May 25, 2024

New Fury Media

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“5 Albums That Changed My Life” with Garry Dick (Carthasy)

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Their new album “The Gyre” has been playing on my iPod quite a bit lately – the album, which was mixed by Aaron Harris of Isis, is certainly a great listen.

I’m talking, of course, about Australia’s own Carthasy, who I came across through a sponsored post on FB. “FFO Tool, Isis, and Oceansize” it said – and I was immediately intrigued.

Garry Dick of Carthasy stopped by to tell us 5 albums that had a profound influence on him and the band. Check out his choices after the jump – and be sure to purchase the new album via Bandcamp as well.

The Living End – The Living End

This was the first album which drew me towards heavy music, prior to this it was all crappy top 40 compilation CDs. I remember hearing All Torn Down when I was 11 years old and the intro riff gave me shivers, it just sounded so evil. That track remains a favourite to this day.

This album is pretty seminal for Australians around my vintage, it’s kind of like our Nevermind. I was too young for the impact of Nirvana but when The Living End came out it really struck a chord – how can a track like Prisoner of Society not fire you up at that age? A few years ago the band did a tour playing the album from start to finish, they sold out crowds for a week straight and every one of the 600 people there knew every single world and was air-guitaring to every solo, it was a pretty amazing reflection on just how much we love this album in Australia.

Tool – Lateralus

To this day Lateralus is still my favourite album, even after hundreds of listens I can still become completely immersed in it and hear new textures and nuances that were not apparent on previous listens. The album peaks and troughs so perfectly and what is a 70 minute start to finish listen passes by effortlessly. Despite the album being full of memorable riffs and hooks (who hasn’t had the Schism bassline stuck in their head?) the songs don’t hinge off these, they just form another passage in what is a pretty organic and seamless piece of work.

The production is flawless with each instrument complementing the others perfectly but still remains memorable in its own right – Adam Jones’s guitar tone is just incredible, the riff at the end of Parabola feels like something is being scraped through your chest.

In summary, it’s a pretty epic album and it continues to inspire me 13 years on.

Jakob – Solace

In Carthasy we draw huge inspiration from post-rock music and in my view there is no one who does it better than Jakob. Solace is so dense and heavy but not a single riff features, just layer upon layer of delays and lush volume swells which culminates in a monster sound which just fills your headspace and leaves you completely immersed in the track, ‘Safety in Numbers’ is the perfect example. It’s something I hope to achieve one day with Carthasy, immense soundscapes that are derived from minimalist playing.

Jakob’s music is the perfect soundtrack to nature which I can’t but help feel is a direct result of the incredible landscapes in New Zealand where the band calls home. While travelling with some mates in Cambodia a few years ago we witnessed an incredible lightning storm, we rolled a few joints and played Solace on the speakers while the heavens lit up above us – it was the perfect soundtrack to an incredible display of nature.

I single-handely owe Jakob for allowing me to complete my university degree, it was the one album I could completely zone out to and focus on studying, so I owe the guys a few beers if I ever get the chance to meet them!

Burial – Untrue

If Jakob is the soundtrack to the natural world then Burial covers its urban counterpart. I discovered ‘Ghost Hardware’ while I was backpacking in Kuala Lumpur and the thick, watery basslines and the clunky erratic percussion perfectly fit the chaotic, humid and grimey city environment I was immersed in. Although the majority of Burial’s work is very melancholy, the chopped up and pitch-shifted vocal samples give enough light to his pieces and provide a human face to the manufactured and bleak ambiance which surround them.

This album was the first electronic release which I really connected with and Burial’s work has formed the bulk of my listening and my biggest influence for the past couple of years. I love the way that a handful of simple ideas ebb in out of his tracks and the same sample can generate a completely different mood the second or third time it appears in the track. This is something I try to take into the Carthasy writing and I feel like we achieved something close to this in tracks like ‘Ascent’ and ‘Echoburst’.

Karnivool – Themata

I first saw Karnivool play in Perth when I was 13 and I’ve had a had a huge attachment to the band since that day. While The Butterfly Effect and Cog also released their debut albums at around the same time, Themata was the one that really grabbed be and made me want to be involved in this new heavy, progressive sound coming from Australia. Obviously there is a degree of home-town bias, but the combination of groove, vocal hooks, and de-tuned guitars was, and still is, pretty infectious and set Karnivool apart from their peers. Even though their sound has progressed (and arguably improved) in their subsequent releases, it’s still tracks off this album like Themata, Cote and Roquefort which receive the best reception at live shows.

The production on Themata is incredible, real lush but with a savage guitar tone which just rips through the mix. Production wise, Themata basically set the benchmark for this whole ‘Aus-prog’ movement, it was Forrester Savell’s first major release as producer and since then he has become the go to guy for most bands in this scene and majorly shaped its sound.

While it sometimes bugs me when reviewers say ‘Carthasy sound just like Karnivool’, I can never deny that Karnivool have been the biggest motivation, more so than musical inspiration, in getting Carthasy off the ground. From seeing them at grimey all ages shows 14 years ago through to last year watching them perform at the Western Australian State Concert Hall, which is normally reserved exclusively for opera singers and symphony orchestras, it’s been a pretty incredible journey seeing how far they have come and it’s exciting to see where they will go next.

Notable exclusions:

Deftones – White Pony
Metallica – Metallica (black album)
Isis – Panopticon
Rosetta – A Determinism of Reality
Oceansize – Everyone into Position

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