Australian Music Is Bloody Great: Sui Zhen
Sui Zhen shares choices from the broad landscape of Australian sounds
Where do you hear great new Australian music these days? Community radio is one crucial outlet and Amrap – the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project - offers Australian musicians a pathway to airplay from the hundreds of community stations to a weekly listenership of nearly 6,000,000 people. Go to amrap.org.au to get your music to thousands of presenters using the site each month to find new Australian music. If you haven’t got your music on Amrap, what are you waiting for? Community radio uses Amrap to source Australian music for airplay. You can discover all the great Australian music championed by community radio on the Community Radio Plus App, featuring the diverse range of community radio stations nationwide in one handy spot!
Amrap’s national radio show Australian Music Is Bloody Great features Australian artists presenting their favourite recent Australian music. Australian Music Is Bloody Great’s previous hosts range from Dune Rats to Sampa The Great to Phil Jameison.
We’re proud to team up with Amrap to bring you Australian Music Is Bloody Great as a Pilerats feature!
This article originally appeared on amrap.org.au
Written by Joshua Kreusler
Naarm (Melbourne) experimental pop artist Sui Zhen delves into the intersection of human life and technology, exploring our existence in the digital age. In her collaborative debut album, Origin of You, created with Mindy Meng Wang 王萌, the duo explores three elemental themes: 空 (Kōng), or Emptiness; 疼 (Téng), or Pain; 气 (Chi), sometimes known as ‘Energy’. Sui Zhen shares her Australian music inspirations on the last instalment of Australian Music Is Bloody Great for 2023.
Allara is a Yorta Yorta woman and storyteller who plays the double bass, synth, does production and is a highly talented musician. I chose this piece of music because it offers an opportunity for deep listening. Allara talks about how she engages in this practice of deep listening. You should check out what she says about this particular song on her Bandcamp page. It is about listening - not only active listening or deep listening but also observing while you're listening. I believe one of her aims was to contribute to the body of contemporary Indigenous music and do something a little different by inviting people into an ancient cultural practice. Allara has given us a wonderful gift with this beautiful piece of music. It features field recordings and creates an environment that is truly unique to this country.
Cold Hands Warm Heart has a new release coming out very soon. To honour that release, I thought I would pick this one that they released a few years ago. Cold Hands Warm Heart features a musician I recently collaborated with named Genevieve Fry. I really love the delicate nature of Genevieve's compositions and the kind of instrumentation she uses. It also flows nicely after listening to Allara.
Sukhjit is a multi-dimensional artist, a writer, performer, filmmaker and theatre maker from Perth. I really connected with this piece of music. It reminded me of a sentiment that Mindy and I explore in our new album, which is to reject the notion of white supremacy by posing a lot of questions. This particular track asks you some questions, and I think it is particularly pertinent in this current moment where we are witnessing a rise in racism. We have also just seen the large majority of the country vote no in the voice to parliament. So, I thought this was a timely moment to listen to Collectables.
I found this track on AMRAP, which is exciting. Jun is a Japanese-born/Australian-grown neo city-pop singer. If you are a fan of city-pop, which I am, you will be delighted to know that this city-pop was homegrown in Portland, Victoria, which is surprising. It is a place that doesn't really conjure city-pop. I thought we should listen to this song and try to picture it coming out of Portland, which is a very different landscape from densely populated metropolis cities like Tokyo.
I think I wanted to finish on this song because it really speaks to the intention behind the project that Mindy and I have been working on, the project called Music In Exile. Rasta George was born and raised in the west of Africa in Sierra Leone. He is someone who has been playing guitar for the past 30 years and has played with bands around Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Ghana. He has adopted different styles of music and is a living and working musician. I wanted to play this song because this is maybe not something you would think of as so-called 'Australian music.' It is Australian music. People have been bringing diverse culture and practice from all over the world and for different reasons landed upon these shores here. This is something that our community would benefit from embracing. I am so happy I can find this music on AMRAP because it is reflective of the diverse community in which we all live. [Music like this] is not really reflected outside of community radio.