I have never been in Australia, except for that one day to hang out & getting drunk with Australian artist Norwood Grimes (but it’s all a blur now) so to hear a compilation of actual Australian sounds is a bit like sampling the local cuisine for sound fetishists. They say variations of food would make a person eat, so what if a sound lover gets exposed to non familiar Australian sounds? Will it make them listen more? Perhaps even stir so much interest that such a person would pack a bag with recording equipment and jump into the first plane towards Australia to record the sound of kangaroos mating and koala conversations?
I had been all seated down from a sterile Asian location, armed with two dogs who like me never had been exposed to Australian sounds. They didn’t even went to see Norwood Grimes, which makes them even more pure…their reactions had been the most honest and direct with each and every sound bite. When we heard ‘Jean-Michel Maujean – Quagi beach’ one of them just slept through and the other was moving his ears and looking around vaguely. I believe this track contains a very particular sound of a bird. It’s a call I had never heard before and if I had a mirror I would probably look just as confused as the second doggie. How does this bird looks like? Is it really a bird? Maybe a Australian frog in mating season? Perhaps it’s Australians on the beach talking to each other… anything is possible!
Another part of the session was the priceless sounding ‘Outcome Unknown – Not knowing’ which I thought that it must have been a recording of Australian elephants. They don’t sound like any other elephant that I know off, a bit more as if they actually sit in cars and use their trunks to play the car-klaxon after a sensible drinking games with Australian alcoholic wonder shots. The two dogs didn’t pull any sign of interests, but I think they simply care more for birds and cats (and other natural prey).
Another Australian recording that did trigger the attention of the sleeping dog (the other had simply walked off) had been ‘Lana / Furchick – Quick’. This one reminded me of more tropical never heard before Australian birds. But these birds (just like those Australian elephants) don’t sound like average birds; their call is frantic like a repetitive shoutout to fellow birds to come over to form an Australian avant-garde group of experimental music making birds. If I was one I would have surely replied (although making this bird sound probably takes a lot of practice!)
When ‘Hi Entropy – Cat Cafe’ popped in the sleeping dog had gotten back to sleep and the other who had walked away had not come back. It is a bit disappointing to review Australian sounds with the dogs, perhaps they know Australia might be a bit too far away to go all mental about? I would have thought that hearing ‘cat cafe’ would be of special interest to them, maybe the Australian cats just sound too different from the cats that they normally chase around; they simply don’t recognize the tropical appeal of these cats in a exotic cat cafe. I did react to it but instead of sleeping I gave into the urge of a like cat-like dance. I tried to do it in a Australian way; upside down while jumping around like a cat-kangaroo-koala-hybrid who just happened to have swallowed some accidental tab of acid.
The sleeping dog friend had woken up to Jon Tarry – Yokine Groove but didn’t seem to be disturbed. It was as if he had been in Yokine Groove before in a past life and just simply remembered. To me it was all brand new, a sound and music moment that I could not place; was it made by a rhythmical intelligent Australian rattle snake? A human being with a brand new composing technique? I wish my dog could talk so he could have told me all about it. What was it that triggered your interest, doggy?
Next work ‘Apomaria – Pausing Over A Thought Soon Abandoned’ had a loving reaction from the dog too, he would close his eyes with trust and satisfaction as soon as these soothing sounds rolled in. It was a reaction I could solidly agree with; this music speaks trust, like a sound track that quickly touches gently on the forehead, whispering that it’s all alright and everything is good. Australian seems like a place in which lots of wondrous nature hangs out, from exciting areas to more chilled ones. One that seemed to showcase a more grittier seedier side must be ‘ Las Tuneless – farándula ‘ which felt like a theme track of bad ass motorbike-loving Australians in dodgy alleys ready to start their engines to go for a long drive around the island to inspect if the shadows are still there. It’s a balder & rougher scene and both dogs reunited for a game of ‘whose the boss’ and ‘bite the bottle.’ The smallest dog won both of the games; was is because of the energy within this music? That just might be!
Another miniature side from Australia gets shown in ‘Allison Labs – Miniature’ its probably the recording of a discotheque for Australian bugs and insects. Maybe not, but I couldn’t stop imagining a miniature discotheque inside a hollow tree with a disco ball and flying creatures and strong big like creatures hanging out, dancing their micro dances and drinking Australian liquids for a good time out. It didn’t have much effects on the doggies, but perhaps they are simply too large to appreciate miniatures.
But it has to be said, the larger than life sounding ‘Zoe Kilbourn / Sage Pbbbt / Eduardo Cossio – Alst one’ didn’t come across as a miniature but more like a part of Australian nature in which lazy Australian lions and panthers roam around in a sleepy lazy daze. One in which Australian ant eaters blow their snouts in a emotive way to entertain the predators at their local hangout. Oddly, I thought to hear Tom Waits among them… is that the place for him to be left alone and find inspiration? Or is he hired there as a human smoke machine? The dogs didn’t respond; so fearless of them.
A more upsweeping Australian scene gets pushed in through ‘ DJ Skein – Movin’ Up’ which is a bit like being on a night out after having sampled the local (extra strong) energy drinks. I have never drank Australian energy drinks, but they have a reputation of making heartbeats frantically irregular and drinkers jumping around as if they had possessed elastic bouncing legs. Surprisingly one listening dog had gone back to sleep and the other simply (probably no disrespect intended) had walked away to his safe place… a stupid thing to do as I’m 100 percent sure he would have loved to hear ‘Isaac Beers – Descendingbass’, a typical Australian happiness composed of an all loving and happy making Australian bass. It is like a short shot of pure happiness. Australia sound so appealing!
The sounds of the local speaking language of Western Australia also are captured on this release. With ‘Sage Pbbbt – One from out’ you can clearly here how different the English sounds spoken through an Australian tongue and mouth. The dogs didn’t get it but I think if we would listen to it on repeat, one day we could use this language to communicate between humans and animals. How lovely!
All the way to finalize the deal with this compilation of Australian sounds is once again the appearance of DJ Skein, but this time it feels like we are witnessing an army force with glitchy machine guns pointing middle fingers to any orange who questions the sovereign property of Australia, a very interesting and intriguing island with lots of different sounds on offer!