PREMIERE: Foreign/National ‘Ultimate Leisure’ Mixtape
FOREIGN/NATIONAL are on a world tour! Well, not quite a headline stadium world tour (not yet anyhow), but a world tour via their new mixtape, which we are stoked to be premiering today on Purple Sneakers.
The band’s ‘Ultimate Leisure Mix’ could well be titled ‘Round the World in 80 Days’ as it ranges geographically and chronologically across a myriad of nationalities and musical eras. The mix is reflective of the Melbourne group’s own funk-jazz-rhythm style and retro-escapist sound – it’s like a snapshot, or earshot, into their own sonic mood board and influences.
Put together to help ease the hours of driving between the city and the coast where they juggle work with recording with downtime, the 43-minute playlist is an easy, floaty listen.
Mark of Foreign/National gave us a bit of a rundown of the mix:
“I’ve been heavily into the ‘Late Night Tales’ mixes for a while now and thought it would be an enjoyable exercise to make a mix in vein of that. I wanted it to be a sort of overview of whats been inspiring a lot of the new Foreign/National tracks.
I’m pretty rubbish at mixing and DJing so I thought it would be sweet to sew some of the tracks together with some field recordings I took overseas recently. The mix starts with a recording of a turkish news broadcast and ends with a Russian narration.
I also had this old F/N demo that we really had a soft spot for but figured we’d never put out on a release. So I included it in the mix as it would probably be the only way it would ever see the light of day.”
As Mark said, they’ve kept a light touch when it comes to their own music – just that one track called ‘The Man You Want Me To Be’.
Some stand out tracks from the mix include Sebastien Tellier’s ‘La Ritournelle’, whose violin strings will tug at your own heart strings, before easing into AIR’s dreamy ‘Universal Traveller’. All of the languid wanderlust comes together at the end in Chet Baker’s beautifully sorrowful trumpeting on ‘You’d Better Go Now’.
In amongst the above, we’ve got a sonic smorgasbord which includes some French 80s electronica, Swiss jazz-funk, Russian film samples, unknown Japanese clips, a smattering of Brazilian samba, bossa nova, a reggae cut from Kingston, Cuban classics, German krautrock, Tokyo chill-hop, an American flugelhornist from the 50s, and ending with a Russian field recording from Estonia.
As with all good mixtapes, the music isn’t grouped according to demographic or profile but around a carefully curated tone and theme – ‘Ultimate Leisure Mix’ is as good a theme as any, and Foreign/National have just upped the stakes in terms of showing off their extensive musical knowledge, their fine taste presented in the form of an uplifting, largely non-English language journey towards your inner zen. Ohhhhmmmmm.
Foreign/National are currently supporting fellow Melbournites City Calm Down on tour and are gearing up to play a couple of sets at Melbourne Music Week in November:
Saturday, November 14
Meat Market, North Melbourne
with Worlds End Press, Neighbourhood Youth and more
Thursday, November 19
The Toff in Town
with Dorsal Fins, I Oh You DJs and DJ Nick Brown
Words by Katie Rowley