by Sky Needle

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released January 1, 2011

Albert’s Basement
100 cassettes

Side A: Phase Two / Oh Way Mound / Great Bore / Senator

Side B: Where To / Cave More / Most Of Three / Bad Boy

Sarah Byrne (vox, junk)
Alex Cuffe (speaker box bass)
Ross Manning (strung panel)
Joel Stern (leg horns)


Volcanic Tongue
Hand-numbered edition of 100 copies cassette from this great Brisbane quartet who play toy and homemade instruments with alla the mystery and elan of Harry Partch’s song-studies or the first two Godz LPs. Featuring Joel Stern and Sarah Byrne of Greg Boring, Byrne’s vocals get all the way out into the kind of post-tongue vectors of Amy Sheffer or Patty Waters while the group dunt and rock behind her, confusing fourth world timbres with punk primitive chops and really odd/hypnotic sound structures. Pretty singular: if the latest incarnation of ESP-Disk really knew what they were doing they’d snap these guys up for a full-length. Recommended.

Collapsed Board
When I tried to simultaneously listen to and write about Sky Needle’s cassette album Neckliner, I found it extremely difficult to do anything but just listen. It was halting. It was all circular movements and the sounds from inside of a junk drawer. It could have been the lost soundtrack to a Jan Svankmajer short film, or it could have been something more sinister. I stared at the computer for 21 minutes and 41 seconds. I decided to sleep on it.

Byron Coley in The Wire Magazine July 2011
This new cassette seems to add a female vocalist to the extant Brisbane trio's line up, with delirious results. They take your basic Partch/Theoretical Girls pump and cross it with Beme Seed or something. Quite a pick-me-up!

Shaun Prescott in Mess and Noise
Wherein this Brisbane group, whose selling point is that they create their own instruments, transcend their status as mere-curio and become a band you’ll want to listen to more than once. The emergence of vocals helps, with Sarah Byrne’s sometimes shouty/sometimes moaning/sometimes crooning(!) vocalisations pushing some moments here into Pel Mel territory, albeit ones brought to life with speaker box bass and “leg horns”, rather than anything you can buy at Billy Hyde. Hopefully this will get a proper CD or vinyl release at some point because this deserves more than a run of 100 tapes. You can dance and sing along to this, which is a welcome development indeed. Experimental pop where the “experimental” pretence is gloriously beside the point.

Eggy Records
Pop music in that the snare lands on the downbeat and that the vocals are upfront, but what a strange beast Sarah Byrne’s vocals are, lithe and wordless, making strange figures in the air, and there’s also that saxophone to account for, freely providing dissonance and skronk. But aside from some passages of scrabbling improvisation, this isn’t wild, indulgent music — actually reminds me a lot of a looser, more organic Art Bears, minus their rock and roll indulgences. Fresh new sounds from Australia, cool stuff for sure.




Sky Needle Brisbane, Australia

Sky Needle perform primitive music played on unstruments operated by Alex Cuffe, Joel Stern, Sarah Byrne and Ross Manning. Sky Needle live in Brisbane, Australia.

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