Massively unlikely public service reissue of what was originally a very obscure cassette released on a made to order basis and only briefly available at gigs in 1983. Above Ground were a phenomenal though short-lived group with tentacles deep in New Zealand’s Christchurch DIY scene in the early 80s and featured Bill Direen of Vacuum/Builders, Carol Direen, Maryrose Crook of Max Block/Renderers and Stuart Page of Axemen. The sound is the kind of dream excavation of proto-Velvet Underground garage cut up w/primitive smears of organ that situate it somewhere downwind of the Modern Lovers Cale demos and garage rockers like The Seeds and The Music Machine. But it’s all cut up with that amazing early NZ avant garage sound that inevitably gives the nod to The Fall and contemporary UK DIY while pushing the basic group format into various states of collapse, with staggering rhythms and obsessively circling guitars over ‘songs’ that confuse The Magic Band with The Shadow Ring. There’s a great mix of styles here, with looser live tracks combined with more hermetic home recorded experiments that really give you an idea of the breadth of influences and the degree of experimentation that went on in the early years of the Christchurch explosion. If you’re in any way tuned-in to the minutiae of this particular scene – and if you’re not, what the hell are you doing following VT? – then this is a necessary and fascinating piece of the puzzle that sits neatly alongside your Vacuum, Builders, Krytpton Ten, Pin Group, Scorched Earth Policy, Terminals and Victor Dimisich Band releases. Massive kudos to Siltbreeze for rescuing this gem. Comes with a free download too. Highly recommendced!