Over the past 12 years, the Brisbane-based solo electronic act of Laura Hill, SCRAPS, has put out five online albums as well as two full length LPs. Scraps captures a perfect balance between techno and ambience, or “electronic, analogue, hypno-jog,” as Laura described her music in an email interview with us. “Its like dance music but more hypnotic.”
Brisbane’s music community is close-knit, supportive, diverse and ever-changing according to Laura, and she’s a very active part of it. She’s played in a number of other bands including Dollface, The Harpy Choir, Vomputer, and Wardenburger.
SCRAPS started playing shows in 2005. “How it started was kind of out of spite,” Laura said, “I wanted to sing about really person stuff so my ex would be embarrassed.”
Of course, since then SCRAPS has changed, matured, and developed. Her first pressed record, Electric Ocean, came out in 2014 on Fire Records. As her first time working with a label, Laura was “hyper-aware” of how her music would be perceived and shied away from the influence of the Australian community she felt so close to.
Laura is still proud of the work on Electric Ocean, but feels that her latest release TTNIK goes in a deeper and more honest direction. “I could manipulate the drum machine,” she said. “And write my own beats and trigger the synth with more variation than the old 70s drum machine used previously.”
SCRAPS now plays with a Roland SH-101 synthesizer and Roland TR- 707 drum machine for rhythm. “I use the split function on a Yamaha PS-55 to make long dense bass moods with strings over the top,” she explained about her composition process.
During performances, Laura plays everything live. “I’m focusing on making interchangeable, flexible song structures that can be played within the live context,” Laura said. “Maybe like a human live sampler.”
In her songwriting process, Laura will piece together words from books to create lyrics. On TTNIK she experimented with samples as well. “It had snippets of audio extracted from videos of people yelling out to whales, and cassette recordings of boys discussing porno mags in the 90s,” she explained. “I’m not sure exactly how its relevant, but I think its quite funny.”
Laura spends her free time with friends in her neighborhood, listening to music and having parties. “I do normal stuff like work, do my laundry, a bit of gardening,” she said.
Just as she incorporated samples into her music, Laura finds herself inspired by home videos and listening to vinyl. You can really hear this in her music. SCRAPS feels homemade, sincere, and raw - like you’re truly peering into a day in Laura’s life and brain.
RECOMMENDED BY SCRAPS:
“‘THE’ MOST UNDER RATED BAND IN OZ RIGHT NOW, REAL LIFE EMOTIONAL DEEP BEATS.
THIS PAIR ARE SO CRUCIAL TO THE MUSICAL CALIBRE OF THE UNDERGROUND SCENE HERE, WITHOUT BEING GIVEN MUCH CREDIT AT ALL. CERTAINLY THEY ARE THE MOST SOPHISTICATED AND INFLUENTIAL BAND IN BRISBANE” - LAURA