Wednesday, November 13, 2019


Want some ringing in your ears? Then look no further people...

The entire works of Tinnitus have been re-mastered and are up on Bandcamp awaiting your download for very reasonable prices.
I purchased the entire back catalogue but if you’re not as keen as me, I would suggest starting with Tape 12. Also known as ‘Futures Past’ as released on CD by Flying Nun in 1992. A collection of works starting with an almost 40 minute live set, it’s a good place to start delving into this deviant crew.

Dark, ambient, atmospheric, drone……experimental stuff that’ll make your hair stand on end. These guys could easily have just made horror movie soundtracks for the rest of their lives.

There’s a good write up on the history of the group here.

And to show off my own nerdish behaviour, I burned all the albums onto CD and made my own Tinnitus box set……

Wasn't lying about the box set......

See you in the hearing clinic :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hampster - Live at the Dux De Lux 15-11-93

Hampster were an adventurous Jazz combo from Christchurch who were regulars at the old Dux De Lux in the early 90’s (sadly another Chch venue lost to the 2011 earthquakes). Jazz has never really been my bag but these guys were anything but standard Jazz and they added a great sense of fun to the mix so a good time was had by all regardless of your musical leanings. Jazz, pop, funk, fusion.... experimental.......good.
There's a moment where they talk about one song being like something off the soundtrack to Betty Blue. I get that, it does sound like something from that film. Most of the track names I've picked out but there's a couple that remain unnamed. Feel free to enlighten those of us in the dark.
The best show I ever saw them play though was at the laid back Orinoco music festival in Motueka (summer 1994 by my reckoning). Certainly the best festival I’ve ever been to. A wild mix of bands ranging from metal to folk to…..god, even Jazz! The bands played on a small makeshift stage amongst the hills, surrounded by bushland in the middle of nowhere over two (or perhaps three) days. Some 2000 people max in attendance. The weather was fantastic & everyone seemed to have a blast. Hampster were one of the highlights. I still remember they played some song about NZ Telecom which was a dig at how poor their service was at the time. Got everyone laughing. One hardcore Metal band played and there were a couple of little kids up on the stage dancing hence the singer kept cracking up laughing….hard to be seriously nasty ‘metal’ when there’s a couple of kids jumping round in front of you. Ha.
This was recorded at the Dux on my trusty Sony Walkman (again) and on this occasion, I also used a decent cassette instead of the old bottom of the barrel type and hence the sound is pretty sweet & quite listenable (albiet still Lo-fi). I wish back in the day I had spent some good money on a decent stereo portable tape unit & a good stereo mic but there’s wishful thinking for you….didn’t happen. More than likely I was behind on the rent and could barely afford to buy groceries let alone fancy hifi gear.
The other thing that helped boost this recording was that there was a ledge above the bar on which I could leave the tape running. Hence it has a good room sound…..some audience noise but it’s not too imposing. So all up, what we have here ladies & gentlemen is a rather plum live recording! Those who were regulars at the Dux will probably appreciate revisiting this exceptional group.

Get it here: Hampster

Saturday, August 3, 2019

303 Concrete Method - Live at The Harbourlight, Nov 6th, 1993

The Harbourlight Theatre was a beautiful old building in downtown Lyttleton which hosted many an event over the years until it was irreparably damaged by the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011 & sadly, had to be demolished.  
This particular gig was recorded at said venue on my trusty Sony Walkman (mono) which I used to carry about religiously for a while in the early 90's. It's not a bad outcome either. A few edits, some EQ, a bit of boot polish & hey presto, rough as bags live recording ensues.....!
I had a vague memory that my friend Greg Cairns (drummer) had been involved with this project & he recently confirmed that yes indeed, that was the case. Also included were Sean O'Reilly, Alf Danielson and Brian Crooks. Talk about a sterling line up....a Dunedin super group no less!
There's also a few songs by Alastair Galbraith (same bill, same night) which shall be included here in a separate download. Great versions of his songs too. One of them is a version of Plagal Grind's 'Midnight Blue Vision' (speaking of Dunedin supergroups...) another is 'Warden Tye' which appeared on the fabulous Siltbreeze 7" 'Gaudy Light' and the other two I'm not sure of the names of. David Mitchell joined Alastair on stage for the version of 'Warden' as well. Seriously demented guitar playing... that could only be Mr Mitchell torturing those poor strings surely.
According to Greg, there is also a studio album by 303 Concrete Method that has never seen the light of day and remains un-mixed. 
Whoever has possession of that tape... time to get a move on! 

Oh and a couple of the 303 songs are cut short.... I think it was tape run out...

deal with it......:)

In two downloads......

303 Concrete Method

Alastair Galbraith

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Tony Valens and the Incisions


A new entry....

And a treat for your ears dear customers. 

A volatile, heady brew of NZ r'n'r craziness to cheer you up on these wintery days happening right now.

And 'Deadly Lethal' was what was happening right now back in Christchurch in them late 90's. 
'The Incisions' were a  suspect bunch of dodgy local home-brewers (probably lacking in training) but without a doubt, much ambition to slay the audience attending with whatever they had up their sleeves. 

I saw these kids at the old Provincial Hotel one night where they blew my head off with their instrumental  ballistic missiles.... they really were Lethal.... and Deadly.....and for want of a better metaphor, like a giant spew on the rock'n'roll red carpet of improvisational rock. As if you'd eaten a Thai green curry with a side order of beetroot salad...some greasy chips....a three litre cask of white wine....and a cheesecake for dessert.... yes that kind.....of puke... the one you don't want in your bed.
A psychedelic cataclysm of garish garage garbage that you wished you'd come up with yourself but didn't have the nous (or the bravado) to dabble in. 

It fell off the back of a truck and you were on your bicycle behind it dear fool..... 

A shocking fright to the system.... 

Can u dig it? 

Probably not :) 

Get it  HERE

Friday, January 18, 2019

Squirm - Feeding the Ground

Well here's something that should perk your interest good citizens.... the one and only first 'Squirm' Cassette from way back in 1993.

I actually thought (wrongly) that all of these tracks had been included on the Failsafe CD 'Master Mistake Maker' but as it turns out, only three of the seven tracks from this Tape were used. Another three tracks were used on the first Squirm CD / EP.
Later, a compilation by Failsafe called 'Good Things' would again feature 'Voodoo' as it was well received by local radio I believe.
Only one track from this cassette (Bone Tree) has failed to see the light of day by Failsafe.
This rip is taken entirely from the cassette version & only mildly tinkered with digitally to retain balance in the volume of the different tracks.

This would have to be my favourite Squirm release. It's funny because even now when I listen to it, I'm not getting any references like 'oh, this sounds like so and so band ... etc'... the songs are so fucking crazed... who knows where this shit came from? It could only have been cooked up in flat city..... the home of the deranged..... and fittingly, this cassette came out on 'Flat City Recordings' which also released a bunch of other stuff back in the day. Peter Mitchell (who later became the drummer for Squirm) was the curator for this label and it's worth hunting down anything they put out. Some way cool stuff in there.

Thankfully I was there to see this line-up play. They were instantly my favourite local band. I saw all the other line-ups afterwards too. Also all good... but this Cassette period remains my fave. As a three piece, these cats clicked together very nicely. Also a great job done by Arnie Van Bussel of NightShift studios. Without him, so much great music in Christchurch would never have happened. He recorded the first Pin Group 7" for Flying Nun back in 1981 you do realise. The beginning of the Flying Nun sound. And if Arnie had a dollar for every band that owed him money, he'd probably be a goddamn billionaire. True.

The last two tracks however were recorded at Puawai Studios by my old buddy Miles and a guy called Stu. That was a secret underground (literally) studio that managed to capture quite a few early 90's acts in their heyday... was only there for a few years but Kudos to they that founded it.

Here's some links:

Squirm - Feeding the Ground Tape

Squirm Discogs

Squirm Failsafe