Slušaonica: Christchurch, NZ vol. I

The Gordons / Bailter Space

John Halvorsen (bass, guitar, vocals)
Brent McLachlan (drums)
Alister Parker (guitar, vocals)

Future Shock (7” EP) 1980
Future Shock
Gordons (LP) 1981
I Just Can’t Stop
Gordons aka Volume 2 (LP) 1984

1983-84. Alister Parker was absent. Vince Pinker played bass.

Quality Control
Mentus Fugit
Reactor
Identity
Mono Flo
Gone Machine

“Gordons” (1984)* is an unfortunate album (certainly not great, but good enough for me) graced with iconic cover art. Here it is scaled down to 12″ EP format (digitally sourced from a tape) for my own listening pleasure. I feel it better with songs re-sequenced. I quite like its noisy melancholy borne on guitar riffs, with all the aesthetical deficiencies, e.g. dated sound production. Among other sins, it was “accused” of being too “heavy metal” (pronounce heavy metal with lovely New Zealand accent).

(Nelsh) Bailter Space – Nelsh Bailter Space (12″) 1987

Alister Parker is back recharged, but other two Gordons are Skeptics members now. NBS is transitional release (more in plastic New Wave style than edgy post-punk) as was the band’s line-up: Ross Humphries (ex The Pin Group) playing bass, Glenda Bills keyboards and Hamish Kilgour (The Clean) drums.

New Man
Tanker LP (1988)

John Halvorsen joined. Hamish Kilgour played drums. Brent McLachlan engineered recordings in Writhe Studio.

Glass
Thermos LP (1989)

Bailter Space = The Gordons. Under the influence of Skeptics during “Thermos” period.

Fish Eye

Are you bored of incessant repetition? Don’t worry, there are stargazing moments of bliss too, mainly in the ’90s chapter of Bailter Space. Stellar psychedelic pop tunes. Float in the void!

*Wantlist:

1 – REISSUE – It would be nice if reissue of “Gordons” (1984) happened at some point too: a modest run of 200 vinyl copies & an extended CD version (carefully remastered with the dynamics preserved, not (too) loud!!! by all accounts The Gordons and Bailter Space were loud enough in concert).

2 – DIGITAL FILES (mp3, 320 kbps) – A brand new rip of an old vinyl copy of Gordons (1984) in decent condition. Contact me.

flying nun: the gordons

bandcamp: bailterspace

Dead Famous People ‎– Harry (2020)

OK, let’s dedicate this week to pop and rock music artists from New Zealand.

Turn On The Light

Dons Savage has beautiful voice. I still haven’t heard entire “Lost Persons Area” EP.

Billy Bragg issued part of it on his own label, as UK release “Arriving Late In Torn And Filthy Jeans”. Such a lovely title.

I’ve always enjoyed listening to ’80s jangle pop rock (later called indie pop).

FEB ’17: the Bats – the Deep Set

“The Deep Set”, jedini  ovogodišnji album slušan u veljači u web admin kutku,  uklapa se u the Bats pravocrtni tradicionalni pop-rock kanon u svakom pogledu. U usporedbi s prethodna dva “The Guilty Office” i “Free All The Monsters” ne prepoznajem pjesme koje bi odskakale kao iznimne. Možda pomalo sladunjava “Busy”? No nije toliko bitno jer su The Bats danas (od “At the National Grid” nadalje) meni osobno bolji nego ikad prije, a s pauzama u istoj i jedinoj postavi postoje od ’82. Kapa dolje. Hats off to the Bats!

the-deep-set

the Renderers: A Dream of the Sea

renderers

Amidst their stellar discography, The Renderers are best known for their album A Dream Of The Sea, released in the mid-nineties by  Siltbreeze, and now issued for the first time ever on vinyl in a gatefold jacket on the band’s own label. Various forces were at work – a revered label, increased attention towards New Zealand artists – but the greatest achievements were within the band itself. Maryrose and Brian Crook reached a new level of insight and honesty with their lyrics, forming a wave of insight and metaphor that is as forceful today as when first written. Songs draw from ghostly sea tales and personal demons, where the specters as much rise from the waters as emerge from within oneself. The forceful songs are propelled by tornados of guitar play, always rumbling and screeching underneath the singing. There’s a connection to be heard between The Renderers and Dead Moon, both bands dedicated wholly to the music they create, a fact clear in every note they play. When Buzzfeed gets around to making a list for it, A Dream Of The Sea will inevitably be listed amongst the greatest New Zealand rock albums of all time.

 

The Dunedin Sound: Some Disenchanted Evening

Throughout New Zealand, a generation of youth during the 1980s and early ’90s revelled in the fact that something had been created in Godzone that we could truly call our own — the original Kiwi DIY rock form. There was no aping of foreign sounds or looks; this was home-grown music to the max. Meanwhile, overseas, fans of indie music throughout the UK, Europe and the US recognised that something new and very special was emanating from the most unlikely of places — a small city at the bottom of the world hitherto known only (if at all) for its university, its architecture, and penguins.

Volim Novi Zeland i dotični gradić. Kroz glazbu i zvuk, naravno. Bilo da se radi o psihodeličnom pop-rocku ili post-punku suptilnog gotičkog štiha južne hemisfere. Da ne bi bilo zabune, Novi Zeland je puno više od takozvanog zvuka Dunedina. Osobito cijenim avant noise ogranak: Xpressway. Drugi gradovi (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch) i njihovi bandovi su također bitni  faktori u cijeloj priči. Tally-ho!

Već prije desetak godina bilo je potpuno jasno da je i u Hrvatskoj postojalo dovoljno raznovrsnog glazbenog materijala za potencijalnu nezavisnu izdavačku kuću i to na samom početku osamdesetih. Zahvaljujući informatičkom dobu  (i trudu nekolicine entuzijasta iz šire regije) brojne zaboravljene ili zapostavljene novovalne (i kasnije) pojave odnosno njihovi radovi izašli su na svjetlo dana i napokon postali barem djelomično dostupni na jednom mjestu (internetu).  Interesantnih bandova iz Zagreba, Rijeke, Pule, Požege, Osijeka i Splita (uz pojedinačne slučajeve iz manjih mjesta) nije nedostajalo od kraja sedamdesetih nadalje. Ekvivalent etiketa poput Rough Trade, flying nun ili SST, koji bi logistički popratio bljesak lokalnog glazbenog stvaralaštva, gotovo da se i mogao dogoditi u oskudnom socijalističkom uređenju (pritom mislim na nešto organiziraniju verziju od, svake hvale vrijednog, pionirskog kazetnog izdavaštva u Slovenaca). Šteta.