The Bilders

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The Builders
Genres New Zealand Underground
Years active 1980-present

The Bilders (aka Builders, Bilderine, Bilderbergers, Six Impossible Things) was a New Zealand music group, recently brought out of obscurity by labels Unwucht (Germany) and Siltbreeze, Grapefruit and SmartGuy (USA). A string of self-recorded 7-inch vinyl releases between 1980 and 1982 culminated in Beatin Hearts, the first studio-album of the fledgling New Zealand ('Flying Nun Records') underground movement. Its most recent release is The Utopians, a 7-inch 45 rpm record and i-Tunes download released by SmartGuy Records (USA). Bilders' material is known for 'rough' music making (often live in the studio), and a lo-fi recording style that has produced "many genuine classic compositions".[1]

Guests and collaborators in the 1980s included Alastair Galbraith 1994, Alec Bathgate (recording project, 1984), Chris Knox (recording and production, 1982) of Toy Love and Tall Dwarfs, Alan Brunton (opera project Comrade Savage on the life of Australian-born NZ politician Michael Joseph Savage) [1] (Red Mole), Steve Braunias, Campbell McLay (bass, 1980–82), members of The Terminals, Scorched Earth Policy and Victor Dimisich Band. Malcolm Grant was Bilders drummer (1980-82) before moving to (The Bats. Recent members include Greig Bainbridge (bass, Christchurch NZ, 1984–present), TThomthom G'schrey (Germany, violin, 1997, 2006–present), Stuart Page (of [The Axemen] drums and artwork, 1983-85, 2010–present), Robbie Yeats (Dunedin, The Dead C, 2014, drums), David Watson (NYC, 2013, bagpipes, 335 semi-acoustic guitar), Miggy Littleton (Brooklyn, 2013, bass), Hamish Kilgour of The Clean (Brooklyn, 1989, 2013-14), David Wukitsevits of Austrian band Der Nino aus Wien (2013, drums), Jess McCann (Melbourne, accordion), Stuart Porter (saxophones, percussion), Louise Johns (Germany/Singapore, bass), Mark Williams (Wellington/Germany, guitar), Jo Contag (Wellington, drums), Barry Stockley (Wellington/Melbourne, bass and instrumentation, 1987, 2013), Tama Stockley (drums, 2013), artist-guitarist Nikola Kapétanovic (2009–11, [France, electric guitar, dumbra, kalimba), dancer and actress France Hervé (France, 2010, chanteuse, actor), Kersten Ginsberg (Germany, drums, 1997), pianist, composer, improvisor, filmmaker Jonathan Crayford (Paris-NZ) - piano (2010–11, a special poetry-piano project), Rick And (2011, vocal), Peter Scott (2012, bass), Andrew McCully (piano, organ 2007-08, 2010, 13, 14) and Andy Maitai (drums, 2008). Further groups have played or collaborated in Europe, USA, Australia and NZ with musicians such as Jon Evans (Berlin, synthesiser, 2008, Berlin) and Parisian DJ Fred Morvan (beatbox, 2008, Berlin). This list is not complete.

Since the early 1980s, music has been released on labels such as South Indies, Unwucht, SmartGuy, Grapefruit Record Club, Onec Records Plymouth UK, South Indies, Siltbreeze, Onset Offset Christchurch NZ, Powertool NZ [CDs only 2006–2010], EMI, and Warner Bros Flying Nun.

Selected Discography[edit]

  • "The Utopians". 7" 45rpm vinyl & iTunes download. Studio recordings from Melbourne and Auckland, with a live extract (Austria). 2014. SmartGuy Records smart35.
  • "Fiat Lux". Builders live recordings 1980-82. Democrazy Records DR 009.
  • "The Flavour of the Meat". 2013. 12 inch vinyl. 33rpm. Grapefruit Record Club.
  • "New York Songs". 2013. 12 inch vinyl. 33rpm. Unwucht.
  • Bilders Live. Tour merchandise CD. South Indies. 2012.
  • "Wonders". 7 inch lathe. OneC Records. Plymouth, UK. 2012.
  • High 30s Piano. (Live studio recordings, 1981-2). 2012. Unwucht.
  • Soloman's Ball. 2012. 12" vinyl (from the quality studio recordings of 1981). Unwucht.
  • Six Impossible Things. 2012. 12" vinyl (from the quality studio recordings of 1980-81). Unwucht.
  • Vacuum, two 7 inch vinyl releases from the cult Philadelphia label from cassettes of early (1978–79) group Vauum (Peter Stapleton, Steve Cogle, Peter Fryer, Allen Meek, Brendan Arnold). (Siltbreeze, 2011, 2012). Of these only the second remains in production.
  • Above Ground. Siltbreeze. Philadelphia, USA. LP. Vinyl (from cassette of 1983). 2011.
  • Krypton 10. 12" double vinyl album includes BD collabs with Onset-Offset stable in Christchurch c. 1980-82; taken partly from 20 Solid Krypton Hits (above). Unwucht, Augsburg, Germany. 2011
  • Parisian Friday. CD (jewel case). Non-studio recordings (gallery openings, practices). 2010. Bilders Paris Sessions (w. Nikola Kapétanovic). Powertool Music.
  • Flying Nun Box Set (Alligator Song). Limited period usage. Warner Bros. 2007.
  • Divina Comedia. LP vinyl compilation of Builders material 1980-88). South Indies. 1989.
  • Life in Bars. Bill Direen and Barry Stockley. 12" vinyl. 45 rpm. South Indies. 1987.
  • The Cup. Builders. 12" vinyl. 45 rpm. South Indies. 1987. (w. John McDermott, Stuart Porter, Bainbridge, Holdorf).
  • Let's Play. Builders.12" LP vinyl. South Indies. 1986. (w. Bainbridge, Tony Green, Karl Holdorf. Incl. a Vacuum archive song).
  • CoNCH3. Builders. 12" LP vinyl. South Indies. 1985. (w. Page, Bainbridge, various).


  1. ^ Dix, John (1988). Stranded in Paradise: New Zealand Rock 'n' roll 1955-88. Palmerston North, NZ: Paradise Publications. ISBN 0-14-301953-8 ISBN 0-473-00638-3


External links[edit]