Archives for posts with tag: JPS Experience

David YettonFormerly bassist and one of three songwriters in NZ 1980s/90s band The Jean Paul Sartre Experience (subsequently known as JPS Experience, JPSE), David Yetton has cleaned out his computer hard drive with a wry-titled cassette album called “Move to Trash (Bits, Pieces, Offcuts & Stuff)” released on Hamburg-based cassette label Thokei Tapes. Here’s “Heads in the Clouds” from it.

Yetton went on to form Stereobus/ The Stereo Bus after JPSE split. The songs on “Move to Trash” sound to be Stereobus/ The Stereo Bus era demos, out-takes, and ideas.

However some of them also rekindle the sense of hushed melodic wonder of that very first EP by the Jean Paul Sartre Experience released on Flying Nun Records back in the mid 1980s. As “Teardrops” here does beautifully…

Thokei Tapes have released some intriguing oddities from the archives of other NZ artists associated with the Flying Nun label. They are not available for download, however you do get a free download if you buy a cassette. Postage seems to be reasonable so why not…?

Yetton

Fazerdaze EP and LP 2017

Top left – the orginal hand-made CD-R EP (2014), lower left – the full CD ‘re-issue’ of the EP (2015), along with the “Morningside” LP (2017).

Day 12 of the 31 Days of May New Zealand Music Month madness is a track from the just-released debut album “Morningside” by Fazerdaze. Here’s “Friends”

“Friends” takes the Fazerdaze template of brilliantly simple ingredients: layering guitar melody over a bass-line, and adding introspective lyrics. What happens next is uncharacteristic but exhilarating; engaging hyper-drive with a sonic chorus blast of fuzz guitar and soaring melody.

That kind of 1, 2 punch from quiet to euphoric loud with lashings of melody is something late 1980s/ early 1990s Flying Nun Records label-mates The JPS Experience used to excel at too. In fact “Friends” would fit comfortably among the songs on their final album “Bleeding Star”.

PopLib tends to champion the underdog and you’d have to be hiding under a rock to not have heard a Fazerdaze song or seen an online article or review about the Auckland musician’s debut and current UK tour, such is the interest in the debut album. So this post is less about discovery of an under-appreciated musician as celebrating the achievement of someone championed here for the past 3 years.

PopLib first featured Fazerdaze back in 2014 when the first EP had it’s initial hand-made CD-R format release. It was clear right from the start that Amelia Murray’s low-key and personal music made a connection with listeners. By staying grounded, trusting her instincts to keep things understated, and focus on self-recording her perfect introspective guitar-pop, she’s created a wonderful first album that retains the essence of that first EP.

Fazerdaze EP and LP 2017

Top left – the orginal hand-made CD-R EP (2014), lower left – the full CD ‘re-issue’ of the EP (2015), along with the “Morningside” LP (2017).

Shayne P Carter 2016Seven years on from the last Dimmer album “Degrees of Existence” here’s Shayne P. Carter back with the brooding and challenging “We Will Rise Again”

Even though “We Will Rise Again” is centered around Carter’s piano playing, it is still recognisably Shayne P. Carter and there are bursts of brutal guitar noise to remind us of the 6-string sonic background we normally associate with this enduring New Zealand musician.

The other musicians playing on the track are drummer Gary Sullivan (Dimmer, JPS Experience),  bassist Nick Roughan (Skeptics), saxophonist Richard Steele (who played on The Puddle’s “Playboys in the Bush” album) and the intense string arrangements from Tamasin Taylor (Nudie Suits, Peachy Keen).

It’s a somewhat experimental, challenging listen in places, even a little bit Scott Walker at times, although without the difficult angles and baffling weirdness. Shayne P. Carter has always been about the tune and about the sensations of emotion and this song is no exception, despite its differences.

The shifting times signatures, sense of foreboding, dynamics, and especially the muted saxophone part at two and half minutes here are even a little reminiscent the kind of thing serious prog-rock legends Van Der Graaf Generator did back in the 1970s.

This progressive experimentalism was signalled in the notes to that 2009 Dimmer album where Shayne set out a manifesto which could equally apply to “We Will Rise Again” –

“i also wanted to make a return to the more experimental vibe evidenced on our first album which remains my favourite dimmer record to this point. i liked that record because it was brave and unafraid and because it didn’t sound like anything, or anyone, else. while “degrees of existence” is sonically a different beast altogether i think it has that sense of trying things while still dealing in ‘songs’. i’m not interested in music that goes from A to B to C in a fashion you’ve heard a million times before. i’m not interested in pastiche or ripping anybody off. i’m not interested in ‘irony’. i’m also not interested in becoming a ‘family favourite’ , a musician a ‘country can be proud of’, going on game shows or gradually diluting my music as i weary with jadedness and age. fuck that. i wanna make the kind of music that i’d like to hear – and that involves originality, vitality, and, yes, the sense of trying things.”

For the uninitiated, a trip through the back catalogue of Shayne P. Carter bands is a trip through the very best of NZ’s post-punk music. Start with his high school band Bored Games, work your way through Doublehappys and Straitjacket Fits to Dimmer.