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I didn’t know what to expect from a solo release from B Schattner other than top shelf quality and this new collection of songs did not disappoint!

Member of a swathe of Sydney bands (Dumbbells, VIPP, Angie’s band, Shrapnel, Romance, etc etc etc) Schattner in solo mode filters pop-era Eno and 70s Kevin Ayers through the more recent underground/DIY warped pop of Swell Maps, Country Teasers, or Guided By Voices. But there’s also some curveballs in there—a couple of instrumental tracks and the first side full of piano-driven tracks—that only add to a fuller picture of his musicianship.

There’s something about this tape that reflects Ben as a person. An unassuming almost shrug-like quality to collating a bunch of songs that are anything but unassuming in construction. Short, sharp, hooky, with playing and writing that (as Jen pointed out to me) seem to inherently strive to extend his abilities as a writer and musician. A killer tape!


The bedroom recording explosion of the lockdown years didn’t give us much worth remembering, but this B.SCHATTNER tape compiling his (home)work from 2019-2022 shows there’s wheat among that chaff!
Three recording sessions are compiled on the one cassette, each showing a different side to the loosely defined project. ‘Ball Rollin’ is a lo-fi swoon, floating feathers with guitar-based experiments, while ‘Hut’ ups the pace for a 2:1 ratio of the upbeat to the melancholy. Then ‘O’Clock’ unveils an unexpected piano swing that’s more in the realm of HARRY NILSSON and RANDY NEWMAN than what feels like nods to anyone from EGO SUMMIT, THE REBEL or GUIDED BY VOICES earlier on the tape.
It’s no surprise his sounds cast that wide a net: B.SCHATTNER has played guitar, drums, bass, keys and ‘miscellaneous’ in a number of bands through Sydney’s recent DIY past, including CAR, V.I.P.P., S.T.R.L., SHRAPNEL, DUMBELLS, ANGIE and ROMANCE. That the solo works sound like a collage of (most of) these projects (while still creating something new and otherworldly) is a true feat of writing, performance and production that we’d all be happy to achieve.
Take the chance to peek inside the brain of B.SCHATTNER, and enjoy hearing what rocks, crackles and pops in there!