan SOFT003
Sirens from here to Titan by Australian combo Tooth, manages to combine luscious and memorable melodies with splashes of pure psychedelia and beautifully constructed beats.
A recommended listen for anyone who loves to be taken on a journey with their music.
“I put this album in my walkman a week ago and I have not taken it out. In fact, I have stopped carrying other CDs around with me. .I cannot recommend it more highly.Buy it.”
Rick Rutjens – Inpress (Melbourne)
“Nine tracks of bliss that no record collection should be without. This is a beautiful release.”
“ Tooth conjure up steamy backdrops and bathe them in tangible melodies and organic instrumentation…….Make time for Tooth”
John Chalmers – Rolling Stone
“ Sirens… plays like a soundtrack for the urban traveler”
Danny Corvini – Juice Magazine
“ Sirens… doesn’t just work, it gets better with every listen”
Neil Hunt – Revolver Magazine
Purdy – Kevolution SOFT001
The best elctronica CD I’ve heard in the last year…Each track takes me on an interesting musical journey that showcases a musical knowledge, skill and sense of adventure.”
Tim Ritchie Radio National & JJJ
Kevolution is a record of many parts…It could be a soundtrack, it could be a bed partner, it could be a drug, or it could be just damn good. So get out there, peasants, and scour the stores of the land until you have a copy of Kevolution in your sweaty little paws.
REVOLVER – Mike Gee
What to some will be the perfect soundtrack to a sweaty and thumping sexual encounter, to others it will simply accompany a barefoot walk through lush grass…this is pure, local and underground electronica but listen a bit closer and there’s something decidedly international about the sound of Kevolution.
SMH METRO – Andrew Trimboli
Every and I mean every track builds and metamorphs, shifts gear, codas, no treaders or one-trickers and a perfect production. The extra dimention is the journey of the CD as a whole. Not content to give us the Purdy ouevre in 12 movements, Kevolution rolls up and down hills, opens doors, plays the piano and in an emergency moves it. The full repeat button was made for this, and on the basis of such a strong set I’m definitely a Purdy groupie”
Electroplastique (2SER-FM) – Johnathan Sykes
…the CD that I held in my hands was a masterpiece, a musical journey of mystical proportions.
Hub Magazine – Georgina Gold
Kevin Purdy unleashes his first solo album and everybody should take notice. ….Very rich, smooth, flowing basslines under layers of sampled rhythms pulled from all over the place. ….it has a very deep texture to it and the production is of a very high standard. If you’re looking for a CD to take the edge of a huge bender then check this one out”.
Album of the week 3D World – Lance Shaga