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Sydney's Post-Punk Bands
I Like Music
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Crime Fiction is Silly
[ Sydney Post-Punk Memoirs ]

Rod Pobestek

Voigt/465 - 'One Faint Deluded Smile' cover text

Eyes roll skyward as talk comes back to, as it always will, Voigt/465. For us, it went past any normal phrase of 'rockband' with a combination of held breath intensity and rational concentration. It stood apart using ideals from free improvisation and music concrete in a mix of noise and energy that gave it a frightening and confrontational edge which could be simultaneously harrowing and hilarious.

Voigt/465 spent the first eighteen months learning to play together in a huge corrugated iron factory in the southern suburbs of Sydney. It was with this industrial' backdrop and our taste for krautrock that the 'it's all music' attitude was crystallized. It did not seem relevant or particularly feasible to play covers and the like, although we later treated them as homage's to our influences - Faust, Can, Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, Pere Ubu, Eno. Instead, creating our own material came naturally because our main, unstated aim was to communicate an individual identity (confidence and unity was never a problem at the start). There was no hesitation to combine disparate elements and, since none of the individual members had any musical training, we knew there was an advantage in pursuing the idea of doing something expressive. In the end this meant being original, taking the attitudes of punk and using them as a compositional tool. But right from the beginning it always had a scary and challenging musical dimension. Since we were asking the audience to travel so far, we also tried to give some 'entertainment' along the way as well -relying on striking visual presentation.

The earlier songs, like "Red Lock On Sea Steal", were generally put together with a set 'instructions' that relied on many months of rehearsals to get them 'right' but which evolved through personal interpretation and intent into songs that just felt stubbornly natural. Following the release of "State" / "A Secret West" and one particularly vehement crowd reception, the line-up changed slightly and many of the more extreme songs were rationed. But it was at this point that the band became it's own 'real' entity. This increase in conviction gave us a surprising muscularity and even a seeing - most clearly shown in 'P". Although this was based upon a prescribed system on notes and times, it was improvised over a few months into a tightly played structure with a loose open feel. 

Despite a lot of airplay and encouragement from certain quarters of radio station 2JJ, the distinctive abrasive edge was never carried forward by any of the later bands that the individual members were a part of. Voigt/465 had always stood so apart and confounded expectations of what was the limit of acceptability that it was an unfeasible proposition and structure. The core of our music was a chance musical expression combining ideas from Schoenberg to the Stooges with an underlying self-sufficiency and this seemed just too difficult to transfer to new sets of individuals. 

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