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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


clocked out

foreign objects


cover and photo Sharka Bosakova

Clocked Out is Vanessa Tomlinson and Erik Griswold, who mesh together beautifully in sound and rhythmic nuance. Tomlinson is a wonderful percussionist, drawing upon an enormous array of things to hit and ways to hit them, and Griswold is a master at preparing the piano and then playing what he has prepared. Foreign Objects is their latest CD. Twelve tracks and 46 minutes. Hand packaged in a cardboard sleeve with a little collage by Sharka Bosakova on the front, each is numbered as something-or-other out of 500.

There are a couple of tracks using the melodica, a theme instrument of Erik Griswold's that sounds like a cross between an asthmatic wheeze and the plastic saxophone that gets broken by the end of Xmas day. I'm not a big fan of the melodica but the tracks grow on me—the chordal pulse of Paniculata bringing back nostalgic childhood memories of warm days, layered curtains, a fly buzzing at the window sill.

But most of the tracks are percussive with melodic fragments. Hold Me Closer sounds like a melancholy twiddle on the piano by the last drunk at an office party, clock loudly ticking in the corner. The jerky a-sync rhythm of Stick This is a vague memory of progressive rock filtered through gamelan repetition, Chinese orchestra and Cageian piano. Toy Feldman brings out squidgy sounds and a music box scratching like a cockroach stuck behind the skirting. Like many of the tracks on the CD there is nostalgia and a certain sadness—an empty room, long held disappointment.

The longest track, at 10 minutes, is Lavendar Mist. It begins with tangled wooden rattling underneath a rapid rhythmic melody that sounds like heavily damped steel drum. Fragments come in and out—hang around for a while, check out the possibilities then go. It reminds me of watching uni-cellular organisms under the microscope as they are buffeted about into Brownian motion.

Throughout the CD, Clocked Out keeps both a sense of regular beat and its fracture, the rhythmic pulse following a wave of acceleration and collapse. There are strange overlays—Griswold might play something dark and rhythmic on piano whilst Tomlinson sounds like she is walking around in a Foley room tapping whatever feels right. This is a real strength of an excellent CD—the coherent layering of consistent and inconsistent attributes into a coherent soundfield that is both abstract and concrete. Walking in the world, leaves crunching underfoot. A stick breaks, loud and cutting through the sound of the music over the ear buds. Things you can guess, things you can't.

Greg Hooper

© Greg Hooper; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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