Monday, 25 January 2010

Mail Order

TO ORDER: Simply email what yr after
PAYMENT: paypal only:
POSTAGE: All prices include postage in UK and Europe respectively.


SYN021 - Julian Williams -"Liquidambar" CD £8 / 12.00 €
SYN020 - Francis Plagne - "st" CD £8 / 12.00 €
SYN019 - Pateras/Baxter/Brown - "Gauticle" CD £8 / 12.00 €
SYN018 - Francis Plagne - "Idle Bones" CD CD £8 / 12.00 €
SYN012 - Robin Fox - "Backscatter" DVD £12 / 16.00 €
SYN009 - Pateras/Baxter/Brown - "Ataxia" CD £8 / 12.00 €
SYN008 - Samartzis/Lunding - "Touch Parking" LP £10 / 14.00 €
SYN007 - Anthony Pateras & Robin Fox - "Coagulate" CD CD £8 / 12.00 €
SYN006 - Snawklor - "It would have lived here" CD £8 / 10.00 €
SYN005 - Délire - "Diaspora" CD £8 / 10.00 €
SYN003 - Parmegiani/Samartzis - "Immersion" LP £13 / 18.00 €
SYN002 - Various - "Strewth!" CD £8 / 10.00 €

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Julian Williams "Liquidamabar" CD

Out Now! We have copies of this for sale - £8 / 10.00 €
email to order.

LIQUIDAMBER is Julian's latest solo album and represents a merging of his pop and experimental careers, reflecting influences from the Beach Boys to John Cage. The 12 songs feature multi-layered vocal harmonies and time-shifted sound samples atop guitars, organs and flutes. His lyrics are about philosophy, the role of humans in the universe, and tribal rites and ceremonies from Africa, South America and Asia. Included is a bonus EP Signs/Skilti, which was the soundtrack to Julian's 2004 outdoor theatrical performance at Ceres.

"It's pop music for the experimentalists: highly original, highly idiosyncratic outsider music, with bizarre sounds careering around happily, over which Williams intones, multi-tracked in very loose harmony with himself. ... The icing on the cake is his vocal harmonies: his call and lethargic response, his dense and at times extremely scattered layers and pitches of vocals. ... It's music that bends time, that messes with your equilibrium and makes you wonder if you'll ever get old enough that the flashbacks will finally end." (Bob Baker Fish, Inpress, January 2009)

"Mystical and searching in the extreme, Williams has turned in a bottler of backyard surrealism that confirms him - if such a thing were in doubt - as key to Melbourne's current psych-primitivist crop." (Mark Gomes,, January 2009)

Split release with Spill Records.
Distributed in the UK by Cargo Records
Digital: i-tunes

Saturday, 29 November 2008

हेअर्द वोरसे Records

We have copies of this sucker for sale. Only a handful. £8 inc postage.
Various - Ten Grand Tonearm
Heard Worse Records LP
Electronic, Jazz, Rock, Noise, Free Improvisation, Musique Concrète
Packaged in recycled classical LP sleeves, with attached A3 poster.

A1 RLW Rattenwuerger (4:50)
A2 Castings Mush March Waltz (4:10)
A3 Rahdunes Untitled (3:00)
A4 Cygnus Untitled (1:46)
A5 xNoBBQx Excerpt (4:52)
A6 Loachfillet Monoculture (1:00)
A7 Marco Fusinato You Can't Blow Up A Social Relationship (0:47)
A8 Sun Of The Seventh Sister Live At Now Now '07 (3:11)
B1 Vitamin B12, The Understand 2 (0:48)
B2 Mark Harwood Untitled (6:26)
B3 Werewolf Jerusalem Asleep With Diseases (2:30)
B4 Misty Lavender Doughnuts Of Shame Bellend (2:28)
B5 Arse Lunch Live At Winter Tragic 2007 (5:07)
B6 Pigs In The Ground Buried Alive In A Soiled Casket (5:22)
B7 William De Cunting Don't Just Stand There Immigrant (0:53)

Monday, 12 May 2008

Pateras/Baxter/Brown "Interferance" CD

A new cd by Pateras/Baxter/Brown is to be released on June 2nd, 2008 by emd records

42 minutes, 5 tracks. Limited edition of 500 copies. And comes in this weirdo nifty package:

1. Bulletproof Wallets. 4:16
2. You Can Do It Pimp Lucius. 13:18
3. What a Fool Believes. 5:03
4. Ghostschreddinglymuterfucingkillahinthethemotherfukinghouscunts. 5:15
5. Troo Kvlt In C. 14:08

Anthony Pateras: prepared piano
David Brown: prepared guitar
Sean Baxter: drums

All music by Pateras/Baxter/Brown. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Chris Lawson at ABC Southbank Studios, Melbourne, Australia, 2006-2007. Photography by David Brown. Rust sculptures by Greg Kingston. Layout by Shehab at Implant. Special thanks to Artur Nowak, Chris Lawson, Musique Action, Mark Harwood, Will Guthrie, Petr Slaby, The Necks, Valerio Tricoli, Mary Oliver, Alternativa, Sandro Wiedmer, Sixto & Marion.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

ICA Podcast

Click on the title of this post to find a link to a recent podcast put together by the good folk at 'The Experiment' hosted by the ICA which has a selection of Synaesthesia tracks along with many other fine, fine audio wares.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Francis Plagne by Richard Macfarlane

Artist interview/article: Published in cyclic defrost issue 18, November 2007.

Before I spoke to Francis Plagne on the phone, I rode the bus with my headphones firmly in place, the volume up high. For the duration of my trip, I made it nearly all of the way through Francis Plagne, his second album, watching out the window the entire way home.

After spending much time with this record, it seemed the perfect way to hear it, the strange and visual evocations of different places, and the variety of different spaces that shift throughout its 91 minutes. There are claustrophobic spaces, and wide-open vistas conjured through the use of field recordings. Francis Plagne is like looking out the window of a bus as the scenery unfolds. It’s easy to attach metaphors to his sprawling work, but it’s bewildering to discern exactly where Francis is coming from, probably because he’s coming from everywhere at once. You could say it’s a schizophrenic musical identity, but I’d say it’s really just glee and enthusiasm that drive it all.

“I suppose initially it just comes from having an interest in lots of different things. Everything I did on this record was just something I was peculiar about in its own form, field recordings, songs, or whatever. There was a point where I just decided to stick it all together; there is something a lot more schizophrenic about this new album, or at least more self-consciously so. With the first one, I just made a whole bunch of concrete and a whole bunch of songs, but with this one, it ended up that there was a lot more obvious interplay between the two things.”

So, he’s young - 20 years old. Francis started playing guitar early on and started recording “garbage” onto four-track when he was about thirteen. He’s currently studying for an Art History degree in Melbourne, making music in the same bedroom as he always has, at the same time. He’s got different toys now, and way more of them. There are plenty of instruments and sounds at his fingertips, but far more to grasp onto in terms of music that has come before. I’m unsure if it’s necessarily a youthful willingness to try and take past music and further it, or destroy it (or both), but Francis is certainly eager to do so.

“I suppose all music, whether popular or experimental, is based on interpretations; no one ever makes some outrageous new discovery, or at least very rarely. With the way that I work, which is lots of different styles mixed together, it becomes obvious that it’s me picking and choosing from what I’m interested in, and then having a go. One of the things I really like about recording at home, with limited means and playing everything myself is that I can try and rip off something. I could do a direct rip off of some big ’60s band, and it will sound like a hermetic interpretation of a ’60s big band. Really it’s just me trying to do the same thing but I just can’t, because of the means that I have at my disposal.”

“I think a lot of what goes on musically today, in popular music or indie music or whatever, there’s an overly-knowing appropriation of different styles without personality attached to it, that happens a lot. But when someone can actually use influence to make something interesting and worthwhile—that’s where music is for me, I guess.” His music is dense, that’s for sure. For all the field recordings and abstract sound pieces that stitch Francis Plagne together, it’s clear a lot of work has gone into creating these spaces, allowing the ‘song’ based moments room to breath, or room to suffocate. The album is positively littered with pop gems; I visualise Francis struggling to walk along underneath an armful of different musical odds and ends, some falling off along the way.

It’s a gleeful act of appropriation, but with such a unique spin on music, it’s hard to label it as merely that. Francis Plagne is forward thinking in its take on the notion of music being everywhere, if you just listen, in the streets, your house, and the park. Francis Plagne is everywhere and everything ; it’s cluttered, but sounds purposefully this way. The title of the track ‘A Chance Exposure To A Distant Rumbling’ reflects one of Francis’ chief aims; random moments in sound coming together all in one place, creating spaces, letting songs form beneath and between their folds. It’s an act of cutting and pasting, a monumental process of trial and error, considering just how many sounds make up his opaque pieces.

“This time, a lot of the things that weren’t songs, I worked a lot with editing improvisations. It was a case of making an hours worth of stuff and then cutting it into small pieces and sticking it all together. It is intentionally dense; I wanted it to be as dense as possible while still being listenable.” This begs the question; just how one would decide where to put all these things? It seems like a nightmare in terms of editing, because in a sense, many of these sounds don’t match up, they don’t fit together conventionally. Foreign sounds meet the all too familiar, open spaces are met with the claustrophobic, pop meets noise. Working from home allows Francis to indulge his perfectionism, even if his perfection is littered and rambling.

“On the first album, it follows a pattern of five minutes worth of pop every ten minutes or something—it’s pretty predicable—especially when I realize how it sounds after I step away from the whole process. There are moments where I use that same sort of pattern on the new one. I like the idea of having a juxtaposition of ten minutes of abstract stuff then the song comes in out of nowhere, like the first pieces of the record. I like the sound of one song stopping and another starting straight away, like on a proper pop record. I was trying to play around with that on this album, just trying to think of good ways of leading into what is a song and what’s not a song; rather that just having a sharp cut or fade.”

Most of the record is field-recordings; plenty of cars passing by, but most importantly a tonne of different spaces and textures. It’s an extremely visual sort of sound; there are hundreds of different rooms and spaces within what is basically one continuous sound piece. Most of all, it’s a warm record, thanks to the Casio keyboards and organs; the sound of cartoons in the morning, the warm buzz of the afternoon sun. “Part of that, is that when I am recording at home, I end up with a lot of background sound and I don’t really make any attempt to get rid of that. I like the openness of sounds with a resonance like they were recorded in a big room with an open window. I usually try and bring across some sort of feel of space in the way I record things. It’s not a conventional studio technique; someone that knows about that sort of thing would probably just say I had really bad miking! I do it on purpose, or at least that’s what I tell them. I really like that once you start getting some feeling of space the sounds aren’t abstract any more. It’s tied to some visual thought, the listener could maybe imagine what the room looks like.”

Straddling pop and textural styles of music leaves Francis in a funny place, if he were to locate himself in a scene or collective, working in Australia. Francis feels partially at home, in terms of an ‘experimental’ scene in Melbourne; but there’s a humourous and irreverent spirit running beneath all the musique concrete that keeps his stuff from sounding stagnant. Half way through ‘Replace U With An A’ comes an absurd little voice—put on by Francis—denoting a healthy spirit of humour that runs through his music and the way he works. “I think a lot of my friends in Melbourne are related to the ‘proper’ experimental scene—I mean, they don’t sing songs. I know that I have high standards to try and meet, as far as the experimental stuff goes, but a lot of the time it could just be me doing this lazy thing that is interesting because of the context. I have friends that write pop songs as well, so I feel as if I have influences from both ‘scenes’, although in Melbourne it’s just one big soup pretty much.”

“For me, a lot of things that I like in music I find really funny, as well as substantial. My music isn’t sort of dour or anything; there are musical jokes, in a sense, running through my work. For instance, my range does not go as high as I sing, so it’s funny to have this squeaky little bit sometimes.” His take on music is a palpably fresh one, as I talk to Francis (softly spoken, slightly sarcastic) over the phone. He’s self-aware but not over-confident. His perceptions on making things new are certainly inspiring and his ideas seem to culminate with little concern for style or genre.

Free Wheelin’ Francis is relaxed, and why wouldn’t he be with such an enormous world of music at his disposal? “Styles and genre are helpful in figuring out how music works. I think a lot of people pick some sort of stylistic thing and try and work within it; I don’t really have any interest in that at all. I just take whatever and then do whatever I want to do with it.”

Monday, 27 August 2007

Marco Fusinato - Mass Black Implosion

francis plagne review

Francis Plagne - Subdivide & Never Stop

Another new Plagne release has surfaced on the Breakdance the Dawn label.
Subdivide & Never Stop is a cassette only release which i have been duly informed is split thus:
side a: a new 20 min 'concrete' work
side b: a 20 min live set
This sucker may be purchased at the Half Theory shop

Francis Plagne interview on 2SER Sydney

Friday, 3 August 2007

SYN020 - Francis Plagne - "Francis Plagne" CD

New Release out now - (split release with Mistletone Records)
"Francis Plagne" is the second album by fractured kaleidoscope pop sound by the pound Francis Plagne. This eponymous release further explores Francis' obsessions with 'pop' and 'organised sound', all from a modest bedroom studio in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne, Francis has developed his craft to a level way beyond his 19 years. Incorporating field recordings, drones, electronics and improvisations, along with harmony-rich pop songs of the finest order. Unusual, identifiable and exciting. Leave your delay pedals and cheap drone at the door.

SYN019 - Pateras/Baxter/Brown - "Gauticle" CD

"Gauticle was recorded in 2004 in "Vienna" and "London," presumably live although no specific recording dates and locations are disclosed. It features composer/pianist Anthony Pateras, drummer Sean Baxter, and guitarist David Brown (the latter two of Bucketrider and Lazy) forming a tighter and more exciting trio than what can be witnessed on their debut recording Ataxia. These three musicians play their instruments in unorthodox ways, looking for quiet, delicate sounds. Pateras spends most of his time inside the piano, hitting, scraping, and rubbing its strings. Brown uses preparations on his guitar, focusing on its tortured acoustic qualities. As for Baxter, he mainly resorts to metal percussion and very light stick work to produce flurries of mice steps. Tiny sounds can make quite a racket at times, as can be heard in "Vienna Three," a tight stop-and-go improvisation in which at least 12 hands would seem necessary to produce all those sounds, yet only six are actually involved. That piece and "Vienna One" are the highlights of the set, with the latter being in a quieter vein, every sound being carefully placed within the whole picture. Generally, the three "Vienna" pieces are more satisfying than the two "London" ones, due partly to the latter's lack of stereo separation (a flatter sound), but also to a lack of distinctive character in the performance. The "Vienna" tracks (32 minutes of music in all) are sizzling with ideas and dynamics, beautifully rendered by Christoph Amann's wide-angle recording". ~ François Couture, All Music Guide

Francis Plagne live (in a most unusual circumstance)

Download Francis Plagne live performance on ABC TV "Set" programme if thou doth wish)

SYN018 - Francis Plagne - "Idle Bones" CD


"The buzz around Francis Plagne's debut album, Idle Bones, roared through Australian indie music circles late last year. The Melbourne teenager's complex blend of pop, drone and musique concrete fascinated listeners used to the recent wave of great, but one-dimensional records.

Although conceptually interesting, albums built around found sounds like these are rarely the ones you grow to love though. However, Idle Bones mixes that kind of bedroom experimentation with a timeless bedroom pop whose roots lie in teenage parties, Brian Wilson and the Beatles, moving through up to three or four different parts in a single song, say on Clouds Collect. Although that might sound jarring, it actually works, quite poetically.

The reason why is tightly bound to the tension between and within tracks. Tense, fraught moments of dark ambience are quickly replaced with wonderfully accessible melodic material that somehow frees the listener. It is uplifting, but it also underlines the manic quality of the preceding sounds". Cyclic Defrost

SYN013-SYN016 - Marco Fusinato - "Synaesthesia Edition" Part 1-4 4LP SET

The 0_ in the trilogy refers to an absence of music. ironically this process has produced damaged vinyl of the highest (lowest) order. the space, density and shape of the grooves determine the random composition of the audio, resulting in unfettered grit /noise / texture / chaos. this process provides a curious link between aesthetics in opposition, of silence and noise, the visual and the sonic. these works disrupt notions of linear playing time as found in conventional sound recordings and as a result, the possibility of endless variation arises from the erratic wanderings of the stylus running across the vinyl surface. the traditional process is reversed. ie: music is not dictated by what information is stored within the grooves, rather, the 'empty' grooves themselves create the "music". the end result is a simple and crude observation on the means of expression via sonic reproduction, which encourages the owner to partake in the overall shape of the audio along with observing the uncontrollable input of the needle itself.

Ben Curnow writes that Fusinato’s work: “…does not reflect a single reality that can be thought of as 'out there' and a given once and for all, but rather concerns generations of reality; it works in addition to reality and, in itself, as an elementary generation of reality”.

SYN012 - Robin Fox - "Backscatter" DVD

The Fox! Where does one start? Well, to be honest - right here! Fox is a quality example of the Australian experimental scene. I mean his parents got a divorce over serialism (one was pro, one was anti!), it can't get better than that.

"Working solo, Fox has spent several years combining electronically generated images and music. At first he patched into his sound system a clapped-out old oscilliscope with a rotary display, showing the frequency of the waveform circling round a still, central point as its zero baseline. The visuals do not accompany the music, nor vice versa: the two are mutually dependent manifestations of the same signal. The image is generated by the sound's waveform, which is in turn restricted to a range of sounds which produce visually interesting pattern's. (this quote has been stolen from ben harper's supreme blog)

In recent years The Fox has moved from oscilliscope to laser:

and somehow managed to work with Metallica:

and the chemical brothers! :

SYN009 - Pateras/Baxter/Brown - "Ataxia" CD

One of our favourite SYN releases and one of the most consistantly rewarding live acts we have had the pleasure of lapping up on a regular basis. This, our first "all acoustic" release consists of a trio: Prepared Piano (pateras), Percussion (baxter) and Prepared Guitar (Brown) has proved to be more than a ponk in the ocean with extensive australian shows (inc wangaratta jazz festival) and 2 international tours. Extreme extended technique on conventional acoustic instruments.

SYN008 - Philip Samartzis / Rasmus B Lunding - "Touch Parking" PIC DISC LP

A strange release. Our only release to feature a drum solo. The artwork features a 'sample' from the orginal artwork to Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'Relax' 12" (object of desire in our youth) which we got a firm slap on the wrist for using without permission. And without our knowledge or consent, the recordings were carefully prepared for vinyl through a unique mastering process conducted by elektronische folkist Gaeoudjiparl who also conceived and designed the freak tip "protecting the hive" artwork . All was fine by us as this was a knee scratcher from the start and remains as such!

Gaeoudjiparl - Mechanical Bird Performance:

SYN007 - Anthony Pateras and Robin Fox - "Coagulate" CD

Debut release from this well established duo who have carved out their own individual worlds but seem to have the most 'fun' in this live electroacoustic noise maelstrom outfit. This cd was once refered to as blatantly maximalist: loud, occasionally harsh, very in-your-face and occasionally quite entertaining. Now that's a sales pitch we can live with, although we perhaps prefer BIG, HAIRY and SCARY! Their 2nd cd 'Flux Compendium' was released by Editions Mego)

scope a shitty quality youtube snippet of the grizzly ones in action:

SYN006 - Snawklor - "It would have lived here" CD

2nd release from long term Melbourne act who channel the spirits of dash and unearth concrete land and wine. You can nab a downloadable version of this and their 2 follow up releases for free

Snawklor have a new cd due out this year on the label run by BUS gallery
In recent years the 2 klors have spent many an hour refining their supremo visual schtick which one may scope on their own accord: undodesign and hiddenarchive

SYN005 - Délire - "Diaspora" CD

erm, no comment.

SYN004 - Hecker - "2 track 12" LP

We are completely obsessed with Xenakis' 'la légende d’Er'. For us it is the greatest single electronic word made thus far. This German character Hecker has taken this batton and run with it in a way that no one else has dared approach. Having heard a limited cd release of these pieces we were determined to put these on to vinyl. There is something about heavily 'digital' music being released on this format that appeals to us immensly. Hecker has since gone on to have work presented at Tate modern and has recently released an LP on Warner classic (with haswell). Still the most fried jewel in the digital dungeon.

SYN003 - Bernard Parmegiani / Philip Samartzis - "Immersion" LP

This one took donkey's to come out. It was a matter of perpetual poverty more than anything else (vinyl is a luxury). This came about as Dr Samartzis had invited the charming Mr Parmegiani over too Australia as a part of the 'immersion' festival.
The festival also commisioned an exclusive track. A few years later Mr Parmegiani returned to play 'liquid architecture' and dropped by our shop. Being a foaming fan of Mr Parmegiani's work (Dedans Dehors remaining one of my favourite electronic works ever) and a fraction cocky, i simply asked him if it was possible if i could release some material and instantly Mr Parmegiani agreed. This came as a suprise, but he was serious, and so it was decided to put out a split vinyl release as a document of the initial 'immersion' festival. We had it mastered in Berlin by the golden 'Rashad Becker' and the strange and supreme artwork was tackled by filmaker Pia Borg. Joey at Plates of Sound in the US agreed to do this as a split label release helping with it's eventual release and distribution. Hat's off to all involved!

2 Parmegiani soundtracks:

une mission ephemere :

Scherzo Infernal:

SYN002 - Various - "Strewth!" CD

Time capsule compilation of active electronic fuckedness of the time (2000-2001) from Australia and New Zealand. This was mistaken as a compilation of digital music at the time which was not actually correct for instance Dion Workman's track was made soley from the use of mini disc feedback (well in advance of oncoming trend of mixing desk feedback i may add!). Anyhow many names are now familiar and have successful careers in the absurd realm of sonic art. Others vapourised into the abstract abyss. Features:

Philip Samartzis
Matthew Thomas
Netochka Nezvanova
Darrin Verhagen
Dave Franzke
Rosy Parlane
Oren Ambarchi
Dion Workman.

Additional info:

Copies of this are still floating around, we pressed up 1000 and sold aprox 700. This sucker still ticks over which is neat.
The liner notes make referance to the Peter Carey short story 'The last days of a famous mime' which i was obsessed with at the time and still hold in high regard.

SYN001 - Fennesz/Rosy Parlane - "Live at Synaesthesia" 3"CD (out of print)

Our first label release came about from having one too many beers with Peter Rehburg who encouraged us to start a label. Having recently had an in-store in our humble prahran outlet by Fennesz and Parlane which sounded pretty nifty we decided to release this. This cd always reminds me of a scorching hot summer day in that tiny space, replete with bbq aroma threatening to swamp the whole affair. Being a Fennesz release this sold out rather quickly and, if we were sensible, we would have just followed this route of releasing 'big name' overseas acts. Alas, we are fools and this was not to be. Despite any chagrin we felt a label focussing on neglected Australian artistic wares was a more satisfying option. Oh and for what's it's worth i just noticed this was in The Wire's end of year list of 2000 as one of the best 'outer limits' releases of the year! Goodness!