Jane Harris – Misery Cares
ListenRecorded in the first half of 2010, Jane Harris’ Misery Cares has been a long time coming. Like her live performances, the album is concise and well-crafted, centring on Harris’ incredibly beautiful vocal and trademark stripped-back waltz-rhythm guitar. Minimal percussion and warm hiss complete the intimate recordings, featuring contributions from Matt Rösner, Greg Taw and Tom Parker.
Misery Cares is a split release between Badminton Bandit and Berlin-based label Meupe.
Rabbit Island – O God, Come Quick
ListenAmber Fresh’s first full-length album is packed tightly with the echoey gems of delicate mastery that people have come to love and expect from our little friend. In O God, Come Quick the listener is gently hypnotised with stories from a romantic, melancholy, spiritual, watery place, via reverb-drenched vocal loops or fragile acoustic guitar and cello. As usual, this place, being Amber’s heart and mind, is opened to an array of complementary musicians, in Matt Maguire, Tristen Parr, David Egan, Matt Aitken, Greg Taw, Leonie Lionheart and Brad Prestipino.
O God, Come Quick is about a girl trying to do her best and knowing that it can never be enough. It boldly wanders through a sophisticated and authentic exploration of a higher power, in a climate where the notion of God is either cheapened by poor artistry and money-grabbing or dismissed quickly and harshly by indignant critics and hip cynics.
This romantically extensive work comes packaged in a glossy digi-pack covered with found and specially composed photos, as beautiful and intriguing as the densely layered musique concrète approach to recording. The 14 page booklet features lyrics and accompanying automatic writing, which Amber says “Is for people to read while they’re listening to the songs, to help them drift off and/or focus”.
Mental Powers – HOMOH
ListenOur third release with Mental Powers and our first full length vinyl: getting better all the time. Split it down the middle with a shiny piece of glass, HOMOH is about symmetry, getting it done at home and exploring the weird and wonderful joys of homo sapienism.
Bodywash sets the scene in the haunted barnyard with homemade percussion instruments shaking and smashing their way across the woodwork as if possessed. An ominous, triumphant keyboard is welcomed and a screeching saxophone leads a choir of whistles and pipes through a carefully orchestrated spell which builds with tumbling, determined drum waves. The pointy daemons are summoned, Mental Powers are magicians whether they admit it or not. This is too big to touch.
Hand printed design by the band on recycled kraft card sleeves (of course). 10x red, 10x navy, 10x baby-blue, 10x purple, 10x sunset gradient, 100x black, collect em all, trade with your mates.
Rabbit Island / Gilbert Fawn
ListenAmber Flynn (Rabbit Island) and Matt Aitken (Gilbert Fawn) are longtime collaborators and friends. Having recently produced a CD-R together as Gulls, Amber and Matt know each others musical workings as well as their own.
The split single is a perfect format for discussing the two artist’s shared approach and distinctive sounds
Pond – Greens Pool
ListenThis single have been pressed in a limited quantity of 300 and each package contains an individual piece taken from a painting by Australian artist Ben Barretto.
James Doohan – Mystery Meats
Mystery Meats is a collection of poster illustrations hand made by James Doohan, spanning the years 2007 to 2010. A fine artist and drummer for Mental Powers, these posters come from a plane between his two practices.
Designed by Traianos Pakioufakis of Meupe with an essay by Jessica Darlow, Mystery Meats subversively maps the trajectory of a very small music community.
Mystery Meats book was launched with an exhibition at Free Range Gallery in December 2010. The show featured screen-prints of the posters, a book shelf with adjustable bookends by Patrick Miller and a performance by Mental Powers.
Original A1 size prints and artist proofs from the show are still available for sale. Please contact for more information.
Royal Vomit / Cock Safari
Two prolifically independent and productive noise artists from different sides of Australia are brought together on this cassette. Through tape manipulation and collage Royal Vomit (Perth) and Cock Safari (Newcastle) weave soundscapes that are immediately haunting and curious and at times violently abrasive.
Each tape is wrapped in a unique 5 colour screen prin
Taco Leg – Live at Tanya’s
On the 16th of August 2009 there were two notable parties going on in Perth. One was birthday party inside a suburban back shed and one was a warehouse dance party. Throughout the recording of Taco Leg’s set at the birthday party, amid calls of “Jon Grader” and “play Slayer” is a conversation between two drunk kids about the two parties. Around the time that Taco Leg cover Tame Impala’s Half Full Glass of Wine the pair concludes that “this is probably better than the warehouse party”. Despite their apparent haphazardness, Taco Leg are a focused and dedicated band. They lay down catchy one-finger punk guitar riffs, smash out enthusiastic blast-beats and yelp dead-pan musings about architecture, Gossip Girl and elvish waybread. Live at Tanya’s is a tribute to Taco Leg’s dork-come-superhero knack for putting on a great show.
Mental Powers – Stuffed Alive
Stuffed Alive is a collection of live tracks, compiled from old recordings and home takes and produced by the band. One of the strengths of Mental Powers is their live performances – it’s an entirely different experience to a studio album, and shows the density and dynamism of their incredibly complex music.
Stuffed Alive is a substantial introduction to Mental Powers live and a prelude to a forthcoming 12″. The silk-screened disc and foil sticker are illustrated and designed by the band and come packaged in a clam shell.
Whale Hammer – Dreamtape
After playing a show with Whalehammer at the Hydey (RIP) back in 2007 I asked guitarist/vocalist Dave West if they had any releases. I was presented with 4 or 5 free hand made CD-rs, probably only a portion of their back catalogue at that time. In October 2008 they released their album Subterranean with Farmer Frontier which apparently “kind of tells a story of a subhuman underground mutant who lives in total darkness, infects the over-ground populace with poisonous sex spores, and grows desperate for union with another, only to be enveloped and destroyed by a female of the species when this union finally occurs. It may or may not be a dream, narrated by a human ripped to the gills on opium tea.”
Whalehammer have been on hiatus for the past year or so because of West’s relocation to San Francisco. Dream Tape, a collection of improvised recordings from rehearsals has been dug up and remixed by the band. We launched the limited CD-r at a house party where Whalehammer reunited to play for one show only.
Dream Tape drifts freely through dark territories of heavy feedback which are broken by building drum beats and sudden catchy punk riffs. For Perth, who sorely misses the regularity and volume of Whalehammer shows, Dream Tape acts as a reminder, a lesson and a kick in the pants.
Wigwam – Sweat Lodge
In a remote village in the Himalayas a small Indian child tries on my sunglasses and looks into the future. He sees a washy blur of trees, snow capped mountains and winding rivers. Bumble bees are softly buzzing and in the distance the black puma which has been stalking the village howls. In a calm sweaty haze, the small boy contemplates the universe.
Craig McElhinney had a busy 2009 releasing two killer albums, You and Me are Young and Brutal and Loser Orientation on Meupe. Both ample examples of McElhinney’s strange, droning guitar loop excursions.
Wigwam is a collaborative project between Craig and myself and is a chance for us both to delve into stranger and deeper regions of sound. Beats aren’t always in time, notes often out of key. But holding together all of the scattered drums, whirling guitars, phased out vocals and unidentifiable samples is a united understanding of something much more cosmic.
Mental Powers – Untitled
Continuing on from the Fifth Column 7″, which was a real highlight of 2008, the boys have recorded another intriguing, dynamic, fluid, and effecting composition which has translated their precise, passionate and eerily strange live sound accurately into a 25 minute piece made up of 3 tracks.
Dark bass tones, intricate, jazz influenced rhythms, turbo-blasted guitar, saxophone freak outs and mysterious, commanding vocals compete for space until falling naturally into a harmonious, unstoppable groove which ebbs and flows organically throughout the recording.
Packaged beautifully and carefully in sturdy kraft cardboard mailers with appropriately odd and intricate images featuring a metallic green screen print and individually designed and hand painted detail. Each CD has been individually painted, packaged, stamped and numbered by Mental Powers and Badminton Bandit.
Cease – Cicada
A 40 minute composition of 4 hauntingly dark, intense stoner-metal jams, with a calculated sound most Cease fans will be unfamiliar with from the more commonly free and improvised live Cease performances. Packaged in a beautiful matte black cardboard wallet featuring a terrifying wrap around illustration of a cicada devouring a rodent, with soft black felt around the disc.
Drawings by Andrew Britton and David Egan.
Pond – Corridors of Blisterday
Recorded in four sweaty, love-filled and smoke-fueled days, Corridors of Blissterday documents Pond’s aptitude for improvisation and groove riding. From the apocalyptically epic title track opener, the sludgy riffing of Caterpillar Mansion, the tropical pop tones of Sweet Lorreta (a song about falling in love with an alien babe and being stoned on an island in the sun) right the way to the aptly titled Ascending, Corridors of Blissterday is a journey. It’s hard to say where it is you end up, or even where you’ve been, but shit, what a trip!
Pond – Psychedelic Mango
An immaculately divided mango is carefully laid in the green, summery garden behind a cottage in the middle of Fremantle. In the granny flat of his parent’s house Nick, Joe and Jay record the first Pond album on their 8-track. One of the many amalgamations from the Mink Mussel Creek split, Pond formed the day of their first show at Cair Paravel (a series of BB house parties in North Perth, 2008). Oozeing with catchy, feel-good, summer-jams, Mango takes you back to that sunny-day when you just knew that everything was going to be OK.