Yep, It’s been pretty quiet here at Monstera Deliciosa DIY music label and blatant self promotion empire, chalk it up to the sorry state of the music business perhaps? Anyway, we’re back with good reason! We are very happy to finally announce the release of the long awaited new EP by Polyfox And The Union Of The Most Ghosts which is adorably titled Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Consisting of 5 classic Polyfox tracks, this marks the first officially released recordings of Polyfox as a live band with Nicholas French packing away the casio MT-40 and loop station, instead joined by Nathan Martin on bass and guitar, and Grant Hunter on drums. Only a blithering fool would turn their noses up at this good time fun music that will surely enrich your miserable lives!
One day we went to Arthive and recorded drums with Grant’s laptop, we saved the wav files and probably put them on a flash drive. Some time afterwards we took it to Nathan’s garage which is converted into a rehearsal room. The reheasal room had 2 doors, one of which is a roller door.
When we were all in the garage/rehearsal room we put the drum tracks onto nathans laptop by dragging and dropping them into a folder that we created specifically for the songs. We then proceeded to utilise a program called ‘pro tools’ to record the other parts of the songs all of which i had pre ‘written’ in my bedroom in Umina/Ettalong beach where I live with my parents. My mum is a hairdresser and my dad is a painter/decorater, I don’t know what Grant’s mum does and I’m not really sure what his stepdad does either. They live in Gatton QLD which Grant informs me is a town of people that are mostly part of a cult that worship deities and ostracise any woman that remains unmarried in her 20s. I dont know what Grant’s biological dad does. I dont know what Nathan’s dad’s job is but I know he is an extrememly nice man that surfs and that once made me spaghetti on toast among other things I can’t remember him making for me.
After we recorded the songs they sat on all of our hard drives and various cdrs for a long time. Evan from ‘Bare Grillz’ was interested in hearing the songs so I uploaded them to mediafire and he downloaded them and thanked me.
For a while we entertained the notion of putting out a 7 inch record with these songs, but then we decided that probably no one would want it besides 10 or 20 people at the most and those 10 or 20 were likely to not buy it because 7 inches can cost up to and above 10 dollars, which is more than I could anticipate people wanting to pay.
Thankyou to Matt from Lesstalk Records who was going to put out the 7 inch and im sure deep down he is thanking us for not weighing down his record label with unsold stock.
I’m not sure if nathans copy of the software ‘pro tools’ is legitimate or not but it sure did have a lot of pop up messages which Nathan declined to read before ok-ing them away. Sometimes there were so many of these pop up messages the program would refuse to load up.
The day we recorded the vocals was a good day, everyone was in a really good mood.
At some point when Matt was mixing the tracks on his copy of the software ‘pro tools’ he used two small brown speakers as monitors which Grant thought was outrageous. One day i went over to Matt’s place in Sydney because Grant was unhappy with the mixes of some of the songs and i thought the drums were too quiet so we turned the drums and the vocals right up and settled on that for the mixes.
The song ‘marriage’ is not really about actual marriage I didnt really have anything insightful to say about marriage.
The song ‘creature comforts’ is about how comfortable a lion must feel about the fact that it is a lion, although i dont really think the lyrics reflect this.
The song ‘wood birds’ is an assortment of words that may seem to have been written and added to the song for a reason but this isn’t the case, I couldn’t think of anything else. I took some advice that i should put lyrics in my songs.
I have often claimed that the song ‘coal’ is about my brothers, but this isn’t true, it could be interpreted as though that it is because one of my brothers works in the mines.
‘Hawaii’ though really is about a holiday that my brother and his wife went on to celebrate their honeymoon.
Available now from Monstera Deliciosa in a limited edition of 50 cassettes for $5 each plus shipping. Order HERE. All cassettes come with free digital download in 320k MP3, FLAC, OGG VORBIS, AAC, ALAC formats redeemable through bandcamp. A CDR version will be available through Lesstalk Records soon.
Crab Smasher‘s latest release Thick Mosquito Sky has just been reviewed at Mess And Noise. Here is a taste.
Working within the parameters of a fairly standard band set-up, Crab Smasher use guitar, bass and drums alongside an array of synths and electronic effects. What they do with these elements falls somewhere between improvised noise rock and explorative soundscapes. Hunter, Nicholas French, Nathan Martin and Marnie Vaughn have developed the kind of rare musical synergy that comes from spending a lot of time living and making music together without the expectation of making it a career.
Read the whole article here.
The always wonderful Eternal Soundcheck blog from Brisbane have posted a couple of videos of the Polyfox And The Union Of The Most Ghosts performance from the Bedroom Suck Records showcase in the Fortitude Valley mall over the weekend. Here we see Polyfox AKA Nicholas French debut his new live band which consists of Monofrog AKA Nathan Martin and Blind Leopard AKA Grant Hunter, both of whom also play in French’s other popular music band Crab Smasher. The tracks are Inside The Lion (Creature Comforts) and Wood Birds, which are both fairly new and as yet haven’t appeared on a Polyfox release. Check out videos of Knee Chin and Blank Realm here.
Crab Smasher have a new cassette out NOW, their first since 2007’s DOOM+DOOM=OMG!!! release. It’s called Thick Mosquito Sky and it’s really really good and warm and fuzzy. This C46 masterwork consists of a diverse selection of improvised tracks culled from two separate live recording sessions in 2009. As is pretty typical of the band, here the confident and experienced super-quartet of Grant Hunter, Nicholas French, Marnie Vaughn, and Nathan Martin cover a broad spectrum of bizarro audio territory, exploring everything from synthy-grindcore mania, electro pop blippertrons, classic rock jams, ambient drone snoozesfests, and scummy noise clunkeramas.
Limited to just 60 cassette copies with hand screened inserts by artist Sarah Mould. Get one now because these will go fast. Also available in a range of high quality digital formats from bandcamp for all of you that have ipods instead of walkmans.
1. the dancing girl and the burning town
3. deep water attack
4. digging a hole in a dried up lake
5. spaghetti helmet
6. the ice
7. separated by the distance of oceans
8. snakes in the grass
9. the science of running really fast
10. battle of the bands
Throw Shapes have just posted up a nice little article on Crab Smasher.
Perhaps it’s just the reheated pumpkin risotto and gargantuan banana smoothie that served as breakfast sloshing around his system, but Grant Hunter, artist, stoic and guiding hand behind experimental noise/cheese-slathered pop outfit Crab Smasher, is in a talkative mood, taking time out to chat ahead of the band’s stint at the Hardware Gallery this Friday for the third instalment (“Nocturne“) of monthly experimental music night, Sound Series.
Read the whole article here.
There’s a massive group art show opening this Wednesday from 6.30pm at Little Fish Gallery in Newtown. Featuring works from nearly 30 different artists, including Eli Partridge, Grant Hunter, Fjorn Butler, Stephanie Cola, Anna Vo, and Elizabeth Nagy. All proceeds from art and snacks sold will go to Rape Crisis NSW, with fundraising aimed at a new peer support group for 12-16 year old survivors of sexual assault. Come along and support a good cause!
Exhibition Dates March 3-7
LITTLE FISH gallery, 22 enmore rd Newtown
On Your Feet(Again) is a video work by Grant Hunter which was exhibited in 5.1 surround sound in an installation at John Paynter Gallery in Newcastle early 2008.
BTW, Grant Hunter has a new art blog HERE, where he is posting heaps of doodles, paintings and illustrations, many of which are available to buy, as well as streaming links to all 50ish of his released 1/1 edition grim solo recordings. You should check it out. How’s that for a bit of cross-promotion eh?
Just uncovered from the archives, a short excerpt of The Night Of Love performing at their only live appearance to date, at the Winter Tragic Festival back in 2008. The Night of Love is the sometimes recording project of geographically divided musicians Yusuke Akai, Grant Hunter, Daiji Igarashi, Nik Mayer-Miller, Nicholas French, Morgan Cabot, and Scott McConnachie. Their albums Now You’re Infected!!! and Burn Kids are still available on CDR from Monstera Deliciosa.
Coinciding with This Is Not Art, Renew Newcastle are launching a monthly series of late night events on the first Friday of each month. We’re planning a monthly night of improvised and experimental music at the ARThive , with an emphasis on collaboration which aims to bring together artists that may not have previously worked together in new and interesting configurations. We will have a bit of a trial run this Friday night between 5 and 8pm featuring sounds by Peter Hollo, Marcus Whale, Mark Groves, Leith Thomas, Grant Hunter, Jenna Gill, and Di Drew. There’s heaps of stuff happening in the other Renew Newcastle spaces as well, and the Lucas Abela installation looks to be loads of fun, so if you’re in Newcastle this weekend you really are spoiled for choice.
This Friday evening Renew Newcastle will launch its series of twilight events in the City – First Friday. On the First Friday of the month in October, November and December the Renew Newcastle art and creative projects will host a collection of special events in the early evening 5 – 8pm. This month on Friday 02 October there will be 10 free simultaneous events taking place, including gallery exhibition openings from 6pm: international gaming art at Loop Space sound and digital media gallery; a photographic documentary in conjunction with Men’s Health Week at Gallery Raw – Newcastle House of Photography; a new show of works using posca paints on skateboard decks at Upcycling Gallery. Silk House Art Projects are having a night of jaffas and cinema at their Wet Walls exhibition (until 6 Oct); ARThive are offering a live experimental and collaborative music presentation to accompany the TYRANNOSAURUS REX exhibition (until 5 Oct); and Totoro’s Teahouse are offering tea, cakes and a unique forum on “The Philosophy of Disco”, hosted by Triple j’s Craig Schuftan. For the first time ever all of the Renew Newcastle shopfronts will be open for trading at the same time for special late night shopping – Surfhouse Photography is offering a 10% off sale, Art Brasil’s artisan jeweller is showing his first works made using sterling silver and Mad Hatter Millinery are hosting their official shop opening party. A guided tour of all of the spaces in the mall will take place 5-6pm beginning at the Renew Newcastle HQ, 3 Morgan St. The tour introduces a new short-term installation presented in conjunction with Electrofringe for This Is Not Art festival – Lucas Abela’s Vinyl Arcade – An immersive sound instrument putting you in the drivers seat of a tiny remote control car with styli attached as it navigates its way through a landscape of disused vinyl records. This brings the total number of projects that Renew Newcastle has placed to 37, cleaning up and occupying 25 empty shops and offices to date across the CBD. Come along to see how Newcastle’s creative community is making city revitalization their business, and enjoy the city in a new way at twilight on the First Friday of the month, 5-8pm.
There was a bit of a Q&A article with Grant Hunter from Crab Smasher in this weeks issue of The Brag. It read just like this.
My father made me cassette mix tapes of Oingo Boingo, and heaps of Australian stuff like The Saints, The Angels, and The Radiators while my mother just listened to The Carpenters, which was pretty awesome. When I was little I used to record cassettes of myself singing songs like Ninja Rap by Vanilla Ice and Horses by Daryl Brathwaite into a boombox. I still have some tapes in the archive, hit me up if you want a copy. I got my first acoustic guitar when I was 8, started playing bass when I was 12. Rather than excel at either I concentrated on pushing buttons and making dumb loud noises instead.
None of us really listen to similar music at all, which kind of works to our advantage in creating weirdo audio vomit that nobody wants to listen to. I mostly listen to bands like Ween, They Might Be Giants, The Flaming Lips, stuff like that, and like them, we tend to skip around different genres and styles quite a bit, but we don’t really sound anything like them. We’re more interested in exploring new sounds and ideas, than sounding like whatever is cool this week. Unless nu-metal becomes popular again, then we’ll be all over it.
Crab Smasher is always morphing into something else but at the moment Grant Hunter plays synths and electronic stuff, Nicholas French plays guitar, Marnie Vaughn plays drums, Nathan Martin plays bass, and Jeffrey Brown plays even more drums. It’s a struggle to get us all together as we’re all involved with art projects, installing foxtel dishes or playing in other real bands that have songs. We started recording in 2002, played our first gig in 2004 and the current radical lineup came together in 2008.
The Music You Make
We play a confusing mix of improvised noise rock, cutesy electro-pop, soundscapey drones and brutal electronics. We’re heaps metal! We have released heaps of bad albums, some good EPs and heaps of live recordings which you can download for free on the internet. We record everything ourselves in bedrooms and garages on various digital recording devices. We have a mindblowing new album coming together sometime within the next five years hopefully, and heaps of stuff sitting around in the archive which you can probably have for free.
Music, Right Here, Right Now
The music scene seems healthy, at least from our perspective. It’s great to see bands playing shows in houses and carparks and putting out music themselves on CDRs and cassettes and people writing nice things in magazines and blogs. It’s a shame to see so many warehouse venues closing up in Sydney, but I’m sure something else will come along. Here in Newcastle there aren’t many venues left, but fortunately we have a small little crew of like-minded people making and doing good stuff. You just have to appreciate what you have and make your own opportunities. Things are looking up. Stay positive.
Who: Crab Smasher
Where: Sound Summit/Cambridge Hotel Newcastle
When: Saturday October 3