Deep disco duo The Golden Filter have arrived on the scene with an air of mystery that’s now du jour for many musical acts. From Daft Punk’s robot masks to recent YouTube conundrum Iamamiwhoami’s befuddling viral videos, it seems you’re nobody ’til nobody knows you.
But The Golden Filter’s mystique seems a little more half-assed — a cursory Wikipedia search reveals them to be Penelope Trappes and Stephen Hindman, ex-members of electro band Lismore. Their publicity photos are all soft focus wide-angle shots masking their faces, but they make no attempt at hiding their identities in concert.
And while one early radio interview was conducted with effects masking their voices, there was no such trickery when Sydney Star Observer spoke to them — leaving singer singer Trappes’ Aussie accent (she grew up in Lismore, NSW — hence the previous band name) intact.
“We’re trying to keep ourselves on the lowdown, but we’re not hiding. There’s a difference,” she insisted.
So presumably, she and Hindman are a shy pair?
“We’re actually not. It was actually more of a reaction to certain acts who we think overdo the information overload.”
And who needs to read on Twitter what The Golden Filter had for breakfast when their music more than speaks for itself?
Their debut album, Voluspa, is a shimmering neo-disco masterpiece, displaying influences from the golden age of disco — think Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer at their epic, I Feel Love-era best.
“We wanted it to be disco, but not in a way that’s been done before,” Hindman said.
Both Trappes and Hindman have arrived at their current sound from rather unlikely places — Trappes may be the first musician to emerge from the Byron Bay music scene without an acoustic guitar or dreadlocks. She admitted she felt like an odd fit growing up in coastal NSW.
“Why do you think I moved to New York!” she laughed. “Don’t get me wrong, I have fond memories of growing up there, and it’s influenced my music. If you listen to some of the lyrics you may notice it.”
Hindman, on the other hand, was born in Ohio — birthplace of both Dean Martin and Marilyn Manson, but presumably not exactly a mecca for futuristic disco lovers.
“I was listening to a lot of British music growing up. I don’t know how it reaches Ohio, but it does. That led me to New York, to meeting Penelope, and to making the music that we do.”
Was it a musical meeting of minds from the outset?
“Not at first,” Hindman said. “We were neighbours, we moved in across the street from one another. Then we met and bonded over things like movies and art, music too.”
info: Voluspa (Remote Control Records) out now.