Wednesday, May 8, 2013


After the highly recommended "Krypton Ten" compilation, Unwucht Musik from Southern Germany delivers another series of records with a focus on New Zealand's underground scene during the early 80s: A reissue of the first three hard to find EPs by The Bilders and pre-Bilders band Six Impossible Things in a edition of 350 limited copies including reproductions of the original inserts and remastered recordings. The Bilders were formed in 1980. They quit in the early 90s, but reformed a few years ago. They were fronted by Bill Direen, who has also been involved in different other bands like Vacuums, Above Ground, Soluble Fish and a bunch of short-lived projects. The Bilders had various different line-ups with coordinator Bill Direen as the only constant member. "High Thirties Piano" was The Bilders first EP, orginally released in 1982. In difference to the original pressing the Unwucht reissue includes different mixes, longer versions and unreleased tracks, taken from an alternate master, that Bill Direen discovered in 2011. The live in the studio production is raw, lo-fi and heavy. The songs are short, arty and wild. Some of them are fragments only, but you can feel and breath the creativity they are made with. (Listen to it here)

This is The Bilders second EP and it features some of their very best material.  So if you only want to pick up one of those reissue, I would recommend this one. "Schwimmen In Der See" originally came out on Flying Nun in 1982 and it's four tracks are a great example for The Bilders musical variety. It starts with "Girl At Night" a quiet 60s psych-pop tune based on a fantastic organ melody. "Thought I Knew You" is one of my favorite Bilders songs. It combines the darkness of Velvet Underground and Joy Division into a moody, athmospheric composition. Including on of atypical but awesome guitar solo and a brilliant spoken word part. The flipside features "Starry Day" a short and friendly pop song underlayed with a super melodic organ sound. "Russian Rag" the final track is the most complex one. It's extremely varied with the lenght of epics and sick time changes. You never know what will happens next. The Velvet Underground influence is apparent here. This 12" is a true classic of Kiwi underground music! (Listen to it here)

The Bilders' thrid EP was originally more or less selfreleased by the band. The first press was paid by Bill Direen, then Flying Nun Records paid for the second pressing. In difference to the previous reviewed EPs all music on "Soloman's Ball" is made without drums or only with a few tom drum percussions in the background. "Dead Heat" is a weird organ based tune with a gloomy, but melodic twang. "America" leads to a 60s psych-pop inspired style full of sunny melodies and vocal harmonies. The b-side turns into a much darker direction. "Strange Nights" is a cold, short and dissonant wave tune comparable with Joy Division. The final track "Son Of Cronos" ranges from 60s psych influences to dark British postpunk underlined by a gloomy organ and a lower vocal style than usual. (Listen to it here)

Six Impossible Things' selftitled EP originally came out in 1981 as a 7" in a edition of only 100 copies on Sausage Records. So it's one of the hardest to find records of the early Kiwi underground. Six Impossible Things were a pre-Bilders band also fronted by Bill Direen. Their one and only vinyl release captures four fantastic tracks. Six Impossible Things merge 60s garage with UK postpunk, Modern Lovers like protopunk riffs and their very own style of experimental underground rock. Compared with later Bilders recordings this EP sounds a lot straighter with a stronger UK punk influence. Maybe because Six Impossible Things do their music without a organ, so the 60s vibe isn't so obvious here. Their style is definitely not that experimental, arty or lo-fi as most Bilders songs. The focus is on writing short, but varied songs with Direen's vocal hormonies in the forefront. The reissue includes additional band fotos and a text about the early kiwi punk scene and Six Impossible Things. (Listen to it here)