Melbourne’s Katz has released his debut EP Waterfall via Dot Dash / Remote Control. The EP features some of Australia’s leading lights in the electronic scene – Japanese Wallpaper, Charlie Lim, Woodes,Fractures and Lanks – all either feature or collaborated on the debut.
Learning piano from the age of 4, Katz cut his teeth leading jazz ensembles around Melbourne, including his critically acclaimed quintet. While he would regularly lend his skills to studio sessions on the side, it wasn’t until he found himself sitting in on friends’ electronica projects that he decided to try making it himself. It was here that Katzbegan laying foundations for his debut output.
Recorded largely in his Collingwood home studio and co-produced with Simon Lam (Kllo, I’lls, Nearly Oratorio), Katz’s debut EP announces his expansion from jazz artist to deft purveyor of hazy, heavy-lidded electronica. Over five songs brimming with analogue synths, downbeat electric piano, chattering percussion and smart arrangements, a suite of guest vocalists perfectly attune to Katz’s dreamy melancholia, and pour their soul.
“On some level jazz will always influence the music I make,” says Katz of his debut. “It’s something I try to keep at bay when writing pop music, but I’ll regularly draw on jazz sensibilities and instrument choices. Equally inspirational is the music my friends are making.”
Lead single and EP opener ‘Hollow’ was co-written with Gab Strum, aka Japanese Wallpaper, and features Singaporean/Australian singer/songwriter Charlie Lim on vocals. A frequent collaborator withKatz, the track rises on fluttering arpeggios and tinkling bells, backing Lim’s smoky vocals raking through the ashes of a regret.
That theme holds throughout the EP. Melbourne producer Woodes’ dusty voice lends an ache to the twilight haze of ‘Spinning Out’; ‘Waterfall’ muse on a relationship disconnect; Fractures finds some solace on the neo-soul-tinged slow jam ‘Cipher’; and ‘Floating’ is a chopped-up, pensive instrumental collaboration with Lanks.
While the EP charts Katz’s evolution from jazz musician to accomplished songwriter and producer in his own right, the project is as much a nod to its creator’s encouraging surrounds. “My music has a lot to do with the Melbourne electronic music scene,” says Katz. “I come from an instrumental, computer-free background so I’m still riding a steep learning curve. But I’m finding that really cool ideas can come from disruption to the usual workflow.”