COQ & Cottage Industry
On the move 2003-6
I came late to recording. I never bought an analogue 4-track in the eighties. It took me a long time to embrace production. After my first band Movement broke up I wandered, writing the songs which would become Shadow History, then in 2002 I returned to Adelaide and started amassing gear. I borrowed a drumkit, a synth and a bass, and – with the help of arts funding for Brothers of the Head – I bought a Tascam 788 digital 8-track and a Rode NT3 condenser microphone. Cottage Industry Recordings was born.
I don’t know why the roster of my fledgling record company was such an exercise in absurdity. Maybe it was my inexperience as a producer, which made me loathe to take it all too seriously. Meanwhile I refused to record my “real” songs (ie: Shadow History) for fear I wouldn’t do them justice. Much easier to improvise, and edit the results later. Well, I learned how to edit! And so much improvising loosened me up. I fractured myself into three alter-egos, each with a unique sound and style:
- Ben W: Naive, automatic, based on simple ideas and improvisations. Personal but guarded. Quiet, clean, lush.
- W. COQ: The punk rocker. All one-take improvisations. Ziggy meets Shady. Loud, retro-futurist, abrasive.
- Menu: My childhood imaginary friend. Folk, blues, rock ’n’ roll. Menu actually wrote songs before recording.
Around this core “trio”, friends Reed Bleed, Jim (Glenorchy) Dandy, DLW, A. Snowball and Paddy Ryan of Greater Northern provided a revolving house-band which appeared, in various permutations, on releases by the Chautauqua, DandyCOQ2, the Chicken Dinners Project and the Rebellion Off-Duty. A compilation album, Discretion Assured, was brought out to little fanfare in 2011. Solo albums by W, COQ and Menu are still to come.
Byron Shire 2015-17
Lost back catalogue
Melbourne / Vancouver / Manchester 1998-2011
New wave / shoegaze