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Metropolitan (DOUBLE LP) / The Carter Bros TSUBALP001
Following Tazz's debut earlier in the year, Kevin Griffiths' Tsuba are proud to present the debut album from Carter Bros 'Metropolitan'.
Australian siblings Tim and Gavin Carter have created their own sonic bubble far away from trends and hipsters in the Northern Hemisphere, and Metropolitan brings together their myriad of influences, tastes and production touches that until recently were an almost self-kept secret. Their sample-inspired long player crosses genres and styles from funk to techno via house and disco, as their own production takes lead from their crate-digging heritage in adopted Adelaide, as if reimagining The Avalanches had they chosen house music over hip-hop.
The pair hail from Mildura, a rural town deep inside Victoria, as far removed from electronic music scene as skateboarding, punk-loving teenagers could be. But local record shops and late-night radio gradually opened their ears to dance music, and jam sessions in the small hours led to trips to Melbourne and Adelaide, vinyl shopping, and eventually migration to the South Australia capital, where they absorbed into the local scene, content to DJ and make records, lifting ideas from whatever caught their ear to produce a sound that simply reflected a love for music untainted by promo charts and hype. Years into this, almost out of the blue, their music found its way to Dutch imprint Rush Hour, who released an EP last year, and, aptly, onto Black Catalogue run by Detroit head Monty Luke, and in a flash, their music's audience broke beyond its comfortable boundaries.
Tim states: "There is a strange 90s connection between Adelaide and Detroit. Detroit’s influence on Adelaide’s underground is massive. Maybe we shared the same values as Detroit in the way we produced music, ran our labels and went about doing things." Certainly, their new album reflects this DIY ethos, heavy on analogue kit and taking its form from a wide range of music.
Metropolitan comes to life immediately from Metrolude's quirky street-scene murmurs and accordion accompaniment, with its cut-and-paste character, while painting a broad palette, never straying far from an aim to make heads nod and feet move. Treat Me Right's laid-back guitar licks and vox blend the soul-flecked past with house music's present, presenting the listener with a soon-familiar task of splitting sample from Carter Bros' own instrumentation, one that soon evaporates when the sheer enjoyment of the twelve tracks takes over.
Schooled evokes Marvin Gaye with its sample, playing on chopped funk guitar and vintage strings, and could be a dusty b-side from 1973 as easily as its sits on Metropolitan, while Forget About is underpinned by a shimmering modern disco arrangement, leaning the balance back to the new millennium from distant decades. As an album, it sits in relative solitude away from DJ projects that either swing to the dancefloor as extended EPs, or concepts that sit in esoteric high art as much as the mixing desk. Metropolitan is an exercise in self-expression from two artists whose nurturing sits a mile from the standard template, and both wears their influences proudly on their sleeves while adding their own mark across the twelve tracks. From Too Many Lovers' raw piano-led disco to Interlude Latin A's swaying samba, and The Slow Burn's rasping chords and up to date menace, it's the magpie-like approach to music that makes Metropolitan stand out from the crowd, and Carter Bros' appearance on the scene the likely start of a long stay.