Designed To Float On....Often when it comes to writing these blogs I find myself musing for some time looking for inspiration and quite often a central focus to an article. Sometimes that inspiration can be drawn from seemingly inconsequential sources. Anyway enough psychoanalysis as it gets me nowhere really other than a couple of sentences into this and besides that's not what's on my mind. Right now I'm thinking about the forthcoming All Tomorrows Parties curated by Dirty Three. The festival widely acknowledged as one of the best events on the Uk festival circuit this year has swapped its old home of Camber Sands in Rye and relocated to a newer facility in Minehead. As previously mentioned the first of this years bi annual (not counting the Nightmare Before X-Mas) is set to be curated by Australian trio Dirty Three. Artists already booked for their weekend include a rare solo show from Nick Cave, Joanna Newsom, Yann Tierson, Einsturzende Neubauten and the début performance from Grinderman (described as dirty, hairy and damn well old enough to know better on their website.)
Anyway to the point along with all the more well known names there are also a peppering of the less well known, even a selection plucked from the relative obscurity of the Australian independent scene. Which got me around to thinking what else is going on over there, that doesn't often pierce the outside world beyond the odd good word in select publishing in the later otherwise rest of the world.
The Boats are an instrumental rock trio from Melbourne who formed in mid 2003 when a meeting of minds took place between two old school friends and two prospective drummers. Within 15 minutes of the ensuing jam, Paul Guseli (Drums), Jona Byron (Guitar/Loops/Bass) and Nick Connelly(Guitar/Bass/Piano) knew that they were at the beginning of something quite special. Over the course of the next six months the trio formalized both recorded and improv material into a collection of demo's, which were released as four track CD EP. The boats played their first show at Good Morning Captain in early 2004, with long improvisational jams that captured the ears and curiosity of many punters. The good press garnered off the back of these live shows opened up the bands profile to radio airplay and interviews and a second independently pressed three track EP of material entitled "Live & Rare". Around the time of recording this EP work also began on laying the foundations for their début long player (due for release in 2007). Reference points for the band as they enter into their forth year of being and after a period of self imposed hiatus range from looped phased guitar/bass quiet loud dynamics of Mogwai to the deep brooding of Godspeed You! Black Emperor to the dustbowl dramatics of composer Ennio Morricone whilst at the same time stamping their own definitive stamp on proceedings. Often being described as surf-rock, punk, alt country, indie alternative, post-rock and even 'the new jazz'. Quite simply put they could be one of the most interesting instrumental rock bands to rise in recent years and should be listened to as suggested in the liner notes of their "Perennial Love" EP should be listened to in a darkened room preferably with a plentiful supply of tobacco and red wine on hand!
Warmth From A Window (MP3)
Perennial Love [live improv jam May 2006] (MP3)
International Karate formed way back in the ether of 1997 in the shadow Calder Park Thunderdrome (which their handy bio informs me is in the flat wastelands of North West Melbourne.) Initially a two piece but grew to four piece over the ensuing years, beginning in the garage of core members Andrew "Poly" Polydorou (Guitar) and Mark Mascia (Bass). A year later the line up was bolstered with the addition of drummer Aaron Pepper and then later on again by Callan Fox (Guitar/Keyboards). The four piece as was drifted in and out of a hectic live schedule, culminating in an opening slot for revered post rockers Labradford in 2001. Sometime in early 2002 IK decided it was time to record an album. An interminably staggered recording process began and stretched out over 12 months, with dates booked here and there over a whole year. 2003 saw the release of "Weapons Of Mass Protection" on Sensory Projects
records. Featuring the collaborative vocal talents of Daniel Brownrigg the album garnered pleasing reviews focussing on the bands ability to draw deeply from the twin wells of Krautrock past and Post Rock present. The generally pleasant reaction to this album spurred the band into immediately returning to studio to record the follow-up. "Monster In The Soul" released in September of 2004 again on Sensory Projects. In February 2007 the band are set to release their third album of ambient blurred post rock, this time with the addition of vocal talents from folk singer Laura Jean. Extracts from the new album can be sampled at the band's Myspace page.
I Will Hurt You (MP3)