Track of the Day: Harvey Sutherland feat. Nubya Garcia “Amethyst” (2018)

Melbourne producer Harvey Sutherland today dropped his new single “Amethyst”, a jazz infused broken beat transcontinental odyssey featuring London-based saxophonist Nubya Garcia and drummer Kahlil Memphis.

“Amethyst” is another step in what is an already unpredictable career from Harvey Sutherland. Whilst the producer, DJ and funk synthesist may have made a name for himself amidst Australia’s bubbling electronic scene, and had his initial EPs championed by the likes of Gilles Peterson, Jamie xx and Pete Tong, he’s also had his fair share of unique and diverse side projects. For example, he’s recently performed an original cinematic disco suite alongside the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and worked with an eleven piece band in support of New York Boogie icon Leroy Burgess.

Sutherland’s brand of dance music is rooted in soul, disco, and funk. With “Amethyst” he can now add jazz to the list. Although, as Sutherland explains the jazz was somewhat secondary: “I wanted something that had a jazz feel and lightness that was still really informed by the London broken beat scene”. Instead, “Amethyst” is all about the ‘interplay’, and the sound of people playing together, and the ephemerality that comes with that. And, with Nubya Garcia and Kahlil Memphis, Sutherland has found himself some quality players. Garcia’s playing on this song is simply beautiful; expressive, but not oppressive. There is a deftness, and lightness of touch to her playing here too. Whilst, Memphis’ drumming is just tight and undoubtedly complex; it propels the song along, whilst also gluing the different elements together.

There’s a vibe to “Amethyst”, a sense of excitement and unpredictability to the whole thing. On the whole it’s mostly planted within a ‘jazz’ frame of reference, but at the end there’s the more overt electronic elements coming through. It’s reminiscent of the music getting put out by Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams, understandably so, and will likely to appeal to fans of the pair. Experimental and exciting, there’s plenty to love about “Amethyst”.

“Amethyst” is available to stream now. A limited edition 12-inch vinyl will be released November 9th. Sutherland will be hitting the road for two shows in November, playing Sydney and Melbourne, with special guest Pink Matter. Dates and details below. Sutherland has also been confirmed as the opener for Little Dragon at Printworks, London on November 2nd. You can find Sutherland on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Harvey Sutherland “Amethyst” Tour

Sun Nov 25th: The Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney
Fri Nov 30th: Geddes Lane Ballroom, Melbourne

Simon Clark

Simon Clark is the Books Editor at the AU review. A reader of books and admirer of songs, Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his, and his alone. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @simonjclark