Mimesis: Greek cinema in Australia

I recently had the honour of having some of my music included in the soundtrack for a radio documentary on Greek cinema in Australia. Well before my time, the cinemas existed from the 1950s through to the 1970s, this was a subject that I knew nothing about prior to hearing the documentary myself. It was really interesting learning about what drove the migrant business people and cinephiles to create their mini-empires and how the cinemas became an important focus for social gatherings within the Greek communities in this country, even becoming match-making events in some cases. The half hour documentary, produced by Miyuki Jokiranta, aired on ABC Radio National program The History Listen on March 13th (2018) and had a particular focus on Melbourne but the phenomena was definitely widespread with my mum saying it brought up memories for her of going to Greek film screenings in Hobart when she was young. You can click on the image below to listen to the piece online.

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New solo release on Chemical Imbalance

It’s nice when someone else asks you to release something, in this case the always excellent bedroom DIY label Chemical Imbalance in Sydney. (They also put out The Drunken Boat’s album Sideshow in 2016 as well as a whole bunch of great stuff from Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.) Schmørgåsbaag & Other Furniture is my third solo release to date and is named for the recycled furniture shop come bar come gallery in Hobart where the title track was recorded earlier this year, live in front of a small handful of people. That track is a long one, over 25 minutes in length and comprising the whole of my set on the night; it’s a droning, ambient free-folk kind of thing with plenty of space and amp noise.

The rest of the album comprises another 6 shorter tracks that I recorded at home in Melbourne in August. Aside from everything being played on my electric bouzouki this time around, it’s a pretty diverse bunch of sounds with everything from gentler ambient soundscape to rowdy free improv utilising extended (lack of) technique, to something that sounds more like super overdriven rembetiko. Despite that variety, I think it holds together pretty well as a whole. Comes in awesome hand-made packaging courtesy of Mitch at Chemical Imbalance, each with unique splatter-art covers. Click on the image below to listen to/purchase the album (very limited edition of 25):

Schmørgåsbaag & Other Furniture cover

 

Bourgeois Bigots & Bad Magic launch gig!

It’s a double launch, this Saturday the 29th of July upstairs at the Tote! Bourgeois Bigots, my drums and keys improv duo with Jesse Clark, will be launching our @ Albert’s Basement Fest cassette – out now on Albert’s Basement. Bad Magic, Jesse’s current solo project, will also belatedly launch his self-titled debut which I released on my label Frustration Jazz late last year. We’re joined by Asset Stripper, The Charles Ives Singers (featuring David Palliser who’s Lame and Free I also released last year) and Propolis. Looking forward to playing at the Tote again and in such great company! Click on the poster for the Facebook event.

July 29th 2017 Poster

Bourgeois Bigots tape released this month

A live recording of my improvised drum and keys duo with Jesse Clark of Howling Gruel, etc. Recorded at Dane Certificate’s Magic Tricks, Gags and Theatre late last year, a venue greatly missed by all who played, listened, watched and communed within and outside its walls. Released on Albert’s Basement this month (July 2017). You can hear a sample below.

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Electricity and the Bouzouki – Revisited

When I first ranted about this subject five years ago, I said at the time that I didn’t like magnetic pickups in acoustic instruments. The basis for my dislike was that magnetic pickups only amplify the strings and not the … Continue reading

I started a record label

I started Frustration Jazz earlier this year, initially to put out my own music and I’ve been keeping it pretty quiet until now because of that. But after just three releases – two solo and one by The Drunken Boat – I’m really excited to be puting out the first recordings that I’m not directly involved in. David Palliser’s Lame & Free is a 3-track album of freely improvised music, played mostly on alto sax, influenced by free jazz but definitely non-idiomatic in its approach. David is a member of Melbourne free music legends Charles Ives Singers amongst other acts, as well as being an awesome painter. As for the label, I plan on keeping it pretty wide ranging with a definite bent towards sounds from outside, underneath and in-between. And as much as I like the more free and fucked-up elements of jazz, it’s NOT a ‘jazz’ label.

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Solo, July 2016

I played a couple of solo gigs in July, the second was at LongPlay in Fitzroy North. Contact mic’d acoustic bouzouki running into a PA, 6 strings not 8 of course, in a free-folk kind of vein. I was pretty happy with the way it went (wouldn’t share otherwise) but I reckon I’ve still got a way to go. Tim Coster was also on the bill that night, making his amazing analogue/digital looping drones, along with the debut of McKosker/Harris/Callaway – two basses and a synth, hope to hear more from those folks soon!