The Presets are back and they’re coming to Canberra!
On the back of their first new tracks in almost four years, the Australian electronic dance pioneers are heading out a national tour to launch their long awaited fourth studio album HI VIZ.
It’s been a decade since Julian Hamilton & Kim Moyes first set festival fields alight with breakthrough anthems like “My People”, “Talk Like That” and “This Boys In Love”. The pair had been making waves in Sydney’s clubs since forming in 2003 and signing to the influential Modular Records, but it was their 2008 Oz chart topper, Apocalypso, that first introduced them to wider audiences. That album was certified triple platinum and won them six ARIA Awards in their homeland.
By contrast, 2012’s critically acclaimed Pacifica was comparatively introspective but epic gigs around the world from Glastonbury Festival and Coachella to Splendour In The Grass forged the duo’s reputation as Australian electronic music trailblazers. Continuing in this tradition, The Presets’ fourth album HI VIZ – which lands May 18 – delivers a ‘back to basics’ set, deliberately curated as a proxy for The Presets’ live experience.
“We wanted to make something that was literally meant to get you out of your head,” said Julian.
“All the songs on HI VIZ are outward looking so in that respect it’s much more like our earlier stuff. It’s about trying to capture that energy you get on a great night out with your friends when you get to leave everything else behind you for a while. We essentially tried to create the soundtrack to a party that we would want to go nuts at.”
Kim said it took the duo “ages” to create the album because they kept writing and recording more and more songs.
“At one point we had about 50 contenders and, like us, they were all over the map mood wise. Eventually we decided, let’s just pick the most ‘up for it’ songs. Those tracks are always the most fun for us to play live anyway so we thought why not have a whole album of them.”
Most of the album has been mixed by John Hanes who created the classic mix of “Uptown Funk” as well as working more recently with the likes of Sia, Bruno Mars and Major Lazer. Apocalypso collaborator Scott Horscroft also mixed several HI VIZ tracks while Flume engineer Eric J mixed “Beethoven” – the pair’s sly nod to their Conservatorium years.
Both Julian and Kim individually produce other artists outside their Presets collaborations, so it’s not surprising that they, once again, are credited as Producers for their own album. It’s also apt that some of the artists with whom they’ve worked should make HI VIZ cameos.
For example, “Are You Here?” features indie rockers the DMA’s, whose latest release was co-produced by Kim. Similarly Alison Wonderland – for whom The Presets recently created a widely played remix – guested on “Are You Out Of Your Mind?” while Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters added vocals to the dark’n’steamy “Tools Down”.
The Presets play University of Canberra refectory on Thursday 21 June. Ticket info here.