It’s been too long since we heard from Workshop, which is a damn shame. The Brisbane-bred, synth-pop duo popped up in 2014 with a distinctive musical style and physical presence, which made an instant impact on many ears around the country – especially mine. Workshop put out their Luxury EP in the latter half of 2014, and then built upon early successes with plenty of live shows around Australia. Then Workshop splintered, not because of all falling out or lack of creative stimulation. It was simply to pursue other projects – changing their surroundings and chasing their passions. For the better part of 2016 there has been a sizeable gap in the scene (about as large as the oceanic divide between members Erin and Emma as the latter now lives in the Big Apple), but there was much rejoicing when Workshop dropped ‘Want Yr Mind’ on us in mid-to-late July. Along with this new track came news that Workshop would be releasing a 12” through Paradise Daily Records later in the year. Great tidings all round.
‘Want Yr Mind’ is a hypnotic foray into the variegated world Workshop inhabits – sparsely lit, but colours dazzle with intensity once illuminated. A smooth palette of subterranean sounds form the audible landscape – glittering surfaces of ruinous-but-elegant futuristic structures reflect refracted, strobe-like lightning strikes, while bass vibrations emanate from the earth. ‘Want Yr Mind’ communicates a more sinister bent than some of the songs on Luxury, but maintains the effortless groove that goes part and parcel with Workshop’s sound. The synthetic pulses and the hollow PVC-pipe percussion meshes well with the repeated mantras and lyrical mantras. This is a consummate return by Workshop, and serves to prime our ears for more – something I’ve wanted since the start.