- Robotx Cassette (Root Don Lonie For Cash, RDL040)
Excellent instrumentalist trio from the garden city formed by Matt Craw (Guitar), James Musgrave (Bass), and Jared Kelly (Drums) in early 2005. Taking cues from a variety of informed directions, the group were prolific features of the local live scene, and attached themselves to both R18 and all-age crowds with varying success. Playing an involved instrumental sound heavy on dynamics, the group enlisted ex-Substandard bassist Gareth Heta as a 2nd guitarist for a short period before reverting back to their original configuration. However, this was soon broken when Kelly left to play with the Pickups full-time, so Cam Walker was recruited to carry on where Jared left off.
Throughout later 2005 and early 2006 the group had a strong association with fellow garden city instrumentalists Coal, with Walker sitting at the throne for both groups for a period – however this was halted by problems with the tendons in Walker’s wrist, which caused him a great deal of pain during a show with the touring groups Jakob and American outfit No Funeral.
After losing Walker, Craw and Musgrave added Thomas Lambert (synth/guitar – aka i.Ryoko) in order to create a fuller sound than the rock trio lineup. Through him they found a great replacement drummer in Adam Jack, who picked up the groove of the songs quickly and added his own heavy hitting style. At this time, Gareth Heta again showed an interest in being part of the band, so he was recruited on guitar (and bass when James swaps to guitar). These changes have lead to further creativity within the group, with new songs eventuating at the start of 2007 (including for the first time, a song with vocals provided by Musgrave).
More live shows followed, a highlight being a gig with The Enright House, Pandora’s Bucket, and Wellingtonians Donatello. Towards the end of 2007, A Flight To Blackout entered the RDU Roundup band competition without any expectations of success, and came away with 2nd place, pipped by the more RDU-friendly (but by no means lesser) Bang! Bang! Eche!
As seemed to be the rule by now, Jack left the group at the end of 2007 to travel to Canada, and Lambert left for Wellington. This allowed the remaining members to focus on the tracking of their debut release, which is currently being mixed and produced by Thomas for release on his and partner Matt Faisander’s Sonorous Circle label before the end of 2008.
In early 2008 Hayden Williams and Josh Black (both also of Neil Robinson) made fine replacements on drums and synth respectively, their first show with the band being the farewell/fundraiser of friends The O’Lovelys.
Graham Carman (Bass, Vocals), Russ Mattar (Drums), Lance Wiltshire (keyboards, Vocals) and Greg White (Vocals, Guitar). Released a single and an EP on Jayrem in 1984.
The first (documented) recording alias of Chris Andrews – I.E. the creator of this website. In 2004 I compiled a 4-song EP of original recordings and got them pressed in the very limited capacity of 20 copies through Peter King, down in Mt. Somers (in a single day!, June 24th 2004), each with a unique cover and hand-numbered. The music contained within varies between low-key melodic tremblings on the a side, to caustic, but carefully controlled feedback-entrenched drones and shards of sound (extract with the help of cubase’s many distortion tools – from a bass guitar) on the b of an 8″ lathe-cut.
This highly limited 8″ lathe comes to us from the beautiful islands of New Zealand, a place known for it’s exquisite experimental music. These four short compositions by Chris Andrews heavily feature bass as a predominant instrument. Their minimalistic structures and instrumentation give the four tracks on “a million lights” an open-air feeling. It’s like soaring through the night sky, breathing ice cold air into your lungs. i love how sparse these pieces are. Both “Build 2” and “Thumping Around” show off a sense of melody. While these tracks are all instrumental, these two have a catchiness to them that will lodge itself firmly inside your skull
– Brad Rose; Foxy Digitalis
This EP is actually an archival release, constructed from some of the most thematically aligned instrumental pieces in my recording archives, which date back to around 2000. playing primarily bass guitar, but also a little keyboard and rudimentary drumming, the ep is a work of studio-production, and differs quite markedly from my live band, the diana mckay led post-punk 4-piece Idols Of Eve.
The piece de resistance of “a million lights” is the opening to side b, “Error 404.” With shades of Roy Montgomery and Windy and Carl, this spacey guitar drone is mesmerizing. A heavy low-end gives this track depth, and Andrews’ melodic tendencies shine through again. It ascends and descends through the clouds like a soaring bird. It’s an excellent track and deserves repeated listens. He closes the album with “Rebel,” which is reminiscent of the previous track. It’s like a more stripped down, heavily processed version of it. It’s a solid ending to a very solid release. I hope to hear more of Andrews’ material in the future
– Brad Rose; Foxy Digitalis
On January 14th, 2005 I made my live solo debut at the ‘Southern Oscillations’ festival at Castle Hill, Central Canterbury. I performed a 40 minute set comprised of material from my simultaneously released debut full-length cd-r, coming on after kRkRkRk artist / co-founder K-Mz Robinson (of NoTV / TMA-1).
The performance went well, playing to a small crowd on the opening night of the festival, drawing a good response and prompting a make-shift encore. Significant about the live performance was that I’ve now taken to playing guitar in a live capacity, just 3 weeks after purchasing my first (non-bass) guitar. using my PC for backing and live processing, the guitar is used primarily to spike the live sound with a higher register wave of sound, which can rise and fall between quite aggressive shards of noise to glacial waves.
After a single gig as a duo (with James Musgrave of A Flight To Blackout – we performed as 2 million lights) and a CD-r album release in 2006, plus a few further live solo performances, a million lights went on the back burner around 2007.
Still performing with Palace of Wisdom, I joined new ‘DIY Pop’ group The Ruling Elite in 2015, picking up guitar again for the first time since the solo performances. With free-form drummer Rory Dalley (otherwise known as IRD), I got the opportunity again to perform in an improvised manner – filling in for Dave Imlay in Dalley’s instrumental duo No Exit for a show at Space Academy in mid 2017, this lead to further performances with Dalley during The Ruling Elite‘s North Island tour in August 2017 (using the group name No No Exit).
‘A.M.’ is my most eclectic project. The seeding ground for all the others actually, which have generally grown out of a.m. When I find a particular sound that I want to pursue. A.M. is mainly ‘drone’ and ‘noise’ stuff, but you will find songs, folk music, minimalist electronic improv and field recs on most A.M. Releases as well…
– Antony Milton; Taken from the now-defunct Bands.co.nz website
Top-class jangly or even baroque-pop auckland band featuring the talents of Leslie Jonkers, Peter Keen, Craig Mason, Jane Dodd, Ronald Young and led By Graeme Humphreys.
One of the longest lasting Flying Nun bands, the single ‘Hold Me Pt. 1’ is a genuine Nun classic.
Sharing vocals across the group (with Peter Keen taking lead), the Tasman’s have a varied output, always with a fun or quirky aspect, incorporating many instruments and musicians from outside the group and certainly maturing as a band through-out their decade long existence.
In 1999 Flying Nun honored their back catalog with a tastefully compiled compilation Songs From The Departure Lounge.
One of Bruce Russell’s (Dead C) and Alastair Gailbraith’s darkest outfits, often dealing with distinct imagery and motif’s in their music and especially pro-nounced in their liner notes (most of which are distributed through Russell’s Corpus Hermeticum label). Essentially a Russell and Galbraith duo, but eter Stapleton has been a regular contributor.
Wellington based rock’n’roll 4-piece who evolved out of the Shining Path, originally with the line-up of Marty Squire (Guitar/Vocals – Formerly Of D-Super), John Douglas (Bass – Ex-Marineville), Kirsty (Organ) and and the show-stealing Ricky Boyd (Drums – Ex-Canvas).
Kirsty has since been replaced by Leo on keys, and the band have been touring the country with a slick, professional rock’n’roll show as part of Blinks’ infamous series of A Low Hum shows (as well as supporting Fur Patrol). Expect their debut in late 2004 on Wildside.
Originally performed as Art and Duty, a name borrowed from Wellington band Beat Rhythm Fashion‘s song of the same name. The band comprised of Andrew Naylor, Rob Kitson (also Of Clients), Rob Mayes (Dolphin, Throw, Springloader), Rick Tindall (Johnnies) and David Scales (Clients) in 1984.
This band played live only once, at The Gladstone, where there accident compilation track was recorded – a battle of the bands contest which included performances by the Expendables, Not Really Anything, among others.
A sort of transitional project for Rob Mayes, the band feature 14 songs with music written by Rob and lyrics improvised by Rick. The band followed on from a previous line up featuring Mayes, Naylor and Kitson dubiously called the Perk-U-Laters, a punk pop outfit put together by Fred Bertram, Christchurch’s self styled Malcolm MacLaren figure.
Fred managed a number of bands including Desperate Measures and The Clients and fostered Mayes song writing talents by manufacturing a band including the sneering vocals of Robert Blackmore, Mayes on guitar, Naylor on bass and Kitson on drums (also bassist with The Clients).
The Perk-U-Laters played 3 shows, the first at the illustrious star and garter where the predominantly punk audience enjoyed 5 raucous numbers including ‘Psycho Fred’, a thrashing torrid of cheek directed at manager Bertram, who was mixing the band at the time. Yelling for more the audience were informed ‘They Don’T Know Anymore’. One university gig and one Hillsborough tavern gig later and the band disbanded, dropping singer Blackmore and eventually enlisting Tindall on vocals for the pretentiously named Art And Duty.
AD featured a new batch of Mayes compositions and included a twin drummer line-up, mainly due to the band rehearsing at the clients armagh street practice room, a house owned by Naylor and then girlfriend Kirsty Lay (Face Of The Eighties’ winner). This house was a notorious punk party venue and had the good fortune to have a good selection of band gear to thrash away on, including 2 drum kits. AD performed their songs once before Mayes decided to write a whole new batch of songs with other musicians, moving on to work with the Steve Birss, and eventually into Dolphin.
– Rob Mayes