Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Bruce Russell & John Wiese

Helicopter H-40


More evacuated noise tectonics from the dream-team hook-up of US noise wunderkind John Wiese and NZ sound-thinker and Dead C member Bruce Russell. Limited to 300 copies.

Richard Francis/Jason Kahn/Bruce Russell

CMR #27


Fantastic all-electric three way that sees Bruce Russell of The Dead C (on analog electronics) joined by Richard Francis on modular synth and computer and Jason Kahn on analog synth, radio and mixing board: recorded live on January 28th 2011 at Dunedin Public Art Gallery in New Zealand, this is a single 38 minute improvisation that feels environmental in scale but with a heady synthesized aspect that makes for a ghostly metal machine music. Three distinct voices make for a bafflingly beautiful combination, with odd almost-melodies that feel like the F/X from a 1960s Supermarionation production soundtracked by Joe Meek going up against the kind of massive UFO touchdown aspect of MEV or CCCC and some supremely invasive alarm tones that have all the flesh-penetrating third ear aspect of Bernhard Gunter or Maryanne Amacher. Whenever Bruce is involved there’s always a great non-technical garage band approach to wrassling electricity into caveman submissions and at points this feels like the scientific power trio of your dreams. A great set, highly recommended. 

Peter Jefferies
The Last Great Challenge In A Dull World

De Stijl IND123


Necessary CD edition of this all-time classic New Zealand underground side, originally released in 1990 on Bruce Russell’s legendary Xpressway label: Jefferies was a member of This Kind Of Punishment and this is one of the all-time great weirdo singer-songwriter albums, with a backing band that includes all three members of The Dead C – Bruce Russell, Michael Morley and Robbie Yeats – as well as Alastair Galbraith, Kathy Bull, Robbie Muir , David Mitchell and Nigel Taylor. Jefferies channels the revenant forms of Syd Barrett and Kevin Ayers, all filtered through that amazing subterranean/basement distance that defines the best of the Xpressway sides. His song-writing is just heartrendingly beautiful, power crying over lilting repeat-piano minimalism and disembodied backing vocals, singing unaccompanied acapella tracks that have all of the alien power of Jandek and playing amazing damaged downer guitar dirges that marry the brokedown form of The Dead C to classic psychedelic songforms. Truly, an all-time desert island discs and one of the most magical moments in the Xpressway back catalogue finally available again on vinyl. Comes with a download code. No one does the sound of lonesome like Jefferies. Can’t recommend this masterpiece enough!

Various Artists
NoFi Rainbow Vol. 1

End Of The Alphabet Records EAR 001


Incredible new very limited proto-Tokyo Flashback scale compilation that attempts to take the temperature of the New Zealand underground circa now, complete with original artwork by Campbell Kneale: this one subverts and bolsters the NZ destructo rock/home-bled concrete tape work tradition, marrying tracks from heavyweights like Bruce Russell and Peter Wright, Campbell Kneale’s Our Love Will Destroy The World and Antony Milton alongside major new voices that range from obliterated almost Omit-scale homemade electronics, evacuate beats and splintered vocals through roaring drone and end of the world soundings courtesy of killer new breed voices like Mischancerie, ETRC aka Shannon Reed, i.ryoko, Oona Verse and Noel Meek. Highly recommended.  

Bruce Russell/Andreas Brandal

Smalltown Supersound STS-023


Edition of 300c copies split 7” from 1997 that pairs a brutal live psych oblivion from Russell of The Dead C with some blunt Norwegian avant damage from Andreas Brandal. Long OOP. 

Michael Morley
The Pavilion Of Fools

Gallerie Desford Vogel FSS 7s


Solo guitar/electronics record from Michael Morley of The Dead C, released by a New Zealand gallery and originally intended as a soundtrack piece. Moves from the sound of blood pulsing in your ears through classic saw-tooth Dead C riffing and Industrial machine noise. Another good one.

The Dead C/Rangda
Dead C Vs Rangda

Ba Da Bing Records BING-081


Massive two-header that presents unreleased archival recordings from legendary NZ underground group The Dead C paired with new tracks from the trio of guitarists Sir Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls) and Ben Chasny (Six Organs Of Admittance) and drummer Chris Corsano: the Dead C side is a particular revelation, with the discovery of previously unreleased tracks that were under consideration for inclusion on their masterful 1992 album for Flying Nun, Eusa Kills. On the flip Rangda make with some dazzling power trio moves, re-thinking rock dynamics with drooling polyrhythms and overdosed modal guitar histrionics that take off on Sonny Sharrock circa Monkey-Pockie-Boo. 

Gate/Tom Carter

Carbon Records CR-208


Killer US tour split 7” from Tom Carter of Charalambides and Gate aka Michael Morley of The Dead C in a hand-numbered edition of 313 copies: Tom’s side is a beauty, with an alternately triumphal/melancholy electric guitar march that weaves post-Sharrock steel string logic into webs of dissolving tone joy that are then Eno-ised for maximum bliss potential. The Gate side is phenomenally heavy, with Morley playing gravity-mashing sludge power chords in a Blue Cheer-play-Outside feel but with a whip-cracking drum machine ploughing through the spectra-thick fuzz. When Morley’s classic narcoleptic vocals drool all over the top the accumulative effect is reality dissolving. No one can sing the edge of the world blues like Michael Morley. In two colour silkscreened Stumptown kraft sleeves with a free download, highly recommended. 

Richard Francis
Waste Away/Nun’s Murmur

CMR #29

7” Lathe

Edition of only 25 copies hand-cut lathe from radical New Zealand soundist Richard Francis: Francis has collaborated with Bruce Russell of The Dead C and his solo work is uniquely brain rearranging. Using field recordings, modular synth, computer, looper and edirol recorder he conjures huge, phantom, barely populated soundworlds that are compulsive in the kind of entropic gravity that they generate, situating low drones and what sounds like distant airplane noise in fields of static, shortwave tone and that classic dying amplifier/overheating electricity appeal of the best of the post Xpressway/Corpus Hermeticum drone artists. A beautiful piece of radical drone deconstruction that sounds perfect on hand-cut lathe. Plays at 33. Highly recommended but very short supply obviously!