Listen to Whadya Want?’s eccentric Australian dance pop from 1985


This is our favourite track from early 80’s Australian electro pop outfit Whadya Want? It comes from their sole album Skippy Knows, which melds elements of post-punk, art pop and club-facing dance music. Efficient Space recently included a track on their 2016 Ozwave overview Midnite Spares. It’s the work of David Chesworth (Essendon Airport), Philip Jackson (Equal Local/Whirlywirld) and Warwick Bone.

This is what they have to say about it:

“The songs came from a performance David gave in 1983 at the Paris Autumn Festival, whose Australian focus that year saw a host of antipodean artists invited to perform internationally for the first time. David wrote a suite of songs commenting on the archetypes and stereotypes of Australian culture, then going through a brief vogue with the success of Men At Work, Bowie’s Let’s Dance video and Crocodile Dundee. David performed to backing tapes and slide projections showing clichéd images of Australia – kangaroos, platypuses, pristine beaches – with cryptic messages superimposed. Back in Melbourne, David decided to document this project with help from Philip and Warwick, who had access to a high-tech studio featuring a Fairlight CMI and the then-new Yamaha DX7. They recorded late at night and roped in friends such as ex-Essendon Airport pals Robert Goodge and Ian Cox (both playing in I’m Talking by this point), Mick Hauser (Equal Local), Michael Sheridan (Max Q), Paul Schütze (Laughing Hands) and Bill McDonald (Paul Kelly).”

Skippy Knows is out now via Chapter Music. You can find it here.


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