Xpressway was formed by Bruce Russell in 1985 to release his then-fledgling Christchurch band the Dead C, live archival recordings from This Kind Of Punishment and the debut solo material from Alastair Galbraith. Over the course of the next 23 (mostly cassette-only) releases, Xpressway, Russell and his comrades themselves formed an ever-growing niche-market of dark, brooding releases, mostly in lo-fidelity form, but full of character.
Xpressway was the label that set the careers of Stephen Cogle, Peter Stapleton and Brian Crook (between them being a major part of Victor Dimisich, Scorched Earth Policy, the Terminals and the Renderers), the Jefferies brothers and David Mitchell in motion, quite an achievement. Their brilliant compilations Xpressway Pile-Up and Making Losers Happy were re-released by overseas labels in the early 90s, hastening the influence of these inspiring 23 releases.
Russell ended the label once they had achieved global recognition, as he had always intended Xpressway to be a stepping-stone toward competent distribution, and they had achieved that by the early 1990s with American labels like Siltbreeze, Drunken Fish, and Kranky and European labels Turbulence, Ajax and Raffmond picking up a fair portion of the labels many talented musicians. Russell then launched Corpus Hermeticum – an outlet for even more challanging music (mostly by his own personal pool of musicians, but expanding into even overseas experimental and underground musicians).
Picks In Bold
- Xpressway Pile Up [1988 XWAY5]
- I Hate Pavel Tishy’s Guts [1989? promo issued in 2 versions XWAY6]
- Xpressway Pile=up [reissue with extra tracks 1990]
- Making Losers Happy 
- Whats That Noise? 7″ album 
- I Hear The Devil Calling Me 7″ album [distributed by drag city 1993]
- Xpressway is no longer active, but you can contact label-head Bruce Russell directly:
- Bruce Russell [Label Head / Email Contact]
- +64 3 328-9276 [fax number]
- Bruce Russell
- PO Box 124
- New Zealand [Postal Address]
After a 12-year recorded absense, the Terminals finally return! One of Christchurch’s most-loved underground bands, the Terminal’s have laid dormant, playing one-off shows every year or so since their Flying Nun days, but with Brian Crook resurfacing back up in Christchurch, it was just a matter of time before a new album would resurface – that being ‘Last Days Of The Sun’ on American label Last Visible Dog.
The Terminals were an outgrowth of the legendary Scorched Earth Policy (well techinally, they were a reunion that stuck) that ended up putting out some of the best, and darkest pop-rock songs this country has ever produced. I can’t imagine describing the terminals without the phrase ‘rolling thunder’ coming to mind, as they play paranoid, disturbed songs full with doom and gloom (care of Peter Stapleton) over a backing of musical anarchy.
Revitalising scorched earth policy’s early 80s songs like ‘lolita’ and ‘mekong delta blues’, the terminals have released 3 albums under Flying Nun and an assortment of limited distribution releases on their own Medication imprint, and continue to play live on rare one-off occassions (with members spread across the country).
Comprised of Stapelton (Stand-Up Drums), Crook (Guitar), Mick Elborado (Keyboards), John Christoffels (Bass) and the Booming, Charismatic Voice of Stephen Cogle.
Discography (picks in bold)
- Disconnect 12″ Ep [1987 Flying Nun Fn091] Rn
- ‘Do The Void/Deadly Tango’ 7″ Single [1990 Xpressway X/Way17] Rn
- Uncoffined [1990 Flying Nun Fn116] Rn
- Disease [1991 Xpressway X/Way19]
- Cul-De-Sac [Compilation 1992 Flying Nun Fn239]
- Touch [1992 Raffmond Raff001]
- ‘Medusa’ 7″ [1993? Roof Bolt]
- Little Things [1995 Raffmond Raff014-2]
- Last Days Of The Sun [2007 Last Visible Dog Lvd-116]
The Jefferies brothers (Graeme and Peter, both later of the Cakekitchen) original Palmerston North lo-fi post-punk outfit.
Quite removed from Peter’s dramatic later recordings, Nocturnal Projections were an immediate, scathing punk outfit (the line-up completed by Gordon Rutherford and Brett Jones) that forged their own venue, released their own albums, and generally ruled the roost in small-town Palmerston North.
Discography (picks in bold)
- things that go bunt in the night [1981 emission]
- another year ep [1982 hit singles HIT001]
- nocturnal projections ep [1983 hit singles HIT003]
- nerve ends in power lines [compilation 1995 raffmond]