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sound/music CD reviews

 Da Contents H2

May 1 2013
Jon Rose

April 3 2013
zephyr quartet
a rain from the shadows

July 17 2012
the wired lab
wired open day 2009

May 22 2012
ros bandt, johannes s sistermanns

March 20 2012
new weird australia editions: thomas williams vs scissor lock, spartak
jewelz & nippon

October 25 2011
avantwhatever label collection
gulbenkoglu gorfinkel; ben byrne; alex white; ivan lysiak

May 24 2011
disintegration: mutation

May 10 2011
blip (jim denley, mike majkowksi)

listen to the weather

March 22 2011
difference engine

November 22 2010
artefacts of australian experimental music volume II 1974-1983

September 20 2010
clocked out
the wide alley

September 7 2010
clocked out
foreign objects

August 23 2010
matt chaumont

July 26 2010
sky needle
time hammer

May 10 2010
mike majkowski
ink on paper

November 6 2009
new weird australia vols 1 & 2

October 26 2009
clare cooper & chris abrahams
germ studies

July 17 2009
erdem helvacioglu
wounded breath

rice corpse
mrs rice

April 28 2009
james rushford

joel stern
objects, masks, props

January 22 2009
loren chasse
the footpath

mark cauvin

December 12 2007
the splinter orchestra

October 24 2007
artefacts of australian experimental music 1930-1973

August 28 2007
akathistos fragments


various artists produced by le tuan hung; dindy vaughan
on the wings of a butterfly: cross-cultural music by australian composers; up the creek

May 1 2006
ai yamamoto

camilla hannan
more songs about factories

found: quantity of sheep

philip brophy

rod cooper

December 1 2005
anthony pateras
mutant theatre

December 1 2005
charlie charlie & will guthrie
la respiration des saintes & building blocks

dj olive

new belief system

jodi rose & guest artists
singing bridges: vibrations/variations

lawrence english

lawrence english
ghost towns

michael j schumacher
room pieces

robin fox
backscatter dvd


the necks
mosquito/see through

tim o'dwyer
multiple repeat

guns, cars & guitars

warp: various artists
warp vision: the videos 1989-2004

zane trow
for those who hear actual voices


dj olive


Room40, 2004, RM404

At first, countless nights of sleeping through The Sinking of the Titanic by Gavin Bryars, given to me by performance company version 1.0 to inspire the making a soundscape for their performance work, A Certain Maritime Incident. At first, thoughts of deep green seas and recurring images of floating bodies. At first, trying to put aside the influence or recollection or subtle reminders. Some time later, Gail Priest sends me DJ Olive's Buoy and I'm staying in a house opposite the dark black abyss of parklands in the south side of my home town, Adelaide. Suddenly a perfect soundtrack for my return. There is an image of someone forgotten. Someone left drifting (we are all drifting), but this time really out at sea. In headphones I detect a constant walking (to where?). In headphones, that first moment of a needle hitting the record. Anticipation of further somethings and then nothing.

I'm kind of warmed by references in the sleeve notes to Melbourne and friends and old houses and borrowed floors and peopled spaces and a stranger who bring cups of tea in a mug with the name Shirley on it. Of looking through the stranger's record collection, finding the albums you'd always wanted to play, or liked the look of, like that group the Art Bears or something. Falling asleep against cat-fur covered carpet.

DJ Olive says: "this is a sleeping pill... listen to it as quietly as you possibly can." I like instructions, unexpected. Like I knew this already. And music for your movies (ok, a Pram ep reference, had to slip one in), perfect somnabulists. And echoes of images of Derek Jarman, thoughts of a Simon Fisher Turner composition. All suspension and sadness. The milky night (...sudden stars). The aloneness of Buoy, like comforting whispers, whatever. How to talk about the kind of music that, like the bouy Olive speaks of, is not an object or a marker, instead remains cloudy and nocturnal.

I'm also thinking of that song by Mick Karn/David Sylvian, Bouy - cos there's more to this than meets the eye - and romantic swells and really, what are we looking at anyway? I'm probably doing the thing I've always found uncomfortable, to describe images as analogies for sound. And writing a review you need a thesaurus for. Shit. Sound just is. This is not the sound of a night’s sleepover in an inner north Melbourne share house. This is not the sound made for an imaginary movie. This is not the sound of the sea. It isn't anything. But I know I've been here before. And I'm happy to just be here, floating. Letting someone else scan through the short waves. Reluctant but seduced by the signals sent of unknown languages. Happy listening. Boring as that might seem. You can see the changes. The rain doesn't stop, but there's a blanket there and a pile of books half read. Must be morning. Everything flows.

Jason Sweeney

© Jason Sweeney; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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