Relativity/Only Album Launch Thursday 25 March 2021, 8:30pm Avalon Bar, 387 Brunswick St, Fitzroy $10
My new album Relativity/Only (Nice Music/Shame File Music) will be launched later this month at Avalon (former site of Polyester Records). I will be constructing the sound sculpture that generated the music for the album (three turntables with suspensions and objects) for the event, and hopefully playing the tracks on Side A of the album on a “loop”, so to speak.
I will also be joined by Nick Ashwood and Michael McNab, and we’ll then play a “quartet” with the sound sculpture.
This will be my first live performance since September 2019!
My new solo album Relativity/Only (Nice Music/Shame File Music) has had a bit of a journey. It is my first solo 12” vinyl release, which makes it a bit special for me, so it seems appropriate that it’s had a winding path to realisation.
The album’s beginnings came from attempts to sonically document the main sound sculpture from my Stabilityexhibition of 2019. Basically, I was not happy with my own recordings of this complex sound sculpture, so I started fishing around for an engineer who had the skills and interest to record this multi-turntable driven beast. Ernie Althoff recommended Michael Hewes, who has done a lot of work recording Speak Percussion. Michael and I communicated by email in late 2019, when I sent him some demos and videos of the work, and it was obvious from those early exchanges that he got what I was trying to achieve.
We made tentative plans to record in his Richmond studio in early 2020. Throughout the summer, I honed the sculpture in my own studio space, working on sketches (see end of this post) to make it easier/quicker to set up in Michael’s recording studio. I also created and demoed several variations on the initial sound sculpture. By February 2020, I was in the studio with Michael, setting up for four different pieces, all based around 3 turntables and a suspended/swaying horizontal pole, and various percussive objects suspended from/placed on each.
I’ve since come to understand what I’m aiming at as a kind of percussive episode that is free from human intervention or ego, yet has enough variation and chance at play that the rhythms constantly shift. “Everything Is In Motion” documents a more honed version of the original sound sculpture from the 2019 exhibition, whereas “Drum Circle” is more kit focussed (‘egoless drummer’). The two flipside tracks “Only (Two)” and “Only (Four)” are more reductive, where the hits/beats have much more space between them.
Our initial mixing session was in March 2020, just as the Melbourne lockdown was looming. Later tweaks were done remotely. I was very pleased with how the recordings came out. Michael’s knowledge of mic placement especially bridged the gap in what my own amateur recording skills lacked. These recordings all involve five microphones around the sculpture, covering different perspectives and conveying a sense of physical space.
I really didn’t know what, if anything, I would do with these recordings. The exercise was initially for documentation, but I was thrilled with the end product. When Simon J Karis of Nice Music expressed an interest in co-releasing them with Shame File Music, I was very happy at the prospect of these recordings having a public life on vinyl.
And now here they are, with Tim Panaretos’ photography large and stunning on the front cover, hot off the magnificent new Program Records press in Melbourne and sounding crystal clear. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I do.
Relativity/Only is out now on limited edition vinyl LP and digital formats from Shame File Musicand Nice Music, and on all streaming platforms.
Many thanks to Ernie Althoff, Michael Hewes, Simon J Karis, James A. Dean for mastering, and Nat Grant for generously donating some of the drums used.
THIS Ensemble “Brown Paper Business” 2CDR + box/digital– The long-awaited first audio documentation of legendary Melbourne interdisciplinary collective THIS Ensemble is finally here. Digital available now, and the lovingly-assembled-and-scarred double CDR housed in hinged wooden box on it’s way and available now for a special pre-order price (only 50 numbered copies). Shipping mid-February.
Deep in the heart of the Melbourne winter lockdown, European online radio stream sub_text invited me to make a mix for their upcoming end-of-year broadcast. I’ve made a mix of Australian sonic pioneers, bangers and oddities, historical and contemporary. This will be streamed live on 19 December (at 22:45 Euro time), which will be at 08:45am on Sunday 20 December AEDT (Melbourne) time. Relevant links:
This work features some new tools I’ve been playing with of late, including improvisatory use of cassettes, walkmans, 4-track and video. The stream begins 8pm AEDT, and will be online for canned viewing afterwards.
A big update here of new titles in the web shop from the likes of Judith Hamann, Suburban Cracked Collective, Rutger Zuydervelt, Isolation Improvisation Collective and more. Plus I’m having a break for a few weeks over Christmas & New Years, and details here about scheduled releases for 2021, including a couple featuring new music from me.
During Melbourne’s winter lockdown, I spent some time making a couple of mixes. The first was commissioned for an online radio show and will be broadcast next month (stay tuned…). The second, Irregular Correspondence, I made off my own bat because I enjoyed making the first one so much. In compiling it, I found myself reflecting on loss, grief, and this strange year.
Full details and track listing below:
Albert Ayler “Truth Is Marching In”, from “Live in Greenwich Village: The Complete Impulse Recordings (Impulse! 1998, rec. 1966)
Sun Ra and the Omniverse Jet Set Arkestra “Journey to Saturn/Saturn’s Rings”, from “The Complete Detroit Jazz Center Residency” (Transparency 2008, rec. 1980)
Reverend Sister Mary M. Nelson “Judgement”, from “Anthology of American Folk Music” (Folkways 1952, rec. 1927)
Splatterheads “Ticket” (live to air Triple J, 1990)