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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos

TRACK-BY-TRACK: DUGONG JR TAKES US THROUGH HIS DEBUT ALBUM 'GOOD TIME HOTEL'

Good Time Hotel is out now!

Image: Supplied.


Genre-bending Naarm based producer Dugong Jr has released his debut album, Good Time Hotel. To celebrate the release, the producer is taking us through the collection of songs track-by-track.

This album explores various avenues of escapism, and the adversity that has let to seeking it out in the first place. I was going through my own struggles when I wrote Good Time Hotel, and I learned pretty quickly if your way of dealing with things is by avoiding them/not dealing with them, then ultimately it’s going to come back to bite you.


At the end of the day though, it’s electronic / club music and it’s designed to make you dance. People go to the club to have fun and forget about their problems, and it kind of fits the metaphor for Good Time Hotel, it’s gonna be fun at least until Monday when you have to go back to work and deal with all your problems again.



GOOD TIME HOTEL (INTRO)

I wanted this track to really help paint a picture of a sort of calm after the storm moment. The main character has just completed a long journey, the soundscape is emotive, a bit sad, a bit triumphant? It’s a short moment to catch a breath before the next journey unfolds… 



COUP DE GRACE (FT. IJALE)

Thematically Coup De Grace is about walking a fine line of self discovery and escapism. The soundscape I designed is both haunting and hypnotic and is aimed to compliment the theme of a central character that feels like they have pushed themself to the edge, and is wondering if it’s too late to turn back.



LOUNGE LIZARD (FT. BILLY DAVIS)

A lounge lizard is semi derogatory term for a musician who spends a lot of time in clubs or lounges playing backing music. Billy Davis and myself tried to capture that sort of Vegas hotel lobby vibe with the instrumental, but obviously turned up with a club vibe. I then got IJALE to help out in creating a voice for this Lounge Lizard character, with alcoholism as a central theme where the character has started to rely on it as a sort of crutch for his performance anxieties. It’s meant to be a sort of Pt. II to Coup De Grace.



WHITE DRAGON

White Dragon is my nod to the SoundCloud era of bass music, which is kind of where I got my start in the industry. Heavily influenced by hip hop producers like J Dilla, Mad Lib and Timbaland, this track samples a live recording of Dame Nellie Melba singing Claire de lune in 1926.



BABYLON (FT. QUIET BLUE)

Thematically Babylon is a track about fading love. A feeling that someone is pulling away from you, and in reaction to that, being forced to reflect on your own identity. Culturally Babylon has been used to reference a sort of hell on earth, but in the context of this song it’s used as a metaphor for a sort of prison of your own personal anxieties.



CHANGES

The theme for Changes is about struggling through internal battles around personal identity, specifically within the context of a changing relationship. How feelings of fading love can generate a sort of forced introspection, pushing you to confront your own vulnerabilities and insecurities.



RESERVATIONS (FT. JULIA LOSTROM & KEELAN MAK)

Reservations is a track that explores this idea of falling for someone else, outside of your current relationship and the internal moral struggle that entails. Feeling like you want to act on your urges but having ‘Reservations’ about it. This track was one of the first tracks I wrote for the upcoming album, and was pivotal in coming up with the many themes surrounding Good Time Hotel



BUSHIDO (FT. YUNG SHOGUN)

Thematically Bushido is about choosing a path of escapism in the face of adversity. The track follows the story of a samurai who in a moment of self doubt turns his back on all of his responsibilities, and the shame he feels for those he has let down weighs heavily on his conscience.



GOOD TIME HOTEL HOTLINE (SKIT)

I wrote this track with my good friend Lewis Garnham. We came up with a sort of mission statement for the Good Time Hotel which was ‘A wellness retreat for those who hate wellness retreats. The vibes are high and the feelings fine, It’s a smorgasbord of temptation with a subtle suggestion of introspection. But don’t worry about all that!’. We had a lot of fun writing this and creating his character as a sort of pissed off employee working at this place that markets it as a kind of wellness utopia.



ON HOLD (INTERLUDE)

Just a pt. II to the above. It was my take on ‘on hold / infomercial’ music from the sort of late 80s / early 90s era.



PEACE & LOVE (FT. EVANGELINE)

Peace & Love is about living a sort of happy go lucky lifestyle, where everything is either all good or all bad, no in between. Devoid of thought when it comes to the consistencies of your actions. ‘It was fun while it lasted’.


I wrote the instrumental for this track with the super talented Matthew Hadley (Previously of Total Giovanni, and one of the producers of Love Tonight by Shouse).



ROOM 303

Just pure chaos, if BURN (the track after this) is about finding calm in the storm, this is the storm. The Room 303 reference is a nod to the hotel theme and the main synth used in this track the Roland TB-303.



BURN (FT. MALI JO$E)

Burn is about finding calm in the chaos. Letting yourself become a passenger in the journey rather than hellblazing your way through life, the world is burning but everything is gonna be ok, maybe? 


This might be my favourite track off Good Time Hotel. It was a privilege to work with one of the most exciting acts in hip hop at the moment in MALI JO$E on this track. He has an infectious energy about him and a real art for storytelling. I have absolute faith that MALI is on his way to becoming the face of Hip hop in Australia.



DOOM

When you’ve put so much work into something, but are slowly realising it is all going to shit, and are faced with making the hard decision whether to walk away or stay. Through both the lyrics and soundscape, DOOM aims to represent a moment of clarity amongst the chaos.



SOMETHING ABOUT U

Something About U is a song that for me captures the emotions of fleeting love. Focused in the setting of a summer romance, Something About U aims to represent the feelings of excitement, passion and freedom, and almost most importantly, the complex feelings surrounding the mutual understanding that the relationship is most likely temporary and will fade away.



Good Time Hotel is out now!



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