Karl Harlequin
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Karl Harlequin


Band Alternative Rock


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Love|Apathy|Hate album 2009 e-release:

I Heard You Talking
Sunday Afternoon
I Got Tired
Last Time



Karl Harlequin is the pseudonym of Russell Alistair Dench. Originally a pianist (taking formal lessons at 10 yrs old, and composing songs from 13).

He was a graduate of the Victoria University of Wellington School of Music and studied under Jack Body, John Psathas, and Ross Harris (1997-2000).

His first band, The Harlequin Cube started in 2001, and was originally called 'Harlequin Squared', a name given by James Bennett, who played guitar, whilst Russell played keyboards and provided vocals.

The two eventually went separate ways for work-related reasons, and Russell renamed the band as it is now after moving to live in Auckland, where he sold his beloved acoustic piano and bought a stack of synthesisers and drum machines.

Around a month later, The Harlequin Cube had its first singles 'Everybodys Got A Problem' and 'Industrial Sufferage'.

Eventually he got bored of the whole dark-end industrial/electro scene of the late 90's, and moved back to Wellington and was introduced to the IDM genre by DJ MartiAn from local radio station Active89FM's 'Deep Show'.

The creative partnership work well, and spawned numerous tracks, all of which received valuable airplay.

However, just as they were gaining a respectable local audience, Martian moved to Japan to teach English, and Russell felt unable to carry on alone, only completing 4 new tracks before finally deciding to call it quits.

Around 2003 he made another bold move, and swapped a digital piano for a Fender Stratocaster and 500 bucks cash in the hand (he later named this guitar 'Francis' after seeing footage of Frank Black from The Pixies using the same model and color on a 1988 live show).

To date he has has recently returned to his roots , and resurfaced as a singer/songwriter, taking his cue from artists such as David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Pixies and Nirvana (amongst many others).