Archives for posts with tag: Christchurch

Annabel Alpers by Mike Hughes

Annabel Alpers [photo by Mike Hughes]

“The only way to see you is through the whole in my chest” sings Bachelorette, AKA Annabel Alpers on “Blanket”

The throbbing, pulsating synth-heavy “Blanket” is from the last Bachelorette album, a self-titled release on Drag City Records from 2011.

Formerly of Christchurch, NZ and living in Baltimore in the US for the past 4 years, Annabel Alpers – ex-Bachelorette” – is crowdfunding for an intriguing sounding new recording project called “Remote”

This project is about exploring the beauty of sound, to create a live sonic experience that encompasses you, the audience, and is as cathartic for you to listen to as it is for me to make. I’m inspired by the beauty of my remote homeland, New Zealand, which I miss so much when I’m away.  I’m also inspired to find beauty in parts of everyday life – patterns and forms, mundanity, longing, excitement, nature (tamed and untamed), connections, fragility… (the list is endless) – and attempt to communicate this awe to you, through music.

Remote is a live, multiple-speaker, surround-sound experience. My intention is for you to be enveloped in beautiful sounds and emerge from your comfortable listening space transformed – your heart aflutter… 

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TranscendentsDay 22 of our 31 Days of May New Zealand Music Month marathon heads 10 miles West of Weirdsville to catch up with the latest installment in the experimental journey beyond the fringes of rock and roll being undertaken by The Transcendents, an album called “Dirt Songs”. Here’s “Experimental Theorem” from that album:

“Experimental Theorem” and it’s refrain of “can’t find the answer/ I ain’t got a clue” is a perfect disorienting entry point into the fractured cut-up-re-assembled music on this second album from Christchurch anti-pop art project The Transcendents.

It’s as if individual instrument tracks of music from several different songs have been woven together into a repetitive pattern to resemble a song by someone visiting Earth from another planet. And yet it makes a kind of perfect un-sense, particularly if you’ve experienced some of the deconstructed anti-pop of early Pere Ubu, or other post-punk avant-garde provocateurs and sonic explorers like The Residents.

Each one of the Transcendents releases has been unconventional yet also alluringly accessible in their own peculiar way. They are also usually produced in high quality low volume runs on vinyl so if this kind of experimental music appeals check out the catalogue.

Wurld Series Live to AirDay 20 of our 31 Days of May New Zealand Music Month marathon comes from Christchurch lo-fi fuzz pop specialists Wurld Series and the opening track of their “Air Goofy” album. Here’s “Second Hit”

“Second Hit” is a good introduction to the Christchurch band if you haven’t discovered them before. A blast of fuzzy guitars with a bit of tremolo and a lot of 3Ds style wild guitar shredding solos, all recorded on a 4-track cassette portastudio is mostly what we associate with Wurld Series.  However the album also unfolds with unexpected twists and turns into more experimental psychedelic pop and odd sound-collage pieces.

As an added Wurld Series bonus, here they are caught live on Lo and Behold.

As an extra added bonus, here’s their recent Live-To-Air session on Dunedin’s Radio One:

Motte 2017Day 14 of our 31 days of May New Zealand Music Month marathon comes from Christchurch sonic adventurer Motte. Here’s the entrancing and hypnotic “Opal Eye”

Motte’s “Strange Dreams” album is a favourite release of the year so far. The modernist classical violin-based music hypnotises with repetition and unlikely combinations of instrument layers, voice and ambient synths and sounds. Here’s it’s the voice of and the background of street noises which slowly builds as the song progresses.

There’s a time to take a risk and push your music collection out in new directions. “Strange Dreams” is a highly recommended way to do that. Better still, track down the LP version from CocoMuse Releases.

wurldseries_2016_ben-woodsChristchurch guitar-botherers Wurld Series are back with a full-length album called “Air Goofy”, fittingly available on cassette. Here’s the second song “Rip KF” for you:

It’s ‘fittingly’ on cassette because it was recorded on cassette, via a Tascam 424 4-track cassette recorder, staple of a generation of bedroom DIY artists in previous decades, and it seems again today.

As we’ve heard from previous tunes and EPs and songs like “Orkly Kid” and “Rabbit” which are both included here, the spirit of early rough-genius Pavement is undeniably strong in Wurld Series at times – twisting fuzzed out guitars and stream of unconscious life lyrical flights.  But so is the spirit of the 3-Ds from closer to home, who arguably influenced Pavement with their eccentric lead guitar shapes and angles atop lurching fuzzed out guitar skronk-pop.

If “Rip KF” – complete with shared lead vocal between guitarist/ vocalist Luke Towart and guest vocalist Tyne Gordon – represents the more middle-of-a-rough-road-to-nowhere melodic guitar pop side of “Air Goofy” then there’s much variety on either side of that median. Check out the thrilling “LT’s Struggle” for an alternative example.

Another great addition to both the Wurld Series and the Melted Ice Cream label catalogues. Don’t just take PopLib’s word for it. UK music blog Did Not Chart has also been singing the praises of this rough diamond.

 

 

Wurldseries_2016_Ben Woods.jpgWurld Series have an “Anthology” out on Portland, US tape label Voyager Golden Records. Hard to pick just one song from an absolutely stellar collection of DIY recorded guitar pop, but “Shirley in the Sun” here caught the ear with its homespun psychedelia.

“Anthology” is a cassette release. “Professionally dubbed” it says proudly, as if to differentiate itself from the home taping which was killing the music industry in the 1980s. (That’s a joke by the way. Anyone who made or shared cassette tapes in the 1980s knows this was how the music you didn’t hear on radio stations was shared around and discovered, and we cassette makers and sharers also hoovered up 7″ singles 12″ EPs and LPs like they were going out of fashion. Which they did by the mid 1990s. But they are back now. As are cassettes. It’s a long story.)

“Anthology”  ticks all the boxes for fans of lo-fi home-recorded pop, and triangulates its sound roughly within reference points like Pavement, Guided By Voices and The Clean. Of course, it’s not that simple and the undercurrent I hear most strongly here is a very NZ (or maybe Australasian) take on British psychedelic pop. So there’s a bit of The Kinks and The Who and even more obscure psych-nuggets. Have a listen and see what you reckon.

While we are on the subject of possible influences or inspirations, Wurld Series have recently thought about their Top 5 NZ songs for The Wireless. I can’t fault their selection or what they say about one of their picks – “Own Two Feet” by The Jean Paul Sartre Experience.

Oh, here’s a video for another song from the album. It’s called “Rabbit”:

Moonpup Photo by Michael Bull

Moonpup – photo by Michael Bull

More rip-snorting sonic mayhem from Christchurch. This time it’s a new band called Moonpup, who release their debut EP of garage-sludge surf-punk tonight (Friday 24 June 2016) with a release show at Christchurch venue Darkroom. Here’s  “Wolfgirl” from the EP:

“Wolfgirl” sounds like frenzied Sonic Youth crossed with UK 90s crusty Punk-Goths Skeletal Family (an old favourite). In other words, it’s superb.

Moonpup are Sophia White (Vocals/Guitar), Erica Mackie (Bass), Nick Glen (Lead Guitar) and Cameron Hoy (Drums). The whole of their Moonpup EP is great, if you like that kind of noisy messy noisy melodic punkish rock thing. Of course you do. You should give it a listen.

The opening track Seagulls is another early favourite here, sometimes carrying a faint whiff of the kind of noise-choas created by the punk/ New Wave bands from Wellington’s 79/80 scene, like Life In The Fridge Exists.