Review: Oliver Tank @ Oxford Art Factory (14/06/12)
Posted on June 18, 2012 by OneEightKevin
It seems that the sky’s the limit when it comes to 22-year old Oliver Tank, and Sydney’s most exciting producer celebrated his return from the UK with a sold-out show at Oxford Art Factory.
It’s a fitting venue for Australia’s latest hipster pin-up boy, who has risen to fame in the independent scene since the release of his phenomenal EP, Dreams.
Since I have the attention span of a goldfish, many of my friends were surprised that I was actually bumping Dreams on the regular.
Indeed, his work lies in stark contrast to the remainder of my iTunes library, which is littered with Waka Flocka Flame and other works with intensely heavy, trap-influenced production and a plethora of gunshot noises.
But there’s something about his work which is so mesemerising. Every track has their own layers and intricacies, and each develops into something beautiful in its own right. His minimalist approach has seen him gain praise on Triple J and FBi Radio, as well as universal approval from the blogosphere.
And so we headed off to Oxford Art Factory to catch Tank at his Welcome Home show, and I was really interested to see how his EP was going to hold up in a live environment. I was rather impressed when I saw him performing his own vocals, working the beats and percussion as well as adding soaring guitar solos on top of a few tracks. Evidently, this dude takes live performance seriously and outshines most button-pressers who fall under the wide umbrella of “electronic music” performers.
He dropped most of the tracks off Dreams as well as one from an upcoming mixtape. Highlights included Embrace and of course his famed cover of Snoop Dogg‘s Beautiful, where he surprisingly rapped one verse himself. I love the way he took one line from Pharrell and completely flipped this summery anthem on it’s head. He also worked the track into Drop It Like It’s Hot, during which he danced onstage before proclaiming “Snoop Dogg is the king.”
However, these tracks were missing the live vocals of frequent collaborator, Fawn Myers. The first time I heard her sing was just magical. It gave me goosebumps and shit man. I haven’t been this impressed with a voice since Mariah Carey, and that’s a massive call since Mariah is the undisputed queen of the world’s entire female population. Even though Fawn Myers wasn’t there, Tank does a solid job of covering for her. Word on the street is that Tank will be producing her solo EP, which will be nothing short of amazing.
The series of spaced-out tunes were assisted by a backdrop of trippy images and mood lighting. This was the perfect environment to smoke alot of weed and ponder the true meaning of life. This gig was also a good learning experience for me, since I discovered that you don’t have to be fistpumping at a show to have fun. Indeed, most of the crowd are engaging in a slow, uniform sway and the occasional head nod. The ambience is overwhelming. I haven’t been this close to tears since that time I saw Hatebreed, when some meathead in the pit roundhouse-kicked me in the nose.
The show concluded with Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion and the unforgettable keys from Dreams of Fish and Waterfalls, and the crowd erupted in applause. Tank seemed genuinely overwhelmed by the response, and took time to thank the audience at every opportunity he got. He seems like a really down to earth dude. I imagine that at 22 years old, this whole journey may still feel a little surreal.
As this was my first time seeing Oliver Tank, I can say with certainty that he lived up to the hype. His catalogue of powerful, emotive tunes were a pleasure to witness live. With his reputation now being solidified internationally, he’s well on the way to becoming our next proud export in electronic music, following in the footsteps of fellow Sydneysiders Seekae. The only bad thing about attending this Thursday night gig was that I missed Fatty Vautin’s banter on The Footy Show.
You can purchase Oliver Tank’s Dreams right here.