[Hi God People - Shortwave Children]Sham#038
Four haunting pieces of clanging improvisation tempered with layered, droning vocals that create an atmosphere of primitive devotion. Volume VI of Shame File Music?s Terra Australis Incognita series of new Australian experimental music.?
Melbourne?s Hi God People are something of an enigmatic quartet, having floated about the edges of the garden state?s psych, experimental and indie scenes for a handful of years. Sure, the group?s members have been involved in other more journalised projects (such as Panel of Judges, Snawklor, Spill label), but as Hi God People, their music has been hard to come by in great volume. Luckily, then, for Shortwave Children ? part 6 in Shame File?s Terra Australia Incognita MP3 EP series. The disc, which features four tracks, was compiled in typical HGP style ? over two hours of material (recorded at Melbourne?s 3CR radio station, and live at the Rob Roy) was edited down to a mere 22 minutes. What made the cut is a mixture of cavernous, echoing chimes, clanks and scrapes; muffled communal utterances; skeletal guitar fragments and dark drones. The editing is seamless; perhaps a task more easily managed in the context of such disjunctive music, but done well nonetheless.
Mood-wise, the music rarely strays from a curious darkness, but it?s not to be confused with gloom. This is a record you could spend a night in with ? if only it lasted longer! ? and though it?s ever-meandering, it moves on when it has to. The best thing about it is its playfulness ? you can?t help thinking you?re missing out on some fantastical visual theatre, too. Nobody could accuse it of being at all ?poppy?, but Shortwave Children is catchy in its own way; a well-crafted document of an intriguingly unconventional outfit.
Jon Tjhia (cyclic defrost)
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