Beats and bytes
When I mentioned in my Gridskipper pitch that Wellington had a burgeoning "low-fi electro" music scene, I was only half serious. At the moment, though, it really seems to be happening. Last night, Happy hosted Control 6580, which was described as a "retro electro noise revue". I could speculate about whether the name was a reference to the 6502 and Z80 processors, the two dominant home-computer CPUs of the early 80s, but that would be far too geeky. I missed it because of a pressing engagement elsewhere, but there's a couple of very juicy looking electro gigs coming up in the next week or so.
Tomorrow night, Disasteradio will launch his new album Datasette. When I mentioned an earlier gig, I described it as sounding like "someone had taken a bunch of old Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode albums, chucked them in a blender with some Gameboy soundtracks and broken effects pedals, then cranked the knob up to 11". In other words, it rocked.
Disasteradio seems somewhat obsessed with computer games (investigate the pixellated glory of his website if you need further proof), so the standard venues wouldn't have quite the right atmosphere. But what could be more perfect than Laser Force in Courtenay Place? For $13 you get entry to the show, a copy of the album (on a "cassette", whatever that is) and a chance to zap your friends with lasers. What more could you want? Oh yes: the gig starts at 9:30 sharp, thus leaving you plenty of time to get back home to your Commodore 64.
If you prefer your electro with a little less geek and a bit more chic, then next Friday's Electro Sexual will be right up your (ahem) alley. Various Wellington electro-punk and retro-synth-glam (or whatever random combination of genres they prefer this week) bands will be performing under pseudonyms for the evening, so the line up includes "The Bang Gang" (Charlie Ash), "G Fab" (Trimasterbate) and "Damn the Man" (So So Modern).
The venue is listed as "Level 1" at the corner of Cuba and Dixon, which seems a little ambiguous. Has someone opened a bar in the old Deka building above Shanton? Will it be a Beatlesesque rooftop performance above the CD store? Perhaps upstairs in the Oaks: Eef-Jays would be thematically appropriate but logistically difficult. That leaves The Big Kumara, which hardly seems the epitome of mirrorball-and-legwarmers glamour. In any case, expect plenty of people dancing to electro-pop, perhaps even like a robot from 1984.