“Every angle is literally a view I have from my current window; I’m looking down into a pit filled with mostly deunionised 6-day per week workers who have travelled much, much further than I would have to if that were my workplace, building their way out of the city. So what’s my role here?” By these words, Andrew McLellan described the video work related to his amazing mini-album “Tape 1” (coming on tape and files by Room40’s sister label A Guide To Saints) as Enderie. Let’s check out his role in music at least!
Chain D.L.K.: Hi, Andrew! How are you?
Enderie: I believe I’m good. Yes. Good, thank you. Thanks for asking.
Chain D.L.K.: Before focusing on Tape 1, can you trace back your musical history as Andrew?
Enderie: Yes, I’ll try from the start. I grew up in Far North Queensland. I somewhat worshipped the first three albums by The Prodigy. I thought DJing would be my method.
I began High School masturbating with Sonic Foundry’s Acid 2.0 on my parents’ PCs. I was on the computer a lot. It’s weird having one tool to do everything with and working with its limitations, emulating sounds that were achieved entirely differently.
I remember once I wanted a reverse cymbal sound, but I couldn’t reverse the waveform. So I cut up the regular cymbal crash into as many fine pieces as I could and arranged them backward. I think it sounded better…
I like Acid 2.0, as it was a blank kind of tool based on samples and processing rather than synthesis. I used Propellerhead’s Reason; a lot of friends were making psy-trance with Fruity Loops, but they all seemed locked in some kind of genre to me.
Later on, I became more sociable in bands with guitars with a few others who fed me interesting punk, some free jazz and things in a register I couldn’t name.
Sometime around here, I began making stuff solo as Cured Pink. In Cairns, there were very few options for live music under drinking age. so I was still very much a bedroom musician only recording, not performing. I moved to Brisbane after high school and found many experimental music events of interest, ostensibly in conversation with the records I had been listening to for a couple years prior. Even though I continued the masturbation, I found others to do it with to slightly more critical acclaim. Musically, I was mostly off the computer. There were self-built instruments and improvisation.
I was involved in a variety of things, including Soft Power, Kitchen’s Floor, Greg Boring, and Stiiifs, although Cured Pink continued to be the primary item for myself and it became a band (with Glen Schenau, Mitchell Perkins and Stuart Busby) around 2011.
We’re still an item, but living in different cities never makes a band more productive. I miss the regularity of its dialog. Album 2 is coming eventually.
Chain D.L.K.: How did the solo-alter ego Enderie come out?
Enderie: It was a facebook name – I can’t recall how it became a name to perform as, but I have a feeling I was booked as Enderie for one of the parties at the late Real Bad Music in Moorooka, Brisbane, after I’d started making my idea of dance music again. But with hardware this time. Around 2012?
There was a final ‘solo’ Cured Pink record kinda introducing it all, ‘As Enderie Nuatal’: https://curedpink.bandcamp.com/album/11-put-aside
I suppose it’s full circle, as I’ve come back to playing with myself at home, emulating The Prodigy. Though, the hardware gives me a break; it’s nice doing something that doesn’t involve looking at a screen.
Chain D.L.K.: With a title like Title 1, I guess there will be a sequel…
Enderie: Enderie II was actually released a week later, on Paradise Daily. Check it out here: https://paradisedaily.bandcamp.com/album/enderie-ii-cs
Chain D.L.K.: The ‘dirty’ technoid sound of Tape 1 activated some old musical memories, in particular, some stylistic sparks in Melbourne (I remember the Organarchy collective, for instance)… Any link to that scene, even if I read you come from Brisbane and were active in Sidney…?
Enderie: Oh, great! No, no direct connection, that was all very much before my time. What I love of what little I’ve found of Organarchy is the direct button pushing and quite saturated sounds, and of course some of the modes of protest and resistance they were involved with at the time.
Chain D.L.K.: Does your choice of a lo-fi-based sound hide a functional refusal of technocracy instead of a passion for lo-fi samplers and devices?
Enderie: You know, I don’t really consciously think of it as a lo-fi sound; often, I’m aiming relatively full-frequency. But I generally play on smaller, distorting PAs in band venues and find myself trying to emulate the idiosyncrasies of their distortions when recording. Otherwise, I find something is missing. Hearing back Instagram excerpts of my sets gives me pointers. Mostly I like materials that are thin, you know – take up a limited amount of space so they don’t push each other too much.
I try to avoid using really familiar electronic sounds like 808 kicks – they’re such a convention, the ear demands some kind of conventional deployment of them all too often. Which can be fun sometimes, learning a convention so it can be debased. But better to start elsewhere.
Compared to software like Ableton Live, which gives relative access to high-production values inside the conventions of much electronic music, hardware (even cheap stuff) I think is more out of reach for a greater number of people, since it requires some degree of investment or trade. Even if it’s lower-fi in sound, I don’t think the sounds something produces can act out a meaningful critique of production values anymore. All ranges of signifying sounds are horizontally available, thanks to software piracy and re-retro’d hardware, etc. Once sounds were produced independent of genre-associations; now the tools act as routers for any existing aesthetic content.
The material difference between higher-fi and lower-fi is becoming mute, and aesthetics is a weird game.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the connection between the repeated motto of the first track (the system decide and laser beam)?
Enderie: It’s two sentences from a single interview – an engineer describing their excitement around an automated system. The repeated refrain seemed to create new meanings. People who ask me always seem to have their own narrative concocted about the connection.
Chain D.L.K.: The source of that chattering opening on the following track, “Meal”?
Enderie: Crowds at a music festival and a reporter struggling to find their objectivity. The context seemed archival to me; perfect.
Chain D.L.K.: No video got attached to the audio tracks that reached my desk, but I read there’s also a video part of Tape 1…or is there an expanded edition titled Videotape 1? 🙂
Enderie: No videotape, just a short video for System Decides: https://vimeo.com/220239465
Chain D.L.K.: Besides some jokes on a seemingly obsolete format, can you explain how the understanding of audio tracks could be enhanced by the attached video clips?
Enderie: They’re promotional and give a ready contextualizing narrative to otherwise ambiguous and anonymous vehicular audio. That’s why I felt I’d do it with a radio edit – I can’t expect people to watch for more than 2 minutes. So I see it as an efficient means of helping a new listener chunk new information.
Chain D.L.K.: According to many contemporary thinkers, the so-called system likes to attack mnemonic memes of masses in order to enslave them…do you agree? Were you referring to this cultural aspect in “Stopped Memory”?
Enderie: Not consciously. But, generally speaking, I can’t disagree with that critique – without knowing the specific thinkers you’re referencing, I suppose we’re talking about attention spans being run to their limits. The effect is a general miasma that only knows to prioritize self-care in the face of uncertainty.
A couple of years ago, I worked on a performance piece based on speed-reading and the elimination of subvocalisation – the internal voice that reads each word and slows down reading rates. The trade-off for acceleration of information consumption is, of course, personal analysis and memorization. Many media outlets are accelerating, if not in their delivery, then in our consumption patterns. Similar effects have been shown lately with the binge-watching of television shows.
The spaces between stimuli and data sets are needing to be more deliberately created and maintained by us, it seems. Against these spaces, most media want/need constant engagement and scrolling to maintain their market share.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you include some mainstream “artists” in the hordes to be attacked (ref. the last track of the ones you forged in 2016)?
Enderie: Not really! There are many mainstream artists I really get a lot out of hearing. I used to have a more negative disposition to my impression of the commercial industry, instead wanting to champion independent avenues – but in terms of music, at least, I don’t think either are divisible from the other. They need each other.
The title comes from a split record by Brazil’s Stuhlzapfchen Von “N” & BSB. H. The phrase still seems to carry a lot of weight.
Chain D.L.K.: Two tracks in Tape 1 (“Sore” and “It’s a feasible feat”) were forged in different moments…what’s the relation between them and the rest of the tape?
Enderie: Only that I wrote them and I judged them to be of sufficient quality to still be included, though I’ve lost the means to perform them live with different equipment, lost files, etc. I can’t really recall making ‘It’s a feasible feat’ – that’s the only one that came from a jam session I was never able to replicate. A real fluke, I think.
Chain D.L.K.: The ones you made in 2016 have been recorded on the unceded lands of Gadigal of the Eora… are they Aboriginal territories? Do you have a connection with them?
Enderie: Yes, but the only connection I have is as a settler-beneficiary of the ongoing colonization of an entire continent that includes hundreds of nations that never ceded their territory to the British Commonwealth or another foreign party.
I know it happens in other parts of the world, though specifically to this continent, there is an increasingly practiced due process to acknowledge the Country proceedings or an event is taking place upon; that is, if you’re unable to be officially welcomed by someone able to do so. This isn’t without issue, as politicians can save face by acknowledging a Country on one hand, though meter out a condescending and paternalistic policy with the other, sometimes in the same statement.
But for many people, every opportunity to acknowledge the Country is being taken up, on event posters, listings, and liner notes. I’m new to it. It changes the language of a place, which affronts the narrative imposed by colonization. Brisbane becomes Meanjin again, and necessary questions are asked.
Chain D.L.K.: Did you ever tour out of Australia? Can you tell us something about your forthcoming live acts?
Enderie: Yes, Enderie toured Taiwan in late 2017, with Liquid Architecture (an organization for artists working with sound), playing with many friends in Taipei, Taichung, and Tainan. It felt very politically and musically relative to what I engage within Australia.
Cured Pink toured Europe in late 2015! We visited Cafe Oto in London, NK Projekt and Scherer 8 in Berlin, Poland, Mayhem in Copenhagen, Het Bos in Antwerp, through France down to Lisbon. I spent a fair bit of time in Jogjakarta in 2011, making music and instruments and playing the odd show.
I haven’t got further plans just yet, but am always interested.
visit Enderie on the web at: www.curedpink.com