No other artist's name makes quite as much sense as Stock, Hausen & Walkman (1991-2001) - a triple pun embracing pioneering electronic composer and theorist Karlheinz Stockhausen, the '80s pop-by-numbers production team Stock, Aitken & Waterman.
At the time of the group's formation in the late '80s, they were an experimental/improv quartet consisting of Sharpley and Wand plus cellist Dan Weaver and guitarist Rex Casswell. They played at Derek Bailey's request in 1990, but began to fracture when Casswell left and Weaver began taking recording time-outs to perform for dance and theatre as well. The trio formed their own Hot Air Records and began releasing a wide range of albums.
Stock, Hausen & Walkman (now Matt Wand, Andrew Sharpley and Daniel Weaver) is known for making sample-heavy, subversively funny collages with a healthy disregard for copyright issues: "taking pot shots at anything that moves, be it high art music, low pop or cheesy listening" (The Wire 163). Distinctive packaging has been prevalent in most SHW's releases. The duo's music (Daniel Weaver left them before the "Ventilating Deer" CD-ROM came out) has a hands-on, DIY approach, consisting of obscure samples and messed up beats, collaged into short, quirky songs. Wand and Sharpley continued on with an album-per-year release schedule until their split in 2001.
An idiot working for AMG described this masterpiece of sabotage-music this way:
Perfect for listeners with a mischievous attitude concerning the plunder of rock-radio staples and obscure comedy/instructional LPs, Giving Up is a fragmented collection of samples and found sounds. With almost 60 tracks on the CD configuration, the album definitely suffers from its producers' lack of attention span. It's barely listenable more than once, but an interesting curiosity.
Well, he's wrong: this is tremendously fun, its dynamics survived a reasonable span of time (15 years), and it is still, together with the first volume of Organ Transplants, one of the band's finest achievements. Covering Bach, Swans, Bambi, Kylie, the Complaints Department, all sorts of library sounds and what not, this is surely some of the most engaging sound-art smashadelia you'll ever hear. It includes 60 tracks, obviously meant for random reproduction. And it even features an audio collage-cum-reflection on the meaning of "me" and ego in pop music. What else do you need? Good reviews from AMG?