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In the swirl of underground music emerging from Dunedin, New Zealand in the 1980s, Peter Gutteridge stands as one of the era’s most intense and shadowy figures. Despite being a founding member of The Clean and The Chills, Gutteridge would eschew indie-rock fame for the hypnotic and driving sounds of his later bands such as Snapper.
Fittingly, it is Pure—Gutteridge’s lone solo album of intimate home recordings—that serves as the most revealing and celebrated release of his career. As Peter Jefferies writes in the liner notes, “That’s what’s so good about Pure. Not only the songs, but the name, the name for the recording. It is as pure as you can get. That’s the real deal, when it goes from nothing to something and he catches it on his machine.”
Originally released on cassette in 1989 on Xpressway, Pure documents Gutteridge’s stunning use of 4-track as instrument. Featuring lo-fi pop gems and interstitial sketches, the LP combines densely layered keyboards and guitars, distorted drum machines and possessed-sounding vocals to create a truly singular work of undistilled artistic vision.
While Gutteridge denied that he was the architect of the “Dunedin Sound,” Pure sits comfortably next to the most revered Flying Nun releases of its time. Shifting exquisitely from churning rattle to an airy ease without losing momentum, these twenty-one songs hold a lasting place in the canon of DIY music. Recommended for fans of Syd Barrett, Jim Shepard and early Fad Gadget. Includes drawing chosen by Peter’s family.