In Australian Alternative Electronic Music Of The ’70s & ’80s Volume 1, Oz’s synths get a belated day in the sun.
In the hinterland between SPK’s industrial grind and the Roxy Music-inspired Icehouse – neither collected here – Australia birthed a raft of less internationally lauded synthenabled aggregations in the wake of punk. Like most other countries, then. On this evidence, robot-voiced female singers, fascinations with future shock and using new musical technologies in rock line-ups were as prevalent as in the UK. This means the commercially successful Models’ On is – though darker – two steps from Duran Duran (no bad thing). It also means Karen Marks’ Cold Café is a delightful French cold wave analogue. “On the esplanade, my coffee’s gone cold” sings the Euro-besotted Ms Marks to bubbling synth, one-finger keyboard, a reggae rhythm and Fripp guitar. Asphixiation’s L’Acrostique D’Amour actually could be French. While great fun, the enlightening Closed Circuits invites further scrutiny of a hitherto largely overlooked musical world. Kieron Tyler