Established in 2001 and now organized by committees in every major city in New Zealand under the Audio Foundation, Altmusic is an ongoing series of audio events, regularly bringing a vital injection of contemporary and experimental music from around the world to New Zealand. This year, the programme continues with each city curating its own event and touring this around NZ.

2010 Altmusic documentation is HERE


Auckland: 8pm Wednesday May 19 - w/ Brian & Maryrose Crook @ The High Seas, 12 Beresford Square. $10

Wellington: 9pm Thursday May 20 - w / The Stumps & Seth Frightening / George D Angus @ Happy, Tory/Vivian Streets. $10

Dunedin: 9pm Friday May 21 - w / Gate & Eye @ Chicks Hotel, Port Chalmers. $10

Christchurch: 8pm Saturday May 22 - w/ White Saucer & Bruce Russell @ HSP, 84 Lichfield Street. $10

Bill Orcutt emerged as one of the most influential guitar players of the 1990s, alongside drummer Adris Hoyos in the seminal Miami-based free rock band, Harry Pussy, their half-decade existence throwing up a boutique of caustic masterpieces alongside equally luminary cohorts on labels including Chocolate Monk (Richard Youngs, Incapacitants, Bruce Russell) and Siltbreeze (Charalambides, Guided By Voices, The Shadow Ring), but their volatile, calamitous sound has remained their matchless own.

Harry Pussy’s sonic wit, spat forth in vignette-like rashes such as ‘Please Don’t Come Back From The Moon’, ‘Nazi USA’ and ‘I Don't Care About Sleep Anymore’ spoke of a generational disenchantment that heavily influenced the likes of later acolytes, Hair Police, Pukers, Sightings, The Hospitals and the younger alumni on Philadelphia’s fabled Siltbreeze label. In one critic’s words, Harry Pussy ‘filtered the Circle Jerks' brutal attack through Sonic Youth and Lydia Lunch and condensed it into a narrow, high-pitched assault’, and in another’s, ‘pretty much established a whole new blueprint for post-hardcore avant rock destruction.’

Orcutt’s unanticipated return with the 2009 self-released 7", ‘High Waisted’ and his late-2009 LP, ‘A New Way To Pay Old Debts’, was an exhilarating reincarnation of the rambunctious automatism and hair-trigger ferocity that pervaded Harry Pussy’s earlier, combustible missives. In Mimaroglu’s words, the latter recording ‘let loose a pan-trajectorial spray of freedom-inflected guitar histrionics, captured gloriously in a room-tone / blown-amp fidelity’. Its un-building of a noise-blues vernacular invoked the equally insubordinate spirits of the late Derek Bailey and John Fahey, and the delta bros, Fred McDowell and Joseph Spence, and was a universal, underground heir of album of the year, appearing on The Wire magazine’s Rewind list next to Oneohtrix Point Never and Broadcast.

Orcutt's plucked lacerations, spooky boogie, and ballistic extraterrestrial blues, bordered by the severe candour of his own ulterior, vocal utterances makes for an unsettling but downright melodious sound that repudiates mere descent into noise-guitar discord, while serving as a reminder to a whole contemporary pantheon of guitarists of how it should be done.


Christchurch: 8pm Wednesday 9 June - w/ Peter Wright & Grunge Genocide Drum Pentagram @ Nibelheim (Below SOFA), Arts Centre. $10

Dunedin: 9pm Thursday 10 June - The Aesthetics & Grunge Genesis @ Chicks Hotel. $10

Auckland: 9pm Friday 11 June - w/ White Saucer & Dan Beban @ Whammy Bar

Wellington: 9pm Saturday 12 June - w/ Cartoon & Hefner @ Medusa (ex Hole in the Wall). $10

Wellington: Sunday 13 June - Yoshida Tatsuya improvisations and collaborations @ Frederick Street Light and Sound Exploration Society. $10/$5.

Variously described as the undisputed master drummer of the Japanese Underground, a rhythm section gone ballistic, trekker of the outer limits of weirdness and doctor of psychic polyrhythms, Yoshida Tatsuya is the protagonist of the erstwhile, hyperactive, prog-punk, hardcore, art rock, heavy metal, disco, psych and funk, drums and bass duo, RUINS.

Like Boredoms, Naked City, Flying Luttenbachers and Lightning Bolt, Ruins - as the famed, John Zorn-helmed label, Tzadik has stated - ‘are masters of quick-change, stop/start tempos, time-signatures and textures, their explosive and intricately composed tunes sung in a peculiar language of their own invention’, making ‘bass and drums sound like an orchestra of synchronized jet engines’. Eugene Chadbourne has described their unique, rudimentary instrumentation as ‘no less than a palace revolt against the established role of the rhythm section’.

As a central force of the effervescent Japanese underground, Yoshida has recorded and performed prolifically with a host of equally significant and influential acts, including guitar legend, Derek Bailey, Makoto Kawabata and Acid Mothers Temple, K.K. Null, Elton John collaborator, Elton Dean, Ground Zero’s Mitsuru Nasuno, Fushitsusha’s Keiji Haino, Bondage Fruit’s Kubota Aki, Boredoms’ Seiichi Yamamoto and ‘Senzuri’ champion, Juntaro Yamanouchi’s seminally transgressive Gerogerigegege. He also performs and records with Zubi Zuva, a ‘freewheeling a cappella vocal trio, running the gamut from Gregorian Chant and Buddhist Shomyo to Doo-wop, hardcore and barbershop Looney tunes’, typically under Yoshida’s own maniac and inventive direction.

Since reforming RUINS ALONE as a solo project, replete with manically express bass-lines triggered by a sampler (a suitable partner), and his own adrenaline-fuelled voice, Yoshida's project has become a flickering apparition of piled-up beats and stratified riffs that unfold at a staggeringly blistering speed. For his live audience, it’s a breathtaking prospect.


Auckland: 8pm Friday 17 September - w/ Sunken (Antony Milton and Stefan Neville) @ Sky Bears Cuddle Den, 21 Mercury Lane (Next to Mercury Plaza) $10

Wellington: 8pm Saturday 18 September - w/ Seht & Full Fucking Moon @ Frederick Street Sound and Light Exploration Society,
46 Frederick Street. $10

Dunedin: 9pm Friday 24 September - w/ Rotor Plus & Tillakaratne @ None Gallery, 24 Stafford Street. $10

Christchurch: 8pm Saturday 25 September - w/ IRD & Adam Willetts @ The Physics Room, 209 Tuam Street. $10

Tomutonttu is the solo project of Jan Anderzén, a visual artist and musician from Tampere, Finland, whose pivotal role in Kemialliset Ystävät and collaborative raids in Avarus and Anaksimandros has - alongside Fonal label colleagues, Es, Paavoharju, Kuupuu, Islaja, Fricara Pacchu, Lau Nau and Shogun Kunitoki - elevated the Finnish experimental underground into a Renaissance-like state, its cross-pollinating telepathy producing some of the most acclaimed records and performances since the mid 2000s, while setting a universal example for communal musical exploration.

The most prolific of the Fonal stable and its related tributaries, Anderzen’s music has also appeared on labels such as Ultra Eczema (Lucky Dragons & Yacht, Orphan Fairytale, Wolf Eyes), Fat Cat (Animal Collective, Black Dice, Múm), Dekorder (Richard Youngs, Xela) Lal Lal Lal (The Skaters, Javelin, Keijo), Jewelled Antler (Skygreen Leopards, Steven R. Smith) and Imvated/Taped Sounds (Christina Carter, The Futurians, Ignatz, Thurston Moore, Magik Markers). In 2008, Anderzén toured and recorded on the Approximately Infinite Universe Tour: A Caravan of Raw Sound Magic from Finland and the US, with Blevin Blectum, Axolotl, Sumara Lubelski, Fursaxa and members of The Skaters and No Neck Blues Band. He has also held workshops and played a series of concerts for school children at the planetarium of his hometown.

Anderzen’s wraithlike powwow, weirdo choral ascents, elated bleeps, bubbly glossolalia and poltergeist thumps coalesce in a captivating sylvan kaleidoscope of psych hyperbole in all his projects, but it is live, in his solo incarnation as Tomutonttu that these magnetic qualities are best articulated. As unassailable blog, Mutant Sounds has described, Tomutonttu is a 'delightful traipse through a verdant forest of ergot poisoned art brut psychedelic deconstructionism; all wobbly string fumble, lobotomized key wheeze and detuned flute toot that’s wonderfully right in it's ungainly "wrongness"'.


Auckland: 8pm Thursday 28 October - w/ Alastair Galbraith @ The Classic, 321 Queen St.

Wellington: 9pm Saturday 30 October - w/ Claypipe & Our Love Will Destroy the World @ Happy. $10.

Dunedin: 8:30pm Friday 5 November - w / Alastair Galbraith @ Dunedin Public Art Gallery. $10.

Christchurch: 8pm Saturday 6 November - w / Rachel Shearer & Velvet Hour @ Harbour Light, Lyttelton. $10.

Richard Youngs is one of the most acclaimed, chameleon-like explorers of modern music, traversing a diverse set of distinctive and multi-instrumental forms that encompass avant-folk, psychedelic drone, progressive minimalism, lysergic pop, and rock concréte. The stark, unyielding minimalism of his piano-oriented 1990 debut, ‘Advent’, prompted The Wire’s Alan Licht to list it alongside works by Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Phil Niblock, and Tony Conrad as a revelatory favourite of rare minimalism, while Youngs’ subsequent and prolific collaborations with Simon Wickham-Smith as R!!!&S!!! are widely seen as opuses of mind-altering cosmic abstraction, with one critic describing them as ‘Throbbing Gristle reimagined as Zen garden desk accessory’.

From the carnivalesque kazoo-psych and warble of ‘New Angloid Sound’, the heartbreaking candour of ‘Sapphie’ - featuring just Youngs’ plaintive voice and a classical guitar, and likened to a hybrid of Galaxie 500 and Nick Drake - the desolate a cappella of ‘Summer Wanderers’ and gorgeous pastoralism of his collaboration with Tirath Singh Nirmala, to the ‘ecstatic house’ of 2009’s ‘Like A Neuron’, the intrepid, curveball pop of ‘Beyond the Valley of Ultrahits’, and the cyclical, stream-of-consciousness and hymnal ‘Under Stellar Stream’, Youngs’ music remains as evocatively beautiful as it is perennially mutable.

While recording with an array of various collaborators, including Jandek, Vibracathedral Orchestra, Neil Campbell of Astral Social Club, Alastair Galbraith, Matthew Bower of Sunroof, and Makoto Kawabata of Acid Mothers Temple, and appearing on a slew of labels such as VHF (Jack Rose, Pelt, Aethenor, Sandra Bell) and Table of the Elements (John Cale, Fennesz, John Fahey, SunnO)))’s Stephen O’Malley, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Rhys Catham, Faust), Youngs has been reticent as a live performer, playing only a handful of occasions between 2006-2008, at Thurston Moore’s All Tomorrows Parties in 2006, and alongside Jandek and Heather Leigh Murray on European tours.

It is thus a rare and special opportunity to witness in person what Melody Maker has described as the ‘grand-meister of contemporary British improv, spiritual son of Eddie Prevost and Maddy Prior; gentle manipulator of English hymn-notics and religious incantations; protégé, challenger and radicaliser of folk, blues, rock, minimalism and improvisation’.