Kaleidoscope World is not just the starting point for The Chills, but an insight into the world of New Zealand guitar-pop and the ‘Dunedin Sound’ – an influence which carries on to indie-pop bands around the world today. Originally released in 1986, the compilation captures the best of the magical early period recordings of The Chills and simply oozes excitement and possibility. Now set to be re-issued on a deluxe 2xLP and CD set, it will feature six bonus b-sides, demos and live tracks plus an expanded gatefold cover with photos, posters and liner notes from music journalist Martin Aston.
The world’s first look at The Chills came via the 1982 Dunedin Double compilation – featuring four acts (The Chills, The Verlaines, Sneaky Feelings and The Stones) who all hailed from the New Zealand city in the deep south. Recorded on a portable 4-track it was distinctly lo-fi and in tune with the DIY ethic at the heart of the burgeoning Flying Nun label.
It was a sound in part born out of geography and location, with the spaciousness and remoteness of New Zealand itself matched with the glowing songs of chief Chill - Martin Phillipps - a music savant who somehow wrangles psychedelic pop and folk, Syd Barrett and Brian Wilson, all with an innate ability to sound both joyous and sad within a moment.
What was initially 8 songs (later expanded to 18 and now 24), Kaleidoscope World has a unique bittersweet innocence from the title track through to the happy - sad aura of “Frantic Drift” and “Rolling Moon.” And amongst all the fragile melodies mixed with a childlike wonder, is “Pink Frost” – for many The Chills’ most beloved track – an eerie, haunting track, the band’s first ‘hit'. Surrounded by the aura of death following a dream Phillipps’ had, it also touches on a sense of desolation and yearning for a connection to the wider world and is no better example of the marvelous songwriting ability of this band from the world's southernmost point.
The Chills' - Kaleidoscope World Tracklisting
1. Kaleidoscope World
2. Satin Doll
3. Frantic Drift
4. Rolling Moon
6. Flame Thrower
7. Pink Frost
8. Purple Girl
9. This Is The Way
10. Never Never Go
11. Don't Even Know Her Name
12. Bee Bah Bee Bah Bee Boe
13. Whole Weird World
14. Dream By Dream
16. Hidden Bay
17. I Love My Leather Jacket
18. The Great Escape
19. Oncoming Day (Early Version)
20. Dan Destiny and The Silver Dawn (Unplugged)
21. Martyns Doctor Told Me
22. I’ll Only See You Alone Again
23. Green Eyed Owl (Live)
24. Smile From A Dead Dead Face (Live)