Severed Heads, Boxcar, Single Gun Theory and the Volition Records package tour.

I’ve seen Severed Heads three times. First time was Perth in late ‘91 on the Volition Records “An Intro To Techno” package tour. At this point “techno” still specifically referred to original Detroit techno; the pounding four-on-the-floor stuff the KLF were topping the charts with was various hyphenations of “-house”. Volition almost certainly meant something a bit more like “industrial”, but for some reason people then seemed reluctant to say that word with a straight face.

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Scattered Order are alive and well.

Scattered Order are an Australian noise band who are probably “industrial”, but you never see them in any lists of industrial bands, and that’s just wrong. They have never been popular in any sense. They remain good and important, however, and have persisted. Modulo a decade’s break here and there.

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Print your own violin!

Kaitlyn and Matt Hova have put up the files to 3D-print your own violin. Or you can buy parts or a fully-printed example from them. It’s still at the stage of doing it because you can, but it’s actually not terrible.

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New Order: Music Complete (2016).

At almost sixty-five minutes, New Order’s tenth studio album Music Complete. On vinyl it is provided as an impressive heavy-grade double album with an abstract cover design by Peter Saville, which reminds one of True Colours by Split Enz or a 1980s L’Oreal advertisement. With no sense of embarrassment, the album also includes a twelve page booklet of blank pages and uncoloured designs. This ill-considered use of the planet’s declining arboreal biomass can possibly amuse children for a couple of hours as they provide a more interesting expression of colours. As is the fashion with albums these days a digital download code is also provided.

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Links.

“If you think it’s about the music, you’ve already failed.” The pop culture legacy business, and why Kurt Cobain is still a huge star.

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What you need to know about Yasutaka Nakata.

Yasutaka Nakata, of the band Capsule, is a Japanese pop producer. Connoiseurs of producer disco need to hit the Nakata. He’s all but unknown outside Japan, and that’s just wrong. See also Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Perfume.

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New Order and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Opera House, June 4, 2016

The concert hall of the Sydney Opera House is, of course, one of the world’s great venues. Filled to capacity of over two-and-half thousand the audience were displaying an enthusiasm that would continue throughout the night. Although older on average, there was a fair sprinkling of younger faces indicating that the reputation of one of the world’s great electronic and synth-pop bands was still continuing.

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Scott Walker and the freedom to go seriously weird.

Listened to Scott Walker’s 1984 comeback Climate of Hunter again recently. It’s a strange record, but Scott went strange pretty much as soon as he could. After his early pop hits with the Walker Brothers, he took the chance to make his individual vision obvious by the time of Scott 3 and Scott 4 in the late 1960s. He tried consciously mainstream records in the early ’70s that nobody bought, followed by an abortive Walker Brothers reunion, so Climate of Hunter has that “fuck it” that so often signals something good.

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No: Once We Were Scum, Now We Are God (1989).

This is the finest album by the great Australian band No, featuring Ollie Olsen when he was still angry, before he discovered MDMA and made Third Eye. It’s a live album. I got the record when it came out in 1989 and played it every day for a few months. Invigorating and cheering music that will brighten your soul.

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False memories of feelings past.

Front Line Assembly “Mindphaser” just came up on Spotify. I first heard it in 1993 or 1994, in the front room of 20 Stuart Street in Perth. The “cyberpunk house” as it was known. I think I was hungover and possibly still drunk from the night before. Certainly everyone else was.

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