tim shiel

Matt Shea is a boss. He ain’t dealing with you middle men.

Probably the biggest eye-opener in the press surrounding Tim Shiel’s superb Duet iOS soundtrack was that the Australian producer completed the guts of the recordings in a little over half a day. Listening to the album back in October, it had a collection of clear themes around which the music rotated, but the level of sonic detail applied to each of the cuts hinted at a work that took weeks, not hours.

Now we have Duet Duets, Shiel taking his original progressions to a bunch of different collaborators and creating a series of new recordings. And you almost feel that it was just an excuse for the Melburnian to spend some more time with the music — to fuss and obsess over it and explore the way he didn’t or perhaps couldn’t the first time around.

The result is a higgledy-piggledy collection of cuts that stretches out in a number of engaging directions. Where the original music was a slave to its soundtrack concept, these reinterpretations take the ideas contained within each song and elaborate on them, the result a body of work wholly different but just as impressive as the first.

Stand-outs are the Friendships collaboration on “Prom Theme”, which swamps its piano with a slow, blood-pumping descent; the floor-filling “Mandy” (worked with fellow Melbourne native, Jahnne); and Duet collaborator and pianist Luke Howard’s DIY work on “Greater” — a play on the original, “Crater” — that’s as quietly moving a cut you’re likely to hear all month. It’s phenomenal stuff.

Gotye collaborator Shiel’s profile is on the rise at home, having become a presenter on recently launched public radio station, Double J. But you hope it won’t dent his artistic output — his unique take on electronic music deserves to be heard.

And if you haven’t yet played Duet (the game), get the fuck on board, bro.

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