Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Physical - Bigcartel
Digital - Bandcamp
Per Bystrom is Compound, the year is 2018. Among the ruins of Moonee Ponds, one man wanders the debris using his keen senses to scour for electrical fodder. He assembles the detritus into relentlessly abrasive and incendiary rhythms that insidiously burrow themselves deep into the cortex. Few are able to cope with this cognitive torment, can you? This summer, prepare yourself for Psychic Withdrawal.
To be honest, this debut Opal Beau release is the culmination of Altered States for me. I have known Simon Scott, who is behind OB, for a relatively long time. Before moving to Melbourne, I’d ripped him off by selling him an overpriced / terrible punk record, only to find out he was my girlfriend at the time’s cousin upon moving here. Thankfully he was able to look past this and in the years following switched me on to so much excellent stuff, effectively shaping my taste in beat-driven music before it was par for the course for everyone to be into it. He has always supported the label and the least I can do is unleash these seven finely-tuned tracks, comprising a mix between what he describes as “industrial bossanova” and experimental forays into techno.
Sunny Seppa hails from Helsinki, I met him there in 2016 when he was nice enough to set up a show for me in a small gallery called Third Space at little notice. On that night he was conjuring high-res ambience under his then main concern, SPS. Since then, Sunny has seemed to let SPS rest in lieu of concentrating on an extensive DJ schedule, littered with occasional live outings as Sansibar. Last year he appeared alongside the equally excellent Draveng and Australia’s own shamanic synthesist par excellence, Matthew Brown on a 12” released by Berlin’s FreiTanzPlatten. The Quadra EP follows his debut as Sansibar in 2015. 4 tracks of well-manicured electro for the blissfully submerged heads.
Over the last few years, Japan’s CVN has released a slew of unpredictable sounds on consistently challenging labels such as Where To Now? (UK), Angoisse (Spain) and Orange Milk (US). On Kaisou, his sound is no less eclectic; pairing short ambient pieces with forays into futuristic club music and… trap? CVN’s scattershot approach also carries over to his low-key mix series, Grey Matter Archives, his curatorial direction giving another insight into his processes.
I have long been a fan of all of Lucy Phelan’s projects; the early distorted no-wave of Naked On The Vague, the uneasy dark ambience of Half High (who appeared on AST’s first vinyl release) and obviously her current occupation as club-maestro, Lucy Clichè. This new nom de plume sees Loose-y utilising a similar palette to her better known personality, but here all bets / beats are off.
This release by Japanese enigma, Hitoshi Kojima, is evidence that listening to demo’s you are sent is a worthwhile endeavour (as is not being an elitist asshole generally). These eight hardware-driven tracks SLAM and are exactly what I am looking for in modern electronic music. Industrial, off-kilter, but still maintaining a steady hook throughout. HK has previously released on excellent labels Seagrave (UK) and Always Human Tapes (US). Welcome to the family, Hitoshi.
Playing a live ambient set out the back of Lulu's in Melbourne tonight to launch the new batch.
Tracks from the Sansibar + Opal Beau tapes streaming on Inverted Audio now.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Altered States Tapes is pleased to launch it's first six releases of the year, including tapes from Compound, Sansibar, Hitoshi Kojima, CVN, Opal Beau and Sydney's own, Loose-y Crunchè. These will be available on the night.
GAELIC CLUB / SLURRY HILLS
THURSDAY / MARCH 22ND
8PM / 5 BUCKS
LOOSE-Y CRUNCHÈ (tape launch)
COOPER BOWMAN (vic / tape launch)
Friday, February 16, 2018
Many years ago I came across an image of the cover of US synth-trio, the Nightcrawlers', second LP, Spacewalk, on obscure music mecca, The Growing Bin. The link to the files had long since expired and scant information was provided, but I for some unknown reason became determined to track down their music. Without sounding like some new age crackpot, I feel like something just magnetised me to them. Eventually I was able to secure rips of almost the entire Nightcrawlers discography from a mysterious Canadian fan and DJ who vanished not long after... Their ouvre over their 1979-1991 lifespan numbered 3 self-released LP's and more than 30 cassettes.
Although largely (and unapologetically) inspired by Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, the Nightcrawlers developed a sound wholly their own over their many releases. Not only touching on the sequencer driven propulsion oft-associated with the Berlin School, they also explored the outer reaches of experimental and ambient immersion.
After several futile years of searching the back-alleys of synth forums, in 2015 I chanced upon a friend of the band who had posted about the untimely passing of member, Tom Gulch. Through him I was able to contact the surviving members, Pete Gulch and Dave Lunt and interview them. I have never had a more enthusiastic response to something I have written; a label that had been attempting to contact them to provide royalties got in touch, as did someone who was trying to secure a reissue of their work (I'd be more than happy to discuss the nature of this in more detail on the night).
February 2018 sees the release of 'The Biophonic Boombox Recordings' on Mexican Summer subsidiary, Anthology Records. Limited copies of the ornately packaged, double LP + booklet will be available on the night.
Join me as we celebrate the legacy of Tom Gulch and of one of the greatest electronic acts to emerge during our time on planet Earth.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
A stack of out of print AST releases are available from Australia's finest underground hustlers, Lulu's:
Tapes from German Army, Chino, Oil, me and others.
After multiple screwups on my part, the Kendall Cahan tape from the last batch is finally available:
First batch of 2018 available in the next few weeks. Peace be with you.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Damn good interview w/ one of my oldest Melburnian mates, FJ on her approach to making phenomenal and progressive electronic music. A refreshingly genuine read, in contrast to the usual pap that serves only for the purpose of promotion in most Australian music journalism. Fjorn appeared under her former guise on the label many years ago, maybe I'll do another tape of her current project (Papaphilia) at some stage, haven't asked yet tho...
Somehow my favourite skate company, Sydney's Pass~Port, decided to do a limited run of tapes of the mix featured below + make some Roman Nails shirts. 2018 is a weird place to be.
Available direct from The Portal:
SHIRT + TAPE BUNDLE
Free shipping Australia wide.
Friday, February 2, 2018
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
A chat I had with Michael from Abstract Paradigms last week is now available for consumption. I get on a soapbox about my opinions on operating in the underground and play some new material from the forthcoming AST batch / some of my own stuff that will creep out this year. Photo taken by Jas after a game of doubles in Broken Hill last year. The topic of pool is briefly discussed in the interview, some would say too briefly.