Various Artists: The Signal To Noise Set (Various Artists) (Vinyl LP)
Trading Places present a reissue of The Signal To Noise Set, originally released in small numbers in 1984 on London's short-lived Only A Revolution label. The ultra-rare Various Artists release showcased the Australian variant of minimalist wave, analog synth-pop. The eleven exclusives featured on the compilation are all prime examples of Australia's synth band underground, and although each group was totally unknown outside of their sphere of influence, some have gone on to attain legendary status. Opening track The Great X1 comes from Melbourne's Infomatics, an art-school group armed with a four-track and a battery of electronic goodies, including a Roland SH- 101, a Korg MS-20, and plenty of processed guitar. Aussie techno pioneers Modern Jazz was the brainchild of the multi-instrumentalist (and future Einstürzende Neubauten collaborator) known as Ash Wednesday, a veteran of the Adelaide-born, Melbourne-based punk band JAB (as well as Models, The Metronomes, and electro group Thealonian Music); the Modern Jazz project was based on randomly generated electronic pulses, with a shifting line-up, featuring Lyn Gordon on vocals and Andrew Phillpott on synth. Experimental duo Second Glance was comprised of members of Modern Jazz and Gilded Youth, and there are tracks by Melbourne trios Shanghai Au Go-Go and Human Backs plus Adelaide five-piece Nuvo Bloc, while experimental duo Dono-Detti are allocated three songs of their own. Overall, this provides a fine introduction to a little-known Aussie fringe scene, captured shortly after it's inception. Also features Software Seduction and Into The East.