The Bizarre Dwarfs are: Stan Menshic and Kristian Kriesel
The Band formed when Stan Spotted me wearing a Velvet underground T Shirt in Balmain (Where we both lived in the same unit block) and invited me back to his place for a jam. The band had a short lifespan mid 1994 to early 1995 and had plenty of guest appearances along the way, most notably Matt who appears on Drums on the early tracks ( Don't ask for his last name as Stan and i have lost contact with him) Todd and Dave.
Music Credits: Kristian Kriesel Lead and Rhythm guitar, Echo guitar, Keyboards on Astral Boat People and Parachute/ Ripcord. Stan Menshic Keyboards, Synthesizer, Vocal;s on that Haunted House in Balmain and The Bizarre Dwarfs Theme, Echo guitar on Astral Boat People and Parachute Ripcord. With special guests: Matt:: Drums on SLM, Photon Ghost, Garage Days, Funky Snowman and Where's Angus Maclise, Todd: Rhythm guitar + solo on Garage Days, Lead guitar on Funky Snowman and Backing guitar on Where's Angus Maclise. Dave: vocals and keyboards on No More Orchestral All tracks Composed and Produced by The Bizarre Dwarfs between 1994-1995 at Stan Menshic's Home studio's Melrose place Balmain. Cover art Kristian Kriese,l Back cover Stan Menshic, Remastered by Kristian Kriesel 2013 Piper Art Records.
The Music is best described as Psychedelic or at least the tracks on this album are. There's Garage rock, Psychedelic rock,, Ambient Classical, Sci Fi Space and Gothic Horror Soundtrack. but the connecting factor is most of the tracks are instrumental. The album was recorded at Stan Menschic's home studio using a two track tape recorder with two mikes and the album does have a live DIY sound to it. At the end of each jam session Stan would either make a copy for me or give me the Master tape,
The 5 tapes i own form this album and can be grouped into 6 distinct Jam sessions 1 Early Stuff, 2 Todd's period, 3 Jungle Jam, 4 Kris various echo, 5 Stan's Guitar, 6 Gregorian chants. I l pretty much stuck to this Chronological format for the album. Our method was that of free improvisation, Although i did throw in a Pre planed riff every now and then ( Not Included) My riffs sucked lol. This style led to a more open ended feel to the tracks, ( We never went back and worked on individual tracks) In fact there are no real individual tracks just long experimental Instrumentals cut up and edited by me in 1995 and then again in 2013. So although i wished we'd rehearsed the best tracks a little more, spent more time on working things out, it does give the album a more spontaneous feel and the editing means no waiting around for the music to evolve into something exiting, No Pre programming No Studio Trickery. The Only real concessions i made to production on this album is the Looped ending at the end of smooth Origins, ( I got peeved at all the sudden endings.) I did EQ the tracks to remove subtle tape his and boost the middle slightly. There's a definite charm to this album and it makes for an enjoyable listen.
Stan had a vast musical vocabulary, With many thousands of LP's all alternative music from the 60's and 70's. I was already listening to the Velvet Underground, The Cure the Doors, Joy Division and other mainstream stuff but Stan really opened the Doors for me to another world of experimental music, Garage rock: The Misunderstood, The Sonics, The Monks. 60's Psych: Syds Pink Floyd and 70's Experimental: Fripp and Eno, Faust with Tony Conrad and countless others. We used to listen to the Faust/ Tony Conrad album before each jam. I guess I must've been kinda annoying as i'd pull an album from the shelf and say Stan copy me this or can I borrow that, No No No you can't borrow Fripp and Eno's No Pussy Footing Gatefold sleeve, But he did copy me a lot of stuff and it helped boost my musical vocabulary and i'm forever grateful for that. Syds Floyd rates an extra mention as it's the main influence behind my 1995 purchase of an echo box (Boss DD3 Digital delay pedal) and that's the point where our sound changed from a Garage rock sound to the more Soundtrack feel of all my music up till now.
Funny Story Behind the Album. Although I used to whine a lot (I also left my rock here) And fight a bit. There's one funny story I'll leave you with. Being huge Velvet Underground fans, A question came up who'd you want to be in the Velvets if you could be any member? I thought for a second and said Hmmm probably Angus Maclise (Original Velvets Drummer) and Stan said No you can't be Angus because I'm Angus, No but I'm Angus I countered. We should have retitled Where's Angus Maclise to Who'e Angus Maclise.