Borderline Ballroom

Auricle Events!

For all future CSSA events please see our sonic arts gallery site The Auricle.


Sonic Arts Festival

The Cantabrian Society of Sonic Artists Inc.
in partnership with
Christchurch City Council’s Ever Evolving Events


Festival of Sonic Arts
Christchurch Ōtautahi, New Zealand
Saturday & Sunday 1-2 March 2014

Navigate the city by ear at Canterbury’s first ever Festival of Sonic Arts. Over a weekend of active listening and sonic adventures, Christchurch will resonate with a diverse and interactive programme of installations, workshops, interventions, performances and sound walks exploring the dynamic sonic landscapes of our rebuilding central city.

Featuring artworks by Duncan Speakman (UK), Rachel Shearer (Auk), Sean Kerr (Auk), Samin Son (Wlg), Alastair Galbraith (Dun), Rotor Plus (Dun), Omit (Blenheim) with Christchurch sonic artists Chris Reddington and Tom Phillpotts, Bruce Russell, Simon Kong, Adam Willetts, Stanier Black-Five, and Dr Malcolm Riddoch.

Sonic workshops with Tony Smith (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu – Kāti Irakehu) and Geoff Low (Chc), Dr Claire Pannell (Aus), Greg Malcolm (Chc), and Nicolas Woollaston (Chc).

Audacious is funded by:

ccc-logo  cnz-logo

For all festival enquiries please contact [hide_email]

Borderline Ballroom

Mr Sterile Assembly

Mr Sterile AssemblyMr Sterile Assembly (Wellington)
The Bullitts

Darkroom, 336 St Asaph St, Christchurch NZ, Friday 13 September

The last time mr sterile Assembly attempted to play in the Garden City, March 11 2011, the show became cancelled as forces much to great to control intervened. The world change shape and minor plans were shelved. Life was altered and more important matters needed to be attended to.

Time passes. And hopefully this is an opportunity for minor things to happen once again.

mr sterile Assembly is a two-piece musical unit from the tectonic sister-city of Wellington. The band delivers an assertive and playful drums & bass foundation for stories to swing and soar from. The sounds can dance from tight composition to ecstatic splatter, often within moments of each other.

Well into the second decade of the band’s life, this lineup continues the storytelling after many years of conscious diversification and play. We are very excited to return to Christchurch (and Timaru on the Saturday night) bringing new reinterpretations of older songs, and a number of newer ones to fill in the Cantabrian airways if only just for a hair’s breadth.

mr sterile Assembly will be supported by Regressor’s electronic expressionism and improv outrage (and great hairstyling) from The Bullitts.
Regressor is the solo project of Alex Donnithorne. The Bullitts are Rory Dalley, Peter Wright, and David Khan.

Borderline Ballroom

Zac Keiller (Aus) & Peter Wright (Lytt)

bbkeilorSunday, April 14, 2013
8:00pm in UTC+12

The Borderline Ballroom presents
an evening of avant-guitars with

Zac Keiller is an Australian musician discovering new and unique sonic textures from one of the most overused and unimaginatively approached instruments in Western music: The guitar. The majority of his previous releases saw him working with ambient textures or electroacoustic improvisation. More recent efforts have seen him limiting the use of pedals, attempting to find a kind of transcendence through stark purity of tone. Coaxing rawness and purity, where the pickups hum and the blemishes become the highlights with Keiller using the entire guitar, attempting to make it breathe with no smoothing out of the rough edges or slick over processing. His compositions vary and grow to tell stories and create mood, with an atmosphere in parts epic wall of sound, while at others minimal and sublime.

Peter Wright’s sound works are predominantly based around drones and repetition, layering fragments of guitar in mesmerising fields of drift, conjuring up aural landscapes that place emphasis on sub-conscious memories and dreams. Weaving amongst this dense undergrowth are a myriad of tonal shifts, environmental recordings, and electronic effects, which evoke alien spirits at the periphery of sleep.

8pm sharp start – this is an early evening gig

Borderline Ballroom

ALEXANDER TUCKER w/Delaney Davidson, Rangi Ranga

bbtuckerThursday, December 13, 2012
8:00pm in UTC+13

The Borderline Ballroom recommends:


Hailed by The Wire as an ‘avant folk genius’, psychedelic outsider artist Alexander Tucker has been creating his distinctly British song cycles for many years, released firstly on ATP Records and more recently on Thrill Jockey. His music is an intensely personal world of dream-logic narratives and out-of-focus scenes, as much heavy and sonic as it is gentle and acoustic.

Tucker’s sound has developed over the years since his first self-titled solo album, which featured acoustic finger-picking, experimental electronics and was released on Jackie O Motherfucker’s U-Sound Archives label. He went on to combine compositional song structures, drones, layered vocals and improvisations on his 2005 album Old Fog released on ATP Recordings. This collection of spectral moods, eerie landscapes and fragile emotions was followed by Furrowed Brow (2006) and Portal (2008), where the songs and melodies became more pronounced, whilst infecting the tracks with underlying drone currents, traditional finger-picking, doom riffs and David Crosby inspired harmonies. In the past three years Tucker has signed with the US label Thrill Jockey, releasing two albums Dorwytch and 2012’s Third Mouth, both of which tend more toward psychedelic songs structures, rudimentary beats and layered instrumentation.

Tucker collaborates regularly with members of Sunn O)))) and Circle and forms half of Imbogodom with NZ’s Daniel Beban. Equally active as a visual artist, Tucker’s drawings and experimental films will be exhibited at venues during the tour. Heavily influenced by NZ psych and noise music, Tucker’s visit is an eagerly anticipated musical pilgrimage.

7/12 – Wellingon @ Puppies as part of the Rising Tides Festival
13/12 – Lyttelton @ Wunderbar w/Delaney Davidson, Rangi Ranga
15/12 – Dunedin @ Crown Hotel w/Murderbike, Wolfskull
21/12 – Auckland @ Whammy Bar w/Orchestra of Spheres, Pumice

Borderline Ballroom


bbimbogWednesday, December 12, 2012
8:00pm in UTC+13

‘Imbogodom’s music can feel like walking inside a strange house at night and finding yourself momentarily startled by the sound of your own breath. Equal parts psych-folk songsmithery and musique concrète’ – Pitchfork

Imbogodom is the duo of Alexander Tucker and NZ’s Daniel Beban (Orchestra of Spheres, Siign of the Hag). The group started when Beban was working night shifts as a sound engineer at the BBC World Service in London. The two would spend endless nights deep in the basement of the World Service headquarters, Bush House, dusting off old reel-to-reel tape machines, conducting tape loop experiments and creating eerie sound worlds with foley devices, found objects and instruments. Rekindling the almost extinguished flame of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (think Dr Who theme), the duo’s sound was formed by the limitations of the outdated equipment and ghostly, subterranean atmosphere of Bush House.

Imbogodom have released two albums on Thrill Jockey, The Metallic Year, and They Turned Not When They Went. Both albums display the duo’s fascination with sound experiments and songwriting and have received much critical acclaim. For this NZ tour they are recreating the BBC sound studios kiwi style, complete with old reel-to-reel machines, foley objects and psychedelic atmospheres. Included in their tour is a special show in the immensely resonant entrance hall of the Wellington Train Station.

‘Imagine the cracked surface of an uninhabited planet. Imagine the red sky. Imagine that the wind there carries sounds along with bits of celestial dust — dreamy sounds, haunted sounds, maybe even tragic sounds. Surreal? Absolutely, and so are the soundscapes of Imbogodom’ – Tiny Mix Tapes

12/12 – Christchurch @ Physics Room w/Adam Willetts
14/12 – Dunedin @ None Gallery w/Gate
19/12 – Wellington @ Wellington Train Station w/Jonny Marks
22/12 – Auckland @ Audio Foundation

Borderline Ballroom

This is not Keith

bbkeithSaturday, November 17, 2012
8:30pm in UTC+13

In the absence of Keith Fullerton Whitman, who cancelled his tour due to visa delays caused by Hurricane Sandy, Altmusic and The Borderline Ballroom in conjunction with the Physics Room, will be throwing a party featuring some fine local acts:

Adam Willetts
with DJs I Rory and Toshi

It’s BYO

Come and celebrate the resurgence of the Christchurch experimental scene this long weekend

Borderline Ballroom

Borderline Basement 2.0

bb2Friday, June 8, 2012
8:00pm in UTC+12

The Roastery

Come celebrate our 5th birthday at the Roastery. It’s also the Lyttelton Festival of Lights so there’ll be fireworks, mulled wine, and food around to accompany our sonic revelry.

Your noise-makers for the night are: Scythes / Oscillaterals / No No No

Borderline Ballroom

Old Growth Cola (Bris)/Van Halo (Chch)/ Teen Haters (Lytt)

bbteenSaturday, February 11, 2012
8:00pm until 11:00pm

The Borderline Ballroom presents

Old Growth Cola (Bris)/Van Halo (Chch)/ Teen Haters (Lytt)
& Borderline DJ Stanier Black-Five


Old Growth Cola
Brisbane based Old Growth Cola bring their whimsical brand of experimental psych pop to Christchurch’s Borderline Ballroom. The date is part of a New Zealand tour that coincides with the release of a live cassette courtesy of Breakdance the Dawn and limited edition 7” lathe cut.

Van Halo
Christchurch duplexicon of many free-time associations and witchuals observed. Burns holes in woven dependencies, free for all. All for none. Rugcore dialectics weave from library returns to nightwalker revelations. A tableau of auxiliary gains accumulating rust, hoarded from excoriated vocals, primordial percussives, jammed tapes, and room tone returns.

Teen Haters
A new collaboration between Mela and Peter Wright, Teen Haters fuses the mournful swell of decaying cello with the burp and whine of unearthed electronic flurries, trailing arcs of disrhythmia like a blackout dose of narcotics, to irreversibly tarnish the city that shines.

Plus sonic segues of psych noise and perplexing pop from Stanier Black-Five.

Borderline Ballroom

Malcolm Riddoch & Stanier Black-Five, Kikkawa/Scowen, Adam Willetts

bb-mr-sb5Friday, December 2, 2011
8:00pm until 11:00pm

With a bill spanning lo-fi noise pop to electroacoustics, industrial musique concrete to damaged ambient folk, the Borderline Ballroom is back with an exciting bill of experimentalism, featuring Malcolm Riddoch (Perth) & Stanier Black-Five (Lytt), Kikkawa/Scowen (Dun) and Adam Willetts (Chch).

Malcolm Riddoch (Perth) & Stanier Black-Five (Lytt)

Malcolm Riddoch and Stanier Black-Five will be collaborating on a visceral slice of trans-Tasman noise fusing Stanier Black-Five’s dense industrial musique concrete with Riddoch’s phenomenologically informed electronic transformation of the performance space. Riddoch’s work explores the resonant frequencies of acoustic spaces, while Stanier Black-Five makes soundscapes largely based on her own environmental recordings and found sounds.

Kikkawa/Scowen & guest (Dun)

Motoko Kikkawa, Richard Scowen and often a third collaborator, work with sound and video recording to capture improvisations that wander unguided untamed between the camps of noise, folk, ambient, dark/no wave, ritual, rock, film and damage. They use eclectic acoustic and electric instruments, site specific found objects, multi dimensional conjuring under monikers that include Saved from the sharp teeth of a homophobic death, The ladder is part of the pit and Black Box HQ.

Adam Willetts (Chch)

Adam Willetts has been performing around New Zealand and internationally for more than a decade creating beautiful works of sparkling, electronic noise using mixtures of DIY, lo-tech and hi-fi tools.

Plus interludes of cassette chaos from resident DJ I-Rory