HYPNOLIUM will be performing during the September St Kilda Art Crawl
Greg Manson first started playing ‘electronic music’ in 1971 when he bought a reel to reel deck with his pocket money and began experimenting with found sounds/reversing at different speeds etc before graduating to cassette loops.
The growing availability of Moogs seemed to be the next step, but seeing that even a minimoog cost more than a new car in those days, a teenage factory worker had no hope in hell of affording one. Greg tried to get around that by sourcing a wave generator which was then filtered through home-made pedals until an acceptable sound was achieved,….the system couldn’t really be played in tune but could provide different atmospheres for the Can-meets-Hawkwind sound the band he formed with his mates was trying to do.
This was a deeply unpopular type of music to play in Brisbane in those days: Greg injured his hand in a fight with some local hoods and ended up in hospital with advanced septicaemia, that put an end to his musical career for a while. He spent the time wisely; hitch-hiking round Europe catching Can, Gong, Magma and all sorts live so that when he reformed the band Camargue in late 75 there was even more determination to move towards an improvised and “progressive” musical ideal. Greg had moved to bass by this time and the addition of an Elka Rhapsody through pedals and filters kept that touch of European otherness about the sound
This was again not a locally popular option, so in 1977 Greg and keyboard player Nick Daniels went to London with some live tapes while the other two stayed home with their wives and dogs. The record companies approached were complimentary, as was John Peel, but Punk had arrived, and they were only signing bands with green hair. Upon return to Australia the band moved to Melbourne and tried again to get a deal by playing a few private gigs at which many rockbiz types checked them out, but no-one had the money or interest, and after a few line-up changes, they faded away.
While in Melbourne Greg hung out and played with other notables of the small ‘cosmic scene’ centred around Clear Light of Jupiter and Pipe Records
but no-one in Sydney liked that much either and weren’t interested in collaborating, so he ended up playing bass in funk bands for the next 30 years…
A chance meeting in on the North Coast of NSW in 2007 led him to help form the Australian incarnation of Gong with Daevid Allen, basically because he was ‘probably the only bassplayer in the country who really knew what to do with this stuff’, to quote Daevid, and some live gigs resulted...