discontent blog

i got an e-mail from stu buchanan of new weird australia and discontent fame today, which had the following to say...

>thanks for sending me the new telafonica album. i listened to it end-to-end in the car on the way to work this morning, fucking perfect start to the day. it's a great accomplishment, well done all!

>here's a proposal, by way of promotion for the album. would love for you (or the band as a whole?) to curate a mixtape for discontent. can be anything you like, free reign to make your own little audio concoction. no deadline.

>pink priest dropped a mixtape last week, it's beautiful, amazing work.
We Sleep In This Cave | A Mixtape by Pink Priest

>here's some of my recent tapes
Discontent | All That Glitters Is Gold
Discontent | Burnt By The Sun
Discontent | Hypnogogic Pop
Discontent | Music For Merce

>anyway, hope you might give it some consideration, would be great to have you on board.

>so it goes

i'd love to put something together for it. i've been thinking that we could tie it to the album, using the inspiration discs from the end of last year as a starting point, but also adding anything that's come up since then that has had an impact to what we did on the album - inspirations, samples etc. the one restriction is copyright stuff - we can only really use tracks that are available as legal, free downloads. i think that might cover maybe a third of those tracks, maybe a few more. but i was thinking that if we compiled everything we wanted to include, we can get them all together in ableton live and use the full versions of the free stuff, while the other bits we can use snippets of, as samples and small loops, which we mix in with other full tracks, sort of like a continuous dj mix, rather than a series of discrete tracks.

any thoughts?

if we went ahead with that idea, i think the best starting point would be to compile a list of everything we might want to include. doesn't really matter how long the list is as much of it would only be represented by snippets.


we don't have gigs any more.

ant has asked us if we would like to play a live set at wreckovery on sunday, january 17. it would be in the late afternoon/early evening. do we have enough available bodies to be a band or will i be on my own? :)
thought it would be good to ask now so as to avoid the period where eliza is incomunicado.


october 20, 2009

The 20th Project is when artists write and record an entirely new piece of music in a single day (the 20th of the month) without any preparation beforehand or editing afterwards. For more information on the 20th Project, visit Cabinet Pin.
released october, 2009

We had a gig coming up in Newcastle, which I knew was just going to be Blake and myself playing at, and we had thought that we would do some looser, more abstract things than normal. This track was then purpose written for that aesthetic and came out just how I'd hoped it would. I'd been listening to the new F*** Buttons album quite a bit and was impressed with the way it mixed fairly traditional house music with noise, so that was the basic template. Some Underground Lovers also seeped in. A good bass riff always pushings things along quite a bit, and this one seems to work quite well. It's vaguely an update of a riff from an old Telafonica track, 'Brown And Blue', which was originally modelled on the Jah Wobble school of bass riffage. The rhythms are based on some samples of early 90s house, then everything, particularly the synths, are pushed through various distortion effects.

I struggled with the actual song bit and don't love what I ended up with enough to think it should stay. I did want to have a small catchy song embedded in a long piece of music and this one sufficed for the moment, but I'm thinking that it would be good for Eliza to write a new 'song' to take the place of mine within the music. I'll send you a copy of the track without any singing, Eliza.

The track went very well in the live show, and was probably the highlight of the set from the comments we got afterwards, so I'm looking forward to seeing where it could end up.

(full 20th cd tracklist to come)


20th september, 2009

The 20th Project is when artists write and record an entirely new piece of music in a single day (the 20th of the month) without any preparation beforehand or editing afterwards. For more information on the 20th Project, visit Cabinet Pin.
released september, 2009

Probably not the greatest ever track in the Telafonica canon, but hopefully there's something there to work with on a future date. The 20th in September fell on a Sunday, which theoretically means we'd have a lot of time, but we also happened to have a gig that day, playing Radio Social at the World Bar. So I spent the early afternoon making the basic rhythms and chord structures etc, borrowing heavily from a few different skwee sources. Then, after the gig, Eliza came back and improvised some synth lead stuff over the top, which was then edited into shape a little. No lyrics, just music.

1. Check Your Tricorder - Bag
2. I'll Make A Fuss Over You - Baron Von Winchester III
3. Magna - Merankorii
4. Solar Wind - WRC
5. I Wonder What They're Doing In Taree - Wellington Rd Blues Band
6. Same Old Song - Community Musk
7. You Left Sompin' - Vlayman
8. Cheeky Chops - 44Hertz
9. Zapf Dingbats - Telafonica
10. Unsung - The Desks
11. Breathe Deep - 44Hertz
12. The Bitches are Landing - +ko+ko+


love on the second stair poster

a couple of shots for david (there's a copy in the mail somewhere between here and london as i write)

the riso prints came out beautifully - i definitely think we should go with them again for future releases, and possibly play around a bit more with the layering of colours which you can just see a bit of here.


I have an idea for a telafonica project

the idea---

we take 10-15 minutes worth of ideas that are compiled in a short recording/song and use them as the foundation for a new song. i thought that a cd playlist would look good like that, and be really interesting to listen to, if you had not just songs, but 'song couples' ie. i press record and come out with a riff, and then sing straight on top of it and come up with a melody alongside some scratchy percussion recordings this becomes the draft then a few days later (or whatever) adrian adds a bass line in and eliza comes up with a couple of new sections and then bec writes some more words that build on any idea that she's drawn from the little lyrics i wrote...

i am thinking that it would be really great listening to scratchy, short demos and then hearing a polished song that evolved from that original demo

it would be especially interesting with telafonica as we have 4 very different members- the degree of change and development between 'the demo' and 'the song' would be significant

(i'm not always fantastic at explanations)


mars hill photos

with many many thanks to the wonderful miles martignoni. his blog can be found here and there are more photos on his flickr page.


Psst! Ellie and Blake!

AJE is out of town and off the net. Let's make some executive decisions! :)


Album Launch, Mars Hill Cafe

This was the big one. This was the new Telafonica, on plastic, and live in our home territory. There was a lot of excitement, hope and many butterflies. All pink, I think. The most delightful thing of the evening was that there were more friends than butterflies. It felt exactly like a celebration. It felt just right for the finale of the year for us.
I was feeling a bit tired before Charles Daaboul played so I wandered down to the cafe and ordered a cappuccino and four gourmet chocolates (which I of course shared with Adrian). That's where I met Mo who decided to give me his own special version of a latte which was like nothing I have ever tasted before. It was a "naked shot" of coffee - 2.5 times the strength of what I was expecting. I tasted the froth and it was like a punch in the head. Then I had the sensation of my heart trying to knock its way out of my chest with the next sip. Funnily enough, from then on the coffee tasted great, although I thought I might be awake until Monday.
I'm not going to say that we played perfectly - I don't think that is ever the Telafonica aesthetic really. We did have a lot of fun, though, and the glorious audience were in there with us which was magical. So many wonderful people came from all over the place in our Telafonilives!
We played the new album front to back and climbed aboard the Belafonte and even performed "Aeowyn and the Absolute Truth" live for the very first time (bit rough - needs a bit of a spit and polish).
We sold lots of CDs and gave away this year's Christmas CD "O Come All Ye Faithless" and we hope that all purchasers will be completely satisfied with "Love on the Second Stair".
Finally, in place of La Ziko's, we toddled off down to the new churros shop to test out the authenticity of their Spanish fare. The place looked and felt very much like a Spanish cafe. The churros were not quite up to Adrian's Spanish abuela's but the company was good and food really isn't all about the food, is it?
It was so fun and we are so thankful to all involved - truly joyful!

The set list:
I Can't Make you Love Me
Smells Like Rain
But I Lose Myself
The Quest for Love Aboard the Belafonte
Aeowyn and the absolute Truth
Time to Move the Nest
Don't Speak for Me
The Separation Prepared this for Another Marriage

Love On The Second Stair

to purchase 'LOVE ON THE SECOND STAIR' visit the 4-4-2 music website or click the link in Bandcamp player below. cost is $AUS5 plus postage.

released november 14, 2009

In May of 2008, the four currently Australian based members of Telafonica made their debut together. Their live set was based on older Telafonica tracks, the newer members replicating and fleshing out roles that had been established by members now based overseas. In the ensuing 18 months, the Australian based contingent has busily been adding their own work to that repertoire as they have gigged regularly in and around Sydney. The first fruits of this new music was the 7” single, 'Nothing Ventured', released in late 2008. Following a clear out of older unreleased material on the early 2009 mini-album, 'I Saw This And Thought Of You', as well as brand new material and covers appearing on compilations such as 'New Weird Australia Vol 1' (New Weird Australia) and 'Introducing Townes Van Zandt Via The Great Unknown' (Forthesakeofthesong), 'Love On The Second Stair' sees the first extended output from the new line-up.

While still deeply rooted in electronic rhythms and processing, the addition of Blake Wassell (Lessons In Time), Eliza Magill and Rebecca Elmer has seen the band's sound expand into more organic domains. All four members write and sing, colouring the tracks in diverse ways. For the first time on a Telafonica release, all the tracks are song based with a cohesive lyrical focus, alluded to in the album title. A widening of live sounds has also resulted, ranging from traditional piano, cornet and glockenspiel through to the quirkier toy piano, curtain rods and typewriter, as well as a wide range of acoustic percussion. Trainspotters can also listen out for samples or sonic references from/to the likes of Gus Gus, Martini Bros, Adam and the Ants, The Beatles, Chemical Brothers, LCD Soundsystem, Animal Collective, Efterklang and Sufjan Stevens, amongst many others.

The London based contingent of Telafonica has certainly not been abandoned, with founding member David Hughes responsible for the artwork and design of the album packaging, the full release version of which is printed using risograph technology.

"...an unexpectedly lyrical, richly experimental exploration..."
read a review at ThrowShapes

"...a deliciously eclectic record..."
read the Sydney Morning Herald review

"...impress(es) with both its level of ambition and diversity..."
read a review at Cyclic Defrost magazine


1. i can't make you love me
2. smells like rain
3. but i lose myself
4. the quest for love aboard the belafonte
5. æowyn and the absolute truth
6. cover
7. time to move the nest
8. don't speak for me
9. the separation prepared this for another marriage


men in shorts


i think our friend here has missed the point


A Cheery Chat with Stephen Ferris at FBI

This morning Telafonica jumped in the Spacia and took off for FBI Radio Station for a chat with the legendary Stephen Ferris. The FBI "agents" were lovely people who welcomed us with big smiles and much appreciated cold water. (Hot day!)
The studio was quite swish and Stephen Ferris and Miles Martignoni so impressive in their efficiency and professionalism that I personally felt a bit shy when we were setting up. That said, Stephen went on to lead us in a merry conversation in which Adrian was extremely articulate and we all learned from Ellie the origins of the phrase "love on the second stair". That is, the poem by A.A. Milne called "Halfway Down" from the book "When We Were Very Young". It was worth the whole experience just for that one delightful discovery.
We also played our acoustic version of "The Quest for Love Aboard the Belafonte". I was hoping that my Facebook friends everywhere were playing along with my typewriter on their laptops and keyboards. I imagined a mighty chorus of tick tacking across the length and breadth of greater Sydney. I also typed a secret word for Facebook friends to guess in order to win themselves our brand new Christmas CD. I shall magnanimously extend this competition to readers of the blog. If you are the first to guess the secret word I typed during Belafonte, you may have a free Christmas CD a la Telafonica.
All in all, it was great fun. Stephen Ferris gave a plug for our gig and our album and even had a photo taken with us. It was a happy happy adventure!

album packet

i got an e-mail from georgie today to tell us that fbi have added love on the second stair to their playlist as the 'album packet' for the upcoming week. i'm not completely sure what that entails, but from what i learned when new weird australia was in that position a few months back, it basically means that a certain number of songs get playlisted each day for the week between 6am and 6pm. hopefully, the exposure might also mean that other presenters hear it and pick up on it as well.

i also got 2ser's weekly newsletter today and the album is listed in their 'servin' up' list - their kind of top ten new albums for the week. sydney community radio is grand.


finally inside the rizzeria

i spent yesterday inside the rizzeria printing room - a cosy little space with the riso printer on one side, a desk with a pc on the other side, riso equipment stored in various nooks and crannies, lots of risos on the walls, and not much else.

my volunteer helper was leigh. he was great and reminded me incredibly of david. that's him in the photo with the exact same standing waiting posture as david, exact same type of beard in the exact same colour, a similar face etc etc. he liked the newsprint paper so much he bought what was leftover and i'll send him the details of how to get it from school (where i ordered it from).

the prints looks incredibly great. i ended up having to relay my original fully lined template over your images david, otherwise the crop and score marks were being completely lost. the posters look great with the two colours interacting beautifully. we ended up leaving the green side of the lyrics page to be printed tomorrow (monday) as the ink was not dry enough from the first side so was leaving traces on the printing drum and coming up on the poster. so i'll get those when we go in to fbi of thursday.

the images are of the first layer of the case - the text and crop/score marks. they're printed on 300gsm paper which is much sturdier than the 220gsm we used for the last one. so now to a week of cutting, scoring and folding.


Christmas is near; Ellie wants to fiddle.

I think I've decided, for the Eliza Magill track on Telafonica's soon-to-be-released-and-when-are-we-going-to-find-time-to-finish-it Christmas CD, to do a song with lots of vocal layers, with my voice as the accompaniment and the solo as well - in the tradition of Camille and others I'm sure.

I'm doing Ding Dong Merrily on High, and I have a good idea of all the vocal parts, but with this sort of thing I really need to record as I go and see what works. I myself have no recording thingamy apparatus whatsoever, not even a crappy one, so at the moment I'm just imagining everything in my head, which means it could actually sound terrible when it's put together.

I'm going to need to do a bit of fiddling around. So... (Adrian) can I come over please? Sometime this week?

And have you (Blake) done yours yet?


everything is chemical

the belafonte single has popped up on another blog - this time one from the u.s. (i'm pretty sure) called everything is chemical which covers lots of great music (i regularly read their reviews).

they call it "Beautiful Post-Experimental Chamber/Dream Pop from Sydney, Australia".

click here.


Introducing Townes Van Zandt Via The Great Unknown

This release available via the Forthesakeofthesong website - click here

Introducing Townes Van Zandt Via The Great Unknown
released October, 2009

Forthesakeofthesong is an English label who have signed Lessons In Time for an album release in early 2010. Early this year, they also asked him if he wanted to contribute to this compilation, which he said yes to. So Telafonica jumped on the bandwagon and asked if we could be involved as well. While a little surprised at our interest (we're not exactly folk music) the label was happy for us to be a part.

The idea of the compilation was for a bunch of relatively unknown artists (hence the title) to cover Townes Van Zandt songs. It turned out there were a few not so unknowns who contributed - Jad Fair, Great Lake Swimmers, J Tilman (of Fleet Foxes) etc - as well.

Telafonica did a version of 'St John The Gambler', a kind of 'don't go out dressed like that' moral tale dressed up as a dark almost murder ballad. We went for moody atmosphere but tried to steer clear of straight folkiness. So there's a bass line which was actually played on a cello (didn't have access to a double bass) and glockenspiel and voice for most of it, with some kick coming in at the climax. Most of the atmosphere, though, is created by layers of subtle processing on Eliza's voice. There's 4 different tracks of her voice singing by the end, all with different types of filters, delays, ring modulators etc on them to create whisps of swirling sounds.

"An important project and a fascinating album.” 8/10 (AMERICANA UK) (link)
"This album works on two different levels, as an introduction to the work of a great songwriter and as a sampler of some splendid modern performers."(BEARDED) (link)
“A vibrant portrait of contemporary folk…the proper tribute Earle's wasn't.” (EXCLAIM!) (link)

1. Lessons In Time (AU) - At My Window
2. Thomas Denver Jonsson (SWE) - To Live Is To Fly
3. Loophole & Ciaran Kirby (IRL) - Lungs
4. Great Lake Swimmers (CAN) - Our Mother The Mountain
5. Fort King & My Hawaii (US) - Loretta
6. Christina Kulukundis (UK/US) - If I Needed You
7. J. Tillman (US) - My Proud Mountains
8. Gustav Haggren (SWE) - Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel
9. Kevin Tihista (US) - Still Looking For You
10. Kate Maki (CAN) - I'll Be Here In The Morning
11. Anders Parker (US) - No Place To Fall
12. Telafonica (AU) - St. John The Gambler
13. Nick Jones (US) - Don't Take It To Bad
14. The Wheel (US) - She Came And She Touched Me
15. Stephen Duffy & The Lilac Time (UK) - Pancho And Lefty
16. Pacific Ocean Fire (UK) - You Are Not Needed Now
17. Chris Mills (US) - Tecumseh Valley
18. The Be Good Tanyas (CAN) - Waiting Around To Die
19. Jad Fair (US) - Turnstyled, Junkpiled