various artists – islocal

this is an odd little collection of australian songs and musicians. i can find no trace of islocal, what i believe was the label. i think it must have been melbourne-based, because the bands included all seem to be (from) there. the songs appear to be rarities, as demos and the like, but it is clear that the release itself is a rarity, as are some of the bands. broken links; undetectable; lost.

there’s an opera singer, oliver mann, applying his beautiful deep voice (yes, technically referred to as baritone) to a folk piece. it makes me want to buy his albums, which he is still making. then there’s the opener by the crayon fields that’s instrumental only, and i discover that marc hogan on pitchfork really liked both their albums in fairly recent years (for reasons i think i’ve cited a number of times – australians do reverential 1960s rock and pop exceedingly well).

there are other bands that are familiar; in name, at least. minimum chips appear with a nice little number; having already showed up on the sbs whatever sessions from way back at the start of this. and an adelaide band that found some success, i believe; bit by bats – and from the song included here, i understand why. but they were yet another band that formed in the crucible of the late 1990s and early 2000s who have ceased to exist. there’s a pattern forming… unlike these guys:

sorry, that was a bit of a tangent. a more significant song precedes the bit by bats better-known, in you whisper by a band called gnitch:gnitch. it’s another purely instrumental work that would be worth having a whole album of just that.

all i can think as i listen and try to find these bands is ephemera. my initial reaction to that reaction was a kind of sorrow, but actually it’s not that. they did their thing, and one way or another the music they left is the only sign they ever existed. sorta like the fact that we see the light from stars that are now dead.

not all of them, thankfully…

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