Skeptics Profile

Michael Canning
27 May 2013

From the early 1980s, The Skeptics made music of rhythmic collisions and contortions and they heartily journeyed into zones of discordancy. David D’Ath’s almost painterly style of using words and sounds set the band apart from its contemporaries. In the mid-1980s, The Skeptics were early adopters of samplers, creating a strange and otherworldly body of music with oddly symphonic components.

The band only existed for around a decade but in that period performed and recorded some of the kookiest, boldest, and finest experimental music ever made. Their work belongs in the lineage of experimental and pioneering sound-art and music that began with the Futurist and Dada movements in Europe early in the 20th Century.

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Skeptics in 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Karen Downes
David D'Ath
Ponds 1985
Skeptics - III, released 1987 on Flying Nun 
Skeptics. From left, Nick Roughan, David  D'Arth, Don White and Robin Gauld.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Flying Nun
Skeptics, Writhe Studio, Walter Street 1989
Photo credit: Bob Sutton Collection
David D'Ath of Skeptics (Out-take frame from 16mm AFFCO shoot, Auckland 1987)
Photo credit: Photo by Stuart Page
Skeptics, Writhe Studio, Walter Street 1989, with the rarely seen two drummer lineup
Photo credit: Bob Sutton Collection
David D’Ath
The Skeptics live at the Gluepot in 1990, filmed by Bob Sutton. Two songs appear: Any Any and Sheen Of Gold.
Skeptics in 1984.
A.F.F.C.O.
Agitator
Skeptics - Amalgam (1990)
The posthumous Sensible EP
Labels:

Flying Nun


Furtive


Industrial Tapes

Members:

David D'Ath - vocals, sampler

Nick Roughan - bass, sampler, vocals

Rob Gauld - guitar

John Halvorsen - guitar

Don White - drums