Journalists and musicians team up to report censored news

Introducing The Uncensored Playlist

A new project by Reporters Without Borders Germany named The Uncensored Playlist aims to utilise music streaming services to spread censored news stories worldwide.

The program seeks to pair local journalists with local musicians in countries that heavily censor their news publishing, such as China, Egypt and Thailand. Musicians transcribe and morph the censored news to a song in both English and the country's native language, and subsequently release it for worldwide consumption via Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music. 



Mastodon keep it real

Brann Dailor, drummer of Atlantan titans of metal, Mastodon, is one seriously entertaining guy. From enthusing about the band’s upcoming Australian tour to the weird fortunes of the Winter Olympics, to his perplexed happiness at the Grammys, Dailor would have made an outstanding bartender; quick with a joke or to light up your smoke, as Billy sang. As we chat, he’s watching the Winter Olympics ice-skating, and his excitement is catching.

“You know, I’m from upstate New York,” he says, “Where it’s nothing but snow for ten months a year, so I really do enjoy the Winter Olympics more than the Summer.  So many weird sports that you only ever see at the Winter Olympics. Like the biathlon where they cross-country ski, and then they have to stop and shoot something and then continue skating. It’s bizarre!



Gear Rundown: Meshuggah

Celebrating 10 Years Of Their Legendary Album, ObZen

No one does metal quite like the Swedes, and no one does it better than Meshuggah. Since their inception over thirty years ago, Meshuggah have been at the forefront of pushing sonic boundaries within the realm of metal, fusing elements of prog, thrash, jazz fusion and death metal to concoct their influential sound. To some, Meshuggah could be considered the founding fathers of Djent. With the recent tenth anniversary of the Swedish outfit's metal opus obZen, we celebrated by taking a look at the gear that's powered one of the 21st century's finest polyrhythmic djent abusers: the formidable Meshuggah.






Show & Tell: Jon Deiley of Northlane

Show & Tell is where we get artists to tell us about a piece of gear that they cherish and use as a part of their live or studio setup. This month we chat to Jon Deiley, guitarist for Northlane.

What piece of equipment do you have to show us today?


The Strymon El Capistan tape delay pedal.


How did you come across this particular item?


I had bought the Strymon blueSky and got hooked instantly on the Strymon stuff. While I was looking for a new delay pedal on their website, I realised they had just announced a new delay pedal, so naturally I checked out the preview videos and I think I bought it that same day.


What is it that you like about it so much?



Show & Tell with: AJ Rebollo from Issues

Show & Tell is where we get artists to tell us about a piece of gear that they cherish and use as a part of their live or studio setup. This month we chat to AJ Rebollo, guitarist for Issues.

What piece of equipment do you have to show us today?

My Kemper profiler.


How did you come across this particular item?


Courtney Barnett shares new single and music video

To Infinity And Beyond

Courtney Barnett is back with a new music video for her latest single 'Need A Little Time'.

"'Need A Little Time' has this soaring, floating feeling to it," said video director Danny Cohen. "I decided to play on the meaning of the song, Courtney needs some time away from herself (and you)."


Tell Me How You Really Feel is Barnett's follow-up effort to her collaborative album Lotta Sea Lice with Kurt Vile, and is her second solo record since Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, which won the Australian Music Prize in 2015.


Watch Barnett head to outer space, leaving an alien civilisation behind.



Reviewed: Mad Professor Fire Red Fuzz

Dunphy Imports | | Expect To Pay: $240

Way back when, not long after the dawn of rock and roll, there lived a number of now notorious lunatics. History has since updated their collective noun to genii thanks to the popularity and longevity of their wayward yet profound sonic experimentation. Whether you call them maniacs or masterminds, the fact remains that anyone rampant enough to put a pocketknife through the speaker cone of an amp that these days we covet as a holy relic is at the very least pushing an envelope few would dare to approach. Still, where would we be without these glorious mavens? Hendrix would never have tuned in and fuzzed out; Clapton would’ve never rolled off his entire top end and basked in the sunshine of all of our love. They in turn would never have given birth to latter day torchbearers like Josh Homme et al. whose wild-eyed, fuzzy snarl gives rise for Mad Professor to manufacture the perfectly imperfect Fire Red Fuzz.

The world of fuzz is a strange and confusing one at the best of times. For many the flabby, sustaining woof of Russian Big Muffs and their descendants is the only way to melt a face. For others, busted diodes and off bias everything is the way to set the world on fire. The Fire Red Fuzz has an interesting take on this recipe, and it all boils down to what you do with the tone knob. If you want the creamy clipping sound of the seventies à la the famous Fuzz Face, then ease off on the Fuzz knob and notch in a stitch in the top end.

Hits and Misses


A super versatile, easily controllable addition to any fuzz collection




Reviewed: TC Electronic Crescendo Autoswell, Tube Pilot Overdrive, and Iron Curtain Noise Gate

Amber Technology | | Expect To Pay: $109

Imagine what the world would be like without our ability to see colour. Were the richness and fullness of all creation flattened to duotones as appears in silent movies, would we be so inclined to seek out more of it? In a way, the invention and proliferation of technicolour techniques to the film world reads as a metaphor for what I am asking. Once the full spectrum was loosed upon the unsuspecting public, the rate of change was palpable. It was as if suddenly there was a whole new way for us to describe our world to ourselves. To a point, the guitar world has a similarly poetic paradigm shift in its history, that of the invention and proliferation of the humble effects pedal. Small, sturdy, varyingly affordable and thick with every sound imaginable, pedals are the Pantone or Technicolour of the medium of sound and companies like TC Electronic are continually seeking new ways to help us describe our everything.

Buoyed by the success of some flagship models like the Flashback, Hall Of Fame, Helicon series et al, a few years ago TC decided to simultaneously expand and simplify with a barnyard full of one trick ponies. Housed in bullet proof chassis’, builds like the Rusty Fuzz or Cinders Overdrive quickly found homes on pedalboards everywhere as their purified voicings found favour with many tired of the overwhelming burden of choice. Expanding further to encompass all corners of the effects globe, their time based and modulated builds further filled out the tone rainbow.

Hits and Misses


Bullet proof, new versions of essential effects


Crescendo wasn’t as smooth or long as I’d hoped


TC Electronic announce Spectradrive combo pedal

TC's Greatest Bass Hits In One Compact Package

TC Electronic has just shared details of the Spectradrive, a brilliant combination of the TC Electronic BH800 bass head and the highly acclaimed SpectraComp, with built-in TubeDrive and SpectraComp TonePrints.

The pedal boasts a custom-built, studio-grade DI, with switches for pre/post-EQ, ground/lift and line/instrument level. The balanced DI allows direct connection to mixing consoles or recording gear. 


The TubeDrive TonePrint utility adds extra dynamics and warmth akin to a tube amp. Governed by a single control knob, expect tones ranging from a slight overdrive to heavy distortion, fuzz and beyond. The TubeDrive setting also features its own dedicated footswitch, allowing you to toggle between voicings with a single stomp.



Good Charlotte on the little things

“To be honest with you,” Good Charlotte bassist Paul Thomas says, “just getting back to your country means the world to me. We’re playing this Download Festival and I don’t know if I’m more excited about the show that we’re playing, or the bands that we’re playing with, or just being in Australia at that time of year. Download is such an iconic festival and such a blast. I will try to not drink too much, but no promises there.”

Good Charlotte are one of those bands with a few generations of fans, and Aussie audiences in particular seem to have the same affection for the lads as the band has for us. So why do Aussies click with Good Charlotte so much? Even going back to their first club tour here, there was a real buzz. “If I knew the answer to that, maybe we’d make that connection happen in every territory,” Thomas laughs. “Maybe it’s because rock music is still a driving thing in your pop culture there. It was one of the first places we went to outside of America and maybe that’s a part of it, too.