Archives for posts with tag: Dunedin music

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.

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Death And The Maiden – Hope Robertson, Lucinda King, Danny Brady [Photo Chris Schmelz]

Day 9 of our 31 Days of May marathon for New Zealand Music Month is the title track from “Wisteria” the second album from Port Chalmers, Dunedin trio Death and the Maiden.

I’ll leave it to the words of Mick Middles,  writing about “Wisteria” in The Quietus today.

“From the outset, this is an urbanite noise blessed with an eerie glow. I do not know if DATM are even aware of The Haçienda, but as the title track kicks in, I can almost smell the rubber tiles and the equally aromatic metallic stairwells. This track is a beauty and perfectly sets out the stall. Central to DATM stands Lucinda King, whose bass and vocals dominate. The bass is the killer here; hypnotic, controlling and as moody as a Brontë-esque Yorkshire village. While underpinning King’s detached vocals, this central force is circulated by Hope Robertson’s spiralling guitars and super-snap percussion. Danny Brady’s soothing synth (and machines) fog the edges.”

The writer – who wrote the book (quite literally) on Factory Records, Joy Division and New Order (among others) – understands the atmosphere and also the substance of their work. “Beautiful, scary and endlessly evocative” indeed.

Ha the UnclearHa The Unclear – “Alt-Pop/New Wave/Indie from South Dunedin based in Auckland, New Zealand” – are back with another brilliantly catchy single “Wallace Line”:

There’s a bit of an Orange Juice vibe about “Wallace Line”. Bouncy Afro-Beat guitar lines zing around over trebly rapid-fire strums, with glorious sugary vocal harmonies in the chorus.  Michael Cathro’s existential musings sung in that laconic but precise deadpan South Dunedin delivery tie it all together with a bow.

Ha The Unclear play at The Cook in Dunedin tonight.

Ha Tour 2018

DSC07972Continuing PopLib’s  send as a gift tips for the month with the aching, mysterious dark beauty of stratchcona pl and “sadder endings” from the “holds and releases” EP:

While the sense of desolation, betrayal, loss and grief is palpable throughout this compelling EP it conveys a sense of “getting-through-this” rather than despair so essentially reflecting optimism with a collection of songs of sparse crafted beauty.

From the EP notes on Bandcamp:

“strathcona pl is crafting their silhouette in this balance of precision and distance. Just the name “Strathcona” seems so inhabitable and mappable: a suburb, a neighbourhood, a house. But as “strathcona” improper, where are we? We are drawn back into that same unsureness which permeates the artist’s characteristic sound. If “strathcona” isn’t a location or a proper noun, it must be an adjective; a feeling; a name to behold and release, then hold again.”

Recommended for – yourself…. Or to send as a gift to anyone else who needs it.

Shayne OffsiderHere’s PopLib’s 6th send as a gift tip for the month, featuring “Waiting Game” from Shayne P. Carter’s “Offsider” album.

Never one to rest in a comfortable spot musically speaking, proficient guitarist Carter (Bored Games, Doublehappys, Straitjacket Fits, Dimmer) set himself the challenge of mastering the piano. His approach is similar to his instinctive approach to the guitar – as much about sound, propulsion, atmosphere, and tension as it is about melody.

This song, and the whole “Offsider” album is recommended for anyone into seriously good, original, adventurous pop or rock music, for the person who annoys you by playing Scott Walker records too often and who you wish had something else to fixate on, and for that friend or relative who always goes on about the heyday of Flying Nun Records but stopped buying new music many years ago.

CoyoteHere’s some messed up underground psych-rock from Dunedin Coyote from their just-released album “Hotel for Dogs”. The song is “I Met Satan” and it draws together the spirit of Led Zeppelin and Guitar Wolf in the same song.

Dunedin is well known for some ‘sounds’, but the sound of unhinged, feral, primal energy rock’n’roll with lupine howl vocals is not really one of them. That’s usually the kind of thing you’d associate with, well, Christchurch, or Hamilton or even Auckland.  So Coyote are like a breath of chili & garlic-flavoured air down here.

“I Met Satan” stands out for some particularly glorious guitar riffing, but the whole album is a festival of wild-eyed home-baked psychedelic lo-fi guitar skronk and underground rock weirdness. Those familiar with classic 60s/70s guitar rock themes may recognise occasional glimpses of those past sounds even after they’ve gone through Coyote’s cosmic blender.

If you like what’s on offer here, then after you download Coyote’s album, also fill your ears with this 17-minute live-to-air freak-out video:

The Golden Awesome

The Golden Awesome is a ‘shoegaze’ guitar & keyboards band predominantly from Wellington, NZ. They released an album called “Autumn” in 2011 on the US M’Lady’s Records label which is a bit hard to find round these parts now. Here’s the title track which opens the album:

Although ‘shoegaze’ tends to be the genre most often used in relation to The Golden Awesome there is a healthy a dose of The Jesus and Mary Chain about the crushing bass guitar and swarming feedback guitar drones here as well as the kind of swooping sonic overload and sweet melody associated with heavy shoegaze favourites My Bloody Valentine.

That mix of crushing saturated walls of glorious noise and breath-taking dream-pop melody is a feature of the album. The keyboards and the distinctive harmoniser processed vocals are from Dunedin musician Stef Animal and you can find out more about who else is in this low-key band in this rare UTR interview.

Here’s the wonderful trippy video for “Autumn” too: