Such a plump and pleasant plethora of recent goodies from the land Down Under have arrived in WFMU's PO box as of late that I decided it was time to dedicate a whole month's New Bin Faves post to some of 'em. Jumping first into the past: last year, a Creel Pone reissue of a University of Melbourne-bourne electronic music compilation surprised me with some vintage lab-diddlery that could easily have sat alongside your INAGRM/Princeton titles in terms of sheer alien vibe, yet names like Douglas Leedys and Chris Wyatts probably have been scoring a big zero in recognition factor with most fans of these sounds. Having checked this out, I wondered when similar compilations would appear, and sure enough Shame File Music's new Artefacts of Australian Experiemental Music comp shows off even more zonked sonic adventures of yore. As an overview it's a bit overgeneralized, but the slices of early 50's Aussie computer music, Cardew/Stockhausen-informed composition, and odd-slant improv jazz are all extremely interesting and of course very unlike much of the American/Euro music from the same era. Though geographically isolated, Australian's avant was culling heavily on a neo-dadaist vibe through the 50's and 60's especially. Robert Rooney's contribution, while steeped in free jazz, fanned his neo-dada background and collage interests and added a pretty different flair to his group works (apparently "Duo 3" was rejected for being too out there for ABC's more trad Jazz Club in 1965). And speaking of collage, Jack Ellitt's "Journey #1" (Real Audio) supposedly dates back to the 1930's (!) as cut-up accompaniment to his main vocation of experimental filmmaking.
Just when you have a good handle on the highbrow audio culture of Australia, fast forward to 2007 and the latest package from the Dual Plover Recording Company of Darlinghurst, New South Wales. We've documented label maestro Lucas Abela (aka Justice Yeldham) in depth here, but suffice it to say that anytime one of these packages arrives every couple years or so, one feels the human spirit within freeze up and start to crumple like those poor saps on Solitary 2.0. The latest (third) volume of the imprint's Rebirth of the Fool finds one amidst a sea of fleeting, bizarre audio: Wesley Willis imitations paying homage to Abela, spoken word male hustler diary pieces, two gaudy babes bubbling away at a bong talking bullshit like some kind of alternate universe Kath and Kim, Whitehouse-esque takes on Jackson 5 songs, and an extended reading of various personal atrocities from Mymiserablelife.com via sterilized TTS computer voice. In fact, an airing of this compilation within the suckers' cells on Solitary 2.0 would surely expedite assorted players' mass exodus quicker than forcing them to drink those baboon's ass/pancake/pizza milkshakes while they build dominos. Where is Jeremy Piven indeed.
Truth be told, I probably wouldn't mind being in close quarters with another Dual Plover signing, the duo called Naked On the Vague, whose full length Blood Pressure Sessions hits the spot just so with what could be (with a bit more prodding, but not much) a more gothed-up version of early Royal Trux or even the late great Sleepers. We had a CDR from one member of the group under the name Bad Tables which intrigued me; I hadn't heard NOTV's 7" but the alb indeed is a thing of dark primitive beauty. Junkshop fuzzed organ lines, chiming, brittle guitar figures all cloaked in some deep dark reverb elements and female echo chamber vox that swing wildly from urgency to wastoid-dom ("The Horse, He's Sick" Real Audio here, live You Tube clip here). From what I gather, Siltbreeze is gonna do vinyl on this one which leads us to the full length from xNoBBQx, a guitar-drum duo (though it might be fair to say the drums get played more like a guitar and the guitar gets played as drums) I believe get the two best possible reviews from the people who posted comments to their live
You Tube video. Says Homonucleus: "Wow! "Free Noise" has never been so boring...Not even the stupid hippy
knocking over his drumkit with a big stick could save this performance.
Morons." Meanwhile, Flipperrrulez contends: "you guys fucking rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! all
these people hate australians because they love black dice and dancing
and all that stuff." The seas have parted, which side are you on? Random surprise: bringing up their site, one is greeted by an audio snippet they place of WFMU's own Liz Berg backannouncing them (and questioning their staight-edgedom to boot!) I am predicting it all: Viper Room residency, Coachella slot with reunited Mission UK on the bill, Flea sit-in, etc. And they will make the world a better place.