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Tall Dwarfs, The

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Formed in the early 80s in New Zealand by ex-Toy Love members Alec Bathgate and Chris Knox, The Tall Dwarfs were one of the most influential bands to emerge from New Zealand’s independent scene of the 1980s.

Arguably the first low-fi band in indie-rock, The Tall Dwarfs’ albums were made at home on a four-track tape recorder. While the group’s songs were highly melodic, the fidelity of their recordings – as well as the fact they frequently employed non-conventional instruments – always twisted their most accessible material into something other-worldly.

The group’s first record, the Three Songs EP, was released in 1981. Two years later the group released its first full-length album, Canned Music.

Since they were all recorded with the same equipment, their recordings are more or less interchangeable.

Even in New Zealand their original recordings are rare. Hello Cruel World (the band’s US debut) collects the highlights of their career on one CD.

Their first “proper album” (ie, one with the same number of tracks on each side and where both sides of the record played at the same speed) was Weeville (1990).

Chris Knox
Vocals, guitar, percussion, organ, viola, clavinet
Alec Bathgate
Vocals, guitar, bass, viola, keyboards

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