Vostok Lake Valentine's Day Review in Pride 2020

Vostok Lake, Auckland’s pre-eminent queer electronic-progressive musical duo, teams up with heavy friends for an avant-garde evening of satire, synthesizers and sheer sex, as part of Auckland Pride 2020. Described as “Flight of the Conchords meets Depeche Mode, except women” or the “illegitimate love child of Tori Amos and Gary Numan", Vostok Lake are promoting their upcoming album, their first in 10 years.

The Stories of Comics and Stories: Part 12 and last, "Under the Mountain"

Submitted by vostoklake on Wed, 11/24/2021 - 11:44

Our long, strange trip nears its end. “Under the Mountain” is another piece with pre-2010 origins, which refers to a famous New Zealand children’s novel by Maurice Gee, in which the volcanic hills of Tāmaki Makarau/Auckland play a central role. It’s a song about leaving home and finding a new one, about faith and trust in the future, about new life. The last tracks were laid down with the album at about the time our second child was conceived. So there’s that.

The Stories of Comics and Stories: Part 11, "A Limousine in a Cul-de-Sac"

Submitted by vostoklake on Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:53

“A Limousine in a Cul-de-Sac” is at the intersection of Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities and Peter Hammill’s “Losing Faith in Words”. Not much more to say about that, apart from that we're particularly proud of the percussion line. Tricia's backing vocals really make this track, her "unearthly calls" somewhat freaking out the producer; the image of the party bus on the roundabout is hers.

The Stories of Comics and Stories: Part 10, "Your Next Show"

Submitted by vostoklake on Thu, 11/11/2021 - 12:55

“Your Next Show” came fully formed to me in a dream in 2009, in which Split Enz were performing it (it possibly bears some relationship to their “I Got You” and “129”, possibly Bauhaus’ “Spirit” while we’re at it). The lyrics don’t make a hell of a lot of sense because they, too, were downloaded fully-formed from the dream world. In hindsight, I'm not sure it fits with the rest of the album, but it didn't deserve to be forgotten either. We sometime open the live gigs with it.

The Stories of Comics and Stories: Part 9, "Silicon(e)"

Submitted by vostoklake on Wed, 11/03/2021 - 15:35

“Silicon(e)” is a relatively straightforward piece about virtual sex, the cyborg and the end of human subjectivity; I asked the producer to make the drums sound as deliberately artificial and eerie as in Kate Bush’s “Mother Stands for Comfort”. The title is a smart-arse reference to these nerds.

The Stories of Comics and Stories: Part 8, "Don't Tell The Doctor"

Submitted by vostoklake on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:49

“Don’t Tell The Doctor” began as one of Tricia’s poems, written from the point of view of a mental health consumer, which I decided to package as a synth-punk quasi-Ramones piece. Tricia’s improvised “Batmannery” in the bridge had the rest of us cracking up in the studio, though we’re still working on her confidence to do it live.

The Stories of Comics and Stories: Part 7, "The Ballad of Ghost Point 5"

Submitted by vostoklake on Wed, 10/20/2021 - 09:15

Tricia’s decision, first, to provide backing vocals on the recording, and then become a full-fledged member of the band, was the catalyst without which this album would never have been completed, because it would have been difficult to make it something more than a re-hash of Small Group Psychosis. “The Ballad of Ghost Point 5” is a prime example.

The Stories of Comics and Stories: Part 6, "Dress Me Up, Dress me Down"

Submitted by vostoklake on Wed, 10/06/2021 - 11:29

“Dress Me Up, Dress Me Down” is possibly the most intimate song I’ve ever written to the point where I’m not going to explain the lyrics. However, it’s probably the closest I’ve ever come to the Western art music (“classical”) tradition in my recorded output.

The Stories of Comics and Stories: Part 4, "The Dive (entrance and exit)"

Submitted by vostoklake on Thu, 09/23/2021 - 15:58

In contrast with some of the works dating back decades, other parts of the album were literally completed after recording had already begun. I refer in particular to the decision to attach Tricia’s poem “The Dive” to an instrumental I had written years before (then titled “Theme from Vostok Lake”) which was always intended to book-end the album.