Thursday 25 November 2021

John Murphy: Drums, Screams, Trumpet, Guitar, Electronic FX, Songwriter, Vocals, Gong, Samples, Gamelan, Timpani, Synth...

Speaking of John Murphy, who played drums on peak era Associates records from 80-82, here he is along with with Ollie Olsen performing Rooms For The Memory.  Whirlywirld never officially released this song unfortunately. This audio is apparently taken from the desk at The Crystal Ballroom in Melbourne's beachside suburb St Kilda in 1979. This was Whirlywirld's first ever live show. Michael Hutchence would later record this tune for the film Dogs In Space (1986).

The first time Michael Hutchence collaborated with Ollie Olsen. Their musical partnership would later blossom into the Max Q project, that would also include John Murphy, a few years later. The drum programming is credited to Olsen here but there is a dude playing drums in the clip but I can't make out if it's Murphy or not.


The best incarnation of Whirlywirld recorded this EP in 1978 and disbanded before ever playing live. This line up included John Murphy, Andrew Duffield (Models), Dean Richards (Equal Local, Hot Half Hour), Simon Smith  and Ollie Olsen


Signals was co-written by Murphy & Olsen and appeared on the flipside of the Whirlywirld EP which was recorded in 1978 but released in 1979. Wicked bleak minimal electronics.

John Murphy formed this noisey Melbourne group in 1985. They are a little known obscurity of a subterranean scene compared to the cult underground groups he worked with like SPK, Lustmord, Death In June, Current 93, Whitehouse, Shriekback, Nurse With Wound, Box The Jesuit, Hugo Race's True Spirit etc. God knows what Murphy's contribution is here. He was playing guitar, drums, effects and even singing by this stage. 

Murphy continues his musical partnership with Ollie Olsen with Orchestra Of Skin & Bone. Their one LP was released in 1986 and pretty much dropped all synthetics for acoustic instrumentation played with an intense hard edge. Sometimes would later be revamped by Max Q into an unlikely dance-rock tune to become a top 40 hit in Australia.

Speaking of Max Q this Todd Terry remix from 1989 of Ghost Of The Year is fucking awesome. 

Max Q was an Australian underground/overground crossover supergroup sensation. The Band consisted of John Murphy, Gus Till, Bill McDonald, Michael Sheridan, Arnie Hanna, Ollie Olsen and Michael Hutchence. Murphy is in fine form with this rhythm. If you stripped the vocals off here it would resemble a Basic Channel/Chain Reaction style of minimal tech many years before it even existed. Tuuuuune! 

This 1990 EP was improv avant-noise-metal inspired by Hendrix & Chrome apparently. It pretty fucking choice. Murphy on drums, Michael Sheridan on guitar and David Brown on Bass. They were mind-blowing live!

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