Please Please Me

, 24 September 2012

The world is chock full of interesting combinations. Moreso these days when that so-called digital revolution opened up our ears and our minds to all sorts of music we wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Testament to said cyber cosmopolites is Total Control, a band, who’s 2011 release Henge Beat could just as easily be covered in dogmatic realms of punk zine culture, while embracing ideas that are its seeming antithesis.

Total Control. Photo by Zephyr Pavey.
Total Control. Photo by Zephyr Pavey.

 But in carrying along the synth-punk legacy of the likes of SPK and Severed Heads, a lead up of minimal electronic vignettes, in 7-inch releases like ‘Paranoid Video’ and ‘Pyre Island’ piqued the interest of HI-NRG revivalists everywhere, while leading progressive producer Mikey Young further along into synthetic pop. Accordingly, Young and Total Control drummer Vinciguerra have teamed up with Australian artist and producer Michael Ozone for a 12-inch split on said Melbourne party monster’s new Home Loan Records.

Total Control and Michael Ozone's 12-inch cover. Artwork by Rasmus.
Total Control and Michael Ozone’s 12-inch cover. Artwork by Rasmus.

Always one step ahead of the retro-trend Michael Ozone (real name Brad Wynne), has been throwing parties and making disco beats for years. While Young’s interest in production has slowly corroded his roots in straight up garage rock band Eddy Current Suppression Ring to glitch electronica in Brain Children and, of course, the uncategorizable, though brilliant, Total Control release, Henge Beat last year.

Michael Ozone.
Michael Ozone.

Picking up where ‘Pyre Island’ and ‘Paranoid Video’ left off, Young and Vinciguerra reconvene to strip back Henge Beat track ‘Carpet Rash’ and play it along a pulsating synth trail that draws attention to vocalist Daniel Stewart’s toneless moan about the seedier side of human life, some chirpy polyrhythms tittering in its wake. There are a couple of new tracks, following the demented cosmic themes that Henge Beat nudged at with its apocalyptic cosmology. The churning noise of instrumental track ‘New Age’, plus the ambient organ over bubbling beats saluting Michael Ozone’s reconfigurations to follow.

Alliterative (sort of) portmanteau ‘Carpet Club Crash’ and its pounding drum machine lives up to the donking implications of its title, while ‘New Age Hop’ is a more layered affair, rendering its original source chopped, screwed and twisted into something undeniably of the Michael Ozone universe. All in all, where Total Control linger along a more minimal line of electronic exploration, Wynne goes full pelt with his brazen enthusiasm for everything strange and cheesy. Yet somehow, it’s these two aesthetics formed bottom up from their polarised backgrounds, that make for a perfect match. Trust me, weirder things have happened.

Total Control / Michael Ozone’s split 12-inch is out on Home Loan Records in early October, 2012.