Cruising Gross Odour, a nine song 7″ vinyl single on 33rpm, is the debut release by Melbourne force of nature Alex Vivian, who began performing live in 2003 under the name Viviano, before opting for a more universal moniker a year later.
Alex is known for his striking, acapella solo performances, which can include dancing, displays of flesh, and fake vomit, while he sings songs about fast food, friendship and Bear Pride, accompanied by shakers, clapping, tape loops, delay pedals and assorted other knick-knacks. But there is nothing gimmicky about the music of Always – these are direct, personal and often very affecting compositions by a uniquely talented artist.
Cruising Gross Odour was recorded on a four track tape machine by Sean Bailey, aka Chapter Music’s other 2006 solo star Lakes – as it says on the back cover, “extreme lo-fi, play loud!” First copies of single come with stuck-on googly eyes and smiley-face stickers, while all copies include a revealing poster.
Here’s what Matmos’ Drew Daniel had to say about Always in his review for Pitchfork: “The googly eyes, nude photos, and hand-drawn rainbow crayon squiggles that adorn the cover of this beguiling artifact point in several directions at once: outsider art, gay rainbow flag, childhood diary, amateur porn.
Always is a guy named Alex Vivian making ‘extreme lo-fi’ acapella that stands poised on a lonely 4-track precipice, with just a microphone and some footstomping to keep him company…Simple, powerful, and very odd.”