The Null Device

Minimum Chips, Jeremy Dower, Mia Schoen

Tonight I caught part of the Chapter Music show at the Rob Roy. This was sort of the last hurrah of Chapter; the founder, Guy Blackman (who also plays bass in Minimum Chips, and cohosted Untune The Sky on 3RRR) leaves for Japan on Monday, and is winding the label down, at least for the time being.

Jeremy Dower did a set of his combination of experimental glitch electronica and Casiotone boudoir jazz (be very afraid!); much of his set seemed to be prerecorded on a MiniDisc or somesuch (in time-honoured indie/electropop fashion), though over that he played synths, tweaked knobs and at one stage got out a saxophone and played that. Towards the end, he played what sounded like a Casio-driven twee-electro version of Wham's Last Christmas, with jazzy improvisations; which was amusing, in a silly sort of way. After him, Minimum Chips came on and played a set of their groovy, krautrock-meets-lounge-pop brand of music. (If you haven't seen Minimum Chips, imagine what Stereolab would be like if they came from Fortitude Valley, had played at the Punters Club for years and had an aversion to going inside a studio and recording, and you might have some idea of what they're like.) Which was good, as they played a number of the songs they haven't gotten around to recording.

(Aside: I always find that Minimum Chips are the sort of band who sound better on recordings than live. Perhaps this is because they're such perfectionists in the studio that recordings come out highly polished and impeccable; one of the reasons why they don't have much released output. They're sort of like the opposite of Ninetynine (who sound better live than on recordings) in this way.)

I left shortly after Minimum Chips finished (the Wagons, the next act, are a bit too country'n'Preston for my liking), but I went away with the Chapter retrospective compilation Double Figures, as well as the recent Chapter rerelease of Essendon Airport's Sonic Investigations of the Trivial.

There are 3 comments on "Minimum Chips, Jeremy Dower, Mia Schoen":

Posted by: Graham Sat Sep 7 05:18:56 2002

Hmm, except Stereolab have rhythm, something which, judging from Portfolio, has escaped Minimum Chips until very recently - only the last few tracks on that really grabbed me, before that they just meandered all over the place aimlessly, not like Stereolab at all (tho' perhaps a bit like Can), but Freckles is pretty good.

How's the Essendon Airport, btw?

Posted by: acb Sat Sep 7 15:25:57 2002

Portfolio is really old material; even Freckles is a few years old. They have a newer track on the 555 Recordings Popfest compilation (the one with the Empress Hotel on the cover), but nothing else AFAIK.

Posted by: acb Sat Sep 7 17:38:20 2002

Essendon Airport I've listened to once; it's OK (in an instrumental sort of way); not particularly moving or spectacular. Though the last two tracks, which are a sort of new-wavey pop with "Anne Cessna" doing vocals, are rather grating.

I heard some Can from 1972 on 3RRR on Friday. It sounded like something you'd hear on a recent chill-out CD in a cafe.

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