After Toy Love (the bastard son of The Enemy) disintegrated in 1980, Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate were so fed up with the ‘band’ approach to making music, that they formed The Tall Dwarfs as a performing collective absolutely opposed to the way they created music in the past.
– Chris Knox: Taken From Popwatch #10
Bringing in any number of contributors, the Tall Dwarfs forged a whole industry from home-recording. Knox had recently purchased a simple 4-track recorder, and it become the bases for the Tall Dwarfs recording regime (as well as the initial lo-fi steps of the just-formed Flying Nun label). Because of this freedom to recorded whatever and whenever they could, the Tall Dwarfs grew incredibly eclectic and bizarre, collecting fragments of found sounds, unusual toys, and whatever other ‘beautiful accidents’ they could muster, turning it into a beatles-influenced stew of pop (and not so pop) moments.
Over time, in the united states the Tall Dwarfs and knox’s solo material would become synonymous with the new zealand scene – as knox had become something of an iconoclastic figure with then-trendy lo-fi movement. Although Knox’s solo material started to take precedence over the Tall Dwarfs in the mid-90s (bathgate now lives in christchurch, knox in auckland), they continued to release album after album almost annually.
Discography (picks in bold)
- Sings 3 Songs 12″ Ep [1981 Furtive Fur001]
- Louis Likes His Daily Dip 12″ Ep [1982 Flying Nun Fn Wee001]
- Canned Music 12″ Ep [1983 Flying Nun Fn Tin1]
- Slugbuckethairybreathmonster 12″ Ep [1984 Flying Nun Fnslug]
- Sing 3 Songs 12″ Ep [1985 Reissue Flying Nun Fn Not1]
- That’S The Short And The Long Of It 12″ Mini-Lp [1985 Flying Nun Fn Long001]
- Throw A Sickie 12″ Ep [1986 Flying Nun Fn Sick001]
- Dogma 12″ Ep [1988 Flying Nun Fn098 / Fne27 / Fnuk8]
- Hello Cruel World [1988 Compilation Flying Nun Fn113 / Fne15]
- Weevile [1990 Flying Nun Fn166]
- Fork Songs [1991 Flying Nun Fn218]
- The Short And The Sick Of It [1992 Compilation Flying Nun Fn199]
- Three Eps Triple 10″ / Cd [1994 Flying Nun Fn296]
- Stumpy [1997 Flying Nun Fn384]
- Gluey Gluey, And ‘The Ear Friend’ Cd Single [1998 Flying Nun Fn403]
- 50 Flavours Of Glue [1998 Flying Nun Fn412]
- The Sky Above, The Mud Below [2002 Flying Nun Fn456]