Jack Vanzet, aka Thrupence, is a music producer and visual artist based out of Melbourne, Australia. His music was first brought to my attention by my friend John from Ornament Tournaments who lives up in Nottingham. We’ve always been into ‘nice sounding’ music and Thrupence has that vibe by the bucket.
Jack was a drummer in a few bands during high school and jam, but when he got his computer and started producing he fell into his element. Presenting a dreamy concoction of trip-hop, ambient, minimal and metronomic clicking, Thrupence has built up incredible amount speed since the release of the Voyages EP back in March. Having just released an album of ‘incomplete and unrefined’ tracks in Thoughts, the project (thankfully) shows no signs of slowing down.
I’ve always been a big fan of artists like Burial, RJD2, Portishead and other bands that challenge the status quo of electronic music. When Burial released his self-titled album, it completely blew everything else in the music scene out of the water. What’s this? Dance music without quantised beats? Choked bass? Where’s the kick? Likewise, RJD2‘s almost obsessive use of archaic sampling and clever cutting and chopping has made him a legend amongst music producers (and probably heavily reviled by his record label for the sample royalties). Thrupence falls quite comfortably among these artists, with the fact that this music is all produced and sequenced on a computer making its eerily organic qualities all the more present.
Jack grew up in a house of Portishead and Massive Attack fans. It shows, brilliantly. Thrupence is music of moods and pulses. The drums never demand your ears, but they are present and regular. The bass doesn’t throb down the speakers forcing the image of some scrawny twat with a bad haircut throwing gun signs at you. You can feel every change and click in the song, and sometimes the kick will be late, sometimes the pads are a little disjointed, but the song carries on and sounds wonderful. As with Burial‘s dismissal of beat-synchronisation, the natural flux and dip of the rhythm in the songs adds a human quality to music that could otherwise sound so rigid and structured. Imagine ‘Eple’ by Röyksopp, but on Valium. There’s a bubbly, bouncy spirit to all these songs, but subdued by thick, gloopy pads and ambient drones that don’t grab you so much as lull you in.
Thoughts is a collection of (supposedly) incomplete works and rough sketches by Jack, compiled in a wonderfully presented package, all the artwork being designed (as always) by Jack as well. It was released very recently and is already ticking around the internet happily. This comes as no surprise, with the Voyages EP being downloaded over 1000 times in its first 24 hours of release. The tracks on Thoughts are more subdued, with heavy use of layered piano tracks and misleading chord sequences. The relatively short song lengths also add a level of unpredictability to the release that makes it fun to sit and roll through, track by track.
All of the releases are available at the Thrupence Bandcamp, where you can listen to them all in CD quality and then make a purchase if you want. Each of the releases is $5AUD (literally like £3), and in my opinion well worth the small amount of money. I would really recommend checking out all aspects of Jack’s work – design, musical, artistic – if only to have something to cry about when you go to bed at night amidst the realisation that you will never measure up to some people in the world. On that depressing note, enjoy!