Album Review: January Tapes by Cut Copy (2016)

Boring Yet interesting: Drone Music

Cut Copy are electro-pop icons of Australia. The band is  known primarily for glitchy, synth-laden and uplifting beats that are perfect background music for pool-side BBQs in the endless Australian summer.

Although quite unexpectedly this September, Cut Copy released a limited edition, 44 minute collection of ambient music entitled the January Tapes. It’s their first release since 2013.

According to frontman Dan Whitford, January Tapes exemplifies the band’s new age meanderings and could provide a hint as to what comes next.

Album Review: January Tapes by Cut Copy (2016)

“I think a lot of people with casual interest in our music or just a bit of knowledge of what we’re about might think it’s a bit odd that we’d work on an ambient tape idea, but I think we’ve always sort of had a pretty solid interest in ambient music and experimental music. Certainly those influences appear in our albums – an idea might get incorporated into a track as a detail than really be front and centre. We explored those ideas that in the past had been incidental and turned them into the point of the whole project – the more esoteric ideas, taking them and really expanding on them and exploring them. We wanted to try and make something different from what we would usually make.” – Dan Whitford.

Melbourne’s Cut Copy have been around the block quite a number of times. Originally a solo project for DJ and Graphic Designer Dan Whitford, the band grew out of Whitford’s interest in dance music in the early 00’s.

Album Review: January Tapes by Cut Copy (2016)

He released demos to Modular Recordings in 2001 and they subsequently signed him. Bennett Foddy and Harry Howard later joined the band which got its name from a random place – the wandering of a mouse on a computer screen to the words Cut/Copy – the phrase soon grew on the band and they found it suited their mixing and production values perfectly.

Many praised albums and EP’s ensued for Cut Copy, such as 2008’s In Ghost Colours and its follow-up full-length Zonoscope in 2010.

The ambient album January Tapes arose out of a fascination for 70’s and 80’s New Age music, that were primarily released on cassette. The January Tapes was released in September 2016 as a limited edition cassette prior to being available on ITunes and Spotify. It’s a sun-soaked and lush wandering into another world with some subtle nods to New Age innovators like Andreas Vollenweider and the Orb.

“There was some old Windham Hill stuff and some really odd almost hippy-looking kind of covers. A really bizarre range of tapes. I would love to go back to this guy’s house and tell him it was the inspiration for this project. The idea of a physical format is still really cool to me, even though it’s a bit outdated. Obviously tapes are really outdated. Most people have thrown away their Walkmans or whatever tape players they once had. It’s really only a limited range of people who can play this format. But I think that’s what makes it interesting. It’s almost one of those weird things that a lot of people almost like the idea of a tape but may not have a tape player. There is probably a percentage of people who have gone and bought it and don’t have a way of playing it. It would be kind of funny to release a completely blank cassette and half the people wouldn’t even know if they’d gotten music or not.” – Dan Whitford.

Get January Tapes on iTunes

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

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