The latest in a line of retrospective compilations from Noise In My Head subsidiary Efficient Space, 3AM Spares finds András and Instant Peterson pulling together all-but-forgotten relics from Australian dance music’s past. Mining the untapped and lesser-known, it plunders music from “local 12” releases, CDRs and the archives of community radio station 3RRR FM,” offering a snapshot of a scene commonly overlooked in discourse surrounding how rave culture captured imaginations of disaffected youth around the world.

We all make a habit of looking back on our youth through rose-tinted glasses, but inevitable moral panics aside, the 12-tracker prefers to recall the halcyon days. In order to shed further light on a vibrant moment in Australian music, Efficient Space founder Michael Kucyk has joined András and Instant Peterson to dig out a few videos capturing the essence of that ’90s Antipodean scene.


Rave Flyers Melbourne Australia 1990s

A semiotic illustration of the decade that was – keep an eye out for 3AM artists Ollie Olsen (Third Eye) and Artificial as you make your way through this impressively archived slideshow. The presentation summarises more than just graphic design styles of the time, giving us an insight into how the scale of parties shifted along with genre trends within the scene and corresponding artist’s career trajectories. Taking advantage of the mute button allows the viewer to lay their own soundtrack over the top or to simply watch the cycle in silence, though it’s worth noting that 3AM Spares opener ‘FSOM – Resist The Beat’ pairs perfectly.

 

Voiteck vs Honeysmack on Recovery

Melbourne techno titans Voiteck and Honeysmack on Recovery in 1996, plausibly still going from the night before. The seminal Saturday morning variety show hosted a who’s who of the day’s alternative music but no performance was as lunatic as this. Honeysmack actually studied at RMIT under Midnite Spares identity Philip Brophy (→ ↑ →), with Brophy producing his 2002 album and directing a music video that was marred in the courts by Coca Cola.

 

‘Tasty’ club raid on ABC news TV

This clip from ABC news covers the Victorian Police Raid of Melbourne dance club ‘Tasty’, a popular alternative venue frequented by a large number of gay and transgender patrons, and well-known local identities. The 463 patrons in Tasty Nightclub in Flinders Lane were subjected to a terrifying and humiliating strip search at the hands of Victorian Police. The Tasty incident has been described by some as Melbourne’s Stonewall, an event that raised awareness of the discrimination that the local LGBTIQ+ community faced.

 

Jandy Dec 1979 Star-Child Beyond Pink & Blue

Jandy Rainbow was ahead of the curve at every turn, with this performance art film created in her late teens. An electronic pioneer, she performed in synth wave ensembles Donno Detti, Aeroplane Footsteps and Les Trois Etranger. After working with Poets of the Machine (their co-write ‘Arabs’ was a Midnite Spares staple), she moved to Brisbane to escape the Melbourne cold and it’s effect on her childhood history of polio, continuing to produce binaural trance, techno and breaks.

 

Juice Records – Outpost CD launch 1994

Juice records from Adelaide, South Australia boasts a short lived but seminal discography hosting the likes of DJ HMC, Paddee and Late Night Tough Guy, cementing both the imprint and it’s artists as hallmarks of Australia’s electronic dance music history. Techno with international appeal that has led some of their 12″s to become grails among collectors of the genre. This video contains live footage from the CD launch of one of their coveted label compilations – Outpost in 1994.

 

Area 51 – They’re Human

Before forming The B(if)tek Corporation with Kate Crawford, Nicole Skeltys (aka Artificial) lent her distinctive visual lexicon and “track/ production/eye winking” to her first band’s film clip in 1995. Other exciting examples can be found on her youtube channel including compositional work for BBC’s 6 Degrees of Separation documentary and a B(if)tek OST for the Australian “teen angst feature film” City Loop.

 

‘Ballistic’ @ Hunter On Hunter Hotel

Lauded hardcore label Bloody Fist came out of Newcastle with a catalogue to blow a hole in both your wallet and brain. Don’t know where to start? I don’t either. Mark N is still a prominent figure and DJ and there are loads of videos and DJ sets online, alongside most of the label catalogue being made available via bandcamp. But to begin at the bottom: some appropriately shit sound and vision.

3AM Spares is out now on Efficient Space – buy it direct from the label.

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