We live in a world of just-add-water rock stars, where pastiche is mistaken for progression. Quite obviously invisible but powerful forces manipulate the back end of just about everything to give the mistaken impression that we are discovering new sounds for ourselves, when in fact we are fed from a very long corporate-branded spoon. (And no, we are not being paranoid here – we all know it happens and the media quietly turn a blind eye and report without digging any deeper).
In spite of all this, Ned Collette has taken the quiet back road to a place some distance out from obscurity, heading at his own speed for a destination of his own choosing.
That chosen road is without doubt a leafy and sun dappled one, and that destination pastoral and perhaps even a little bucolic. Ned may hint at a past age of music but he moves everything defiantly forward with his elaborate arrangements, slow building melodies, gradually revealed hooks, looped and layered guitar parts and optimistic yet world weary lyrics. And while everyone else seems to be shouting, Ned is singing.
Networking In Purgatory is Collette’s fifth album, his third with the band. Recorded between Collette’s studio in Berlin and Joe Talia’s studio in Melbourne, the record is a more band focused follow up to 2012’s 2. It is a trip of sound and colour, featuring the familiar guiding voice of Collette offset by the usual variety of Wirewalker’s musical explorations. Deceptively lo-fi folk moments, which hark back to Collette’s early solo work, punctuated the album.