CASCINE · Roland Tings – Lights On The Headland
Rohan Newman is a Melbourne-based electronic music artist and producer, best known as the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed recording project and JOVM mainstay Roland Tings. Back in 2012, Newman caught the attention of renowned, Los Angeles-based electronic music label 100% Silk Records, who released his debut EP. Since the release of his debut EP, Newman has become one of Melbourne’s biggest names while releasing material through the aforementioned 100% Silk Records, Internasjonal and Sony Records that has has found him expanding upon and experimenting with his sound and songwriting approach.
Last year’s Salt Water was a cohesive and introspective album inspired by Newman’s 18-month stint living on the Southern coast of Victoria, Australia, surrounded by rugged coastlines and verdant rainforests. Newman’s latest Roland Tings effort, First Wave EP is slated for an August 14, 2020 release through Cascine Records. Written in isolation shortly after the Salt Water sessions, the EP’s material is a marked shift from its highly collaborative predecessor, an effort that featured live drummers and vocalists. As Newman says, First Wave signals a return to a more instinctive approach — the same ethos that guided him while he crafted some of his earliest Roland Tings work.
“It took me a long time to find a way to come back to this more solitary way of working,” Newman explains. “After my first few records, I felt like I had really exhausted all the possibilities of working by myself, which is why so much of Salt Water was about collaborating and pushing further into new sounds. I felt a lot of pressure to go beyond what I had done before, so the goal of that record was getting others involved and trying to make something that was new to me.”
Although dramatically different from Salt Water, Newman’s forthcoming effort continues to draw inspiration from his coastal surroundings. The EP’s latest single “Lights On The Headland” is centered around glistening synth arpeggios, stuttering and swirling beats, rolling bass, hot flashes of snare and a sinuous melody — and while evoking shimmering sea creatures effortlessly swimming just under the surface, the track possesses the sort of free-flowing effortless feel that reminds me of Between Two Selves-era Octo Octa.