Book Review - Blue Smoke - The Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music 1918-1964 -
Judged from a distance, Chris Bourke’s undertaking to do for the period of 1918 - 1964 what the essential Stranded In Paradise did for 1955 to ’88, seemed a somewhat ambitious undertaking. We can all understand the appeal of Stranded’s classic era of rock’n’roll, a period which offers a connection to so many names still in play – not to mention the songs and sounds that populate classic rock and pop radio – along with the added appeal of a voyeuristic view into those hedonistic and social order-changing times. ...more
Dukes - Bringing Vampires to Still Life -
From the seeds of a raw rock album recorded in a stone house in Arthur’s Pass, Christchurch band Dukes have undergone a transformation to emerge in pop colours with their sophomore album ‘Still Life’. Founding brothers Matt and Jo Barus talked to Joe Dodgshun about the new album, drawing inspiration from French pop and being compared to Crosby, Stills and Nash. ...more
Greg Johnson - Sharing a Secret with his fans -
Greg Johnson says he is 75% happy with his latest album – which is good because it’s at least a five percent higher satisfaction rating than he has given any of his previous efforts. He was in NZ to launch ‘Secret Weapon’ in early November, playing cabaret-style with nine-piece band to a seated audience of 400 at Auckland’s Powerstation, plus meeting other obligations to the 200 or so Kiwis who had paid in advance for a copy of the album – and in doing so paid for the record’s production. He talked with Richard Thorne. ...more
In His Own Electronic World -
Hailing from Christchurch, now living in Auckland, Miles McDougall filters his childhood memories through a modern disco-pop lens with his laptop, drum machine and voice-driven solo project Pikachunes. He talks to Martyn Pepperell about the influence of early electronica, video games, a skateboarding accident and why moving north has been creatively conducive. ...more
Little Monster's Christmas Gift -
Dave Parker is no rock star, but the 22 year old is fast becoming one of the most ubiquitous characters in the Auckland music scene. The producer/engineer spoke to Lydia Jenkin about creating his Little Monster Studio in his parents’ house, overcoming budgetary hurdles and bringing this year’s most delightful yuletide compilation ‘A Very Little Christmas’ to fruition.
Nick Dwyer - Taking Tracks and Making Tracks -
Nick Dwyer’s TV show Making Tracks is a grand, joyous musical exchange, a series about taking NZ music around the world and blending it with an exploration of the music and cultures of far flung countries such as Lebanon, Ukraine, France, Ghana, Argentina, Britain and Japan. The second series has just finished screening here, and rather excitingly, begins screening on National Geographic’s music channels round the rest of the world early next year. Lydia Jenkin spoke to Making Tracks’ inspired creator – radio DJ and TV presenter Nick Dwyer – about the challenges of putting together such a show, changing perceptions of ‘world’ music and spreading our music around the globe.
Optimus Gryme - Demystifying our Dubstep -
For such a buzz genre dubstep is a confusing beast. The sound has blown up terribly quickly but it’s fair to say the masses haven’t really got a handle on what it is, what it sounds like and just why other people like it. Charlie Brown, better known as New Zealand’s dubstep pioneer Optimus Gryme, has recently released a two CD dubstep compilation entitled ‘Aotearoa Dubstep Allstars Vol. 1’, and he’s keen to help Karl Puschmann unravel the mystery. ...more
Svelte - The Cats' New Groove -
It was been over two years since Auckland three-piece Svelte found themselves getting radio play with their first recorded song, Grind Your Bones. They have spent the time since quietly working on their debut album which comes out in December. Gareth Shute caught up with two members of the band to talk about ‘Cat’s Paw’, and how they found a new path outside of their first musical endeavour, Supergroove.
The Trons - Guten Abend Wir Sind Die Trons, Aus Neuseeland -
It’s really not so long ago that Kiwi rock musicians were notoriously uncommunicative in interviews – and for that matter, often just as reluctant to do much more than stand shyly on stage, strum their instruments and occasionally garble some lyrics. Any banter was kept within the band, audiences left to amuse themselves between songs. The Trons then come from a rich cultural legacy – and from Hamilton. The ground-breaking robot rock band released their first CD/DVD in November, a self-titled effort on their own Pie Plate Records. According to guardian Greg Locke, it is “… indeed the first album ever released by robots”. Which, quite apart from any other challenges, must have made it hard to know what it should sound like. Richard Thorne found a can of CRC and a fresh apple pie helped loosen things up. ...more