Rooms For The Memory 23 will stop you in your tracks

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Rooms For The Memory 23 will stop you in your tracks

Words by Bryget Chrisfield

While driving home from a recent gig at Northcote Theatre, with PBS’ Sunglasses After Dark show pumping outta the car stezza, Rooms For The Memory – from the OST for Richard Lowenstein’s cult film Dogs In Space (1986), for which Ollie Olsen was enlisted as Musical Director– stopped us in our tracks.

Michael Hutchence’s vocal performance is so gritty and drenched in raw emotion. That closing plea: “RE-E-MEM-be-er” – he sounds utterly undone.

Rooms For The Memory was recently reworked by Adalita, Mick Harvey and Andrew Duffield to help raise funds for the ongoing care of Olsen – a prominent figure in Melbourne’s avant-garde electronic music scene (Whirlywirld, NO, Orchestra Of Skin And Bone, Max Q) and this song’s composer – who was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (a form of Parkinson’s) in 2020.

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Lowenstein also created an accompanying film clip for Rooms For The Memory revisited, interspersing footage from the Sing Sing Studios session that went down earlier this year with vintage gold featuring Hutchence and Olsen recording the OG song/just broing-out in general.

The extended format of Rooms For The Memory includes four versions of the hauntingly beautiful titular track as well as two renditions of Whirlywirld’s Win-Lose: the Dogs In Space version plus a reimagining featuring Eskimo Joe’s Kav Temperley on vocals. Vast, imposing and bleak – with chugging synths and sparkling riffs – Win/Lose crackles with menacing intensity and sounds as vital as ever.

Fun fact: After working together on the Dogs In Space soundtrack and developing an immediate mutual admiration society, Hutchence and Olsen went on to form their electropop passion project, Max Q (so named after Olsen’s dog), which spawned a criminally overlooked self-titled album released in 1989 and two killer singles: Way Of The World and Sometimes.

LABEL: DRW Records

Rooms for the Memory featuring Adalita is available digitally today here.