The Possé are the supergroup bringing the soul back to Sydney

In our new series Spotlight, DAVE RUBY HOWE is profiling the local electronic artists you need to know. Today, it’s Sydney collective The Possé.

Lockouts might be getting Sydney down, but one new supergroup are breathing some soul back into the city.

By their own description, The Possé are “a collective of musicians with a passion for rhythm” who together make live house music that’s vibey as it is classy. Bonded over a shared love of “70s disco drum recording techniques,” The Possé pulls its line-up from the likes of Physique, The Goods and Touch Sensitive – a pretty impressive pedigree.

“The current formation is led by Rosario on drums and production, Andre on guitar and production, with Jarrol Renaud or Michael Di Francesco on bass and Andrew Bruce or Harry Sutherland on keys,” they say out of the layout. “Everything stays fairly fluid. Most of us knew each other through working in studios and music in Sydney.”

Despite juggling a hectic tour schedule of his own, Andre explains that the influence of Michael Di Francesco – aka Mr Touch Sensitive –  is at the core of The Possé. He co-wrote one of the pieces of music that formed the blueprint for the group and despite being “a very busy dude,” his bandmates say he is “very much an important piece of of the puzzle live and in the studio.”

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That live show has already established The Possé as ones-to-watch, but selectively seeding unreleased tunes to handful of local DJs really set tongues wagging. It’s an approach to buzz-building that’s as old school as The Possé’s influences: “It wasn’t a conscious plan to begin with…we gave the tunes to DJs we knew might be into it and played any shows we could to get things off the ground,” Andre says. “When we realised it was working in our favour we just rolled with it.”

The Possé have followed through on that early momentum with their first official releases – a remix for wonderful Melbourne duo GL and their debut original, the jittery MS-DOS from their label Plastic World’s compilation, Plastic World Volume 1 (which also features contributions from Sampa The Great, Tim Shiel, and Hugo Frederick).

“With the GL remix we were trying to reference styles we heard in the original track but also keep it within our sound pallete,” Andre says of the remix. “We wanted to retain the vocals and general structure as much as we could while giving it The Possé flavour. MS-DOS is more prototype and starting point than signature, it’s something to build on and refine as time goes on. If you listen to both the tracks we generally use the same instruments – Rhodes [piano], guitar, bass, and Juno/Moog  – we try to stick to these elements to keep things consistent and playable live.”

Dave Ruby Howe is a writer, broadcaster and music director of Australia’s largest independent music discovery platform. You can find him on Twitter.