Just writing to say: Machine Translations' "Wolf on a String" EP/album is a work of great beauty. It has everything from glitchy beats to hauntingly melancholy melodies, from lush string arrangements to understated vocals. It'll probably be one of my records of the year.
I don't have any of his other stuff at the moment.
I didn't notice the chord progressions in Miss China being particularly unusual, though did notice that the harmonies between the various layers are sublime perfection. Does he change keys or do anything similarly odd?
Perhaps it's the where he takes the songs.. the harmonies are indeed marvellous. You should get your hands on "Happy" if you like the experimental glitchy take on pop. I love all his stuff though and it's all left of centre, but I reckon that's the album that will appeal to you the most. Actually Polyester had it in their top 50 they put out a year or so ago.
If you want any assistance in acquiring it, just let me know ;-)
You wouldn't happen to have "Abstract Poverty" would you? I haven't been able to find that one anywhere. It's the only one I'm missing and I haven't even heard it. My completist tendencies are kicking in. I was quite chuffed to find Halo and Holiday in Spain for sale at a Corner gig a couple of years ago.
Yeah, I do, actually. I got that with Halo at Polyester a few years back when they still had the WOT stuff in their own racks. Now, finding the thing...
I got turned onto him back in 1999 when he (and some of his mates) opened for Fourplay in Sydney, he dragged the prepared piano all the way up the road and banged away at that. That was also the gig where some robot came out and entertained the audience between sets.
Hehe, a robot?? And what do you mean by "the prepared piano", like, an upright piano or something? I saw him solo the first time I saw himm, and all I can remember was that it was at the Corner Hotel as a support for someone: you know, it could have even been Fourplay!
Didn't really get into his stuff until I saw the band play at Shake your Rs at the Espy: must have been a little bit after Happy was released. Then I started to collect the back catalogue and generally become one of those adoring fans who goes to every gig, heh :-)
I guess I oughta give it a go, then. I've been eyeing it a bit lately. One of the guys at Polyester recognized me from when he used to work at Raoul Records* and was telling me I should try it out, given the other stuff he remembered me buying. Weird. I'm not used to being noticed...
* I went down Barkly St on the bus a few weekends back and it looks like there's another(?) record shop in the space where Raoul was. Maybe they just changed their name or something? Wouldn't surprise me if they changed their stock, too, to cater to all those new locals...
on an un-related note... there's something a bit weird with adding comments on the null device. first i got a script error and then the character recognition thingy wouldn't validate despite the characters i entered being 100% correct according to the image!