Words: James Frostick
Milkffish and Del Lumanta image: Bethan Cotterill

Parramatta’s New Age Noise Collective has released a new compilation called Constellation – a nine-track compendium of work from several emerging and established transgender, non-binary and female-identifying musicians. The compendium is a sublime sample of sonic cartography, putting on the map a community that is flourishing outside of the city’s male-dominated scene. 

This one almost flew under my radar but I’m glad it was brought to my attention. Last month the phenomenal Parramatta-based New Age Noise Collective released Constellation – an engrossing compilation of tracks composed by young trans, non-binary and female-identifying musicians who were either born, live and are based in the countries of the Eora Nation. The collective – an initiative of Information + Cultural Exchance (I.C.E) – formed as a supportive outlet for those overwhelmed by Sydney’s male-dominated scene, with the group helping participating artists arrange live gigs, distribute their music and make connections with like-minded individuals. Constellation is an enlightening sampler that shines a spotlight on an exciting corner of the city’s music scene. While the assemblage as a whole doesn’t adhere to one genre, it is tethered by a uniform connective tissue made out of creative freedom and mutual encouragement.

The collective’s multi-faceted compilation features nine tracks, with each contribution inhabiting its own sonic alcove. The spectrum of sound showcased is broad and deep, revealing a depth to the collective’s roster that eclipses many of the country’s most musically diverse labels. Constellation moves from the soulful RnB-tinged sound of Vicky Zeng and the heady-yet-dynamic hip-hop of Biggie Deez, to the hypnotic swells of Aishani Kocher’s atmospheric soundscapes and peppy electro jazz of Artison. The compilation’s latter half oscillates between the sombre slow-burn energies of Alessandra Arias and Georgia Marley and the lightly electrified ambient noise of Okuesha Kills, while familiar faces (and New Age Noise mentor artists) such as Nicola Morton (Club Sound Witches) and Del Lumanta (who teams up with Milkffish on the compilation) contribute their own up-tempo techno and glitch-heavy compositions. Meditative or frenetic, lo-fi or lush, Constellation contains ample creative talent from top to bottom (and it’s a great listen, to boot). Compilations such as this showcase the importance of collectives such as New Age Noise and the work they undertake to empower, educate and entertain – an incredibly worthy and vital endeavour.

New Age Noise Collective’s Constellation compilation is available digitally, on cassette and on compact disc via I.C.E. You can cop it here.