Meet Moss, triple j DIY Supergroup winner now sharing his winning entry, SABRE TEETH
The track features samples by Touch Sensitive, San Cisco, Vallis Alps and Alison Wonderland, and an official verse by Genesis Owusu.
Back in Autumn, triple j Unearthed ran another version of their DIY Supergroup competition, which basically gives developing artists access to stems from Australian heavyweights, with the hopes of fuelling creativity and awarding some brilliant prizes. This year, you could play around with parts of songs by Alison Wonderland, Gang Of Youths, Genesis Owusu, Lime Cordiale, San Cisco, Touch Sensitive and Vallis Alps, with some incredible up-and-comers merging their own work with the samples to create bursts of brilliance across a wide range of genres.
The winner turned out to be Moss, a Wadawurrung musician who you might recognise from the depths of Brisbane's dance music world. He's someone that prior to the DIY Supergroup competition, was quickly finding his feet amongst the bass-y dance music space, playing alongside heavyweights and pioneers like Skrillex and Baauer while work of his own was catching the attention of heavy-hitters all over the dance music space; a good mix of local and international support forging Moss a status as someone worth keeping an eye on.
SABRE TEETH, his winning entrant, was really the stand-out. Production-wise, there was nothing else like it in the competition, let alone in dance music as a whole right now; shadings of his samples - Touch Sensitive, San Cisco, Vallis Alps and Alison Wonderland had their samples all utilised in the entry - moving amongst a heavy hot-bed of bass and percussion that, in its most climactic moments, was joined by a didgeridoo-infused breakdown, bringing a new energy to the song that we honestly have never heard before in our lives.
The hand that give SABRE TEETH and thus Moss the win, however, was how he used this production to emphasise and fuel the verses of Genesis Owusu. Inspired by Owusu's presence and the connection he felt through his own indigenous heritage, the production feels like the perfect accompaniment to Genesis Owusu's darting and powerful lyricism. "Genesis Owusu’s vocals hit with such a powerful message and I wanted to connect that with my Indigenous heritage," he says on the song. "I’m so glad everyone who's listening is also connecting with that too."
It's a feeling mirrored within Genesis' own explanation of the song too. "I recorded my vocals for the track at an extremely emotive and tumultuous time. Those words had a lot of rage and despair soaked through them," he says. "While the original track never saw the light of day, Moss managed to take those vocals and put an energy behind them that captured the exact same ferocity, and even adding another layer beyond it by adding elements of his own indigenous heritage. I'm more than happy my words ended up taking this form in Moss' track."
The winner was crowned back in May, but today, SABRE TEETH has officially come out on streaming - Genesis Owusu guest-feature and all - as Moss inks a new record deal with October Records. It opens an exciting new chapter for the musician, and re-introduces him yet again to an audience ready to lap it up; people now having easier access to one of the best, most incredibly produced tunes of the year.
It's one hell of a time, and you can take a dive into it below if you haven't heard the song just yet. Otherwise, introduce yourself to Moss underneath, as Australia finally discovers a badly-kept secret that we have no doubts will define the future of Australian dance music:
Tell us about yourself?
Hey - I’m Moss, a First Nations artist and producer out of Brisbane. I’m all about pushing aesthetics and emotions in my records.
Between dad jokes, I’m usually scouring the internet for everything music or spending wayyy too many hours on Pinterest. I’m a very visual guy so I get really lost in it. (not sponsored btw)
What’s your music like? What does it sound like? What kind of themes does it usually cover?
My music is a mix of everything bass and cinematic. It often features soft piano's meeting gritty baselines. I like to imagine it likes waves against a jagged cliff. Think Skrillex meets RL Grime meets Hans Zimmer meets Porter Robinson (that is a BIG call though honestly hahaha). I like to build out songs with a lot of depth that really take you on a journey.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
When it comes to writing, I’m always about the visual. Every song I write is with a vision or based on an image in mind and I like to bring that to life in my music. I search for how elements of a picture sound and the images are almost always revolving around nature. From scenes like lava oozing into an ocean or an avalanche tearing down a mountain, I loooove incorporating that flow and aesthetic into my songs. Often times I have my concept images on a separate screen and then write with those in mind. I get a little consumed by the world of my vision when I’m writing, but I think it shows in the end result.
Can you tell us about Sabre Teeth, and how it came about?
WELL, I originally saw the triple j Unearthed competition and wanted to do a challenge where I wrote my entry for it in 48 hours - which was, to put it simply, hectic. Once I really honed in on using a Didgeridoo for the drops to support Genesis Owusu’s hard vocals it all fell together so quickly. I’d been searching and finding ways to incorporate my Indigenous heritage into my tracks sonically, and this felt so right in the style and message of SABRE TEETH.
The track was initially released as a part of triple j’s DIY Supergroup competition - and it was the winner (!). Can you tell us about how things have been since taking out the competition, and the journey to releasing the song as a proper single?
Yes! It has been UNREAL. The support and love for the track has been coming in from everywhere and honestly, it is just so insane to have people messaging about it being on the radio every day. Because the competition revolved around using other artist’s samples, the track was only uploaded on Unearthed due to copyright but I had SO many messages asking when it was going to be on Spotify. We reached out to all the artists I sampled, got their permission as well as triple j’s and now I’m so proud that SABRE TEETH is getting its full release.
What do you have planned for 2021?
I’ve just wrapped up my next single which I’m so keen for everyone to hear. On top of that, I’ve got some more to hit you with before the end of the year. I’ve got tour plans as well as a lot of songs in the bank ready to go, some of which I’ve been teasing occasionally on my Instagram but don’t tell my manager that pls.
What do you want people to take away from your work?
I personally believe that music is something to be felt and not just heard. Although I write to images, I think what ties my songs together is story. Storytelling is at the heart of Indigenous culture, and something that I’ve always felt natural to me. I want listeners to be taken on a journey out of their everyday life, even just for a moment. Like going to the cinema and seeing a movie over 2 hours, I’d like to think I could give you a taste of that in 3 minutes.
Where can we find more of your music?
All of the major streaming platforms, wherever you like to listen. Spotify, Apple, Beatport, Soundcloud, Amazon, Youtube and more.