Pretty Gritty #8

Sunday August 3, 2014

pop implosion

Pretty Gritty #8 presents slippery songs from digital divas and divos (yes that is a term). Scissor Lock channels pop ecstasy for the micro stadium experience; GoldModeL mashes noise into song structures for a grinding romp; hz give us four on the floor in a clash of dance beats and misty vocals; and JOR (Jacqui O'Reilly) cannibalises her early folk output to create dreamy ambientronica.


Jacqui O'Reilly

Jacqui O'Reilly is a musician and vocalist with a background in the folk scene as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. In recent years a growing interest in DIY music production and sound art has expanded her composition and performance repertoire. She has worked with a range of producers and artists (Tralala Blip, Luke Killen, Huw Lewis) to create inclusive sound and performance works across Sydney, such as the Emerge Outside series 2010 & 2012 and Have You Ever Wanted? at Queen St Studios. Her solo project JOR is based on experimentation and a DIY self sufficiency rule. Sampling vocals only, from the ‘best of’ her old folk songs, she is creating a new body of minimal ambient work with an ascetic and ethereal mood. EP due out late 2014. Jacqui is currently studying an undergraduate Media Arts degree at COFA, University of NSW.


hz is the collaborative project between Emily Grantham and Hannah Lockwood. The duo met at music school and bonded over their mutual interest in experimental electronic music. They began sharing records from their respective musical worlds; Emily’s background was rooted in classical and experimental music, while Hannah’s experience lay in studio and club formats. The pair then began jamming between classes, with only a microkorg, Maschine and MD441, experimenting loosely within the techno form. Emily’s affinity for melody proved to work strongly alongside Hannah’s comfort in beatmaking and the duo began working on a live set that harnessed these influences. Combining hardware and software practices with vocal augmentation and field recordings, the duo create a distinct take on techno music.


GoldModeL is an open collaborative noise/pop project from Noise artist Zed FemaLe (Christina Harvey) which establishes a unique blend of the harmonics in noise and the experimental elements of electronic music.

The mixing of analogue manipulations and the abstraction of existing pop sensibilities push the arrangements into organic relationship. The treatments of found sound loops and accidental percussion sourced from improvised experiments create the pulse of each piece. The deconstructed modulations are then reformed into structural/skeletal forms where words, melody , and noise are layered and carved into song.

The industrial coupling of machine and melody reacts to its own source founded in improvisation and the experimental electronic production binds the elements in compositional frame. In a live setting GoldModeL reacts to the environment and uses the structure as a point of departure encompassing different genres as its architecture.

Scissor Lock

Scissor Lock is a project by Marcus Whale begun in July 2005 at the age of 14, with a string of releases on the internet and on CD-Rs, containing sound experiments with an array of readily available, low quality instruments and free software. Nine years later, Scissor Lock operates in a similarly modest mode, with its focus now turned to reconfigurations and re-enactments of pop music-derived audio and vocal performance, starkly embedded in dour electronic environments. Where sample-centric releases such as Degrassi Dream (3BS) and Outer Space (Independent) are concerned directly with the elaboration of pop music production's obsession with the momentary, live, vocal-led Scissor Lock performances seek to emulate the ecstatic and visceral outpouring at the centre of popstar performance, presented among instrumental bed referential of inornate techno and contemporary classical music.

Future and current Scissor Lock releases are available on labels The Finer Things, 3BS, A Guide To Saints, New Weird Australia and HellosQuare.