Slim Set are one of the most exciting artists in Sydney; a rapper/producer duo made up of Uncle Kal and DJ Atro, who hail from Parramatta and Auburn respectively. When I first heard their song Warrang, my immediate thought was: “Wow, this sounds like a Sydney version of Ratking”. Ratking were an alternative hip-hop group from NY who made a sizeable splash in the broader indie music scene during the first half of the 10s but didn’t seem to have much discernible influence on the genre broadly.
So it’s interesting to listen to a song and group that are so distinctly post-Ratking, not only in their production style but also in how they focus in on the city as an eco-system – concerned with the sights, the sounds and the textures. At risk of sounding like a year 9 student, Atro’s chaotic layering of warped vocal chops is exhilarating and captures the sensory chaos of the city setting Kal’s rapping about. Luckily, Atro’s production is that bit more booming, shinier and borrows as much from the sonic palette of grime as they do from Ratking, and Kal packs the raps with enough of his distinct personality and almost-cartoonish inflection for it to stand out as a delightfully unique product.
I was sold as soon as I heard Kal say ‘Dri-fits are our crown piece’ right before Kevin Stathis of Shady Nasty, fellow local favourites, comes in with a genuinely catchy hook that matches the rumble of Atro’s beat. Warrang is the most commonly used indigenous name for the area of Sydney and the song is part love-letter, part lament of the city’s decline, but we also get a glimpse of Kal’s persona: West-Syd to the core, tradie by day and geeky raver/street punk by night.
Slim Set are supporting Wiki this Friday at the Factory Floor, and you’ll never guess which group Wiki used to be in: Ratking. I am stoked for the lads and I would encourage anyone who can make it to do so, it will be one to remember. I’ll write about Wiki someday but his album ‘No Mountains In Manhattan’ was probably my favourite album of 2017.
Another cool thing about Slim Set is that they’re actually really good at describing their own music, most likely better than I am, so I’ll leave you with DJ Atro’s description of the Slim Set sound:
Our sound is fast, jittery, super frenetic and super cooked. It’s like if Travis Scott, Arca and Dizzee Rascal had a love child. It’s definitely experimental, but not dark or introspective. It’s the kind of music that you’d hear in a basement at 5am. The kind of music you’d double drop in the club for. I just want people on caps to like it. [laughs]DJ Atro
Here’s hoping there next interview will be with Dog Scraps Media Group Inc. The links above are to Warrang. For more of their music, check out their other song from last year ‘Gee up & Spray‘ and their 2018 EP ‘Feed‘.
Also this is one of the greatest album covers in the history of music, shoutout to Chris Yee (@yeetheeast).