Meet Exek, Melbourne’s Most Eclectic Troupe
October 30, 2018
Beyond what we already know about the Australian music scene, there are plenty of diamonds in the rough. Arguably, some of the groups that would qualify for this kind of description are some of the most rewarding sound manufacturers of the current moment. None better than Melbourne’s Exek, who have released two sonically different yet synonymously enthralling records this year.
“Ahead of Two Thoughts” and “A Casual Assembly” are two projects that appear so foreign on the surface, though, make complete sense based on the wholly different and enthusiastic approach to music that Exek procure through every track. The anxious slew of spoken word on “A Casual Assembly” is eerily captivating in partnership with the intricate drone of sound in the background of every tune. Conjuring the feeling of a soundtrack to a melancholic storybook. “Ahead of Two Thoughts” is a separate kind of beast. Filled with groovy, gummy basslines that wooz you into a haze of movement. There is an expert kind of musicianship involved when a song makes you want to dance, yet makes you feel isolated at the same moment in time. Exek have succeeded in bringing such emotional conflictions into the totality of their sound… and are truly making it their own.
With all this being said… I recently had a chance to talk with one of the members of Exek, Albert. Speaking briefly on a handful of different things… from what they have witnessed since touring through the US this past month, to what Albert deems some of his inspirations to be.
Maxwell: So, to start… who all makes up Exek… and how did you all come about forming the band?
Albert: Exek was formed about 5 to 6 years ago. I had a sound in mind and needed to get it out of my head and record. Got a crew of misfits together and that obviously helped with playing shows. Several different members over the years makes it fresh for me and the audience.
Maxwell: How has Melbourne’s music scene been an influence on you guys as musicians?
Albert: Melbs enables us to play shows. Cos there’s such a massive scene and so many venues. Even though we don’t play live much. Much rather stay in the studio. But the attitude there is great. It’s very competitive cos there’s so many bands. Some good. Some great. Some shit.
Maxwell: Who are some Aussie bands that you all think deserve more recognition over here in the states?
Albert: Essendon Airport. Pretty much anything that Phillip Brophy was affiliated with. Criminally underappreciated.
Maxwell: With that being said… who are some collective artists/bands that you guys have taken inspiration from… in terms of the sound that you all create as a group? Who are some artists you lot have been listening to recently?
Albert: As above. Also, any of Geoff Barrow’s work. Lately all I’ve been listening to is hip hop. Got to see Tommy Wright lll as we both played ‘Cropped Out’ in Louisville. He’s amazing and such a nice guy.
Maxwell: Going back to local music… what are some things that you’ve seen throughout your tour in the US that are different/similar to the local scene in Melbourne… as well as around Australia in general?
Albert: Melbourne is an over privileged city where political correctness is its dark overlord. I like it in the states where no one gets crucified if a bill is all white dudes. I never have and never will give a fuck about who is making the music. It’s not important. And it’s a real shame that sexual and racial labels play a part in people lives. If the music is good, that’s all that matters.
Maxwell: Speaking of music… you guys have released 2 projects in 2018 alone… how often are you guys writing and recording music? Is it easy to find time on the road to write and develop songs?
Albert: No writing on the road. No need as we have a new record that’s finished and should be released around March. And the follow up to that is written and sequenced. It’ll be recorded once we get back to Australia. Might start writing LP5 next year.
Maxwell: So, what is next for the likes of Exek?
Albert: Europe tour 2019!
Exek finishes their tour October 31st in Los Angeles @ Teragram Ballroom alongside Thee Oh Sees and Prettiest Eyes.
Be sure to check out Exek’s two releases from this year on their Bandcamp or any streaming service.