Machine Death in Free Music Archive / WFMU ‘Best Of 2012’

The Free Music Archive is an long-standing initiative, directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America.  The archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads, and features some of the most interesting and innovative music from around the world.

Every year, Free Music Archive curators pick their favourites from the library, and our Machine Death self-titled release landed a placing in their ‘Best of 2012’ list.  They note: “[Wood & Wire have] been releasing excellent sounds from new and old artists alike with startling regularity, but this one from Ben Byrne and Ivan Lisyak’s Machine Death project really takes the cake. Soul-crushing and sublime, there is a subtlety to their method that has me listening again and again.”

Read the full list at freemusicarchive.org.

Emily Grantham and Shisd on free New Weird Australia compilation

New Weird Australia’s latest free compilation is titled Broadcast Four.  Culled from live-to-air recordings from the New Weird Australia radio show on Sydney’s FBi Radio, the compilation features exclusive tracks from Wood & Wire artists Emily Grantham and Shisd – along with fourteen other tracks from artists like Oscar Key Sung, Scissor Lock, Thomas William, Secret Birds and many more.

Preview Emily Grantham and Shisd tracks below, and download the 16-track compilation for free at newweirdaustralia.com.

BOK Darklord in Unwashed Territoires ‘Albums Of The Year’

Our BOK Darklord release ‘Lulu’ has landed in Unwashed Territories‘ ‘Albums Of The Year’ list, coming in at #3 in a list that also includes Sun Araw and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Blog author Mark Whitby championed the release on his UK-based Dandelion Radio show on its release, and the record clearly made an impression as he was pulling together his end-of-year list.  He notes:

“BOK Darklord – a merging of the considerable creative juices of Lucas Darklord and Buttress O’Kneel – took on such a task and from it created one of the best, and most original, albums of 2012.   Via the simple but effective recource of simply taking a load of Metallica tracks, a load of Lou Reed tracks, and coarsely ramming them together, they recreated Lulu, transforming it from a derided piece of crap into a visionary masterpiece. The recording, in all its harsh glory, can be downloaded for nothing from Australia’s Wood & Wire label, a strong contender for label of the year.”

Read the full review at unwashedterritories.blogspot.co.uk, and while your there, check out Mark’s new three-volume compilation Into The Light – a benefit record for the Free Pussy Riot campaign.

Sonic Masala reviews first ten Wood & Wire releases

We’re quite humbled by the commitment of Sonic Masala who’ve taken it upon themselves to review the first TEN releases on Wood & Wire – from Emily Grantham, Machine Death, BOK Darklord, Shisd, Regional Curse (Stacey Wilson / Rites Wild), Setec, Kučka, automating and Fm. An amazing effort, and a great way to catch up on what you might have missed.

They note:

New Weird Australia is an Australian institution that champions this continent’s more left of field experimental artists, branching out from a mere radio program on Sydney’s FBi station to become a beacon of ambition and exploration. This year they have opened up into a record label too, albeit a digital one, called Wood & Wire. They have close to ten releases out already, and with another due out this month I thought it best to do a small feature on these albums – because there are some amazing gems here.”

Read all ten reviews at sonicmasala.blogspot.com.au.

Tiny Mix Tapes on Automating’s ‘Somnambulist’

Tiny Mix Tapes has reviewed Automating’s ‘Somnambulist’ – referring to the experience as “like getting your brain picked by the most expert of audiophiles”.

Here’s the full text of the review, online at tinymixtapes.com

“Amazing Australian artist Automating (how’s that for alliteration) makes screechy industrial-tinged experimental music, mixed with murky strings and plenty of drone. They also release free albums. Somnambulist consists of 18 bits of avant-garde goodness specifically designed to tickle your primary auditory cortex. With track titles like “Alpha Wave” (there’s also Beta, Gamma, and Theta), “EEG Test,” and “Lucid Dreaming,” and appropriately mind-bending tunes to match, listening to this album is like getting your brain picked by the most expert of audiophiles — and it’s a blast.”

Download Automating’s ‘Somnambulist’

Reviews for Regional Curse – Natural Living

Our Regional Curse release ‘Natural Living’ has recently been reviewed in a number of titles – you can download the record for free on the ‘Natural Living’ release page.

Crawlspace is a new site dedicated to “strange / weird / beautiful / repugnant Australian music”. Editor Shaun Prescott notes that “the mix here is very clean and deep: there’s none of the crisp snare hiss of Rites Wild because this is very much a bass driven operation … There’s an almost liberating darkness here. It’s not oppressive, but rather spacious and thoughtful. The name “regional curse” is fitting because this doesn’t feel particularly urban. It never gets this dark in the city.” Read the full review at crawlspacemagazine.com, along with their interview with Regional Curse aka Stacey Wilson.

We’re impressed when a writer takes the time to get under the skin of a release and truly lives and breathes the work. This review of Regional Curse from James Catchpole at A Closer Listen is one such review – “Natural Living, to an extent, reminisces over the remains of early synth music, with perhaps a longing for their return, but it is also its own futuristic temple, and the bones of the era are left to adorn the walls.” Read it in full at at acloserlisten.com.

Beer On My Boat Shoes discuss witches at some length, before noting “this is genuinely unsettling music to be kept from impressionable children at all costs, that is if we’d like to maintain their disneyfied childhoods.”

Thanks also to Who The Hell? & Skydreams for picking up the record on their sites.

Wood And Wire – Sydney & Melbourne shows for Kučka, Emily Grantham & Shisd

Two Wood & Wire artists, Kučka and Emily Grantham team up for a Sydney show this weekend, also featuring renowned Sydney solo artist, Rainbow Chan and producer FM.  The show takes place at The Annandale Hotel on Sunday 12th August, doors are from 8pm, tickets $10.  Kučka will be launching her new video clip for ‘Rewind‘, taken from her Wood & Wire release ‘Kučka EP.  This is also the first live show for Emily Grantham following the release of her debut record on Wood & Wire, ‘Chocolate SyrupMore info on the Facebook event page.

Kučka will also be playing a free show in Sydney on Friday 10th August 2012, at Oxford Art Factory, with Grey & Patrice, FM and Senyo.  Info at OAF site.

Wood & Wire artist, Shisd, will be launching his Wood & Wire EP ‘しsd – EPin Melbourne at The Gasometer Hotel on Sunday 19th August featuring a Sydney / Melbourne combo line-up including Major Napier, Naps and Juota.  Shisd tells us to “expect “soulful” laptop music, tasteful drones and narcotic beats”.  Full details on Facebook.

New Weird Australia – Real Time Arts Interview

In this new video from Real Time Arts, I talk to Gail Priest about the past, present and future of New Weird Australia.

RealTime is Australia’s critical guide to international contemporary arts. Our focus is on innovation in performance (live art, experimental theatre, dance, music, sound), photomedia, film, video, interactive media and hybrid arts.

The realtimearts.net website offers a comprehensive view of Australian contemporary art with an international perspective, combining the current print edition of RealTime, online exclusives and updates; the RealTime archive; new works on show in our studio; featured events (forums, festivals) and arts issues; and a portal that will guide you to the best sites in innovative contemporary art.

New Weird Australia – VAGRANT dates & line-ups announced

(cross posted from newweirdaustralia.com)

VAGRANT is New Weird Australia’s travelling gig series – a pop-up club-night with no fixed abode and an open-source platform for eclectic and experimental Australian music.  Following its Sydney launch with GUERRE, SCISSOR LOCK and MAJOR NAPIER, VAGRANT travels the country during July 2012, calling at Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle, Perth & Adelaide.

MELBOURNE – SUNDAY 8TH JULY (TODAY!) VAGRANT #2 NAPS, WOOSHIE, KANE IKIN, BABA X (dj), ZANZIBAR CHANEL @ The Workers Club, Fitzroy – presented with This Thing

BRISBANE – THURSDAY 12TH & SATURDAY 14TH JULY (TWO NIGHTS!): VAGRANT #3 + #4 TALKSHOW BOY, SCRAPS, FEET TEETH + NO ANCHOR, THE RATIONAL ACADEMY, ANONYMEYE VS AMBROSE CHAPEL @ The Waiting Room, West End, Brisbane – presented with Micronations

NEWCASTLE – SUNDAY 15TH JULY: VAGRANT #5 SCATTERED ORDER, DRACOPEDE, THE MERMAIDS @ Terrace Bar, Newcastle

PERTH – FRIDAY 27TH & SATURDAY 28TH JULY (TWO NIGHTS!) Friday VAGRANT #6 PER PURPOSE, RITES WILD, CRAIG MCELHINNEY, DOCTOPUS @ Galleria, Perth | Saturday VAGRANT #7 TERRIBLE TRUTHS, PER PURPOSE, GUNS @ Dada, Perth – presented with Good Company

ADELAIDE – SATURDAY 28TH JULY VAGRANT #8 HOLY BALM, ASPS, MAJOR CRIMES, BEIGE ABRASION @ Format, Adelaide – presented with Celeste Juliet

Also this month, the Fallopian Tunes label, in association with New Weird Australia, assembles a hefty lineup of Melbourne based electronic acts on SATURDAY 28TH JULY to officially launch our recent free compilation, Gloss & MossSPEED PAINTERS, DOCUMENT SWELL, MATTHEW BROWN, JACOB SILVER and CALL ME PROFESSOR will play The Mercat Basement, 456 Queen St, Melbourne (Opp Vic Market) from 10pm.

Our next Sydney event will be held in September, as part of the Sydney Fringe – more info soon.

Emily Grantham review from Life Is Noise

Life Is Noise has reviewed Emily Grantham‘s release ‘Chocolate Syrup’ on Wood & Wire.

They noted its “trippy and unnerving blend of synth, vocal samples and discordance“, ultimately finding it “brilliant and damn creepy“.

In their own words: “Life is noise exists to bring interesting, independent, unique, challenging and just plain fucked-up music to Australia and the world”. Get more at lifeisnoise.com.

Three new projects marking three years of New Weird Australia

Pictured: Emily Grantham – releasing her debut EP on the new Wood & Wire label.

(cross posted from newweirdaustralia.com)

Since its launch in June 2009, New Weird Australia has supported and promoted hundreds of artists at home and overseas through its compilation series, live events and other initiatives.

To celebrate its third birthday, New Weird Australia is launching three new projects: an open-source, pop-up gig series titled ‘Vagrant‘; a new digital record label, ‘Wood & Wire‘ and an ongoing blog supporting video work from Australian artists, ‘Output Device‘.

Vagrant‘ is a pop-up gig series, offering small grants to local promoters to stage one-off events under the ‘Vagrant‘ banner.  Following a call-out in April, the series will call at Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne & Newcastle during June & July, drawing from a line-up that includes Holy Balm, Rites Wild, Asps, No Anchor, Blank Realm, Kane Ikin, Per Purpose, Terrible Truths, Anonymeye, Rational Academy, Talkshow Boy, Feet Teeth, Scraps, Major Crimes, Naps, Wooshie and more. Venues and dates will be announced shortly.

Wood & Wire‘ is a new digital record label, promoting experimentation in Australian music across all genres.  Born of New Weird Australia, but existing separately from it, ‘Wood & Wire’ launches with four free releases:

  • Inter Alia‘ from Melbourne duo Peon, featuring Lloyd Swanton from The Necks
  • the debut release from young experimental electronic producer, Emily Grantham, titled ‘Chocolate Syrup
  • a complete remake of the reviled Lou Reed & Metallica album ‘Lulu‘ from BOK Darklord (aka Buttress O’Kneel and Lucas Darklord)
  • and the self-titled debut from Machine Death, featuring reknowned experimental artist Ben Byrne and Ivan Lisyak from The Paper Scissors.

Download the first four releases at woodandwire.com.au.

The third and final project to be launched this month is ‘Output Device‘.  Recognising a lack of a central platform for video work from artists in the New Weird Australia vein, ‘Output Device‘ is an ongoing blog project that curates new clips at outputdevice.tumblr.com.  Submissions from artists are welcomed and encouraged.

These three projects cap a highly successful 36 months for New Weird Australia.  Most recently, the eleventh volume in its free compilation series was released – a co-curation with Melbourne label Fallopian Tunes, the 22- track ‘Gloss & Moss‘ collection has recorded over 4,000 downloads in its first month and is available from newweirdaustralia.com.  In addition, New Weird Australia’s 2010 release from Sydney artist Paneye, ‘Lost In A Dark Aquarium‘ last month hit the 17,500 download mark – the project’s most successful release to date.  The next release in the compilation series – released on July 6th – will celebrate the country’s West Coast experimental scene, with a collection dedicated to Perth.

Emily Grantham Podcast

Wood & Wire artist Emily Grantham played a special live-to-air set on the New Weird Australia radio show on 15th March 2012, and talked about her work and future plans. The set featured four new tracks, not available on her Chocolate Syrup record – the second release on the Wood & Wire label. The interview and live set are now available as a podcast from New Weird Australia:

DOWNLOADNWA Podcast #25. Emily Grantham, Live-to-air Set & Interview

BOK Darklord, Chapter One

Wood & Wire’s third release, BOK Darklord‘s Lulu, is the second record from the pairing of Buttress O’Kneel and Lucas Darklord. The first chapter arrived in 2009, a track-by-track cover of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, using no source-material but the original songs themselves.

Described as both “an extremity that will perhaps awaken the sleeping Rock Gods, dormant since Bonham’s untimely vomit-inhaling demise” and “a rock-purist’s worst nightmare, and a sample-police’s greatest dream”, download BOK Darklord‘s debut for free at Alias Frequencies.

New on New Editions – Thomas William, Scissor Lock & Strange Forces

(cross posted from newweirdaustralia.com)

New Editions, the label imprint for New Weird Australia, winds up its first series of releases with two new albums on January 4th 2012 – from Thomas William vs Scissor Lock and Strange Forces.

Since launching in 2010, the series has released albums and EPs from Caught Ship, Blake Freele, Paneye, TANTRUMS, No Zu, Kris Keogh, Forenzics and Spartak.  Each release has been available in both physical and digital formats.  The final two releases in the current series see Sydney artists Thomas William and Scissor Lock coming together for their debut collaborative release, ‘Jewelz‘, as well as the first Australian physical release for Brisbane psych-rock ex-pats Strange Forces, who have been tearing up a storm in Berlin over the last two years. Listen to preview tracks from each release in the players below.

Both releases will be available on Bandcamp from January 4th 2012, with pre-release physical copies available in CD Digipak editions at the Unpopular Music 2011 event on Saturday 17th December.

nwaed10-featured

New Weird Australia – Axxonn National Tour

In January & February 2011, former Brisbane-based artist AXXONN (Tom Hall) gathered up his keyboards and subsonic fuzz for a trip around the country to support his album ‘Let’s Get It Straight’. The tour was presented by NEW WEIRD AUSTRALIA, and as director of the project, I acted (somewhat sporadically) as the tour manager. The tour marked New Weird Australia’s inaugural national Australian excursion after a string of Sydney events and nearly two years of compilation and artists releases through the label.

We called upon a diverse and eclectic range of acts to feature alongside AXXONN, including BREATHING SHRINE, MYSTIC EYES, SCATTERED ORDER, KASHA, AMBROSE CHAPEL, NO ZU, DOT.AY, ERASERS, CONSTANT LIGHT, OCEANS, CRAIG MCELHINNEY, SPHERES, DIE ON PLANES, GILBERT FAWN, DUO, PEON and BORGIA. This video (shot and edited by Tom, using a remote camera) features a 15-minute Axxonn set, culled from a range of performances across the tour.

New Weird Australia – Scattered Order at The Excelsior

Scattered Order are one of the most unique bands in the history of Sydney’s experimental and electronic music scene – founders of the M Squared record label in the 1970s, a home for artists such as Systematics and Makers of the Dead Travel Fast, and a beacon for emerging underground artists around the country. Reforming their original line-up in 2009, I shot this video when Scattered Order played a set for New Weird Australia in January 2011 at the Excelsior in Sydney, in support of their new album, ‘Adjust The Terminology’. Joining them on stage was long-term collaborator and renowned producer, Shane Fahey.