Alec Bathgate - The Indifferent Velvet Void
The Indifferent Velvet Void is only the second full-length solo album by Alec Bathgate, despite a long career as one half of Tall Dwarfs and co-founder of the legendary New Zealand punk bands The Enemy and Toy Love. The Indifferent Velvet Void was originally released in 2004 by legendary label, Lil' Chief Records.
The album was recorded at Alec's home over 18 months, working mostly on weekends in the family's tiny spare room. “The room was completely red and had a nice womb-like quality. I had all my records in there, so I would play music and drink coffee then get down to recording. It took a long time to make - 18 months - because I could only record on weekends.”
Despite working with an “improved” digital recording medium (since Gold Lamé’s 4-track), Alec still worked with fairly limited equipment - two microphones, a smattering of guitars, a cheap keyboard and a few simple percussion instruments. Alec is responsible for all of the instrumentation, engineering and production — with the exception of some additional handclaps and backing vocals supplied by his family. All but one of the songs on the album were written by Bathgate — the remaining track "Overundersidewaysdown" is a cover of a track by The Yardbirds.
“I had to construct the songs from the ground up. I enjoyed arranging them and messing around with different sounds. Obsessively so. I had a list with places for 16 songs. Once it started taking shape I would write songs to fit the gaps. I was very conscious of how it would all fit together as a whole. There are a few tracks that reference T.Rex.”
The result is an album that shows both strength as a songwriter and musician, from the psychedelic overtones of "Slow Fuzz", to the aforementioned T-Rexisms of "In The Shadows".
This new vinyl version of The Indifferent Velvet Void was remixed with Tom Havard at Sublime Studio in 2020, and mastered for vinyl by Mikey Young, in Melbourne.
This 2021 The Indifferent Velvet Void reissue is out on 19th November, on transparent purple vinyl, via Alec’s own label Long Short Short and is limited to 200 copies — pressed locally at Holiday Records in Auckland, New Zealand.
In The Shadows
Ebb and Flow
We’re All Babies
Should I Wake Up?
Out Of My Head
The Indifferent Velvet Void
Fear and Loathing
RIYL: Tall Dwarfs, Toy Love, Chris Knox, The Enemy, T-Rex, Lou Reed
Originally released on 11 November, 2004 on Lil' Chief Records.