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Digital Manipulation

the FourPlay remix project

Artist bios for Digital Manipulation

Here you can find information about all the artists involved in the remix project. I'll list them by their artist name on the CD, in alphabetical order.
Please note: all opinions are those of Peter Hollo, project creator/convenor, only

5000 Fingers of Dr T

Jasper Russell and Adam Pierce have been making music as 5000 Fingers and under other names for quite a number of years. Their album Orange Chrome was, for me, a landmark release for Clan Analogue - well produced, world-class stuff. They were one of the first groups to embrace CD-R technology, with the wonderfully bent Chewed Up and Spat Out EP (the CD-R itself had chunks cut out of the edges...)
Their latest release, buttsqueezer, is available from Clan Analogue. Their gorgeous August remix harks back to the ambient techno days more than buttsqueezer, and does amazing things to the cello bass-line.
You can visit the 5000 Fingers of Dr T website for much more information and mp3 & video downloads.
(Very Cool NB): Adam has also setup a mail-order service called Crispy Disc where you can order Clan Analogue and related merchandise. The particularly cool bit is that (electronic) artists are offered to supply CD-R copies of their music, which Crispy Disc will burn up, print artwork, and sell on demand. It's mainly Australian-based at the moment.

Alter Boy

Nick Wales is an old friend of FourPlay's, having started Sydney's "other" electric string quartet Coda if anything a little earlier than we began. Coda these days has bass instead of cello, and incorporates live drums, keyboards and samples as well.
As Alter Boy, Nick has been making techno music of various sorts for many years. Tim & I (Peter) remember an SBS Youth Orchestra European tour in December 1994, during which Nick bowled us all over by playing his very first Alter Boy track on the tour bus (we also discovered Autechre's amazing Anti EP on this tour... Nick getting on the tour bus in England, shoving a CD into my hands, going "Listen to the programming on this!") It's an enormous pleasure to have Nick involved in this project.
Alter Boy has had tracks on various Australian electronica compilations, including the Club Kooky kids' Just Is compilation. He has a degree in Composition from Sydney Uni and has composed extensively for The Bell Shakespeare Company. He works with new label Silent Recordings (Undercover Music) with groups like Prop and Tracky Dacks.
Neither Alter Boy nor Coda have a website at the moment. There is a site for Coda's Musica Viva schools program. Coda have an album coming out on Silent Recordings through Shock.

Antlerland

Here's one of those unreleased artists on the compilation... The Antlerland track is proving one of the most popular, and understandably too.
I've known Graham Freeman for many years - we were in first year Uni together, doing Science at UNSW. Graham amused us all in physics lectures with his outlandish cartoons, and we'd listen to our discmans together (as you do in lectures). Graham's become a fairly infamous person on the net, and his weblog Virulent Memes is compulsory reading. The Kul Teng Funk Overdose has long been his musical outlet, mostly stuff composed in the Impulse Tracker MOD format (crazy!), and in 1998, shortly after Catgut Ya' Tongue? was released, Graham sent me an insane drum'n'bass remix of Corrosion. All the samples came straight off the CD, since we hadn't done the break-downs for remixing yet. An amazing achievement, and the track still rocks today (I'm only a little pissed off that he beat me to it - I'd always wanted to do Corrosion-meets-d'n'b.)
With the advent of Perth group Ku-Ling Brothers recently, Graham decided it was time to change the name. Thus was Antlerland born. There's a fantastic Antlerland demo floating around at the moment...

Note: There's a bonus Antlerland remix, not on the CD, available from our Downloads page!

B(if)tek

For Australian readers, B(if)tek need no introduction. Kate Crawford and Nicole Skeltys prove conclusively that electronic music needn't be a boys-only game. Back in 1996, Geekgirl released the first B(if)tek album, Sub-Vocal Theme Park - minimal techno which caused quite a stir at the time. These days B(if)tek can find themselves on rotation on Triple J (but receive heaps of support from 3PBS-FM and 3RRR-FM in Melbourne and 2SER-FM in Sydney), and their album 2020 was distributed by Sony subsiduary Murmur.
They still retain close links with Clan Analogue, and their own label subvocal will release their future stuff (distributed by Club Kooky's Kookyburra Droppings. Their installations at galleries and the like, and their remixes, display a subversive tendency that not everyone knows about.
Outside of B(if)tek, Nicole has a side project called Artificial and Kate has a side project, with Bo Daley of Dark Network, called Clone.
There's current information always at their own homepage, and there's a very amusing spoofy "93% unofficial" site, b(if)tekked.

Black Lung

David Thrussell, Melbourne musician extraordinaire, also should need no introduction - but possibly does. Black Lung is the moniker for his solo stuff (on the whole), but he is also famous as leader of the quasi-industrial electronic rock group Snog, and as half of the wonderful cinematic-instrumental-electronic group Soma with Pieter Bourke (one-time part-member of 4AD band Dead Can Dance, and collaborator with Lisa Gerrard - Pieter also features on many Snog releases).
Snog singles are always a joy, often running to 70 minutes, full of instrumental tracks and remixes by Australian and international acts (Atom Heart's remix of The Ballad being an instant classic). The Black Lung remix of August removes almost all traces of FourPlay, twisting & glitching what's left into something thoroughly perverted.
David is highly influential and well-known all around the globe (particularly in Germany, Belgium, Holland, the USA...) He also presents the radio show "Rude Mechanical" on Melbourne's excellent community radio station 3PBS-FM. His albums always have satirical culture-jamming artwork and bizarre conspiracy-theory quotes. For plenty of (mis-)information on all these acts and more, go to the International Mind Control Corporation website.

Darrin Verhagen

Darrin has been around for ages, recording as both Shinjuku Filth (industrial mayhem) and Shinjuku Thief (more dark ambient) kinda stuff. He runs the Melbourne label/distributor Dorobo, which is an outlet for his and similarly-minded music. The associated Iridium sublabel has released Black Lung, and Darrin has remixed Snog on many occasions.
Darrin's glitchy ambient reworking of August, as Ribboned Seam, provides the perfect closer to the [in] CD, creeping up on you so that you don't realise how deep its gone until you're singing along with his ethereal voice at one o'clock in the morning.
There's a Darrin Verhagen Discography here, although I'm not convinced it's anything like complete.

Deep Child

Rick Bull is a member of Clan Analogue and has been a prominent fixture in the Sydney electronic theme since his track Rachel's Meadow appeared on the Elefant Traks compilation Food To Eat Music By in May 1999. He released the Hymns from Babylon album through Clan Analogue in 2000.
His very popular Gypsy Scream remix has received considerable airplay on Sydney's superlative community radio station 2SER, where Rick also co-presents Clan Analogue's all-Australian-electronic radio show "Electroplastique". There's a rather-out-of-date website here, where you can download an mp3.

djbc

Barbara Clare (Totterdell) is the partner with our sound gal Liberty in Magnus Music, and has had much input into FourPlay for quite a while. Her ears were heavily used in the Joy Of... recording, and her Pro Tools skills were heavily used in putting together the separated sample CDs for the remixers on Digital Manipulation. Barbara has a background in performance, and most recently featured as a performance artist and live dj in The Museum of Fetish-ized Identities at The Performance Space.
At the last minute, Barbara came up with her insane version of Meshugganah (klezmer), sampling straight off the Joy Of... CD.
There's a little bio here.

G-Boy

Adam Gaensler is another unreleased artist, although many of his electronic tunes can be found floating around trance hideouts on the net... Adam went to school with Tim; he's a classically-trained guitar player, who's played in rock bands and folk bands, works with the Renaissance Players and studies music at Sydney Uni. When the time was approaching for mastering the remix album, Adam asked me if that remix thing was still happening. A couple of weeks later, he gave me his track, a kinda dubby house version of Meshugganah, with strings to the fore.

Inga & Paul Searles

Inga Liljestrom produces some amazing music as a solo artist, incorporating strong vocals, strings and contemporary electronics. She has one album out independently, although it's quite hard to find these days, and another is in the works. Inga's voice can be found on Purdy's track on the recent Groovescooter comp Refashioned, out through Creative Vibes. Inga also does vocals on Gerling's new single.
Paul Searles is keyboard player with our mates Skunkhour. It was a great surprise and pleasure to have Paul involved in this project.
Inga & Paul put together a subtle and evocative remix of Languid, Yet..., in which only a few elements of the original track are used - new harmonies are created from a wealth of string samples.

Liberty

Liberty Kerr has been doing both live and recorded sound for FourPlay since almost our inception. She's been with us since 1996, and does our sound on most gigs, whether in Sydney, on tour in Australia or even on tour overseas.
Liberty is partner with djbc) in Magnus Music, and there's a bio to be found there. Libby is a cello player, and plays in the amazing duo Pavo Cristatus, featuring treated cello, electronic backings, and operatic vocals. She also plays in the extremely unfairly unknown Sydney indie/post-rock band Glovebox. Liberty has solo tracks on the Club Kooky kids' Just Is comp, and a Gay In The Life comp.
Liberty's remix is an absolute treasure. She did the mix on the original recording of Languid, Yet..., and here turns it into a completely new track, which nevertheless retains the feel of the original. Gorgeous string sweeps, intricate beats and ethereal vocal samples make for perfect car-trip-through-rainforest music.

Machine Translations

Greg "J" Walker has been creating his special brand of indie-pop post-rock for ages; the now-sold-out first Machine Translations album (on the now-defunct Melbourne label Way Over There), Abstract Poverty, came out in 1997. Two more albums followed - Halo and Holiday in Spain, both of which are classics. A new Machine Translations album, Bad Shapes came out shortly before Digital Manipulation, and is available through Spunk, who also import into Australia much cool indie and post-rock stuff. I can't recommend Bad Shapes highly enough. Comparisons with Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Beck, The Velvet Underground, The For Carnation and many others are easy to make, but none of these entirely convey the Machine Translations experience.
The idea of having J Walker remix FourPlay for this project came in fact from our wonderful manager Jordan Verzar, and it couldn't have been a better suggestion. Greg does wonderful things with strings on his own records, and his August remix combines highly layered melodic string samples with subtly distorted beats to create a track quite unlike Machine Translations' music, yet not that far removed.

Marxist Real Estate

You probably haven't heard of Marxist Real Estate, and what a shame. Stuart Johnson did Maths with me at UNSW, and is now doing a PhD in Pure Maths at Adelaide Uni. Stuart is highly prolific and highly versatile. Together with a number of collaborators he creates instrumental pieces using guitar, myriad effects pedals, Farfisa organ, other keyboards, and whatever else he can get his hands on. At his mp3.com page you can download many of his tracks - mainly abstract, weird and wonderful, from another planet, but entirely listenable. It's influenced by the whole post-rock scene, and the experimental side of electronica, not to mention Sonic Youth, Ed Kuepper, and you name what else...
It seems to me that someone urgently ought to release some of Stu's stuff!

Mysta

Mark Reid is another unknown, musically, whose beautiful Lilli Pilli Drive remix is already garnering attention from all quarters. Mark, lo and behold, did Maths with me at UNSW, and is now doing a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. He is a guitar player, and makes much music by feeding his guitar through various custom effects in the superb Australian sound processing program AudioMulch... That program was used extensively in preprocessing samples for his remix as well.
Mark has a page up here at mp3.com, with some lovely tracks to download. There's heaps of stuff from outta Mark's cranium at his personal website, beautifully designed by himself.

A little-known fact is that Stuart (Marxist Real Estate) and Mark (Mysta) were in a band called The Barry & Pete Dichotomy, and in 1997 as Bill Yakshard they entered the UNSW Band Competition (the very event which launched our career two years earlier). They lost to the band who eventually won. While we've all moved on since then, it's great to be able to include the wonderful music that these two are creating today!

Pimmon

Paul Gough's work as Pimmon has in the last year or so become phenomenally well-known all around the world, amongst the experimental music community at least. Paul has been making music for ages, using a combination of analogue effects and processing, and digital post-production. His music fits in well with the glitchy stuff that artists like Fennesz, General Magic, Farmers Manual and so on have been releasing on the iconoclastic Austrian Mego label, among others.
I saw Pimmon playing in Melbourne at the What Is Music? Festival... I'd asked him the previous November if he could do a remix, and he was too busy. This time he said "OK I'll have one for you in two weeks", and two weeks later an mp3 appeared in my Inbox, followed by a CD the next Monday! It's surprisingly un-noisy for a Pimmon track, and a fascinating exploration of the various sounds made by Veren's viola in Meshugganah. But then Pimmon is nothing if not wide-ranging; his live performances, using only a laptop, are often quite extraordinary.
There's a website here, hosted by Kid 606's label Tigerbeat 6, on which label he will have a release later in 2001.

Purdy

Kevin Purdy is one half, along with Sir Robbo, of Sydney outfit Tooth (actually with bass player Johnny Maddox they are now a trio). Purdy has actually been around for much longer, and had vinyl releases and parties under his belt in Melbourne before returning to Sydney. The two Tooth albums are superb (not just because of some cello playing by some Sydney chappie). Purdy's solo album Kevolution was released to critical acclaim, and is still a favourite on many people's stereos. His remix of Lilli Pilli Drive is typical of his style - beautifully produced, cinematic in scope, with everything from acoustic guitar samples to Krautrock percussion.
Purdy established Soft Records to release Tooth and Purdy material, and the site has some more info on them. There's also an interview with Kevin here, from 2000 (written by Angela Stengel - hi darling! sez Peter).

Quark Kent

Giv Parvaneh first came to attention playing at events like the second Freaky Loops as Trapezoid Amoeba, using his trademark setup of Roland Groovebox and nothing else. When another Trapezoid came on the scene, he became Quark Kent, and under that name has released two albums and had many compilation appearances. His music is highly evocative, reminiscent of Aphex Twin, -ziq and Autechre, and the unapologetic melodiousness combined with breakbeats makes him very popular in the Sydney scene.
His August remix is not so much a remix at all as a cover - no samples of FourPlay were used at all. Yet it retains very much the aura of the original, especially next to 5000 Fingers' version.
Giv has a highly-informative Quark Kent website, and will have a new album out in hopefully not too long.

Raven

Raven is... well Raven is me, so I shall talk about myself in the third person:
Peter Hollo is the convenor of the FourPlay remix project, as well as playing cello in the band. Having had a long-standing interest in electronic music (especially since discovering jungle/drum'n'bass around 1994), he began to make music on his computer around 1997. His first ever electronic track, the chopped-up-breakbeat-with-floaty-synthesised-chords piece Snowblind, was released by the ever-wonderful Elefant Traks on their Food To Eat Music By compilation in May 1999 (cf Deep Child, among others).
Peter broadcast various radio shows on test broadcasts by Sydney's FBi Radio, including "Eclecticity" (with Chris Breach), and "Snap, Crackle, Pop and Mash: Hyperfast breaks and beats with a side-order of glitchy electronica". FBi has now got a full-time license, and when they begin broadcasting in the near future, Peter intends to continue bending people's ears out of shape.
The Raven track on Digital Manipulation is his most accomplished yet (by his own standards), incorporating highly glitched-up vocals and dubbed-out basslines along with complex drum'n'bass programming. People seem to like it, and he enjoys it, so he thinks he'll keep on doing this stuff.
There's a Raven site here, with mp3s of some earlier tracks. Peter also sporadically writes a weblog, which he will be resuming shortly: Stumblings in the dark, and there's a different bio at the main FourPlay site.

[Along with a number of other contributors to this album, Raven will have a track on dumpHuck's Beat & Squelch 4. Like the previous three, this is an Amnesty International fundraiser, with all artists donating their work free of charge).]

Sir Robbo and the Bee Keepers

Despite his extremely self-effacing manner, Shane Roberts has been central to the Sydney underground electronic scene for many years. He co-runs Frigid, Sydney's unique weekly underground electronic club, with Sydney luminaries Sub Bass Snarl, and co-founded Tooth with Kevin Purdy (see above).
Robbo DJs old and new dubby sounds every week at Frigid, as well as at many other events. He has only recently started making music on his own, using much of the same PC software Raven, Mysta, Sulo, Traksewt, G-Boy and others have used on this CD. The first publicly released result, his extremely dubby Meshugganah remix, is so self-possessed and perfectly-formed, we can only await his next offerings with baited breath. This track is credited to Sir Robbo and the Bee Keepers in order to acknowledge the use of sampled material from various accomplices (Dale, Neural, Grimace...), even though Robbo is solely responsible for the final track.

Shannon O'Neill

Shannon has been involved in the Sydney electronic scene for a very long time. I've known him since he and Seb Chan (Yellow Peril from Sub Bass Snarl) were in the year above me at school, influencing my musical taste more than any of us can say... Shannon formed the duo Wake Up And Listen with Adrian Bertram in 1991, creating experimental sample-based audio deconstruction live-to-air on Sydney's Radio 2MBS-FM.
Shannon's own music spans many genres; his remix on this album makes use almost exclusively of the original material from Meshugganah (dub), in effect reconstructing the original, with dub effects all over.
Shannon runs the Alias Freqencies website, where information can be found on his endlessly growing number of projects, and on his Alias Frequencies label itself. The site is a treasure-trove of all sorts of information - Shannon also runs the aus_emusic emailing list, which has become a central discussion venue for experimental/underground electronic musicians across Australia.

Sulo

Richard Tamplenizza has been making drum'n'bass out of Epping (Sydney North-West suburb sporting an unnaturally large number of drum'n'bass producers) for the last few years. He has tracks on both Elefant Traks compilations (Cursive Writing and Food To Eat Music By) as well as on the classic Epping drum'n'bass comp Tracking 4 the masses.
Sulo's track is another favourite, offsetting beautifully treated string samples from August with rolling drum'n'bass beats, which occasionally switch to half-time. And the bassline is a stunner, floors me every time.

Tim Koch (aka Thug, 8 Bit Orchestra)

Tim Koch initially came to the attention of the music world under the moniker Thug, with his debut mini-album Isolated Rhythm Chock on Aural Industries, with its lovely melodies and breakbeats recalling early Aphex Twin and -ziq. Around the same time, New York label Lucky Kitchen released their extraordinary compilation Blip Bleep - Soundtracks for Imaginary Video Games (also featuring such idm luminaries as Hrvatski, Jake Mandell and Marumari).
Tim has since had releases on many compilations, as well as releasing the Please Don't Tell Me That's Your Volvo album. He maintains a website here, with a comprehensive discography, as well as co-running the fabulous Surgery Records in Adelaide, for whom he compiled the initial release compilation.
Tim has a new 12" out on deFocus, which can be purchased from Warpmart, among other places.
Tim produced one remix (which appears as the Thug mix) in 2000 for this compilation, but it wasn't quite what he'd intended, and in 2001, when it still hadn't been released, another TWO arrived in the mail! The 8-Bit Orchestra mix represents his computer-game-soundtrack side in full effect.

Note: There's a bonus Tim Koch remix, not on the CD, available from our Downloads page!

Traksewt

Kenny Sabir is one of the head honchos at Sydney's Elefant Traks label, who re-vitalised the scene a couple of years ago with their CD-R and then CD compilations, and haven't looked back since. They proved more than anyone else that independent electronic labels can work. Kenny developed the extraordinarily versatile DASE software for sample-based jamming over a network, and is a member of DASE Team 5000, whose gigs (often with MCs, live electric bass and turntables) take live electronica (whether drum'n'bass, hip-hop or whatever) to a new level.
I handed Kenny a copy of the remix material with the suggestion that anyone in the Elefant Traks herd could have a go, and was thus very pleased to receive not only Sulo's August mix (see above) but also the Traksewt mix. Kenny takes slabs of Lilli Pilli Drive, offsetting phrases in odd ways to create almost-new melodies, and backing it all with dubby reverbs and swing beats which turn wildly into drum'n'bass.

uBin

uBin seriously upped the ante for Sydney's electronic scene with their 1999 album for Elefant Traks, uBin.02. It featured intricately programmed drum'n'bass/electro beats and pitched-up vocal snippets, and is still thrilling listening. uBin have been quite busy since, despite not having released much; they have a remix on the recent Snog remix album Relax Into The Abyss, which displays their mutant pop phase. Their FourPlay remix, however, is a much more moody affair, extremely subtle and intricate in its programming, with crackling twigs as partial beats, highly chopped-up string chords, viola lines taken apart and put together into new melodies, and a remarkable relocation of the vocal line from Lilli Pilli Drive into the August chord sequence. Look out for a new uBin release later this year - we can only hope!
There's an uBin site here, with sound samples and an opportunity to email uBin "and tell them to hurry up with the next album" - so get to it!

Voidhand

Andrew C Bulhak (acb) has been an infamous inhabitant of the internet since 1992 (when a large number of us started Uni, it seems). He claims to have once been voted "most evil person on the net", but I suspect the voting was rigged. Nevertheless, he is a central member of the (yes, spoof) Flat-Earth Society (mostly an email list), which perhaps inspired him to create the email list called psychoceramics (the study of crack-pots). He is quite famous for having developed the Postmodernism generator, which creates, by an algorithmic process, quite convincing postmodernist doggerel essays (a delight to this particular philosopher).
acb runs a weblog called The Null Device, which has close links to Graham Freeman's Virulent Memes (see Antlerland above) and collects the outpourings of his too-fecund mind. He is also a senior editor at Grouse!, the highly popular Grouse Site of the Day website.
acb is a very talented self-trained musician. Until recently he had a number of pages up at mp3.com for different acts, such as Voidhand, Gurnin' Spacecase and Laughter Like Static. The only one remaining now is vmunix, his algorithmically generated house music project. His Voidhand remix for the remix project begins with an oppressive breakbeat and various samples from Lilli Pilli Drive. Just as it's all getting too much, it breaks out breathtakingly with full vocals and reverbed cello...
acb is also responsible for the hidden track on the [out] CD, a hilarious satire of club house which twists Lilli Pilli Drive mercilessly to its own ends. The only regret about making it a hidden track was that we had to hide its name (go looking for it - it is there!) - the Gurnin' Spacecase Baby Fur Seal mix (if you don't laugh you need some lessons in pun-ology)...

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Peter Hollo - email