Proxy Music: “Big Pixels”

lampshade.jpgDNRC082 | LP | 2015 | DELETED

Sharp-eyed collectors will have already realised that the DNRC catalogue numbers started to go haywire right around the time of the infamous self-combustion of the planet Davium in 2014, and the subsequent return of Davey Dreamnation to the inner solar system. Some historians have put these inconsistencies down to the re-setting of atomic clocks in the DNRC offices at the beginning of Lent; others, to improbable jitches in the space-time continuum. Whatever the cause, it is a minor miracle that this killer album, by Avalon-based Proxy Music, ever got released, let alone deleted, stupidly, one sad and rainy evening in August 2015. Its title, inspired by the giant pixellated traffic diversion signs on the Geelong Ring Road, gives the prospective listener no real indication of what sounds are contained within this stunningly-packaged but dreadfully produced release. Indeed, one might well ask if there was anyone awake behind the mixing desk on several tracks incuded here, notably the opening ‘song’ (whose title is, perhaps thankfully, not listed in the liner notes) and the bizarre three-part banjo medley, “Bingo! Bingo! Bingo!”. Nevertheless, the sheer talent of this under-rated duo cannot help but shine through the incredibly woeful three-track mixing employed here by the (again, perhaps wisely, anonymous) ‘producer’, just as a two-dollar coin lying on the side of a road near Leongatha cannot help but stand out from the monotonous texture of the bitumen. Even two dollars might have been too much to pay whoever hit (or missed) the record button on some of these songs but this should not stop us from marvelling at the yodelling of singer and banjo-mesher Ham Sammidge or the two-step drumming and frenetic wailing of her husband, lo-fi icon Strung (no relation). Still, one has to wonder what went wrong. In any case, Proxy Music would never again scale such heights. They were last seen performing at the Queenscliffe Music Festival, supporting Chris Wilson’s Banjo Orchestra. Let’s just leave it at that, shall we? I mean, we all deserve a little dignity. Especially right at the end.

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