“Joelistics is operating here with the kind of alternative hip-hop sonics yet to reach the Australian scene – in large part because the country’s mainstream rap identity is still finding popular form. It’d be wise to watch his renewed second phase, particularly with the launch of his own label Odd Head Music.” – MTV Australia
“He’s someone always at the cusp of what’s next, pushing forward new and unexplored ideas in a way that makes it feel like his specialty.” – Hayden Davies, Pilerats
Over the past few months Australian hip hop royalty Joelistics has been trickling out the first tastes of his ambitious new production record Joelistics Presents Film School. After rounding out a trio of genre-melding releases – ‘Yokai’, ‘Memory Palace’ and ‘5 Rivers’ – Joelistics is thrilled to finally reveal the remainder of his highly anticipated, moody and angular concept album, of over five years in the making.
OUT NOW via Odd Head Music, Film School is a departure for Joelistics as vocalist and MC, and sees the multi-instrumentalist leaning into his recently lauded ‘Best Producer’ role to concentrate his efforts on an expansive catalog of beats and synths. ‘70s Asian pop samples, psych-rock journey music and studio improvisations weave deep explorations of sonic experimentation, with string compositions, guzheng (Chinese harp), synths, samplers, drum machines and more.
“Who knew in the midst of writing a collaborative album of weird beats and psych jams I would find treasured collaborations with filmmakers and dancers? Joelistics presents Film School is a lot of things, it started off as an album and evolved into a series of collaborative filmed dance pieces that work as a unified whole drawing imagery from Asian ghost stories recontextualised in suburban Melbourne.” – Joelistics
Recalling his love of instrumental hip hop and trip hop from the ’90s and his penchant for post rock stylings, Film School is a record of collaborations. Predominantly instrumental, the few vocalists that feature on the album are all women of Asian descent. Parvyn Singh of The Bombay Royale features on the psych rock groove of ‘Samsara’ and dreamy single ‘5 Rivers’ and Hailey Cramer aka HAYTCH lends her vocals to the future soul of ‘Fool’. Joelistics’ underground string and synth side project, Garden Tiger made up of Francesca Mountfort on cello, Mindy Wang on guzheng and Joel on synths/beats, also feature on the record adding even more dimension to an already sensual piece alluding to fear and its connection to the senses in ‘Memory Palace’.
“With this music and the film, I wanted to weave an eerie feeling, reminiscent of empty streets, a distant sense of dread and the hypnotic patterns of lockdown life. I wanted the dancers to personify our collective fear of sickness and loneliness and how those fears dance at the edge of every moment we hold dear. Musically it is a blend of Pan Asian psychedelia, post rock stylings and lo fi synthscapes, made from the scraps of your ancestor’s vocals, dusty loops and traditional Chinese and Western instruments. The underlying feeling of this project is a meditation on the anxiety of our times and the transcendence that comes from facing fear.” – Joelistics
An ode to surreal dreamscapes and cinematic atmospheres, Film School draws on themes of Asian ghost stories, time displacement and sonic surrealism and traverses left-field beats, kraut rock and traditional Chinese and Indian music.
Joelistics Presents Film School is out now via Odd Head Music
Vinyl available via Joelistics’ Bandcamp