We don’t know a lot about Bleach Boys, other than it’s a project of Melbournian Maya-Victoria Kjellstrand. Last year we saw her perform as part of Sabbatical’s summer series, sprawled across the floor, creating these mesmerising drones via a couple of cassette players, a mixer and some guitar pedals. Last month she released Yes, a limited cassette and download on Melbourne experimental label Sabbatical records, and it’s a strange, somewhat hissy, mesmirising piece of hypnotic sound. Yet there’s also something else, something warm and ill defined in the piece, leading our reviewer to question whether her music could possibly have healing properties. Most of all though we just couldn’t place it and wanted to know more. So we tracked Kjellstrand down and asked her about the music that is important to her. So what we have here are “10 pieces of music that have either shaped my music or the way I think about sound.”
Delia Derbyshire – Ziwzih Ziwzih OO-OO-OO (BBC Radiophonic Music) 1968
Delia Derbyshire has been a massive influence on my work, and how I think about space when creating different sonic architectures. Her work is so brilliant and I always think of her love of maths when I hear it – how all of her shapes oscillate beautifully with each other. Also the fact that I really don’t understand maths, but really connect to that she is able to be part of this other dimension to our reality that is not visible to me. But I feel like her songs are these really amazing glimpses into a coding that I cannot read but that she shares with us. Delia creates really amazing beautiful pop songs.
The pulse in this song totally kills me. I always imagine really synchronised dance movement’s to this; haunted radios playing dystopian jams in your dream sci fi reality. A total jam. I love it.
Justine & Juliette – This Dark Desire (Arbeit Group) 1988
This late 80s power electronic duo made a total brain tangle to a tape called Kiss of the whip. Kinda has vibes of a creepy bed room recording. I love the spoken/whispered vocals, its really dreamy perversion, like what the echoes of an totally dreamy 80s BDSM video would be. The whole tape is really weird experimental dark ambient – really minimal.
I love how they just use very few elements in each song, but totally create a scene, and invite you to gaze into their world. It’s like getting to watch full coven activity, while wearing leather. Could you want anything more? This one has these totally great repetitive beats and what sounds like a beautiful foundation of sheet metal carrying the vocals. This is one of my favourite tracks on this tape, which is the only one they did…a gift.
Lucy Cliche – Passing Time (Noise in My Head) 2015
Lucy Cliche is a Sydney based techno artist. This song is an amazing dance jam. I love the vocals, and always picture when she says ‘I can see through time’ this being an offering of sound that totally opens up portals. There are so many layers of sound on this song, it’s like one thing will take the precedent build up and then another frequency will open up totally and wave over it. Really nice movement. Sometimes I just shut my eyes and try and follow one of the sounds, fully try and picture the shapes its making. All the Lucy Cliche stuff just feels like such good magic. I’m a total fan, one of my most favourite contemporary artists.
Sister Irene O’Connor – Fire of Gods Love (Alba House) 1973
This is a psychedelic nun from Adelaide, who made some really tripped out jamz. Who is she?? Who else was in her band? I love this one, it’s hard to think that she was a nun. I always think that she must of been a witch, but you know I don’t know her story. The start when she is like FIRE, FIIIRE, I feel is so commanding of the elements, so cleansing. I think about the elements a lot when making new sounds. A lot of my stuff is very earth – but fire is so nice. I think of fire as being this element in music that takes everything down and lets you start again. I really wonder who she listened to. I love fan art and I guess this is pretty much a whole fan album dedicated to her mate JC. Even though he’s not so much for me, her vibe really is. She just has one album that I know about, but it’s great fully – get involved.
Bad Orb – Fog Mountain (Tadpole Records) 2011
This is the only Video I can find from this supreme noise weirdo. All of their jams are really capturing a space They have a super soundtrack feeling to them. I always feel like they are really taking me somewhere. Journey and movement and space are things I think about a lot when I make tapes. I really try and connect to a space, and capture what it is about that space that resonates with me, like understand the vibration of the location. Bad Orbs albums are total brain tangles. My favourite release of theirs is a cd-r on Chocolate Monk. This song has some really delightfully dark vocals, and their whole vibe on this reminds me a lot of Moevot and the ‘Le Légions Noires stuff, which is also a massive influence/ inspiration for my work.
Alive She Died – Lament (Your Hands) 1984
I really love dark wave / minimal wave stuff and this is one really sticks out to me. The vocals are so great, the whole vibe feels kinda sleazy and gloomy. The vocals are set so far back in the mix, almost like they felt awkward. I always picture them playing in weird clubs and the singer being really allusive, just in their own world. There are parts where the keyboards sound so wave like, lifting and falling, and then it just gets so triumphant. The final round is all about the winners.
Unicorn Hard on – Rocksalt (Spectrum Spools) 2013
Unicorn Hard on is an artist I have really been into for the past decade. They have continuously made and put out really weird totally killer dance jams since 2003. This is the opening track from their first full length Weird Universe. This song totally winds into itself, layers on heavy bass tones and creates these beautiful beat orientated structures. The heavy low end is something that I find coming up in my music a lot. Sometimes I find it hard not to get too caught up in it, and put in more high end stuff. Unicorn hard on has so much really great low end that you can really feel, but its is perfectly balanced out, never murky. I really love repetition in sounds. It really feels like you are building on something. I feel this really pushes forward, super driving, with lots of movements. Everything I want from a dance record.
Tiyiselani Vomaseve – Na Xaniseka (Honest Johns) 2010
This Shangaan electro track has been in heavy rotation for years. I love the super fast techno beats with the marimba. But it’s really the vocals that do it for me, two sisters creating hauntingly oblique harmonies. The melodies really loom over everything else in this track. It’s so beautiful and feels fully like you being shown a portal of their experience. The song title translates to suffering. Its really un-slick production and has a really nice minimal feel despite the pretty frantic beats. I really love music that has very un-polished vibe. The video for this song is also really such a delight.
Zaïmph – Lamination – From Sexual Infinity (Hospital Productions) 2006
This Zaimph track is total glorious bleak infinity, Harsh guitars laid down over layers of static. Zaimphs work is so dense, with so much filling up the space. On this track it feels like carving into the earth, the high end of the guitar opens up super low end earthed throbbing that feels like everything is collapsing in, propped up by swirling electric hum. You really feel this is what it could be falling into the core of everything. This song really takes me places. This is such a textural piece of sonic architecture. I love music that really feels like a journey. Thanks Zaimph.
Selda Bagcan – Yaylalar from “Selda” (Reissued by Finders Keepers in 2007) 1976
This is a totally psychedelic middle eastern space dream delight. The whole sound is so warm. I love how far back the drums are in the mix, which gives really good space for the vocals, which are so beautifully emotive and powerful. This is just like what I would want space travel to feel like. All of her albums are amazingly crafted pieces. A dream world waiting.
Bleach Boys is availalable through Sabbatical Records. More info here.