Art As Catharsis are proud to re-release Gauche’s debut EP ‘Sigh’, an ambitious piece of experimental pop drawing from Bjork, Portishead and Aphex Twin.
Gauche were a Sydney-based experimental band that existed between 2001 and 2007. Art As Catharsis are re-releasing their back catalog as part of an effort to conserve important recordings in Australia’s experimental music history.
Their palette is so broad as to defy categorisation. One can hear influences from groups like Bjork, Autechre and Aphex Twin in the band’s obsession with electro-acoustic experimentation.
On their 2003 demo, Sigh, Gauche collide disparate musical elements together to create unique and beautiful forms – floating melodies laid over polyrhythmic beats; furious, live drum-and-bass in odd time signatures; looped and reversed tango and gypsy-style guitar lines weaving around soaring classical vocals.
While the aesthetic developed considerably over the length of their short career, there is something captivating with the raw intensity – and audacity – of Sigh.
As the music might suggest, each of Gauche’s five members come from very different musical backgrounds, and have since followed very different paths.
Alon Ilsar has gone on to create The Airsticks – a gestural electronic drum kit that allows the player to manipulate sound in real time. He showcases the instrument in his future jazz group The Sticks. Alon has also collaborated with Trevor Dunn, and played in progressive-experimental acts like Ground Patrol and Darth Vegas.
Multi-instrumentalist Luke Dubbera is part of the acclaimed hip-hop duo Hermitude.
Vocalist Jane Sheldon has gone to perform with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Pinchgut Opera, Boston Camerata, Sydney Symphony, Halcyon, The Song Company, Synergy Percussion, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and many more.
She performed as part of John Zorn’s choir as part of the Zorn@60 world tour, reinterpreting the work of Hildegard von Bingen. Jane has also released a number of solo albums under her name.
Guitarist Julian Curwin plays in Tango Saloon, an experimental tango band fusing elements of film scores, rock, gypsy, jazz and electronics. More recently, Julian has formed the new ‘surf/punk supergroup’ Cannibal Spiders, which features Danny Heifetz (of Mr. Bungle fame) and Brian Campeau.
Bassist John Maddox plays constantly and everywhere. He is part of the trio Mr. Bamboo, who play deranged gypsy-swing filtered through the Tom Waits, Devo, Zappa and Ween.