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    Thundercat @ San Fran, warmed by DJ Thanks & supported by Orchestra of Spheres

    11.02.16 | Permalink | Comment? | By

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    Poster’s Gig, reminiscing Thundercat’s video for ‘Them Changes’

    What a wonderful night we all had on the 3rd of Feb. Wellington gave us its hottest (and dampest!) night ever, allowing us all to rock up San Fran in tees and flip flops.

    Christchurch & Melbourne based DJ Thanks stood comfortably between the bar and the sound man, grooving funk, soul, hip hop, with the right amount of electronics… a perfect warm up for the opening act; the galactic quartet of Orchestra of Spheres. The environment was buzzy and exciting while the beats invited us to settle in for an explosive night.

    As the DJ’s faders went down, people turned off their ciggies, sculled their drinks, and made it to the dance floor without further ado, where the heavy analogue bass and mesmeric beats were matched with the sounds of the most psychedelic home made guitar in town, mixed with washed reverberated vocals of men and women from other lands. The crowd went straight to the dancing given that the tunes coming out were well known to most of us. For those experiencing the otherworldly vibrations for the first time, the thick spider web would have made it impossible to escape the twitching. Some people sat quietly just nodding; those would have been part of the OOS crew in one way or the other; rodies, friends, music colleagues.

    The temperature was rising, and the sweaty arms, backs and armpits started to make their presence be felt. The stage would have been at least 5 degrees on top of that, but nevertheless, the Speheres were owned the performance – fully suited and all.

    After a space of time which felt hard to calculate, that was it. We were served with prime quality weird-astro-synth-rock, and people were almost feeling the flavors of the main dish of the night. Being in the front, I left my friend and told him I’d be back as soon as I was done with a bit of a refresher outside.

    Big mistake! No sooner I found myself surrounded by friends from the NZSM, Jazz School and general gig-goers, a low hum made us all turn our heads in surprise… and there was Stephen ‘Thundercat’ Burner with his 6-string Ibanez bass guitar standing up on stage. A flock followed, with a mix of gentles and desperate excuse me‘s. I sneaked like a mongoose and managed to get the lateral autobahn till I was two-dudes-away from my partner (who was right at the front). I scored one of those sweet spots: a girl behind me, 2 human pillars by my side, and a perfectly short-haired, petite and gentle guy in front; this allowed a director’s shot of those beautiful black hands casting their magic, both on the frets and on the strings.

    The stage was shared with a monumental duo: Justin Brown on the drums, and Dennis Hamm on keyboards. After a couple of songs things got really heated, with solos from all parties, making people in the audience go wild.

    After culminating their set (dehydrating us all!), I witnessed the most energetic encore call yet to be seen in Wellington. With a big and humble smile, they all came back after no more than 20 seconds, and played another 2 or 3 tunes before the final bang.

    This being Wellington, I had the chance to talk to DJ Thanks, say hi to Baba Rossa, and share the admiration for To Pimp a Butterfly (which features Thundercat on bass in several songs) with Dennis Hamm. He told me it’s been nominated for 13 Grammy’. Not too bad!

    Stepping out of the venue, I slowly walked back home via Cuba Street, in ecstasy and contemplation. Thank you Welly for the music that you let us breathe!

    Thundercat performs live at a Laneway sideshow at San Francisco Bathhouse in Wellington

    Gig image used with permission.


  • General

    Mr. Sterile’s Assembly: Album release & gig

    16.12.15 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    Wellington power duo Mr. Sterile Assembly have given us the immense pleasure of bringing a new release for us to enjoy just before the year finishes. Following up on their amazing Transit – undoubtedly one of the best homegrown releases of 2011 – Its All Over delivers the same levels of musical energy and lyrical depth. Reminiscing bands like Shellac and Mr. Bungle, Mr. Sterile have been rocking the alternative Wellington scene since their 1st album Pregnant Boy was released in 2001.

    The release was held at Moon in Newtown, and I had the honor to be DJing with my colleague Kedron among the very appropriate line-up including the Sendam Rawkustra – who performed the best Riders of the Storm cover I ever imagined and heard, as well as their emblematic ‘Bipolar Anthem‘. Then came Synth-pop-weird trio Gold Medal Famous who rocked the small audience to pieces and warmed up the audience for Mr. Sterile who, as always, delivered a very tight and loud performance. Antlergram rounded up the night with an improvised set of eclectic disco-funk rock, sweet on the bass and loose on the guitar.

    This was their last gig of the year, but keep your eyes peeled for future underground, charitable, and extraordinary events – Mr. Sterile will be there! 🙂

    We’re hoping to have a copy of Its All Over in our shelves as soon as possible! Meanwhile, you can listen to it here.

    Mr Sterile Assemly Gig poster

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Poster used with permission.


  • General

    Celebrating Jack Body

    24.09.15 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    WellingtonMusicBlog5_WellingtonMusicBlog6_Cover imageCover image

     

     

     

     

     

    It’s been a little bit over 6 months since Jack Body passed away and I thought it would be a good time to celebrate him and remember his extraordinary existence.

    From challenging art exhibitions to exotic compositions, Jack has always been in his own creative league. Apart from his incredible output, it was his personality that made him the loving person that everyone will remember and miss. Awarded with the Icon Award by the Arts Foundation – regrettably, only days before he was gone – Jack has left us with an unsurpassed legacy of works than any other New Zealand composer.

    Having studied at the New Zealand School of Music in 2010-2011, I was lucky enough to come into contact with him after being mesmerized with the Gamelan orchestra which he was partly responsible for bringing into the country many, many years before. Having taught at the NZSM for 30 years, Jack was a revered icon in the academic scene, yet his humble and funny attitude together with his placid nature and immense knowledge, made everyone feel like he was part of the family.

    Without further ado, I leave you with links to our catalog where you can find music sheets, sound recordings, as well as his recently published book Jack! among other non-fiction material.

    Visit his official website, his profile on Rattle and at Sounz , as well as some words from people who closely worked with him. Also, there will be a Gamelan gig (puppet show included!) at Saint Andrews at 30 The Terrace on the 26th of September at 3pm. More info here. Don’t miss also the upcoming “The Fall of Alengka” which will include the full puppet show!

    I leave you this glorious little video of Jack immersed in the love of dance and music, courtesy of Wellington’s Gamelan Padhang Moncar. Enjoy!


  • General

    Richard Nunns releases a new album

    22.07.15 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    The Pyramid Club has been the host for Richard Nunns latest release on Rattle on Thursday last week. Joining forces with Mark Lockett (percussion) and Jeff Henderson (production), Redaction offers the improvised sounds of drums and taonga puoro, resulting in an unequivocally spontaneous and playful soundscape which invites us to travel within, while lifting our spirits into remote corners of the heart of Aotearoa. The music has been matched by photographer Veronica Hodgkinson, creating a consistent transition between sound and vision. Due to health complications, Richard Nunns could not be part of the party, but his presence was there via the tracks that were played straight from the CD, as well as from the energy offered by the live set that both Lockett and Henderson performed.

    Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2005, Nunns rarely appears on public these days, though he has been utilizing music as a healing therapy, and is keeping himself busy collaborating and playing as much as his body and energy allows him to. Redaction gives us a chance to hear him speak intimately.

    Listen to it/buy it here. Also, check his material at the Library

    Cover image

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Richard Nunns in 2011, playing a hue puruhau, a traditional Māori musical instrument made from a hollowed gourd

    Cover sourced from Rattle. Used with permission.
    Photo from Wikipedia under the creative commons license.


  • General

    Gig Review: Local DJs Coda & Heylady supporting ‘A Guy Called Gerald’…

    21.04.15 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    Gig poster

    It is no wonder that 2 of the most well-established DJs in New Zealand had the honor and right of playing along side legendary Gerald on March the 20th.

    Opening the night was Leon (aka DJ Coda), who rocked the space for an epic 4-hour set, providing a masterful collage of old and new fine Techno. Host of The Floor (one of the hottest and freshest Techno shows in Wellington’s airwaves, running every Thursday from 7pm to 9pm through RadioActive 88.6FM, Coda showed a confidence that only comes with DJing for over 20 years, supporting massive names such as Derek May, Kevin Saunderson, Jeff Mills, Ritchie Hawtin, Alex Paterson, among many others.

    As midnight kicked in, the British master hopped into the decks to own the stage, playing a set that could be described as a chronology of his career; starting with early Acid House, deepening into Jungle and Breaks, following with Drum N Bass, landing back with new clean Techno and Deep House. Like everyone else, I realized how versatile Gerald really is apart from regularly teasing the audience with samples of well known-songs, and making sudden changes into unexpected directions, he made sure every person had a fix of their favorite part of him.

    Although the event read “Doors Open @ 8PM”, the night wasn’t yet over!
    It has to be noted that it takes a lot of guts and skill to hop into the stage after the echoes of a grand master are still resonating in everyone’s ears. It was not a problem for local party-chica Heylady, who got an instant cheering from the crowd as soon as she started setting up her gear. Dancing and smiling as usual, she rocked the house and kept those energies going till around 4AM (quite a thing given that a lot of people were already dancing for hours). Showing a exquisite taste for firs-rate techno, Heylady provided the cherry on top the ice cream, and left us all go home with an bellyful of cool music. A perfect night of satisfaction!


    Gig poster sourced from Bodega Facebook Events/March 19


  • General

    Kinetic & Groovy Arts by the Waterfront

    30.01.15 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    The Performance Arcade

    We are very excited to present yet another sonic happening for this shiny Summer that 2015 has brought to us. The Playground NZ is a New Zealand performing arts company that, apart from presenting international arts spectacles from its initiation in 2004, has given birth to the Performance Arcade (P.A.) project, a temporary installation of shipping containers along the waterfront which hosts all sorts of live experimental, interactive art. This fresh, award-winning production offers the public a chance to indulge in out of the ordinary experiences for all the senses, and has been growing in popularity and caliber since it’s debut in 2011. As read on their website:

    The Arcade currently runs as an annual event on Wellington’s Waterfront each February/March: opening for 4-6 days and operating daily as a ‘13 hour performance space’. In addition to the containers, the Arcade houses a schedule of ‘one-off’ performances, music events , and public discussions on a specially built ‘container stage’. With a bar, stall food, and relaxing ambience, this space plays host to a dynamic series of performance works, concerts, and public discussions.

    Last year’s P.A. included music performances by Glass Vaults, Grayson Gilmour, Justin Firefly, The Troubles, Pecha Kucha, Weka, West Coast Bullies, Black City Lights, The Great Escape, and many more. Click here to check the current lineup of gigs and sonic installations.

    To know more about the P.A. visit their website here.

    For more info about other music events check Wellington Council’s Summer City Programme.


  • General

    Make your own music: A new makerspace cafe in Wellington

    16.12.14 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    hhhggg

    Homies Cosy Teahouse is the newest, biggest, and friendliest gift to Wellington. While run by volunteers, and maintained by Koha, it is Naomi, a fellow Wellingtonian, who envisioned the project. What is this place that people are talking about, yet is nowhere to be advertised? Is it a cafe? A pop-up? Someone’s flat? How did it come about? In her own words:

    “I, hopefully like many others, have been inspired by Blink (Ian Jorgenson)’s essay on the state of music in NZ and his thinking behind Puppies. With the shutting of so many strong music venues in a city which really needs them, I have expanded my cafe dreams to include this community, not just of musicians and music lovers, but the entire young creative community who use live music as a chance to come together. A few years ago, in Auckland city, I threw a few house parties (at the time wanting to make them a monthly thing), and this gave me a lot of experience and insight into the different relationships people have with live music. It’s not just the sound, the dancefloor, the consumption of alcohol – it’s the space which nourishes the community.”

    Bands play here most weekends, and the money made in the door is evenly distributed among the musicians. As of today, the Teahouse has a PA system, a 4 channel mixer, an electric bass guitar, an acoustic guitar, and a bunch of amplifiers. No one knows what might be there in a week’s time, or even tomorrow -that’s how things roll here. In terms of visuals, there is a dedicated room with a projector. Everyone is welcome to come along as they are, with the purpose of sharing and creating. As mentioned earlier, the professional kitchen is the perfect setup for either fixing a quick munch, or even producing a big potluck, and the living room has plenty of space to host all sorts of creative activities.

    The idea behind Homies has been to let people naturally gravitate towards the space, and for it to grow organically – and become whatever is that people want to make out of it.You can check out some more about Homies at these links here…..

    More info:
    Urban Dream Brokerage
    Kick Starter
    Facebook

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