Saturday, December 4, 2010

2MBS-FM radio special on Artefacts volume 2

Radio special on Artefacts Volume II from Background Noise on 2MBS-FM - interview with myself by John Blades (of The Loop Orchestra) and several tracks. Stream the full programme here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Artefacts Vol. 2 Launch - photos and podcast

Here are some photos from Saturday night's launch.

ABC Classic FM's broadcast of the event, along with interviews with Ron Nagorcka and Shame File Music's Clinton Green, is streaming for the next few weeks here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Wire magazine web exclusive from Artefacts Vol. 2

This month The Wire magazine features an online web exclusive of a track from Artefacts Vol. 2: Kurt Volentine's "Vortex Street". Kurt Volentine was one of the numerous projects from Sydney's Ian Andrews from the early 1980s, that also included Cut With The Kitchen Knife and The Horse He's Sick.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Special programme on Artefacts Vol. 2 now online

Shame File Music's Clinton Green and Golden Fur's Sam Dunscombe were interviewed last Sunday night by Greg Wadley on 3CR's Two To The Valley programme. Those who missed it can now podcast the programme.

The whole 90 minute programme was dedicated to discussing the new double CD and playing tracks off it, and Sam also gave some insight into what Golden Fur have planned for their performance of Ron Nagorcka's Atom Bomb, due to be performed for the first time in thirty years at the Artefacts Vol. 2 launch this Saturday night.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Reviews of Artefacts Vol. 2 are starting to appear. Where they are online, I will add links here.

RealTime issue 99 (Oct-Nov 2010) - ...a conduit into a not-so-distant past...the pieces and artists that Green has selected, along with his copious liner notes, are an attempt to rectify this situation; not only for students of the era, but for anyone interested in experimental arts practices in this country and in music in general.

Mess and Noise - Artefacts Of Australian Experimental Music: Volume II truly showcases the breadth of musical practice in Australia during a little-examined period of time. It is an eye-and-ear-opener for anyone willing to listen. It is not impenetrable or difficult for those unfamiliar with the genre.

Aiding and Abetting #323 - This is easily one of the most important releases of the year.

Cyclic Defrost - Artefacts II comes across like the belligerent older brother of the NMA tapes series (rereleased by Shame File in 2006) and Chapter Music’s Can’t Stop It! compilations, albeit an older brother who is listening to Cage and The Cramps whilst reading Camus.

Launch broadcast

For those who can't make it to the launch, or want to relive the concert, it is being recorded by ABC Classic FM. Part of it will be broadcast later that evening on New Music Up Late from 10:30pm, and the rest at a later date. Tune in on the night or listen online via the website.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Artefacts Volume II radio special

Sunday 21 November from 11pm on 3CR's "Two To The Valley" will be a special programme on Artefacts Volume 2, featuring series curator Clinton Green, and Golden Fur's Sam Dunscombe talking about the upcoming launch. Tune in at 855mhz on the AM dial in Melbourne, or streaming via the 3CR website.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jon Rose and the evolution of the violin

Jon Rose has been a mainstay of experimental and improvised music in Australia since the 1970s. Artefacts Volume 2 includes two tracks that feature Rose in different improvising ensembles featuring the likes of Rik Rue and Tony Hobbs.

Rose has been prolific in his work as an improvisor, composer and explorer or new instruments, whether they be bicycle powered orchestras or the use of Australian outback fences as string instruments that are often thousands of kilometres in length. One constant point of interest throughout Rose's career has been the exploration of the violin as a new kind of instrument.

Since 1987, Rose's Palimpolin Project has been steadily developing around the concept of an interactive violin bow that incorporates electronics into violin performance. Rose will perform with the latest incarnation of the interactive bow at the Artefacts Volume 2 launch concert.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Atom Bomb

Don Campau's excellent website The Living Archive of Underground Music recently published a historical overview of cassettes in Australian underground music, written by Artefacts compiler, Clinton Green. Amongst other things, the article discusses Ron Nagorcka's tape recorder opera "Atom Bomb" as a key event in the development of tape music (where tape recorders are the primary generators of aural and/or compositional materials) not only in Australia but internationally as well. "Atom Bomb" is essentially a dialogue between performers and several domestic tape recorders, where sonic materials (vocals and keyboards) are generated during the performance, sampled, played back and resampled by the tape recorders. In composing "Atom Bomb", Nagorcka recalled a statement from Jean Charles Francois earlier in the decade to the effect that ‘all electronic music is a distortion of music’s reality’; "Atom Bomb" is essentially an exploration of this concept with cassette tapes.

First performed at the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre in 1977 by Nagorcka and Warren Burt, "Atom Bomb" will be performed for the first time in thirty years by contemporary New Music trio, Golden Fur, at the launch for Artefacts volume 2, on 27 November 2010 at the Iwaki Auditorium in Melbourne. Don't miss this one-off re-imagining of a key work from the Australian experimental music canon.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Last chance for special pre-order price

Artefacts volume II is officially available to stores from Australian distributor Fuse Music from 8 November 2010, although it may take an extra week or so for the double CD to actually hit the shelves. Nevertheless, this is the last week Shame File Music will be offering the special pre-order price of AU$30ppd for the Artefacts volume II double CD (besides at the CD launch on 27 November), so put your order in quick to take advantage of this special price. All pre-orders are being shipped this week, so you'll have your copy before it is in the shops as well.

The Artefacts Volume 1 & Volume II AU$50ppd special deal will continue to be offered for the time being.

If you've already ordered one of these, expect your discs in the mail within the next week.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Artefacts volume II media release

In 2007, Shame File Music released the landmark compilation CD Artefacts of Australian experimental music: 1930-1973, to critical acclaim. Praised variously as one of the first serious investigations into the sparse recorded history of experimental sound practice in Australia, and its historical importance is as palpable as the often exciting and exhilaratingly experimental sounds it contains, the compilation and its extensive liner notes opened Australia’s (and the world’s) ears to a vibrant history that most previously thought had never existed.

Now that story continues, with the release of Artefacts of Australian experimental music:volume II 1974-1983 double CD. Volume II documents the explosion of Australian experimental music practice from the mid 1970s; from the use of synthesisers and computers, through to the radical fringes of post-punk, and to the beginnings of industrial and dark wave. This double CD set complete with 16 page booklet features one of Warren Burt’s first compositions completed in Australia, the Loop Orchestra’s first performance, South Australian industrial noise/punk cabaret, Melbourne post-punk minimalism, mid-1970s Brisbane Dadaist noise/audio collage, early Sydney aleatoric electronica, and much more.

Artefacts volume II’s release will be marked by a special launch event in Melbourne featuring artists whose work is featured on the double CD, including:

- Jon Rose performing on violin and interactive bow
- Dark Wave/electronica pioneer Browning Mummery
- Composer, performer & instrument maker Sarah Hopkins
- And a very special performance of Ron Nagorcka’s seminal tape recorder opera “Atom Bomb” re-imagined by Melbourne New Music trio Golden Fur.


Artefacts of Australian experimental music: volume II 1974-1983 is out on Shame File Music on 8 November 2010, distributed through Fuse Music in Australia and Metamkine in Europe. Special pre-order prices and deals available at

Full track listing and audio samples.
Cover art - hi res jpg, lo res jpg and details.
Media contact, interviews, etc - Clinton Green: mob 0414589405, cdgsham AT gmail DOT com

Thursday, October 14, 2010

David Chesworth's Richter/Meinhof-Opera at the Melbourne Festival

David Chesworth has been an integral part of experimental music and related activities in Melbourne since the late 1970s, as a founding member of Essendon Airport and a director of the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre. Essendon Airport's "Do the Flowerpot" opens the second disc of Artefacts of Australian Experimental Music: volume II 1974-1983, and is taken from their very first live performance.

Chesworth continues to be an important player in Melbourne music. His Richter/Meinhof-Opera opened last night at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art as part of the Melbourne Festival. There is another performance Friday 15 October and Saturday 16 October only.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Grain of the Voice

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Federation Square, Melbourne, is hosting through four Sundays in October a retrospective of Arthur and Corinne Cantrill’s 50 years of cinema entitled Grain of the Voice; a unique opportunity to view the Cantrill’s films.

I first came to Arthur and Corinne Cantrill’s films through their soundtracks rather than their images, specifically Arthur’s early work with electronic/tape techniques, whilst researching the first volume of Artefacts, and then earlier this year when putting together Arthur’s CD Chromatic Mysteries: soundtracks 1963-2009. I subsequently discovered further the sublime manipulation of natural sound in Cantrill soundtracks that to me are a hallmark of Cantrill soundtracks, particularly in their landscape films. For me, the sound just as much as the images are parts of the landscapes these films convey.

The soundtracks for films like The Second Journey (to Uluru) and Corporeal contain subtle development of themes and motifs, almost as if they were painstakingly composed in advance. Whilst composition in some form (if not dots on paper) is no doubt a part of Arthur’s sound work, it is his choice of field recordings and their subsequent juxtaposition against other sounds and the accompanying imagery, that is one of the most extraordinary aspect of my experience of Cantrill films.

In several instances, including Meteor Crater – Gosse Bluff, the aural source materials used come from different times and locations to the images. Yet as the films screening as part of the Terra Australis programme (screening at ACMI on Sunday 17 October from 3pm) are testimony to, the Cantrills seamlessly fuse the visual and aural elements together to give us an experience of place that is alternatively impressionistic and yet steeped in the stark realism inherent Australian landscapes.

Arthur Cantrill’s sound work is featured on both volumes of Artefacts:
Volume 1 – Soundtrack for “Eikon” (1969)
Volume 2 – The Second Journey (To Uluru) excerpt (1981)

Arthur Cantrill’s Chromatic Mysteries: soundtracks 1963-2009 CD is available from Shame File Music.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Artefacts Volume II - launch concert

The release of the Artefacts of Australian experimental music: volume II 1974-1983 double CD will be celebrated with a special one-off concert in Melbourne on Saturday 27 November. Music and artists from the CD will be featured including:

- Ron Nagorcka's seminal tape recorder opera "Atom Bomb" (1977) performed by Golden Fur

- The Godfather of Australian industrial/dark wave, Browning Mummery

- Visionary composer/performer/instrument maker, Sarah Hopkins.

Saturday 27 November, 7:30pm

Tickets $20 (available on the door).

This event has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory board.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Loop Orchestra

The use of tape as a tool and technique is a common theme that emerged in Australian experimental music throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, and several examples of this are covered on Artefacts of Australian experimental music: volume ii 1974-1983, including the use of domestic tape recorders and live sampling, but one influential group deliberately harked back to the dawn of electronic music and musique concrete, adapting the use of reel-to-reel tape and loops as the sole sound source.

Co-founded in 1982 by Richard Fielding and John Blades out of their experimental radio programmes on Sydney’s 2MBS-FM, The Loop Orchestra consists exclusively of reel-to-reel tape machines playing only tape loops. Sources for these loops throughout the years have consisted of records, CDs, radio, voice and environmental recordings. Orchestra members operate the tape machines, another member operates a mixer whilst another acts as a co-ordinator (akin to the role of conductor). The video below details the Orchestra’s techniques and guiding principles.

Artefacts of Australian experimental music: volume II 1974-1983 features an excerpt from The Loop Orchestra’s very first live performance in 1982. The Orchestra remains active today with over 45 live performances and several releases behind them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pre-orders and special offers

Artefacts of Australian experimental music: volume II 1974-1983 double CD will be released in November 2010, but you can pre-order your copy now for the special price of AU$30ppd.

This price is only available for pre-orders. CDs will be shipped to you in November.

And if you missed the first part of the hidden story of Australian experimental music told in the original volume, Artefacts of Australian experimental music: 1930-1973, a special offer is now available to purchase both volume I and II for the discount price of AU$50ppd (these, too, will be shipped in November).

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Artefacts Volume II - cover preview

Here is a preview of the cover for Artefacts volume II:

The background image is from the detail of a painting by Melbourne-based artist Asher Bilu called Zone 2 (1974). As well as being an established visual artist, Bilu has also worked in experimental music throughout his career. An excerpt from a 1982 piece he realised with Duncan McGuire on a Fairlight synthesiser entitled "AMAZE" is featured on Artefacts Volume II. Two other paintings from Bilu's Zone series also feature prominently in the cover and disc art.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Track listing for Artefacts of Australian experimental music: volume II

The tracklisting for Artefacts of Australian experimental music: volume II 1974-1984 double CD will be:

Disc A
01 Warren Burt 'Nighthawk, part 3 Bittern' excerpt (1975-6)
02 Ron Nagorcka 'Atom Bomb' excerpt (1977)
03 The Loop Orchestra 'First recording, live to air, the percussion section of the Orchestra' excerpt (1983) - listen to a sample
04 Forced Audience 'Forced Audience' excerpts (1974-5)
05 Ros Bandt 'Variations II (II - flute & synthesiser)' excerpt (1974)
06 Carl Vine 'Block' excerpt (1975) - listen to a sample
07 Paul Turner 'Panels V' (1975) - listen to a sample
08 Tristram Cary 'Soft Walls' excerpt (1980)
09 Asher Bilu & Duncan McGuire 'AMAZE' excerpt (1982)
10 Browning Mummery 'Do the Eyes of the Dead Retain Pictures' (1983) - listen to sample
11 Severed Heads 'Dance' (1980)
12 Ian Hartley 'Train Je Taime' (1981)
13 Kurt Volentine 'Vortex Street' (1983) - listen to a sample

Disc B
01 Essendon Airport 'Do the Flowerpot' (1978)
02 Tsk Tsk Tsk 'Nice Noise Theme' (1979)
03 The Primitive Calculators 'I Can't Stop It' (1979)
04 Purple Vulture Shit 'Do a Shit' (1983)
05 Voigt/465 'F1' (1979) - listen to a sample
06 Signals 'Illuminator & Icebreaker' excerpt (1979) - listen to a sample
07 Ad Hoc 'Blue from Beyond the Sea' excerpt (1980)
08 Rik Rue/Jon Rose/Peter Kelly 'Eating Cabbage' (1978) - listen to a sample
09 Jon Rose/Tony Hobbs 'In Memorian Tony Hobbs' (1978)
10 A+D '(T)D+T' (1980)
11 Justinstinkt 'Drainpipe' (1981) - listen to a sample
12 Arthur Cantrill 'The Second Journey (to Uluru)' excerpt (1981)
13 Les Gilbert 'The Genoa River, Wangerabell' excerpt (1983)
14 IDA 'MeMoMu' (1980)
15 Sarah Hopkins 'Double Whirly Duo' (1983) - listen to a sample

This double CD is due for release on Shame File Music (distributed through Fuse in Australia) in November 2010. A launch concert event will be held in Melbourne - stay tuned for details.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do that dance! Aust post punk 1977-83 - radio programme and interviews online

The Do That Dance: Australian post punk 1977-83 radio programme that recently aired on ABC Radio National is now available online.

Part 1 - Sydney:
Part 2 - Melbourne:

Also online is the extra material - Sean O'Brien interviews with Ernie Althoff, Ros Bandt, Warren Burt and David Chesworth, plus photos:

This documentary features several artists who are featured on the upcoming Artefacts of Australian experimental music: volume II 1974-1983 double CD, including Warren Burt, Ros Bandt, Essendon Airport, IDA, Voigt/465, Severed Heads, Primitive Calculators, Tsk Tsk Tsk and more. Part 2 on Melbourne in particular focusses on experimental music activity during this period.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Artefacts of Australian experimental music

This blog is associated with Shame File Music's Artefacts of Australian experimental music CD series, documenting the forgotten history of Australian experimental music.

Volume I of the series, covering the years 1930-1973, was released in 2007 to critical acclaim. It is still available here (reviews here).

Volume II (1974-1983) will be released later in 2010. Track-listing, launch details and other information will be available here over the coming months.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.