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February 21, 2011 | by  | in Features Music | [ssba]

Campus a Low Hum 2011

If you haven’t heard of Campus A Low Hum, it’s a five-year-old music festival, held at a campsite in February, filled with hipsters from the Mighty Mighty. If you have heard of Campus A Low Hum, you either went, or you didn’t, in which case you’re upset because your friends keep telling you how great it was.

To ask who played really misses the point of Campus, as the line-up isn’t announced until you arrive—instead, it’s about the atmosphere and the people. Founder and organiser Ian Jorgensen, aka Blink, wanted for Campus to be a music festival with no bad bits: no lines, no clashes, no dicks, no beer zones, and no rules (except not to be a dick). In fact, for most of CALH, all you do is chill out with your friends. Everyone loves camping!

Here are some of the bands that you jerks missed out on.

Best Locals

Beast Wars

Wellington’s own, they play solid, no-bullshit doom metal that manages to excellently walk a fine line between hardcore and easy-listening. They play a rowdy but tight set, with no preening and just the right amount of on-stage presence, and prove a welcome relief from the evening’s near-constant stream of same-y electro.


Arguably the most huggable thing in the world, Disasteradio makes the musical equivalent of sunshine. An outstanding live performer—you truly haven’t lived until you’ve seen him go nuts on his keyboard while trying to keep his glasses on—he has gotten even better since the online release of Charisma, and his Campus outings were crowd favourites. Read Salient’s ‘interview’ with Disasteradio on page 19!


Child grunge prodigies, they shred too hard to be this young. A must-see. Too many bands to name from the ‘Renegade Room’. Though generally falling into the ‘hardcore noise rock’ genre, the short sets and occasional mix were as entertaining as the big artists. Some of the bigger name New Zealand acts could learn a lot from these part-time rockstars—they’re doing it drunk and for pride, and they still managed to show more character on stage.

Best Internationals

Toro y Moi

After a much heralded debut LP, Causers of This, Toro y Moi’s brand of chillwave has been in high demand. Luckily for the Campus faithfuls, he managed to make it to Bulls, and even got through one-and-a-half sets (the second ended by unknown technical errors) of sweet, ambient tunes. Calm and outright charming on stage, they won over the unwashed masses. An excellent way to bring in the afternoon.

Baptism of Uzi

An impressive combo of psychedelica and perfectly executed prog-/space-rock riffs, Baptism of Uzi are a hard band not to love. While their claims of “rich analog synth-scapes” and “riff jamborees” may be overstatements, they play fun rock music, which is hard to find, but a delight when you do. There were many outstanding Australian acts at Campus, but Baptism of Uzi are special. Credit must also go to them for this message on internet site The Twitter:
BaptismofUzi just got sacked from a shitty cafe after asking for one day off to play at Camp A Low Hum. #CALH #gettingfiredneverfeltsogood
Whether this is true or not, we salute them for their commitment.

Captain Ahab

Yes, Four Tet threw down a solid hour of polished IDM/electro, the likes of which won’t be seen in this country until James Blake finally tours here… But for pure live entertainment and immersion, the LA-based electro/jump-style/rave duo of Captain Ahab were the standout act of Campus A Low Hum 2011. They consist of a sweaty hype man in his underwear purposefully trying to get up in your face—with dance—while another shirtless man sings filthy raps about everything from not having a dick to car seats made of human skin. They are funny, joyously energetic, and more coherent then they have any right to be. What else is there to say about Captain Ahab that hasn’t been said about Nelson Mandela? They both bring hope to a turbulent world.

Amongst the standard high quality lineup at CALH, some bands that got top scores:

Teen Hygiene

Two of the most high-energy sets at camp, the first of which saw the drummer play on a stack of milk crates, the second on top of the bike sheds in the baking sun. These guys play in Wellington all the time, so go and get some loud and angry music, or just a pale pink t-shirt.

Rat Vs Possum

Despite requests for cheap drugs between songs, these guys brought the party to the ever-present jungle beats. Dance, dance, help us book shows, dance! They’re from Australia, so watch out for tours.

The Golden Awesome

Pure shoegaze headed by the spectacular Stef Animal, chords and sound and very, very nice noise. I would say inspiring, and also majestic. Wellington-based.


“Oh my god! I can’t believe it! Can you believe they’re playing this live?! This is impossible! The lead singer obviously has a PhD in maths,” says the man next to me. Highly skilled musicians playing intelligent and folky dance, with tambourines, and a breath of fresh live air at a festival where every second band seemed to use some kind of backing track. Based further afield than the Antipodes, so don’t know when we’ll see them again.

The Ocean Floor

Portland, Oregon-based folk, with double bass, guitar, clarinet and violin a great compliment to Lane Barrington’s wandering and reedy lead vocals. Touring NZ for the next month or so—catch them while you can.
Editor’s note: The Ocean Floor recently made an impromptu visit to the Salient office. Barrington thoroughly enjoyed learning about the tartigrade in ‘Animal of The Week’.

The Snowtown Village Swingers

Reaching second season Twin Peaks levels of creepy, with easy listening covers of A Low Hum favourites… Disasteradio, Connan Mockasin and the Sneaks got the treatment. Complete with centre-front swaying drunkard, they made for a chilling end to the event.


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Comments (4)

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  1. BOU says:

    Thanks Salient and Caster,

    Just a short note to confirm that a member of Baptism was fired for asking for one lousy day off to play at CALH. Don’t worry though, it was the kind of job that makes you lust after oblivion. Hope we can do it all again,

    ❤ BOU.

  2. Castor Troy says:

    @BOU – You guys are great, please come back again – hopefully without being fired.

    @Salient – the misspelling of my name is unacceptable, it’s clearly CASTOR, fix this or I will cut you.

    “If you dress like Halloween, ghouls will try to get in your pants.”

  3. We visited Gallipoli last month. And spent almost 1 week . It was really great to see gallipoli, and troy. We almost saw all historical places of istanbul and then we went to troy for a day and saw the a of anzac. We are very happy and we definitely recommend it Everything was fantastic and i saw all the places i want to. It was a great trip and i definitely recommend everyone. Thank you so much.

  4. Spent three days in area and two full days visiting the park and memorials were not enough. Should have had a third. Used dardanel troy Cannakale as a base and left car at Kilitbahir. Our visit was focussed on the British landings in the Cape Hellas area and Morto Bay as well as Gully Ravine. There was more than enough to see with British, French and Turkish sites. It is a must to read up on the Gallipoli campaign before you go. Pretty spectacular and difficult terrain was dwarfed by a second visiting Suvla and Anzac areas Spectacularly beautiful and daunting/terrible for those who fought there. September is a quiet time for a visit with good weather although very dry. Well worth the visit Thank you all so much.

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