Essendon Airport – Palimpsest

January 01, 1970

(Chapter Music)


The Birthday Party, The Go-Betweens, The Saints, The
Scientists and Radio Birdman are some of the first bands who generally get
brought up if a conversation ever breaks out about post-punk from the Land Down


However, a deeper dig into the groove of the vibrant scene
that existed within Australia’s inner cities back in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s
was chock-a-block with incredible groups who never got their due beyond Clinton
Walker’s indelible anthology of the movement in his 1981 book Inner City Sound, including The Ears,
Fast Cars, the Thought Criminals, Just Urbain and the quizzically underrated
Essendon Airport, whose sole studio album has been beautifully reissued by the
Chapter Music label. Originally
released in late ’81, Palimpsest was
an album that stood entirely in a league of its own amongst its peers, thanks
to its unique jazz and funk infused spin on the kind of minimalism explored by
such contemporaries as Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Grey and Young Marble Giants. It
also marks the group’s significant expansion from a duo consisting of Airport
founders guitarist Robert Goodge and keyboardist David Chesworth to a
four-piece rounded out by sax player Ian Cox and drummer Paul Fletcher, who
replaced the home organ drum machine the pair utilized for their 1979 debut EP Sonic Investigations Of The Trivial.


In commemoration of its 30th anniversary, the original 14
tracks on Palimpsest have been
beautifully remastered by the label, which really lends a newfound sense of
clarity and pop to such highlights as “Re-Funkt”, “Trad
Jazz” and “Beguine”. They are also accompanied by a bonus disc
entitled Live + More (1980-1983), an
odds and sods collection of 18 various concert cuts, radio sessions, studio
outtakes and even a former flexi-disc insert from an old art magazine from
1982, not to mention beautiful replication of the original screen-printed
plastic cover art in the packaging of this expanded double-disc set.


The term “palimpsest” refers to “something
that has changed over time and shows evidence of that change,” according
to Merriam-Webster. And true to its
title, this stellar reissue of an unsung essential that was way ahead of its
time has only grown better with age by a band who should be at the top of any
conversation about Aussie post-punk.


DOWNLOAD: “Re-Funkt”, “Trad Jazz”, “Beguine”,
“Thirds”, “Oi 1234”, “What I Like About Disco”,
“Let’s Get Functional” RON HART



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