Global Beat Australia: Imbi x Slim Set, Glass Beams, and KYE with Sampa the Great

KCRW’s Global Beat is a new series highlighting emerging artists from around the world. We’re kicking the series off with our friends in Australia by partnering with The Australian Music Alliance and the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap), a uniquely Australian organization designed to support Australian music on public radio.

KCRW DJ Raul Campos hosts along with Amrap Manager Andrew Khedoori for this week’s Aussie artist spotlights on fresh, dance floor-ready collaborations from Imbi and Slim Set, Glass Beams, and KYE with Sampa the Great. Catch up on all the artists from the series (plus bonus tracks!) with our Global Beat: Australia playlist

Imbi x Slim Set - “ Heatsink ” 

Imbi and Slim Set drop a booming collaboration that speaks directly to the urban grind in Sydney, all while being a classy production unafraid to show some guts. Photo by Shan Turner-Carroll.

Andrew Khedoori: “Slim Set make music that is unapologetically Australian in approach. It's big, it's grimy, it's raw, it's infectious. And it speaks directly to the urban grind here. “Heat Sink” is their latest. It's a collaboration with Imbi out of Sydney, who's making waves for their forward and fluid style that also always brings in affecting intimacy to anything they do, even if it's atop a booming track like this one. 

I really love the heady rush of this track. It's a very classy production, but it's not afraid to show some guts as well. That's what this young duo Slim Set do really well. They mold something rough-and-ready and take that quality towards something like a club banger. This one's really fast, really furious, but with Imbi on board there's a lot of heart.”

Glass Beams - “ Taurus

Conjuring a David Axelrod vibe out of Melbourne, Glass Beams deliver a sweeping atmosphere that is funky yet graceful, bordering on symphonic but adding kaleidoscopic twists along the way. Photo courtesy of the artist. 

“Glassbeam out of Melbourne give us another memorable instrumental number. When you take away the vocals, there's not just the one signal carrier for any song. That's what I really like about instrumentals. And that's great when you're looking to absorb a whole lot of different fields into your mix. 

Of course, this isn't uncommon around the world, but I think bands like Glass Beams are particular to Australia, because they don't really have any one solid tie to one thing. They spice up with other flavors. Everything here works as this one living breathing organism. And that's really reflective of an open-minded, all-embracing art scene in this country that celebrates the possibilities of diversity here, down to the music itself. 

I hear that sweeping kind of atmosphere from the likes of David Axelrod — very funky, but very graceful bordering on symphonic and adding kaleidoscopic twists along the way. You've got something epic here that's conjured in a matter of minutes. ‘Taurus’ made a surprise appearance on the latest DJ-Kicks mix from Jayda G. So there's some notice happening in other corners of the world as well.”

KYE - “ Gold (feat. Sampa the Great )”

Zimbabwean-born, Australian-based artist KYE collaborates with a Zambian-born, Australian-based Sampa the Great alongside producer 18YOMAN. Photo by Ira Cee.

“Zimbabwean-born singer KYE and her super sunny new single ‘Gold’ is notable for an incredible cameo from none other than Sampa the Great. This one bumps courtesy of production from 18YOMAN. He's a local producer who in the last two years has gone from just starting out to getting two tracks on a Kid Cudi album. And you can see why when you hear how crisp this is. A track like this from an artist like KYE highlights how hip-hop is leading from the front in the movement Australian music is making by way of diversity. It's just so exciting to be around.”





Raul Campos, Adam Burke