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EP Review: Olympic Ayres ‘Leisureplex’

Words by Emma Jones - Published on September 26, 2014

Sydney duo Olympic Ayres are about to head about the country on a tour promoting their recent EP release, Leisureplex – packed with ultimate good vibes and disco jams, the electronic outfit have delivered six impossibly funky tracks that will get stuck in your head for days on end (this is from experience).

The EP centres around the theme of escapism, with lyrics yearning for changes  in scenes or thoughts. If disco is on the way back, Olympic Ayres are the poster boys for it. This new and improved version of the genre, with added indie appeal, has cemented the duo’s place in a saturated electronic scene as true individuals with a clear and unique style.

Kicking off with the fitting Take Flight, things are off to a good start! Soaring vocals, jungle drums, a groovy laidback bass; the track sets the relaxed and blissed out electronic vibes for the rest of the release. We Can Learn, with it’s actually quite inspirational lyrics, continues the funky 70’s disco style, and has some pretty unreal female vocals for the explosive crescendo of a chorus. The harmonies in the verses are on point (reminiscent of another great release this year, Jungle), and take the track to another level above just another dance track.

The vibrant and infectious grooves continue with Sunshine, which takes it down a notch into a more relaxed but nonetheless still impossibly catchy tune. “I’ve been waiting for that sunshine, that sunshiiiiiiiiiine” has been stuck in my head for about three days now. Next up is the track that began to make Olympic Ayres a recognisable name; Control. Racking up over 400,000 SoundCloud plays and hitting number one on Hype Machine, it’s a stand out track. Although they sing about not being in control here, they very much are in control of how cool the song is. With it’s falsetto that has just enough nostalgia for the current disco-revival happening at the moment, but steers clear of being a Bee Gees tribute song, and an irresistible house beat, this is the track that stands out from the rest.

My favourite track on the release, Say My Name is my fucking jam right now! I can’t stop listening to it, and don’t really want to stop. Reminiscent of Jamiroquai or even Miami Horror, the bubbling synths paired with that lush falsetto again leading into a near-euphoric chorus with an unbelievable bassline is just about one of the best things I’ve heard this year. Finishing up with the more leisurely compared to the faster paced songs preceding it, We Can’t Get Away is just as vibrant and feel-good as you’d now expect.

The thing I enjoy most about this release is you can tell it’s been well crafted, and a lot of time and effort has been put into the songs to get them just right. In an environment that is now saturated with electronic acts and producers, it seems that a lot of artists have discovered a “formula” for dancefloor fillers that will get some Triple J play. Olympic Ayres have created their own formula with Leisureplex, and show that dance tracks don’t need to be a huge banger with a bass drop that rattles your skeleton to get you moving and singing along. This is one of the best dance releases of 2014 in my opinion, and I am aching to see it recreated live!

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Part time writer/ Full time beer enthusiast

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