Who Is Ollie Olsen??
Olsen is now active again as member of three-piece noise and soundscape band Taipan Tiger Girls, who have launched their first full-length album – 1 – in a live show at the Old Bar on 31 July.
As so far as history goes, Norwegian-bron, Melbourne-raised Ollie Olsen developed interest in electronic music in the mid 70s and studied under German composer Felix Werder. He went on to work on a range of experimental work, sound installations and dance music, as well as creating film and television soundtracks.
He was an important part of Melbourne’s punk/post-punk scene in the late 70s/early 80s as leader and vocalist, and with others formed punk bands like The Reals and The Young Charlatans. Post-punk work includes such confrontational bands as Whirlywirld, Hugo Klang, Orchestra of Skin and Bone and industrial techno outfit NO.
In 1984, Olsen was asked to appear with band Whirlywirld in cult classic feature film on the Melbourne underground punk scene – Dogs In Space. He also directed the soundtrack, which featured such artists as Iggy Pop, Boys Next Door, Brian Eno and INXS vocalist Michael Hutchence.
Hutchence was lead actor in the movie, and made friends with Olsen. They afterwards collaborated (along with band members John Murphy and Gus Till) in music project Max Q, a classic Australian electronic album with a theme of political paranoia. They mixed the album in New York City, which was remixed by DJ Todd Terry.
Olsen came back to Australia and was a part of the early techno scene in Melbourne. He played in cities across the country and co-managed label Psy-Harmonics with Andrew Till (Gus Till’s brother and current label manager of Machine). His various projects and collaborations at that time included Third Eye, Antediluvian Rocking Horse and Shaolin Wooden Men.
However, as his music was always uncompromising, he became less interested in generic dance music, and went back to the underground to refocus on his personal projects. After release of album Emptiness in 1999, Olsen re-embraced his noise roots with collaborations on electro-acoustic projects like I Am The Server, and worked with many artists from Australia, Japan (notably The Boredoms) and South Africa.
In 2008, Olsen collaborated with Melbourne electronic composer Steve Law on their drone-based project Mutagen Server. This led to a showcase at Melbourne’s planetarium, along with Robert Henke (Monolake/Ableton designer), who was showcasing his Laying Buddha album.
So as you see, Ollie Olsen has an incredibly diverse and rich history, of which he will be sharing with us all for this most rare of DJ sets. He will also be showcasing other more contemporary experiments into newer genres like witch house.
Please come join us for this very special occasion to celebrate a true Aussie legend of our scene.
Haarp Media VIP Sessions debuts this Thursday at Grumpy’s (125 Smith St, Collingwood). Support DJ Kristian Hatton will be playing his unique blend of contemporary niche genres and old-school know-how from 8-10pm, and Ollie will set it on fire from 10am-12am. Entry is free.