TOYLAND 'Toyland' 12"


Self-released in 1983, Toyland's singular creation is an anomalous yet vibrant jewel in the underground canon of Australian music. Conceived during the bijou thrum of Adelaide creativity in the early 80's, Toyland's raw mixture of post-punk and new-wave sounds, blanketed by heavy dub and afro-pop experimentations, reflects the mongrel sensibilities of an Australian sound in an ever growing global mirror.

Toyland was the brainchild of Nicholas Hope, his partner Analisa and brother Michael, scene stalwarts who had previously played in celebrated local acts such as The Accountants, Desperate Measures and The Jumpers. After enlisting local unorthodox drummer Bill Menz, the newly christened 'Toyland' set about weekly warehouse rehearsals in Blyth Street which eventually led to monthly gigs, typically with peers but occasionally supporting some of Australia’s bigger touring acts like Hoodoo Gurus, Hunters & Collectors, Birthday Party, Go-Betweens or Machinations. Their arresting live show became something of local legend, employing two dancers and a handful of relentless stage theatrics - the groups presence on any stage reportedly ‘impossible to ignore’.

After an intense period of gigging between Adelaide and Melbourne, the band was able to fund a three day recording session at Studio 202 in Adelaide. With one day dedicated to recording instruments and voices and another two days given over to dubs and mixing with session producer, Phil Hibberd, the self-titled Toyland release would be the single ripe fruit of this aberrant movement. The result is unparalleled by any other group in Australia at the time: accessible avant-pop, dubbed-out riddims and afro-percussion lay sonic foundations for theatrical vocals spouting socially-conscious tales of caution and displacement.

Despite heavy rotation on local community station 5MMM and an enthusiastic reception on the Adelaide scene, sales never covered recording costs and within 2 years the group had dissolved into the annals of obscure Australian music history…

For the first time since 1983 ‘Toyland’ returns to vinyl, remastered with extended liner notes, photos and words from original member Nicholas Hope.

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