Dictaphone Blues - Friends Need Friends -
Ed Castelow is a well-travelled and well-practised musician. He’s spent time touring the U.S, Europe and the U.K. with The Ruby Suns and The Brunettes and had a good stab over the ditch with his old Christchurch band degrees.K, as well as touring with the likes of Liam Finn and Shihad. When not selling folk their next musical instrument at his place of work, he’s typically holed up in Auckland’s former Crystal Palace, enjoying some spicy fruit loaf with a few good buddies. Westley Holdsworth dropped by for a chin wag with Castelow about the new Dictaphone Blues’ album ‘Beneath The Crystal Palace’.
Fleur Jack - Kiwi Bye Nature -
Last time NZ Musician featured Fleur Jack she was diarising her low budget, quickfire 2011 tour around North America. After nearly six years at Kiwi FM, the IAN show host has earned a considerable reputation for her dedication to supporting the emerging and less visible parts of the NZ music scene. The good news is she now has her own new country/folk album, ‘Ghosts of Cimarron’ to promote. The bad news is that while away she caught the U.S. bug, and will soon be heading back there, with the intention of making Seattle her home. Richard Thorne caught up with Fleur between radio shows and packing.
James Duncan - Galactic Dream Snatcher -
In recent years James Duncan has made strong contributions to both the live sets and albums of two of the country’s pre-eminent musical movers and shakers – Shayne Carter and Sean ‘SJD’ Donnelly. As Punches, his side project with bass playing singer Kelly Sherrod, he also not long ago released a trans-continental album ‘Etheria’. (See NZM August/September 2011.) Now he’s back in the frame with his own album ‘Vanishing’ landing in May. Mark Bell caught up with the busy Auckland guitarist/producer as the final mastering touches were being made to his second solo record.
Kevin Field - Taking a Wider View -
With the late February release of ‘Field Of Vision’ keyboardist Kevin Field now has three albums to his name – as well as a healthy slice of several others, including Whirimako Black’s ‘Sings’ which won the Best Jazz Album Award at the 2008 NZ Music Awards. A lecturer in jazz piano and composition, he joined with a couple of his Auckland University contemporaries as The FSH Trio, on the 2010 Rattle Jazz Series release ‘Irony’. Outside of the academic or strictly jazz circles however he is possibly best known for his playing on several of Nathan Haines’ albums, including his latest, which also features in this issue. Natalie Pease talked with this extremely talented, self-taught jazz pianist.
Nathan Haines - Embracing The Analogue -
'The Poet’s Embrace' is impressively Nathan Haines’ eighth studio album, a feat all the more remarkable when you consider that he is barely 40 years old. The all-instrumental album has itself impressed, even making it into the NZ Top 20 charts. Creative musicians are popularly talked of as being ‘on a journey’, and Haines’ own has taken him repeatedly around the globe, across numerous musical genres, under a cosmic variety of influences, through self-destructive minefields, out onto big stages and back into minute introspection. In 2012 it has led him back to the jazz recordings of the ’50s, the keeping-it-real type that involve a quality quartet simply playing and recording live to tape, no overdubs or mixing added. It will also soon take him back to London, as he tells Tim Gruar.
Opossom - Electric Hawaiian Psych-Rock -
Kody Neilson initially burst onto our music scene with his unhinged, magnetic performances as the lead singer of the Mint Chicks. Now he’s emerged with his own musical project, Opossom, which picks up on the crunchy pop of the late Mint Chicks’ recordings and takes it further into the territory of psych-rock. Gareth Shute caught up with him to find out how Opossom’s debut album, ‘Electric Hawaii’ caught the wave.
Opposite Sex - The Attraction of Opposites -
Opposite Sex may hail from up north, but mostly made their way towards the deep south in 2011, adopting Dunedin as home. Establishing themselves as part of the city's fertile music scene, they signed to local label Fishrider Records and recorded an eclectically appealing self-titled debut album in 2011. Amanda Mills, herself a recent Dunedin immigrant, talked with Tim Player and Lucy Hunter, two of the Opposite Sex threesome.
The Warratahs - It's Not All Over Yet -
2012 marks a major milestone in the career of the Warratahs, a band that has been at the forefront of homegrown roots/country music in this country for what seems to have been forever. A band originally put together just to play some of their own favourite songs for a couple of weeks back in 1987. Twenty five years and 86,000 albums later the Warratahs are still very much alive, and ready to kick some serious tail on a nationwide tour later in the year. Del Thomas met up with Barry Saunders to chat about what this all means for him and the band, and also to find out how they intend to do to celebrate this landmark in our collective musical history.
Tommy Ill - The Wardrobe Sessions -
With three EPs dating back to 2007 and now two albums to his credit, Tommy Ill could be in danger of making a career out of his frivolous and fun-filled hip hop. Indeed his latest release ‘New Hat And A Hair Cut’ finds him signed to a major label, employing orchestral musicians, limiting the sample abuse and err, slipping into his mate’s mum’s wardrobe, as he tells Westley Holdsworth.
Zowie - Pretty & Dirty -
Aside from international fame and doubtless considerable fortunes, what do Marilyn Manson, Kylie Minogue, Dépêche Mode, Madonna, Nine Inch Nails and Britney Spears all have in common? Well, one answer is Zowie, or rather Zoe Fleury, the former Northcote College pupil who has recently co-written and produced an album with a bunch of songwriter/producers, who among them, have done the same for all the artists above. If songwriter pedigree counts then ‘Love Demolition’ should be as big a breakthrough album as her first single Broken Machine was here two years ago for the artist then newly known as Zowie. Zoe has plenty of pedigree of her own. Her dad Johnny Fleury was NZ Musician’s much respected bass columnist for almost a decade and the girl herself plays drums at least as well as she sings and entertains in front of the kit. Richard Thorne talked with Zowie/Zoe.