Shame File Music is delighted to present these fascinating experiments in micro-percussion and temporal displacement from Astasie-abasie AKA Ian Andrews, he of early-80s Sydney tape fuckery projects like The Horse He’s Sick, Kurt Volentine, Cut with the Kitchen Knife and countless others. “Molecular Gamelan” records the agitation of small metal washers by hand drills/screwdrivers/film winders, and shrinks the listener down to a micro-sonic world.
Two Long Works is the new album from Melbourne sound artist and instrument-maker, Ernie Althoff.
Following the musical rest period triggered by the crazy Covid cataclysm of 2020, I emerged from it with these two overly lengthy tracks. “HRWT” uses two recordings of kinetic music machines, digitally altered in both tempo and pitch. The other two instruments are manually played. One is a cardboard resonator box strung around with three thick and five thin elastic bands. Calling this simple device an instrument is almost flattery. The other is another ‘string’ instrument using the metal wires and frame of an egg-slicer attached to a wooden resonator box.
“Half as” mimics the sonic palette of its longer partner. Again, recordings of two kinetic machines have been digitally altered. The elastic band instrument now has an extra bass string, and the metal wire sounds now come from a three-slicer setup on a single long resonator box. Previously plucked, in this track it’s mainly beaten with sticks.
Available now for free streaming and free/pay-as-you-feel download.
Ernie Althoff is a Melbourne sound artist and instrument maker active in Australian experimental music since the late 1970s. He is unique not only for the original textures and sonic elements he creates, often tempered with wry humour, but also for his practically continuous contribution to and participation in the Melbourne experimental music community for over four decades.
Here is a mix including Shame File Music releases from the past year or so, some of our favourite recent distribution items in the shop, along with a reissued blast from the back catalogue.
- Carolyn Connors “Live at Make It Up Club, 2012” from Surface Noise Vol. 9
- Dydsu “Consume K” from Consume K
- Clinton Green “Only (Two)” from Relativity/Only
- Astasie-Abasie “Vicissitudes” from Molecular Gamelan(coming soon)
- Firoza “Fragment 7” from In the Noon of Ashura
- Bill Fontana “Landscape Sculpture with Fog Horns (installation version 1981) from Landscape Sculpture with Fog Horns
- Clinton Green & Barnaby Oliver “The Interstices” from The Interstices Of These Epidemics
- Anthony Pateras/Erkki Veltheim “Ersatz” from Duos for Other Instruments
- Great Rack “Tremlux” from sample pack
- Great Rack “Woman” from sample pack
- Great Rack “Rockmen” from sample pack
- Conlon Nancarrow “Study No. 25” from Studies for Player Piano
- Club Sound Witches untitled from #freakinmeout
- Great Rack “Rev Bass” from sample pack
- Overtone Ensemble “Heliotrope” from 2
- Jean DL/Rutger Zuydervelt “Scrambling 5” from Scramblings
- Bruno Duplant “Premier Nocturne” from Nocturnes (3 etudes)
- Isolation Improvisation Collective “Dares to Claim the Sky” from Telematic Music
- THIS Ensemble “Cat Got Your Tongue?” from Brown Paper Business
- Katerina Stathis “Beyond Clouded Skies (Eta Aquariid), May 6 – 4am” from Music Under Lockdown: Melbourne 2020
- Undecisive God untitled from self-titled
Here’s Undecisive God’s 2003 monolithic ambient/drone guitar album, on Bandcamp for the first time. CDR version also available. Maybe a misstep including a cover of Sonic Youth’s “Mote”, but credit to their influence at the time should be paid, I guess. The rest of the album I still like a lot, and can listen to it now like it came from someone/somewhere else – Clinton.
THIS Ensemble’s “My Umbrella Is Another Word for Community” comes from the apex of the group’s 2014 live activities. It is a companion album to THIS Ensemble’s “Brown Paper Business” double CD/boxset (sham112), recorded in 2016.
THIS Ensemble, Ren Walters’ large-scale improvising group, began around 2006 with the main defining characteristic that the line-up would be different for each performance. Ren worked with various forms of structured improvisation in the Ensemble, such as giving different directions to separate musicians and durational guidelines.
By 2013, Ren’s direct influence on other members had almost completely dissipated, yet his subtle role in bringing and fostering engagement between a range of individuals was pivotal. In 2014, the group broadened to include performers from other disciplines beyond music, such as dancers and actors. This “MKII” version of the group was broadly active from 2014-2016, mostly performing at Moreland City Band Hall, in Cross Street, Brunswick. These sparsely-attended performances played out in increasingly-longer and sprawling durations, often continuing into the early hours of the next morning. The line-up continued to be fluid for each performance, with a group of 5-6 regular participants emerging to form a core.
Relativity/Only Album Launch
Thursday 25 March 2021, 8:30pm
Avalon Bar, 387 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Clinton Green’s new album Relativity/Only (out now on 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.
Shame File Music in conjunction with Nice Music presents Clinton Green’s new album Relativity/Only, available digitally and on limited edition 12″ vinyl.
Preview track and pre-orders available now through Nice Music. Out on 4 March 2021 (when copies will also be available here).
“Relativity/Only is Green’s clearest refinement of the dutiful and curious work he has cultivated over several years in recording his gently automated percussion experiments. Green conjures a celestial zoom view of a very private cosmos, using turntables as a source of movement and various static or suspended instruments and repurposed objects, captured in a softly endless world of binaural ambience. Unable to repeat a single step or rhythm given the mostly hands off methods Green employs within simple physics and gravitational axioms, this pointillist approach to automatic composition almost seems to render time or duration static. Encouraging the listener to either take in the view as a moment’s glimpse or to become deeply engrossed in its crevices, Green’s work offers as much or as little as the senses care to seek. Perhaps akin to watching a fireplace at night or watching ants march through the grass.
“Percussion ephemera recorded this quietly could indeed pass experientially as ‘ambient music’ at this point, but a rare kind in its strict absence of any electronic signal or sustained tones. And is ambient music dictated by how little it distracts the ear? Surely a misnomer if so. Green’s loving supervision of these quietly magical instant compositions splays his work bewitchingly over many worlds of compositional reference; a spectral wonder given only the most skeletal elements do all the talking.”
See this post on Clinton’s website for some history on the making of the album, including photos from the recording session and sketches/scores.
The first volume of Music Under Lockdown: Melbourne 2020 was released in October 2020, documenting recordings made by artists in Melbourne during the long periods of lockdown due to COVID-19 that year. The response to the call for submissions was overwhelming, and recordings made during lockdown continued to come in after the first volume was released. Volume 2 collects these extra submissions that didn’t make it onto the first volume, continuing to document the response of Melbourne artists to this extraordinary time.
Featuring: David Evans, Mineral Sands, Honeyant, Dale Gorfinkel, Just Read, David Palliser, Timothy K. Brown, Brute Springclean, Caleb Joyce, Adam Simmons, and The Nova Fiends (cover art by Jen Callaway).
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.