Peter Gutteridge, one of the original musicians behind the early 80s Dunedin sound and the founding days of the Flying Nun record label has died.

Gutteridge, who was in his early 50s, died on Monday morning in Auckland, shortly after returning from playing his first ever show in the United States earlier this month.

Gutteridge had been a founding member of The Clean, The Chills and The Great Unwashed in the early 80s.

He later went on to form the legendary noise-drone outfit Snapper and make his own solo recordings.

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Snapper performed reunion shows last year following Gutteridge's treatment for drug addiction.

A statement from the label described Gutteridge as ''a great talent''.

"All of us, and so many people around the world, have been touched and affected by his music, whether it be the swirling fuzz of the guitar or haunting piano melodies, Peter was a true hero of New Zealand music, and will be deeply missed."

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends at this very sad time.

"Thank you Peter for all the music, may you rest in peace."

The largely reclusive Gutteridge didn't enjoy being labelled part of the "Dunedin sound"

He told interviewer Wes Holland of messandnoise.com last year: "People didn't think about the sound of things, people put on guitars and then clanged out stuff.

"I just got tired of a guitar sound that wasn't thought about. I had my own personal style. I mean, I wrote [The Clean's] Point That Thing [Somewhere Else]' at 17. That sort of sums up where I come from. I love textures. I love Indian music - now that's true psychedelic music without having to give itself a term.

"A lot of rock music leaves me cold. It's anal. It's self-indulgent. That's it. But there's great stuff too. Rock music is only rock music."