Everett True

Song of the day – 538: d-Wizz 2.0

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This, you’ll have to take my word on.

d-Wizz is a cult figure from Brisbane. An open secret in a small town, but certainly too out there to be part of a scene. If he was from Chicago, I can assure you with some certainty he’d be getting 4.1 reviews all over town, but only because the first 12 albums were better.

You’re going to have to take my word on this because:

d-Wizz 2.0’s web 1.0 site has been suspended recently, thus denying fans access to hundreds upon hundreds of ultra lo-fi (the description, not the genre) recordings. Sometimes jangle-surf pop, sometimes versions of EMF and A-ha songs, sometimes Jan Terri territory. Always brutally d-Wizz 2.0. They do drum medleys (drums being David ‘d-Wizz’ Barker’s chosen instruments). They do Hillsongs covers. They sometimes sound like a Toowong Dan Treacy (back when Dan couldn’t articulate properly). They often recall Wesley Willis, although the subject matter is way more varied. ‘Choc-O-Block Freak’ (from the d-Wizz Music EP Mammamuka) is the one that everyone flips for, but I almost prefer the more formless ventures: ‘(I’m In) The Right Spot’ and ‘Neighbours (Beatbox version)’.

When I encountered d-Wizz 2.0 (David, plus Dario Western and Mitchell Booth) on the rooftop of The Edge at Unconvention recently, Ed G was shouting in my ear for at least 30 minutes previously, “You’re going to love him Everett. He’s just like Daniel Johnston.” d-Wizz is NOTHING like Daniel Johnston (beyond the rudimentary early recording techniques, and cheap instruments). Live, the songs reminded me of a buzzy, amateur hour Modern Lovers – the same fundamental love for 50s and 60s rock’n’roll, rather than the music or lyrics – or maybe first album Ramones minus the chords. And with a really annoying beatbox/keyboard sound stuck on ‘repeat’.

The ‘dub’ version of Alison Moyet’s ‘Is This Love’ – the word “love” repeated over and over, hopelessly disconnected – is a certain form of genius.

Listening to d-Wizz 2.0’s 24-track handmade CD album Fav Trax Box Sets I & II is like being stuck in a Value Village  every day of your life while a cheap 80s keyboard pumps out schmaltzy 80s songs gone horribly awry.

This is some of the most genuine  Outsider Art I’ve heard in a decade.

That’s a good thing. right?

Find out more about d-Wizz 2.0 here. 

“If you were from Brisbane, you wouldn’t be so aching cool/But you’re not, so you go to school to be cool” (‘You’re Not From Queensland’ – The Thin Kids, 2010)

d-Wizz 2.0 replies: 

Thanks for the review, I am sure d-Wizz is going to be really chuffed to read it. d-Wizz 2.0 is presently working on its debut album called “Success Is Not A Number”, which ought to be out sometime in 2013. Songs that address issues like decrepit houses, cyber bullies, opportunism, rock star fantasies, chocolate addiction, and using media fiascos to one’s advantage abound on it. Thanks for your endorsement of the band.

That’s the second time today someone from SEQ has used the word endorsement in conjunction with my words.

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