CC:DISCO! First Light: Review

CC:DISCO! First Light: Review

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If you’re in need of a reminder about what living on an island in the far corner of the world does to an electronic artist, leave it to Melbourne’s groove leader, CC:DISCO, to show you the light. Essentially a warm hug of Australian (and Kiwi) goodness, Soothsayer’s First Light compilation is curated by the indelible CC and carries with it high expectations.

In just a couple ofyears the Victorian DJ has gone from riling up Boney’s dance floor in the early mornings to being billed at the likes of Meredith, Pitch and Dimension festivals. Yet along the way CC’s kept things local not only in terms of the music she champions, but also in her efforts with the Club Coco events. Lesser used venues across Melbourne like Collingwood’s Copacabana International restaurant were used in 2017 and saw locals such as Frank Booker and Ben Fester play to passionate crowds, not to mention alongside international legends like Rahaan. We won’t be the last to tell you, CC:DISCO is a local legend, and it’s more than fitting that she’s taken the reins of First Light to shine on what’s a very exciting scene right now.

If you’ve ever seen a CC set, you’ll know she loves to start off with some slow and dreamy jams, and this compilation is no exception. Diving off with Sydney duo Angophora, ‘Settled’ brings a Balearic-ambient beginning to the album. This sexy guitar-laden tune calls for a slow dance (with hips), but with enough echoing synth to make you dream of space.

You’ll be swaying for a little while longer as the ambience slowly picks up its funk elements, an easy job for disco minimalists Chord Memory Band. But prepare to be surprised by the vocals of arguably Australia’s most exciting newcomer, Jace XL. You can hear the Hiatus Kaiyote under his belt in ‘Really Want That’, and it’s luscious. Jace brings the vocals that Australia’s disco and funk scene so often lacks, his excitable but soulful lyrics spicing this album with an oomph. Bloody thank you CC! Its eyes closed, swaying by yourself kind of stuff.

CC keeps us dancing along in Balearic and, soon enough, electro and house fashion. Roza Terenzi and James i.V. both introduce faster rhythms to the mix, particularly ‘Freda’s Jam’ and its hypnotic bass and synths under delectable bongos.  These tracks are clearly reaching towards the climax of the compilation: Nite Fleit. First Light is surprisingly deft of bangers, and by no means to its detriment, but if anything this holds up Nite Fleit’s ‘Al Bebe’ onto a noticeable pedestal. We’ve been delivered a tune worthy of heaving dancefloors, this apocalyptic tune uses an all-time favourite combination of dirty, fat synths and a rolling bongo beat to keep your feet moving. Soothersayer baby and recent Boiler Room debut, Love Deluxe, and their loop-driven track. Though well placed within First Light as a gentle comedown from Jace XL, the song itself is missing the emotion or uniqueness that’s so clear in the rest of the album. The same won’t be said for ‘Never Follow a Druid to a Second Location’, Simon TK’s electric guitar-infused halftime for the album. The Wax’o veteran is almost as much of a legend as CC herself, and you can tell. Simon showers us with emotion in those rising guitar chords over the simplest of beats and a cheeky 80s synth. This is where you dance.

After that kind of music pique, CC soothes us into Sui Zhen’s ethereal pop as a finale. This is exactly the mastery we’ve come to expect from CC: not finishing Nothing in this compilation feels accidental, these diverse Australian artists are held tightly together as an album, and it’s a testament to CC:DISCO's experience as a selector in a flourishing scene on a bang(er), but rather an uplifting vibe to hang onto well after the needle lifts.

Photography: Ryan Sauer

Photography: Ryan Sauer

Interview: Jeremy Neale

Interview: Jeremy Neale

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