Browning Mummery (Electronic sound works)
|Origin||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Genres||electronic music/post punk/industrial music|
|Labels||Obelisk, Ice Age Productions, Radioland Recordings|
|Members||Andrew Lonsdale, Michael Norris, Robert Cumings, Jon Lane|
|Past members||Gavin Williams, Jodi Grist, Andrew McLellan, Glen Schenau, Tam Patton, Amanda King, Max Hawk, John Jacobs, John Murphy, Kate Martin|
The pioneering 'darkwave' band Browning Mummery began in Sydney in 1983, formed by Australian electronic musician Andrew Lonsdale (1961-), as a both a collaborative and solo entity for electronic sound works.
Andrew Lonsdale began producing electronic and experimental music in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia in 1980, and after relocating to Sydney in 1981, he became a part of the early electronic/industrial/experimental music scene, releasing several cassettes and performing as boxmusik, ISMism (a collective experiment aka 47½), and Atomic Disease (with late artist Nigel Gurney). Andrew also played in several post-punk bands including Wrong Kind Of Stone Age and Mutant Death.
Browning Mummery first performed in 1983 in a live air radio performance on 2MBS-FM in Sydney. Browning Mummery released several cassette albums commencing 1983 on the Boxmusik label, and in 1985 became one of the original acts released by the Extreme cassette label. Browning Mummery has appeared on compilations including the legendary Lunakhod cassette album (1984), with Severed Heads and others. The film/performance Square by Jo Cunynghame, with Browning Mummery's soundtrack, was a showcase feature at Melbourne's Arts Festival (1985), and Browning Mummery has composed and contributed to several independent films, stage performances, and installations in the last 20 years. Browning Mummery also has the honour of having several tape releases unofficially re-released by European labels.
The Browning Mummery sound is distinctly genre-defying: Browning Mummery draws on influences from the Australian experimental underground, as well as techniques from dub, improvisation, industrial music, musique concrète, montage / cut-up, and environmental soundscaping. Browning Mummery has evolved from using tape and analog gear for composition and recording (including home-built instruments and processors by SwSW Thrght), to the use of digital equipment and computer-based techniques since 1988. Browning Mummery has also performed live on many FM radio stations around Australia, including 4ZZZ (1999, 2004), 2RSR (1983), 2MBS (1982–85), as well as on American and European FM radio playlists in the 1980s.
Based in Brisbane since 1993, in recent times Browning Mummery has performed at many events and venues in Northern New South Wales and Brisbane, including the Livid fringe (1995 and 99), the West End Festival (1999), Straight Out Of Brisbane (2003), Small Black Box (2002 and 2004), and frequently at Exodus festival with the Electric Tipi Collective. John Murphy (Whirlywirld / Hugo Klang / NON) was a member from 1987 until his death in 2015. Max Hawk (electric 12-string), from Electric Tipi, played in Browning Mummery from 1993 until his death in 2009.
Browning Mummery has been included on the 2010 CD compilation Artefacts of Australian experimental music: volume II 1973-1984 (Shame File Music), and is regarded as a ‘quiet pioneer’ of Australian 'darkwave' electronic music.
Browning Mummery's most recent CD album, the 30th anniversary collaborative set Epistle To The Zone Enders, was released in 2013. Browning Mummery is one of a small number of 1980s Australian sound experimentalists still recording and performing. Others include Severed Heads, Scattered Order.
Releases, 1983 onwards
- Evidence of Ritual, c30, boxmusik (1983), Zero Cabal (1990s) (originally performed as 'boxmusik')
- Oracles & Prescriptions, c60, boxmusik (1983), Extreme (1985), Zero Cabal (1990s)
- Obiter Scripta, c60, boxmusik (1984), Extreme (1985), Zero Cabal (1990s), Irre (1994), (incorrectly aka 'Browning Mummery')
- Rustic Acts Without Reality, (25 min.), 2MBS-FM (1984), 'Lunakhod' compilation
- Undata Vol. 1, (c60), Extreme (1986)
- Opera, (c60), Cosmic Conspiracy (1989)
- Browning Mummery, Obelisk (ObeliskCD01, 1997)
- The best time to buy is when the blood is flowing in the streets, Obelisk (1998) (Limited edition CDR)
- Audiomorphica, Obelisk (2005) (Limited edition CDR)
- Music For Torture & Interrogation, Obelisk (2006) (Limited edition CDR)
- Songs of the Bicardiac Assembly, Obelisk (2009) (Limited edition CDR)
- Man In A Hole, Obelisk (2010) (Limited edition CDR)
- Fields Of Stone, Obelisk (2010) (Limited edition CDR)
- Epistle To The Zone Enders, Ice Age Productions (2013) (Limited edition CDR, online release http://iceageproductions.bandcamp.com)
- Songs Of The Bicardiac Assembly, (Obelisk ObeliskLP01, 2008)
- Light Industry, 10 min. 8 mm film soundtrack, (1983) (film by P&J Productions)
- Soldiers of the Cross, 10 min. 8 mm film + soundtrack, (1984) (film by BM)
- Square, 25 min. 16 mm film soundtrack, (1984–85) (film by Jo Cunnynghame)
- FOI, Optus Localvision documentary, (1998) (interview, live footage, and sound)
- Chop Wood, 10 min video soundtrack (2003) (film by Brett Paradise)
- Tom Ellard: "A new Sydney sound", Art & Text #4, Sydney, 1982.
- Philip Brophy: "Avant Garde Rock: History in the Making?" Melbourne, 1987.
- Andrew Kettle: Artists - Browning Mummery, Small Black Box, 2002.
- Gail Priest: Experimental Music: Audio Explorations In Australia, UNSW, 2009
- Andy Symaniz: "Who is Sw Sw Thrght?", Sonics, pp. 28-33, July/September 1983
- Clinton Walker: Stranded: The Secret History of Australian Independent Music, Macmillan, 1998
- Circa 1979, Exhibition catalog, Modular Records/Sydney Festival, 2010
- Discogs.com entry
- Artefacts of Australian experimental music site
- Andrew McLellan: "Browning Mummery Interview", Negative Guest List #25, May 2011
- Compulsion Online interview with John Murphy: