It’s only February, but Adelaide producer Hollow Press already has at least two releases scheduled for the year: one is a free remix album, and the other is a collection of new material courtesy of Wood & Wire. The album has no title or release date at present, but there is this preview video for a track called ‘Memory Lapse’. The video features footage from L’Etoile de Mer / Poison / Emak Bakia by Man Ray, and together with the music it resembles what might happen if W.G Sebald and William Basinski ever collaborated. Wouldn’t that be nice.
It’s not immediately appealing on paper: one guy with an electric guitar making ambient music. There are tonnes of guys doing exactly this all over the world, right this very moment, and Australia is home to a couple of legends in this field (Oren Ambarchi, Seaworthy, etc.) so it’s easy to be suspicious of newcomers. Noodling on an electric in the name of ambient is a common pastime.
So it’s surprising that this K Wilson fellow actually makes gorgeous music. He resides in Western Australia, and uses found sounds as well (wildcard!). He’s just released an EP on Wood & Wire, which you can download for free, and the track below opens proceedings. The template is a familiar one – a single repeated “riff” and some burgeoning ambience – but there’s a strange rhythmic ascent that renders the whole operation quite dramatic, quite eerie. Find out for yourself. It’s pretty good.
Automating is the solo project of Sasha Margolis, who is based in Melbourne, though I believe he may have been traipsing through Europe for a bit there, as musicians like this are wont to do. Anyway, Margolis has a bunch of releases under his belt, but this track is taken from a new Wood & Wire digital release called Somnambulist, which you can either download for free or buy in a fancy handcrafted CD-R edition.
‘Acoustic Decoding’ is a time-lapsed trip through chromatic, emphatically dodgy hyper-futurist smog. Your ship is weaving through a canopy of Emirates high-rises several centuries after Our Death. So what the hell are you doing there, in your ship? Nice stuff, anyway.
Regional Curse is another project from Adelaide’s Stacey Wilson, who also makes music as Rites Wild and plays with Terrible Truths. Natural Living came out recently on New Weird Australia offshoot Wood & Wire, and its sound is a little surprising given all I thought I “knew” about Wilson, which admittedly was never a lot anyway. For one, the mix here is very clean and deep: there’s none of the crisp snare hiss of Rites Wild because this is very much a bass driven operation. The title track, which you can stream below, reminds me a little of some of Laughing Hands’ Dog Photos material: a dreary two note bass “melody” is harnessed by a swarm of modulating notes and barely audible vocalisations. The underlying drone is like a thick ooze of oil, and the aural adornments its chromatic reflections. I listened to this going to sleep recently, and had a dream that I robbed my primary school’s canteen in the dead of night.
Glib personal anecdotes aside, there’s an almost liberating darkness here. It’s not oppressive, but rather spacious and thoughtful. The name “regional curse” is fitting because this doesn’t feel particularly urban. It never gets this dark in the city.
We’re running an interview with Wilson soon, so that will be nice.