RELEASE DATE 26/11/16
Released in an edition of 150 with a three panel screen printed cover replicating the artwork of the 1980 original. Mastered for vinyl by Don Bartley
There's shrouds of mystery surrounding many of the minimal synth experimentalists of Australia. While we know a little (or enough) about the pioneers of the post-punk synth-driven artists like SPK and Voigt/465, there's a host of phantoms too: The Ungrateful Children, Genet Tic Toc, The Shining Path and in this case, Electropulse.
Here's what is known: Electropulse performed a handful of shows around Brisbane in 1981 - namely the 279 Club with projections by (present day Australian filmmaker) Kriv Stenders. The only article that's cropped up on the research path is that the 11th of August in the same year, the University of Queensland's newspaper, Semper had a half page overview of Brisbane's new wave scene by one of the city's most staunch music and culture critics, The Brisbane Devotee (née John Reid):
Electropulse - the face of local music in the future? Word is, they don't even know how to play (probably irrelevant) but they bash away at electronic equipment and produce 'interesting' quirks of sound. By waving a video around they get get background visuals. No one sings. Is it art? Is Jackson Pollock a finger painter?
And that's really it.
As for the single itself, it was originally released during the early part of 1980 by the auspices of EMI Custom. This is what they call in collector's circles a 'private press' or more aptly, a 'vanity press.' In Australia up until 1994, this was common place - if you couldn't charm a major label or minor to put out your work - or if you didn't care to even bother with the process of doing that - you got one of the half dozen or so vinyl pressing plants to press up your 'art'.
Ross Harley's 1986 exhibition Know Your Product held at Brisbane's Institute of Modern Art and its accompanying book - regarded by at least two people as the most definitive text to date on Brisbane music from the Saints on - fails to mention the brothers Chris and Graeme Buckman in any context whatsoever. Two years later, a second brazen attempt to bottle Brisbane's independent music scene(s) (again, from the Saints to its date of publication) Out of the Unknown again misses a mention of Electropulse. And seeing that so many discography compilers and researchers have leaned heavily on OOTU, their place in the halls of history is what it is - a forgotten (yet wholly important) collective who actually put out a 7" single of electronic music in 1980!
Back to the single: the TRANS:COM overview of Brisbane electronic music BNE from 2014 suggests around 500 were pressed. If that's the case, then well over 400 were destroyed as there are (according to Discogs at least) three copies in existence and only one confirmed copy with a picture cover. It should be noted that the paragraphs written in this essential book are in fact the first write-up on ink about the mysterious Electropulse. Now that's not a plug so much as it is the truth as we know it. Upon interviewing/interrogating Chris Buckman for the release of this single, he confirmed that all of the copies which were in his possession were now landfill somewhere. He didn't have a copy for himself!
A repress just had to be done. There were no two ways about it. When Brisbane's foremost collector of synth-driven music Eric Rinon originally brought it to my attention, the idea of something like this existing in early 80s Brisbane seemed impossible or at least inconceivable and more to the point they did a 7" and I didn't know about it! So to quote the second most popular Desperate Bicycles statement, no more time for spectating - the die was cast - perhaps putting it out on LCMR was punishment for me not knowing about this after decades of serious interest in Brisbane popular/unpopular music history. Oh well, it's too late to speculate these things now. To cut a long story short, it took me a year's worth of serious detective work to find a copy of it and all parties involved have been thanked in the rolling credits on the inside sleeve.
Whatever the history of Electropulse is or is not, I hope these two resurrected pieces of Brisbane post-punk music find ears in not only Brisbane but the world.