Mix of the Week: Francis Inferno Orchestra

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One of Australia’s finest DJ exports digs deep to deliver an eclectic mix for the Dekmantel podcast series.

It can be argued that Francisco Inferno Orchestra, real name Griffin James, set the scene for the recent explosion of Australian electronic acts making it big overseas. James emerged out of the early 2010’s Melbourne deep house/disco scene along side the likes of Tornado Wallace, Andy Hart and Fantastic Man. Since then he has played gigs all over Australia, moved to London and become a fixture on the European summer festival circuit.

A steady stream of releases for labels such as Voyeurhythm, Let’s Play House and his own Superconscious Records, which he runs with Fantastic Man, demonstrate a constantly evolving sound. James’s most recent release ‘Francis Inferno Orchestra Presents Veranda Culture’ is a mostly beat-less, ambient album, the greatest departure yet from his house roots.  

The mix kicks off with a selection of lush, dreamy tracks in a similar vein to his most recent release. Before the listener can get ‘too’ relaxed, the drums kick in and we’re treated to a selection of Italo-disco, obscure Australian industrial, electro pop and acid house. James expertly weaves together these seemingly disparate genres, with many tracks having common themes and sounds such as bouncy retro synths and quirky vocals filtered through different effects. By altering the tempos of many of the songs, James reinterprets them and it is clear that it is not simply a tactic to mix them together easier.

This mix well and truly demonstrates why James has become one of the breakthrough Australian acts in recent years. Many may mix together different sounds, but not many make it sound so cohesive.