Recorded sometime in 1980 and reissued by Albert’s Basement and Shame File Music for the first time, Ad Hoc’s Distance sounds unbelievably contemporary.
A group that formed in 1978 and operated within the world of Melbourne experimental music during the period (playing at La Mama Theatre and Clifton Hill Community Centre, among others) alongside the long since canonised names of that world (David Chesworth, Laughing Hands, Tsk Tsk Tsk, Essendon Airport etc.) Online sources report that Ad Hoc recorded 100s of hours worth of tape, but this seems to be the only full length release (and a few tracks on those legendary Innocent Records comps)
This release swells with lyrical piano improv, ambient-ish synths, and distant whistling guitars, drenched in layers of tape echo and reverb. You can hear their attempts to tape into histories of free improv and minimal composition, but there’s also an off-the-cuffness about this release that makes it listenable (ie. not bogged down in the esotericism/academics of what those genres indicate) that reminds me of what I get out of more recent groups like Blues Control, Blue Divers, or Steve Hiett.