Bringing live electronic sounds back to Melbourne, Clan Analogue launch their new compilation Distance: Sounds for an Empty Space, with nine of the album’s artists performing their improvised drones, noises and atmospheres live at Café Gummo in Thornbury on Saturday, 20th of February.
The new compilation Distance: Sounds for an Empty Spaceis the legendary Australian electronic music collective’s most abstract and expansive music yet. The limited edition cassette version of Distance will be available for the first time at the event.
Drones can represent those aspects of existence that seem too large or abstract to fully comprehend. Drone music gives a sense of both stasis and evolution. It provides a space for contemplation, enables a moment of oneness with the universe.
Over the last year Clan Analogue’s artists have looked within to find renewed sonic purpose. The result is Distance: Sounds for an Empty Space: ten drone compositions blending noise and meditation in equal measure.
Each artist provides their own unique sounds for an empty space. Sectoral’s epic modular synth perambulation is an inner journey through imagined empty streets in our cities. iubar project explores empathy with harsh ambience; Jennifer Lea’s contribution is a sonic blanket in a field. Nicole Skeltys creates a soundscape to accompany a monologue for a dying financial system. Michael Mildren builds on the epic synth drones of early 70s German electronic pioneers.
The sounds explored on Distance range from field recordings, to analogue synthesizers, ipad digitisation to modded antique computer soundcards.
City Frequenciessample and rework the noises cluttering cities in frequency ranges beyond our hearing. Zogam experiments with time-stretched guitar drones while WiLL-i-ROMS rewires the soundcards from early 80s arcade games to improvise layers of digital noise. Kazumichi Grime allows unconstrained pure oscillator tones and white noise hisses to build up into a wall of distortion and conflicting harmonics.
All the Clan Analogue artists contributing to Distance were encouraged to work free of any constraints of time or format. The result is the legendary Australian electronic music collective’s most abstract and expansive music yet.
Distance: Sounds for an Empty Space will be launched at Cafe Gummo in Thornbury, Melbourne, with nine artists from the album onstage playing improvised live drones and abstract electronic noise from 4pm to late on Saturday, 20th of February.
Distance will be available on all major music streaming platforms. A limited edition cassette release is coming soon from Bandcamp.
Analogue presents Mobile Strategies:
Clan Analogue’s new compilation album Mobile Strategies: Battery-Powered Sonics is a survey of international mobile music making. Whether using cheap portable synths, boutique miniature noise-making gadgets or apps on the phone or tablet, making mobile electronic music is expanding the possibilities of music creation and performance, turning the train ride into a production session, turning the local park into a studio.
Mobile Strategies includes contributions from music producers located on 3 continents and using a broad-range of mobile setups. The album’s 19 tracks include contributions from Tame Impala’s drummer Barbagallo, Germany’s prominent mobile music proponent Perplex On and the Melbourne-based KOshowKO who has pioneered venue-specific live audience sampling with the use of iPads.
A growing trend among the community of music producers is a return to the tactile experience of music creation tools and a focus on hardware that reduces the reliance on desktop systems. The different feel of mobile technologies impact upon the way producers choose to engage with particular formats. Portable technologies empower producers to redefine their methods of music creation in the contemporary digital space.
The mobile technologies used on the album range from the vintage TB 303, TR 606 and Casio SK-1 instruments used by Australian electronic act Rantzen & Spinoglio, through to a Gameboy Micro running custom software used by chr15m + Fenris to the latest invention by Teenage Engineering, their OP-Z sequencer, utilised by Perplex On in a nature-inspired, glitchy and bass heavy track produced during a hike in the Bavarian countryside.
The album is available on all major music streaming platforms. There is also a special Bandcamp edition of the album, featuring a digital booklet detailing used equipment as well as the creative process behind each track. Customers who purchase the album on Bandcamp will also access a special folder with 6 bonus tracks not available elsewhere.
Michael Mildren launches the third Process album: Free Electronic
Melbourne electronic music virtuoso Michael Mildren releases the third in his epic Process series of mini-albums, with Process 3: Free Electronic. Free Electronic follows on from Process 1: Studies in Kraft, where Michael recreated the music of Kraftwerk, and Process 2: Post-Kraft, where Michael applied the lessons of Kraftwerk’s production methodology to his own original work. Whereas Process 1 and Process 2 releases were created within tightly-specified musical parameters, with Process 3: Free Electronic, Michael explores a free-form improvisational aesthetic, largely discarding drum machines and utilising his live improvisational skills to create a selection of extended freeform pieces of atmospheric and kaleidoscopic nature.
Process 3: Free Electronic aims to reconcile two seemingly opposed ideas – complete creative freedom in the moment versus the machinelike nature of electronic music technology. To achieve this, Michael drew inspiration from many sources. In the 1960s, free jazz artists such as Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane aimed to jettison restrictive musical structures and express themselves directly from the subconscious. In the early 1970s German electronic artists such as Tangerine Dream and Cluster experimented with early sequencers to develop a “motorik” style, where the rhythmic momentum was driven by arpeggiated synth patterns rather than conventional drumbeats. And more recently, Michael Mildren performed an epic 12-hour improvised set in the 2016 Melbourne Fringe Festival entitled Music Non-Stop where he was able to explore this freeform approach to electronic music performance.
To create Process 3 Michael utilised his extensive collection of classic electronic instruments, ranging from new Arturia synths to rare vintage items like the Farfisa String Orchestra, Roland SH1000 and Korg Poly-800. The results are a stunning collection of extended electronic pieces that are evocative, meditative and suggestive of an undefined narrative yet to be written. Michael’s experience with electronic music goes back over several decades, his virtuosity allowing him to draw inspiration directly from his machines without the interruption of conscious thought – the ideal of Free Electronic.
After Kill Climate Deniers comes The Bolted Report
“Ah, Canberra. Plenty of bong for your buck. Drug-addled politicians. Drugged kids reading ‘Kill Climate Deniers’. This is lower than the original town of Acton, sunk beneath the lake this last century.”
To commemorate the successful season of the Kill Climate Deniers theatrical production at Griffin Theatre in 2018, Clan Analogue are pleased to release the new Special Edition of Ingall and Finnigan’s EP The Bolted Report. Along with the original version of ‘Bolted’ (in both extended album version and radio edit form) comes four remixes of ‘Bolted’ exploring the philosophy of Bolt and his followers through the prism of a range of electronic and dance music styles, from classic late-80s techno to the hippest bounce sounds to leftfield experimental dronescapes.
When Andrew Bolt heard that some lucrative arts funding was going towards a possibly subversive theatre show called Kill Climate Deniers, telling the story of an explosive attack on Parliament House by a group of eco-terrorists, he wasted no time in unleashing his blog readership to vent their vitriol. Reuben Ingall and David Finnigan took the assorted ensuing rantings and incorporated them into the single ‘Bolted’ from their concept album Kill Climate Deniers, released in 2016 by Clan Analogue.
Following on from the album’s release Clan Analogue are pleased to follow up with Ingall and Finnigan’s new EP The Bolted Report. Along with the original version of ‘Bolted’ (in both extended album version and radio edit form) comes four remixes of ‘Bolted’ exploring the philosophy of Bolt and his followers through the prism of a range of electronic and dance music styles, from classic late-80s techno to modern bounce.
When EMF mainman James Atkin heard that Kill Climate Deniers was soundtracked by classic dancefloor bangers from the late-80s and early-90s he jumped on board with full house piano riffs blazing to provide his ‘Unbelievable’ remix.
Wade Clarke, the genius behind Aeriae, provides a hyperkinetic IDM mix under his new side project alias Profound Actor.
Electronica despot Future Conduits cracks open Bolt’s skull with his FUKD & BOMBD mix, sliding 90’s drug hysteria into KCD’s modern climate concerns.
Reuben Ingall gets bouncy as Dead DJ Joke with his tangential revisit.
Iubar Project stretch and mangle the blustering verbiage of Bolt and his acolytes in a sonic attempt to explore their innermost thought processes.
And Clan Analogue luminary Nicole Skeltys, formerly of B(if)tek, and her collaborator Robin Hemmings give us a new take on the Kill Climate Deniers album track ‘Tumblr Dot Com’. The original being far too catchy to improve on electronically, they went for a live reinterpretation, throwing in pathos, angst and howling harmonica.
The lyrics for ‘Bolted’ are derived from Andrew Bolt’s published writing on Kill Climate Deniers, and from the comments of his blog readership: “The Left is the natural home of the modern totalitarian – and of all those who feel entitled by their superior morality to act as savages.”
Visit http://killclimatedeniers.com for more information about Reuben Ingall and David Finnigan’s multimedia project Kill Climate Deniers. The Kill Climate Deniers album and the new Bolted Report EP are available through Clan Analogue at www.clananalogue.org
Every now and again a Clan Analogue artist presents a Spotify playlist highlighting influences, inspirations, obscurities and anything else interesting in the world of electronic music.
Here Melbourne’s synth virtuoso Michael Mildren presents a playlist of his pick of the best covers of Kraftwerk songs. There have been many attempts to cover the work of German electronic pioneers, however Michael Mildren is in a unique position to assess the quality of all the efforts so far. In 2017 he released the first of his Process series of albums – Process 1: Studies in Kraft. This release was the the product of Michael’s intense study of the classic 1970s work of Kraftwerk, resulting in his recreation of 11 of their tracks with exacting sound design and 70s electronic music performance practice. And let’s not forget that he performed the whole set live with vintage gear in show Men/Machine in the Melbourne Fringe.
So, what are the best versions of Kraftwerk’s songs around, according to Michael?
Señor Coconut – Showroom Dummies
I first heard this when I was playing a piano-bar gig at Claypots Bar in St Kilda. I had a Saturday residency for 3½ years and this was my song of choice to play on the iMac playlist when I finished at midnight. I think it captures the spirit of Kraftwerk minimilism very cleverly.
Eric Wøllo – In the Hall of Mirrors
This is a nice hypnotic piece, again, faithful to Kraftwerk. Their music is perfect for acoustic instruments, and gives even classical musicians something to work with. I’d like to see a film that used this as its soundtrack.
Balenescu Quartet – Computer Love
Sounds like Steve Reich at first, as it should, then turns a bit twee, but still worth a listen. A full orchestra version could be nice for this classic love/pop song.
Siouxsie and the Banshees – Hall of Mirrors
A bit of New Wave nostalgia. Maybe skip if you don’t enjoy the aesthetic…
Michael Mildren – Computer World
One of my favourite songs of Kraftwerk, and one that I had fun rendering. The piano line is played on my old monophonic Roland SH1000 and I used the French version of Texas Instruments Language Tutor, which I got from Palm Beach Queensland, via eBay.
Yoshihiro Hayashi – It’s More Fun to Compute
Nice sounds in this, it moves along nicely.
8-bit Arcade – Franz Schubert
In 1983, I walked through a games arcade recording the incredible collage of sounds on a walkman. I’ve always loved the directness of this computer generated music. 20 years later, my son Max was making chip-tunes with his Gameboy.
Snakefinger – The Model
If it’s good enough for Snakefinger, it’s good enough for me. I bought his solo album on cassette in 1982. Demented Hawaiian holiday music.
Michael Mildren – Neon Lights
Another song I used to play sometimes on piano at piano bar, this was the first song I rendered for my Kraftwerk collection. The manually played harpsichord vamp was made on an old Italian Elgam Montreal Electric Piano (now defunct). Other equipment on this track: Roland SVC350 vocoder, EM101, SH1000, Korg MS20, Arturia MicroBrute.
Kraftwerk – Ohm Sweet Ohm
At this point I’m thinking we need to hear some actual Kraftwerk, for reference. The best instrumental they did (almost). Very catchy and meditative. Another should-be soundtrack theme.
Bubblyfish – It’s More Fun to Compute
Nice to hear how other musicians tackle Kraftwerk music. This is kind of cool.
David E. Sugar – Radioactivity
Okay, nice cheap-bit sounds, nothing like the original but good muzak anyway.
Hebert Weixelbaum – Tanzmusik
Here’s a nice short doco on youtube that features this song at the end
Kraftwerk – Franz Schubert/ Europe Endless
Maybe I could have a small solar-powered sound system built into my gravestone with this on endless loop….just quietly.
Michael Mildren will be playing at Clan Analogue’s Analogue Processes on Saturday the 22nd of September at Swamplands in Thornbury as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Melbourne electronic music virtuoso Michael Mildren continues his Process series of mini-albums with the second instalment, Post-Kraft. The Process series is Michael Mildren’s new collection of four mini-albums, each exploring a different facet of electronic music technique and artistic philosophy. Clan Analogue is releasing each instalment in the Process series monthly until early 2018, with Process 1: Studies In Kraft having been released recently.
Process 2: Post-Kraft follows on from Process 1: Studies in Kraft, in which Michael explored the music of Kraftwerk by replicating a selection of their greatest tracks with the equipment, techniques and musical mindset of these German electronic music pioneers. With Process 2: Post-Kraft, Michael Mildren has taken the lessons he learned through exploring Kraftwerk and applied them to eight new original compositions, all infused with the aura and consciousness of the German electronic pioneers. The result is a collection of songs which sound both classic and current, of interest to fans of Kraftwerk or to anyone who appreciates the sounds they inspired, whether new wave synth pop, Detroit techno, modern electro or the myriad of other electronic styles they spawned.
Michael Mildren has made his mark with several acclaimed performances in the Melbourne Fringe Festival. These include his 2015 Men/Machine performance, where he reworked classic Kraftwerk tracks with vintage gear and period performance techniques, and more recently with Music Non-Stop, a stunning 12-hour improv set in 2016, where an array of guest performers augmented his layered atmospheres and propulsive rhythms throughout the sonic marathon.
Post-Kraft opens with the epic ‘Levels’, where Michael explores the development of electronic music from unfiltered noise through to manipulated drones before emerging into arpeggiated melodic polyphony and the propulsive rhythmic drive of the motorik German sound. ‘Like Me’ follows on with a song epitomising the machine-inspired pop of Kraftwerk’s late 70s style, with vocodered vocals and the theme of the effect of technology on human relationships.
‘GeoEngineering’ explores the early 80s Kraftwerk sound that inspired Detroit techno, with a minimalist take on a modern environmental issue. ‘This Is an Emergency’ pays homage to some of the slower, more contemplative tracks on Kraftwerk albums such as Autobahn and Radio-Activity. ‘Treading the Fine Line’ continues in the introspective vein, with a melodic reflection on existence before album closer ‘Meditation in G’.
Process 2: Post-Kraft from Michael Mildren is available now from Clan Analogue. Process 3 will be released this Summer.
2. Like You
4. Satellite in the Sky
5. This Is An Emergency
6. Find Your Here
7. Treading the Fine Line
8. Meditation in G
The legendary collective Clan Analogue collective celebrate 25 years of independent Australian electronic music-making in 2017 with the release of their 50th record, the new compilation album Coordinate: Collaboration Beyond the Algorithm (CA050).
Already hugely respected for their diverse and innovative compilation albums, Coordinate: Collaboration Beyond the Algorithm sees Clan Analogue take their most unusual approach yet towards putting together a release. Fifty electronic and experimental music artists from Australia and overseas registered to take part in the Coordinate project, each one paired up to collaborate with artists they had never met before. Their only instructions were to move outside stylistic comfort zones and to respond to the theme ‘beyond the algorithm’.
Whether working with cloud-based collaborative DAW software or posting back and forth CD burns, each collaboration found its own method to bridge the geographic and stylistic divides they faced. The results are an exceptionally diverse yet thematically unified release, traversing much of the terrain of electronic music over the last 25 years yet moving forward with new evolutions of sound with each collaboration pursuing its own unique vision.
The theme of ‘beyond the algorithm’ was chosen to reflect the ways in which we are increasingly herded to interact with those who think like us. Through the ubiquitousness of social media as the dominant communication platform of today we are driven more and more to interact with those who think like us, who share our values, who will confirm our attitudes. The result is an echo chamber that narrows our perspectives and standardises outcomes, including in the area of art. Collaborators were selected for each Coordinate artist specifically to undermine this tendency and to push each collaborator ‘beyond the algorithm’.
Coordinate spans 12 diverse collaborative visions. Opening track ‘Let the Robots’ by German classical musician Sunitram and Bowral-based techno artist Wasters of Time asks what we are prepared to give over to algorithmic control. Electro-pop artist John von Ahlen collaborates with psychedelic aficionado Shane Osterfield to create the stomping rockno excursion ‘Millonario’. Modular synth devotee SFBM joins with experimental sonic practitioner David Prescott-Steed on ‘Heuristic’, a techno journey into the extremes of sound. These are just some of the sonic avenues explored in the album’s 12 tracks.
When Random Acts of Elevator Music first appeared a decade ago, striding the streets in business attire with their portable studio hidden in briefcases, they struck terror into the hearts of security guards and HR departments throughout the CBD. What would happen to their performance bonuses if Random Acts of Elevator Music successfully infiltrated their office buildings and enlightened the consciousness of their workers with live muzaktronica?
Now appreciators of ambient tones and soothing melodies will be simultaneously delighted and challenged with the Random Acts of Elevator Music album. The surface sheen of new age synths and major key melodies is overlaid with glitch aesthetics, low-fi production, improv attitude and a Situationist philosophy drawn from the elevator jam sessions where this music began.
Virtual modular bleeps mix with early-80s digital technology, conveying the social and psychological landscape of the modern metropolitan work environment. Tracks such as ‘Lunchtime Meditation Session’, ‘Power Walk’ and ‘Spreadsheet Dreams’ convey scenarios familiar to all office workers, where the demands of corporate productivity often seem impervious to the humanist spirit.
If this album doesn’t help to raise your personal productivity we won’t be giving you a refund, unless you complete our 3-stage application form. But we guarantee that if you load it up on your phone your lift journey to the 39th floor will be a lot more stimulating. For proof we recommend you check out our website for the personal endorsements of lift-travelers captured on video when stumbling into a lift where Random Acts of Elevator Music had appeared.
1. Waiting in the Foyer
2. Their Eyes Met Across the Partition
3. Up and Down
4. Power Walk
6. Spreadsheet Dreams
7. Lunchtime Meditation Session
8. Transmission of Statistical Data
9. Lunchtime Meditation Session (live version)
Following on from 2016’s “plastic ambient” album The Month Machine, Melbourne’s microsynth virtuoso Kable54 has turned his hand to creating an album of acid-tinted krautrock jams with electric circuitry and voltage, the superb Volca Galaxies.
Volca Galaxies evolved over 12 months of live performances and improvisational jams around Melbourne using a minimal setup of small portable analogue Korg Volca synths. Kable54 took those jams, polished them up and fed them a diet of East German steroids and West German psychedelics before piecing the whole thing back together again. The record sounds like an energetic, emotional journey through the hypercolour enormity of the Milky Way galaxy. For once we elected to keep the hyperbole to a minimum and let the artist tell his only story….
“Last year, I was sick of making music by sitting in front of the computer, alone. I wanted to play live performances to real people. I wanted to move away from the computer” said Kable54 about his initial motivation. “Then I found out about Korg’s Volca synths when I stumbled on a random youtube clip. Realising this would be a way more intuitive and performative way to make music, I worked some extra shifts to raise some cash and soon had a great little setup sitting on my kitchen table. Then it was goodbye laptop!”
“The development of the album is more like a 70’s rock album than modern EDM thing… songs were written, then tested out by performing in a bar that night. They developed and changed as I roadtested them from gig to gig. The weaker ones were kicked out of the set, new ones composed and ideas honed for maximum impact”.
“I was performing once a fortnight or so, at pubs, bars, cafes, festivals, wherever. Melbourne’s a great live electronic music scene if you know where to look. After six months or so, it really came together. Instead of individual songs, they started merging, becoming one hour-long piece”.
When Kable committed his sounds to tape he focused on capturing the live improv spirit. “Recording the album, it was really important to stay true to the live performance… the limitations that live performance has, as well as the limitations of the Volca synths. I wanted to take my live set in its entirety, disassemble all the pieces, polish them up, feed them performance-enhancing drugs, then re-assemble the whole thing”.
Volca Galaxies, the new album from Kable54, will be launched at Bar 303, 303 High St, Northcote on Saturday 16th of September at Analogue Coordinates, part of Clan Analogue’s 25 Anniversary Electronic Weekend in the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Tickets are available from www.melbournefringe.com.au
1. Viper Live
2. Ballet Statique Redux
3. TR Sparks
4. Quick Jam
5. Empire Files
6. Ubermensch When I Can
7. Son of a Snakeoil Salesman