'Essential Minerals' is a cassette label based in Brisbane (QLD Australia) releasing experimental recordings from local & interstate projects. Est. 2015.
Info: Cassettes vary from recycled to brand-new professionally-cut, and either dubbed real-time or professionally duplicated. Covers & cases vary. Please contact or see individual records for more information including prices.
How to order: Please contact or purchase direct via the secure A Natural Low store (preferred) or alternatively for digital copies via the Essential Minerals Bandcamp page. All international orders should make contact before purchase so we can work out a good quote on shipping.
Submissions, demos are always welcome. Please contact to discuss.
OUT NOW - 1ST DECEMBER 2018: EM21 - ‘Down Here Vol.1’ (2xC-69, pro-cut/duplicated) ++ EM22 - Point & Media (2xC-30) ++ EM23 - Gongfresh & Clamtown ‘Space Cunk’ (C-21) ++ EM25 - Joe Musgrove ‘Bullshit for Oscillators’ (C-40)
‘Down Here Vol.1’ 2x69 - EM21
Joe Musgrove c40 - EM25
Gongfresh & Clamtown c21 - EM23
Point & Media 2xc30 - EM22
'Hell' c60 - EM20
'A Natural Low' c90 - EM19
RuiNation - Untitled c21 - EM18 **
Slupr - Untitled c21 - EM17 **
VYXMK - 'GTN WRD' c47 - EM16 (last few copies) **
Slupr - s/t c30 - EM14 **
Stasis Duo - 'Live' c30 - EM13 **
Faecal Flower 'The knotting of the sinews,...' c30 - EM8 (last few copies) **
L.G. - Untitled c30 - EM7 **
'High in Chinatown' c60 - EM6
Mmmoowwcowtittugz 'In the living room...' c60 - EM4
(** contact for availability)
Out of Print:
Dry Mouth 'Creeping Critical' c30 - EM5
'Crop Rotation' c30 - EM9
'Event' c60 - EM2
Henry Mills - Untitled c100 - EM1
Slupr 'Possessed' c60 - EM3
Tistriallal Binds - Untitled c30 - EM10
'Dual;Hold' c30 - EM12
'Bush Acid Corridor' c60 - EM11
Baked on Scum c30 - EM15
DOWN HERE VOL.1 2xC-69 COMPILATION(EM21)
South-East Queensland & NSW Northern Rivers experimental/noise compilation featuring exclusive recordings from 22 different artists/projects spread across a deluxe, 2xC-69 double-cassette package.
Professionally duplicated & cut to length high quality cassettes, factory direct-printed cassette shells, heavy 250gsm mono-printed silk coated J-cards, housed in a new ‘butterfly’/double-cassette 'Norelco' style case.
Mastered by Konec. Design by EM & LG. Curated, hand-numbered & assembled by EM.
***if you prefer, contact/email for postage & cheaper prices as Bandcamp takes a chunk of the final sale on both digital & physical releases***
An artifact of the current climate underground. All tracks* are exclusive to this compilation. For information on all the tracks, see below...
CC is a semi-anonymous project from East Brisbane. Magnetic tape mulch, the sound of a dying cassette deck. From one of the most honest, decidedly obscure & prolific entities in Brisbane underground with releases spanning more than a decade - mostly never more than one copy, given away, dropped. The inspiration for starting Essential Minerals in 2015, it's only fitting to start with CC.
Joe Musgrove (Flew Creeking, Diaspora, et al & Pleasing Everyone All The Time label) is an internationally renowned A/V artist whose works span several decades, notably as part of the duo/solo/duo group BOTBORG. 'Live to Air RRR', a mesmerizing plunder-phonic piece, is taken from a live performance at RRR radio station in Melbourne.
Obverse Literature is Ivan Matthew Hicks' new project, following on from the now-defunct Pedophile Flowchart moniker and a large departure from Amateur Childbirth, 'Mother of Ants' is a layered, confounding piece & is a testament to this outsider's genius.
MAK and Dog World are both unknown projects from deep within the Northern Rivers mountains, likely to include Kelly K (Tracey, XWave), Adam S (Stasis Duo, DJ White Pimpernell) but like all the revolving projects surrounding this community nothing is for certain.
Raquel is the solo guise of Rachael Archibald (Raum, et al); secular spiritual identity composing visceral ambience for disenchanting realities. ‘New Detachments; Nude Attachments’ is a complex, multi-layered acoustic piece eschewing convention for stream of consciousness parallel reality.
Creek Shape, or Henry Mills ($low, Wardenburger) has been an enigmatic, decidedly obscure yet effortless brilliant mainstay in underground Brisbane for years, employing home-built & often dangerous instruments with reckless abandon... his untitled c100 tape was the first Essential Minerals release and is a long-time ardent supporter of the label. 'Natural Veranda' sees him entirely remove himself from the noisy past and present an infused meditative breath (?) & field recording-based projection of non-linear timescapes.
Psychedelic Microwaves - Skye (Wardenburger, Bent) & Dylan (BARGE With An Antenna On Top, Wardenburger) presents one of the most devastating, overwhelming pieces on the compilation with processed & layered drums, violins, indistinguishable instruments clash into a transcendent elegy.
LG (Slupr, Reptile, Shooga, Insipid Bitch, et al); an extraordinary, under-recognized artist incorporating sculptural, expansive & experimental a/v installation/performances with individual works spanning many years across both the UK and Australia. My first encounter with LG's music was in the early stages of Real Bad Music in Moorooka during the massive festival (8/9 years ago?) across different sections of the building: LG was on the footpath playing this incredible, descending piano chords on a synthesizer as the constant stream of traffic from Ipswich Road rushed passed only a few feet away - it was & still is one of my most memorable live performances I've ever witnessed. Staggering beautiful, intimate & fragile music, Essential Minerals released her debut untitled solo recording two years ago - synth drone & piano chords on a severely fucked, sun-baked tape. 'Unsustainable' is a slight departure from that recorded sound, employing cyclical, looped synthesizers & captivating vocals and is more reminiscent of recent live performances.
Local, legendary outsider artist Jamie Hume continues to be a huge source of inspiration for Essential Minerals & Brisbane-born experimental artists - both in terms of the blatant disregard for all artistic convention and the obstinate DIY-or-die approach to art; his main project, the chaotic, noise/dada ensemble The Perfect Lovers, is now credited as the longest-running currently active improvised project in Brisbane. 'Down Here' features a live excerpt from the most recent performance by The Perfect Lovers - at the brilliant Phase 4 Records & Cassettes store in Fortitude Valley. The main track of this compilation and the starting point of the whole project is by Jamie Hume under the pseudonym 'The Year of the Auchenflower Red Light District Sex Olympics' - an amalgamation of the two solo guises of which he's performed as for many years (The Year of the Sex Olympics, The Auchenflower Red Light District). Exclusive to this compilation & recorded direct-to-tape on a hot afternoon at his own residence, '1990' is an unedited epic minimalist 15+minute piece which attempts to capture the utterly refined, singular sound from this enigmatic entity with a similarly obscured nod to idiosyncratic dystopian tropes. It's a massive honour to present this piece to the world.
It simply wouldn't be right not to include Michael Donnelly (head of Hashram label, Music Your Mind Will Love You label (RIP!)) & a selection of the large cast of revolving projects surrounding the Northern Rivers. Innig was the first band I saw live when I moved to Brisbane about a decade ago, they performed in the basement on top of Red Hill to a fairly disinterested crowd who were there to see some rock band & boring laptop guy later on. Michael was on drums with a pillow case over his head with some drawn eyes completely obscuring his view of the kit, they absolutely slayed and finally brought people in from outside. The rest of the night was of course bat-shit boring but seeing Innig perform kick-started my interest in the weird underground after spending years hiding away in various parts of Australia and has kept me here ever since. On 'Down Here' there's three tracks of vastly different projects & sound: A trio recording with Matt & Nicola of Club Sound Witches et al - a low, pulsating hypnotic synth & misc piece. The solo guise Unwar presents 'Finger Food' - a stereo-panning mindfuck via modulated synthesizers & various custom troniks. And the massive, unrelenting collective 6Majik9 which features a huge cast - including Greg Charles (aka Charles Curse, who closes out the compilation with a clipped-out, ultra-primitive drum & voice coronach) - from the Hashram & MYMWLY roster that cannot be described to give any justice other than it's fucking 6MAJIK9! One of the most prolific artists and a towering, important figure in Australian underground experimental music.
Ditchdog is Samantha A. (Terorist, VYXMK, Toilet Roll Dolls et al) and this untitled track is one of the very few, perhaps first solo recordings and exclusive to this compilation. Essential Minerals released VYXMK's debut via C-47 tape a while ago, one of the more abstract & impenetrable offerings on the list, this untitled track from Ditchdog is a similarly raw & mysterious employing brash minimalist loops & recondite distant vox.
Ross Manning is perhaps one of the more well-known or 'accomplished' (in the established art gallery circle context), if it matters, of the artists in 'Down Here' - best known for his use of everyday materials, his sculptures with repurposed ceiling fans, fluorescent tubes, and overhead projectors, creating exquisite interplays of light and sound have been much of the focus of his work & attention over the last few years. Still employing an admirable DIY-or-die punk attitude from the early noisy past (Faber Castell et al), everybody knows he's a fucking legitimate genius but there's equal admiration and frustration here as every time I see an art installation or performance I'm left in awe & frustrated that it's all so simple 'why the hell I didn't think of doing that way?!'. His sound works remind me in part of Akos Rozmann but done entirely live, unedited & effortlessly; this untitled track is a tiny, fragmented testament to this charismatic inventor.
Despite being wholly against writing about myself alongside my usual insecurities with any work I produce, it would be daft to exclude information from my own contributions: Tistriallal Binds is my first & only real solo project dating back over a decade, only a handful of releases & performances, 'Lights' is a remixed recording taken from a recent live set in a basement venue at Fortitude Valley. Slupr is long-running amorphous project between LG, RH & myself with a few years of revolving members before finding our feet & settling on the current trio. I'm incredibly honoured to be a part of the project alongside two vastly more talented artists. This untitled track is a remixed recording of a live set at an illegal squat show in Brisbane.
Gongfresh & Clamtown is the new project from Rin (The Perfect Lovers, Shooga) & Will (Ladder et al) following on their long-established Wtem! abstract weird-anti-dance project. 'Galactic Milk Curdle' is the only non-exclusive track on 'Down Here' as when I first approached them for a track they provided me with so many alternative tracks I pitched them the idea of collecting a few and releasing them as an EP, they surprisingly & unexpectedly agreed and now Essential Minerals is releasing their debut EP 'Space Cunk!' too (EM23, C-21). I'm not entirely sure why they aren't massive; these sounds wouldn't be out of place on Tek Life or Booty Tune.
The two straight-up noise tracks come from two of the most amazing yet often overlooked artists in Brisbane & the Sunshine Coast: Unique Oil Free Air is Adam Park (The Perfect Lovers, Girls! Girls! Girls!, Sprot, et al) and a downright noise legend with releases & recordings dating over two decades. One of the most understated, steadfast underground artists it's a privilege to release this track. SCISSOR is Blake M (Analog Ordnance et al), another long-standing noise legend with releases dating over a decade, from very early Trapdoor Tapes releases to more recent ventures in building custom-built synthesizers & bent modulars.
- BH 2018
A01. CC - Untitled 06:15
A02. Joe Musgrove - Live to Air RRR 09:32
A03. Obverse Literature - Mother of Ants 05:18
A04. MAK - Untitled 05:16
A05. Creek Shape - Natural Veranda 07:14
B01. Psychedelic Microwaves - Untitled 06:33
B02. Raquel - New Detachments, Nude Attachments 11:17
B03. Dog World - Untitled 06:20
B04. Matt, Nicola & Michael - Untitled 10:05
C01. The Year of the Auchenflower Red Light District Sex Olympics - 1990 15:26
C02. Ditchdog - Untitled 02:48
C03. Ross Manning - Untitled 04:02
C04. LG - Unsustainable 03:44
C05. 6Majik9 - Fat Prayer 05:22
C06. Tistriallal Binds - Lights 02:55
D01. Unwar - Finger Food 06:20
D02. Gongfresh & Clamtown - Galactic Milk Curdle 03:21
D03. Unique Oil Free Air - With Bells On 03:03
D04. The Perfect Lovers - Live at Phase 4 06:10
D05. Slupr - Untitled 03:37
D06. SCISSOR - Sephir 1 09:07
D07. Charles Curse - Gold Mountain Hi 02:46