PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT: DHEM, Finbar Stuart, Riverine & PAX
We’re back with another ‘Producer Spotlight’ segment to give props to a few names who have been helping to nurture and shape the incredible talent that can be heard right across Australia. Featured this week is Brisbane producer, DJ and artist DHEM, a multifaceted talent who has proven to be a formidable force in a scene craving production talent with an expansive set of skills across a variety of sounds. Further along, Sydney-based producers Finbar Stuart and PAX have been essential in developing plenty of standout artists within the local landscape, whilst Melbourne producer, engineer and artist Riverine simply always delivers with every project he puts his efforts into.
Brisbane-based producer, DJ and artist DHEM has a sophisticated ear for producing head-turning beats and an undeniably switched-on brain for effectively bringing together supreme talent on a track. In the span of over a year DHEM has presented himself as a powerful force in the Australian hip-hop scene, with his abilities shining across a variety of drill, trap, trap wave, electronic, rap and R&B songs alike. The energetic ‘Rollin’ (featuring Ceefoe, Kenai and 1takeocho) is a contagious trap track that represents DHEM’s ability to conjure a banger with ease, whilst ‘Heaven’ is a menacing and unapologetic rap-drill hybrid that gives listeners a breather through Miggz’s trap wave vocals. Importantly though, ‘Heaven’ gives DHEM the opportunity to thrive by meshing multiple sounds and approaches from the stacked feature list on the track. Personally, his approach to Melbourne R&B artist Ceeko’s track ‘Mental’ is a standout because of the simple yet effective impact generated by the cruisy keys and light drums that allows Ceeko to effortlessly float over the instrumental. Point is, whatever you’re looking for, DHEM can pull it off with no issue.
Producer, vocal producer, artist, songwriter, instrumentalist and mix engineer Finbar Stuart is as multifaceted as they come. A member of both the Boomchild and Sumatra collectives, Finbar is a remarkable force within the Australian scene. Blessed with a sonic agility that reflects his extensive production nous and limitless range of influences, Finbar traverses an assortment of sounds with technical ease and an unbridled love for the music. His production is notable for balancing soulful, funky and irresistible beats with subtle moments of innovation, and even if his instrumentals appear laidback, there’s no denying Finbar is drawing from all over with his wicked producer brain to establish the exact mood the artist is looking to evoke. Having collaborated with the likes of Yawdoesitall, Rissa, ANGE, Nardean, we are excited to see where Finbar takes his journey next. One thing’s for sure, his pivotal role in shaping Agung Mango’s upcoming project has us in a heightened state of anticipation.
A staple within a burgeoning Melbourne scene distinguished by boundary-pushing, genre less approaches to music-making, Riverine has continually enthralled listeners as both a producer and an artist. A passionate, optimistic and supportive figure within the Melbourne (and overarching Australian) scene, Riverine splits his time between production, engineering and developing his own independent artistry. Listeners can hear his outstanding contributions to the likes of PRAX, REYKO!, Noah Vernon and Sophiya’s works. His 2021 EP ‘Some Day Soon’ beautifully juxtaposes solemn guitar-focused introspection (‘For Now’ and ‘I Tried’) with lively electronic R&B tracks filled with fleeting, unpredictable vocal production and digitised beats. Emotionally, the EP conjures feelings of loss, frustration and acceptance through the cathartic journey Riverine takes the listener on as an artist, producer and human being. It’s a powerful project from a significantly gifted individual that is worth revisiting again and again in order to discover something new each time.
Often uncelebrated despite being an essential part in the growth of some of the most exciting up-and-comers and in some of the biggest tracks to have hit the scene over the past few years, Sydney-based producer PAX has gone about his business with precision and finesse without making a fuss. Just from listening to his multitude of imposing collaborations with dynamic Western Sydney artists like Inferno, Renzi, Shely210, Young6ix and Jazzy K, it’s evident that PAX has a natural capacity for adapting to a variety of talents, each of whom are distinguished for bringing their own distinct approach to the hip-hop and R&B scene in Australia. PAX’s clear ear for procuring an imposing banger can be heard throughout his production history, but it most assuredly stands out on the likes of Melbourne artist Sophiya’s 2020 track ‘LINGO’ and recently on Young6ix’s anthemic dedication to Mount Druitt entitled ‘ON MY BACK’. For PAX, collaboration is undoubtedly key, and he lives by this sentiment on every release he shapes.
DHEM Photo 2 by @remy_webber, Finbar Stuart Photo 1 by @ninascarlett, Riverine Photo 1 by @phillipmountfort_ / Riverine Photo 2 by @bydumar, PAX Photos by @44calmedia
Words by Matthew Badrov