Jun 13, 2014

Pure is an important reissue. If you’re unfamiliar with Peter Gutteridge, he’s something of an overlooked figure in New Zealand music. He’s been in The Clean, The Chills, and The Great Unwashed—although his main creative outlet has been Snapper. Pure was originally released as a cassette on Bruce Russell’s Xpressway label back in ‘89. (Although defunct, if you’re unacquainted with Xpressway, I cannot recommend the label enough.) Pure finds Gutteridge handling the bulk of instrumentation, with occasional help from Snapper bandmates and George Henderson of The Puddle. Two of the songs on Pure were rerecorded for Snapper’s Buddy EP (1988), but most of the material here is unavailable elsewhere. Puresounds like a Snapper home recording: distorted keyboards and vocals with drum machines (I’m admittedly stretching it here, but think of a gritty version of Stereolab). Gutteridge did his own thing. New Zealand had a very vibrant scene built around jangly guitars and deep pop hooks in the ‘80s. Dubbed the “Dunedin Sound,” it was a very fertile time for NZ music. With Snapper and Pure, Gutteridge created music equally compelling, albeit completely different from most of the records on Flying Nun at the time. Thanks to 540 Records, this hard-to-find cassette is readily available on vinyl (a double LP to boot). The cost of putting this reissue together had to be immense, more of a reason to pick up Pure.   –ryan (540)