Liminal electronic musics: post-punk experimentation in Australia in the 1970s-1980s

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This paper presents a survey of some key experimental electronic music scenes in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s that were situated outside the frame of music institutions and the electro-acoustic music tradition. Specifically it focuses on experimentalism in the popular music field in this period, outlining the ‘little bands’ scene in Melbourne and the scene around the Terse Tapes and M Squared labels in Sydney, It locates a set of international reference points in No Wave, industrial music and krautrock and discusses the work of some individuals who traversed the popular music and experimental music scenes, acting as a nexus for musical ideas. The paper proposes that experimental practices in popular music exert a significant force on experimental electronic music practices in a wider sense and the links to more academic forms of music experimentation need to be better understood. In doing so the paper calls for a more expanded and complete view of the historical development of electronic music as a way of better understanding current experimental electronic music scenes in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalSound : Space : proceedings of the Australasian Computer Music Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventAustralasian Computer Music Conference - Sydney
Duration: 10 Jul 200812 Jul 2008


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