M Squared

The complete list of Vinyl releases

Well here it is, the only true list of all things M Squared. Not all the bands were to everyone's musical taste but all deserved their chance to shine.

"We've have been charged with elitism. But elitism implies taking it too seriously and excluding other people. We don't want to exclude other people. Hopefully someone can listen to a record we release and think 'We can do that!' and they'll do something." - Michael Tee 1983

All these records and cassettes were limited releases, between 50 and 1000 copies each. Only a couple went to a second pressing. Hence the ludicrous prices these days for some of the titles.

If you are offered anything else beware of inferior sonic renditions. You can also send us a copy. We love a good bootleg.

M Squared's plan (we also love a good plan) is to continue to remaster and rerelease various titles on vinyl or CD. See NEWS for more detail.

Cassette Releases

Rural - Systematics

M2001 12 inch EP - released October 1980
"Numbers in General"
"When I'm Older"
"Flowers on the Wall"
"Vanessa Teratology"
"Dinner's on the Table"
"Stuh Echipidah"

The Systematics (Patrick Gibson and Michael Filewood) completed the recording of this first M Squared release in July 1980. Contains tracks written and recorded over the previous two years.

"... is hard to describe unless you can imagine Zappa and Beefheart meet John Cage in a dark recording studio. By mistake I listened to one side at 33 instead of 45 and it still sounded good...." - City Express December 1980.

This release set the tone both sonically and visually for the label.

Rural M2001 - Systematics

Just not true - EST

M2002 7 inch single - released October 1980
"Just not true"
"Red TV"

EST - Martin Farrington, came to the label via Roger Grierson at Doublethink. The music consists of three basic elements - an ordered synthesiser, a loose and distorted guitar and the voice somewhere between the two.

Also released a track on "Growing Pains" and "More songs that will never be released".

Just not true M2002 - EST

Growing Pains - Various

M2003 12 inch compilation EP - released October 1980
"Pussman polka" - Pleasant Peasants
"Paint it black" - The Barons
"Midnight on balancing day" - Systematics
"Yvonne is out again" - EST
"Girl from Ipanema" - Height / Dismay
"Bent Up" - Scattered Order
"Dead travel fast" - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast

"... Experimental music is fine by me, but once you go into the studio and start cutting the marketable product, surely you need to have your musical strategies organised and understood." - Roadrunner November 1980

This starts a trend at M Squared for releasing compilations of wide ranging sounds and ideas from various bands and hybrids. You can't please all the people all the time.

Contains the track that gave the name to The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast and an off the wall Stones cover from those northern beaches' favourites The Barons. Some record stores objected to the cover image.

Growing Pains M2003 - Various

Tael of a Saeghors - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast

M2004 7 inch single - released December 1980
"Tael of a Saeghors"
"The Dumbwaiters"

"... If there were any justice this single would be a hit." - Rolling Stone January 1981.

The mesmerising ode "Tael of a Saeghors" with its sea shanty vocals, pots and pans percussion and saxophone melody was an unexpected hit on alternative radio. Backed by the rockier, sequencer driven "The Dumbwaiters", the first pressing soon sold out.

Tael of a Saeghors M2004 - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast

The Vessels - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast

M2005 LP - released March 1981
"No Threat"
"The Shadows of Mde. Velo's Story"
"Illuminated Bay, Illuminated Buoy"
"Row Boat"
"Into the Arc"
"Dance of the Trout"
"Copper Hats"
"Lovers of Observatory Time"
"The Barbers, The Barbers"
"Zebra Crossing"

After months of meticulous sound crafting in the M Squared front room and only occasionally surfacing for food and air, The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast finally emerged with "The Vessels".

Using piano, synth, guitar, saxophone, percussion and anything they could find, the band delivered this genre busting tome, full of lush / jarring instrumentals. Packaged in a glorious full colour cover by artist and band member Tim Schultz, "The Vessels" was an immediate critical success and sold enough copies to warrant a second pressing. David Bullock played percussion for this release.

The Vessels M2005 - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast

Mother's Footsteps - Height / Dismay

M2006 7 inch EP - planned release May 1981
"Mother's Footsteps"
"In an oven"
"Something makes us awkward"
"Picnic on the Nile"

Dru Johnson and Patrick Gibson. This EP was recorded with help from drummers Simon Vidale (The Numbers) and Ken Doyle (The Thought Criminals) but was never released due to manufacturing problems. The Dubbo pressings were not up to standard. Disheartened Height / Dismay withdrew from recording.

Dru Johnson / Jones resurfaced with Scattered Order in late 1983 where she continues to record.

Also released a track on "Growing Pains" and "More songs that will never be released".

Mother's footsteps M2006 - Height / Dismay

Contents One - Prod

M2007 7 inch EP - released May 1981
"A brick short"
"Walkers Walk"
"Coming Attractions"

"... If all your loved one wants for Christmas is something from the M Squared Shoppe, give him / her / it a Prod."

Michael Prowse and Craig Robertson combine guitar, bass, drums, and a saw for these unnervingly dreamy instrumentals. Patrick Gibson adds synthesiser to "A brick short".

Also released the shared cassette "Two Separate / Is the truck on fire?" and a track on "More songs that will never be released".

Contents One M2007 - Prod

Screaming Tree - Scattered Order

M2008 7 inch EP - released May 1981
"World's longest intro"
"Mass Murder"
"Screaming Tree"
"Through litre chase"

Billed as "white noise with a beat" this nerve filled tumble down a steep flight of stairs was recorded by Jones, Tee and Gibson between December 1979 and February 1981 with assistance from Simon Vidale - drums on "World's longest intro" and "Mass Murder" and Ken Doyle - percussion on "Through litre chase".

Screaming Tree M2008 - Scattered Order

See Saw - SoliPsiK

M2009 7 inch single - released November 1981
"See Saw"
"Chamber Musik"

Neil Hill with SoliPsiK (an offspring of SPK) recorded this abrasive offering with its wave upon wave of white noise (AKS synthesiser) at home and then recorded overdubs and mixed it at M Squared.

During the same session they recorded the track "Zombod" which appears on the "A Selection" LP.

See Saw M2009 - SoliPsiK

A Selection - Various

M2010 compilation LP - released November 1981
"Pelican" - Wild West
"Urchin" - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast
"Land of Surrender" - Negative Reaction
"Pony Club" - The Limp
"Eat Roland" - Severed Heads
"Reggae" - Slugfuckers
"Curl Curl" - Tame O'Mearas
"Nasa Secret Anzac" - Splendid Mess
"Click Click" - Pel Mel
"Die for my house" - Systematics
"I'm not whole" - Scattered Order
"Zombod" - SoliPsiK
"Baby Love" - Aural Indifference

Carrying on the Christmas release tradition was this 1981 all encompassing compilation of interesting and innovative music. As the original press release states "This album is a compilation of bands that worked in Sydney during 1981 and with few exceptions were ignored by the media. It would be too easy to dismiss these bands as being either avante garde or weird ... ... Listen to this record"

For more detail on Wild West, The Limp, Pel Mel, Slugfuckers and Tame O'Mearas go to Phil Turnbull's wonderful Sydney Post - Punk Memoirs

A Selection M2010 - Various

Belle du Soir - Belle du Soir

M2011 7 inch EP - released August 1981
"Treasure Island"
"Quantum Leap"
"The Gun"

A twisted pop release from Catherine Courtenay and Geoff Datson late of Surfside 6 with help from Ross Edgar on "Ultramarine". Recorded by the band at home on their own 4 track.

"Belle du Soir, beauty of the night in who's penumbra nothing is too clear ... In the clear light of day maybe it's just imagination" - original press release.

Geoff went on to play guitar in Sydney band Samurai Trash.

Belle du Soir M2011 - Belle du Soir

My life in the field of cows - Systematics

M2012 7 inch EP - released February 1982
"International Voltage"
"Fat cows go down an eastern beach"

A posthumous release from Systematics, Michael Filewood, Patrick Gibson and Fiona Graham. Recorded in late 1981 at the M Squared studio just before they broke up.

There may have been some sort of cow fixation going on here.

My life in the field of cows M2012 - Systematics

Do you agree - Coolies

M2013 7 inch single - released December 1981
"Do you agree"
"Great Minds"

From New York the "driving funk beat and probing sax" of the Coolies. The two tracks on this single were taken from the 12 inch EP "Government Time" which was released in America in late 1980.

First and only M Squared release of an overseas band.

Do you agree M2013 - Coolies

The Same - The Same

M2014 7 inch EP - released February 1982
"This week's world outlook"
"Romance (with a lightbulb)"

"Up front they were loud, at times impossible to remain still to ..." - RAM November 1981.

Jazz tinged debut from Sydney 5 piece recorded in June and November 1981 at the M Squared studio. They played on the "Finally Ultimately" tour in February 1982 with The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast, Scattered Order and Ya Ya Choral.

Vocalist Scott Holmes later joined Scattered Order at the end of 1983.

The Same M2014 - The Same

Why Wont We Wake? - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast

M2015 7 inch EP - released February 1982
"Escalating Deckchair"
"Why Wont We Wake?

"In the face of literal and crippling odds the DTF's sense of humour and appreciation of artistic excellence have operated prodigiously" - original press release.

A between albums snapshot recorded in November 1981 which shows to great effect their new found live aggression and dissonance. It provoked extreme reactions from the music critics, press and their fans.

Why Wont We Wake? M2015 - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast

California Dreaming - Denial

M2016 7 inch single - released February 1982
"California Dreaming"
"The Weatherman"

"California Dreaming" a dream like pop single. This Mamas and Papas cover has gently layered female vocals and minimalist electronic effects.

As Aural Indifference they contributed "Baby Love" to "A Selection".

California Dreaming M2016 - Denial

Wildlife Documentaries - Wildlife Documentaries

M2017 12 inch EP - released June 1982
"Forest for the Trees"
"Promise Me"
"Ghetto Strength"

Ex Saints Ivor Hay (drums and vocals) combines with Howard Cairns (guitar and vocals), Mark Spence (bass) and Michael Charles (alto sax) to deliver this jazz fueled ride.

Described as a "steel skeleton with a heart of brass" this was recorded at Axent studios, Sydney.

Wildlife Documentaries M2017

Such a Dutchman - Ya Ya Choral

M2018 7 inch EP - released June 1982
"Waiting Time"
"God's Buzzsaw"

Debut release for Ya Ya Choral. Michael Tee joins forces with Fiona Graham and Patrick Gibson, both fresh from the Systematics for this Tinkily Bonk monster band. Poor distribution from Larikin / EMI hindered sales of this release.

Patrick Gibson from the original press release, "Ya Ya Choral are performing music that we enjoy. The music is pop music in that the tunes are memorable and hopefully enjoyable. A lot of the songs probably have the ability to make you tap your feet".

Such a Dutchman M2018 - Ya Ya Choral

Lust in the Dust - Xero

M2019 12 inch EP - released April 1982
"The Girls"
"Crazy Eddie"
"The Misfits"
"Love and Anarchy"
"Every Kiddy Gets a Prize"
"The Surrendering"

Brisane band Xero (also known as Zero and Xiro) recorded this 6 track EP with Colin Bloxsom at the Basement Studios.

Vocalist / guitarist John-e Willsteed went on to play with The Go Betweens for a few years and also Sydney band The Plug Uglies.

Lust in the Dust M2019 - Xero

Prat Culture - Scattered Order

M2020 LP - released November 1982
"Slot car synth"
"Swiss like knives and forks"
"Absolute moral ice pools"
"Contact European Repetition"
"Frank Satre"
"Koo Koo Kamus"
"Prat Culture"
"Boys in coal trucks"
"Burrows throgh Mexico"

Now consisting of Jones, Tee, Gibson and Prowse this LP, 45 rpm on one side and 33 1/3 on the other shows the new "heavier" Scattered Order's fondness for the frequencies 2K and 6K while not forgetting the eternal 60 htz. By the time the LP was released this version of the band had imploded.

"The music combines darkest Africa with the urban landscape and the intensity of a Saturday morning shopping queue at Woolies." - Michael Tee, original press release.

Prat Culture M2020 - Scattered Order

What's a Quaver? - Ya Ya Choral

M2021 12 inch EP - released May 1983
"My friend the chocolate cake"
"Gee Lately"
"Jolly Work"
"Cowboys are Pt 2"
"Complain your way to success"
"You ruined my fun"

Originally conceived as the first of a series of 3 EPs this was recorded with help from Polly Newham and John Bliss both from The Reels at M Squared during October and November 1982.

"Pop with a sense of whimsy and panache." Here is Ya Ya Choral's glorious example of "tinkly bonk" music, their last for M Squared and this line up. From here they moved on.

Note that "My friend the chocolate cake" has nothing to do with David Bridie.

What's a Quaver? M2021 - Ya Ya Choral

Zoom < Man - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast

M2022 LP - released May 1983
"Twisting Toxic Forms"
"Out and In"
"Three Heads"
"Dry Rot Vines" -
Part 1 "The Flapping of Tongues"
Part 2 "Lumber"
Part 3 "Sea Heads"
Part 4 "We sway in our boats"
Part 5 "Fighting Baboons"

Six months in the making this second LP from The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast would push M Squared's 8 track studio capabilities to the limit. More disjointed than "The Vessels", this adventure in hi-fi combines conventional instrumentation, found sounds and sound manipulation to produce music for "... scratchy pictures".

A sombre cover and a booklet containing black and white illustrations for each song completed the package.

Zoom < Man M2022 - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast

Tangled Shoelaces - Tangled Shoelaces

M2023 12 inch EP - released May 1983
" ? "
" ? "
" ? "
" ? "

Teenage Brisbane band Tangled Shoelaces was the last "new band" release for the label. Produced by Scattered Order and the band during the last gasps of M Squared, not much is now remembered about the finer points of this EP.

More detail coming....

Tangled Shoelaces M2023 - Tangled Shoelaces

I feel so relaxed with you - Scattered Order

M2024 12 inch EP - released September 1983
"Pilot reads crosswords"
"The Learn Useless Knowing"
"Wronging Dogs with Ladders"
"Hold My Cold Hand"
"Personal Safety"
"Yellow Suit Weighing Machine"

"There is nothing here to relax to....all open guts and withered emotions" - Mark Mordue RAM April 1984

Scattered Order deliver a record of "disturbance and suffocation" which sees Jones, Prowse and Fahey moving their sonic tent further up the mountain.

This is the last M Squared vinyl release.

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I feel so relaxed with you M2024 - Scattered Order

The complete list of Cassette releases

Limited edition cassettes were used as an inexpensive and supposedly faster method of getting the music to the listeners.

Success you could say was limited.

Rural Side 3 - Systematics

M200C1 C15 Cassette - released December 1980
"Livewire in the Bathroom"
"Stringbag Of Death"
"Living in a Blue Light"
"Bride of Surface"

Quiet and introspective companion piece to the "Rural" EP in a very limited edition.

Rural Side 3 M200C1 - Systematics

More songs that will never be released - Various

M200C2 C60 Cassette - released December 1980
"Teenage Romance" - Scattered Order
"Violent 4" - Scattered Order
"A minute later the judge fell over the edge" - Jonathan Dunshea
"The Israelites" - Systematics
"Down the Pub" - EST
"AGC&W" - Pleasant Peasants
"Iranian Rockabilly" - Pleasant Peasants
"Fractured" - A Cloakroom Assembly
"Angst" - A Cloakroom Assembly
"How to snitch" - Lockjaw has Falsies
"Hello Terse" - M Squared
"Fish Hook" - Prod
"Eating Paper" - East End Butchers
"The Elephant Freak" - East End Butchers
"Secret Sleeping Birds" - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast
"Passion Africa" - Height / Dismay
"Nautical Engineering" - A Volatile T Shirt
"Making babies in heaven" - A Volatile T Shirt
"Hello M Squared" - Terse

A Christmas stocking chock full of odd little tunes from a widely divergent bunch of noise makers. This is like a "Growing Pains 2" on a hand dubbed cassette.

More songs that will never be released M200C2- Various

Too Separate - Patrick Gibson

Tom Tom Tom - A Cloakroom Assembly

M200C3 C60 Cassette - released September 1981
Side 1: Patrick Gibson
"Bland A"
"Church of England TV"
"Yeah OK"
"Daktari Highlife"
"My Best Friend"
"Music for Turtles"
Side 2: A Cloakroom Assembly
"Fossil Crash Sleeping"
"Tom Salted"
"Clock Tom Snare"
"Snare Grrrr"
"Cardboard Tom"
"Keeping Apprehension Time"
"Drolling Rolling"
"Tom Tom Tom"
"Overhead Whoop"

More explorations away from the pop format by Patrick Gibson, while A Cloakroom Assembly (Michael Tee) exploits a few common moods and themes on this shared 1981 release.

Packaged in a 7 inch reel to reel tape box with inserts.

Too Separate / Tom Tom Tom M200C3 - Patrick Gibson / A Cloakroom Assembly

Trace and Rumble - A Cloakroom Assembly

When my antenna won't start - Shane Fahey

M200C4 C60 Cassette - released April 1982
Side 1: A Cloakroom Assembly
"The Swing Box"
"Tuesday Night"
"Hassle down a funnel"
"Trace and Rumble"
"Soft Swing"
"The Airside"
"Trace and Tumble"
Side 2: Shane Fahey
"Daydream in an office"
"Tomita whose Sweeter"
"Tee Shirt Issues"
"Three shots for this giant doll"
"A run for your parlour"
"Crack in the radiator head"
"Dad has a cancer"
"An ugly spirit"
"And we mope"
"Fishing for a soul"

The second release from A Cloakroom Assembly (Michael Tee), "an extension of Tom Tom Tom not to distant and lots of fun" - original press release. Recorded in July, August and November 1981.

This time shared with Shane Fahey of The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast.

Packaged in a 7 inch reel to reel tape box with inserts.

Trace and Rumble / When my antenna won't start M200C4 - A Cloakroom Assembly / Shane Fahey

Boxed Brownies - Various Live

M200C5 C60 Cassette - released December 1981
"Were you invited?" - Systematics
"And people are blowing their minds" - Systematics
"Let it Be" - Systematics
"Boiled Dinner" - Systematics
"Flowers on the Wall" - Systematics
"You told me that you loved me" - Systematics
"Promenade Promenade" - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast
"Funny Timing" - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast
"The Neopolitan man inhales water" - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast
"Copper Hatz" - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast
"Dumb Waiters" - The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast
"The Livers at the bottom of the well - Part One" - Splendid Mess
"Part Two" - Splendid Mess
"Part Three" - Splendid Mess
"Part Four" - Splendid Mess
"Screaming Tree" - Scattered Order
"World's longest intro" - Scattered Order
"Mass Murder" - Scattered Order

A live collection of Systematics, The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast, Splendid Mess and Scattered Order tracks recorded mainly at "Brownies" Paddington Green Hotel during 1981. Recorded onto cassette then treated and mastered back at the studio.

Packaged in a 7 inch reel to reel tape box with inserts.

Boxed Brownies M200C5 - Various Live

Stall - Systematics

M200C6 C60 Cassette - released April 1982
"The Israelites"
"Look At My Body"
"Die For My House"
"Walking Away"
"The Game Of Living"
"When I'm Older"
"Fat Cows Go Down An Eastern Beach"
"Stu Echipidah"
"Marine Boy"

Last glorious show for the Systematics at Sydney's Trade Union Club. Recorded in January 1982 direct from the mixing board to cassette and treated back at the studio, this live release shows them at their devastating best. Includes a couple of studio tracks.

After this Michael Filewood formed the duo Instant Unit while Patrick Gibson and Fiona Graham joined Michael Tee to form Ya Ya Choral.

Packaged in a 7 inch reel to reel tape box with inserts. Image shown is back cover.

Stall M2006 - Systematics

Two Separate - Patrick Gibson

Is the truck on fire? - Prod

M200C9 C60 Cassette - released November 1982
Side 1: Patrick Gibson
"And left the cupboard bare"
"Put your trust in God"
"Modra Inara"
"When a Band of Men"
"New Zealand"
"I Needle the Oven"
Side 2: Prod
"Yes V Yes"
"Knife on Top"
"What's the time, ten to nine...."
"Mr Frazer"
"Syd O'Barrity"
"Is the truck on fire?"

A shared release with Patrick Gibson on one side and Prod (Craig Robertson and Michael Prowse) on the other. This was the last M Squared cassette release.

Packaged in a 7 inch reel to reel tape box with inserts.

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Two Separate / Is the truck on fire? M200C9 - Patrick Gibson / Prod