Artist

Disasteradio

Luke Rowell aka Disasteradio has been fashioning idiosyncratic, futurist computer pop ever since he acquired his first Commodore 64 at age six, taping the game soundtracks with his sister's boom-box. An early adopter of online music distribution, "D-rad" released his album Charisma in 2010 as a free download with optional donation. "Robots will one day enslave the planet, so at least I'm going to go down as a musician who celebrated their existence, and maybe my future offspring shall be spared."

No Pulse

Disasteradio, Music Video, 2010

This promo, directed by Simon Ward, showcases a single from Wellington’s Disasteradio. The bespectacled "D-rad" broadcasts a soup of synth-pop from the safety of his bedroom bunker via walkie talkie to his bandit girl, stranded outside in a post apocalyptic landscape. She fends off zombie marauders after her dog; he eats - and gets infected by - a pizza ... and talks to his hand. And his hand talks back.

Aroha Bridge - 09, MeTube (Series One, Episode Nine)

Web, 2013 (Full Length Episode)

The Hook twins (Jessica Hansell aka rapper Coco Solid, and Rizvan Tu’itahi) pimp their social media profile in the penultimate episode of Hansell’s animated comedy series about a suburban band with stars in their eyes. They go the cheap route by posting a sensationalist clip of their ex-army dad (Frankie Stevens) freaking out over a kitten (he is kittenphobic), however Kowhai recovers her morals and apologises in a lyrical highpoint of the series: “Oh dad, I’m so sorry/ I threw a baby cat in your face/ Oh dad, I’m so sorry/ I was panderin’ to my fanbase.”

Aroha Bridge - 10, Halloween (Series One, Episode 10)

Web, 2013 (Full Length Episode)

Mum is cornrowing Dad’s hair for a costume party in this final episode inspired by the lyrics of a track sent in by a series' fan (“Halloween party, Halloween!/ Halloween party, Halloween!”). Cousin Ira lures the twins into the lair of enemy band the Rugged Sharks, where they realise they are the wait staff. No one gets Kowhai’s Riddler costume and Monty drinks to ease the pain. This 10-part animated music biz satire stars Jessica Hansell and Rizvan Tu’itahi as Kowhai and Monty Hook; Madeleine Sami as mum; Frankie Stevens as dad and Scotty Cotter as cousin Ira.  

Aroha Bridge - 07, Triple Threat (Series One, Episode Seven)

Web, 2013 (Full Length Episode)

Inspired by her idol, the all-dancing, singing and acting Alaze Rhetoric, Kowhai forces Monty to attend dance lessons so they too can bring a triple threat. But hot Euro dance teacher Francine (voiced by Madeleine Sami) is blind to Kowhai’s self-proclaimed talent and only has eyes for Monty. The voices for Jessica Hansell’s 10-part web series about the music biz were recorded in a single afternoon, with crooner Frankie Stevens onboard as the twins’ ex-army dad. Comic use of a dairy doorbell merits special mention in this Aroha Bridge episode.

Aroha Bridge - 08, Space Invasion (Series One, Episode Eight)

Web, 2013 (Full Length Episode)

The Hooks’ blissed out mum (Madeleine Sami) has a vision of a Reiki studio in her basement, displacing the twins’ practice room in this eighth episode of animated series Aroha Bridge, based on Jessica Hansell’s comic strip Hook Ups. After answering an ad, the twins end up sharing rehearsal space with pretentious synth outfit the Rugged Sharks, but their music is not quite as crap as it first seemed, leading Kowhai to consider ripping them off. Hansell aka musician Coco Solid and Rizvan Tu’itahi star as a band from the ‘burbs dreaming of the big time. 

Aroha Bridge - 06, Aroha Bridge Factor (Series One, Episode Six)

Web, 2013 (Full Length Episode)

Frankie Stevens impersonates himself as a judge on the televised musical talent show Aroha Bridge Factor in this sixth episode of Jessica Hansell’s animated web series. Kowhai and Monty (Hansell and Rizvan Tu’itahi) audition with a track from Kowhai’s musical meisterwerk The Phantom of the Hiphopera. But in front of the judges, the twins’ effort to “street up” their story comes back to bite them. The twins’ costumes by Wellington animators Skyranch and Scotty Cotter’s goofy cousin Ira are highlights of the episode.

Aroha Bridge - 04, Art to Art (Series One, Episode Four)

Web, 2013 (Full Length Episode)

Kowhai and Monty Hook run into some chic city girls at the dairy who invite them to play at an art opening. Under the influence of his mum’s “alternative medicine”, Monty pens an ode to spaghetti which Kowhai tries to reframe as a feminist thinkpiece. Crooner Frankie Stevens voices the twins’ slightly scary dad in this 10-part animated series created by Jessica Hansell. Wellington animators Skyranch is a collective of artist/musicians including Luke Rowell aka Disasteradio, responsible for the background sight gags. 

Aroha Bridge - 05, Amcray (Series One, Episode Five)

Web, 2013 (Full Length Episode)

Monty’s crappy administration skills prompt the Hook twins (Jessica Hansell aka musician Coco Solid and Rizvan Tu’itahi) to look for a manager in Hansell’s 10-part animated web comedy about a band dreaming of stardom. At the Aroha Bridge dairy they run into intriguing Scotsman Dougie (Frankie Stevens, also the voice of the twins’ macho dad) who just happens to be carrying all the right management literature under his arm – but Monty is suspicious of his motives. Aroha Bridge is based on Hansell’s comic strip Hook Ups,  for music magazine Volume.

Aroha Bridge - 03, Kiri the Krazy (Series One, Episode Three)

Web, 2013 (Full Length Episode)

Selling out is the theme of the third part of Jessica Hansell’s 10-part animated web series. Cousin Ira offers the twins a gig playing at the grand reopening of the Aroha Bridge dairy on the condition they play a song about the dairy. Kowhai leaps at the chance to play a “festival” crowd, while Monty is dubious about promoting “big business”. Each episode of Aroha Bridge features a track created by a fan on an app accompanying the series. Production company Fumes also makes Super City starring Madeleine Sami, voice of the Hook twins’ spaced out mum.