various artists – the sbs whatever sessions

i have to remind myself why i got this. between 2001 and 2003, sbs (the special broadcasting service) ran a kind of competition for left field musos and played songs in the ad breaks – this was back when the ad breaks were only between programs, not during them. and when there was more “adult themed” content! this would also have been in the days when they showed crazy and amazing short films from across the world, called eat carpet.

weirdly, the first song on disc one is by canberra musos called pete and fiete, which connected for me six years later with a guy i went out with who was a “founding member” of the canberra musicians club. he wasn’t an artist himself, i guess just an ‘appreciator’ (read: drunk hanger-on). i didn’t think i’d have anything in my collection that would make me reference him; all that was fucked up about an individual…

anyway, the compo claimed to draw together music categorised as “rock, roots, fusion, electronica, indie and hip hop”. at least two of those make no sense! damn categories. on regardless, the standout songs across the two discs were:

epiphany (torn apart by the sun + moon) – which is beautifully evocative instrumental, quietish

the gammarays (the score) – differently instrumental, great heavy guitars and a rolling rhythm

minimum chips (friends) – in spite of the airy fairy female voice, the mix of beeps and geets work remarkably well

the escapades (where’d you learn to look so good) – one of the members seems to now be a well known actor in the US, but it’s a shame they didn’t keep going. this one actually sounds more like the most popular ‘independent’ music that came out internationally around 2008…

sonique colonique (fwlfsh) – this song reminds me of being in the mountains in the bush in the late afternoon; the smell, the sound, the light

the tigers (fletch lives) – great noise, great build-up

none of these bands seem to be doing anything currently and i can’t find any of these songs to listen to online, though in some cases members went on to do other projects.

so while the objective of the recordings purported to be “diverse and emerging australian music”, the collection seems to be very much of that time. most of it doesn’t really sound like it could be made and released today. I don’t know if that’s good or bad… i think it just is. but that probably explains why not many of the bands saw great success and have all had to become actors, or lawyers probably.


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