On the 4th December 1964, a very young Chrissie Butler birthed forth into this glorious domain.
I hope the day is a wonderful celebration, and all that follow it!
It is an extreme delight to spend such precious time in your company, to travel on adventures, and making raucous fun along the way. It is inspiring, unfolding and rewarding, long may it continue! It is the best!
Massive birthday wished to you
Marina Organ, one of the grand architects of The Organ Magazine, host of The Other Rock Show on Resonance FM, London, and general all-round super music enthusiast presented a couple of snippets of Chrissie’s DSLB album BlokeBird on the afore mention ResonanceFM.
And even more surprising, when Chrissie appears as poster girl 2014 for The Other Rock Show on the banner above. Such wonderful support, thanks Marina!
DSLB’s first solo album, BlokeBird was released tonight on our skirted Records label. Over a few bottles of Parrot Dog, we (Kieran and I) celebrated our 11th skirted release.
BlokeBird has been much loved in the making. Big ups to those folk who have contributed colour and graft. Cheers to Stefan Neville of Pumice fame for a little classy noodling on File Miles from Anywhere, to Jack Trolove for great photos and to Kieran for hours and hours and hours of everything else.
DSLB (Ditzy Squall’s Lunchbox) has morphed out of a cranking Wellington-based project called Ditzy Squall (Chrissie Butler, Aaron Lloydd and Kieran Monaghan). The sideways lyrics and stacked up patterns still dominate the songs, but in BlokeBird the songs are anchored in low-fi clatter and field recordings rather than the angular pop of Ditzy.
The title track Bloke Bird was inspired by Grayson Perry, the winner of the Turner Prize in 2003. Perry’s win achieved some kick back from the Fine Art’s establishment plus a few column inches in the international press. Not only was it deemed inappropriate for a ceramic artist to scoop a major fine art award, but to pick it up crossed-dressed with your family at your side was quite a story,
The last track, Lucky Hunt also has a story of its own. It was an attempt at a day tape, a project constraint where you give yourself 24 hours to write and package a whole album of songs.
My 24 hours was an overnighter in a hut, in the bush, in the rain, with Garageband and a little orange guitar for company. I didn’t crank out and package a complete album. Instead I wrote Lucky Hunt and made a “behind the scenes” spoof video of “The making of Lucky Hunt”. That’s the video below. Not very serious, but at least you now have some insider knowledge of the instrumentation!!
You can find out more about BlokeBird and DSLB on DSLB’s Facebook page. Or check out the skirted Records BandCamp for DSLB’s BlokeBird and take a look at Ditzy Squall’s Skirt. If PayPal isn’t your thing, drop us an email and we can see what we can do.
The long procrastinated album The General Pathetic, a solo collection from mr sterile, is officially now complete! and online (only at this point in time) in our SHOP. A limited number of physical copies will be available in a month or two from shows only.
Nine rambling, junkish, stumbling songs. A couple of the tunes were recorded and unearthed from the early to mid last decade, the rest are more recent. Guest appearances by Chrissie Butler and early sterile performer Francesca Mountfort.
A release last year called Setting Fire to Bob, released on 8″ acetate by Root Don Lonie for Cash, is the companion piece to General Pathetic. The track Setting Fire has been remastered and rightfully now belongs alongside the rest of this racket.
So please, pop over and download. It’s up to your discretion should you wish to leave a few dollars for the album, always appreciated, but if funds are an issue, then no worries.
It feels good to clear this from the decks.
Things have been quite quiet after our Australian tour. But things are not still for long. Here’s a head’s-up of things & events in the next couple of months.
We are currently in the middle of organising our return to south east Asia tour, the plan this time has settled, we have an basic itinerary and we shall be visiting Malaysia, Java, and back to Singapore. I will post dates as I get them confirmed. But it is great to be reconnecting with all those good people then, and brilliant to be making be contacts and I can’t wait see/hear some great new SAE music.
We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to help open the show for the Steve Ignorant – Crass Songs show. He is performing June 18 at Bodega in Wellington. Ignorant was one of the key founding members of the inspiring late 70’s till 1984 anarchist punk bands. If CRASS is a name that does not mean much then I would recommend that some investigating be done, the albums Stations of the Crass, Christ the Album, and Penis Envy are astounding.
For all other shows please look to your right of the screen for updated show information.
We recently had the privileged to be filmed for a documentary film project by Dylan Herkes, chief magnate of Stink Magnetic. The filming project is documenting the phenomenal history of the venue Eye of Night in Whanagnui.
Quite favorable reviews of TRANSIT have continued to come through. ConcertFM’s William Dart gave a favorable review HERE(it will only be up for a couple of weeks, not sure if they archive). NZ Musician have become interested in having an interview done with mr sterile about his drumming , expect that in the next month or two, all other reviews will be included to the TRANSIT page.
Here is the story of Transit, the fifth album by mr sterile Assembly. There are links to individual pages with interactive lyrics. The story of how the album came into being, plus reviews, images, and any additional detritus associated with this release. cheers
Transit, the fifth album by mr sterile Assembly was released March 25 2011. The album took just over one year to complete from its inception point in late December 2009. The Assembly had recently complete a small Aotearoa NZ tour with the Czech group Uz Jsme Doma, in which an offer to the Assembly was made to tour Europe sometime in mid-2010. Offers like this spawn plans, and one of these was a recording project.
Two surprises in one day: dollars and departure.
An application was made with CNZ for a recording grant, the idea to record the duo bass and drums unit, in preparation for the tour. However, and much to our surprise, the day the letter of astounding confirmation of $$ came on the same day Sarsha Doulas decided to quit. The tour almost happened but due to personal reasons had to be abandoned at the eleventh hour.
From band reproduction to project.
This caused some serious rethinking on how to approach the project. What developed over the coming months was a growing project of fantastic proportions. We wanted to maintain the energy and feel of the twin bassists so we approach a sterile member from previous times, Aaron Lloydd, to plunk the strings. We knew he had a solid and creative understanding to our approach. Next we contacted another sterilite, Jeff Henderson, to add saxophone on a number of tracks, and Nell Thomas to add special tonal colour on a couple of tracks. Nell plays a a Javanese instrument called a Gender, and we felt this was a perfect instrument to add depth to a particular song, Stella, based on an story of some dear friends in that country.
Mike Gibson was enlisted early on to the initial recording of primary bass, bass, drums track, and to mix and master the final collection of songs. Dean Hapeta aka Te Kupu became deeply woven into the development of the album. He offer Matakahi Studio to us so we could add all lyrics, additional sounds, and the sax tracks. During a number of conversations, we also came to the conclusion that there were spaces available that called out for extra words. Dean listened intently over months to lets the ideas grow, and his response to the challenge of these four songs is spectacular.
Inca studios and the NZSIS
Working with Mike at Inca studios also took on a particularly delicious an ironic feel. When I first met Mike to discuss the project, he almost incidentally commented that the studio use to be the home of the NZSIS, the government security intelligence service. The main record room that we were situated in was the old safe, the home of all those secret files from years gone past of union activist, conscientious objectors from previous international armed conflicted, and any other ‘radical’ who opposed the government of the day. That we should find ourselves in this space, performing our songs about the governments attempts to survey citizens, of this countries role in international spy rings, and the police’s employment of a particular individual as a failed covert spy to protest activity couldn’t be more perfect. (note:the SIS still is a functioning arm of the NZ govt, it simply relocated to a different building)
As well as having Te Kupu’s text in the songs, mr sterile collaborated over several months with Wellington poet Maria McMillian on the song Drought. Maria was invited to this collaboration as not only do we consider her a poet of fine standing, but the commitment to her political activity of opposing the privatisation for water would inform the similar content of the song further. The word’s were ferried back and forth over months, being stretched and teased into existence, then edited down into the form on the album. This reworking process continued up until moments before the words were committed to the recording.
Once the mix, which took several weeks, the mastering, and completing of art design, all the finished work was sent to Dualplover in Australia for the final stage of making the actual product. We were in the very capable hands of Swerve, who helped soothe the anxiety around the possible design slips that could happen as we were including two booklets into the final complete package. Additional support and help with the OZ release is from Tenzenmen, a specialist in d.i.y releases from Australia, Asia, and now us.
The evolution of the art work
Running alongside the audio process, the task of conceptualising, compiling artwork, and designing the artwork and packaging was explored. In an organic fashion, similar to the way many things evolve in sterile, the final design took many months, multiple edits, and a massive effort to execute what ultimately because a stunning and beautiful package.
After some initial abandoned design ideas, the concept to approach individual artists to illustrate the songs was almost accidentally stumbled upon. We looked through our contacts, aware of the vast array of talented friends, and matched songs with artists whom we thought could respond sympathetically to the intent and meaning of the words. And we were astounded and humbly impressed at how much they stood up to the mark, the quality of the art work, and the enthusiasm we received from each artist was incredible.
Building an exhibition.
While the art was coming in, the idea sprung into life that this part of the album deserves more that to be rendered into cd booklet size and never seen in its true form. The idea for the exhibition was born. A close friend, James Kirk, was approached to frame the work over a number of months, not all of it easy, but the quality of displayed art work was astounding, James also facilitated the contact with a photography who would take the highest quality photos for our reproduction in the books.
We’d like to say thank you
The craftsmanship executed from musicians, the sound engineers, artist, and the framing easily lived up to, and surpassed our Everest like expectations. the creating of this album was one stunning experience after another, not always easy, but ultimately extraordinarily rewarding.
We are incredibly grateful to all the amazing people who have participated in this project.
We thank you all individually:
- Aaron Lloydd
- Andrew Ross
- Campbell Kneale
- Dean Hapeta aka Te Kupu
- Deborah Barton
- Garage Collective
- Kate Whitley
- Kerry-Ann Lee
- James Kirk
- James Robinson
- Jeff Henderson
- Maria McMillian
- Mike Gibson
- Nell Thomas
- Roger Morris
- Stefan Neville
- Tao Wells
The album was launched at the Wellington Gallery, The Russian Frost Farmers on March 25 2011
We toured the album extensive within Aotearoa, we also took Transit to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and returned to Java Indonesia. While in the township of Blitar, south east Java, a music video was made for the song Stella. The story of a young women from Blitar having a baby, moving to Singapore to get work as a transient migrant worker, while leaving baby back at home. A reflection on the globalised process of cheap labour for wealthy countries, everybody through travels with a very real human story.
After the launch we presented to firstly the Hamilton, and then latterly the Dunedin Fringe Festivals. The art work was couriered and installed with help from local to write the text around the art works. We then arrived to deliver a seminar discussing the process of developing this project, the content of the songs, and to play a few tunes.
Our show won two awards in Dunedin, and one award at the Hamilton Fringe. Below is a clip made by a Hamiltonian (thanks) from the Saturday afternoon discussion.
ICOT13 – The International Conference on Thinking
In January 2013, the International Conference on Thinking was held in Wellington. We submitted an abstract, which was accepted, to present our thinking around the processes involved in this Transit project.It was a 75 minute break-out session that was well received.
A video for the song Transit, made by Wellington photographer and film maker John Lake. This clip includes a crowd fund choir from across the world. Click this link for more information
Hidden to the world, just below the Desert road
At war, amongst the tussock, in the cold
Partners? Only partly to these confidential men
‘Til you will not do what you’ve been told
Talk floats free, swimming in the southern sky
Via code, culling chatter, and assess
Fragments of a sound, find exact frequencies
Then deliver all the data at behest
Block Buchanan, there’s no home in this port
Civil stand, no place to anchor, challenge made
‘Know you place’, states the radio-silent reprimand
If compliant, could the Rainbow have been saved?
Penance built on action, construct a second base
Bigger ears, expanded reference, tighter nets
Modern, motivated, collude on rules of trade
Deny complicit when the human targets bled
Hoist on truck Garden tool
Firm belief Wild luck
April night Minus fog
Just as well Ditch the truck
By the fence Wires cut
Father’s snip Has no spark
Bypass guard To the dome
Go on foot In the dark
Stand at base Reason clear
Hesitate? Do the task
Hide the blade To the hilt
Slow exhale Faceless mask
Watch deflate Flaccid tent
Inflate hope In bold contrast
No crown of satellites, no electric fence
No silence or denial, or fear of jurisprudence
With personal around the clock, all resource available
Could not stop the honest work of these three men
And a single sickle
For Adrian Leason, Peter Murnane and Sam Land:
Who undressed the Waihopi spy base in 2008 to reveal and remind NZ of its’ complicit involvement in Western acts of aggression.
For all others who resist the war.