Hi, happy new year to everyone! 2012 was a busy year for HRP. Lets take a look back at our releases.
USURPER OF MODERN MEDICINE: A jam packed year for UOMM! In April the band released their second EP (Following on from ACID CHESS HRP013) ‘TURBO HANDSHAKE’ (HRP020). The band toured and played shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle to support the release and a video was made for the track ‘Pigeon Religion’. In June they tied with Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving to win the 2012 WAMI award for ‘Experimental Act Of The Year’. The band have played many shows throughout 2012 and experimented with sound and visuals via the ‘Air Mutande’ project. The band plan to release a full length in 2013.
TURBO HANDSHAKE: http://usurperofmodernmedicine.bandcamp.com/album/turbo-handshake-ep
Video for PIGEON RELIGION: http://vimeo.com/40632098
After a break of 5 months SMRTS spent 3 days recording the ‘HAVE FRIENDS AND VISIT THEM AT NIGHT’ LP (HRP016) at LOOP Studios. Touring through Sydney and Melbourne in march and returning to launch the LP in Perth in April. They welcomed in the afternoon sun at the In The Pines festival. SMRTS were chosen to play as a ‘musical’ score to a TAFE graduate fashion show and supported iconic noise rockers SHELLAC and legendary Macedonian prog band Leb I Sol. New songs are being written and more gigs to occur.
Album review at Mess + Noise: http://www.messandnoise.com/releases/2001001
Collection of Videos:
Stream/Buy the album: http://heartlessrobot.bandcamp.com/album/have-friends-and-visit-them-at-night
The ever evolving, shape-shifting collective that is BROWN released their debut cd ‘VARIOUS SHADES OF…’ at the end of June with a massive ‘Carnival/In The Round’ gig. Band leader Adam Brown told us that “Poverty is the mother of invention” as the band utilised home made, circuit bent and modified instruments to create and record the 11 track album. Featuring 3 guest vocalists, the tracks range from harsh, distorted noise sounds, to ambient/soundscapes to bluesy Tom Waits-esque vibes. BROWN are always recording new sounds in all if their incarnations. Keep an eye and ear out for new sounds.
Stream/Buy ‘VARIOUS SHADES OF..”
BROWN page with new sounds and live clips: http://brownperth.bandcamp.com/
Mammoth, collosal doom lords DROWNING HORSE turned heads and ear drums supporting Boris in March and Russian Circles in September. They ruined the mood (and ear drums) at the In The Pines festival in April. The band launched the self titled, double gatefold LP over two shows in August/September. The band are working on some new material and making rare live showings. They capped off the year with a handful of shows Adelaide and Melbourne.
Band website: http://drowninghorse.blogspot.com.au/
Small live clip at In The Pines:
Buy the LP here:http://www.drowninghorse.bigcartel.com/
3 piece noise/punk/pop trickster BAMODI returned to give listeners a double dose in 2012. With the new rhythm section locked in, BAMODI released 3 new songs on a split 7” with Japanese 2 piece prog/noise/pop/grind/??-sters MEKARE KARE. The 3 BAMODI tracks are described as ” pop-punk to dumb slayer to catchy instrumental” (Songs that you can meow along to)whilst the 2 MEKARE KARE tracks are drum/bass punk work outs in the vein of RUINS and Lightning Bolt. BAMODI also released a 12” LP via our good friends TENZENMEN and played shows in Adeliade, Melbourne and Sydney.
Purchase here: http://bamodi.bandcamp.com/
“Perth’s least favourite sons” followed on from the Xmas 2011 Reel to Reel sessions with an instrumental EP and a full length ‘concept’ album. “Guildford Hotel Was An Inside Job’ is 6 instrumental prog/punk/metal goodness and features a cover of DEATH’s ‘Vacant Planets’ amongst its hymns to the fallen buildng. NO ROOF, NO HOPE, NO BEER!
‘One Generations Tragedy Is The Next Ones Joke’ is an entirely different affair. A 20 track concept album about the film ‘Scream 4’. OGTITNOJ features a mix of ‘typical’ WT instrumental sounds, tracks with vokillz (Gasp!), electronic/keyboard sounds, warped covers, and dodgy samples. A difficult and rewarding experience. WT are working on new tracks now. Turkish Star Wars concept album?
Listen and purchase both releases here: http://watertemple.bandcamp.com/
Video for the track MW:
Video for the track ‘Make My Body Die’:
DECIBEL are ‘new music’ for the millennium. Combining the sounds of ‘classical’ music filtered via noise, sound art and elements of acoustic and electronic sounds. Led by Cat Hope, the ensemble utilises unorthodox methods to score and play music. Bringing ‘high art’ to rock audiences and vice versa. Several ‘commission pieces’ have been prepared by names such as Lyndon Blue (Solar Barge) and Chris Cobilis (The Tigers, SMRTS, solo). The Gatefold release ‘STASIS ECSTATIC’ features 6 compositions and an amazing 12 page booklet by When studios.
Listen/purchase here: http://heartlessrobot.bandcamp.com/album/stasis-ecstatic
Buy direct here: http://decibelnewmusic.bigcartel.com/product/stasis-ecstatic
Cat Hope talks about Decibel here:
With thanks to Life Is Noise, Redroom Designs, and RTR FM 92.1, we are VERY proud to present..
DROWNING HORSE sounded the way a band called Drowning Horse ought to sound. They were a hellish black stallion with a belly full of lead, sinking into a vat of thick, molten, death… and they were very fucking loud. Bowel-splitting doom drones shook the young earth’s crust, Thor-like drumming set avalanches tumbling and aggrieved vocal growls seemed to summon storm clouds overhead; needless to say, Drowning Horse aren’t for the faint of heart, but they should make any aficionado of heaviness giddy with glee. Drowning Horse will bruise you all over. And you will enjoy it. - Lyndon Blue, Cool Perth Nights
Formed in 2008, Drowning Horse was born from the desire to make truly dark, oppressive music. Music that’s informed by the work of Burning Witch and Corrupted, but re-shaped by the nature of the most isolated capital city in the world.
Thus far they’ve released three grim slabs: a split 7” with Melbourne’s Gore Crow Tones in 2008, a live recording from Dream Studios released on tape in 2010, and last year’s split CD-R with Japanese band Sarry. However, these releases are just a tease to those who have seen them play live, where the absolute doom of the Drowning Horse sound is all encompassing, and even overwhelming.
Whether supporting international acts like Boris and Russian Circles, appearing amongst an all-star line up at the acclaimed In The Pines festival, or destroying the very foundations of venues like 208 and Dream Studios, the simple fact is this: Drowning Horse is probably the loudest band you’ll ever hear. Don’t mistake the sheer intensity for over compensation though, as you’ll also experience the bludgeoning drums, psyche shattering riffs, and demonic vocals of a band that truly knows their intent, and knows how to make it felt.
Now, what it’s all been building up to, is ready to be revealed. Coming out on vinyl only, through Perth’s Heartless Robot label, the self titled debut album from Drowning Horse is a double LP containing over an hour of soul crushing drones and relentless rhythms. They launch this beast at The Bakery on August 24th. Bring ear plugs.
Joining them on the night will be Grief Contest, Ourobonic Plague and DJ Craig McElhinney.
This is an 18+ event.
Ahead of their launch for the new album ‘Various Shades Of…’ BROWNs Adam Burges took time to talk about the bands history, home made instrument and the launch party!
1- Can you tell us a bit about when Brown first formed and the concept behind the band?
Brown was formed as a duo in 2005, I was listening to alot of Faust and Einstrurzende Neubauten at the time and really liked they way they went about making and playing music. I was playing in a few rock bands and also in a marching homemade junk instrument band called ‘Junkadellic’. We used junk drums and hose horns strapped to ourselves and marched around at festivals. Great fun! But this band was quite strict on how the songs were played, not a hit out of time or improv allowed. Amazing band to have been in, but I felt like I needed somethng a little more free. So I decided to start a band that would allow me to break out of the normal rock band thing and try to lose the feeling i was getting that playing in a band was a job. I wanted to get that thrill back of playing. So I thought what made this Junkadellic band so awesome was their homemade instruments. No band sounds like Junkadellic, so If I make instruments that no-one else has also I should be onto something cool.
Doing this type of experimentation music has allowed me to love playing live again. It gives me challenges to make new sounds and instruments all the tme. I get a real thrill when people come up to me after we play and freak out over one of the instruments or what we were doing with them. I never got this at a rock n roll gig. People would say ‘oh yeah good show man’ but no-one would ever freak out like they did when they saw what Brown does. So I guess we’re trying to freak you out, not bore you with a foot tapping song you just go la di da whatever.
2- Brown utilise a variety of modified, circuit bent and home made instruments along with more traditional (drums/bass/guitar etc). Can you tell us about some of the creations/instruments used live and on the recordings?
We have quite alot of instruments some great some failed, but they are experiments i guess. I love the sounds different sprngs make, so I have a spring guitar and a few spring gongs as we call them, they are a spring over magnetic pickup sort of thing. Great and easy, I’m a guitar repairer so I always have lots of shitty pickups around I can use. I’ve made a boom stick, wich is a bass string on a stick, big harp thing, a Bucket bass, a slide guitar thing, a thumb piano sort of, and the odd toy or two like circuit bent kids guitars.
Lots of percussion like cans on a string., hose horns, and clarinety type reeded PVC instruments. I used all of these on the album. We have big plastic chemical bins as drums, we do also use traditional drums and vintage analog synths too. NO GUTAR WAS USED ANYWHERE ON THE ALBUM!!! Ok well bass guitar but no 6 string electric or acoustics. I wanted to stay away from those sounds, guitar everyones safe thing when recording, they are great but I wanted to not rely on anything safe.
3- Brown utilise some unique recording techniques, please tell us about these and how the recording sessions went.
Poverty is the mother of invention so I used what I had, A VHS player and an old Roland Vs-840, a 90’s zip disc multi track recorder with one broken channel. I have to get old zip discs off ebay now coz they stopped maknig them sadly :-( But I’m still gonna keep rocking the Zips. sounds cool. So I would hook up a mixer to a VHS player and mic up drums or bass or what ever was bassy and dump it down to digital so I could play over it, as VHS isn’t a multi tracker this was the only was to get the tape sound but be able to layer other things on top.
VHS gives a crusty tone to bassy sounds and you can drive the inputs and get an awesome tape break up also. Most of the trebbly sound were done straight digital thogu to give some crispness. None of the songs have more than about 8 tracks on them and there are no pro tools computer clicking things in place going on. Every take was a press play and jam along live thing. If I didn’t like it I did it again till I did.
The mastering was done by Jason Hayles a guy from freo with an amazing studio that has no officail name but he has the gear man oooeee! Valve shit everywhere, So I chose him to do it and he did an amazing job of making my home made dodgy recordings sound releasable. He put it through some custom made valve mastering preamps for me and that made it soooo much better, then it got a general EQ and level lift and there it was. Various shades of…
4 - Are Brown songs all improvised or do you cut tracks up and re-arrange?
Sort of explained this in previous question :-) Nothing was re arranged or cut up. It was all improvised, nothing was planned. All totally live takes. I looked for tones that would work sonicly together complmenting each other.
5 - A few of the tracks have vocals, did you hear the tracks and think of a certain singer or were these collaborations? Are there any other singers you would like to work with in future recordings/live shows?
I asked a few locals to appear on the album as Brown has no vocalist. I let Steve Hughes choose a pre-recorded track & I made ones esepescially for Max Ducker and Maurice Flavel. The song Steve chose was not one of my favourites at forst but with his vocals over it it turned it into one of my fav’s now. Max said give me a junk percussion type thing kind of Tom Waitsy vibe, so thats why that sounds like that. He added the rest of the sounds on that following the no guitar rule, all I did to that track was the junk beat, and Max got Scott White to play piano over it too. With Maurice Flavels track I imagined what Brown would do if we were his backing band and intended to capture the soul vibe to his music but keep the brown sound. So I guess you could call that track a soul song ha ha! Probably the closest thing to an actual song with verse vhous verse on the album.
6 - Tell us a bit about the cd launch/carnivale event, whos playing and whats happening
It’s going to be all the bands on the floor, Steve Hughes dremed up the idea. I was excited and he made it all happen. We also have beer garden acts like Sub Ordnance (Karl Ford) He’s bringing the chansaw out for a show. I.nO.jaQ will blow peoples minds, I bow down to the leader in his case. he is the man whaen it comes to innovative instrument making, I can only dream to know what he knows one day. He is bringing a pyramid 8 string synth controlled instrument, It will blow minds guaranteed, GILGAMESH is playing and will make a massive impact on the night no doubt. Kucka is one of my favourite people in the music scene musicly and in person, her live show and recordings will make her massive I believe, so she’s playing on the bill so one day I can say I played with her. Frozen Ocean are gonna break ear drums, and Abe Sada will close the night assulting us with bass frequencies. There will also be people from Free Art there encouraging people to draw something and stick it on the wall, and a random dominatrix woman will be there, still not sure why she is coming but hey why not i say. ha ha!
Formed in 2005, Brown is a live improvisational and experimental ‘homemade instrument wielding’ band from Perth, Western Australia. The band has never rehearsed and never will, as this guarantees every gig will be a new performance that evolves into something never heard before by anyone.
There are currently 7 rotating members in Brown led live by Adam Brown’s pre gig verbal plan and hand gestures with constant eyeballing whilst improvising. Their live show features many home made instruments such as spring boxes, circuit bent electronic toys, fry pan guitar, a two stringed violin called a biolin, bucket bass, a spring guitar, a harp, can stick, an esky drum kit, hose horns, lots of other junk percussion and noise making devices like a women’s leg shaver and personal vibrators.
Perth misfits Brown belong to the school of musicians who adopt a Duchamp approach to the sonic realm, using mundane objects in obscure assemblages and thereby wringing some utterly remarkable sounds.’ Thethousands.com.au, April 2012
Brown’s debut Album ‘Various Shades of…’ is a collection of various recorded works by Adam Brown and his vast array of collaborators. Featuring guest performances by local Perth talents Steven Hughes (Usurper of Modern Medicine, Injured Ninja), Max Ducker (Mongrel Country), Maurice Flavel (Guttervile Splendour Six), Scott White (Like Junk) and more, ‘Various Shades of…’ is an epic album of warm, intense and cathartically lush lo-fi noise and will be released through Perth imprint Heartless Robot Productions, available from all good independent record stores from June 30th.
BROWN: ‘VARIOUS SHADES OF…’ PERTH LAUNCH EVENT
Saturday June 30th @ THE BAKERY
233 James St, Northbridge, WA
Pre-sales from nowbaking.com.au
To celebrate their new record Brown are hosting a special carnival event. bands play ‘in the round’ as the stage is abandoned and acts play in the middle of the room – in true ‘Brown’ style – audiences will get to witness acts from 360 degrees including the return of GILGAMESH in addition to Frozen Ocean, Kucka and Abe Sada and a plethora crazy costumed freaks for the ‘freaky beer garden sideshow’ including Fur chick, SubOrdnance (with live chainsaw) and more. Visual projections to be conducted by Ivan Borgnino. Watch Brown transform the humble Bakery into a whole new universe.
YES, All bands are going to play in the middle of the room. Break down your comfort zone. You know how good it is to see a band from their perspective? Have the speakers blasting you directly in the face? Feeling the air of the kick drum hit you? Its like the old Hyde Park Hotel, except better. This will be fucking awesome.
BROWN - ‘Various Shades of…’
Available on CD / Digital on Heartless Robot Productions - June 30th 2012
Launch poster coming soon!
Ahead of this fridays LP launch ‘HAVE FRIENDS AND VISIT THEM AT NIGHT’ SMRTS (guitarists Pex and Rachael) took some time to talk about the new album and the recent shows in Sydney and Melbourne
1: Tell us about the story behind the album art and title?
The artwork was taken from a 7”Ep by an amazing Serbian jazzy pop 60s group called Vokalni Kvartet Predraga Ivanovica. It was released in either late 50s or early 60s. I bought it on vinyl a few years ago and was really impressed with the artwork – it’s warm and melancholic, just like the SMRTS’ music. That is why I asked the other band members if they would be happy to use it and they were. It was slightly changed from the original, though.
The title came up on me suddenly, as most things do. Without any warning. It just grabbed me by throat. Again, I asked the band members what they thought of it and they liked it. To me it is a suggestion: YOU should have friends and YOU should visit them at night when you are lonely. Or when they are lonely. Or when you just want to have a chat and a drink and play some music with the people you love. The title could also mean that SMRTS have friends and we visit them at night when they play our record at 1am – we just pop out of the vinyl grooves into their living room and say “Hey there, long time no see…”
2: Please tell us about the origins of some of the track titles on the album?
Just three for this occasion:
PALANKA CALLING – Smederevska Palanka is the name of the town where I was born and grew up. It’s a typical small town – beautiful and evil at the same time. Last time I went to Serbia I really wanted to visit it, but didn’t… So, I thought if the Clash can have “London Calling”, so can I!
THE SIGNS LEFT BEHIND – we live, then we die and some of us leave some signs behind, something that generations after us can look into. My dad passed away a year ago and I’ve been finding many signs he left since then.
A VERY HUMAN LANDSCAPE – I went to this party and got totally smashed/passed out. When I woke up, there were all these people who also passed out on the floor around me. It looked like a very human landscape to me.
3: This album was recorded/mixed over a few days in a ‘proper’ studio, do you think this have any effect on your playing? Was there a bit more pressure because you were ‘on the clock’ so to speak or was it a pretty smooth recording session?
We are pretty relaxed as a band although we like to get things done pretty quickly. Of course with studio time there is some pressure to finish in time, but while the drums were done in the studio, we recorded the guitar parts at Matt’s house in our own time.
4:SMRTS recently embarked on their first tour, playing shows in Sydney and Melbourne. How was the tour overall?
We didn’t have any preconceived expectations for the Sydney and Melbourne tour, but found the shows were well attended and got a good reception. I think Pex would like to go back on tour again soon.
SMRTS launch ‘HAVE FRIENDS AND VISIT THEM AT NIGHT’ on FRIDAY 20th April with special guests Craig McElhinney, Pallas Athena, Andrew Sinclair Ritual Band, Water Temple. Tickets available at nowbaking.com.au and on the door.
In the lead up to the UOMM ‘TURBO HANDSHAKE’ EP launch, Steve, Cam and Cam took time to talk about all things TURBO HANDSHAKE.
1:The new songs feature a bit more ‘electronic’ elements and effects on the vocals, tell us a bit about the songwriting and recording of the album, was it done differently to Acid Chess? Were the track titles thought up before the songs written?
Our recording and writing process was generally the same as for Acid Chess, we worked in the same studios with the same engineers. I think this time we just had much more confidence in what we were doing, and that being said we took a lot longer to make this record because we spent more time experimenting and pushing forward our ideas into new realms. Vocal lines are now fed from the stage into Cameron’s laptop which can alter and sample the sounds of the vocals into rhythmic, synthesized patterns, for that reason every time we use those effects live they sound totally different. We hope to explore this further on future releases.
The majority of these songs were in existance when Acid Chess came out, however, as with our previous material, we crafted these songs by recording them and playing around with arrangements during the mixing and recording process, so the end result is obviously removed from the original jams.
I think just about all song titles were floating around before the songs themselves existed, with the exception of the closing track Steak Rainbow which was named after the apartment we stayed at in Osaka, Japan when we were on tour, and during our days off in that city we finished writing the song.
2: Once again you have had every song on the EP remixed, did you give the remixers guidelines on what you wanted done or did everyone have a free reign? Who would you like to remix your tracks if you could choose anyone from a ‘dream list’?
All remix artists had free reign, of course, we chose them because we are fans of their production style and trust their judgement to re imagine the tracks. I personally would love to have Burial, Fuck Buttons and Flying Lotus do some remixes for us.
3:UOMM is a very visual band, with the projections and the video for Grill Washington Christ, are there any plans for a video for one of the tracks off TURBO HANDSHAKE (Pigeon Religion perhaps)?
I’m working on it right now! Watch this space. We took a camera down to our jam last week and filmed us playing, and now, like how we do with our music, I am manipulating it into something much more then originally intended.
4: Tell us a bit about the gig and the bands/acts chosen for your launch at The Bakery
We are playing the Bakery in order to set up our full stage and lighting setup, which we often find we don’t have enough opportunity to do so. Full projections and lighting coming in - it should look incredibly epic.
We are bringing some special guests from Melbourne named Absolute Boys over to support. They are a great band we saw at a festival we played in New Zealand earlier this year. We think you’ll love them. They remind me of My Disco but with a very heavy dub (real dub, not dub-step…) influence. Incredibly sexy rock music.
French Rockets are one of the most psychedelically assaulting bands that Perth has, who are coming back to play shows in support of their upcoming album. They were mindblowing performing with Wooden Shijps the other week and i’m sure they’ll be just as incredible at the launch show.
Naik makes some of the greatest beats in the business, blending genres and sounds like no other. You could call it hip-hop but its so much more and amazing to see performed live. As a provider of a fine remix for us there was no contest, he had to play.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HEARTLESS ROBOT PRODUCTIONS HRP020
Available online and in stores
16th APRIL 2012
Preview track ‘Pigeon Religion’ on Soundcloud
Do we silently suffer in the modern condition? A continuous deluge of uppers, downers, enhancers and inhibitors govern our lives at every opportunity. A world fuelled by bureaucratic decisions and soulless promises. A turbo handshake for the salt of the earth. The hands that shape our world, how carelessly fast they act. Apply a sonic cure, a wake up call, to maintain our identity and remain aware of ourselves, less we be doped, crushed, discarded and swept away.
“It is quite wonderful to hear a band out of Perth that is not indie, psychedelic or would-be pop superstars. Instead we get a band that is soulful, driving and, above all, different. This is Holy Fuck from the western side of Australia.” Life is Noise
Turbo Handshake is the second record from Usurper of Modern Medicine. The next instalment in their pair of EP’s, the counterpart to 2011’s celebrated debut Acid Chess. Continuing to explore heavy driving rhythms and hypnotic grooves with more experimentation into live signal processing including intense vocal resampling and dynamic looping, Turbo Handshake is a step forward into new complex sonic territory while still maintaining the swagger and intensity of their debut. Following the release of Acid Chess, Usurper has toured Japan and New Zealand, opened for acts including Mono (Jpn), Holy Fuck(Can) and Seekae and performed at the 2012 Camp a Low Hum festival in Wellington, NZ. The EP features four original tracks including ‘Pigeon Religion’and ‘I Am the Panopticon’ and four exclusive remixes from artists including AxxOnn, Naik, Ylem and more.
Reactions to ‘Acid Chess’ EP
“It would be too easy to pigeonhole Usurper of Modern Medicine as a post rock band, but the would be to sell short what they have achieved on Acid Chess. The four originals here are a diverse mix of propulsive energy and electronic shenanigans that tear away at the inside of your skull and keep your heart beating all in one” XPress Magazine May 2011
“Being touted these days as WA’s answer to Holy Fuck, Usurper have dropped an epic experiment in electronic and rhythm/guitar soundscapes. Living up to the hype they have garnered over the last few months, Acid Chess builds on solid bass lines and atmospheric feedback to form rolling, unyielding tracks.” EP of the Week, Drum May 2011
USURPER OF MODERN MEDICINE is Steven Aaron Hughes (bass, vocals), Cameron Hines (drums) and Cameron George (laptop, keyboards, re-sampling).
‘TURBO HANDSHAKE’ EP TRACKLISTING
1. Quadruple Dragon
2. Pigeon Religion
3. I Am the Panopticon
4. Steak Rainbow
5. Steak Rainbow (Usurper Remix)
6. I Am the Panopticon (Ylem Remix)
7. Pigeon Religion (Naik Remix)
8. Quadruple Dragon (AxxOnn Remix)
Available on CD / Digital on Heartless Robot Productions April 16th 2012
PERTH LAUNCH EVENT
SATURDAY 14th APRIL
THE BAKERY, NORTHBRIDGE
233 James St, Northbridge
with guests ABSOLUTE BOYS (Melbourne), FRENCH ROCKETS, NAIK and DJ JO LETTENMAIER
Pre-Sale tickets at nowbaking.com.au
$12+bf presale / 8pm - 2am