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The many distractions of Gus Till

Author: chloe burke
Wednesday, March 5, 2003
Never having chosen to sit comfortably in one place at a time, Gus Till has had no qualms in working his way through genres like the rest of us do old socks. From hardcore thrash to electronic oddities, Gus today continues to combine sound in the most unconventional of ways.

It all started back in the punk and new wave days when Till played in a band called 'Beargarden.' He had a brief encounter with the 'Models' and then there was the band 'The Ears' which was used as the model for cult film 'Dogs in Space,' a film that Till describes as 'arrant nonsense.'

As acid house thankfully began to emerge Till started to explore his passion for making electronica. Armed with synthesisers, Till took on the role of programmer and producer for several studios. With perhaps two of his most ground breaking works being the 'Max Q' album with Australian rock icon Michael Hutchence and the forming of 'Third EYE' with the legendary Ollie Olsen.

Till soon took to television and advertising work and was responsible for the 'Countdown Revolution' soundtrack. It was made primarily for the ABC as opposed to the music industry, who weren't at the time keen supporters for the more unique sounds emerging from Australian artists. Over the years however Till has seen the Australian music scene evolve in a positive light.

'I've finally seen it embrace dance culture un-shamefacedly. It's been mistrusted and detested by the music industry since the halcyon days of Disco where it was seen to be 'taking away' from good ol' proper 'ROCK' music. Even in the 80's, the Australian Musicians Union tried to ban drum machines! And all this from the country that invented sampling (the original Fairlight CMI)!'

A reluctant star, Till also played a very large part in arranging what was to become Australia's biggest selling album, 'Jesus Christ Superstar.' Upon the albums success Till departed the country and headed overseas.

After having explored new wave, country rock, heavy thrash, and irish folk, it was trance music that was to become Till's primary point of fascination. Taking the role of head engineer at 'Butterfly Studios' saw Till working alongside Juno Reactor, Simon Ponsford (Hallucinogen) and Paul Jackson (Voodoo People), all of whom have naturally affected Till in one way or another.

'Unless you're a supreme egoist, you learn something from everyone you work with.'

Most notably though Till was to become the funky, whacked out trance master; 'Slinky Wizard.'

'Slinky Wizard is all about trance music, but it's going to become 'Fat Old Wizard' soon.'

The elusive 'Bloc' project which Till started in Paris around 3 years ago is still a work in progress, and when we may actually hear the final result is anyone's guess.

'Its not finished yet because I have been moving around too much, and there has also been too many technical reasons and distractions.'

Distractions; there have been plenty. There is the 'Stoop and Fidget' project with James Munro as well as the 'BUS' album 'My Body is My Nightclub.' I ask Till of its progress to which I receive a similar reply.

'Ahh, my BUS project, which is what I've been doing the last 5 years or so, another project interminably delayed by moving around too much, technical reasons and, yes - distractions. Also having 'Flying Rhino' shut up offices didn't help matters either. It will be out in a couple of months on the spanking new 'Tough Toys' label. Its the full on trance album I should have released 3 years ago (and could of). We are still tossing up whether or not it will be a double album as there's more than enough material now.'

For Till, material is certainly not in short supply, he also has 'Electric Oceans' which is soon to be released.

'For lack of a better description it's a chillout album and it's probably what has bought me the most satisfaction from a musical perspective, non-musically though the greatest thing to have happened to me would be the birth of my son!'