On Saturday 9 February, with the raising of 3 glasses of whisky, we launched the latest addition to the ongoing evolving collection of developments for the project we call TRANSIT.
We wanted to approach the construction of this video as a collaborative flexible project, so lots of the development happened online via Google Docs, alongside the regular meetings. This way we could continue to add ideas, bang thoughts around, and share provocations of how we thought the visuals could take shape.
After a day of filming raw band footage we came to the idea to crowd-source a choir for a specific section in the song. We created a call-out to interested people, and then waited for the responses to return to us. We collected twelve home-made clips in total, from as far afield as Sweden, Czech Republic, Okinawa, France, Australia, Auckland and Invercargill. We received more footage than could be actually be used but we loved what was sent, and we hope you are all happy with what we have done with your contributions. The actual graft work was all John, we were simply the unhuh?folk, the what if? folk, the how about? folk.
John, we want to say, “Huge thanks and gratitude for your willingness, patience and inspiration”. Thanks also to Mark Leong for helping out with the space for the filming of the band.
THANK YOU to the following for contributing to the crowd sourced section:
- David Edwards
- Tao Well
- Maurice Priestley
- Jo Davidsson
- Steve Dean and the Neuro ward staff
- Los Black Dog
- Chris Rankin
- Hilary Binder
- Katrena Kemp
- Shaun Helmsley
- Eric Boros
- Marylise Frenchville & Ildiko
- Emitir Snake-Beings
- Blair Jones
- Simon Hartman
- Paul Harvey
A bit behind the 8ball here, meant to post this a while ago but a bit distracted. This is a wonderful personal account of one persons experience of the TRANSIT exhibition in Dunedin for the recent Fringe Festival.
A massive thanks to Mark Tyler for the honest account
“This exhibition was held at the Glue Gallery as part of the Dunedin Fringe Festival. Mr Sterile Assembly were blown away to have recently received Creative NZ funding to record an album so decided they would send each song to various artists that would be interested in coming up with their visual interpretation of the song they received. This was the result.
The central theme was the way our culture has been moulded since 9/11, and the frightening extent to which the average citizen can now be spied upon. Our civil liberties have been eroded at an astonishing rate.
Each picture was spaced out around the walls and accompanied by the title and lyrics of the song it represented, carefully written in pencil. Mr Sterile then proceeded to discuss each one, lucidly explaining the depth of meaning behind the lyrics and a brief spiel about each artist. What started as a lively and informative performance for me soon gave way to the bleak and somewhat astounding personal revelation of how utterly coccooned i have become in my systemised way of thinking. Despite being aware of sweeping “big brother” reforms being passed almost weekly, i am happy to insouciantly accept each act with little more than a mild grumble in the work truck maybe. And it has nothing to do with paranoia or Orwellian hysteria, its just the most fundamental awareness of these changes, that stretches so much further than what is outlined and presented in the mainstream media. In short, this presentation shook me up like an educational earthquake. Rattled my brain a little. If performance art is supposed to provoke and stimulate, then Mr Sterile Assembly delivered in spades, taking each story so much further with humour, clarity and unswerving conviction, before playing us the music behind it. Skillful, original and slightly unsettling music that could loosely be tagged under the Punk Rock moniker, each song taking on a heightened significance when the lyrics were scrawled right in front of you.
Regretfully i couldn’t stay for the whole performance, justifying my early exit with having somewhere to be, i’d run myself out of time. But thats just a bullshit cop-out. I should have MADE the time available, just like i should take the time to delve a little deeper to increase my knowledge and understanding of the issues presented. At least make the effort instead of meekly pretending it doesn’t matter cos it won’t affect me all that much. It shook me up humans, shook me up.
Thankfully, i managed to obtain a copy of the CD which comes with two little booklets containing the lyrics of each song and their respective artworks, a permanent memoir of what i’d seen and heard, and more importantly, a personal little kick up the arse whenever i choose to slip back into the comfort and convenience of complacency. You could probably get yerself a copy by contacting: http://www.mrsterileassembly.com
The next day i got home and read in the paper that the new “Search and Surveillance Bill” had been narrowly passed in parliament by a majority vote of 61 – 57, opening the door for an unstoppable tsunami of control-driven “i spy with my little eye” type of activities. Jesus.
Footnote: great to see that Mr Sterile Assembly won the award for BEST VISUAL ART at the festival. Well deserved.”
We are in the process of an extensive video making project with the wonderful John Lake, and we would like to CROWD SOURCE some video material for the song TRANSIT . More will be explained about the wider project at a later date.
On the song Transit between the point 3.31 and 3.59 there is a drop out section of vocals ONLY!
Here’s what we want you to do. On your computer camera, or any camera device you have, we want to you to add your voice, and more importantly , the moving image of your self singing along to the vocal-only section.The material we receive will then be added to the final edit.
PLEASE SEND TO VIDEO TO firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m quite excited about the idea of using this crowd sourcing technique to help develop the project. It feels like an exciting way to reach out into the world, and who know what may be returned.
If you feel a bit nervous having your naked face on screen, we suggest you try and ‘sterilise’ your self in some way.
We don’t really have any gifts to offer in return for your efforts other than our gratitude, but we’ll have a think and maybe we can come up with something.
This is a no budget project, as in we have no money, lo-fi.
So please add your face and voice. The words are:
Man swallows, his own tail, open mouth expectant, waiting to swallow.
Women swallows, her own tail, open mouth expectant, waiting to swallow.
Go for it (if you wish to capture footage for other parts of the song then please do, no promises we will use it, but we might, and the more the merry in terms of footage to work with).
“Glue Gallery and the Dunedin Fringe Festival gladly welcome the Wellington based, Outsider Punk Duo ‘MR STERILE ASSEMBLY’ to Dunedin for a dynamic presentation of Music, Art, Performance and Stories.
Running from the 17th of March, with two live performances on the 23rd at 5:30pm and 24th at 3pm, this show brings together the eleven songs and the eleven art works that make up this new album”
We’re at it again. In a couple of weeks, we’ll wrap out bits and pieces in cardboard and send them by plane to that Southern city Dunedin for the 2012 Fringe. The art will hang for the week leading up to the performance’s on the 23rd & 24th.
Koha entry to the Glue Gallery for the talks.
An in addition to this will be TWO other performances. The first is on the Friday 23 March at The Crown Hotel, Rattray St, Dunedin.
Ourselves, along with a fine gaggle of others, will be performing for those with a noisier persuasion. The line-up is epic, featuring Mince On Toast (Queenstown), Infinite Justice (Dunedin), Whiskey And The Wench (Dunedin), SkumHammer (Dunedin), Bazooka (Milton), Bolshy McBard (Twizel), & us!. Epic I tell you, epic.
Entry $6 8pm-ish kick off
On Saturday 24 March, after the afternoon talk, we hit the road and return to Invercargill!
$5 to get in, starts from 9
We were being interviewed by National Radio on the release of our album Transit. As soon as the interview had finished an email flew into our inbox enthusiastically inviting us to attend the Hamilton Fringe Festival in response to our desire to tour and exhibit the original art we obtained for the album. And in classic fashion, we said ‘sure’ first… and then settled down to figure out the finer and fiddlier details.
Supported by our contact, Jo, who did the bulk of the leg work in Hamilton, we secured some funding so the art could be couriered to the festival, and a van hired to bring our equipment back and forth. So, thanks to Creative Communities and Creative Hamilton for supporting our endeavor.
As usual, plans expanded and we opted to get the exhibition to Hamilton a week early and Jo enlisted a crew of locals to adorn the gallery walls with the accompanying lyrics to the songs attached to the art.
As the itinerary firmed up, Jo got us a show in Raglan, a small tourist/surfing/coastal village about 30 minutes out of Hamilton. So it was to be Raglan on the Friday night, an artist talk and presentation of songs on the Saturday afternoon for the Fringe Festival, and then an all-ages show later that same evening: three shows in 24 hours.
The journey north was uneventful apart from a sweet detour into the village of Mangaweka, home of the C F Goldie museum. Here we visited old friends and told stories, learning a wonderful fact about Karl Sims/C F Goldie, the infamous art forger. Apparently Karl is considered to be the World’s eighth most famous art forger, and according to some ‘authority’ he would have been considered the best had he had a greater ‘sphere of influence’, e.g. not resided on an island at the bottom of the world, but somewhere with a far vaster population, like Europe, a bigger and more duppable citizenry.
Back on the road we made Raglan in good time. It’s a small town with a reputation of being reggae central. Anyway, we meet our host for the evening, Dave, dropped our gear at the pub, set off the alarms in the pub, the door wasn’t locked, but no-one looked terribly flustered by, or worried about it. Then we headed out to Dave’s farm home for some food and rest after the long haul.
Dave’s farm view was spectacular, an incredible vista looking down out onto a northward curving coast, high and distant above the township.
Returning to the venue, the Yot club, we set up and met the local band playing alongside us, Frankie. It’s was a slow start to the evening as the rugby world cup had a game in Hamilton, just our luck, and almost the entire country is distracted.
After the match the place started to fill. Frankie started, a classic three piece, playing post-rock pop compositions and it sounded good. We came on and I think we surprised a few, the spectrum of expression from ‘leave the venue’ to a wide- jaw smile, transfixed to our antics.
Retuning to the farm after the show it’s the blackest Raglan night, a spectacular show of heavenly star-light, far from the incandescent street light of any city. It was a long day of journey and music, so whiskey then sleep.
Waking earlier on the Saturday, we returned to Raglan for coffee and nosh then made our way over to central Hamilton. Arriving around midday we set up our gear at the gallery and get to see the exhibition hanging for the first time. And it looked great! Jo and her mates made a spectacular job of installing the show, we we’re particularly pleased with the way the text had been written on the wall’s around the art. The space was set, the gear ready, we put on our costumes and waited for the show to begin.
And they attended, not in droves, but an intimate 20 or so, and that’s ok because this is the first time we have actually put this concept to the test, e.g to tour and present an ‘artist’s talk’ about the relationship of this commissioned art to the context of the song text, and then finish off by a live presentation of the songs.
We decided to break the talk into two parts, chatting first then music, then repeat. And it’s was a mobile chat, we moved up and down the room selecting work’s of art to discuss, talking about the text to the songs and much of the background research involved in the writing of the lyric.
The interest is surprising. We paused mid-stream to ask if people are bored, would they like some music or more stories? “More stories” they reply.
It was a fascinating experience for us, and warmly reassuring, in that people are very committed to engaging in conversation and dialogue when the chance arrives. People like stories, to be informed of the detail behind an event, and to have the opportunity to ask questions. We were surprised we talked for as long as we did.
One person commented at the end that it was rare and wonderful way to explore art. He commented that usually events surrounding ‘Art’ mostly revolved around free alcohol and hummus, but ultimately one left with little more understanding of the work than when one arrived. And somehow this event was different, a perfect outcome.
We play again with Frankie, and another local act called The Beautiful Shambles. It’s a great well resourced venue, with a lovely and helpful sound-man, a special breed.
The shows started late, as advertised, but is lite on audience. Out on the streets it’s quiet, again we get a sense this is in response to the rugby world cup. Many had paraded earlier in Welsh and Irish flags, we guess they are the teams playing locally (I’m secretly pleased that I still don’t actually know, I have managed to miss the inundation of rugby information, I am a genetically deficient kiwi obviously).
Great to see the local acts, committed and fun, thanks. We played a sweet set. It’s so nice to get to hear these songs through a nice sound system mixed well, thanks to again to the sound guy.
Show over, packed up and out. We stored our gear back at the gallery to collect in the morning, but to do this braved downtown-post-RWC Hamilton, drunken, macho, unpredictable, mini-skirted Hamilton. Here’s where all the people were, it’s lightly raining and the streets are laden with bodies loaded with alcohol and expectation. There’s little motivation to hang around, it’s an odd sight to see the inebriated bold male youth hanging off the bronze arms of the statue Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien) from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Tea and toast and bed, that’s rock and roll.
Here’s a cut up from the Transit album launch party @ the Russian Frost Farmers in March. For Hamilton punters, it’s a glimpse of what’s coming your way.
On October 1st, at 4pm, we are presenting an artists talk, discussing the content of the songs, the collaborative process, and any other odd bit of fluff we fancy to share. After the chatting, with will play for another 45ish minutes to round of the afternoon. There is no cost to attending this performance.
Later on that same evening, we are playing at the Hamilton venue VOID , it is an all ages show, with local act Frankie Mallet.
And to go back in time, we are also playing Raglan on the Friday, 30 September, at the YOT club. Again we shall have the pleasure of having Frankie Mallet and dj B.Rex grace the stage with their presence alongside our own. Entry $5, start time 10.30ish
Thanks to Creative Hamilton & the Hamilton Fringe for the effort in helping to make this show happen.
A progressive music blog from the USA have reviewed the album. Click HERE for the original link.
mr sterile Assembly: Transit
After reviewing music on Sea of Tranquility for more than 10 years (and even longer, if you count the now-defunct print version), I’ve heard some weird stuff. But I’ve got to say that Transit by mr sterile Assembly — an anarchist “outsider-punk noise experimental rock two-piece” from New Zealand — ranks up there with the oddest releases I’ve been asked to cover. This drums, bass and vocal duo consists of Chrissie Butler and mr sterile (of course), and they are assisted by a variety of other equally adventurous musicians, singers and lyricists. Cabaret jazz, carnival quirk, math rock and even hip-hop collide in a stormy cacophony of revolution.
But beneath the swarm of singing munchkins on “Jesus Heals the Blind” is a solemn anti-war message dedicated to “the growing list of the innocent and the dead,” and “Pop Sickle” is an ode to those “who resist the war,” with barely audible spoken-word lyrics set against a Violent Femmes-inspired beat. And the chaotic “Axe and the Olive Tree” is simply “for Palestine.”
Transit comes in an elaborate digipak with two thick full-color booklets that might have cost more to produce than the album, but the low-budget cover featuring the duo in straitjackets and Kabuki makeup sitting on an ugly green-and-brown couch is distracting. This music is certainly not for everyone; in fact, I doubt Transit will get much playing time after I slip it back into its fancy packaging. But I certainly can appreciate the boldness with which Butler and mr sterile approach — and execute — their art.
Added: June 14th 2011
Reviewer: Michael Popke
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.
UPDATED TOUR DETAILS: mr sterile Assembly return to Australia for up to eight shows in nine days. A swift tour stopping to play with some of Oz’s finest noise makers. There are the complete details.
These shows would not have been made possible without the fabulous help of Tenzenmen in Sydney, who has organised the Sydney CD release function. Big cheers to Even from Jake’s Hais in Newcastle. And in Melbourne Don at Neumusak who has been key in organising two shows, Black Wire, Dave at KOF, Jem from DEAD for being super helpful, and the good folk from Go Genre Everything. Big thanks also to Garage Collective for the stunning image for the poster.
See you there!. It will be a blast
Just got this album from one of my favorite New Zealanders, “Transit” by mr sterile Assembly. “Transit” is an album peppered with horns, bass, drums, vocals, unorthodox time signatures and more song structure changes than a politician with commitment issues. I would imagine most amateur and some seasoned drummers would get a wrist cramp by just even listening to this album! How can I put a label on an album like this? I can describe the overall sound of the album of being reminiscent of late 60’s mid 70’s era Frank Zappa, a funkier variant of Devo and an artier ska-punk sound with one of my favorite cuts off the album “I Robert.” Readers, this is actually one of the rare reviews that are going to be less than 300 words because this album has left me speechless.
Even though I enjoyed all 11 songs, I would say the choice cuts off of here would be compositions such as “Jesus Heals the Blind”, “I Robert”, “Stella”, “Axe and the Olive Tree” and the title cut, “Transit.”
In closing, mr sterile Assembly’s album “Transit” is great for punks trying to get more into jazz or anybody in a Frank Zappa or Primus state of mind.
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
WHERE: The Russian Frost Farmers Gallery, 2 Eva St, Wellington CBD
Cost: NIL!!! album $20
With guests DJ P-Pants!
Transit, the 5th release by Aotearoa New Zealand’s mr sterile Assembly is stonking.
Dubbed as “one of the most interesting, if hopelessly below-the-pop-culture-radar bands in New Zealand,” the irrepressible two-piece of mr sterile and Chrissie Butler have reeled in a swathe of Aotearoa’s finest musicans and artists.
Mixed and mastered by the fine hands of Mike Gibson, the sound is a rich weave of heavy bass and drums built around multi-layered vocals. Jeff Henderson, of screaming jazz improv sax fame brings the melodics, alongside a scattering of Nell Thomas (Orchestra of Spheres) on the gamelan gender and the solid bass grooves of Aaron Lloydd. Dean Hapeta aka Te Kupu, Upper Hutt Posse, has been a key collaborator on the project, recording all the vox, sax and extra sounds as well as contributing his own vox and text. Lyrical collaborations with Wellington poet Maria McMillan have also found their place.
The gathering of the 11 images for the 11 tracks has been a momentous effort. Eight of the works have been commissioned specifically for Transit. The artists, Andrew Ross, Deborah Barton, James Robinson, Campbell Kneale, Stefan Neville, Kerry-Ann Lee, Jeff Henderson, and Garage Collective, responded as they desired, creating a powerful collection to accompany the songs. Two works are from artists Tao Wells and Roger Morris, who have gifted established works to be tagged to the songs. The eleventh art work is a very special Wayang puppet received as a gift when the Assembly played in Java on their south east Asia tour in 2007.
In 2011 mr sterile Assembly will tour the exhibition across the country in between tours to Australia in April, and Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia in July.
The new mr sterile Assembly album TRANSIT is now in our possession and we are mightily pleased! Album launch info below. Dualplover have done a splendid job in the production. It is indeed a beautiful piece of work if I may say so myself.
So I gleefully post the Following:
FRIDAY 25, March 2011, at The Russian Frost Farmers gallery we are pleased to announce the official launch party for TRANSIT, the new 11 song album by mr sterile Assembly. Including into the package two booklets of 11 unique works of art to illustrate the songs.
More details soon.
We take a step, a step towards nowhere
Never leave the known, the now and here
Walk in the rain to the gray sameness
Use a blaming game to fuel our fears
We take a step, a step towards nowhere
All we know is NO, and hope is where?
Keeping the pain in blanket greyness
A cynical refrain, a snide ‘who cares’
Stuck, here in transit
What vision for destination?
What vision is needed
If it’s only now?
If it’s only here?
If it’s always now?
If it’s always going?
If it’s going, gone
We take a step, a step towards nowhere
Make an empty move, no thoughtful pause
Inflame a claim to secure containment
In calamity’s name we change the law
We take a step, a step towards nowhere
In the squalling maul of flapping jaws
Quick change the names to contain reflection
That the the nowhere was the Now Here before
Man swallows his own tail
Open mouth expectant waiting to swallow
Woman swallows her own tail
Open mouth expectant, waiting to swallow
Who brought this stuff? Falling down for free
Wash the salt from your skin before it meets the salt of the sea
Who brought this stuff? Who owns the tap owns the vein
Who can lock the Commons? Who can sell the air and the rain
I am thirsty, I am parched. I’m contained in a fluid line
Can I buy a glass
I am thirsty, I am parched. I’m coursing in a growing line
Can I buy a glass
Who caught this stuff? That laps around your feet
Runs down from highest hill top, to the flood & thirsty heat
Who caught this stuff? Who owns the pipe owns the dream
Who can bank the current, and cast demands on a silver stream
I am thirsty, I am parched. I’m standing in a fluid line
Can I fill a glass
I am thirsty, I am parched. Ride the swell in a growing line
Can I fill a glass
There’s 5 of us, fitting tight, in 3 rooms
Joe lost his flat and needs to come back home
Baby’s in a mess, I’m under stress
Mother watch the skin to see infections grow
Times are tough, money’s tight. Swelling bills
Gas ‘n spuds, heat ‘n rent, ‘n water in the tub
What wastage is mine, on garden or washing line
You make it my fault when you say I dry the rivers up
The rising costs with no stop. Now user pays
We just about cope, just about most days
Wallet tightly zipped. Cents add up with loose drips
It’s meal or medicine, but can’t have it both ways
Dam the letter box. More demands, they overflow
Plug up the leak but I sense it never stops
Payments have to wait, this thirst never sates
No water for my kids, but you never turn your sprinkler off
Who taught this stuff? This ration of priority
With the fertile words of drought still keep the Cake-Tin green
Who taught this stuff? Who owns the oars owns the course
Who can sets restraints on the leakage of a fluid force
Words in BLUE collaborative text by Maria McMillian/mr sterile
No one likes mirrors
Unless it’s what we like to see
A storm of smoke and horror
Always shifting in periphery
Love it when ourselves reflect
The flaws all photoshopped unseen
And believe the centre of this universe
Is a continent called ME
Accept me as your online friend
Gratify, again, repeat
Consumption brings fulfillment’s gain
Will I ever be complete?
Contentment gained at twice the price
CREATIVE is a season’s theme
Raised to reach for highest hopes
And settle for a shopper’s dream
This wasteland of new wonder
Offline is out of beat
Where convenience feeds opinion
Here there’s new and obsolete
With no sense of really how it was
And less of how the market schemes
We bailed out the failed capital
And let nostalgia reign supreme
Yeah everybody’s caught in this war
Between better judgment and acquiescence
In the minds’ battlefields perception
Provokes decision so be aware
It’s psychological abuse to deny What should be, but isn’t
Too quickly discounted are dreams For debilitation, madness …Whyt
Go scan the horizon, for a flag promoting peace
Find a dove with an olive branch, a roasting tray underneath
Look for the holy man, find the filings of his sharpened teeth
Seek the truth behind the spin, get pepper-sprayed by police
Sometimes a shoulder’s needed
They’re compassionless these flocks of shells
Then your confidence fails you and you damn it all to hell
There’s a minefield in the playground, it’s explosive in your mind
Beware those claiming righteousness, advance the might of any kind
In a world set to label you, your moods and shopping needs defined
On the stage the wrongs put right, you struggle to find the time
Sometimes a shoulder’s needed when living’s like a prison cell
Restraint maintains the status quo it’s sugar sweetened I can tell
The sun melts away the night, if you let it you’ll feel warm
Ma said, “Don’t ever play with fire”, now it’s turning up to burn
The camp’s expand in Purity and sing the Lord his love is stern
And proclaim the original sin, was to question and to learn
Sometimes a shoulder’s needed or some shelter or a meal
When freedom’s gained at thrice the price
Can you buy the health to heal?
Sometimes a shoulder’s needed or some shelter or a meal
It’s a miracle you’re an optimist, ‘cos sometimes your hell is real
We fight the fight for improvement
Stop them ecocidal lunatic confusement
Because we nah dead although them continue killing
Maiming, executing, imprisoning, polluting
All this crime that them do cannot defeat
The purpose, the will, the words to speak
The truth, the fact, no hidden crap
Just stay on track, just stay on track
Tower’s tale of fleeing feet
Sniper’s tale of aim and bleed
Wall’s tale of cordoned peace
Tell tales on the victim
Doesn’t matter who’s the holy one in the promised land
Only who’s continuing the disaster of genocide on man
Blame the soldier not the stone, the throw, the hand
See a murder excused by the invader’s demands
These goliath massacres witnessed by the world
Displacement occupation where imposers build
Upon ancient scriptures used to justify walls
Atrocities and horrors for refusing alien rule
Bulldozers, despair, repel, dismantle
Detention, terror, demolition, torture
Checkpoints, intifada, curfew, lookout tower
A home with no restrictions, no anguish, no slaughter
These misguided axes, vicious in their misery
Seeking to exterminate while asking for sympathy
These mighty olive trees, radiant majesty
Sustenance of land and people universally
The axe blames the fallen olive tree
The olive tree falls to the blaming axe
Falling to the axe the olive tree is blamed
The steal of the blade says the trunk of the tree attacked
“From the window in my small cell
I can see your massive cell”
End of a Discussion With a Jailer, Samih Al-Qasim.
Thank you ActiveStills for the inspirational work in telling these stories.
0 8 15 30
Sit here, count the decades on two hands
Living in the shadow of no ordinary sun
Life persevered, I’m amazed that I stand
How did I survive being young?
Twice I saw two suns shine
Twice I saw the world end
Parachutes fell like blossom from another tree
Illuminates all once, and then again
Outside, go walk with my mates
Sky is blue, and nothing here seems wrong
And when danger looms, the sirens agitate
They called before for shelter
But now the panic’s gone
High above splits the belly of Enola
High above, death is giving birth
To Little Boy, looks like pure magnesium
Fed on splitting atoms, delivers a hand-written curse
What now! Get out of this place
Back to my city and family safe at home
Who could know? Fat Man in a secret race
Soared to Nagasaki for his crowd-stopping show
The worst luck, witness monumental moments
The best of luck, survive terror’s history
To be bestowed the cruel honour of the horror
To watch the blossoms burn in ignition’s tree
Ok, the best news is that at this very moment the mr sterile Assembly album TRANSIT is in the most capable and helpful hands of Dualplover. We expect the deliver of the album by the end of Feb and then we shall start sharing our efforts far and wide. The first single has been release for free download on our Bandcamp page, the feed back’s been lovely, ta.
The first show for this year is in Christchurch at the fine venue of El Santo Porteno with a rare performance of Street and one of the infamous Dave Khan’s bands (i’ll post the band name when I have it). Further afield we also have shows in planning for Palmerston Nth, Whanganui, some Australian shows, and mid year a return to south east Asia.
Recording and mixing is almost complete. All bass & drum tracks put down at Trident, the old home of the NZ SIS, now a fine recording studio. The vocals, sax, & incidental noise recorded at Matakahi Studio, run by Te Kupu of Upper Hutt Posse fame.
We’ve returned to Trident to mix, in the capable hands of Mike Gibson.
The CD package is almost complete as well. We have pulled out the stops to produce an extra beautiful package. The album will have two booklets which will include 11 unique works of art. We have contacted some close friends & wonderful people to collaborate in a visual sense. We allocated a track to these folk who then reinterpreted the song to there own visual style. The contributions include paints, collage, photography, drawings, digital prints, and a Javanese shadow puppet. Will upload some images sometime soon.