Archives for posts with tag: Auckland

Scott Mannion

Here’s another PopLib’s  send as a gift tip for the month. We’ve missed several days of send as a gift new music tips but I hope you have used those days wisely to search out your own selections on Bandcamp. We resume now with the welcome return of Scott Mannion, who runs Lil’ Chief Records and was once part of the fabulous Tokey Tones.

“Your Kinda Love” was released earlier this year and features Clara Viñals, a name you may recognise from the new Jonathon Bree single (also on Lil’ Chief Records).

This is recommended to send as a gift to lovers of finely crafted bittersweet pop, and fans of The Tokey Tones. However, with lines like “there’s something beautiful about the way you lie” be careful who you send it to. Sometimes people take song lyrics very personally.

Alternatively, try the latest single “Not Exactly Deep” just released last week:

 

 

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soccer practise_2017Here’s PopLib’s 5th send as a gift tip for the month, featuring “Cold Hard Surfaces”,  a track from the just-released and wonderfully adventurous debut album by Auckland experimental electronic-soul-pop 4 piece SoccerPractise.

You may be wondering what the hell the genre hybridisation of “experimental electronic soul-pop” means. Well, this song – and the whole album – is full of twitchy, glitchy rhythms, deep sub-bass and sampled sound layers.

So, it is ‘experimental’ in the sense that it’s taking risks, straying beyond what’s tried and true in electronic music, in soul and in pop, by creating unusual new beats and combining sounds in different, unexpected ways – particularly the fusion of twangy reverb guitars with danceable musique-concrete style sampled sound beats & electronica.

It’s definitely soulful with those fine vocals from Geneva Alexander-Marsters, and it’s very accessible and radio friendly (if not exactly mainstream commercial radio-friendly, but that’s another story in NZ).

SoccerPractise is recommended to send as a gift to the cool people in your life, for those who like pop but think it all sounds the same these days, and for lovers of Te Reo Maori too. Given the regular appearance of Te Reo Maori, one of NZ’s official languages, throughout the album it’s also a great gift for any bigots in your family.  They’ll be singing along to Haere Mai E Tama before they realise what’s happening.

DSC06137“Cans” is a slice of neo-psychedelic fuzz & jangle guitar pop from a new Auckland band called Water. It’s from an album/ mini-album called “Enjoy” and that’s exactly what you ought to do with this song:

“Cans” here, with it’s 12-string jangle and sweet fuzz lead guitar, is a winning mix of psychedelic guitar pop weirdness that evokes memories of The Seeds. It wouldn’t have sounded out of place as a song from a Glasgow band on Creation Records in the late eighties. Apart from the NZ accent which makes you think of The Chills, who also had one album released on Creation Records and Martin Phillipps listened to The Seeds, so that all makes perfect circular sense.

Enjoy Water.

Christopher El TruentoAnd now for something completely different. If you have a soft spot for DJ Shadow’s “Entroducing” (and who hasn’t?) you’ll likely love the inventive pocket-sized beats & sampling miniatures collected on an album called “it’s been ________ lately” by Aucklander Christopher El’ Truento. Here’s a taster called “aaaaAA”:

There are 25 tracks on “it’s been ________ lately.” Most are around the 1 minute mark. Each one is crammed with soulful beats, funky modern jazz grooves and enough out-of-left-field experimentation to keep the most easily-distracted mind fully focused for the duration.

“it’s been ________ lately” is like an overseas holiday, with each track a new destination, a new experience. It’s a winter tonic for the imagination of home-bound aural travelers.

 

 

Sunrise RakiuraThese Early Mornings are back with a few standalone singles recently uploaded to Bandcamp. Here’s the latest one, “Ledges” –

“Ledges” exists in an atmosphere of (apparent) effortless DIY . The song follows the elliptical shuffling repetition, unhurried yet, oddly lop-sided time signature, and blurred guitar strumming we’ve come to know and love from These Early Mornings.

This time out there’s a sharper definition to the woozy sounds, including a second guitar motif weaving a melodic counter-rhythm in behind. There’s also a sharper definition to the  lyrics, revealing more of the distinctive universe created by These Early Mornings.

RangitotoDay 31 of our 31 days of May New Zealand Music Month marathon closes the set of songs with something only a few days old from Auckland shoegaze ensemble Couchmaster. Here’s “Honey over Thunder” from a 5 song EP called “Tumor” released on 25 May.

I was going to select the opening track “Psychogenic Fugue” because it is dedicated to Dunedin music legend Peter Gutteridge and packs that familiar Snapper drone and drumbeat. But for the closing song for this year’s NZ music month trawl through the wonderful online underground of Bandcamp I couldn’t go past “Honey Over Thunder” with it’s wistfully melodic vocal from drummer Rachel Charlie and effortless reverb drenched psychedelia.

The EP is a wonderfully eclectic mix of guitar rock heavy on the atmospheric effects. It appears to be mostly the project of Rikki Sutton, from another shoegaze style Auckland band Eyes No Eyes. He’s guitarist, bassist, keyboardist and vocalist on most of the tracks as well as engineering and mixing the recording. Rachel Charlie on drums and vocals and Adison Whitley on guitar are the other two people who play on all the tracks. Extra points for naming the band after a great album by The Bats too.

 

TupuhiDay 25 of our 31 Days of May New Zealand music month marathon comes from the suburban dub labs of Mark Tupuhi and the opening track from “the Deep End” – an ecclectic album of hypnotic psychedelic dub and electronic music. Here’s “Brevity” –

The album was an accidental discovery on bandcamp. “Overcome evil by dub” seems to be the entirely plausible theme of the opening track “Brevity” as it slowly unwinds with cut up voice samples and echoing delayed layers of guitar.

Usually the association of dub and reggae in NZ today is with the reductive pasteurised, homogenised mainstream-friendly “barbecue reggae” pop, a kind of audio head-nodding narcotic, where rhythm and formula is elevated above imagination.  That’s a long way from the adventurous spirit and imagination associated with reggae and dub in particular in the 1970s through to the 1990s.

Tupuhi’s DIY home recorded album “The Deep End” mostly avoids the contemporary NZ formula and takes the music in some unexpected directions at times. The combination of live and digital instruments and elements of dance and trance music is more reminiscent of the kind of sonic adventures of the On-U-Sound artists in the UK in the 90s.

As well as contemporary psychedelic dub like “Brevity” you’ll also find atmospheric industrial psy-trance on “Teradactyl” and even a kind of futurist post-punk electro-dub on “Malcolm”. It’s an album worth exploring further.