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I'm listening to some MP3s of Fluorescent, a Melbourne electropop…

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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, that goth band that did the techno cover of Joy Division's In A Lonely Place Ikon and indie bedroom electronica acts like New Waver and Stinky Fire Engine . And then there was Robin Whittle (inventor of the Devilfish TB-303 mod and advocate of marital BDSM), another Australian.
Current Music:
Fluorescent - Answer+Question
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On June 27th, 2005 04:26 pm (UTC), boof_boy commented:
Don't forget Essendon Airport or even Mu Mesons.
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On June 27th, 2005 04:27 pm (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
Essendon Airport didn't seem quite as electronic or harsh; they sounded instead more like they invented post-rock 20 years ahead of their time.
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On June 27th, 2005 11:43 pm (UTC), fact244 replied:
they strike me very much as "post-punk electronica".
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On June 28th, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
I didn't get the electronica part from Sonic Investigations of the Trivial, except perhaps for the last track (the one with the guest female vocalist), which seemed like a bit of an anomaly.
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On June 29th, 2005 01:17 am (UTC), fact244 replied:
do you have the chapter music CD reissue thingy? depends how you define such things but if i had to describe them that's how i'd do it.
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On June 29th, 2005 08:24 am (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
Yes, that's the one I've got.

It seemed more guitar/tape-loop based than electronic, from what I recall, though there may have been some Dogs In Space-style primitive synth action in there somewhere.
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On June 28th, 2005 12:54 am (UTC), cnwb commented:
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:
http://www.worldsofpossibility.blogspot.com/
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On June 28th, 2005 10:20 am (UTC), cyflea commented:
this digital ocean? christ, that takes me back :) i hadn't heard them for ages until i went through and ripped all my old CDs after moving.

but listening to the mp3s on the site, yeah, that's not a bad description...
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On June 28th, 2005 11:08 am (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
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.
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On June 28th, 2005 03:03 pm (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
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).
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On June 29th, 2005 01:16 am (UTC), fact244 replied:
really? small world, i didn't know sean was in TDO. last time i was in touch he was working on a solo record, the demos from which sounded good.
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On June 29th, 2005 08:27 am (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
According to this page, TDO was him, Ross Healy and Tristan Upton (the last two names sound oddly familiar too; I imagine they were in other bands of note too).
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On June 30th, 2005 06:03 am (UTC), fact244 replied:
i notice on the TDO page though it says "simon bowley" rather than "sean bowley". could be a different fellow?
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On June 30th, 2005 08:57 am (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
You're right, it does too.
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On August 9th, 2005 01:17 am (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
Yes, Simon And Sean were brothers
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On October 5th, 2005 07:54 am (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
TDO band members
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

Regards

Sean Bowley - seaneden@tpg.com.au
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On October 10th, 2005 09:19 am (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
Re: TDO band members
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.
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