Clan Analogue Melbourne CD Submissions 1997

Very smooth mix of loops. 
You should therefore not be surprised to hear there is
an experienced live sound engineer in Spartacus.
The sound is very "Global Warming"/"Holistic" (Melbourne Night-clubs).

I know it is only a draft (Check the clipping. Argghh!)
but because there are not many tricks employed 
and no modulation I hope this does not remain the longest piece on
the compilation.
No boring doof kick (yay!) (and I love those bongos) 
but the snare does not relent every second beat. OK compromise I guess. 
In a few years dance conventions may dispose of not only 4/4 doof
but such a regular snare too, maybe dispose completely of 
conventional drums sounds too (nah, that'll take at least five years).

Overall, a very suave dance track.

SEO - Algolania
If Brian Eno's had written "Thursday Afternoon" for Melbourne's
Cave Clan (no relation) it would have gone along these lines.

I've heard it twenty times but still don't recognise structures
(ever consider that classical music is often just one long loop...
albeit a one hour long one?).

Brian Eno says that if you tape street noise you will eventually
be conditioned into expecting (for instance) to hear the sound
of a taxi screeching to a halt soon after you hear someone 
yell "taxi!".

So this track will at least endure repeated listens.
The sounds are beautiful. 
Overall, not a dazzling technical achievement but if SEO
is willing to dedicate his submission to the cause of breaking
compilation cliches then this is the sort of track I almost feel
Clan (Analogue) are duty bound to include.

It begins with traditional piano-accordion and strings sounds that
morph into a fucked up organ that carries a complex rhythm sustained 
throughout and doubled up on with snare and equally fucked up kick.
No other percussion sounds, but are they necessary?

The non-doof rhythm is a radical departure from conventional dance rhythms
so I doubt this would work as a dance track.
A simple doof (Then we really would be Way Too Goa)
would be begged for by most ravers I'm sure.

More reverb and effects units would not have gone astray but the demo
is performed entirely on a $900 Ensoniq VFX.
Nothing a good studio remix couldn't remedy.

Each part is intricately layered but this only comes through
during the sparser moments (technically due to what is known as
"voice stealing"... hmmnnn... good song title!?)

Archetypal minimal doof. There is no waste here. 
Never has simple filter sweeping sounded better.
The rich production makes the most of the few carefully chosen phrases 
so that it sounds at various times like one of any number of "classics". 
Finger on the pulse, Jon :-) 
(Is that Ollie Olsen at the ivories? ;-)

CONTINUUM - Neurosis
Killer arpeggio. Yum.
Does the riff warrants the 7.5 minutes devoted to it?
The riff definitely does not warrant it in itself 
but it is introduced elaborately with supporting flourishes,
and the filter/resonance sweeps and superimposed sounds
keep its flavour changing.
Maybe one should think of it as serving the same 
trance role that doof does. 

By the way, how many listens did it take you to spot the asymmetry
in the way the arpeggio loops up and down? 
It gets confused (nicely) by the filter sweeps on it.

Starts smooth but the doof kicks in after a minute
or two and when the filter opens up it really rocks.
I could do without the rock but at least it is likely to 
get feet dancing at a forest rave.
Or is it too contemplative for party-goers? 
Certainly any sexual energy is not concentrated on the pelvis 
in this track (unlike most Goa).

Because there are guitar skills in this band we have some
very seamless guitar chords giving an original colour towards
the latter half of the piece.
Love the noise and piano chord loop ending but it is 
way too long (1.5 minutes)
for a compilation CD with limited real estate.

DADA TRIBE #373 - Merchants of Junk
"Crimes of fashion, 
 Merchants of junk, 
 A lump of Literati, 
 and a history of bunk"

There are as many spoken bits as there are sampled bytes
I could only make out half the lines in the song but 
the sentiment is obvious, it is not a happy happy joy joy song.
Beginning with a live version then cranking to a clean studio sound
with a lovely cross-fade. Yes clean... but the cleanliness is cold.
Along with the minimal production it
smacks very much of 80's industrial DIY.
All of the melody comes from a straight organ which goes on too
long considering it does not modulate.
Notice something human about it though? 
It is actually played (VS step-sequenced)
Well, a *sample* of a played phrase.

The point in favour of using digital drums is that one can usually
modulate them but unfortunately a Roland TR707 (as used here) does not.
I think the song could have benefited from programming the 707
to vary the drum patterns but essentially the same loop is used throughout.
How about another pattern, an (OCCASIONAL) fill, climaxes...
While the monotony of the beat could be the intended psychology, I
nevertheless, find it irritating, and it the song consequently
does not survive repeated plays.

Merchants of Junk is in keeping with Dada Tribe's latest venture: 
a cassette-magazine entitled "Disposable Pop". 
One should not expect it to stand up to repeated listens - 
such is the role of magazines.
This concept of theirs warrants applause.
They are even considering a recycling centre for their releases.
They live at the "radio-unfriendly" end of that ugly 
"freshness VS production" trade-off that every musician must grapple with.

I think seeing this kind of stuff formulated and produced live
would be fun for audiences because it would no doubt produce fun
and surprises for the band. 
At the moment their live sets still contain many prepared "songs" but
they are getting more adept and we may even see songs like
"Merchants of Junk" created before our very eyes.
That is something that I know they are capable of
and I personally would enjoy seeing it head in this direction.

BIOS - Untitled
A single one or two second drum loop from a Tricky album is
the entire source of the rhythms in this jungle track.
It has been cut up, treated and rearranged into many variations
in what is a exciting evidence of where we have come with
bedroom musicianship. It is done entirely on a sound blaster AWE32,
about $130 in the shops now.

There is a bassline of course. This comes from a real bass
(thus adding the balance of colour) added with hard-disk recording.
Unfortunately hard disk recording requires a 
LOT MORE than a $130 sound card.

What we have is contemporary minimalism. Phillip Glass is old hat.
BIOS is negotiating with an insane female singer that should
see this track pull away from its crowd of drums'n'bass peers.

There is "wow" on this recording, especially noticable in the FireStarter 
guitar line. Hopefully this is not the case on the DAT.
There are playful train-spotter samples peppered reservedly throughout
that may only make sense to Melbournians but it will be interesting
to see if it works interstate. 
Let us just say that we have another Prodigy parallel
(for those that have seen the film-clip).
It climaxes with a droll sample saying "UP Field".
Ironically, it is all very dark and tunnel-like. 

DoSE use three synchronised 486's running Cubase and modest sound modules. 
Live, their arrangements float between verse, build-up, chorus, 
and "quiet-bit" according to instructions called out on stage.
Each section has predetermined as well as improvised
synth lines muted or not as the mood dictates.
In this CD submission however they have cheated;
There is noticeable arrangement - easy to do with computerised sequencers.

The arabic (? "samisen") riff that begins the song, 
while infectiously catchy, 
actually came from a random sweep of the PC's mouse.
Have a listen to it. Quite startling when you think of it.

The second climax in the song peaks somewhat messily but maybe this
catches on after a few listens. The same lines are sequenced
as in the previous peak/chorus but they are aligned differently
from before. The chorus repeats straight after for a third time
and you can hear that the alignment has returned.
(But maybe only the second one was aligned and the other two
are deliberately thrown out - what do you reckon?).

Overall the feel is quite cold although the production is full.
There are no filter-sweeps or other modulation on the drums or
melodic bits. Makes for an unconventional doof track.
Yes there is boring 4/4 kick drum but, "listen mom... no snare!".

Very odd noisy bits are dispersed throughout including one that 
begins as a ringing tone (that will have half the drug dealers
at raves reaching for their mobiles) and modulates over a few bars
into a screaming peak. Could have screamed a bit louder I feel.

- Aren't You... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SiN Have been described as "Dr Who Meets Dead Can Dance", but the lack of pure silliness (Dr Who) or flutes that usually inhabit their live sets leaves me lost for useful comparisons. It is mostly quiet (and you had better leave the volume knob where it is or the climax 5 minutes in will blow your speakers) with ephemeral vocals in some other tongue. No discernible song structure except if you think of an Ingmar Bergman film or your own life as having structure. This is in keeping with SiN's live improvisational performances. Perfect for the high-brow on ABC's "Listening Room", it will be interesting to see if this track catches on with street-level audiences. Perhaps at the end of the CD? If nothing else, this track has a long shelf-life; It may be a love song in some Kubrick future. MOO - Lol ~~~~~~~~~ Yummy sounds or what? Apparently from their new home-built mono synth. Gimme an endless supply of chocolate milk and I could dance to this stuff all night. The drum rhythms are bravely non-doof but because the synth is very rhythmical (VS Goa's straight quavers) they really rock. I understand this is performed in just a take or two but was actually planned (unlike their more improvised gigs). Great balance of heart VS head. A playful chipmunk monologue shows that good FX die hard. MOO - Static ~~~~~~~~~~~ Moo's second track is more contemplative and sticks to another complex (but slower) rhythm. It shows just how well the band has diversified in just the last year I've followed them. SS Spanky ~~~~~~~~~ That oriental-scale riff is quite a hook. I love when East-Meets west with the backwards guitar solo loops (at least that's what they sound like). The drum rhythms are quite relentless and not your usual techno cliche but not far from four-on-the floor. This track would have benefited a lot from reverb/delay seeing as it is digitally instrumented. The change of pace towards the end would be a worthwhile excursion in an improvised live gig but I think the piece should cut out before it. Those long notes just aren't interesting enough in themselves. The actual submitted track goes on without much variation for a few more minutes with a few false stops thrown in for fun... I just picture Edward's grin? :-{} ____________ Mr Squiggle@prop.taz.net.au An agent for the Undesirable Propagations Unit