I love me a good comp, especially when it’s devoted to bands from smaller musical outposts and includes weird stuff from the 1980s. Hence how I ended up with a copy of Midnite Spares, a collection of 10 “avant pop and electronic works” by Australian performers during the 1982-92 period.
And there’s some weird stuff on Midnite Spares. Poets of the Machine’s “Arabs” layers Persian instrumentation over top of tribal beats, while the female vocalist (I think it’s Jandy Rainbow) sort of sings/sort of talks over it. And then the beats turn more to dance… and we get a male vocalist… and the whole thing sounds like you’ve been sitting in some corner bazaar inhaling too much second-hand hash smoke. It’s like bizarro version of Blondie’s “Rapture” but, you know, without a guy from Mars eating cars. The instrumental “Hakka Suru” by The Igniters sounds like the music to some kind of Law & Order spinoff, though probably a slower paced one with minimal drama. Mumbo Jumbo’s “Wind It Up” is probably the closest thing to a “classical” mid-1980s pop song on the collection, complete with the obligatory saxophone, but one that’s cool because it isn’t quite as polished as the big radio hits – it sounds more like something that real people wrote and performed (Wind it up / Let it go / From Sydney Harbor / To the Gulf of Mexico). The closing track, Foot and Mouth’s “I Want My Mummy”, gets the gold star for being the most completely whacked out track on the comp, a disturbing tune about mommy, daddy, and divorce with vocals that sound like they were recorded underwater and will undoubtedly creep you out to no end.
Midnite Spares is available on Bandcamp HERE, both for purchase and some free listening. The vinyl includes a download card, which definitely makes it an appealing option.