John Watermann ‘Illusions Of Infinite Bliss’

Illusions Of Infinite Bliss front coverIllusions Of Infinite Bliss back coverJohn WatermannThe cat

01 Missed You (03:54)
02 Vatican Griller (00:54)
03 Bust (02:30)
04 Cracked Up Since Burma (06:27)
05 Long Distance Sleepers (Yes One) (03:46)
06 Thrust From A Twitcher (03:34)
07 Letters With Slanted Eyes (Yes Two) (01:50)
08 Know What Crutches Cost? (02:48)
09 Lean Yellow Supporting (03:43)
10 Soft Serve (02:03)
11 Misplaced Skin Grafts #1 (05:22)
12 Best Torn Ligaments (00:50)
13 Lady In The Radiator (03:00)
14 Zink Bruises (02:46)
15 Misplaced Skin Grafts #2 (Caterer’s Blend) (02:27)

Total time 45:30
LP released on Nightshift Records, Brisbane, Australia, 1989

Australian composer born in Germany, John Watermann (1935-2002) composed a special kind of electro-acoustic music infused with a post-industrial aesthetic. His style is characterized by the shortness of tracks, obsessive loops, media samples, treated field recordings and a pervading feeling of menace. His aesthetic blends Cold War freezing climate, claustrophobic movies like Eraserhead, post-Auschwitz memorabilia (he was ten in 1945), irony towards the media, confrontational pictures typical from industrial bands. He created Nightshift, his own label, in Brisbane in 1989 to release his music as cassettes or LPs. Before this point, he had been a painter, photographer, film-maker and worked as a jeweller, among many other things. He also released music under various aliases, including Radio Mull. As he is said to have been recording music from the 1970s on, it is not clear whether his 1990s releases were fresh material or compilation of old stuff – the track ‘Lady In The Radiator’ for instance was recorded in 1984. This is a valid point, since the music on ‘Illusions Of Infinite Bliss’ sounds timely and is hard to associate with any given genre/era, the closest being fellow Australians Graeme Revell’s The Insect Musicians or SPK’s Zamia Lehmanni (both 1986). A kind of ambient Tape Beatles, maybe? This LP is definitely one of the bests from Watermann, with a decidedly ambient mood and attention to sound quality and is a pleasing listening experience, whereas some of his other records are more abrasive affairs. Note gorgeous saxophone samples on #6 Thrust From A Twitcher. Six of Watermann’s early albums have been uploaded to via the Alias Frequencies netlabel.


3 Responses to “John Watermann ‘Illusions Of Infinite Bliss’”

  1. 1 Chris March 15, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I am having some trouble opening the ‘rar’ files. How do I get to listen to these files? Apologies for the being thick. Many thanks

  2. 2 Scott March 15, 2009 at 7:53 pm


    Rar’s are like zip files that you need to extract or decompress.. I use 7-zip. It’s a program you can download from for free. There are many others out there though. I think winrar is popular too. If you have a PC like me, once you have 7zip or whatever, you can right click on the rar file and you shoud see options to open it. Presto!, mp3 files or whatever else is inside.

    Sometimes the persons who created the rar files require passwords to open them so look for those somewhere in their post. It can be frustrating trying to remember where you downloded something from that you realize you need a password to open it >:(

    And thanks for another great post Continuo!

  3. 3 Scott March 15, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    PS, I should have added a disclaimer. When I said “Presto!, mp3 files or WHATEVER ELSE IS INSIDE.” We all remember the story of the Trojan Horse. I’ve never gotten a virus that way but I guess it’s possible. Good luck!

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