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31 July 2019

electric guitar and video by Dave Black,

Featherston, NZ.

One in a series of quickfire improvisations with video effects. Rather than finish an album before releasing anything in 2019, I’m opening a curtain on some of my demo ideas in progress.

Solstice Shards 19

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I spent the longest night of the year at home and improvised this:

. As I’d been doing mainly solo acoustic songs recently this was a palette cleansing electric improvisation from the other side of my coin.

I think of acoustic as yin and electric as yang forces.

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Scratched Surface 20th anniversary

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“Worth searching out coz this lo-fi singer/songwriter oddball has a unique take on the genre. He’s pissed off, a tad fucked up (as usual), but not full of lugubrious self-pity (as unusual) and is happy to get raucous & obnoxious in just the right kinda way.”Chris Knox

In December 1998 I self-released my debut album . Scratched Surface was a teenage no-budget lo-fi postpunk pakeha singer-songwriter album from the Taranaki, Aotearoa underground, recorded on analogue reel-to-reel tape.

I burned it on CDR and sent out copies to anyone who would listen. It was the opening salvo in a recording career that’s gone on for over 20 years now, occasionally dismissed, largely ignored, gloriously unsuccessful. A career nonetheless; I’ve made an album most years since.

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20 years on I’m still creating – here’s some of what I’ve done more recently:

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Campbell Kneale & Dave Black

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A Ton of Feathers is the first collaboration

by Campbell Kneale (guitar, analogue synth)

& Dave Black (bass, electric toothbrush, video).

Made in Featherston, Wairarapa NZ in 2018.

New Zealand folk music, in the tradition of Birchville Cat Motel, the Dead C, and Len Lye.

This excerpt appears on the compilation Other Islands: 2012-2018, and is part of a longer piece…

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22nd July – Tapioca Dragon, the Electricka Zoo, 1/3 Octave Band @ Pyramid Club

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A night of improv, otherworld musics, and ethereal sonic crunch at Wellington’s Pyramid Club, plus an album release for The Electricka Zoo.

Saturday 22nd July 2017, 8pm

@ the Pyramid Club

272 Taranaki Street, Wellington NZ – $10 door sales

 The Electricka Zoo


The duo of Dave Black & the Digitator, The Electricka Zoo combine influences from EDM and post-punk avant-garde rock to jazz, reggae, Balkan and Portuguese music. Their self-titled debut album will be released at this gig, and features 8 original tunes by the bass/guitar and electronica duo wrapped in colourful mandala artwork by Lucie Hannon.

1/3 Octave Band

Also in the line up; the 1/3 Octave Band, aka Bill Wood. A master of tones and drones, Bill an his collaborators in the group have released many CD,s LP’s over the past decade, and recently been championed by no less than former Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins in his column for LA Weekly. Don’t miss this once a year appearance from Mr Wood.

Tapioca Dragon

And let’s not forget and that merry duo of free thinkers, Tapioca Dragon, feat. Andy Wright (ex-Orchestra of Spheres) and Mark Williams (MarineVille / Cookie Brooklyn and the Crumbs). Tapioca Dragon released their debut album last year, a collection of 5 improvisations building from sparse, loops and jabs into a psychedelic spin cycle.

Ascension Band 2004

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The post-punk big band Ascension Band convened in 2003-2005… here’s the 2004 lineup performing at the Meatwaters Festival at Happy in Wellington.

Nigel Patterson – hammond organ & conductor
Dave Edwards – guitar & electronics
Mike Kingston – guitar
Jesse Toews – bass
Warwick Donald – bass
Antony Milton – violin & electronics
Damian Stewart – laptop
Jason Secto – cornet
Simon O’Rorke – percussion
Myles Climo – drums

The following year we won best music award in the 2005 Wellington Fringe Festival