We Will Ride Fast, is the psychedelic post-synth-punk project of Tauranga-based visual artist and Toi Ohomai lecturer Kyle Satter, who has released 30 pieces of waiata during a 25 years career. Tonight he breached the regional borders to share his newly released album Army Of Invisible Zombies with the heathens of Tamaki Makaurau.
Being staunch members of Tamaki Makaurau, we ignored the coming storm warning (about bloody time Wayne), but we wore our long overcoats hoping to fit in in the post ‘art-gallery’ scene crowd expected at tonight’s performance space. Billed as three artists, three solo artists, tonight’s show featured a rarity, an act from Tauranga, and for the life of me, I couldn’t think of a notable act from Tauranga, past or present. When I think the big ‘T’, I think Winston Peters, the Mount, and retired/retiring cashed-up Aucklanders.
Blue Sky Hex
In the sparsely populated Cupid Bar, a mixture of the ardent, the artists and the local middle-class alcoholics, the first onstage was fellow visual Artist and coffee expert Blue Sky Hex. Looking like something from an English dystopian 70s tv series, the hooded one armed with a guitar, knobs, Casio keyboards and laptop rhythms/samples.
He created an array of layered sonic soundscapes and pseudo-sludge punk songs, the two not being distinct from each other. Cocooned, the audience is merely receivers, and Blue Sky Hex rarely faces them, focussed on creating and refining his avant-garde sonic constructions that reference the Industrial tape art of the 1970s/80s.
Ex Partner visually contrasted the previous act, looking like a dandy, I had heard before, via a song on the Outlier Festival 2022: New Electronic Music From Aotearoa compilation. He kicks off with a gentle angsty guitar and vox ballad, which is followed by a cascade of distorted guitar over the drum machine. and then is transformed again into gothic vox and a wall of guitar-driven energy.
A quick transformation, and now we are back to the exciting 80s referencing the sound of gender-distorting-romantic-goth acts like Bauhaus and Soft Cell (have a lot to answer for) as Ex Partner plays on alone in his own private disco (bedroom).
We Will Ride Fast
We Will Ride Fast is also technologically augmented, though Keyboards is his weapon of choice rather than guitar. Having been in the arts industry for many a year, his set-up is impressive, and more refined than the two previous acts. Unlike them, he visually referencing not the dark arts, the counter-culture of urbanites, but stands out like a youth group leader, impassioned, articulate and embracing of the audience.
We Will Ride Fast’s construction of music is based around the keyboard, which really defines We Will Ride Fast’s sound, the Depeche Mode-like harmonics and Soft Cell drums create an 80s post-punk-pop sound, though the lyrics are more in tune with the sci-fi trippy feel of Hawkwind. As he enters mid-set, he embraces the energy and adds a physical element to the show, a negligible element in Ex Partner and Blue Sky Hex performances.
An interesting evening in the suburbs, great to see this art outside of the inner city Audio Foundation, where the convention would’ve normally have had them performing.
Click on any image to view a photo gallery:
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