The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'jeremy dower'
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.
Tonight I went down to the Empress Hotel, to see Letraset, Sister Cities and Jeremy Dower. It was quite a good night, in an electro-pop/ambient sort of way (and connected, promisingly enough, to the Chapter Music label). When I got there, the room was quite full, with people sitting on the floor. Letraset were doing their set with a bunch of modular synths, a Casio keyboard (run through one of them), an old Yamaha organ (also seen in Minimum Chips sets) and a trombone, and played much the same sort of music as on their Snowy Room CD.
Next up were Sister Cities, who were very good. They started with some ambient noodling on an iBook (apparently mostly applying effects/mixing in ProTools), and then went on to play some quite pretty pop with toy keyboards, jangly guitar chords and ba-ba-ba vocals. Apparently they're recording now, and I look forward to their CD when it does come out.
Finally, Jeremy Dower went on, playing some synths and a mixing deck, launching his CD "Music For Retirement Villages circa 2050". It was much as the title sounded like; glitchy easy-listening ambience with fragments of recorded birdsong and the occasional slightly familiar-sounding riff. Needless to say, I picked up the CD.
It's interesting to see the convergence of electronica and garage/indie pop, with computer music software and cheap synths lowering the entry barrier, and electronics having lost the stigma of MOR overproduction that led the yoof into the arms of three-chord grunge. It's about time someone took electronic music away from the twin realms of pill-popping, mindlessly muscular dance music and more-obtuse-than-thou experimentalism, defetishised it and reclaimed it as an equally organic approach to making music. Not that that's a new idea, mind you.