This year, Australian beatmaker Joel Ma aka Joelistics announced the beginnings of an ambitious new project that would see him switching out his previously lauded role of MC for his newly crowned title of Victoria's Best Producer in his forthcoming concept record and production project Joelistics Presents Film School. Crafting a transient world of beats, synths and their visual counterparts, Film School will bring together dance, film, animation and a sprawling soundtrack of immersive atmospherics. With the first taste, 'Yokai' out now, Joelistics is excited to delve deeper into the unfurling mystery of Film School with his next instalment 'Memory Palace', and announce the Film School online film premiere + Q&A on Thursday 3 December as part of Multicultural Arts Victoria's Mapping Melbourne program.
On 'Memory Palace', Joelistics has teamed up with Mindy Meng Wang and Francesca Mountfort of Melbourne underground cello/guzheng/synth group Garden Tiger to weave a sensual piece alluding to fear and its connection to the senses. Directed by Rhys Graham and shot during the break between lockdowns at Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa Retreat in Hepburn Victoria, the 'Memory Palace' video features MaggZ, an exciting young dancer and choreographer, Elle Shimada, a Japanese Australian performer, producer and violinist, and Yumi Umiumare who is considered Australia's leading Butoh dancer.
"During lockdown, I became obsessed with dreams and memories and the idea that they are not stored, they are recreated every time we think of them. With the video, we tried to show, in an oblique way, the fear of losing one's memories, the ever so slight shift in how we picture things when we remember them and the quietude of memories degradation" – Joelistics
Moody and angular, the roots of the Film School project go back as far as 2016 when Joelistics took a trip to his birth land of Malaysia. Whilst in Kuala Lumpur he stocked up on Canto pop records from the 70's and 80's. Over the proceeding years, he collaborated with artists such as Parvyn Singh (The Bombay Royale), Hailey Cramer (HAYCH) and others, often writing for their projects but then delving into some of the hypnotic grooves he had put aside for Film School. The result is a blend of Pan Asian psychedelia, post rock stylings and lo fi synth scapes made from the scraps of your ancestor's vocals, dusty loops and traditional Chinese and Western instruments, with an underlying urge to meditate on the anxiety of our times and the transcendence that comes from facing fear.
Catch the online premiere of Joelistics Presents Film School at this year's Mapping Melbourne festival presented by Multicultural Arts Victoria, Thursday 3 December with an intimate in-conversation between Joel Ma, his collaborators and Margot Tanjutco.