Artisan Guns - The Sound Of Rain In Summer -
Artisan Guns’ introductory EPs, 2009’s ‘Bird and Bone’, and ‘Hearts’ which came just a year later, were released under the badge of EMI NZ. While recorded economically, they were generously presented, complete with lyrics and photos of the four having fun outdoors, winning fans and genuine critical acclaim. The band’s debut album ‘Coral’ is self-released, on their own Raccoon Jacket label, but the contrasts end about there, the sound being a refinement of the considered, spacious yet engaging pop of ‘Bird and Bone’, which is carried by the contained, raw and very personal voice of Matthew Hope. Clovis McEvoy talked with Hope and guitarist Jonathan Pearce about the album which they began working on in February last year.
Coach - Drowning In Beauty -
When Auckland ‘bluegaze’ trio Coach were looking for a band name they settled first on Life Coach, which, given their dreamily dark and haunting songs, would have carried all manner of irony. But while they deliberately juxtapose a refined musical beauty with lyrical and vocal darkness, it isn’t really irony that motivates or defines them, as Richard Thorne discovered when he met with Abraham Kunin, Jonathan Burgess and Todd Beeby, to discuss their rich and appealing debut album ‘Family Tree’.
Dear Time's Waste - This Is How The Bridge Is Broken -
There can be no denying that this country currently enjoys a veritable bounty of high calibre female singer/songwriters, a few of whom are enjoying deserved offshore success. With a musical background ranging from clarinet to heavy metal, Claire Duncan doesn’t fit the albeit broad stereotype that the singer/songwriter badge brings, and reflecting the electronically produced nature of her music, for the last four years has adopted the musical identity of Dear Time’s Waste. Her 2009 EP ‘Room For Rent’ was followed by first album ‘Spells’ in 2010, and now she has a sophomore album scheduled for release in September. Westley Holdsworth caught up with Auckland’s mysterious musical entity and discovered that with ‘Some Kind Of Eden’ she has become even more self-contained and enigmatic.
Die! Die! Die! - Liberating the Angst from the Harmony -
Die! Die! Die! should maybe better have called themselves Never Say Die! Despite the endless challenges and real hardships of low budget international touring, label and line up changes, the three-piece noise pop/punk rockers have kept resurfacing at regular intervals with strong new albums and matching new ambitions. The latest is named ‘Harmony’, and while that doesn’t well describe its music or origins, it does reflect the state of mind of frontman Andrew Wilson, who tells Danielle Street that Die! Die! Die! is now a band he can have fun with.
Lindon Puffin vs Billy Bragg [extended version] -
Lindon Puffin is on the phone to Billy Bragg talking about his Beatbox benefit gig.
Maitreya - Loving The Language -
Christchurch born and bred rapper Maitreya (aka Jamie Greenslade) is soon to drop his second album ‘Aio’. Produced by Opshop frontman Jason Kerrison and due for release in both English and Maori language versions, the album is a beguiling mix of hip hop, funk, soul, ’80s pop and traditional Maori music. Natalie Pease conversed widely with the one-time Dark Tower rapper, touching on education, language, grief, religion, old school hip hop and in-between all of that, the album itself.
Mt Eden - Dropping the 'Dubstep' -
Completely bypassing traditional media channels and music industry gateways, over the last few years, through YouTube, Facebook and an extremely hefty touring schedule, a couple of Auckland musicians known together as Mt Eden have built themselves up into a serious business enterprise. Jesse Cooper (right above) and Harley Rayner have spent large chunks of that period in North America, playing as many as 40 gigs on the trot, sometimes two in a day, before flying to their next destination. They make and play dubstep tunes for the dancefloor, specialising in a kind of epic and straight for-the-jugular sound that has secured them a fervent audience, which they have now translated into a substantial international recording deal. Martyn Pepperell talked with the former Mt Eden Dubstep and their Auckland-based manager.
Planning Christchurch's New Beatbox -
As part of a four-stop national tour in early October, much admired British troubadour Billy Bragg will perform a benefit gig at the Aurora Centre in Christchurch on Tuesday October 16, with proceeds from his show going towards Beatbox, an innovative new central city music rehearsal space being developed by the Christchurch Music Industry Trust. While the Bragg benefit show cash surplus may not represent a major portion of the Beatbox project’s proposed $550,000 budget, it does represent an important and potentially valuable endorsement from the international artist fraternity, as CHART chairman Neil Cox tells Richard Thorne.
Sola Rosa -
It first appeared as a solo electronic producer project back in the last millennium, when electronica was barely nascent here in NZ, but to his considerable credit Andrew Spraggon has kept plugging away on his Sola Rosa project ever since. In 2001 he was quoted as saying he had a long-term vision of turning Sola Rosa into a live band and sure enough, a decade later, Sola Rosa are a summer festival mainstay not only here, but much more importantly, internationally. Andrew Spraggon tells Westley Holdsworth he is now “living the dream”, working from his Auckland home studio and regularly touring the world.
The Wyld - This Is A Revolution -
Who releases an album these days before even local music nerds have heard their name? Auckland three-piece hip hop/pop/rock act The Wyld have, and they’ve called it ‘Preface’, an extremely impressive introduction to the potential of their musical scope. The Wyld have enjoyed a whirlwind climb over the past six months. From humble beginnings at open mic nights on Ponsonby Rd, to a partnership with up and coming record label Dryden Street Records, a top 10 spot in the NZ album charts, and a flurry of online posts garnering them attention worldwide. One might think that The Wyld have it all figured out, but, as Max Oldfield finds out, navigating the music industry is still a considerable challenge.
Tomorrow People - Planning For Tomorrow's Success -
Adele might have ‘19’ and ‘21’ (with combined sales exceeding 30 million) but popular Wellington reggae outfit Tomorrow People now have ‘One’, and it is an album that has remarkably lived up to its confident self-billing, charging straight into the nation’s album Top 10 when other, much higher profile local acts, have struggled for sales traction. Martyn Pepperell talked with former Beatrootz member Avina Kelekolio to learn some of the secrets to Tomorrow People’s impressive chart success.
Be in to WIN tickets to R&V Soundcheck, the latest MXR Distortion Pedal and a copy of Erewhon Calling. ...more