I'm listening to some MP3s of Fluorescent, a Melbourne electropop duo justlikehoney pointed me to, and I was struck how much they reminded me of various Australian industrial bands I've heard like This Digital Ocean; the heavy analogue drones, monotonous vocals, relentless electronic beats and all that.
Which got me thinking that someone could probably write a book/article about the Australian industrial/underground post-punk electronica tradition; there's a lot there, from the likes of SPK, Severed Heads, Ash Wednesday/Crashland and various Ollie Olsen projects (Whirlywirld, Max Q) to the likes of This Digital Ocean and SNOG,
I remember seeing bands like Lifedrill and Lung UPC in my late teens / early 20s. Clinton Walker has a new book coming out on Australian punk and post-punk, which might cover that early '80s industrial scene. I'm sceptical of Walker though, he's a bit too 'Glen A. Baker' for me. Simon Reynolds' new book on post-punk sounds much more interesting to me. Also, Jon Dale is currently writing his doctoral thesis on post-punk, and though it's not specificallly about Australia, the fact that he lives in Adelaide might offer hope that there will be some Australian content. Then again, being a thesis, it may slip into the archives of Adelaide University never to be seen by anyone.
His blog is at:
Heh; I got TDO's Digital Mysticism around 1998 or so, in a CD swap with one Mark Dorset (who was apparently liquidating his old industrial/synthpop collection; he later ended up introducing me to Slowdive).
At the time I thought they sounded a bit like Depeche Mode, only, of course, less melodious.
After doing some legwork on Google, I discovered that one of TDO's members was one Sean Bowley (seemingly a fixture of Melbourne's goth/darkwave bands; he was also in Dead Can Dance-alike sp00ky-celtic outfit Eden, and a year or two ago did a solo set on a bill with Dandelion Wine).
On October 5th, 2005 07:54 am (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
Yes it was Simon Bowley who was in TDO. Ross Healey was the bass player in the early Eden line up. I saw a few TDO live shows and remember them as being a more in the electro-industrial vein. Simon and Tristan would play keyboards while Ross would throw himself around at the mic-stand. Ross' stage antics were fairly physical and i suspect he was "having a little help from his friends" on this front. It was a strange time for music making in Melbourne. Though its probably even stranger now - thats the times/not the music.
And to confirm the fact - Yes Simon and I are brothers. Simon is working on Ambient music these days. As for me I'm working on a solo(non-eden) CD which I would describe as Smokey and Atmopheric - lots of ethereal guitar and sparse drums. Anyone here know a wonderful bass player - a sparse player ala Simon Raymonde
Sean Bowley - email@example.com
On October 10th, 2005 09:19 am (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
Simon Bowley was part of Lisa Gerrard's (from Dead can Dance) studio crew, mixer/engineer after leaving TDO. Worked on a few of her album releases & movie projects (Whale rider, Immortal memory, Tears of the sun & One perfect day with Orbital). Ross Healey released a few solo projects under the name of 56K, Amnesia & Cray if my memory serves me correctly.