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V/A - Midnite Spares

V/A - Midnite Spares

Efficient Space

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On Midnite Spares, Australian music devotees András and Instant Peterson hold a candle to overlooked avant-pop and electronic works by antipodean artists and outsiders working through the 80s and 90s. Through co-presenting weekly radio show Strange Holiday, the duo slowly upturned their locale for inspiration - archives, country bookstores, private collections and convenience stores, searching for a place to anchor their own identities in the oceans of the island continent. The 10 tracks acknowledge a minor history, passed on via a network of friends, friends of friends, the libraries of radio station 3RRR and more often than not, the artists themselves.

Renowned mixed media artist Maria Kozic enters with the mysterious downbeat of Trust Me, her partner Philip Brophy responsible for digital and analogue sonic construction. A recurring character in András and Instant Peterson’s investigations, Brophy reappears with a score piece from his divisive feature film Salt, Saliva, Sperm and Sweat, recorded as →↑→ (pronounced “Tch Tch Tch”).

Other links are thread under the surface. Melbourne inner north experimentalist David Chesworth explores his Australiana songcraft leading Whadya Want?. The short lived project also featured Philip Jackson, whose duo The Couch is restored from Fast Forward’s dance issue - a pioneering cassette fanzine published by early-80s 3RRR personality Bruce Milne.

The collection binds a certain musicianship that’s indifferent to fame or chart success, although some artists unwittingly experienced this before and after. Poets of the Machine’s Grace Jones techno-wave was a modest moment for Coral Island and Red Stripe, an English migrant who once celebrated a #1 UK Christmas single with an acapella cover of Yazoo, while the morbid coming of age electronics of Foot and Mouth is a lesser known prologue to Sean Greenway and Matty Whittle’s rise as legendary teen punks heroes God. Quickly becoming a modern dancefloor hit, Mumbo Jumbo’s sole release Wind It Up is only now basking in it’s brilliance.

The remaining figures shape the diversity further. There’s Sydney dub addicts The Igniters, Mix’s groovy synth song about masturbation and the Cameron Allan/Graham Bidstrup soundtrack for petrol headed ozploitation film, Midnite Spares - the compilation’s namesake.