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- Xpressway is no longer active, but you can contact label-head Bruce Russell directly: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]