Western Schism is the second in our ad-hoc series of geo-specific compilations, featuring eighteen bands and artists from Perth in Western Australia. The distance from Perth to Sydney (coast to coast) is only marginally less than the land mass span between L.A. and New York. Think for a moment on all the East Coast / West Coast paradigms that exist in American culture, and you can transplant some of that ideology down to Australia. Whilst we don’t have competing hip hop crews as such (although there was a moment back in the day when drum’n'bass might have taken on that
skirmish), each coast often exists in its own unique world, often oblivious to the actions of the other. However, whilst L.A. artists might have opportunities to play to audiences in San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego or similar towns and cities along the coast, their Perth cousins have no such luck. Isolated from any other metropolis or cultural hub, the act of generating awareness, finding new fans or growing a career used to involve an expensive and lengthy hike to the West, to connect with the majority of Australia’s population. Of course, that’s old school thinking – the digital age affords artists the ability to transcend such barriers, and this compilation plays one small part in an ongoing, flag-waving awareness exercise for Perth’s experimental music community. The schism herein is as much geographical as it is artistic. These artists are outliers in both the literal and creative sense of the word – they celebrate their physical relationship with the world by amplifying it artistically. Distance need not be a tyranny – as is shown in this collection, it may in fact give us just the space we need to run free and get wild.
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