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Ollie Olsen (born Ian Olsen 1958, Melbourne, Australiamarker) is an Australian composer, synthesist and sound designer who has been producing and performing rock, electronic and experimental music for the past thirty years. He is probably best known in the mainstream for his collaboration with Michael Hutchence, Max Q in 1989.


Olsen began his forays into electronic music as a teenager in the mid 1970s, studying with Felix Werder. He has gone on to produce a large body of work, ranging from experimental work to film and television soundtracks, pop and dance music, installation projects and creating record labels.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s. He formed a series of punk and post punk bands, as leader and vocalist, as well as being a key figure in the Melbourne little band scene. His punk bands included The Reals and The Young Charlatans (with guitarist Rowland S. Howard). He formed a series of confrontational post-punk bands beginning with Whirlywirld, which also began a long period of collaboration with drummer John Murphy (from Whirlywirld through Hugo Klang, Orchestra Of Skin And Bone, NO and finally Max Q).

Olsen and Murphy lived in Europe and Britainmarker between 1981 and 1984 and attempted, unsuccessfully, to get Hugo Klang off the ground. Ollie returned to Australia in 1983 and continued Hugo Klang for a short time with Alan Bamford, Tom Hoy and Lawton Ellery. John Murphy eventually returned to Australia and he and Ollie began the Orchestra of Skin and Bone with David and Marie Hoy, Dugald McKenzie and Peter Scully. Ollie and Marie would then go on to form NO with Michael Sheridan and Kevin McMahon.

In 1984 film director Richard Lowenstein approached Ollie to have Whirlywirld appear in the feature film Dogs In Space. Ollie supervised the reforming of many of the 'little bands' and then worked on the production of music recordings for the soundtrack. The film was released in 1986. Shortly afterward, he and Dogs In Space star Michael Hutchence collaborated on a musical project under the name Max Q, producing an album combining electronic music with political paranoia. The Max Q band included John Murphy and keyboard player Gus Till. After recording Olsen and Hutchence spent time in New York, USAmarker mixing the tracks, and re-mixing with DJ Todd Terry.

Olsen later returned to Australia and turned his attentions to trance music, co-founding Australian trance label Psy-Harmonics with Gus' brother Andrew Till and recording under the name Third Eye. From the 1990s onwards he has worked increasingly in film and TV sound design.

Olsen has lectured on and taught electronic music at various universities and symposia and performed with a wide variety of artists from across the globe.

As of 2006, Olsen is currently working on a number of recording projects, mostly electro-acoustic pieces, with artists from Australia, Japanmarker and South Africa, for performance and release in 2006. He recently released the album I Am The Server through the Greekmarker record label Creative Space, and an electro-acoustic album, entitled Simulated, will be released soon.

List of past bands

Recent collaborations & projects

External links


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