Disasteradio (from his video ‘Oh Yeah’)
Disasteradio (from his video ‘Oh Yeah’)

MusicFebruary 26, 2018

Auckland City Limits primer: Disasteradio! (WATCH)

Disasteradio (from his video ‘Oh Yeah’)
Disasteradio (from his video ‘Oh Yeah’)

Wellington synthpop genius Disasteradio is playing Auckland City Limits this weekend! To help prepare you, The Spinoff retraces his career in 121 seconds. 

Wellington synthpop maestro Luke Rowell has been making hi-fi and high energy music under the pseudonym Disasteradio since 2000. He’s been on a prolific run ever since, playing over 400 shows in 22 countries and releasing 14 records, which include a handful under his side projects Eyeliner and the superbly-named Super Doobie Bros.

Visions, released in 2007, was Rowell’s most popular and praised work to date, but it was 2010’s Charisma that people really fussed over. Unlike his previous releases, Charisma saw him take a new approach by focusing less on instrumentals and more on vocals than ever before. ‘Gravy Rainbow’, a trippy, novelty hit, even managed to go viral after it was picked up by Tosh.O’s #WTFriday blog.

In 2017, Rowell released Sweatshop, the first Disasteradio album in seven years and one that he reckons sees him veer into Electric Light Orchestra territory. As usual, the dizzying pop songs are big on vocoder and autotune, and layered all over with synths. But you’ll need to see him perform live to really appreciate the full Disasteradio experience.


Disasteradio plays at 2:40 pm on the Golden Dawn stage at Auckland City Limits, sponsored by Spark, at Western Springs Stadium and Park on 3 March 2018. Tickets are available here.

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