Obscure.co.nz is the longest running NZ dance music website.
Obscure.co.nz has been the online home of New Zealand dance culture for the past 20 or so years.
Psurkit.net is our audio channel, pumping out a show every month or so.
We also maintain an extended family of on and offline back channels for people involved in the NZ music dance/electronic music scene.
Born in Wellington, Obscure now has agents hiding in backbars and cities around the planet.
It's built for promoters, players and punters to submit their own events, profiles, photos and stories...
With a huge archive of oddities you can find some classic tales and pics of NZ's best loved and most obscure dance music people.
Check it daily for up to the minute inside lines on whats happening inside the NZ dance scene, local and abroad - beneath the shiny exterior.
Obscure's official media channel featuring quality sets from NZ producers and DJs
Subscribe to podcasts via RSS at
Podcast channel for New Zealand dance music radio shows
The Floor, every Thrusday night featuring DJ Coda
The Session, every Thrusday night featuring Pete and Andy
The Jewel School, every Saturday evening
The Wednesday Night Jam
Obscure is the oldest electronic music website in NZ. We run pod casting, video streaming, sms alerts, weekly mail outs, multiple mailing lists, self-publishing and provide vast archives of random rave stuff.
Obscure was built and is maintained by a small group of electronic heads. We are: djs, coders, writers, photographers, producers, ravers and geeks. We are people who love dance culture, electronic music and have done so for a long time. We are people who want to continue to contribute and push the dance scene in New Zealand.
Obscure sees dance music as a culture. A wide range of activates and ideas that create the ability to have a specific identity with electronic music and dancing. Dance Culture gives meaning to the words ‘I am into dance music!’.
In our ever evolving multi genre culture, there is a tendency for division across music styles or scenes. Obscure drives to represent the whole culture, providing a big picture of what is going on all over the dance scene in NZ. From personal anecdotes to press releases, gig listings, informed writing and even messages from peoples mums Obscure provides an respected point of communication.
Part of the Obscure’s process is to establish and foster connection among the deep-end dance heads in NZ. We do this by providing mailing lists for communities to stay in touch and participate in ongoing conversations. Some of this dialogue is fun, some of it has been important for shaping the identity of what the scene actually is.
Behind the front page on Obscure is a series of comprehensive and powerful web publishing tools. Obscure is structured to provide artist, promoters and individuals the ability to self-publish their own activity and interests in the scene.
Our postings are not exclusive to one style of music or region. Obscure provides promotion for all levels of event: weekly club nights, international djs, raves and festivals, locally and nationally. This information is delivered weekly in email to Obscure members. Obscure members also benefit by receiving special bulletins and txt to mobile updates about events.
Obscure is a place for people that have an identity with the culture of dance music and who want to expose their work or ideas to a like minded audience.
Obscure has been evolving online for many years, always changing, updating looks and services on a continual basis. Recent additions have been video and pod casting, presenting multi media approach to representing the scene.
What is important to Obscure is not the just web technology or the ability to provide the most information about the dance scene. What is important is to Obscure is the people who make up the scene, the people who contribute, the people who participate.
If you want to get involved, contact us.
Bring on the un-bundling
Hey .. wicked work Simon ..
Your efforts with Obscure are truly amazing!! Thanks .. heaps ..
Hopefully people make use of it .. I intend to as soon as my career
stops interfering with my passions.
Damn .. I think this is worth a celebration .. !! Obscure once again
leads the way with a fully functioning media site specifically for
dance music in NZ ..!
Now all we need is a large cash injection for a crack marketing
team and agents all over NZ turning Obscure into a full-band web
solution for dance culture. but .. I guess we will just have to rely
on friends at the moment.
No need to imagine though .. switched on Promoters can release a
promo video/interview of a touring artists, link up to an audio download
on psurkit .. post gig information on the listing .. and then txt info
to localized obscure members ..
All things considered I still haven't found a website that offers
a similar package of services to promoters .. most of which are free
and self managed.
Bring on the un-bundling .. Obscure is ready ..
Obscure is driven by your submissions -- here are our guidelines for submitting content to the site.
Select the type of item you want to create to start your submission
- Add an Event
- Add Article
- Create an Image Gallery
- Review of a NZ music release
- Profile of a person, place or organisation
We ask you take a look at our submission guidelines before you make a submission<br />
The submission is easy.
- Select the type of item to submit
- Edit your submission
- Preview your submission
- Submit for Approval
You can switch between previewing and editing as many times as you like. When you're happy, you submit the item to us to put online.
We'd like you to follow these basic rules for anythign you contribute
Especially with events, please don't be too hypey (be objective please!) or use ALL CAPS anwhere. If in doubt, use other events on the site as a style guide.
Basic information required is where it is, when it is, who's playing and what kind of event it is... But we really want more than that... tell us what's special about it.
Be objective. Hype doesn't sell, Tell the truth! Why will people want to come to your event, what makes it special, what's on offer.
Check your spelling. We won't do it for you!
We check off each event before it goes live. If it doesn't meet the spec, you'll be emailed, possibly with an explanation. We may or may not edit it. Depending on how much work is needed, we may get you to resubmit it.
Pics can be uploaded in pretty much any format, and will be converted to jpeg for display.
We keep your original file in case we need a hi res copy. If you're uploading files, don't be worried about them being to big - upto around 1000 pixels on the longest edge is good.
If you're uploading photos, please make sure they're nicely cropped and color balanced (ie use the levels or curves commands in photoshop).
Once you have entered and checked your contribution, it will be passed to our editors for checking and approval.
Below we list some of the ways you can promote yourself and your gigs thru Obscure...
Submit your Event
First and best thing you can do is to Submit Event.
Put our Logo on your promo for better coverage.
If you run a Venue
Sign up, then submit your Venue. You can place it on the map for your city, and promoters can easily list it when they submit an event.
All gigs at your venue will show up on it's page, and you can quickly enter the next two weeks worth of gigs.
All events except free ones have to do giveaways - this gets more people using the site, so you get better promo. Only people who opt-in to weekly emails and SMS can win giveaways, so your info will only to people who really want it.
If you are an Artist (DJ, Performer)
Sign up, then from your Profile, you can add an Artist page. Then whenever you play at a gig, the Event Listing will be linked to your aritst page, and you'll have a history off all the events you've played at.
Banners can be placed for any period of time. They click through to your nominated address. We charge for duration of placement on site. As with everything else, we reserve the right to reject banners we feel don't fit with the site. Our rates are pretty reasonable. Contact us for details
Only events with giveaways will be listed in the weekly emails.
We request all event listings are accompanied by giveaways. An event without a giveaway won't get any decent placement.
We offer paid placement on the website's home page and events section. For consideration the listing must have a good image and writeup. Contact us discuss pricing.
Provide us with a 20-30 minute mix of the feature dj at your gig and we'll put on our podcasting channel psurkit.net - contact us for details (placment is at our discretion - the mix has to suit the psurkit format and must be cleared for release. There is a charge to cover bandwitdth costs). Contact us for details
We can send out SMS messages to our members. In return for the chance of winning giveaways, members accept SMS promo from us. We can target messages per-city. Contact us for details
We offer a limited amount of email promo (no more than one per week) that can be targeted to all users, or specific cities. Contact us for details
Obscure has been around since about 1993 or so, and online since 1995. The Obscure website started back in the days of Netscape version 1 - using a crusty old Mac and Teachtext to put together pages.We've been organising (mainly techno) events in Wellington City, New Zealand since that time, most recently the Fun Poison series, but through the years almost too many to count.
After a couple of out there rock gigs, things really started with a seminal event called Psychic Droid, along with Andy Pickering who now edits Remix...
A few months later Andy and Psi opened a club called Biosphere. Biosphere ran for three months or so before the inetivable burnout of both punters and cashflow. Fond memories though.
More recently, The Visit, featuring Cristian Vogel, Bang Psurkit, and the rest of the Psurkit series, Hexanaut, PRG, Aspera (with Halogen), Skankatronics (Pure Wellingtronika)
The Obscure website started back in the days of Netscape version 1 - using a crusty old Mac and Teachtext to put together pages.
News and info on the Welly scene went up, maybe weekly or fortnightly. It was pretty primitive. But so was everything back then.The Wellington scene really started rolling around that time, our first steady flow of international djs, lots of promoters trying to make it happen. Compulsive sleepdodgying and seedy dj's.
The addition of a video camera led to a huge collection of thumbnail pics over the next couple of years. UK based DJ magazine featured us in one of their early internet columns. Cool!
Around that time Lily Star came on board, the Skankatronics gigs and CD happened, we were updating daily, with pics and gossip. We also opened the Psurkit mailing list, the first dance list in NZ.
Psurkit was a wild ride, almost killed our pal's mailserver. One day we decided to kill it, cos it was just getting too noisy. The next day a new, invite only list called Psecret started - and still runs to this day - where the old and crusty of the NZ scene get together, gossip and chat about the rugby.Eventually www.psurkit.net become NZ's first podcasting station, covering electronic and New Zealand music over three years. It has now been transitioned to it's ultimate role as our online techno label.
Around the end of the 90's, start of the Noughties Obscure via Larry Loontoonz and Psi ran the Fun Poison series - Ten events in all, themed around a custom commissioned Simon Morse death skull.
Starting out small at the Valve Bar, then jaunting to Osaka and Brighton, FP ended up packing out Studio Nine with and creating out Tokyo connection thru Phil Sueme and Mayuri. Ange and Audrey aka The Stereonasties were regular partners in crime, and since her trip to NZ Mayuri has reciprocated fantastically by letting us snean in to her incredible annual Metamorphose festival in Tokyo.
The final FP was an unforgettable, epic jetliner and road trip to Queenstown with the combined Obscure and FP, Stereonasties, S-ence, Zueei and Bassnation crews.
UR-NZ2008 saw the culmination of a seed of an idea hatched on a tour bus driving back from Metamo three years earlier. It was evisioned to be possible to arrange for agent UR039 and DJ Skurge to undertake a very special mission.
Obscure arrange for them to enter the country, perform two gigs, and in the outskirts of Wellington undertake a mentoring programme with at-risk youth in the community. This was a major success for us, we succeeded in directly mentoring nearly 100 teenagers in Wainui, Stokes Valley, Petone, and Wellington city, as well as bringing Underground Resistance (who have been a major influence on us) to New Zealand for the first and possibly only time.
Obscure is operated out of Queenstown and Sydney with a network of agents throughout the country and roaming offshore. We also run a number of back-channel mail lists connecting the movers in NZ music. Ask us about these if you're interested.
Other players, shouts and respect
Larry, Masif, Splsash, Juice / Smiley, Eden / S-Ence, Coda, Zero, Omar, Mark Cubey, Soft, radioactive.fm, Flipside (RIP), Mu, The Roots Foundation, Bassnation / John Goosebump, Discotek, The Gathering (RIP), Entrain, Remix, Espressoholic, Shihad, Stereonasties, Karen Zueei, Mayuri Fastback, Geof and Penny, Midnight / Havana, The Matterhorn, UR, Uncle Robbie, The Psecret Foundation, D-Wire (Respect).
Fallen Soldiers, never forgotten.
Jason, Gerald, Sueme.
Obscure is an ongoing work in progress.
- Online since 1995
- Live unbiased coverage
- Repository and archive
- Contribution driven
- Develop the Culture
Left of field connections between people, organisations and events.
Here's an Obscure Logo for you to put on your promo (flyers, posters etc) if you respect what we do.
If you're going to use our logo, let us know and we'll give your event some extra attention.
If you need a different format, please contact us.
Thanks to Leroy for the poster-friendly tweaks to the original sticker.