Out From Under #35 – Archival: The 1980s (Part I)

On this week’s Out From Under, Stu Buchanan visits 1980s Australia; drawing out some of the most interesting experimental music being made across the decade.

We hear from a cross-section of experimental and underground artists; including those whose lights shone brightly in Australia but not far beyond, such as Laughing Hands, Essendon Airport and Browning Mummery, as well as artists that achieved recognition on an international scale including Severed Heads and Dead Can Dance. We also hear music by Ian Hartley, Warren Burt and composer Sarah Hopkins, who – 35 years later – would go on to collaborate with Bjork on her ‘Utopia’ album.

Originally broadcast on Resonance Extra, 23rd June 2019.

Out From Under is a weekly radio program and podcast, diving deep beneath the surface of the Australian music scene, celebrating experimental and eclectic music from the upside down. New episodes air every Sunday 6pm AEST on Resonance Extra.  extra.resonance.fm

Podcasts are published the day after transmission – listen and subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.


  • Severed Heads – Tiny Fingers (from Clean, 1981)
  • Severed Heads – Guests (from City Slab Horror, 1985)
  • Laughing Hands – Eleven (from Dog Photos, 1981)
  • Laughing Hands – Four (from Dog Photos, 1981)
  • Browning Mummery – Confessions Of An Opium Eater (from Obiter Scripta, 1984)
  • Sarah Hopkins – Double Whirly Duo (from Soundworks No. 2, 1983)
  • Ian Hartley – Train Je Taime (from Artefacts Of Australian Experimental Music Volume 2, 1981)
  • David Hirst – Bramin’s Son (from NMATAPES 1, 1982)
  • Warren Burt – Studies 4 (from NMATAPES 1, 1982)
  • Lisa Gerrard – Mosaic (from From Belgrade With Love, 1981)
  • Dead Can Dance – The Fatal Impact (from Dead Can Dance, 1984)
  • Dead Can Dance – Musica Eternal (from Dead Can Dance, 1984)
  • Essendon Airport – Science Of Sound Intro (from Palimpsest, 1981)
  • Essendon Airport – Science Of Sound (from Palimpsest, 1981)
  • Essendon Airport – Entrance Of The Gladiators (from Palimpsest, 1981)