For some years, free-jazz radicals Dave Brown and Sean Baxter have been playing around town as Lazy. Philip Brophy had seen both Dave and Sean in various incarnations, but LAZY jettisoned him into a stratosphere of pure rocked-out sound the likes of which he had never heard before. Before long, the opportunity arose to record Lazy when they collaborated with Tokyo noise guitarist KK Knull (of Zeni Geva fame). These as-yet-unreleased sessions gave Philip an insight to the intricate and complex ways in which Dave and Sean improvized and shaped their music.
Later, Philip approached Dave and Sean with the idea of trying out as a trio, incorporating electronics into their jazz-noise. One rehearsal in a shed down on the docks resulted in a set of tracks. The trio performed at a number of pub venues with a set that culminating in the mostly-live one-take recording of One Large Magnetic Cartridge on Sound Punch records. Lazy3 have also performed in quadraphonic sound in the outdoors at specially organized Sound Punch concerts at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Percy Grainger Museum, both in Melbourne.
Guitar - Dave Brown
Drums - Sean Baxter
Synthesizers - Philip Brophy
Empress Hotel, Melbourne
The Punter's Club, Melbourne
Sub Terrain, Melbourne
The Public Bar, Melbourne
The Continental, Melbourne
The Punter's Club, Melbourne
Percy Grainger Museum, Melbourne (outdoor presentation)
One Large Magnetic Cartridge CD - Sound Punch records
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (outdoor quadraphonic presentation)
The core dynamic of Lazy3 is the interplay with the 3 distinctive voices - drummer Sean Baxter's bogan anarchism, guitarist Dave Brown's fractal electrics and synth-player Philip Brophy's cyborg sexonics. Their triangular sprouting in sound moves between attentive concentration on each other's playing, and Harmodelic-style multiplicity of musical events. The shifts in listening/co-listening/not-listening shapes each of the improvized compositions.
At the time of these rehearsals, Sean was listening to death metal and drum & bass; Dave was exploring ways to 'be jazz' while recording/mixing/multi-tracking his own compositions; and Phil attracted to the idea of synthetically electronizing anything that should have been left acoustic and electric. These three sensibilities fortuitously guided with ease the playing and interaction that forged the pieces on One Large Magnetic Cartridge. The sound of Lazy3? As if Miles Davis and Luciano Berio had been caught in a landslide next to an electrical power station north of Kalgoorlie. Distant signals are still being tracked; strange rumblings are still being felt; and the water supply is seriously infected.
"Everyone's fucked up, so don't kid yourself. I know how to control my aggression. I got a job doing night shift. My kids have gone, but that was so long ago I'm over it. They're probably doing OK. And if they aren't, it's nobody's fault but their own. Just cos I'm their father don't mean much now. I got my own shit to deal with ....
But like I said last week, I'm not insensitive. I know about beauty. Nice things. Things that can move you .... I've seen Maureen dance topless on this very bar. She was unbelievable. I could tell how soft she was without touching anything. Not a thing.
Problem is those moments are pretty uncommon. My fridge is playing up big time. If that hum doesn't stop soon .... Mike reckons it's bad wiring. He's a plumber. I guess you get to know something about life after unblocking people's toilets.
Fuck. I better go get those tests done at the hospital. They say it always starts with heartburn. You never know.
Those neighbours don't help me none. Fucking uni students. Bike riders. Bet they all think they're fucking geniuses. Told them to stop playing their records so loud. One smart arse says: they're not records - they're CDs. Fuck you, Doogie Howser. I'll plant one large magnetic cartridge right in the middle of your fucking head.
Hey - don't tell anyone this. And if someone asks: I only have CDs ...."
The recording of One Large Magnetic Cartridge took place in one session. Philip engineered and produced the session, setting up the studio space for a live recording. The trick was to keep the trio in physical proximity with each other as well as allowing eye contact for signalling, so no baffles were possible. The drums were the key determining aural field due to their acoustic nature, and the levels of guitar and synth amps had to match the drums' projection. Mic placement was then distributed to capture the amps' sound within the drum field. To achieve this, Philip designed a series of interlocking stereo fields that overlapped direct and non-directional perspectives of each of the instruments in the studio space. The amps for the guitar and synth were miced close from the front and the rear of the speaker cabinets. Two large cardboard boxed were also turned upside down and each had a single mic threaded through a hole and suspended. These boxes were placed to the left and right of the drum kit, resonating and capturing the synth amp lower frequencies in one, and the guitar amp lower frequencies in the other. The breakdown of the stereo field is as follows:
Left - floor tom, hi-hat, overhead drums L
Centre - snare (over), metallic percussives, ride cymbals, kick, overhead drums R
Right - snare (under), mid-toms, crash cymbals, overhead drums L
Left - guitar amp (close/frontal), room perspective away from guitar amp
Centre - guitar amp (close/rear)
Right - mic-in-box near guitar
Left - mic-in-box near synth
Centre - synth amp (close/rear)
Right - synth amp (close/frontal), room perspective away from synth amp
Overdubbing of some extra guitar and synth parts were done on "Topless barmaids" with a view to work on all tracks similarly, but it was felt that the rest didn't need anything. Mixing employed minimal effects, though some fuzz-wah dub noise was employed on a few drum tracks.