With the release of their full-length debut, 2015’s self-titled album, the Sydney, Australia-based electronic trio The Sticks — Alon Ilsar (drums, percussion), Josh Ahearn (bass) and Daniel Pliner (keys) — quickly developed an innovative sound and approach that revolves around the AirSticks, a gestural electronic and “invisible” drum kit invented by the band’s Ilsar, who also contributes live drums.
During strict pandemic-related lockdowns last year, the trio spent their time mixing and editing music recorded on the Hawkesbury River back in 2019. And the first release from those sessions “EXMEN” is a trippy, intergalactic slow-burn, centered around Pliner’s shimmering and reverb-drenched keys, Ilson’s densely layered and textured rhythmic patterns and Ahearn’s slow-jam like groove. The song is remarkably cinematic and sounding as though it could be part of the 2001: A Space Odyssey while evoking weightlessness.
Edited by Evan McGregor, the recently released accompanying video features stock footage from the space age — from technicians, engineers and scientists looking at data, pictures and developing satellites, space phenomenon like sunspots and rockets taking off into space. It’s appropriately trippy journey into the galactic realm.
Continuing their reputation for being innovative, the band released a gestural musical iPhone app, where fans and listeners can reimagine the track through shaking and changing their phone’s orientation. It’s available on the Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/au/app/exmen/id1566489848