Bless you Belu: New Sydney Artist

Before his current solo work as Belu, Beau Cummins first published with Audient, and blessed Sydney airways with a kind of nu-soul that made your bones buckle with groove. The collective’s debut EP, The Morrow, was met with applause by Sydney taste-makers and saw them become the FBI unsigned Artist of the Month. Belu’s sound boasts the fidelity of Tycho, Bonobo and Jamie XX. I don’t mean to say that he is their equal, but merely that he shares their nuanced sensitivity to the instrument and its concrete, here-and-now noise-making. I think us Aussie’s should be excited for this instrumental future-garage offering. Rather than the laptop-dependant digitisation, which is normative these days, we find a carefully textured and organic mixture of the real and artificial. Clipped beats sit cosily with scattered vocal samples. Clean Guitar riffs amble up synth-heavy soundscapes. Sinuous melodies curl and bend around computerised sound-pieces. It all feels very natural. I imagine his music playing to a time-lapsed tableau of virile vines strangling an abandoned glass-building. Yes, I know…very Jumanji-cum-2001: A Space Odyssey.

So, let us talk about his debut EP, How It Is. The first release, Twenty Something, has been playing on Triple J for a while now. It is a great song. It begins and ends with this neat climbing pulse. A spacious syncopated beat and tid-bits of metallic jangle undergird the repeated melody. The lush layering continues as Belu adds a kind of electronic ribbiting and then this shape-shifting static buzz. The song matches its title. When you are twenty something everything feels rich and dreamy but speed-of-light temporary. Belu also self-directed and produced a rather obscure video of people brushing their teeth to accompany the song. You should watch it.

Another song from the EP, In All This, is subtle in its combining of elements. However, the most important thing is that it contains fractured sample’s of Sade’s smooth voice. It echoes ghostly in the background, conferring the song a sultry soul (and reminding me of 90s vacation car rides mouthing the words to Smooth Operator). Along with this, a guitar melody jitters next to this thickly bundled beat. But it is not too much as the moments of density are offset by moments of space. So sonically, the whole thing feels balanced as it moves from musical point and counterpoint delicately.

Rather than tell you about the third song on the EP, How It Is, I would suggest that you just listen to it. Just one thing though, there are samples of Florentine children’s voices as they gambol on ancient cobblestones. It is quite beautiful. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled and ears open as Belu announces a set of shows for Sydney and new material.