Australia and miscellaneous realms
A wonderfully assembled sound collage tape from this fascinating Australian artist. Rik has continued to do his work throughout the years. Check out Clinton Green’s History of the Australian underground and see more images here.
Australia’s The Stinking Badger Of Java released several tapes of curious indie rock working in an angular style that was all their own.
Rocking pretty hard out of Auckland, New Zealand, Sperm Bank 5 had a penchant for riffing and intoning punky lyrics on the one short tape I have. They also threw in some audio samples to underline their point.
Leaning to the industrial side, Eye, released a couple of tapes of hard hitting, beat oriented craziness. In your face type of stuff from Australia.
I think this was the only tape I ever received from North Africa. Rashid Al-Tariq was a keyboard player from Algeria ( I think) who dabbled in casio autochord, wedding march keyboard tones and hints of regional melody.I thought it was pretty cool to get a tape from there.
This cassette from Israel by Jospeh Copolovich veered into noise and whiteout territory. Not as brutal as some perhaps but still a hiss out. He never sent the cover he promised.
I can’t remember exactly but David Zax was an expat from Australia or maybe England and moved to Hong Kong where he recorded his iconoclastic bedroom rock with his drum machine, guitar and baritone vocals. No bass here, although he would dwell in lower regions on the guitar and probe around for awhile. This isn’t confessional singer-songwriter but more in the home taper tradition of someone like Timo, but not as bitter. He produced several tapes and one band effort by The Fuds and then disappeared.
The Bedroom Musician was from Australia and had a pleasing lo fi sound that would oft times hypnotize and float on top of casio and drum machinations. He also did a good LP that I’ve always liked. No idea what happened to him though.
Lemon Ave was a band from Australia that dabbled in post gothic offerings fronted by bass player Valerios Calocerinos. Like many outfits of this genre, their sound could be dark but not generally mystifying because of the poppier elements. Nice article at this link. He still operates his Left As In Sinister label and has a fine band now called This Gentle Flow.
The sounds of Argentine ensemble, Reynols, are truly insane. Bashing, screaming, silence, then guitars all add up to something quite unusual and different. Unique is an overused term but I am using it here, and hard. Guitarist Alan Courtis has also produced his own music and done session work for others in a more straight forward vein. This tape was actually released on my own Lonely Whistle label although it may have had release on other labels as well.
Uno X Uno was a very fine rock group from Argentina. This quartet had a solid, modern sound with Spanish language vocals. I never heard anything else by them but always enjoyed this rocking tape.
Media Manipulation mixed with a punk rock sense of fun were trademark qualities of the Australian group, Vocabularinist. They never took themselves too seriously and it showed on their tapes ( and later Cds) in a refreshing, self deprecating way. I believe this tape “Tools For An Information Age” came out in the late 90s.
Australian Thomas Bollinger had several projects going at one point. His main band, The Stinking Badge Of Java. incorporated folk rock elements and an indie sensibility. This 1994 tape by Fetishes, “Herbicide Or Pesticide”, is similar in its approach but features a slightly different line up I think. Thomas later became a dance DJ before he went solo with his all acoustic song project.
Three tapes by David Zax. At the top is “Your Very Own Alladin Cave” from 1996, next “Mexican On A Bike” from 1994, and below that, “The Fuds” from 1995, a project with guitarist, Andrew Marychurch. At the time David sent me his tapes he was living in Taipei, Taiwan. The only tapes I ever got from there. I can’t remember if he was from New Zealand or Australia but his vocals were always unique and rough and had a poetic sense of loss to them. He was a left handed guitarist whose bedroom rock had some very personal and interesting moments.
Two tapes by The Horse Falls, a project of South African artist, Jaroslav Kalac. Funeral procession organ, experimental diddling and effects take the day. Can’t find the date of release but both were from the early to mid 90s I believe.
Some tapes on the Smell The Stench label from Australia run by Leigh Julian. His label specializes in hardcore, power electronics, dark ambient and unrelenting, uncompromising noise. Dismal Kingdom is actually a European band I think with distortion, scary effected vocals, noisy guitars and a thrash sensibility. Limited to 66 copies from about 2006-7 and co-released on Xaphon.
Smell The Stench would often have two releases per tape and insert two different covers inside the plastic shell. To the left, the split of Mailbomb ( noise, hiss and power electronics) with Human Kind Of Shit ( echo, jarring and stuttering malfeasance, distorted bass and tinnitus style buzzing). Granny will probably not go for it. From mid 2000’s.
Tremolo guitar meshes with fuzzbox ocean sounds that build and develop into your nightmares recorded in 2002. I believe the band is German because of the sporadic German language vocals and name, Ahrefnesholt. Eerie, yes.
At times this tape from Israeli artist, Eli Talgam, seems like a radio play, then an avant garde experiment, then a sound collage. Released on Lord Litter’s Out Of The Blue label around 1990 I think.
Another outing by Joseph Copolovich from Israel called Herzliyya’s Boardwalk String Sextet. In actuality, an improv mix with touches of Whitehouse thrown in for good ( or bad) measure. Copolovich’s note ( still attached to the tape cover) tells of his dis-satisfaction with the tape cover and one of the pieces.
Thrashing industrial that references early Nine Inch Nails and others, Dogmachine rips it up on their 1994 cassette, “Headwound”, later released on CD.