The Dead C

Formed in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1987 by guitarists Michael Morley and Bruce Russell, and drummer Robbie Yeats, The Dead C have released nearly 20 albums and overcome geographical isolation to connect with and inspire a legion of fans and like-minded operators, becoming in the process little short of a legendary presence. They have influenced a broad range of bands, from the drifting post-rock of Flying Saucer Attack and Labradford to the neo-psychedelia of Bardo Pond to lo-fi indie-rockers like Pavement and Sebadoh (with whom they collaborated on a 7” in 1993). Cited as one of Sonic Youth’s favourite bands, their own highly distinctive take on improvised free noise / experimental rock is an ever-mutating explosion / implosion of blissful guitar / electronic noise chunks and splatter-rhythms.

The Dead C have always had an honest and critical attitude to recording, viewing multitrack recording as ‘technical fakery’: “Music’s primarily instrumental, human beings actually play music in a room together and you record it. I can’t see why, in order to make an audible record of that, you would want to have the human beings do their bits separately and then patch them together to make a representation of what it might have sounded like if they’d all been playing together in a room at the same time. I profoundly find that a weird way to go… The sound that people make together in a room playing, to me that’s what recording ought to be about.” (Bruce Russell).  Yet this approach has often wrongly been described as lo-fi, whereas Russell explains “my amp makes a storm of noise even at rest. People mistake that for a hissy recording. No, it’s a very clear recording of a very hissy sound and that’s something people have trouble grasping. There’s no reason why the kind of strategy I’m talking about needs to be lo-fi, it’s not about trying to record badly, on the contrary, I’m very interested in recording sounds faithfully…”

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VIDEOS

Dead C - Skying

Live on New Zealand TV

3 years ago
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