Around the Back of the World Tall Dwarfs Alchemised

“The New Zealand duo of Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate have influenced generations of lo-fi rockers. This 55-track [Tall Dwarfs] box set reminds us why,” Louis Pattison writes in a Pitchfork review of Unravelled: 1981-2002.

“The story of New Zealand rock music is a tale of isolation. For the young Kiwi musician, rock’n’roll was a familiar cultural language, but one separated by a whole lot of clear blue water. This distance engendered a degree of self-reliance, spawning bands, labels, and hyperlocal scenes, as well as a certain can-do sensibility. Thus was the case in 1981 when vocalist Knox and guitarist Bathgate – already veterans of two New Zealand bands, Dunedin punk upstarts the Enemy and the more polished, new-wave-inflected Toy Love – plugged in a TEAC 4-track reel-to-reel and started to record,” Pattison writes.

“Tall Dwarfs pull off a feat of alchemy [in Unravelled]. Around the back of the world, they took up makeshift instruments, wrote songs steeped in grit and gloom, and dropped something close to perfect pop straight onto a reel of magnetic tape.”

Original article by Louis Pattison, Pitchfork, August 20, 2022.

Tags: Alec Bathgate  Chris Knox  Pitchfork  Tall Dwarfs  Unravelled: 1981-2002  

Pirate Comedy Deserves Another Season

Pirate Comedy Deserves Another Season

Cancelled after two season, Taika Waititi’s “silly comedy” Our Flag Means Death “deserves one more voyage”, according to Radio Times critic George White. “ was meant to be sacred…