Andrew Atwill - Heads You Win -
It’s been several months now since Andy Atwill’s solo bass opus was released. In fact his follow up album is probably closer as the calendar flies, but ‘3 Sides of the Same Coin’ is a one-of-a-kind sort of jazz album that demands due attention, a little in the way its creator does. Besides, with the album itself being five years in the making, another year delay to feature editorial coverage in NZM seems not out of the way. Richard Thorne talked with Andy Atwill about his first album and where the speculative toss of his ‘Coin’ has taken him in the meantime.
Book Review - Fingerpicking Techniques for Guitar -
In my two centuries of picking, I have yet to meet more than one guitarist at a time who can claim ability in reading music and having a standard technique – or at least, either of the two. Most players I know have learnt by ear, by watching and listening to others and thus evolving their own style. So how does one handle a manual that demands both expertise in reading music, as well as having the desire and the patience to sit down and read the instructions? Well, read on…
Book Review - The Soul of the Classical Guitar: An Inspirational Study Guide -
This New Zealand-written book is not only for students wishing to become passionate and competent players of the classical guitar, but is also of general interest for those at a more advanced level. It is suitable as a tuition guide for all age groups from early beginners through to (grade 4 or 5 ) intermediate level.
David Dallas (vs Nick Maclaren) - Stepping Up Beyond The Frontline -
David Dallas and Nick Maclaren are pretty well acquainted – they spent several years working together at the start of the century, back when Dallas was known as Con Psy and Maclaren as DJ 41:30 – and collectively as Auckland hip hop duo Frontline. The pair released a street album, ‘What You Expect?’, in 2001 and four years later dropped their official debut ‘Borrowed Time’ on P-Money’s Dirty Records. That album was judged the year’s best hip hop/urban release at the 2010 NZ Music Awards. Maclaren can also claim beat production credits on one of the tracks on Dallas’ new free-online album ‘The Rose Tint’. Admitting the thought of interviewing his MC mate for NZM was “… initially kind of weird”, Maclaren says he then realised that with Dallas now living in New York, it was a chance to touch base and see what’s going on with his US adventures. ...more
Katie Thompson - The Impossible Made Possible By Believers -
It was Jamie Greenslade, aka Maitreya, who really introduced Sellaband.com to New Zealanders, when he raised the US$50,000 used to record his album ‘Close to Home’ via fan contributions to the European ‘online record company’. In July last year little-known West Coast country singer/songwriter Katie Thompson repeated Maitreya’s feat, making her the 33rd international artist to do so. The 295 ‘believers’ who made it possible have now received their copies of her album, entitled ‘Impossible’, and according to Thompson they are rapt. Far from being impossible it is in fact as good as gold, as she tells Richard Thorne.
Liam Finn - Fear of Standing Still -
‘FOMO’, the title of Liam Finn’s new album, stands for ‘fear of missing out’ – a common enough sensibility, but not something you’d perhaps expect to trouble one of NZ’s most internationally successful musicians – one who gets to travel the world, hang with other celebrated musicians and perform to thousands of fans. Yet it’s a sentiment that Finn admits to experiencing with not being able to share in the daily lives of friends and family while on yet another tour, or having to prioritise recording over summertime fun with mates. Don’t misunderstand, the life of touring and recording is one he’s exceptionally happy with and grateful for, but we’re all allowed a FOMO moment from time to time. Liam spoke to Lydia Jenkin about overcoming that by forming a band, recording in a more collaborative manner, and how the thrill of performing live still makes it all worthwhile. ...more
Mulholland - The Ubiquitous Mr Mulholland -
Jol Mulholland possesses the kind of musical talent that is so ridiculous, you almost roll your eyes. It’s a talent for effortless and joyful creativity that keeps him ridiculously busy. Start listing all the musical projects he’s been involved in, and you’re looking at more than a page. Of late he’s worked on albums by Andrew Keoghan, Victoria Girling-Butcher, Lindon Puffin, Nightchoir, Lisa Crawley, An Emerald City, Lydia Cole, Kirsten Morrell, Motocade… and been playing in Liam Finn’s band. Really that’s just the tip of the iceberg, ‘ubiquitous’ is perhaps the one word that most aptly describes him. Suffice to say he’s an in-demand producer, engineer, bass player, guitarist, vocalist and has an impressive synth/keyboard collection, without yet having become a NZ household name. Now Jol’s about to release his debut solo album ‘Eugene Told Me You Were Dead’, under the moniker ‘Mulholland’. He spoke to Lydia Jenkin.
Obituary - Martin Winch -
Our dear friend, gentleman and gentle man, Martin Winch, began his musical journey comparatively late; it has now ended, at 62 years young, tragically early.
PNC - Balancing Act -
PNC’s third album, ‘Man On Wire’, mixes his fast-flowing hip hop style with elements of reggae, rock, and dance music. Challenge enough, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that this is just one of the balancing acts that PNC is attempting in his music and his life. Sam Hansen spoke to Gareth Shute about finding the right rhythm, exploring new ideas with collaborators, and the importance of storytelling.
Princess Chelsea - Dark Side Of A Disney Princess -
Chelsea Nikkel will be a familiar face to many in the Auckland music scene, both as a member of circus punk trio Teen Wolf and alternative pop darlings The Brunettes. Now, under the moniker Princess Chelsea, she has just released her debut album ‘Lil’ Golden Book’. She spoke with Natalie Pease about her background and inspirations, the pair uncovering a mutual love of Paul McCartney and Dr Dre – two artists not often mentioned in the same sentence.
Scratch 22 - Soundtrack To A Surreal Hip Hop Cowboy Film -
Primarily renowned for the exceptional DJ skills that saw him recently competing in the Red Bull World Thre3style championships, Rodi Kirk has a string of weighty production credits to his Scratch 22 name. Most famously perhaps for his work with rapper Tourettes on his acclaimed hip hop album ‘Who Says You Can’t Dance To Misery’, as well as for his remix work of bands like The Mint Chicks and his old hip hop crew The Unscene. Now he’s released his debut solo album ‘Distance From View’, a visceral 10-track instrumental soundscape, influenced by a psychedelic Chilean Western film. He spoke to Karl Puschman.
The DeSotos - Built to Last -
Promising ‘a powerful blend of rock-infused country blues’, Auckland band The DeSotos, who can trace their roots back to Wells Fargo, released their first album in 2008. As the name strongly suggests, the four-piece are inherently more Americana than Kiwiana, but that hasn’t got in the way of their music being used by television makers to evoke the spirit of both the North and the South islands. Mark Bell spoke with head DeSoto mechanic Paul Gurney about the release of their second album.
The Karlmarx Project - Of Astronauts And Communists -
The latest endeavour from renowned trumpeter and DJ Isaac Aesili, and newcomer Mark McNeil, The Karlmarx Project is an exploration of science fiction-inspired music from two bedroom studios. The self-titled debut was released digitally and physically in late May in NZ, just before Aesili headed off to Germany to test the waters of a music industry which seems to be welcoming Kiwis. He spoke to Karl Puschmann.
The Vietnam War - Devonport Country -
Country music has for a long time now exhibited a kind of split personality you don’t tend to notice to the same degree in other popular musical forms. You can see it in New Zealand as clearly as you can in its American birth place, and this strange duality seems somehow to be caught up in, or at least run parallel to, the old Democrat/Republican rivalry.
Simplified to the core elements, and this applies equally to country music, there are those who want to try new things in a creative and hopefully progressive way (Democrat), and those who want to keep things the way they are (Republican). If these two old foes were country music stars they’d be Ryan Adams and George Jones. To put it in a Kiwi context, your typical Gore Gold Guitar Awards attendee, while clearly a devoted consumer of country music, is as likely to buy the new Vietnam War album as the latest Marilyn Manson or Slipknot efforts. Which is a shame really, because The Vietnam War are a country band that deserves to be heard, by anyone who has a little dust in their veins.