Mix of the Week 13/2: Simon Murphy @ Rainbow Serpent Festival 2019

Simon Murphy has carved out a place for himself within Melbourne’s electronic scene and earnt back to back spots in the Rainbow Serpent Festival in both 2018 and 2019. This year he played right after his long-time collaborator and good friend J-Slyde, slowing things down as he took control of the Chill Stage. With the set now available on Soundcloud, it’s the perfect mix for listeners to sit down and relax with, but with enough variation to keep them entertained.

”I wanted to incorporate some of my favourite modern classical, some downtempo beats and even some warm melodic dubby beats. Some old tunes, some new, some familiar, some obscure, all inspiring to me at some point in my life.”

The strength of this mix is summed up in the intro when it says, “music can make people feel a certain way.” As this soft, ambient mix moves from darker, bass heavy tracks to brighter instrumental focused songs, the emotional pace moves with it. While all tracks maintain that relaxed and distant ambience, they are varied because of this emotional range. Some tracks are minimalist, with vocal wails floating over calm synths and gentle strings. These often incorporate various effects like raindrops, vinyl crackles or voiceovers to soothe the listener into a state of zen. Other tracks are busier and offer some more excitement. An example of this is Bibio’s ‘Petals’ (Reckoner Remix) where the heavy downbeat is mixed with loud electronic effects over a light indie-pop inspired vocal track. It is this variation, while staying consistent with Murphy’s chill and ambient tone, that showcases the emotional grasp this mix has on the audience. A special mention has to go to the end sequence. Murphy executes this final progression masterfully and leaves the set on a cathartic high note.