V/A - "OZ ECHOES: DIY CASSETTES AND ARCHIVES" LP
Steele Bonus returns to his work as curator with Oz Echoes; the sequel to his excellent anthropological excavation Oz Waves. With Oz Echoes, Bonus delves even deeper into the wild and globally interconnected world of the Australian tape underground from 1980-89.
Sorting through the collections of obsessive tape traders, community radio live archives, and even abandoned studio sessions, Bonus had dug harder then perhaps anyone has before to unearth the gems that best reflect the depth and complexity of the Australian underground scene during this period.
A period in which consumer level recording equipment had become accessible enough that anyone could begin making music in their bedroom without much hassle, and the global DIY networks than had sprung up disorganised and wild out of punk had finally solidified into a thriving ecosystem of freaks communicating via tapes in the mail.
The reverberations of this time in our underground history are still being felt today, via the myriad of Australian tape labels that continue to operate on the fringes, and the strong bonds our scenes have with like minded oddballs overseas. Oz Echoes is not only an important document, and a killer listen (don't even get me started on the immaculate sequencing), but essential context for anyone wanting to understand where we are now, and how we got here as an underground community.
Oz Echoes peels away another layer of Australia’s ‘80s DIY hive mind. The Oz Waves successor exposes a deeper circuit of micro-run cassettes, community radio archives and irrationally abandoned studio sessions, as Steele Bonus sequences a 10-track compendium of drone pop, psyche-electronics and agitated tape cut-ups.
From the Sydney cassette network, The Horse He's Sick returns with an industrial car crash, alongside Wrong Kind of Stone Age’s pagan cacophony and primal riddims. M Squared dynamo Patrick Gibson appears in both Height/Dismay and Mr Knott, his respective studio-as-an-instrument collaborations with Dru Jones (Scattered Order) and ex-Slugfucker Gordon Renouf - the former’s worn out apparition hails from an instantly deleted 1981 7”, while Mr Knott entrust one of the compilation’s five previously unreleased tracks.
Matt Mawson represents Brisbane music media-printed matter collective ZIP, as Adelaide’s Three D Radio grants access to their vaults of live-to-air recordings and aspiring demo submissions, rescuing the slap-happy punk-funk of The Frenzied Bricks and Jandy Rainbow’s prodigious beginnings in Les Trois Etrangers and Aeroplane Footsteps. Synchronously in Melbourne, Ash Wednesday (Karen Marks, The Metronomes) leads Modern Jazz’ improvised proto-techno and EBM pioneers Shanghai Au Go-Go home record their sardonic synth-wave.
A cherry-picked cast of unusual suspects, Oz Echoes’ unfamed artist and non-band narratives are detailed by track-by-track liner notes with rarely published archival visions and artwork from Video Synth, prompting further rabbit hole ventures into this golden era of creative risk-taking and instant action.
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