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Single Gun Theory


Country of origin:

Australia

Type of music generally:

Ethereal ectronica/altpop

Status:

Most recent release, The Monkey's Mask (soundtrack, 2000); most recent usual release, Flow, River of My Soul (1994)

See also:

Single Gun Theory's facebook page [their official http://sgt.com.au site forwards here]

Wikipedia's entry on Single Gun Theory

Comparisons:

Enigma, Delerium, Qkumba Zoo, Mouth Music, Tegan Northwood

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Musically, this is basically a synthesizer band. Any other instruments are minor or sampled. Yet those samples of voices, spoken and singing, and other instruments, add a lot of spice to their music. At their best, they are a key to a lyrical point or blend amazingly well musically. They try to wrap a dark musical aura around their songs. However, to my ears, most of their attempts fall flat, a boring drone. Their music works much better when the music holds more melody and thus more emotion, underlining the darkness more clearly. However, others disagree with me.
     There is no doubt about the darkness in their lyrics. Kath Power's subjects generally split into two categories. On one hand are very dark personal songs, full of death, dying, murder, and vague unnameable subconscious terrors. They lie deep in the netherland of the psyche. On the other hand (though less frequently), she writes overtly political songs, relatively sharp pokes at societal problems. Vocalist Jacqui Hunt's quality but oddly flat voice carries the lyrics well, though musically can neither rise above nor sink below the surrounding music. (dbx@aa.net)

okay they have a real '80s feel, even though a lot of their stuff is from the '90s as well. I dunno, but I still have a soft spot for them. Sort like how I have a soft spot for Enigma, Delerium, Qkumba Zoo, and Mouth Music. Sort has that vaguely world music feel with beats. Does anyone really listen to/make that sort of music anymore? (iflin@speakeasy.net)

The two Single Gun Theory discs we own (Like Stars in My Hand and Flow, River of My Soul) have worn worn well with me. I just love the way Jacqui Hunt's vocals slide over the catchy electronics. (Neile)

Comments about live performance:

I think the most shockingly, disappointingly bad performance I've seen to date was Single Gun Theory, opening for Sarah McLachlan on an early leg of the Fumbling tour. They might as well have just brought a boombox on stage with their CD in, and pressed "play". It would've been the exact same music we heard, and would've been more interesting to watch. (They really need to learn to lip-synch better.) I was stunned—I liked their album a lot, but I certainly wasn't expecting to see them playing it over the PA while pretending to perform it! (c. 1994, meth@smoe.org)

Recommended first album:

Like Stars in My Hand or Flow, River of My Soul

Recordings:


Exorcise This Wasteland

Release info:

1987—Nettwerk (Canada); I.R.S. (USA)

Availability:

Wide on release

Ecto priority:

Recommended for Single Gun Theory fans

Group members:

Jacqui Hunt—vocals, recorder
Kath Power—synths, vocals
Pete Carnac—guitars, synth, sampling

Comments:

I suspect this album is their debut or close to it, so this album is likely the group trying out their wings, trying to get their ideas down. They had a long way to go, as none of the songs stood out. The sampling is limited. The vocals are subdued. The lyrics barely register. The music too often boringly drones on. (dbx@aa.net)

the darker edge of exorcise this wasteland and its overall sound appeals to me more than Like Stars in My Hand. (woj@smoe.org)


Like Stars in My Hand

Release info:

1991—Nettwerk (Canada); I.R.S. (USA)

Availability:

Wide on release

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended=

Group members:

Jacqui Hunt—vocals
Kath Power—sampling keyboard
Pete Rivett-Carnac—sampling keyboard

Guest artists:

Ryan Moore—bass
Paul Brennan—acoustic drums

Produced by:

Anthony Valcic and Single Gun Theory

Comments:

This album holds several excellent songs, whose melodies easily stick in your head. Other songs reprise the relative droning. Yet they clearly have a handle on what they are trying to do and do it well. Their sampling is especially strong in seamlessly weaving the samples within the songs. (dbx@aa.net)

i like the samples on like stars in my hands and its trancey feel. (woj@smoe.org)


Flow, River of My Soul

Release info:

1994—Nettwerk

Availability:

Wide on release

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Jacqui Hunt—vocals
Kath Power—sampling keyboard
Pete Rivett-Carnac—sampling keyboard

Guest artists:

Peggy Lee—cello
Satwant Singh—tabla
Davinder Hundle—Indian violin, tamboura
Mark Jowett—guitar
Greg Preely—additional percussionShaorn A. Klinger

Produced by:

Single Gun Theory

Comments:

it seems to be quite similar to the last album—synthesizers swirling around jacqui hunt's mesmerizing voice, underlaid by funky programmed drums and rhythm, lightly spiced with the occasional sample. it's pretty catchy. (woj@smoe.org)

This album has stuck with me really well over the years. I especially like the way they use samples here, but example the terrific use of Chaba Fadela in "Fall". Jacqi Hunt's gorgeous vocals continue to delight me. (Neile) Unfortunately I really don't like it very much. I think I might have liked it if they hadn't let the drum machine overwhelm nearly every song. I would definitely catergorize most of the songs as "dance". The one shining bright spot was "Motherland", where they toned down the drums a little and ended up with a great song. (mcurry@io.com)


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