Archives for posts with tag: None Gallery

Vanessa Worm

Get up and get wonky with a new Vanessa Worm tune for day 11 of our New Zealand Music Month 2020 series. Here’s “In Heaven We Are”.

Vanessa Worm originated in the Dunedin underground electronic/ experimental scene that coagulated around the now defunct None Gallery performance space.

A move to Melbourne and releases on Glasgow’s Optimo dance label followed but there’s a still a highly individual non-conformist ‘punk’ element to the music and performance. This new track adds to the fabulous mind-bending dance music on her Optimo debut “Z Time”EP which is worth exploring if you are new to the Worm dance.

NZMM 2020

Too Tone NZ Music Month

Shop display of re-purposed NZ Music Month poster at Too Tone Records (2010-2017) in Dunedin.

New Zealand Music Month day #10 song is some dark, cold, noisy but dancefloor friendly analogue electronica from Dunedin trio Élan Vital. From their “Shadow Self” album here’s “Possession”:

Élan Vital formed in 2015 in Dunedin’s None Gallery, an artist-run creative community in a former pharmaceutical factory near the city centre. After years of operation the owners of the building are selling it so None’s community and physical existence is sadly coming to an end. It will be the end of an era for the noisiest, most experimental parts of Dunedin’s music underground, and the the place where experimental art co-existed with music. As well as home, practice and recording space for Élan Vital it was also once home to related band Death And The Maiden.

Élan Vital is Renee Barrance (keyboards, effects, vocals), Danny Brady (synths, drum machines, electronics, live mixing) and Nikolai Sim (bass) and the album – unusually for electronic music – was recorded by the band playing live together in their None Gallery space.

Elan Vital
Some more wonderful Gothtronica originating from the cold dusty detritus-filled rooms of Dunedin’s None Gallery building and communal arts & music space, this time from newcomers Elan Vital.

“Albtraum” is a deliciously grainy thing, with a vague hint of early Human League about it at times. Elan Vital seem to take some cues from the same ‘Sheffield sound’ of dark electronic pop that Dunedin trio Death And The Maiden have been re-engineering for the new century and Southern latitudes. Except where Death And The Maiden’s soundscapes are epic and lush in scope and scale and feel, Elan Vital’s sound is claustrophobic with unsettling undercurrents.

But among this unnerving dark shadow the change at 1:30 is pure pop. When it is followed by the introduction of a throaty growl of bass guitar, “Albtraum” transforms itself, spreads big dark leathery wings, and starts to fly…

“Albtraum” is included on “Deep and Meaningful Volume 3” – a compilation featuring an extensive 35 song trawl of the NZ underground, including PopLib featured artists Jim Nothing; The Biscuits; Emily Edrosa; and Strange Harvest.


Day 19 of the May Month of Madness Marathon for NZ Music Month comes from Dunedin’s retro-futurist space-pop group The Blueness.

Their only album “Ravendah Dream” is an excellent cartoon-colourful space fantasy, merging a bit of glam rock with a bit of spacey synth-pop.

The Blueness were John White (Mestar and original bassist for The Prophet Hens, appearing on their debut “Popular People Do Popular People”), Lucinda King (Bad Sav, Death And The Maiden), Mike McLeod (Bad Sav, The Shifting Sands) and Kristen Wineera.

The Blueness have become a forgotten footnote in Dunedin’s Pop Underground. They reigned briefly, wonderfully for a year or less in Dunedin before making it to Los Angeles in the second half of 2012 for the start of a low-key US tour, so low-key it never happened…

Anyway, that all set off a chain of events around the world, and eventually back in Dunedin. Lucinda carried on from LA to Berlin, meeting up with Danny Brady (Thought Creature) and finding the Munch sketch which provided the name for the band they formed on their return to New Zealand in – Death And The Maiden.

So… don’t forget The Blueness. This is an album worth downloading.