stop motion

i've been working fairly hard on the video for the belafonte and, as a result, have also become quite enamoured again of simple but clever stop motion animation. i'm pretty sure this is a mix of straight stop motion and computer emulated stop motion, but is pretty great nonetheless...


Lessons In Time - You Dance And You Dance Single

Just when you think you have heard it all before, there is an artist/band emerging from nowhere with a new, genre-defying, yet at the same time, accessible & sublime sound. Arcade Fire did it. Fleet Foxes did it. Bon Iver, Great Lake Swimmers, and so on, did it.

Blake Wassell AKA Lessons In Time is 19 and lives in Australia, he is fascinated by the capabilities of sound and music. Blake makes music, which is as beautiful as it is fascinating, made up with at-hand materials, field recordings, heartfelt and clever vocals and traditional instruments, using minimal recording equipment. His sound walks in the middle of electronic, experimental uniqueness and rustic, hillbilly folk, leaving you wondering how he at this young age is already creating music which falls in its own genre.

‘You Dance, And You Dance’ is out to download now, March 15th 2010 , and is taken from the forthcoming debut album by Lessons In Time out later this spring.


Get it now!



The Lansdowne Hotel, March 21, 2010

I have to say that last night's gig at the Lansdowne was my favourite one yet in all areas except that Ellie wasn't there.
First and always foremost was the very good park that King-of-Parking Adrian was able to find. It was the easiest load in yet.
Second was that we got to play with a whole bunch of good friends. For me it was the first time I have ever seen Rattlesnakes and Romance, We are Volcanoes and Sounds Like Sunset. All very fine bands, so a very nice evening on that score. For me personally, my favourite was We Are Volcanoes. Tim Engelbrecht radiates energy and is entertaining in the extreme. He has a voice like Robert Smith and moves like David Byrne and plays the guitar with as much effort as blinking.
When Telafonica played it felt really good in all directions. I think we played well and felt relaxed and had fun, even with the sweat dripping from Adrian and Blake and making their guitars soap-slippery!
We met a few really nice people who appreciated our sound - very encouraging! Two of the most delightful of these were Joe and Carly Hardy. Joe introduced himself in a very humble way and then when Blake and I realised that he was Joe Blog, there was a very big "Oh! You're Joe Blog!" moment. It was lovely to meet them and we are really excited to be playing in their very rock'n'roll backyard on May 20.
Last but in no way least was our "reunion" with "Stu" the sound guy we grew to know and love at the Excelsior! He is the nicest guy and his work is so clear that it makes it much easier to do our best performance!
It was a very easy and friendly night and I personally quite enjoyed watching the traffic go by out the wide open doors of the Lansdowne Hotel as we sang "I can hear there's a peace in the dark..."

Set List

The Tail End of Winter
Smells Like Rain
Your Hands
The Unravelling Man
This is the New Thing
I Can Hear There's a Peace in the Dark
I Can't Make You Love Me

You, Me and the Missionary Lyrics

You, Me and the Missionary
(These are the lyrics, scroll down to listen.)

I am a suburb.
I knew it before.
I so wanted to be
A small country town.
There's much to be said
For the small man standing.
But I know that it's fiction.
I know it's not me.
But I know that it's fiction.
I know it's not me.

I am a suburb.
You know that I know it.
I so wanted to be
The bright CBD.
There's much to be said
For unlimited action.
But I know there are limits.
I know one is me.
But I know there are limits.
I know one is me.

Across the street
Or across the sea.
On the way my heart
Is undone and remade.
Across the street
Or across the ocean.
The journey is mine
The destination is You.

I am a suburb.
I have always known.
All that I have wanted
Is paper and dust.
There is much to be said
For an old man kneeling.
There is much to be said
And so I begin.
There is much to be said
And so I begin.


march 20th, 2010

Lyrics by Bec inspired by Edith Schaeffer, Karen Pack, Sharon Wood and Chris Smith.
Music by Adrian inspired by Konono No. 1 and Paul Simon.


cyclic defrost review

it's taken a while, but there's finally a review on cyclic defrost. a couple of factual slips, but based on assumptions via listening so completely forgivable...

Telafonica – Love On The Second Stair (4-4-2 Music)

By Chris Downton March 17, 2010


In the twelve months that have passed since the release of Telafonica’s preceding mini-album I Saw This And Thought Of You, there have certainly been some substantial changes within the Sydney-based band. While founding member David Hughes is now based in the UK (though he’s still responsible for the album artwork here, three new members – Eliza Magill, Rebecca Elmer and Blake Wassell now augment original founder member Adrian Elmer. It’s a change that’s immediately apparent upon listening to this latest album. While I Saw This… saw Telafonica fashioning tracks still primarily geared around synths and electronics, Love On The Second Stair positively drips with increased sonic detail and live instrumentation, with glockenspiels, cornet and even curtain rods being pressed into service amongst the nine tracks collected here.

With all three new members contributing vocals and songwriting, there’s also more of a tangible ‘band’ atmosphere, as well as noticeably more stylistic variation. Opening track ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ manages to carry more than a stray hint of Animal Collective’s psychedelic rush as tumbling percussion and rattling textures give way to harmonised group vocals and the lush fusion of buzzing synths, rock guitars and tribal drumming, the latter element in particular calling to mind one of Caribou’s blissful wanders.

The electronics manage to rear their heads more on crisp electro-pop offering ‘Smells Like Rain’, with thick analogue synths and digitally-edited handclaps powering their way beneath Adrian Elmer’s slightly treated vocals, but in this case the more overtly synthetic elements are nicely counterbalanced by the crashing live cymbals and jangly guitar figures that play against them. The same is certainly true of ‘But I Lose Myself’ – with its insistent almost-house rhythm, sudden bursts of tripped-out synths and nagging melodic riff, it’s easily the most dancefloor-centred moment here; but in this case, the weary-sounding group harmonies and wheezing harmoniums manage to take it to a different place entirely. Elsewhere, the delicate ‘The Quest For Love Aboard The Belafonte’ sees typewriters providing an intriguingly effective rhythmic base for elegant piano keys and melancholic female vocals, while ‘Aeowyn And The Absolute Truth’, easily this record’s most stripped-back and direct moment, sees slow, rasping cello tones and swelling bass atmosphere forming an appropriately subtle backdrop for Elmer’s spiralling, delayed-out vocal harmonies. Love On The Second Stair manages to impress with both its level of ambition and diversity, making it easily the strongest release I’ve heard from Telafonica, as well as an intriguing new direction.

Chris Downton
Cyclic Defrost



one more thing on the a.mp. before letting it go...

there's quite an interesting article over here on the judgement for the winner of the australian music prize

however, what amazes me has nothing much to do with the issues raised by the article. it's actually some of the numbers and how they apply to telafonica. firstly, there were 234 albums entered this year. of that, there were 30 that made it to the 'long list'. that has pretty much blown my mind. i had imagined the long list had like 90 or 100 albums on it, just a list to cull the really bad stuff, but still keeping it wide open. we got into the final 30! that is just bizarre. the process is outlined in the article and it's reasonably rigorous.

time to make a new album!


the bridge in hi-fidelity streaming audio

no posts for march yet!

this is a recording of the bridge show from 2 weeks ago for anyone who may have missed it. it ended up being just blake and i. worth a listen for you londoners just to hear the comments about telafonica's graphic design. can be downloaded over at archive.org or just streamed here.