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Electric Fields

Merging ancient language with modern electronica, Electric Fields will take you on an epic sonic journey. Michael Ross spoke to Off The Leash.

I can remember watching  Zaachariaha on The Voice and being transfixed. But when did Electric Fields emerge?
We met about eight years ago, before The Voice, working on a few of Robyn Habel’s new songs. It was a relaxed and leafy studio in the Adelaide Hills, very casual and we were both a bit shy. After Z came off The Voice five years later, he called me up to ask if we could work on some new songs together. It was the birth of a fiercely beautiful something we’d never experienced before, so we joined each other to see what this energy was.
 
Tell us about the marriage of your styles and backgrounds. How do they fit together, and what is it that you’re hoping to create?
We both create and perform music from honest emotion and love early 90s electro pop and soul – so that was the obvious place to start. We just experimented and as we did, wove ourselves into each track, culturally and musically. We paint the harmonisation like a nest so we can sit ourselves into each lyric and melody until we feel that happy-sad mixture. We’re not driven by genre, but story.
 
How important is it to you to be sharing the language of the APY Lands, not just with Australian  fans but also around the world?
It’s a huge element of what we do. We believe the best art is born from truth. And Anangu culture is unmovable from Zaachariaha’s truth, so it was only a matter of time before Anangu language entered the lyrics we wrote. The audience love it. Traditional culture has a way of reminding us that we’re all family sharing the same mother planet. Seeing people from all different backgrounds singing Anangu language is beautiful to watch from the stage.

Speaking of the world, are you on tour right now? 
Yes! In the last month or so we’ve performed in Poland, Germany, Malaysia, a few shows in Oz for NAIDOC Week, then over to England for WOMAD, Scotland and Budapest for the Sziget Festival headlined by Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys and Lana Del Rey. It’s been a whirlwind! 

You were in Darwin last year for the NIMAs. What was that experience like for you?
Truly beautiful. To perform at such an important celebration of First Nations music was an honour. After our performance we got a high five and a hug from Paul Kelly. To win Best New Talent was giant. We’re a bit of a curveball and for them to give us the nod means so much.

Sat 25 Aug | 9-10pm | The Lighthouse | See the event listing

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