Take a trip back to Fitzroy in the 1990’s and listen to High Pass Filter’s ‘E.S.N’


I saw High Pass Filter play live a bunch of times in the 90’s and early 2000’s, often supporting the likes of Fugazi, the Boredoms or Lee Scratch Perry – which should give some indication of how diverse their approach is. I also remember seeing some of their smaller shows at The Punters Club or Revolver, playing with other local Melbourne bands. They were influenced by music I hadn’t yet heard, and it was impossible not to be enthralled. They were always so different to everyone else, too electronic for the wannabe grungers, and too weird, slow and tripped out for the electronica heads who were all obsessed with drum and bass. That’s what made them so interesting. They were always very much on their own trip, making music that was way out of time. Which is probably why it makes sense to reissue their music.

Nice Coordinated Outfit is a double LP compilation of studio recordings, a handful of live performances and a number of remixes and edits. It chronicles their work between 1997 and 20005. ‘E.S.N’ is a live recording from the Punters Club in 1996 and feels simultaneously loose and restrained highlighting their spoken word samples and evocative brass.

This is what they have to say about ‘E.S.N’:

“The song is an exercise in minimalism and restraint, with a heavy dub pulse framed by gritty guitar and wheezing synthesizers, fronted by two of the band’s signature elements: Trombone and turntablism. The combination lands somewhere between “In A Silent Way” era Miles Davis, Black Ark Era Lee “Scratch” Perry dubs and Krautrock synthscape. The song was written shortly before the recording and the largely improvised performance bristles with tension.”

E.S.N is the first track taken from their double LP compilation retrospective Nice Coordinated Outfit. E.S.N will be released via La Sape Records on Friday the 26th of May. Nice Coordinated Outfit will be released Friday 21st of July. You can find it here.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.

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