Thursday 29 March 2012

Mutant Sounds

I have been lookin' at Mutant Sounds this week and remembering how good it is. We are so lucky to have a resource like this available to every man & his dog. I could spend the rest of my life downloading stuff from here and not go anywhere else. The cult of the new still holds sway with me though. I buy records, tapes, cds, dvds and digital downloads of new and old stuff. I always will. Mutant Sounds has introduced me to some great stuff I never knew about though, like the French Cosmic prog of Spacecraft and Archaia.

 It has also given me the chance to listen to things I've never been able to find like Smegma's Pigs For Lepers and Nino Nardini's Musique Pour Le Futur.

 This week I'm into Static Effect who I'd never heard of last week and I'm diggin' their tape (well mp3) Dead Game in Any weather. 'Fourth World gone malarial' is how they described it. How could I resist?

 I think it is the best sharity blog I've come across. I'll have to have a little think about who the runners up are. I also think, apart from their great music, part of their appeal is they only upload stuff that is no longer in print unlike many other blogs. I'm also amazed at the knowledge  they possess about the most subterranean of artists. They are giving the world a parallel history of music which really makes rockcrit consensus stale and lame. I really like the idea of these underground artists reaching all these people they never could have imagined. Particularly those who recorded and made 20 copies of a tape/record in the days before the Internet.

Monday 26 March 2012

Masters Apprentices

Elevator Driver
Masters Apprentices

This was the first single after the departure of guitarist/songwriter
Mick Bower. It's actually writen by Brian Cadd.
How about the film clip?!

The Masters Apprentices

Writing about them the other day made me dig out the reissue (on Aztec Music) of their debut album and what a bewdy! You can always edit albums these days, so there is no need to listen to the filler covers. I like their version of I Feel Fine and Dancing Girl though. Anyway it's all about Undecided, War or Hands of Time, Buried and Dead, But One Day, Hot Gully Wind, Theme For a Social Climber and She's My Girl - Classics! They really had a good thing goin' with the dual guitars, Jim's snarling vox and the raw production. Then there's the singles Livin' In a Child's Dream/Tired of Just Wandering and Elevator Driver - Also classics!. Can't say I dig Brigette but the b side is ok, Four Years After Five. It's around this time (before the recording of Elevator Driver) that their main songwriter MJ Bower lost the plot and retired from the Masters. Which ended the raw psychedelic tinged R&B phase of the group (ie. pre Glenn Wheatley). Mick Bower went into nursing I think. In 1968 Mick Bower released a further single under the name The Bucket which featured members of The Others & Blues, Rags n Hollers, I can't help thinking of you was released on Festival and then that was it. Bower's recording career was over. What could have been?? Does he have a SMILE hidden away somewhere?

Buried and Dead
Masters Apprentices

How cool is the drummer?

Sunday 25 March 2012

Clinton Walker

RE: Clinton Walker. In his book The Next Thing wrote of(f) all Alberts Productions (this would include JPY, ACDC, The Angels, Flash & The Pan etc.) "I personally reject it as refried boogie."  He must have changed his tune though because he did write a biography on Bon Scott, unless he was in it just for the money. You would, I expect, need to be somewhat engaged by the man and his music to be able to write a book about him. Anyway Alberts mustn't have forgotten the above quote because they did not want a bar of him and his book.

Friday 23 March 2012


Couldn't get into her new LP but I love her new mixtape on FACT.

dodgy 80s r&b
  One of the the best things about the interweb has to be people doin' mixtapes. There's heaps but I've found some beauties. Ariel Pink FACT 152 & Oneothrix Point Never FACT 162 were the shit, dunno if you can get 'em anymore. There is some kind of mixtape archive somewhere on the net. Oneothrix also did a good one called Needle Exchange Mix which included  Cleaners from Venus & Rush.

The best mixtapes of all for me though are from Pontone. Specifically the Spectral Cassettes Volumes 1-6. This is one of my ffavourite music discoveries on the internet. The first time I heard Dolphins Into the Future, Oneothrix, Infinity Window, Brother Raven, Spare Death Icon, Panabrite, Dylan Ettinger etc. Spectral Cassettes got me excited about electronic/ambient/soundscape music again, Volume 2 is seminal!. All Six are rippers.

 My other favourite mixtapes are from the brilliant Hauntological group (one person really) Moon Wiring Club. They have set the bar high with their Tapes. Incredibly thought out mixes which could have only come from the brain of Ian Hodgson. Which include great dialogue from dodgy old British films and spooky  music from any era as long as it's creepy.

Spectral II Glorious!

 I can't remember which came first, so there was The ASDA mix which was available at The Wire website( sexadelic eurogrooves). Then the summer vibes of Elementary Ice Cream Sunstroke Headache Mix (bringin' the bad vibes to summer). The Jayston Mix is another beauty(I cant remember where it came from). Lastly FACT had a mix at the end of last year to celebrate Clutch It Like A Gonk's release. Out of the four I can't decide which one is best. I like them just as  much as his records.


Aztec music


What a great reissue label with fabulous packaging and liner notes on each release. I'd never heard a lot of those records. I'd heard tracks by Buffalo, Kahvas Jute, Spectrum, Tamam Shud, Madder Lake etc. from the fantastic Golden Miles Comp on Raven Records.

But it took Aztec to reissue the full LPs. It made it cheap to hear Coloured Balls (I wasn't gonna fork out $100s of dollars for these 2nd hand). Buffalo's 2nd and 3rd LPs are particular faves Volcanic Rock and Only Want You For Your Body. I couldn't believe that every 2nd suburban household didn't have copies of these.

Buffalo: The original hipsters.
The cultural cringe is still in full effect in Australia. Aztec helped redress the balance a little. The X and Died Pretty reissues were great. Great stuff from the 60s as well, The Masters Apprentices and The Twilights. The 70s was their thing though and I guess the biggest revelations for me were the reissues of Tamam Shud's Goolutionites and The Real People and Kahvas Jute's Wide Open. Clinton Walker in The Next Thing pretty much wrote off everything Australia produced including AC/DC until punk arrived, how wrong he was! (didn't he end up writing a book about Bon Scott?! Fuckin twat). I was amazed at these 2 incredibly unique rock statements from early 70s Sydney, Australia. So it's a shame that Aztec has died. I thought I still had much to learn from them.

apocalyptic gold

Tuesday 20 March 2012


4 song medley video clip, like it was for a television ad.
It could only be
The one and only Axemen!

The Axemen

Speaking of The Axemen I found this last night. It's 2 of the main 3 Axemen doing a fantastic sort of concept album from 1987 and it's more Axemen magic. I didn't even know this existed. How excitement! Ariel Pink must be a fan and Royal Trux too. The Axemen's (dis)organised chaos is truly fabulous. Many lo-fi/non musicians have tried to do this in the past and totally failed. The genius of The Axemen is that it sounds awesome and effortless at the same time. They are truly talented pioneers and funny too. Legends!

Axemen side projects, solo records, Sleek Bott Gang stuff available here

Monday 19 March 2012

Haezlewood - Hellmouth 66

(XWAY 23)

This I think was the last release on Xpressway and may even be the reason the label was halted.  I was never able to track down X/Way 14 which was Sferic Experiment's Bunny Liver tape. Chris Heazlewood was a member of said band and later went on to form King Loser who I sometimes liked and sometimes didn't. This tape however is the shit! I've been avoiding writing a big piece on possibly my favourite NZ act of all time The Axemen because I can't think of how to describe them and the effect they have on me. Heazlewood is possibly influenced by them, well a lot of this tape is in similar spiritual territory anyway. The chaotic squalling psychedelic noise makes perfect sense to my brain. The guitars are mental and well the whole thing is a bit of fuzzed out dementia. If that sounds like your tea of cup track it down on the interweb. This is one of my favourite Xpressway releases ever! I might see if I can find the Bunny Liver tape and another tape I've never been able to find Ratfink (does it even exist?).

Nite Jewel

I noticed Nite Jewel's new LP reviewed in this weeks Who Magazine as the main music article, thought that was weird. Then I heard the record. She's definitely cleaned up her act and is attempting a crossover. She's lost the strange bubbling off kilter pop that covered her previous record. That twerp who does the records in Who was right, it's reminiscent of Everything but The Girl and not in a good way. No I Don't is pretty bent though and the title track is great haunted synth pop. I have only listened to it once but I don't know if I can go back. It's like when the cool girls hang up their docs and start wearing Country Road, mistaking growing up with growing bland.

 Back in 2008

Artificial Intelligence

Friday 16 March 2012

Chris Knox - Not Given Lightly

Best Song Ever!
Warning!!! Trainwreck TV!!!!
I can barely watch it, but he's a fucking trooper and he makes the best of a bad situation. If you're into schadenfreude you'll love it. This is a live clip from ABC's Recovery from the 90s. It's very strange and a bit awkward. Did this man have any luck in Australia? Toy Love his original punky band moved here got fucked over by a major record label and tanked. I reckon he must hate gettin on that plane with the the ticket that says destination Australia.

The below clip is even stranger. Someone has put some Manga film to go with the song. The original clip couldn't be found on the youtubes. Anyway it's all about the tune. Me love a lot, the song that is.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Coloured Balls - Ball Power

Glaring Omissions II

Ball Power
Coloured Balls

This is the most glaring omission of them all from that book and The Age Top 50 Australian Rock Albums! Why? Well because it should have been NO. 1! How can this record remain so overlooked? It totally baffles me. This is the rockinist rock ever from the Antipodes.  It's likely to have influenced the most rockin' Aussie bands such as ACDC, Rose Tattoo, X, Radio Birdman, The Saints etc. Not many bands have been this on in the recording studio. They were at some kind of intuitive peak during the sessions for Ball Power. Proto-punk or proto-hard rock? Who really gives a fuck! It's got all you need from a rock record-mad grooves, slashing guitar, good times, speed, existential blues, experimental bits, a fuck you attitude and great songs. I can't believe every household doesn't have a copy. This record hasn't just transcended genre but time as well ie. It still sounds grouse as opposed to some of the other music made during this era. The All Time Ausralian Rock Stone Cold Classic.

R.I.P  GOD (Lobby Loyde)

* The LP only made it to number 13 on the charts.

** Out of The Age top 50 Australian Albums Coloured Balls directly influenced at least 10 of those albums without getting their own placing (rock experts, please!).

proto what? err.... bogan!

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Bonus Geneva Jacuzzi

I believe Geneva is also playing on Friday night!

Bed Moods
Geneva Jacuzzi

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

I missed him last week in Melbourne but now there is a bonus show on Friday in Brunswick. 

It's a bewdy!

Another Bewdy!

Sunday 4 March 2012

Cheap Shots IV


These taken on August 20 2011 in the front seat of the car.
All taken with my crappy $50 phone.
I haven't done anything to them.
 All effects are in the camera.
I like 'em.

The Max Block

This was a band Brian Crook was in after Scorched Earth Policy and fuck me they are just as brilliant! They recorded just the one Self titled EP for Flying Nun in 1986. Slow burning dark post punk psychedelia. 15 minutes of  jolly urban intensity gone haywire. More girl/boy vocals and good guitaring. Also includes insidious organ (played by Maryrose Crook, Brian's wife) and crackin' rhythm section to help push things right over the edge. More Christchurch gold.  A mini masterpiece!

The Max Block - The Max Block EP (1986)

The Max Block
Psychic Discharge

The Max Block
Burn David Burn

*Mr and Mrs Crook went on to form The Renderers who are quite possibly still around.  Mr Crook also plays guitar/vox in the fabulous Terminals.

**I was over at Mess+Noise and Slazza alerted me to this compilation coming out on the reactivated Flying Nun label. It contains The Max Block, Scorched Earth Policy, The Victor Dimisich Band as well as other arcane legends like The Gordons and The Bilders. Plus the usual suspects The Chills, The Clean, Tall Dwarves etc. The Axemen however are absent once again. This would be a good guide to this sort of gear as it is compiled by an authority of the subject Mr Bruce Russell (of the band The Dead C and the head honcho of the Xpressway/Corpus Heremeticum record labels)  There is even a couple of tunes I've not heard. Bruce's track record for compilations is an exemplary one so despite being familiar with most of the material it will probably be a (un)cohesive record like the two pictured below. Lookin' forward to the vinyl.

Masterpiece Compilation!
compiled by Bruce Russell.
One of the greatest compilations ever
compiled.  Onya Bruce!

***Speaking of Flying Nun there is a 6 part documentary on Radio New Zealand which you can download on the interweb.  Just finished the third part today.  There is a little too much focus on the business side of things but otherwise some good interviews and insight into the milieu. I might even give Look Blue, Go Purple another chance.

****There was a dude in Melbourne whose name I've forgotten but he had a fanzine of his own and also wrote for Woozy in the early to mid nineties. Woozy was a load of crap really except for this guys knowledge on the NZ underground. Anyway he had me trackin down stuff like This Kind of Punishment, The Axemen, The Dead C, The Puddle, The Cake Kitchen and even non NZ stuff like This Heat. I used to wonder why there was hardly any NZ bands touring at that time. There would have been an audience for it, I guess there were no cluey promoter types around at the time. By the sounds of it from that doco, Mushroom seemed pretty clueless about the acts they got from signing a deal with Flying Nun. Even the well known Flying Nun bands rarely toured, it was weird. Xpressway stuff was all over 3PBS when I moved to Melbourne in early 91. It was the most exciting label to my ears at the time, I still love it. It lasted just 5 or 6 years then it shut up shop, perfect. There were even more underground labels I think. I have a vague recollection of a band called Muttongun who were maybe pretty good, never found their record though. 

*****I don't know if I could bring myself to listen to anything Shane Carter was involved with ever again though.