What had to be the drizzliest day on the year so far in Christchurch, a day where I had the most gruelling battle with my umbrella, I was sitting at a grotty table of a food hall. I needed an aspirin. What I got was Medictune.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tyrone Frost, one half of the dub-step duo Medictune. He is one the producers. He is an architect of the Medictune sound. And he had quite the trouble finding parking in the horrid weather. We talked away, and in our shelter the music made the dismal skies seem so very distant.
Medictune are an emerging act. They create, at its most simplistic, a brooding, grime resonance. However, in all its complexity Medictune move beyond any such generalisations.
As all good bands, Frost and second member Tim Hardie began as friends. Medictune began when Hardie was still based in Christchurch. With Hardie now in Wellington, being on two separate islands has not halted the production of their music. With help from Optimus Gryme, and despite the distance, Hardie and Frost got in sync and created their little Frankenstein’s monster of Medictune.
Why did Frost pursue music? I realised this was a superfluous question. The answer was in Frost’s eyes as they lit up when he spoke of his music. You can see that this man is doing what he loves. In retrospect, Frost points out a time when he filled in for a friend’s band as the catalyst for his budding music career. In this simple moment little did he know that this would be the pinnacle event, before the burgeoning storm Hardie and Frost are bringing to the stage.
Medictune have been described as a dubstep-grime sound. Comparisons have been drawn to the work of UK artist Burial. Frost however prefers not to be categorised.
“I want this to be something new, something different...It’s what people want it to be.”
So I, being a visual person, asked him to create a visual metaphor for their sound. Frost sketched out a scene, a cityscape...
“It’s a grimy inner-city. But in that there is triumph. It’s about rising about all of that.”
And this is apparent in their music. Medictine generate serenity in their sound that resides in amongst all the grinding, all the dust and all of the decay. And in tracks such as ‘Ethereal Quietus’ Medictune do portray a great deal. Frost feels that music is all about making a point.
“Music’s about saying something...but this isn’t necessarily through words...It’s important to have soul in your music. But each person will get out of it what they want.”
Music is subjective. It is up to each individual listener in how they decode the message.
What makes Medictune so compelling was their decision to stay based in New Zealand, despite the UK calling with record deal offers.
“It is more relevant to start in New Zealand properly.”
Medictune credit New Zealand for influencing them, so in this way the duo are giving back.
“It’s great how people get behind New Zealand music. Like with music pirating, people do it, but not to New Zealand music.”
So for now, Frost and Hardie are working hard to see this country, their home. They are planning on doing plenty of live sets in order to develop something unique with their stage presence.
Here is the most wonderful opportunity to see the flourishing of a great New Zealand act. Check them out when they play in your corner, and experience their well-crafted music. This is the best way to get your Medictune fix until a debut album, which may possibly be released late 2010/early 2011. We will have to eagerly wait and see.
And then it was back to the falling rain. Suddenly my twisted umbrella did not bother me anymore. I just smiled, and hummed to myself a Medictune.
MedicTune is a dubstep duo from Christchurch/Wellington, New Zealand, the project of Tyrone Frost and Tim Hardie. When these two first started making tunes together they would sit on a couch and chill out in front of a computer.
That was in late 2008 and since then the creative process hasn't changed at all, they still sit down together and make tunes when they get the chance. Half way through 2009 they were offered a recording contract with Dubxtent Recordings (UK) which they took as a way of furthering their sound. Since then they’ve had many offers of other releases but have decided to undertake releasing their music on two New Zealand labels. MedicTune was approached by Optimus Gryme Recordings and Bassweight Recordings and are currently working on a number of releases including digital releases, a couple of EPs, and a full length LP. They aren’t technical sound mixers or experienced producers, they just love making tunes that they think could reach people. A dubstep duo. Life into song. This is MedicTune.
Medictune artwork by Xavier Aston.