50 Synthesizer Greats (Vintage)

by David Chesworth - Back Catalogue

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"Still, over 25 years after its initial release, 50 Synthesizer Greats stands up as one of the essential electronic records of Australia’s recorded music history." Lawrence English - Cyclic Frost review

"A charming selection of pop jingles and featuring some of the best sleevenotes ever..." The Wire - UK


In the summer holidays of 1978 a young David Chesworth was earning some extra cash toiling away in a small hot, and smelly plastic hifi knob factory listening to the boss’s preferred 3AK Beautiful Music for 8 hours straight each day. Therapy took the form of late night doodling on a borrowed synthesizer on the parent’s dining room table. Not a significant event at the time but an occasion none-the-less from which emerged a unique body of work comprising 50 short compositions layered up on a domestic reel-to-reel tape recorder.

David’s friend Bruce Milne suggested at the time that he send this music to the Residents in the states who had demonstrated a similar approach to music making. A letter came back from Ralph Records saying that they liked the record and that the Residents were making their own multi tracked LP (that later came out as The Commercial album). Other groups like Suicide were also producing groundbreaking lo-fi work at this time that confused its audience as it cut across what was then accepted as the alternative.

At the time 50 Synthesizer Greats was recorded there was no record deal in the offering and the music didn’t even sound anything like a professional recording should. It should have been unthinkable to release this record. Fittingly it was released on the appropriately named Innocent label that was set up by David Chesworth and Philip Brophy.

50 Synthesizer Greats is now considered a classic, a recording that has stood the test of time. Not only is the LP packed with beguiling musical ideas, it is also a record that helped mark the birth of the independent alternative music scene in Australia as it was added to the play lists of then new independent radio stations like 3CR and 3RRR in Melbourne.
Clinton Walker

credits

released January 1, 1979

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