Archives for posts with tag: Asta Rangu

Dunedin’s hyper-melodic driving fuzzed up guitar-pop maestro Richard Ley-Hamilton returns with a new asta rangu single “I Dream”:

“I Dream” is from a brand new split (digital) single by Dunedin fidgety guitar-pop band asta rangu. Guitarist/ vocalist/ songwriter Richard Ley-Hamilton has added a sonic hardener compound to the style of crafted guitar-pop he created with his previous band Males, which shares the other track on the split single – a previously unreleased song “Clear Lake” from the second Males album “None the Wiser” sessions in 2016.

The two songs side by side show the similarities and the differences in the six year gap between songs. “I Dream” by asta rangu shows how Ley-Hamilton has developed the hyper-active guitar pop he pioneered with Males and twisted it to darker, harder, more intricate and interesting shapes and shades, injecting extra layers of noise and mayhem, while still retaining the pure heart of golden pop in his songwriting.

The band line up in addition to Richard Ley-Hamilton on guitars and vocals is Julie Dunn (Bathysphere) on synths, Angus McBryde (Bye Bye Fishies) on bass and Josh Nicholls (Space Bats, Attack!, Koizilla) on drums.

Starting tonight asta rangu has embarked on an extensive NZ tour/ also including a set of songs from Males:

Wednesday 10th February – The Stomach, Palmerston North
Thursday 11th February – San Fran, Wellington
Friday 12th February – East Street Cafe, Nelson
Saturday 13th February – darkroom, Christchurch
Saturday 20th February – Dive, Dunedin
Saturday 27th February – Wine Cellar, Auckland
Saturday 6th March – Tuatara, Invercargill

Asta Rangu guitarist/ vocalist/ songwriter Richard Ley-Hamilton has taken the crafted guitar-pop of his previous band Males, and twisted it to darker, more intricate and thrilling shapes and shades, injecting subtle layers of noise and mayhem, but retaining the pure heart of golden pop, as “Thin Air” here shows…

“Thin Air” is the closing track of Asta Rangu’s “Plasticine” EP (or, at 24 minutes, is it a mini-album?). It’s a hybrid of elements of shoegaze, atmospheric noise-rock, and jangling guitar pop, all laced with an intriguing undercurrent of Fripp-ish guitar sonics experimentation.

“Plasticine” was originally released in 2017 on cassette tape format by emerging Dunedin label trace / untrace who say: “melodic and angular, asta rangu laces jarring riffs into fidgety pop and hook-laden wordplay. a sonic trip into the noisy, intricately layered world of imaginary figures.

Now “Plasticine” has another physical format re-release on the unfairly maligned/ side-lined Compact Disc format, a more economically viable, sustainable, utilitarian, easy-to-store-and-mail, and, well, compact physical format than vinyl. CDs have the advantage of having the tactile and visual qualities of an LP record sleeve in miniature, and this one has a sleeve which has been lovingly hand-crafted in Dunedin by a team of trace – untrace records artisans.

The CD release is available in NZ record stores, and at any shows they play (like tonight’s show at Dive in Dunedin supporting The Beths)

Asta Rangu 2018.jpgDay 10 of PopLib’s 31 Days of May marathon for New Zealand Music Month comes from Asta Rangu – here’s the driving fuzzed-up pop of “Melancholics”

“Melancholics” is from the excellent “Plasticine” EP/ Mini album released on emerging Dunedin label trace / untrace who say: “melodic and angular, asta rangu laces jarring riffs into fidgety pop and hook-laden wordplay. a sonic trip into the noisy, intricately layered world of imaginary figures.”

Asta Rangu guitarist/ vocalist/ songwriter Richard Ley-Hamilton has taken the crafted guitar-pop of his previous band Males, and twisted it to darker, more intricate and thrilling shapes and shades, injecting subtle layers of noise and mayhem, but retaining the pure heart of golden pop.

Otago Harbour deep blueDay 29 of our 31 days of May New Zealand Music Month marathon comes from Dunedin’s hyper-melodic guitar-powered band Males, with a song from their 2016 album “None the Wiser” – here’s “Popeye” –

If you don’t already have the album, head to their Bandcamp post-haste and add it to your collection. While the band are in recess the main songwriter Richard Ley-Hamilton is still busy creating music as Asta Rangu so keep your ears peeled for more from this particular pool of talent.

 

Asta Rangu PlasticineDay 3 of our 31 days of May New Zealand Music Month madness comes from Dunedin’s Asta Rangu. It’s a song from a just-released 5-song EP called “Plasticine” and the song selected for today is the eponymous “Asta Rangu”:

Asta Rangu is the new music creation entity of Richard Ley-Hamilton. You’ll remember him from helium-powered surf-pop band Males, who combined their first two EPs and single on a release called “Run Run Run/ MalesMalesMales” in 2013 then followed that with an album “None The Wiser” a few years later, both of which are essential listens if you want to tune into Dunedin music in the mid-twenty-tens.

Apart from very usefully providing a pronunciation lesson on the band name, this song “Asta Rangu” sets out the modus operandi of this intriguing new music adventure. There’s enough of the exquisite pop-craft of its predecessors to retain fans from previous entities, while adding an additional array of aurally stimulating sounds, textures and ideas.  The change of dynamics at 2:50 here is sublime and the lyrics are also a treat to decipher, although “the more you know/ the less you believe”.

As well as the melodic generosity, the many twists and turns of “Asta Rangu” (and the whole of “Plasticine” for that matter) add a dusting of shoe-gaze psychedelia, plenty of progressive and powerful pop touches (especially on the blistering “Melancholics”) and some unexpected instrumentation, including a 12-string guitar, warbling piano and (on “Thin Air”) a sweetly distorted synth, to create something very very good indeed.

Asta Rangu_bandcamp

 

 

Asta RanguAfter what seems like (but probably wasn’t) a quiet few months in the never-ending production-line of left-field underground pop-craft from Dunedin, NZ there’s been a bit of a buzz of activity of late. Last week we introduced you to the mysterious strathcona pl, and now it’s Asta Rangu, with “Skip on Trak One”

“Skip On Trak One” is fidgetty pop with almost psychedelic glam-rock feel to the darting twisting guitar runs, the expansive layered guitars in the chorus and the intriguing lyrical flights of fantasy.

Asta Rangu is the solo brainchild and solo recording and performance project of Males‘ guitarist and songwriter Richard Ley-Hamilton. It’s a further progression from the more complex, layered, progressive pop of Males’ recent “None The Wiser” album, which was in turn a progression from the infectious helium-powered guitar-pop of their much-loved debut “Run Run Run/ MalesMalesMales”.

Even more exciting (and “Skip on Trak One” is pretty damned exciting) is that this is the first release on a brand new Dunedin label called trace / untrace records. The label plans to provide a collation and discovery point for a collection of new bands and musicians, and intends to offer digital and cassette releases initially. Bookmark their website – I have a feeling we’ll be revisiting their catalogue a bit over the coming years.