Brisbane based but often found wandering throughout Australia and regions far further out, Joel Stern, has been restlessly, compulsively, devising, capturing, constructing this album on and off over the past 6 and a bit years (2001-2008). Created from instrumental debris, snatches of environmental sound (Ethiopia, India, Toowoomba, his lounge room), and a poetic sensitivity for incoherence, Objects.Masks.Props, is the clearest and most potent reflection yet of Joel’s musical and artistic approach – somewhere between music concrete, art brut, free noise, cinema, abstraction, and the farmyard..
Well known as a catalytic figure in the Australian experimental music and film scenes (organiser of Audiopollen, OtherFilm, Glee Club), Joel cut his chops in the concept-heavy nonsense atmosphere of early 00’s London, collaborating with many of the Japanese and English artists connected to the ‘reductionist’ and ‘onkyo’ movements (let’s not name name’s) and attending workshops given by AMM legend Eddie Prevost. Since returning to Australia, Joel’s has collaborated widely, most notably in electro-acoustic duo form with Anthony Guerra (resulting in numerous cd’s on impermanent, absurd, pseudo arcana) and in expanded cinema form with 16mm filmmaker Sally Golding as Abject Leader (resulting in tours of NZ, USA and appearances at major film and art fests around Australia).
In recent years, Joel has been a central player in the burgeoning Brisbane underground scene (featured in the Wire, Signal to Noise), in bands such as no guru and sunshine has blown as well as creating large scale chaotic sound sculptures as part of Watthaus.