Touch Typist came together around the brothers Tigga (electronics) and Nick Huggins (words and guitars), and Nick’s longtime musical collaborator Mark Gretton (drumkit). Nick and Mark spent a few years touring and playing gigs around Australia in a band that crossed the Nullabor by car at least eight times. Tigga is a DJ and electronic musician who may be the only member of the band able to identify authentic techno. It’s the combination of musical understanding and live intuition that made Touch Typist a noisy and exploratory ensemble.
They are fascinated by the meeting point of human and machine rhythms, and the friction between nonsense and logic in sound and language. Each member balances the roles of rhythm and texture, with alternating emphasis. Touch Typist are interested in simple and complex sounds and love to turn up loud and lose control.
The record ‘You cannot kiss a laughing mouth’ was made in Nick’s ‘A Pocket Full of Stones’ studio in Point Lonsdale, Victoria. Nick has made many records out of the coastal town for years and has produced Whitley, Seagull, Hazel Brown and his own solo album, the ‘Shipwreck LP’ in the space.
Over a series of sessions Touch Typist got together and developed an approach for the mini album. Starting with a structure based on tempo and a wider perspective of thirty minutes in sound, they lay out a path between song structures and instrumental explorations. Beginning and ending with a melodic line rendered in two very different contexts, the record is varied in colour and energy. In a reversal of the traditional narrative arc, the height of the musical exertion is found at the beginning. It is gradually deconstructed and after thirty minutes you arrive back with the distilled core of the introduction. It reflects a brief but frenzied creative process and is bubbling with possibilities.
Sadly, the three members of Touch Typist are no longer making music together but Tig and Nick have been making music alongside Oscar O’Bryan and Jon Tjhia as part of Speed Painters, with a record in the works as you read this.