Last year, an enigmatic name seemed to appear out of thin-air. Sam Weston was apparently a fresh upstart in the Australian House-scene releasing a dusty collection of late-night/early-morning jams aptly titled Shiraz Voyager. With this rose-tinted house release in hand, Weston arrived on the scene and people took notice. The tape sold out within weeks.
Thing was, Sam Weston was not a fresh-face at all. He was here all along, although more commonly known as one half of influential Sydney techno duo – Alba. Lorded for their brand of live-fire robotic grooves, Alba became trailblazers in a town more Miami than Berlin, where brooding and rolling hypnosis weren’t often preferred to fist pumping “bangers”. Wanting to flex his lovin’ spoonful of hypnotic lo-flung house, Weston decided to release a handful of edits on his Soundcloud. Immediate attention was conjured and Sam Weston released the aforementioned Shiraz Voyager EP to a pretty amazing response. Almost overnight, Australia had a new hero in Weston’s warm compositions that summon memories of sunny days and happier times.
Reminiscent of the likes of Motor City Drum Ensemble, Moodymann and Theo Parish, Weston’s productions harbour the laissez-faire energy of when house music meant something. When parties weren’t regulated, kids danced all night long and cared more about what tune was coming in rather than how good they look.
Weston’s follow-up EP, suitably titled Never Been In Love sees Sam at his powerful best. Armed with more confidence as a producer, the EP sees Weston’s brand of left-field house re-emerge with a new emotional DNA running throughout.
The EP is split in two halves. The first, an exploration in isolation and longing, ‘Never Been In Love PT II & III’ present the listener with a soulful yet heady experience. The tracks build and bubble, stretch and wind in an exercise so clearly constructed with smoke-tinged dark corners in clubs in mind. The flip side presents the listener with a 13 minute opus titled ‘Don’t Save Face’ pushes the aforementioned club constructs into something slightly more journey-like. Each composition is its own galaxy, its own world in which Weston invites the listener in and deeper layers present themselves with repeat listens.
For inspiration, Weston switched off both mentally and physically. Disillusioned with his hometown and hitting somewhat of a writer’s block, he decided to up and leave Sydney and seek refuge in a far-remote area of South Australia where the vast desert meets the coastal landscape. By returning his listening habits back to the likes of Alice Coltrane and Mulatu Astatke, inspired by their rich improvisation and drawn out vamps, Weston’s isolation of mind and soul is something that seeps through the EP. Throughout the Never Been In Love EP, Weston rethinks the common structures and forms of current electronic music, builds and deconstructs layers throughout the music, constantly re-evaluating what the purpose of each song, stanza or note is.
This EP is a producer finding his identity through house music.
Published: 28th October 2016