Track by Track is a segment where we interview artists to dig a little deeper and take us inside the tracks of their latest releases. We just caught up with Ash Briody, the bandleader of the Beegles, to unravel the experimental ventures behind each track on his project's sophomore effort Sly.
Ash Briody, the Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist and mastermind behind the Beegles, has just released his project's second full-length album, Sly via Zucchini Records. Since forming in 2012, the Beegles have evolved and taken different forms, but exists today as Briody's solo moniker. Coming out of hibernation, Briody wrote, recorded and mixed all the tracks here with the help of DIY legend Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Total Control), who mastered.
Sly is quite a departure from Everybody Outside, the Beegles' previous album from 2016, that was wide-ranging and complex. Sly ventures into a far more experimental territory, exploring self-improvisation and pushing Briody's psych and dream pop roots to a sound that's more cerebral. Ranging between minimal synth-based music, spoken-word passages and outer-limits experimentation, the mostly instrumental album is mysteriously deep and incredibly intimate, tackling some heavy topics. One of the many highlights include the bombastic "Dope," a heady exercise with its sonic palette of pulsing basslines and swirling synths, creating an architecture of odd time signatures and electronic experimentation. During the album's 35-minute runtime. Briody's hypnotic soundscapes place listeners in a reflective headspace, leaving room for the obscure sounds to express a deeper meaning.
"It was a bit like pulling up a magnifying glass to some of the more common aspects of life," Briody said in a press release. "Whether that be the environment, the city, the body, or the mind. I haven't really released any instrumental music before, and that was a big part of it for me. I wanted to rely less on lyrics and express a language so the listener could bring their own perspective to it. At its core, each song was an experiment that organically grew into a collection that became this record."
We had the pleasure in having Briody take us through Sly track by track, allowing us into his headspace and insights on the wider themes and influences surrounding the new album.
"Dog" (Ft. Big'n)
Ash Briody: "'Dog' has two very separate parts that came together in their own time. I wrote the music for this track in Collingwood, Victoria in 2016. I was experimenting with a technique I came up with where I would improvise a take on whatever instrument I was using at the time. I would then mute that instrument and try to play along by memory. This technique only works when timing an issue. The rumbling drums started. Followed by the piano and other
overdubs. The poem performed by Dan Tuite aka Big'n (Stained Daisies, El Fucko,
Flavoured Water Sticks) was written sometime after, in reaction to a dream I had. The dream
was verbatim what happened in the poem. I had been dealing with a lot of depression for a
long time and was sick of dealing with it. I'd started personifying some feelings to help
recognize aspects of them. This must have seeped into my brain."
"'Freak' was the first time Mitch Peters [founder of Side Stare Records] and I had jammed one on one. It must have been some time in 2019. We set up in a studio and played for a while. Mitch played synth. I played drums and guitar. Freak was a snippet of the night. I made some edits and mixed it up in maybe 15 minutes. I like spontaneity and feel. I think this track lends to both."
"I wrote 'Heart' while I was studying sound design at uni. I remember I had this dank garage
setup and was drinking a lot out there. Many sessions of weird shit came out! I remember I
was learning how to use a new synth and was just passing takes without looking back. I
would just keep running them back through some analogue gear till it sounded like it does.
Clapped the fuck out!"
"'Swim' was written for a sound design presentation at Sial Sound Studios in Melbourne. The original mix was a 16 channel 3D sound system. When you stood in the middle it felt like you were moving forward with the swimmer. This is obviously a stereo mix now. I find this sort of
music really calming. It escapes the homogenous mould that we sometimes get used to in
music. 'Swim' has a narrative without having to explain everything."
"'Dope' was going to go a few ways. The reason I left it lyric-less was to give the album more
continuity and ambiguity. It basically exists around that weird feeling you get when you're
tripping, and it feels like time skips. You might think you're on a cool thing but then your mid
clicks and you have to check yourself against what you think is going on. Somewhat hard to
explain, but I think the track does a good job of it! If performed live, I think it could take on quite a different form. Who knows?"
"Anxiety and identity distortions. Mick Gristle, aka Dr. Chicken Gristle, made a mix pass of this track but neither of us remember what he did. Somehow, he made it weirder!"
"This track was actually the first on the album to be written. I was learning heaps from Matt
Wilson of OK EG while we were living together. I would do these weird synth passes, and he
would teach me what the parameters were doing. I revisited the track and added samples. I
wanted to make it as dark and ominous as possible. There's a note that never resolves. Nor
"'Time' is another piece I wrote for the Sial 3D Sound Studio. The assignment was something
like 'The Urban Landscape in Five Minutes,' which, to be honest, I thought was really lame! I
still had to pass the class, so I thought I'd take the brief literally and divide a day into one
second increments. That ended up meaning I would record something in my life every 4.8
minutes to make the track five minutes. The first pass was okay, but I thought I'd record other
interesting things that happened to make the narrative more interesting. My good friend
Adam Day was with me for the morning. Amy Jones from Rat Child was with me for the
afternoon and the night features the amazing Hideous Sun Demon live at the Evelyn. I found
it hard to capture recordings after I was loaded at home, so tinnitus seemed fitting."
Sly is out now via Zucchini Records. Purchase the new album digitally here.