Shame File Music and Albert’s Basement present a reissue of Ad Hoc’s 1980 release “Distance”. Ad Hoc (James Clayden, Chris Knowles & David Wadelton, and at times David Brown) were an obscure Melbourne outfit of the late 1970s/early 80s who stood curiously apart of from many of their more-storied contemporaries, but whose haunting ambient instrumentals sound remarkably contemporary four decades later.
“Distance”, their sole release besides some compilation tracks, has been sourced from the original 4 channel master reel tape, and is now available digitally and on a limited edition of 100 replica pro-produced cassettes with risograph cover. Read more about Ad Hoc here.
Tapes sold out. Limited copies available from Albert’s Basement.
“The music sounds very ‘modern’… has an ambient quality. In the opening piece, ‘Yellow Mirror’, a piano and some dissonant guitar are playing. The piano returns in other tracks, but it is not mentioned in the information or cover. Whatever they play on the guitars is not very traditional in terms of chords. Repetition is an important thing for this trio. Not by neatly bouncing loops or sequences but manually played, along with the mild inaccuracies that slip in the performance. Mostly delicate stuff, with even something that reminded me of cosmic music (‘The Bridge’). An excellent release, this one. This is something that should be re-issued a lot sooner… An unexpected surprise!” -Vital Weekly 1354
“Ad Hoc were a small group of improvisers in Melbourne in the late 1970s. In this recovered and restored tape they were a trio: James Clayden, Chris Knowles, David Wadelton. By the time I became acquainted with the Melbourne music scene in the mid 1990s, they were already a dim recollection from the past, at a time when the previous generation of any movement was as distant and obscure as an origin myth. All I really knew about them was that they had morphed into another group called Signals, who had the reputation of playing the loudest and most abrasive gigs imaginable.
“Distance is not like that. It’s not like much of anything else going on in improvisation at the time, in fact. The closest resemblance that comes to mind is The Makers Of The Dead Travel Fast, but while TMOTDTF and similar groups started with skewed pop tropes (ahem, ‘deconstructed’) and repurposed them into ambient soundscapes, Ad Hoc began with ambient stasis and built from there. Distance was their one legit release, a small-run cassette issued in 1980, now cleaned up and reissued by Shame File Music, archivists par excellence of the Australian scene. With a fuzzy, but not grungy tape sound, reminiscent of the pastoral side of 1970s British prog, the trio create gently pulsing and shimmering textures that find a low-key groove and lock into it. Their savvy use of an AKS suitcase synth and their self-restraint in refusing to elaborate on their melodic material makes it all sound strangely contemporary, especially on the track “The Bridge”, which sounds like someone remixed a futurist library music record for the chillout room.” – Boring Like A Drill