Unlike most krautrock inspired New Zealand bands at the moment, The Dance Asthmatics do away with the throbbing pulsation and instead have a jagged repetition that they filter through punk, post punk, no wave and noise rock. They’re a live powerhouse with a thundering rhythm section laying a groove that keeps going and going and going, and a trebly guitar swooping in and out and around the groove, sometimes riffing, sometimes degenerating to noise. The vocals themselves are a mix of sarcasm, boredom and anger – if you have listened to Stephen Nouwens other band BnP, you would know that he’s a great lyricist, but here he does wonders. They’re one of the best bands to come out of Christchurch in recent years, but often have unfortunately come in second place to their members other projects – the band consists of Cheers Bud (of T54) on guitar, Stephen Nowens (of BnP) on vocals, Ben Odering (of The Guest and Sand Fly Bay) on bass and Brian Feary (of Magic Eye) on drums. They’re somewhat of a Christchurch supergroup, but until now have mostly flown under the radar in the rest of the country.
Late last year they quietly released an amazing EP titled GODDAMMFUCK on Bandcamp and a limited run of cassettes. Even more amazingly, true to krautrock style, it was recorded over a single band practice on a 4-track, all in a single take and without any intention to actually release it. ‘Tangerine’ from this EP is the most definitive Dance Asthmatics track – bookended with screaming, the song has a sense of completeness. As Stephen yells “There’s nothing to hide / the truth’s in your eyes” the song gets noisier and noisier and falls to pieces, then pops right back up again as if nothing had happened. Having already played Camp A Low Hum and regular gigs in Christchurch, they’re currently finishing off their debut album and plan to tour this winter.
From 2007, Real Groove magazine released four Awesome Feeling compilations, showcasing a diverse and exciting range of underground local talent. The Corner decided to pick up on that for the fifth volume and we’re back again for round six. We’ll be revealing one new artist/track every weekday throughout May, and posting the entire compilation for download at the end of the month.