Musician, Joelistics / TZU
Joelistics’ great gift is the crafting of common language into evocative turns of phrase. As a rapper, writer, spoken word artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer he is recognised as a unique voice in the Australian music scene.
In 2002 he founded seminal alt-rap group TZU alongside Countbounce, Yeroc and Pasobionic. TZU built a solid reputation around their electric live performances and inventiveness in the studio across three albums,
Position Correction (2004), Smiling At Strangers (2005) and Millions of Moments (2012). Along the way they picked up nominations for the Australian Music Prize, J Award and APRA Award.
Joelistics’ anticipated debut album Voyager arrived in 2011. Written with just a laptop between China, Mongolia and Europe, it opened up a new lane in hip hop. The Age said “Joelistics’ love of beat poetry takes his narratives and vistas to a level as vivid as any great Australian poet.”
His solo songwriting navigates the ambiguous spaces between heated polemic, sweet serenade and psychedelic meanderings without the audience ever losing a sense of who they are listening to. It is a rare gift, and one that is flawlessly translated in to his live performances. As a musician, he has never been content to stand still and his music communicates a restless spirit, shifting seamlessly between moods, forms and genres, always in search of something intangible, but ultimately meaningful.
His new album Blue Volume is quickly winning over fans and critics alike and suggests that he’s confidently moving further from the pack. Alternately melancholic and raucous, introspective and ecstatic, it draws on ‘80s-era post punk, ‘90s grunge and golden era hip hop. At its heart the album is a celebration of our inherent flaws; a tribute to old friends,
lost love and a document of the frustration of an outcast bewildered by a deteriorating political and social landscape. It offers up an inspired glimpse into the human psyche. It is a bold and vulnerable offering and sees Joelistics in his element—sifting through the chaos to find beauty in the discord in the way that only he can.
Joel appears on the Face The Music 2014 program.