Wednesday 23 April 2014


BOM… CRRK… BOM–BOM–CRRK… It's embarrassing enough just imagining myself beatboxing out-loud and in front of people, but now I'm worried that I haven't typed it right – is it onomatopoeically correct? Yeah just so you know it's supposed to be like, this huge sparse beat. Sigh, anyway, that's how I feel after listening to this song.

What song? Well it is a song by a person called Failr, also named Warwick (the real name of this Sydney-based person), and the song is called 'Gave Up'. It gets its name from the cyclical sample used throughout the track, smooth silky vocals contrasting against the hard thudding beats (could you not tell from my literal beatboxing?) which are the very effective bedrock to this track, each kick a veritable blockbuster right hook, each snare a scathing slap. These play around with sombre lounge-esque piano chords, soft and warm, giving a lethargic attitude to the track that fits its defeatist title.

What I like about this is not only its thumping drums – punctuated by skittering hi-hats, and later on mobilising themselves double-time into an uptempo house rhythm – its hard style, but its simplicity: at its heart this is drums, piano, sample – a triumvirate of noise. Of course, there is a little more going on than just this, the fizzing white noise flapping ominously throughout the second half, the just-discernable bassline. With that in mind, you'll also notice that nothing is really repeated or looped so much – repetition falls by the wayside here for more of an experiment with different parts to the song, keeps things interesting.

This comes from Failr's first collection of sounds, the 5-track Lark EP – here he plays with sampling as well as with this style of satisfyingly punchy beats; personally I thought 'Gave Up' was the best example. The name of the EP is quite fitting, as larks (the bird) in literature symbolise daybreak which metaphorically ties in with the "dawn" of this project; on the other hand, it is an old-fashioned thing in Chinese culture for larks to be taught to mimic the sounds of other birds, thus tying in with the sampling side of things; still further, "a lark" is synonymous with "a laugh" or "some fun", so that could work too. Anyway! That's that.

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