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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE
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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Deep South Dubstep by Matthew Levinson"

Dubstep’s days are numbered. Well, the days of a room full of sweaty dudes rocking back and forth to wobble bass are numbered. Index featuring Spherix and Mark Pritchard is where the numbers were zeroed and started again. The crowd was definitely more a mix than dubstep’s standard stable of dudes bopping and sweating. It was an assortment of people who simply liked the music. Best of all, the night was sweetened by a big lack of pretension, making sure it felt like it could have been held anywhere but Sydney.

Sydney’s Civic Underground is an interesting venue. Its mix of retro décor and mental-asylum padding normally stay off my gig radar. But on this particular night all I noticed was the big sound. I’m pretty sure the Civic’s sound system did a whole bunch of good for the big bass dubstep is known for. And really, the only thing a dubstep gig needs is the biggest speakers the promoter can’t possibly afford. In fact, a dubstep gig could happily be held in the world’s biggest speaker box, sans bar, toilet and door bitch. Even if everyone involved would never be able to hear again, I’m certain they would agree it was a successful night.

I happily began to lose my hearing when Victorian import Spherix began his solid and techy set. And while I’d really like to go to a dubstep party inside a speaker box, I’m glad it wasn’t this night. Not because I would have lost my hearing by the end of Spherix’s set, but because I needed to hear the incredible live set played by local guy Westernsynthetics. Layer after layer, his music couldn’t stop moving, it kept growing and morphing and doing all those things that make your body jam out of control. Some call it dancing. I like to call it awesome.

Overall the evening made me, and a room full of people who were appreciating it, lose their hearing while at the same time generating a whole, whole lot of awesome. - In The Mix

"Western Synthetics - Engine No. 999"

Engine No. 999 is the debut 12” release from label lynchpin Rhyece O’ Neill aka Western Synthetics, on his own Sub Continental Dub imprint. As per the label’s stated intent, this release showcases a distinctly experimental lean – a noble direction given the increasingly formulaic nature of dubstep in recent times.

In spite of this, the lead track is a lumbering half-step groover with melodic touches that is perhaps not quite as experimental as one might expect. A multitude of samples and skewed vocal snippets liven things up throughout the track, but one suspects that Engine No. 999’s subtleties might have benefited from not having to share a side of vinyl with a second track.

Contumacious In Kind is billed as a leftfield techno infused experiment, of which there are plenty surfacing in the dubstep soundscape at the moment. All of the elements are there – skipping hi-hats, tumbling sub-bass and quirky effects, but ultimately this piece fails to distinguish itself from the work of other high-profile artists operating on this tangent recently. Nevertheless, the meditative intent of this track creeps upon the listener slowly, underlining an emphasis on repeat listenability over cheap dancefloor hooks. One for the stay-at-home crew.

Strangely the B-side gets the 45rpm treatment on this release, a spot traditionally reserved for the lead cut. 80808 is a guitar-led trip with 4/4 kick drums to propel the groove, Western Synthetics strikes a neat balance between dancefloor dynamics and introspective headspace. The melding of guitars and electronica can at times appear contrived but O’Neill’s restraint makes for an elegant pairing of mellow strumming and basswise science – a combination that will undoubtedly sound distinct when dropped in most dubstep sets. Of the three tracks on offer here, it is 80808 that makes the lasting impression by virtue of it’s judicious sampling of real instrumentation.

In all, a mixed package from a homegrown label that continues to show promise. It is with piqued curiosity that we await new material from the only label currently pushing Australian dubstep talent. Big up. - In The Mix

"Westernsynthetics At Outlook Festival 2011"

“Westernsynthetics has been one of the most prominent artists flying the dubstep flag in Australia for some time now.” – Resident Advisor

“It is clear his sound is among the country’s most original” – Cyclic Defrost

Westernsynthetics’ debut album “May Day Radio” displays “sophisticated high-technology electronica to more soulful traditional style dub, carried throughout by powerful, animated drones and drifts,” says BMP Magazine (South Africa). Fusing his unique blend of acid, dub, techno and electronic psychedelia, Westernsynthetics draws from a vast pallet of soundscapes and live instrumentation as well as subversive imagery projected through his lyrics. Slickly produced and emotionally gripping, Westernsynthetics provides his own brooding insight into the daily struggles of capitalist society. Released on Sub Continental Dub and distributed internationally by renowned UK imprint Cargo Records.

A regular performer at Australian dubstep nights Westernsynthetics has supported heavyweights Distance, Scuba, Caspa, Skream, Benga, Cotti, 2562, Gravious, Tes La Rok, Spherix, Emalkay and Deadbeat. Festival performances include Rainbow Serpent and Peats Ridge Festival.

In 2009 Westernsynthetics was nomination for ‘Best Instrumental Composition’ category in the Australian Songwriters Association Awards for his debut 12” LP Engine No. 999.

Westernsynthetics is a one man dubstep revolution, bringing local Australian productions to Outlook. - Outlook Festival

"Westernsynthetics Interview By Matthew Levinson"

Rhyece O’Neill is an intense young man. A polemical folk singer, a producer of bass-heavy dance music, a protester, and a digital media worker for a major record label. He’s unlike anyone else in Australia’s dubstep landscape.

Growing up in the small farming community of Yarrawonga on the Murray River in Northeast Victoria – “Yorta Yorta country” – O’Neill says life was mostly great.

He played Aussie Rules football at state level for Victoria, and then New South Wales after moving across the border to Mulwala, before starting a punk band in year seven (Germ Warfare) that “eventually overtook the footy.”

The son of a “Dylan tragic,” O’Neill was raised on a diet of Pink Floyd, the Doors, Zappa and Beefheart. “Dad’s LP collection had a pretty huge influence on me,” he says.

“My earliest musical memory is lying awake at night listening to Bob Dylan’s Desire. I memorised the lyrics to the whole album. Songs like ‘Hurricane’, ‘Sara’, ‘Isis’ and ‘Black Coffee Blues’ are still amongst my all time favourites.

“Not long after that I discovered the Doors and Hendrix. Hendrix’s guitar solos gave me goose bumps every time, and still do,” he laughs. He started on drums, but a shortage of singers in the area propelled him to the microphone stand.

O’Neill escaped the tiny Sacred Heart Catholic College when his family moved to Wangaratta, and wound up at the 10-times larger local high school. Local band Double Cross asked him to join and – aged around 14 or 15 – they quickly achieved a modicum of success. They played Festival Hall, the Rockalonga Festival with Jebediah and Dallas Crane, and even wound up on the Channel V music bus. But they weren’t ready to play the game.

“We were very political and angry young men – we were vocal against the refugee detention centres and a few times I came into conflict with promoters and security for being too ‘aggressive’ on stage.”

The rest of the band had a big influence on his thinking, especially in terms of politics, introducing him to Marx and Lenin. With the angry idealism of the young, his scatterfire critique took in Liberals and Labor, big money, and so on.

“We were teenagers, living in the bush, surrounded by racism and homophobia. Punk rock gave us a way to express our disgust with all of that.

“I think we are up on the wall at Wang’ High, which is kind of weird because I had lots of run-ins with the principal,” he says. Being a Wang’ High black sheep put O’Neill in pretty good company – a 13 year-old Nick Cave was expelled from the school for trying to pull down a 16 year-old girl’s pants.

By year 11, Double Cross was “basically a funk rock band” and O’Neill was bored. Listening to psychedelic rock, reggae and dub, high school finished and he headed for Melbourne. A local DJ, Heath Myers, had an immediate influence on the nascent producer.

“I had one foot in the electro scene and the other in the drum ‘n’ bass scene,” he says. “So I tried my hand at both, but my d’n’b mates hated electro [and vice versa].” The warehouse scene captured O’Neill’s imagination, and he cut his production teeth on drum’n’bass, dub and electro.

Those three sounds make excellent raw materials for a future dubstep producer, and on relocating to Sydney in late 2005, O’Neill threw himself into the sound.

“Around the time I discovered [dubstep] I was producing a lot of dub and jungle. [I was] also busking down at Newtown train station playing Dylan and Neil Young covers to get extra cash.”

Re-christened as Westernsynthetics – “Things that are synthetic are also sometimes flimsy or vulnerable, much like global capital” – O’Neill quickly became a key member of the dubstep community, DJing and playing live at most events, and collaborating online.

“It re-ignited my enthusiasm for electronic music and sparked a rapid advancement of my skills as a producer. Having access to the production forum (dubstepforum.com) and the talented producers who hang out there took my engineering to another level.”

This kind of group dynamic – where people work together on social networks, blogging communities or message boards, sharing information and understanding – is being described as a kind of “collective evolution” by biologists. Instead of survival of the fittest, message boards like dubstepforum foster altruistic behaviour.

By sharing their dubstep production knowledge, these bedroom producers bring the whole group to a shared level of understanding – a point where all parties can critically assess one another’s sounds and advance the group’s production. O’Neill says it has been crucial to his development.

“I guess guys like Flippo [Melbourne DJ, Dave Phillips] and Farj [Sydney DJ, Garage Pressure] are my ‘producers’,” he says. “I send them new bits with the confidence they will be completely honest about what I have done. It’s a kind of ‘communal’ quality control if you like.

“I do think that there is a distinct sound coming out of this part of the world. A lot of tracks have a very South-Pacific flavour and a lot of the dubstep producers in Australia and New Zealand are doing vastly different shit from what’s coming out of London.”

The first Westernsynthetics I heard was when DJ Distance rewound O’Neill’s song, ‘New Fuse’, on his UK Rinse FM show. O’Neill sent him the 320 kbps MP3 cold, via email, and along with a handful of other prominent UK DJs, Distance caned the digital file.

Listening to the the meditative waves of tumbling percussion on ‘Revolution!’, which brings to mind El B’s work as Groove Chronicles, or the seething Asiatic pressure of ‘New Fuse’, it’s clear his sound is among the country’s most original.

“I have always considered most of what I do musically to be psychedelic in nature, a lot of it is spaced out and self indulgent, you could call it other-worldly, but when I make music sometimes I feel it’s a form of escapism.”

It’s a sound defined by the tools he can afford. “I saved for six months to get Pro Tools,” he says. “I have a Maton acoustic and an electric [guitar] and I try to use my own samples. I need a new computer, but that ain’t going to happen unless I go into debt.”

O’Neill collaborates prolifically, generally online, producing tracks with JD Bigfoot (‘Burnin’ Remould’ – “a real homage to King Tubby in the dubstep style” – and a favourite on Rinse FM and Sub FM), and with Funk Ethics and Dynamix (all from Newcastle, UK).

“The thing I’m most excited about at the moment is my collaboration with Farj,” he says of working with the veteran garage and dubstep DJ. Amen break filled, skank-out summer dance floor business is the way O’Neill describes it, laughing as he says that Farj could be the Rick Rubin of dubstep.

Dubstep has progressed at an unusually fast pace from people making music influenced by a wide range of sounds to people making music influenced by dubstep.

“It’s evolving,” he says, “some say evolving to the point of stagnation. Some people are influenced by a wide range of styles – you can hear it – and some are influenced mostly by dubstep. This is inevitable.

“I am interested in dubstep because there is a lot of scope for experimentation. I draw on all my influences when making this music. For example, I was listening to Bob Dylan’s ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ the other day and it inspired me to pick up the guitar and write a kind of shuffle/dubby tune. Don’t ask me why…”

As well as busking, O’Neill plays at folk festivals – he has another catalogue of folk/blues songs, for example, the song ‘Yorta Yorta’ about the Supreme Court dismissing the community’s native title claim.

“With my guitar-based stuff I get to sing and express myself lyrically. I don’t really fancy myself as an MC, but I enjoy doing the occasional spoken word with dubstep.

“Around 2002 and 2003 and especially when the war in Iraq broke out I was in a weird place. But out of that came books of poetry, most of which has not seen the light of day. I aim to pull the good bits out and do some spoken word with my dubstep productions.”

Dubstep is often described as “post-apocalyptic” or “dystopian,” but although the mood of O’Neill’s recordings is often dark, he is loathe to draw the bow too far. “It’s a collage of sound reflecting my disposition at the time I was making it,” he says, “not a concept album to paint an abstract vision of the future. It reflects the ‘current climate’ or material conditions that influence their development at the time of production.”

Last time I caught up with O’Neill was days before the federal election. Since then, of course, there has been a change of government in Australia. O’Neill’s latest recordings, such as the loping dub ‘Engine no 999' circulated via Myspace and message board connections, hint at a newfound optimism. But any suggestion it’s connected to the change of government is quickly squashed.

He’s fiercely critical of the new prime minister’s approach to East Timor, Afghanistan, indigenous Australians, privatisation of electrical utilities and a handful of other topics, and of what he sees as US and Australian imperialism.

“Am I optimistic?” he asks. “Yes, because there is visible resistance to Rudd’s policies. This week I attended an Aboriginal Rights Council rally for the opening of parliament to protest the invasion of Northern Territory aboriginal communities.

“I heard story after story from elders and young aboriginal people from the NT speaking of the disgusting racist conditions they currently endure. One aboriginal speaker spoke of the ID cards they are forced to use – an aboriginal woman yelled from the crowd: ‘The dog tags!’

“Basic services including stores and schools that the local people have built and maintained have been closed and requisitioned by the government. The state has taken possession of the land. It is effectively a state of martial law for blacks only. The military and cops are everywhere.

“The formal apology is a welcome gesture, but that’s all it is from Rudd: a gesture with no substance. He is offering no compensation for the stolen generations and I say generations because as this intervention continues the genocide continues. Future generations of the indigenous peoples of this land will feel the long term effects of the racist land grab currently occurring in the NT and in five years we will need to apologise again.

“I’m not under any illusions that my music can do anything to actually change the world. It’s just that I can’t bring myself to write crappy love songs, so just about everything I write has a political message.”

In any case, music is just a side project to the main game: helping “build a revolutionary organisation around Marxist politics that can base its roots in the working class.” A Socialist Alternative member, he tries to convince his workmates to join the union, works on anti-war stalls and builds/attends rallies. “I guess that rubs off,” he says, “when you constantly agitate politically on the side of the working class this can influence how you approach music and how people perceive it, regardless of the political content within the song itself.”

“If people listen to propaganda I communicate then this can alert people to where I’m at. But music is not something that can have a fundamental impact on changing the world. A song can’t go on strike or defeat fascism. I don’t harbour any illusions that my music can challenge capitalism and awaken the masses.

“To think I can fundamentally challenge poverty through writing a sick beat or even putting on a fundraiser gig would be elitist. However, this doesn’t prevent me from participating in fundraising events or supporting causes of the oppressed. All I’m saying is that fundamental change can only come about through the revolutionary action of workers challenging capital. John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ didn’t spark the anti-war movement in the ‘60s, rather the song was written in response to it.”

Like I said, not your average dubstep music maker. - Cyclic Defrost

"Westernsynthetics - May Day Radio (Sub Continental Dub)"

Creating an album such as this is only possible with a diverse and dynamic range of musical experiences and influences. As an artist, Westernsynthetics certainly displays clear evidence of this with his latest work. Hailing from Canberra, Australia, Rhyece O’ Neill has performed live music in a variety of styles including punk, stoner rock and psychedelic dub as well as being exposed to a good dose of electronic music such as techno, dub and acid. Since then Westernsynthetics has performed alongside some truly great exponents of both dub and dub-step at major festivals worldwide. May Day Radio takes you on a journey from sophisticated high-technology electronica to more soulful traditional style dub carried throughout by powerful and animated drones and drifts. The album brims with an intelligent sensibility brought about through its use of vocals swimming effortlessly minimalist melodic and rhythmic underscore. This one yearns for the poolside on a summer afternoon so skin up and savour the flavour. - BPM Magazine

"Interview & Exclusive Mix"

Interview and exclusive mix - Symbiosis

"Dub Against The Machine"


Producer, DJ, booking agent, marketing department – there aren’t enough hours in the day for Sub Continental Dub label head Westernsynthetics. And taking time out to discuss his astonishing debut album May Day Radio en route to a worker’s rights rally, you can add activist to the top of the list.

Rhyece O’Neill’s fiercely held political convictions permeate each of the record’s ten tracks. But in largely refusing to rely on lyrical aid, communicating them necessitated careful consideration of far more than just his sonic approach. “It was very difficult,” he admits. “There’s a mission statement on the album – it’s dedicated to worker’s struggle and internationalism, so I have to try and convey that in the way I present myself, through the artwork, the song titles, which aren’t just plucked from thin air; they’re reflective of a political situation I was involved with at the time of writing. But when you’re not sitting down with a guitar, it’s difficult. Obviously it was easier for Dylan to say what he wanted to say than it is for a dubstep or techno producer.”

One of the few tracks to incorporate lyrics, The Machine was a natural candidate for lead single. With a haunting vocal courtesy of Charles Smith, it’s a brooding yet melodic meditation on urban alienation in a capitalist jungle. For a producer who confesses to having no hard and fast approach to music making, it’s appropriate that the track came to fruition via a decidedly random turn of events.

“I wrote that track with a specific vocalist in mind, but that collaboration didn’t eventuate. And my housemate, who I was in a band with at the time, was sitting out on the balcony having a few drinks and I could hear him through the window humming this melody. So I called him in and asked him to sing it, then the next week I wrote the lyrics and developed the song around this one little melody line he’d written, stretched it out into a verse, and developed it into a chorus,” O’Neill recalls. “I gave it to him to work on and he spent a few weeks just demoing it, cutting it up and getting it right. Then one night I came up with a six-pack of beers and set up this really nice microphone with a pre-amp in the hallway, put some candles on and said sing, and he did it in about three takes.”

Another key ingredient of The Machine’s make-up is Mario Savio, a key figure in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, whose famous 1964 “put your bodies upon the gears” speech O’Neill sampled for the track’s rousing call to arms. “The first time I heard that it was unbelievable,” he remembers. “Any human being that hears that and has some remanence of sanity and empathy for the human race, and the Earth as we know it can’t help but be incredibly moved.” In seeking further material to get his message across, O’Neill added an old AM radio to his set-up and devoted time to scouring the airwaves for inspiration. “I plugged it into my sound card, and would just go through the bands listening to what people had to say. I found some pretty interesting samples from various political figures that happened to catch out their opportunism, and I’d try and use that in the music.”

A political bent isn’t the only thing setting May Day Radio apart from the pack. Incorporating psychedelic techno and ambient electronica, it’s destined to challenge preconceptions of what a dubstep record should be, and indeed what people may consider to be the genre’s parameters. But as one of the first producers on the Australian dubstep scene when the term barely existed, Westernsynthetics is certainly as qualified as any to comment on its limitations, or lack thereof.

“It was pretty raw when we started, because we didn’t really know what we were doing, but that was the thrill. There was really only the Southern Steppa guys who I was living with, Scott Brown, a few DJs around the country and only three or four producers – Spherix, Flippo and a couple of others. But we had the internet, we were listening to tracks and getting inspired by them, and also by other sounds. Basically we started making bass music around the tempo of 140 and I guess that’s when people started calling us dubstep producers, but we’d all come from different backgrounds. For me the exciting thing about what’s described as dubstep is that it isn’t just one thing: it’s a symbiotic relationship that’s deeply rooted in history, Jamaican sound system culture, ‘90s techno, breakbast, jungle, psychedelic rock – the culmination of all these diverse sounds, and that’s why it’s still so appealing to me.”

Though O’Neill confesses that May Day Radio’s contents weren’t originally intended to form an album, the final result is a cohesive, deeply ambitious four-year attempt to marry his music and worldview. “I guess the catalyst was my discovery of dubstep, and the album is a culmination, from 2006 to now, to materialise an aesthetic,” he explains. “It’s difficult to verbalise exactly what that is, but some of the artistic things are psychedelia, experimental drone kinda sounds, but also with a political emphasis – the album is my attempt to achieve that aesthetic. Whether I have will be judged by history I guess.” - Summer Festival Guide 2011

"Westernsynthetics - May Day Radio"

Dubstep in Australia has gone off on a tangent. Like any culture that spreads beyond its origin, pockets develop differently from region-to-region. Berlin, for instance, has applied dubstep to techno's aesthetic, while US producers have further amplified the genre's emphasis on bass. In Australia, by and large, dubstep has been merged with hip-hop's beat-driven sensibilities. The country, however, has always had a strong dub pedigree. The ever-present "hippie factor"—helped in no small part by each urban centre's relative proximity to bushland so often utilized for weekend-long raves—has meant that a steady stream of bass music, dub and reggae, along with instrumental hip-hop, is steadily fed into the country via unorthodox channels, even in these "post-drum & bass" times.

Enter Westernsynthetics and May Day Radio. The Sydney-based producer, real name Rhyece O'Neill, is a beat head. Like the majority of Australia's self-described dubstep producers, it seems as though a musical diet of techno and hip-hop has led to a beats-over-bass approach. That's not to say he doesn't make dubstep, though: his debut album is thick with it. Situated two tracks in, "Workers Dub" is the album's token wobbler, five minutes stripped back to a simple bass and kick drum combination. "The Machine," which features Charles Smith on vocals, is O'Neill's nod to melodic accessibility, which he pulls off with a subtle inclusion of politically charged reggae.

But some current trends do make their way into the May Day Radio soundscape. "Apartheid Downunder" takes the dub techno route, working with a straight 4/4 signature and heavily mechanized samples. Album opener "90909" does the same, employing a shifting drum loop that weaves between analogue synth stabs and atmospheric vocals.

The best parts, though, are neither dubstep nor techno. The last couple of years have seen O'Neill fare just as well producing downtempo hip-hop, with a sound remniscent of the Brainfeeder collective. While it makes a rather limited showing in May Day Radio, on "Lost & Confused (LSDMT)" and the maximalist "80808" specifically, they stand as the album's highlights. Years of techno listening have granted O'Neill exquisite programming skills, which shine through in the aforementioned beat-centered tracks. It's just a shame there aren't more of them showcased on this LP. - Resident Advisor

"Westernsynthetics Preps May Day Radio"

Sydney-based producer Westernsynthetics will release his debut LP, May Day Radio, via Sub Continental Dub next month.

O'Neill has been one of the most prominent artists flying the dubstep flag in Australia for some time now. Over the years, he's become a regular DJ fixture on the Sydney broken beat circuit, and is responsible for founding the city's foremost dub label, Sub Continental Dub. For his debut full-length, though, he's ventured into techno territory. The sounds on the album range from the more traditional dubstep sounds of the bass-heavy "Workers Dub" to the mechanised techno of "Apartheid Downunder". As you may gather from the LP's title and tracklist, the album is thick with socio-political references, and subsequently O'Neill has called upon a few vocalists to help him get his messages across, including U.S.-based MC Werd2Jah.

01. 90909
02. Workers Dub feat. Werd2Jah
03. The Machine feat. Charles Smith
04. Apartheid Downunder
05. Engine no. 999
06. Letter to Rosa (Athens is Burning!)
07. Lost & Confused (LSDMT)
08. Dance of the Philistines
09. 80808
10. 101010

Sub Continental Dub will release May Day Radio on October 10th, 2010. - Resident Advisor

"Win Tickets To Outlook Festival"

www.mixmag.net/2011/03/15/win-trip-to-outlook-festival-croatia/ - MixMag

"Westernsynthetics To Play Outlook Festival 2011"

http://www.pulseradio.net/#!/articles/2011/03/westernsynthetics-to-play-outlook-festival - Pulse Radio

"The Machine (single) Feedback"

Simon Garcia – Larakki/Composite/Dieb Audio

“Fresh sounds - organic and surreal. Top work.”

“Westernsynthetics can do no wrong. It's the A-side for me.”
Matt Unicomb – Resident Advisor

“Good production guys. Good deep sound.”

“The Machine is so good!”
Kiki – DJ/Producer/Remixer

“I like The Machine, lovely vocal and workers dub. Lets see how I can integrate these in my sets.”
Peter Horrevorts - Kanzleramt/Gem/Global Underground

“My favourite track is "90909" which has this dark Ben Frost-kinda feeling in it.”
Iron Curtis

“90909 has the flavour missing from much Australian broken-beat product. Sweet creamy scrub-step!”
Deepchild - Trapez/Resopal Schallware

“There's some seriously crisp production at play here across each of the tracks. 'The Machine' references current trends in broken beat with a neat twist but I do get into '90909' most of all thanks to that epic build. Lush stuff.”
Daniel Sanders - Street Press Australia

“I Love it! Good stuff! Support! 5/5.”
Daniel Half

“The Machine is nice!”
Tobias Koch - Radio Fritz

“Big up the Synthethics every time! Feeling The Machine, 90909 is very cool also.”

“The Machine is pretty dope.”
Logan Baker - Last Minute Events

“Nice tunes. Cool samples. Will support!”
Elie Eidelman - Sweatlodge Radio/Jack Off

“This release has a really good atmosphere, nice vocals and sending me out of space. Good job. I'll play it at my sets.”

“Holy crap! Normally not a sound I'm into but the emotion of The Machine is captivating. Top marks.”
George Sadlik - www.junkbeats.com

“Nice, more chill out than bangers. I like it!”

“OMG! Fantastic collection! My favourite is The Machine, amazing feeling, so close to Peter Gabriel! I must play it in my radio show next Thursday! Big Up!”
Myclick - Techno.cz/Radio 1

“The Machine is my favourite here. The voice is Depeche Mode-esque and the atmosphere is mysteriously peaceful and hypnotic!”
Silky JacK - Beef Records/culpa-events.be/zenfm.be/rs1.be

“Sounds quite nice! Will give it an air.”
Feodor AllRight & Elena Mechta - AMDJS Radio Show
- Promopool Quotes

"Westernsynthetics & Sub Continental Dub Present "May Day Radio""

Pioneering South Pacific label Sub Continental Dub presents ‘May Day Radio’, the politically charged debut album from Australian producer Westernsynthetics AKA Rhyece O’Neill. Distributed by Cargo Records UK.

Fusing his unique blend of acid, dub, techno and psychedelia, Westernsynthetics draws from vast pallet of electronic soundscapes, live instrumentation as well as the subversive imagery he projects through his lyrics. With help on vocals from the softly spoken Charles Smith as well as Florida MC Werd2jah, Westernsynthetics provides his own brooding insight into the daily struggles of capitalist society.

Lead single ‘The Machine’ summons the sadness that lingers in the dark corners of the urban jungle – surviving among the madness, while also yearning to be born again. It’s a mission statement that extends across ‘May Day Radio’. Westernsynthetics summons a soundtrack of beats that is both slickly produced and emotionally gripping. Jangling guitars mesh with industrial soundscapes, there’s a sense of warmth and melody that compliments the dark beats, and the political sensibilities extend beyond mere statements or sloganeering.

“I’d like people to feel inspired both politically and artistically by the album,” says O’Neill, of the dual musical and political goals he pursued for his debut album. “I wanted to cover a range of soundscapes. I did this by using a lot of my own and other peoples sampling of old radios, streets, voices and noise.”

The result is one of those rare dance albums that carries an appeal stretching beyond the scene from where it originated. There’s every bit the polish we’ve come to expect from all of our accomplished dance producers, but it’s coupled with a beautiful sense of the organic, and a South Pacific identity that belies O’Neill’s roots. Highly meditative in its nature, the pressure builds and releases across ‘May Day Radio’, with an album that keeps on giving after many listens.

“Westernsynthetics can do no wrong.”
Resident Advisor

“Sounds dope! Really great heavy-hitting work.”
Posivision Magazine Tokyo

“There’s some seriously crisp production at play here across each of the tracks. The Machine references current trends in broken beat with a neat twist. Lush stuff.”
Street Press Australia

“It’s clear his sound is among the country’s most original.”
Cyclic Defrost - Cargo Records UK

"FBi Sunset Album Of The Week"

08.10.10: SUFJAN STEVENS The Age of Adz [Sunset] WESTERN SYNTHETICS May Day Radio - FBi



2011 – Westernsynthetics – No Holiday – EP
Released on Sub Continental Dub (SUBDUB005)
Distro. Cargo Records (UK)
iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/no-holiday/id441556811

2011 – Westernsynthetics – May Day Radio – debut album
Released on Sub Continental Dub (SUBDUBAL004)
Distro. Cargo Records (UK)
iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/may-day-radio/id389208340

2010 – Westernsynthetics remix – Shameless In Seattle: Deepchild – 12” LP
Released on Sub Continental Dub (SUBDUB003)
Distro. Straight (EU)
iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/shameless-in-seattle/id386826807

2009 – Westernsynthetics – Engine No. 999 - 12” LP
Released on Sub Continental Dub (SUBDUB002)
Distro. Z Audio
iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/engine-no-999/id386827663

2009 – Westernsynthetics Remix – Porch Dweller: Armen Firman – Digital Release
Released on Armen Firman
Distro. By MGM
iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/your-name-in-my-skin/id329844452



“Westernsynthetics has been one of the most prominent artists flying the dubstep flag in Australia for some time now” – Resident Advisor

“It is clear his sound is among the country’s most original” – Cyclic Defrost

Westernsynthetics is a passionate Producer from Sydney, Australia. His debut album May Day Radio displays “sophisticated high-technology electronica to more soulful traditional style dub, carried throughout by powerful, animated drones and drifts,” says BMP Magazine (South Africa). Westernsynthetics draws from a vast pallet of soundscapes and live instrumentation as well as subversive imagery projected through his lyrics. The May Day Radio debut album received Sunset Album Of The Week on FBi radio on release as well as spins across Australian community radio and national radio station Triple J.

Westernsynthetics’ live shows fuse his unique blend of acid, dub, techno and electronic psychedelia. A regular performer at Australian dubstep nights Westernsynthetics has supported heavyweights Distance, Scuba, Caspa, Skream, Benga, Cotti, 2562, Gravious, Tes La Rok, Spherix, Emalkay and Deadbeat. Festival performances include Rainbow Serpent and Peats Ridge Festival, Australia.

In September 2011 Westernsynthetics showcased his productions internationally, embarking on his first international tour to Europe and Croatia. This tour included a performance at world renowned Outlook Festival in Croatia 2011 to a sold out Festival crowd. Significantly, this is the first time an Australian Producer has been invited to play the Festival. Outlook has been described as "the best four days of bass music in Europe, if not the world" by Resident Advisor.

In 2009 Westernsynthetics was nomination for ‘Best Instrumental Composition’ category in the Australian Songwriters Association Awards for his debut 12” LP Engine No. 999.

Engine No. 999 and May Day Radio are released on Sub Continental Dub and distributed internationally by renowned UK imprint Cargo Records.