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.
Mitch Jones & Michael Tee stand as two of the key figures in the history of alternative music in Sydney. Together they founded M-SQUARED Records – home to a cluster of now seminal local post-punk artists such as SYSTEMATICS, THE MAKERS OF THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST, YA YA CHORAL, PROD and their own band, SCATTERED ORDER. Nearly 30 years after the fact, SCATTERED ORDER reformed their original line-up earlier this year, and started both playing live and recording once again. I was asked to DJ at their second ‘reformation’ gig with THE MAKERS OF THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST and A SLOW RIP last month – a gig which also represented one of the last live events at the Abercrombie Hotel in Chippendale before it closed its doors.
This mix is essentially my DJ set trimmed to a neat 43 minutes, and features Australia music from the M-SQUARED heyday (1979-1983), both from label artists and beyond. Witnessing this music now, some 30 years later, I’m not particularly aware of the impact that each artist or track may have had at the time, instead I chose to respond to the sounds that still have resonance today. Indeed, listening end-to-end to this mix, this feels like the start of a much longer continuum, and it becomes clear (almost immediately) that there are many current local bands and artists that – wittingly or otherwise – are fostering a unique Australian tradition that began over three decades ago.
- Severed Heads – Introduction / 1982 [from Adenoids 1977 – 1985 Disc 4]
- Systematics – … And The People Are Blowing Their Minds / 1981 [from Boxed Brownies]
- Ronnie and the Rhythm Boys – Hey Joe / 1979 [from Little Bands EP]
- Ya Ya Choral – God’s Buzzsaw / 1983 [from Such A Dutch Man]
- Yclept Dinmakers – I Think A Shell / 1982 [from Klinger The Blowies]
- Hiroshima Chair – Reset / 1980 [from Reset]
- SPK – Mekano / 1979 [from Auto Da Fe]
- Severed Heads – Food City / 1981 [from Clean]
- The Limp – Rony Club / 1981 [from A Selection]
- Essendon Airport – Runway Rock / 1979 [from Sonic Investigations (Of the Trivial)]
- Microfilm – Summer House / 1981 [from From Belgrade With Love]
- Prod – Fish Hook / 1980 [from More Songs That Will Never Be Released]
- Negative Reaction – Untitled A01 / 1980 [from Negative Reaction]
- Zyé yé yé – I Want To Live / 1981 [from Primitive Calculators]
- Laughing Hands – Two / 1981 [from Dog Photos]
- Severed Heads – Much About Bones, Hello Donald Merry Xmas / 1980 [from Adenoids 1977 – 1985 Disc 1]