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EFFICIENT SPACE

Tresa Leigh is the reflection of St. Simons Island, Georgia teenager Teresa Laxamanna (né Leggett).
Wooed by a classifieds listing to audition for Philly funk and soul imprint Lyndell Records, the aspiring 15 year old dragged her father, guitar, fender amplifier and microphone to perform her convincingly mature folk tales of first time heartbreak. Winning the support of label owner Walter L Rayfield, the fresh recruit cut two originals in a makeshift motel studio on the neighbouring Jekyll Island, backed by a band of unhurried session players.
The 1970 recording yielded her debut 45, pairing “I Remember”’s endearing juvenile jangle with the heartsick Ghost Riders cornerstone “Until Then”.
After a car accident prevented Mr. Rayfield from fulfilling his release plans, an unswayed Tresa responded to Great World Of Sound’s newspaper advert, baiting the prospect of gold records, major label connections and sales of a million copies. With family and friends crowdfunding the $1,200 that the company required to produce a follow-up 7”, she jetted to Nashville, recording a slicker, emotionally elevated update on “Until Then”, and the symphonic slow dancer I Miss You. In another unfortunate career misfire, the dubious label failed to deliver on any of their promises, with the artist volunteering the only surviving copy for restoration.

Collating all four recordings, this brief anthology immortalises the innocent small town dreams of a genuine original, inadvertently echoing the likes of Nora Guthrie, Bonnie Dobson and Patti Whipp.. 


TRACK LISTING

A1 I Remember
A2 Until Then (1970 Version)
B1 I Miss You
B2 Until Then (1971 Version)

A North American road trip of coming of age garage soul mapped by Ivan Liechti, Ghost Riders is Efficient Space’s latest narrative compilation, hovering in a liminal emotional ravine between moonlight melancholy, teenage heartache and unchecked, unrealised ambition. Across 17 open hearted ballads recorded 1965-1974, the 2LP collects and connects dots between British Invasion fanatics, child prodigies, the loners and the luckless, in a kind of trans-continental survey of those swept up in rock’n’roll mania and buoyed by local newspaper ads promising fame and gold records.

From the tangerine dreams of 8th grade all-girl combo The Mod 4 to the tri-state jukebox aspiring echoes of The Tempters, The Yardleys' poetic Farfisa vamp and lilting folk pop, and The Landlords’ weepy break up b-side blues, these are mostly one shots by dreamers whose experience was brief before being checked back to the reality of suburban normality and realistic career options. Hailing from the regional backwaters of Illinois, Arkansas, Nevada, Massachusetts, Ohio, Idaho, Texas and beyond, the licensed artists were scouted by way of local fire departments, spiritualist fellowships and animal welfare centres, often barely a stones throw from where their contributions were originally laid.

A barely teenage Dennis Harte's ‘Summer’s Over’ perhaps best taps the collection’s essence. A gut-wrenching lament of the passing of the season as if it was the last on earth. Flanked by players from The Left Banke, Harte, a now-piano tuner to the stars, is from the minor segment that found longevity in showbiz. Likewise with Michigan icon Lyn Nowicki who cast her ghostly voice over Beatles cover song chameleons The Common People and Jerry McGee, The Ventures member and conduit of Dr. John’s ‘Twilight Zone’.

Ghost Riders simmers with the scent of youthful summers, the pang of schoolyard romance, and the excitement (and disenchantment) of teenage naïveté, delivered via a deceptively simple and frequently wonky garage band set up. The vision of record collector and graphic designer Ivan Liechti, these eternal psych-folk howlers are further crystallised by Colin Young’s fastidious audio restoration, the original artwork of Elise Gagnebin-de Bons and an aptly penned forward from Sonic Boom. 


TRACK LISTING

1. The Mod 4 - A Puppet
2. The Yardleys - Just Remember
3. Decompressed Impossibility - You Can't Ride Away
4. The Living End - Brigitta
5. The Newports - Feelin' Low
6. The Landlords - I'm Through With You
7. The Prisners Dream - Autumn Days
8. The Fortels - She
9. The Bohemians - Say It
10. Tresa Leigh - Until Then
11. WM. Penn & The Quakers - Ghost Of The Monks
12. The Tempters - I Will Go
13. Jerry McGee - Twilight Zone
14. Carroll - The Boy Called Billy Joe
15. The Common People - Here, There & Everywhere
16. Dennis Harte - Summer's Over
17. Toe Head - Goodnight Jackie

Karen Marks

Cold Cafe

    Almost four decades since its domestic release, Karen Marks’ 1981 single “Cold Café” has finally reaped its deserved international credit to become one of Australia's most recognized minimal wave recordings. Efficient Space now showcases the Melbourne artist’s brief but entire discography, including two previously unheard demos, all produced with experimental synthesist Ash Wednesday (The Metronomes, Modern Jazz, Thealonian Music).

    A rarity in the then male dominated industry, Marks found her footing in music, first through rock journalism and then in band management. Formally of Adelaide, newly arrived synth-punks JAB (Johnny Crash, Ash Wednesday and Bodhan X) approached her for representation, subsequently contributing tracks to seminal 1978 snapshot Lethal Weapons and playing the Crystal Ballroom's opening night. Wednesday and Crash would soon dissolve JAB, enlisting Mark Ferry and Sean Kelly to create Models. Still under Mark's management, Models became one of the fastest rising new bands of the punk movement, playing to full houses of dedicated and frenzied fans everywhere. Sadly, internal frictions forced Wednesday and Marks to leave after two years, with Crash following three months later.

    Her creative relationship with Wednesday fortified with the co-production of his 1980 machine-pop prank “Love By Numbers”, her swooning chorus uplifting his deadpan count to 100, before the two collaborated on Marks’ own recording persona. Immortalised by the icy Oz wave of “Cold Café”, her Astor issued 7” also boasted the caffeinated flip “Won't Wear It For Long” - a should be hit with guitar from future Icehouse member Robert Kretschmer.

    Fans know of one more recording – “You Bring These Things”, a forlorn arrangement of an otherwise unreleased Paul Kelly song, gifted to her by the revered wordsmith. The track only ever appeared on the Astor promotional LP “Terra Australis”, sinfully alongside Up There Cazaly and Joe Dolce - hard proof that the label grossly misunderstood her talent (Marks recalls their persistent requests to show midriff and cleavage). Locked in a dissatisfying label arrangement and at this stage unwilling to follow her peers to greener pastures overseas, she felt her only way out was to cease all further activities.

    At the 11th hour of preparing this retrospective, two tracks unexpectedly surfaced via two cassettes - a paranoid demo version of her signature tune “Cold Café”, and a long-lost fourth song “Problem Page”. Both living room recordings follow Marks and Wednesday’s ingenious framework of minimal lyrics, minimal chord progressions. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: After bringing Karen Marks’ oz-wave wonder to wider attention via “Sky Girl”, Efficient Space dip back in with an expanded EP featuring an ace alternate version alongside three other wavey delights.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Cold Cafe
    A2. Won't Wear It For Long
    A3. You Bring These Things
    B1. Cold Cafe (demo)
    B2. Problem Page (demo)

    Efficient Space continues to expose Australia's esoteric musical history with "Oz Waves" - a collection of 80s DIY recordings, compiled by odd wave anthropologist Steele Bonus. Definitive proof that inhabitants of the Down Underground were links in a global network of creative kooks, "Oz Waves" connects those who utilized mobile recording rigs and small press releases to create and disseminate misfit synth-punk, tape loop experiments and inner city pop. Through overseas mail order exchanges, anonymous groups like Zerox Dreamflesh could find place on Belgian compilations, while Chris and Cosey lullabied their son to sleep with Irena Xero and her interdisciplinary art collective Zip.

    Bonus selects 10 survivors from the fertile period (1982-1989), most of which were only issued on cassette in tiny editions of 5 to 100 copies. M Squared affiliates Prod join the extraterrestrial Software Seduction, He Dark Age's minimal wave neglect and the irreverent cut ups of The Horse He's Sick and MK Ultra & the Assassins of Light. The remaining tracks have been sourced from musicians' private archives and are being officially released on Oz Waves for the first time - Andy Rantzen's industrial dub Itch-E & Scratch-E precursor, the buoyant vocal-drone of Ironing Music and Moral Fibro, Sydney's short lived answer to Weekend and Marine Girls. With detailed track by track notes, lines are drawn to Severed Heads, Scattered Order and other antipodean post-punk royalty.

    As a DJ, Steele Bonus has gained notoriety via the exquisite selections that form his ongoing mix series Odd Waves. Sydney-born, Amsterdam-based, his graphic design has not only been responsible for sleeves on Efficient Space, but also trusted Amsterdam connoisseurs Music From Memory and Young Marco's Safe Trip.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Worth the entrance fee for some of the inspired band names alone - this is a really strong collection of Australian minimal wave and DIY electro-punk.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Irena Xero - Lady On The Train
    A2. Andy Rantzen - Will I Dream?
    A3. Prod - Knife On Top
    A4. Software Seduction - New Collision
    A5. Ironing Music - Don't Wish It Away
    B1. He Dark Age - Holding Out For Eden
    B2. The Horse He's Sick - Larynx
    B3. MK Ultra & The Assassins Of Light - Jesus Krist Klap Rap (Orthodox Mix)
    B4. Moral Fibro - Take A Walk In The Sun
    B5. Zerox Dreamflesh - Squids Can Fly

    7”. Edition of 281 copies. Hand stamped, cover white ink printed on coloured card.

    Height/Dismay were the M Squared studio-as-instrument duo of Patrick Gibson and Dru Jones. A member of Systematics and Scattered Order, Gibson was an integral part of the M Squared label and studio, where he met Jones. With an unapologetic misuse of instruments and ample time, the two sonic explorers scraped guitar strings, manipulated clarinets, and contact mic’d woks to layer their echo chamber apparitions.

    Collating three 1981 recordings, the then-shelved ‘Blood Pressure In The Sand’ joins ‘Dusk’, their con-tribution to archetypal cassette-zine Fast Forward. Also unreleased, ‘The Tinning Test’ rejects formal lyrics in favour of a deadpan reading from the Australian Standard for tinned copper wire. The outsid-ers of the outside, these mutual minds’ productions have long been overlooked as crucial pieces of the Australian DIY music puzzle.

    Height/Dismay is pressed in an edition of 281 hand stamped white labels, wrapped in white ink print-ed coloured card.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: A double header of Efficient Space madness graces our shelves this week. This one, a hair brained experimental project by Patrick Gibson and Dru Jones is weird, wonderful, wacky - and has an enchanted discordance which brings to mind classic Finders Keepers.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Blood Pressure In The Sand
    2. Dusk
    3. The Tinning Test

    Wilson Tanner’s 69 returns to Australian soil for a new season. A uniquely provincial take on ambient music, Andrew Wilson (Andras) and John Tanner (Eleventeen Eston) assembled their prized debut over a shared love of seafood, wine and LPG. Recorded in a Perth backyard, these two new friends reached for the tools at hand and made the best of the fine weather. Instrument and implement combine in a languorous bricolage of synthesizer, clarinet and building materials - interrupted only by the occasional flutter of pigeon wings or a call to lunch.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Sun Room
    A2. Long Water
    A3. Before Lotus
    A4. Keith
    B1. Further Than Your Headlights
    B2. Pilot
    B3. Tray Tail
    B4. Odd Low

    Selected by Sky Girl co-conspirer Julien Dechery, Le Raccourci culls 15 tracks from Gandera's extensive cassette discography, discarded DAT recordings, and split CD with Lyon toy music project Klimperei. ...

    While Gandera's nostalgic melodies incidentally parallel with the piano key manoeuvres of Pascal Comelade, Robert Haigh and Dominique Lawalrée, Le Raccourci could only stem from the escapist desires of one Eric Morin.

    The impressionist landscapes of a sensitive soul self-reflecting, these miniature compositions alternate across a rudimentary set up of piano, field recorder, sampler and four track. Melancholic utterings hastily captured some 100km east of Paris.

    Classically trained by the same teacher as his parents, Gandera first began recording in the confines of his university dorm room, inspired by a C60 from friend and future collaborator Bernard Odot (A Gethsémani). Humbly existing without sparing a thought to music industry or career, Gandera's personal effects surfaced via the European and US cassette networks from 1988 to 1994. Impressively accomplished for the DIY scene they orbited, these tapes were issued in scant quantities, rendering his pieces as private secrets shared and duplicated in small concentric circles. Aside from a sole, avowedly traumatic performance, the material was never shared in a live context.

    These sentiently charged compositions only hint at his larger catalogue, but act as a compelling cross section of the artist's oeuvre. The identity is further detailed by archival images, Glen Goetze penned liner notes and original artwork from Perks and Mini's Misha Hollenbach.


    TRACK LISTING

    1. N'Écrire Que Du Vent
    2. La Visite Au Musée
    3. And Then The Wind
    4. Chienne De Vie
    5. Quand Natalia Peint
    6. Thème Entre Deux Chants
    7. Les Sanglots Du Locataire
    8. John Doe
    9. C'Était À L'Aube
    10. Le Dialogue Des Joueurs De Cartes
    11. Et L'Obscurité Toute Entière Pour Me Rappeler Cela
    12. Le Train Ne S'Arrêtera Plus
    13. L'Oubli
    14. Chryséléphantines
    15. D'Un Pas Chancelant


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