Definitely recommend this article on the “Phantom Billstickers” blog that explores how Tom Lax came to be the world’s premier archivist of New Zealand’s underground sound. His Siltbreeze Records, which has been putting out  weird art, punk, noise and trash from NZ (and points elsewhere) for over 25 years, is in the throes of a pretty deep New Zealand excavation programme right about now.

Read more in the article/interview here.


This mix, available on Mixcloud as “…and the Maggots Dance, 1…2…3 from the Dead C’s Bruce Russell was made over two years ago on behalf of an online and terrestrial radio station and Flying Nun Records. It’s a selection of ultra-rare New Zealand small-indie label postpunk, punk and experimental rock music from the 1980s.

It’s, as Bruce says repeatedly on this nostalgia-laden, hour-long show, "phenomenal”.

He’s a terrific jockey of discs, and if anyone knows if he’s done any similar shows like this please let me know where I can hear ‘em.


XPRESSWAY were the darker, more experimental record label cousin of New Zealand’s Flying Nun. Operating out of Port Chalmers  on the South Island, Xpressway was originally a late 80s/early 90s cassette label and later branched into singles and LPs. They were a real cult taste there for a while, putting out early moody, shape-shifting sounds from the Dead C, Alastair Galbraith, the Terminals and more.

This ad came from Siltbreeze magazine #6 around 1990 or so. (Yes, before Siltbreeze was a raunched-out music fanzine before it was a label). Tom Lax from Siltbreeze was probably Xpressway’s biggest US-based champion; I’d certainly never heard of the label before he started yakking about them and running cool ads like this one.


While we were spending our time obsessing about New Zealand’s Xpressway tapes and records; cuddling up to the Victor Dimisich Band, The Terminals and the like; and searching every nook and cranny of record stores and the internet for Fall ephemera, this Boston band called THE IN OUT were recording this mindblower of a song, “Club Blackout”. This song is incredible – a farfisa-driven, ear-scraping wormhole straight off of “This Nation’s Saving Grace” but better than any single song on that great record.

From 1997’s “Cosmosis” album on Dark Beloved Cloud records. I know what my most-wanted vinyl LP is now. Anyone know if there’s a legal download floating around out there somewhere?