New Album

The Archives


  • General

    New Album: Kariiiba

    14.09.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Wellington producer Clae Baxter aka Kariiiba, whose latest album ‘Hot Shower Muzak’ was released earlier this month.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    The album was made over the last couple of years, at home in my bedroom!

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I produced HOT SHOWER MUZAK entirely by myself! I have recently been sorting through a whole heap of unreleased music, and these particular 12 tracks came together as single project based upon a shared lush, bouncy, spicy aesthetic that I came to know as HOT SHOWER MUZAK. I have another couple of releases coming up that were created in the same way, sorting through my beats and grouping songs together based on their ‘vibe’.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    Making music is like a game to me, it’s my ideal leisure activity, so the album really just stems from me mucking around and having fun in my DAW in my evenings or on the weekend.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    HOT SHOWER MUZAK to me, is music that sounds like a hot shower feels.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    My Native Instruments Maschine is my baby, I make pretty much all of my music using that beautiful little thing.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    It’d have to be ‘garlic’ for capturing the overall vibe, though swisher and ‘whipper’ are two personal favs of mine.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    No physical copy, but you can get it pretty much anywhere online: Spotify, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, iTunes, a bunch of other places.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    The whole album can be viewed on YouTube, though I wouldn’t call em ‘proper’ videos. Working on some stuff for upcoming releases though so watch this space.


  • General

    New Album: Starving Millions

    05.09.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Starving Millions, whose new album ‘V’ was released late last week.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    We recorded this album in July/August mostly in our rehearsal room at Toi Poneke. A few parts were added at Dave’s house and all the vocals were done at our friend Jimmys as he has vocal booth set up.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    We produced the album ourselves, we had complete control over every step of the process and could be quite flexible with how we did things. Throughout recording we shared the tracks on dropbox to give feedback on the mix and sound.
    Peter recorded his guitar parts first so that Sam could write lead lines at home and then bring to recording. Sam created the first half of the intro track on his set up at his house and then set to Dave for Mixing and mastering.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    Dave has had these songs written for quite a while, so after he wrote the backbone of the songs, it was a case of taking it apart, adding/changing parts and putting it back together. Pete had most of the lyrics completed before recording with only a few changes made on the day of recording.
    The lyrics are mainly taking a look at the state of social and racial divisions in life and politics but trying to look with hope for improvement the current low we are in.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    We wanted to stick to the dark and heavy sound of our last album but we also wanted to look to where we can branch out into our music. We shared a lot of other bands with each other and talked about what aspects we liked and wanted to play.
    Dave based a lot of the guitar riffs on the drums and then worked into a song strong structure. We approach the songs based on the fact that we will be playing them live and we want to catch the vibe. The drums were tracked live with minimal touch ups, so that we can get that sense of live sound.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    There’s no secret sauce to our recording gear. It’s the type of equipment that normally find in a hardcore punk album. Lot’s of high gain distortion, amps, Sans amp on the bass.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    ‘Us and Them’ really highlights the sound that we were aiming for in this album. It’s a bit more melodic and mid tempo than our previous album, but it shows that progression in style that we wanted.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Physical copies will be available on CD and Cassette, via Good Times Records and will also be available digitally via Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify.


  • General

    New Album: The Emptys Response

    29.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Jamie Scott Palmer, whose solo project is called The Emptys Response. A prolific musician he has recorded 11 albums & 8 EPs since 2011, and is also a member of new group Dreams are like Water. His latest (11th) album is ‘Love is the Answer’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    In my bedroom in our very musical flat in Berhampore, over the course of the last week and a half and finished last night though I need to re-bounce and re-upload one track ’cause I noticed a glitch when I listened this morning as I drank my coffee. I’ll get onto that immediately after answering these questions.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I produced and engineered it myself DIY style at home.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    I’m pretty spontaneous and tend to fly by the seat of my pants though I always have ideas, usually a theme, and moods which I bring to my albums, EP’s or single tracks. My plan was to have the album start off quite heavy, and fast. The album has a Taoist type Yin Yang aspect to it starting off dark and heavy with electronica elements to it. The 2nd half of the album is the more Yin/effeminate part. Some of the album was improvised. In fact most of it was.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    Kind of but it does relate a bit to my 2nd most recent album recording called Caffeine and Painkillers in the sense that it has similar electronica elements to it. That was another quick recording, finished within 4 days while I had time off work due to a fractured clavicle injury, hence the title ‘Caffeine and Painkillers.’ I was consuming a lot of that stuff during the making of that album.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Yes, Redrum in Reason 5.0, Reason effects, Pro Tools plug in effects, a MIDI keyboard
    (emulating various synths, basses, strings, distorted guitar loops,) my cello, a melodica, some very shy vocals saturated in effects, a Fender Squier Jaguar, Takamine acoustic guitar, a beaten up old punk rock bass guitar with wires dangling out and taped up to keep the body intact, and some other stuff.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Not really, no.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Nothing tangible/physical and no plan to do that either. It is available here.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    No. However I do plan to write up a screenplay, music vid trilogy, maybe aim for some funding via a grant for this recording of mine which is the fully finished soundtrack to the aforementioned music vid trilogy I plan to make one day, maybe next year. Here’s the link to that soundtrack.


  • General

    New Album: Too Many Chiefs

    24.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Andrew London from new group ‘Too Many Chiefs’, which comprises the joint talent of Laura Collins, Rob Joass, Andrew London and Wayne Mason.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    The Surgery, Wellington,

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Lee Prebble engineer. Produced by all four members of Too many Chiefs. We had three tracks each and oversaw the production of our own songs.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    Songs all written by four songwriters individually; some recently, some many years ago. The songs represent our live show where we select our favourite originals and contribute to each other’s songs; sometimes swapping instruments. The oldest song we perform is Wayne Mason’s ’Nature’ from 1969.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    We wanted the recording to represent what happens when we perform live.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    No; just our own acoustic instruments.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    The first track is fairly representative. Wayne Mason wrote it around 2015 and plays acoustic guitar. Rob Joass plays bass, Andrew London plays lead guitar (arch top Hofner) and Laura Collins adds vocal harmony.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Physical CDs and digital downloads available from Bandcamp.com.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    Not yet.


  • General

    New Album: Disasteradio

    18.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Disasteradio who has just dropped new album ‘Sweatshop’, his 14th release, which is currently available for free/donation on Bandcamp. Any pay-as-you-like purchase of this album also includes a sweet 6-track instrumental EP “Sweatpants”

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    I started working on most of these songs as a collection pretty soon after putting out Charisma (in 2010) – some songs on this album go back as far as 2008. I have every session and idea I’ve ever worked on arranged by year, going back that far.. so I’m always churning over old material, figuring out and refining ideas. It’s a blessing and a curse, there is always something old to work on and obsess over, but also I’m in a dialogue with all of my previous ideas, so things can get quite interesting (or frustrating!) quite quickly.

    I have always worked from home, in my bedroom, but more recently I’ve moved to a garage that I share with my partner Chloe – she’s a contemporary jeweller, so there’s always this comic mix of banging, blowtorches, beeping and drum fills in there.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I’ve never worked on music in a proper recording studio (haha I have been in one once for drinks) .. having a close proximity to one’s working space is important. The way I see it, all creativity to me is a form of autobiography. Being able to capture ideas quickly and comfortably has always been at the heart of what I do. Often the process of a song is intense work on getting melodies, harmonies, rhythm and mix right as an instrumental, then I substitute the lead instrument for the vocal. This can take a week or it can take years. I started writing more instrumental stuff so adding vocals is a kind of hybridisation of instrumental and songwriting approaches. I record a lot of indistinct mumbling along to a song and try to hear what words want to come out on the melody.. like a flow-of-consciousness type exercise. If you get even one word right for a line of lyrics, you can build the words around it quite easily.

    When I’m in this productive mode I do a lot of listening to half-finished albums when I’m walking somewhere on headphones, or when I’m driving. I’m always thinking how a given part of a song might distil down, to reduce what I mean lyrically or musically to the most direct thing possible. I mastered it myself and did the album art on my own basically because I’m a control freak, also thinking about how things work absolutely occupies my mind most of the time, so learning these skills is all part of it.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    I have always loved the way synthesizer pop comments on technology, and that is always a theme, but lots of songs talk about that – “Modern Rock” is about my sort of frustrations with this essentialist, macho attachment to vintage gear, vinyl, guitar music being more “authentic” than anything else, that sort of thing. “Sweatshop” is more-or-less about how I couldn’t make a motherboard, or a cellphone, but I need one to do what I do – that without the labour of thousands of people I literally would be doing something completely different, and not knowing what to do with that knowledge as an artist.

    The album starts quite angsty which was intentional, over the production of it I had a knee injury in 2012 which meant I couldn’t walk for a number of months, so I had to grow through that experience as well. I was stuck in bed for most of the summer of 2012 so that was part of the name of the album “Sweatshop”.. I remember one night feeling quite down but I came across the astronaut Sunni Williams giving a tour of the International Space Station and got quite obsessed with it – I found it quite heart-warming to know that these people were always floating around me in this tiny enclosed space when I was stuck inside my house, like they couldn’t go outside either.. kinda weird to say but anyway that is why the album cover has this space station theme.

    The album ends quite optimistically and finishes with the song “Oh Yeah” which was the final song I wrote too. More recently I got into feeling more grateful in life and kind of letting go of my own attachments, that sort of thing. So there’s this kind of redemptive arc through the album I guess.. it begins with older songs that are quite angsty and ends with a kind of absolution.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    Working on this album over the last six years meant I’ve taken on a lot of different ideas and influences. The biggest early one was Electric Light Orchestra’s album TIME (1981) which I absolutely got obsessed with, I really love Jeff Lynne’s percussive, heavy layered pop approach from this period and still listen to that album all the time. Also I started my side-project Eyeliner in 2012 which is original MIDI vaporwave. Eyeliner put out three albums over the time I have been working on Sweatshop, and that project was much more of an exploration of jazz harmonies, lots of stacked chords and a big move away from a major-minor type sound into a much more delectable, ambiguous palette of notes. So Disasteradio has absorbed those ideas a bit as well. “Unleash The Free TV Revolt” was my attempt at Disasteradio doing a slowed-down vaporwave type sound, that almost “samples myself” if that makes sense.

    I also was consciously moving towards more of a lyrical, pop song approach, away from more instrumental stuff as I was able to express those ideas more freely with Eyeliner (which has no singing). More recently I’ve really gotten into the lyrics and composition of Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy) & Tom Petty. There are a lot of fake guitar power chords from an old VST plugin called ReFX Slayer in there too, and I made sure it was strongly timed and robotic, and helps to push this driving, power pop type pulse.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    99% of the album is software – virtual instruments. I’m struggling to remember putting any hardware at all on it. Since Visions (2008) I’ve always composed on high-speed gaming type PC desktop machines that my good friend hands-me-down after he upgrades (it’s important to have patrons!) – I’ve loved working with computers since I was six years old – we got a Commodore 64 in the late 1980s – and being able to repair, maintain & upgrade my own hardware has meant I can keep things running for a long time. Music software is such that any mid-spec PC can do a lot of things, so using second-hand hardware makes things even easier, plus you give older tech a longer life.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Really hard for me to single out any one song as I consider all of them so different, but I’m really glad I finished “Free WiFi” which I started in 2008, it begins with a snippet of lyrics but meanders off into a kind of jam / 12″ remix breakdown territory, with sounds that invoke radio and communication. I’ve always wanted to write a song like this that references the same sorts of things that bands like OMD, Kraftwerk and Thomas Dolby were doing in the 1980s – music about radio in a kind of romantic, nostalgic sense. That song covers a lot of territory for me, both time-wise and culturally.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    We are working on vinyl later on in the year but it’s available on most streaming services (Apple, Google Music, Spotify etc) as well as iTunes, and free or pay-as-you-like on Bandcamp.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    Me and my best bud and #1 video maker Simon Ward have been working on a video for “Oh Yeah” that should be out pretty soon. He moved to Melbourne but we work regularly together on some animations and art projects via the web, but because we are in different countries he has made a virtual me that we can use in videos with crazy 3D graphics. It’s at least as fun as the Gravy Rainbow vid, promise you that!


  • General

    New Album: Moon Lander

    10.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Anthony Lander, ex bass player with Moses, with the debut full-length of his new project Moon Lander.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    The album was recored in Warwick Donald’s warehouse appartment in Newtown and we started recording it a couple of years back. It took a while to complete because soon after we started recording it, I joined another band (MOSES), and so the project got put on the backburner while I focussed on writing and playing with MOSES.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Warwick Donald recorded it, and also acted in the role of co-producer with me. I had some pretty clear ideas of how I wanted the tracks to sound, and I’d made demos of most of the songs before starting to record with Warwick. However, there was still a lot of room for experimenting in the studio with various different guitars, tunings, effects, which was a lot of fun.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    These are songs which I’d written during the time I was a member of The Blue Onesies. There were three songwriters in The Blue Onesies, which meant that there were always a lot of songs around, and certainly more than we could record. So this left me with plenty of surplus songs and many of them I really loved. When The Blue Onesies broke up in 2014, I decided that I’d like to start my own solo project in order to record and release many of these songs. Working on this album was the first time I’d heard such a large number of my own songs all together, and hearing them like this made me realise that there were some themes that run through the album. One of which is that many of them were written in the time that I did not have a partner, and many of the songs reference how I felt about this. Another theme, weirdly, is being sick. Both Lemon and Honey, and ‘Pseudoephedrine’ are about being sick, as you might be able to gather from the song titles! In contrast with these potentially whiney sounding topics, the album is actually quite upbeat, musically.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    I was listening to Mac Demarco’s ‘Salad Days’ album around the time I recorded my album, and I liked the feel of that record. So perhaps I was going for that! But it’s certainly different to how The Blue Onesies and MOSES sound. Both of those bands tended to have quite a wall of sound. Perhaps that comes with having six members in your band. With Moon Lander there’s a bit more space. And, ironically, less songs about space!

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Warwick has awesome gear. He’s quite of a collector of interesting microphones, amps, guitars. He had some really good ideas about what to use and when. I think this is particularly evident on the track ‘Oh Lord’. Very old mic. But yeah, recording with Warwick is fun like that because he’s always pulling out some interesting piece of gear. I learned that microphones in the past looked like a variety of different fruits and vegetables.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Hmm, perhaps ‘Someone Else’. It’s short, it’s upbeat, it’s jangly, it’s set on the cusp of being awake and being asleep, as many of the songs on the album are. It’s a great song to play live. After playing it live I sometimes wish it was longer than 2 minutes long.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    The best place to get a copy is on Bandcamp, as of August the 7th. Spotify will follow in good time. I’ll make some physical copies for live gigs, but making physical copies is not a huge priority for me because not many people listen to CDs anymore. Beside, the world is so full of “stuff” already without making more plastic stuff to fill it up! Go digital!

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    I’d love to, and I’ve had talks about it, but it’s always about finding the time to do it. Hit me up, dear reader, if you are inspired to make a music video for any of my songs. I will welcome your ideas.


  • General

    New Album: Chris Armour

    02.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Chris Armour. In late 2013, Chris had his prized Telecaster stolen after a night of gigging. News of his misfortune made it all the way to Boston, Massachusetts and soon after Chris received an impossibly generous gift from an acclaimed blues musician; a guitar with an uncanny likeness to his stolen Telecaster, emblazoned with the custom decal ‘Tele-Porter’. It was with this guitar that Chris wrote and recorded his debut album ‘Tele-Porter’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    Dec 11th 2016, the band went up to Whitemans Valley in Upper Hutt in a friends garage-turned studio (named ‘The Stolen Cabasa’). We recorded ‘Kira’ (track 6) at a later date (July 5th 2017 I believe) in Stokes Valley in Richard Te Ones gardening shed. This track was a last minute addition as I felt like the album needed a slower more introspective number to break up the intensity of the other tracks.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    The album was produced by me (Chris Armour) and engineered by Miklin Halstead. The tracks were loosely written and arranged by me, but only in terms of song structures, heads, key melodies and hooks etc. The idea was to capture the vibe of musicians bouncing off each other in a room together, and leave a lot of room for improvisation and spontaneity. In saying that, some tracks were more structured than others, but all had large elements of improvisation.
    I was happy to let the songs evolve and change on the fly within the studio. I made a point of not giving much direction for first takes on the majority of tunes, because I feel like it is beneficial to go into a song with a completely unspoiled mind, and react to it in real time as you learn it. Why bother getting a group of musicians with great creative and musical instincts to play on your album if you aren’t going to let them explore and experiment? This led to some really interesting moments being captured. In the case of a few songs, it also changed their feel completely (e.g. someone would play a feel or a figure that would suggest a different treatment or a re-imagining of the song)

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    In a number of ways. Sometimes I would stumble upon a mistake that would lead me down a path to finding a cool melody or sound, and I would sculpt a song around it. Sometimes I would be attempting to emulate the style of a particular guitarist I liked, and in the process would find something new and interesting. And as previously mentioned, some of the songs were almost entirely improvised in the studio with nothing but a simple musical head use as a starting point (sometimes not even that, in the case of ‘Kira’ I just had a chord progression and a vibe I wanted to capture). Overall themes are a certain kind of musical language – 50’s and early 60’s electric blues, soul jazz, and jump blues. There are a few other things that slip through the cracks but predominantly its about exploring that particular sound in a personal way, trying to shape my own voice within it.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    This is my debut album, and was originally just a plan to record some songs to use as a ‘business card’ of sorts to get more gigs/session work/overseas touring work but over the course of the albums creation I started seeing it as something more. It’s kind of my ode to a time and era of music that I love dearly, and that I see as my musical roots. In terms of the style of the songs and the production, it is all decidedly old school sounding, and favours minimalism, musicianship, live performance over studio wizardy or technology.

    I started playing guitar because of the blues, and dug back into the history of the genre, absorbing all I could from age 15 to this day (12 years). I’ve since expanded my musical interests exponentially into other genres, but still look at the blues as my roots. This album is my way of reconciling the relationship between myself (a 27 year old from New Zealand) and a genre of music that is essentially worlds and decades away from me. As I previously stated, I was trying to see If I in fact had anything interesting to add to the musical lineage of the genre. Could I create a voice of my own within a musical language that is over 120 years old? Could I carve out a piece of it to call my own.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    We kept it as simple as possible. Four musicians in a room together, no headphones, playing live. We didn’t go overboard with the micing. Obviously we couldn’t take it as far as using the gear that they would’ve used to record in the 50’s – tape machines and analog gear etc. That isn’t financially possible in New Zealand.

    I borrowed a specific amp from a friend (Victoria 20112) that would help get me closer to the old school tone I wanted. I borrowed a real tape delay machine for my guitar. I used lots of cool equipment that is modeled after vintage analog gear (flint strymon pedal for trem and some verb, catalinbread topanga spring reverb for some different verb). A lot of it was really just in the musical language though. I imagine Miklin (the engineer) had some tricks up his sleeve to achieve the sound we got, but I left that magic up to him.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    It’s tough to single out one, maybe Conchos`. I’ve been using that as a ‘single’ (for lack of a better term). Its blues but it also isn’t – it draws on the history of the music while trying to push it in a new direction. I like that

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    As it stands, it is currently only available on Bandcamp. It’ll be released on a bunch of other platforms a bit later on in the mix. Spotify, iTunes etc.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    No.

    “This is a terrific album by a killer band. Great grooves, imagination, touch, taste, and tone abound.”
    Tom Hyslop, Music Journalist

    “I’ve been watching Chris Armour grow-up as a guitarist since about 2008. His debut album Tele-Porter is a world-class instrumental Jump Blues album. Toneful, tuneful, and swinging like a bitch thanks to the chef of the shuffle, Richard Te One on drums, and Steve Moodie on bass.”
    NZ blues legend Darren Watson


  • General

    New Album: Alex Staines with guests

    01.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is poet Alex Staines who writes transgressive lyrical poems, and has combined forces with talented local composers, musicians and graphic artists to produce several dark-toned albums, the latest of which is ‘Time of the Archons’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    ‘Time of the Archons’ was recorded in mid-2016 at Brad Jenkins’s home studio in Wellington. At the same time we re-recorded the vocal for all the tracks on the previous album, “Seclusion Data”, which was recorded by Steve Wolf at his place in Wellington in 2010.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Basically all the mixing and mastering was done by Brad Jenkins. He also composed all the electronic music once he had Steve’s piano tracks. Then I added the vocal at the end.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    That could take pages to answer. It was based on the mood of the poems I wrote. Brad said something like, “it’s the apocalypse, but you don’t care”.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    It’s really a simple poetry and music album like its predecessor, though with less of an up-front feel probably because there’s electronics instead of guitar. Steve and Brad had complete freedom to express themselves artistically around the theme – whatever that meant to them. I basically gave Steve half a dozen poems and he composed the piano music from there. The piano is the key to the whole thing, as the way Steve plays was completely different from what Brad was expecting for a poetry album. That caused some interesting things to happen musically. Then I decided which poems went with which tracks and basically just read the poems in a kind of conversational tone.

    Remnants of the Founding Engine – the Music of ‘Time of the Archons’ – An interview with composers Brad Jenkins and Steve Wolf, by Alex Staines.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    The sound just came together. It’s really basic – piano, skilfully composed electronics, good mixing and mastering, and some words about this and that.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    With its staunch chord progressions, obdurate poetry and electronic pitch bends, the penultimate track ‘Coptic Lisp’ revels in the apocalypse.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Bandcamp. On the page Alex Staines with guests.

    Are you working on a video/promotion for any of the songs?
    We’re thinking about making a video, too, yes. I did some gigs in 2010 for the “Seclusion Data” album, just around Wellington. No plans for gigs at this stage, though the third album is being planned as a live performance thing. I quite like the idea of playing guitar on stage at the age of 60 – that’s something to aspire to. Promotional activites for “Time of the Archons” have been confined to boosting a post on Facebook and you guys. Not sure where it fits in in terms of a genre. It’s a strange mixture that just is what it is.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Covers used with permission.


  • General

    New Album: Mermaidens

    28.07.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next are Gussie, Lily & Abe from Mermaidens, whose Sophomore album ‘Perfect Body’ is released on August 4th via Flying Nun Records.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    We recorded the album sporadically – over a few different sessions in the studio in the latter months of 2016. A day of tracking here, a day of guitars there. Our other recording experiences have been completely different. Usually we would set aside 2 or 3 days in the studio and smash it out. This time round, we recorded over a few different sessions. We recorded the first four tracks then had a two-month gap in between to write more material. This allowed us to see the album as a whole – that reflection informed our writing of the next four songs. We also paid a lot more attention to guitars on this album. There are layers and layers of different textures in the guitars and I think that’s what makes these songs the most dynamic we’ve recorded so far.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    James Goldsmith of Blue Barn Recording Studios did another amazing job on this record. We have a really great dynamic and he knows how to get the best out of us! The tracks were mostly written out of the studio, but James had a chance to listen to demos and give us some feedback. We recorded the drums with a live band to get a more realistic feeling, and then tracked the guitar, bass and vocals separately over the top. This gave us the opportunity to really fine tune the tones and layers of sounds we wanted to achieve.

    Wellington act Mermaidens evoke the lush aesthetic of a bygone era with new track Satsuma: look closer, however, and you’ll find the domestic dream is rotten to the core
    ‘The Singles Life: The eerie defiance of Mermaidens’, The Wireless, Thursday 22nd June 2017.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    This sounds cheesy but I feel this album is about growing up. About our art, minds, bodies and becoming more mature. The lyrics are really for us, as a mantra to ourselves. While writing the album we’d been thinking and talking about the sensations of pleasure and pressure. By that I mean the contrast of being in a blissful state, but with an underlying anxiety or uncertainty being present too. The sun is a big one for us in this album – that feeling of craving the sun is touched on multiple times and we didn’t realize this until once the album was finished. Our songwriting process is always collaborative – although at times when writing this album we were under quite a bit of time pressure so one person would finish a song then bring it to the band. We’re big fans of deadlines!

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    We really tried to be more restrained and careful with our use of dynamics on this album. I guess that resolved itself in a quieter and more mature sound than on Undergrowth.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Bass tone had a lot of attention in the recording process. We wanted a subby sound throughout the whole record and also used chorus pedal throughout.
    Snare treatment is different for every song. James gave the drums a different ‘voice’ according to what the song needed.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    The final track on the record ‘Fade’ is the most last minute song we’ve written and caused the most turmoil for me! I was writing it up until the night before we went into the studio. Despite this it turned out to be our favourite song on the album. It’s got these densely layered vocal harmonies, twinkly guitar lines and finishes with a jam that gets fuzzier and fuzzier. It seemed like the best way to end the album.

    Mermaidens deliberately don’t make songs you can stick on at a dinner party
    Loud & Quiet, July 19th

    Perfect Body Pre-Orders are here

    Mermaidens Perfect Body vinyl pre-orders are available now! Vinyl comes in glowing bright orange 'satsuma' colour. Order a copy from http://tinyurl.com/y85sbtth

    Posted by Mermaidens on Monday, 12 June 2017

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    ‘Perfect Body’ is coming out on vinyl through Flying Nun, and it should be available from all the good record stores in the country. You can order the record from Flyingout.co.nz. Digitally you can stream the album on Spotify and iTunes, but if you really like the music, the best way to support us (and all small bands!) is by buying it on Bandcamp.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    Gussie, Lily, Ezra and our friend Will have made an amazing video for ‘Satsuma’, and a video for ‘Sunstone’ is in the works too!


  • General

    New album: Jet Jaguar

    24.07.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is electronic producer Jet Jaguar aka Michael Upton, who has just released his fifth solo album ‘Grounded’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    Grounded was written and recorded over the last two or three years. Apart from some of the field recordings I made in different locations, the recording happened at home in Wellington. I did one track (An Early Start) on holiday in Vanuatu in 2015.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I write my music using software, so it’s fair to say I produced and engineered it myself. Composing, mixing, producing are all basically one activity for me. I care a lot about texture and mood, so even in the process of trying to get a beat right or a chord progression to work I’m probably tweaking the details of the sounds as well.

    Martyn Pepperell talks to Jet Jaguar about his new album ‘Grounded’, the transportive power of field recordings, and the unreliability of memory.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    I didn’t start writing with a particular release or concept in mind. It’s instrumental music and I don’t write like tone poems or anything. My releases tend to just come together when I’ve written a certain number of tracks that I discover work nicely together. I don’t just release stuff in the order I write it – maybe half of the tracks on Grounded were finished before I released my last EP, July, but I was saving them up because they felt like they needed to be part of an album.

    In terms of music themes, I’ve continued to explore a couple of things that I’ve been enjoying for a few years now. One is working with very un-electronic sources such as field recordings alongside very typically electronic sounds. An obvious example is ‘Tarawera Chorus’, which uses a recording of Lake Tarawera before dawn as its basis. Another thing is introducing sounds that are out of time or have some kind of randomness to them, and then sort of snatching and looping small fragments to make the end result sound more musical. The synths in Funny are an example of this. Sometimes I combine both ideas, like the percussive sounds in Parfum are a recording of me making plenty of noise around the house, that I then chopped and looped to create awkward grooves.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    The new thing that’s happening on this album is that it’s in part a giant backwards look! I’ve been using the same software since at least 2004 and I found old backups of unfinished tracks that date back that far. After such a long time, I was pleasantly surprised that there was bits in these tracks that I really liked. I was also pleasantly surprised the files still loaded at all, to be honest! Anyway, so probably at least half of the tracks on the album incorporate fragments of these very old tracks into something new. The opening sounds of the album are an example, and the titles of ‘An Early Start’ and And Another are directly referring to what I’m talking about.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Not really, to be honest.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    I’m not sure why, but I think of ‘Costa’ as the one that sums up how the album works. Ironically, it doesn’t fit any of the musical themes I’ve talked about – but that’s how music goes, right? It’s not so much about the techniques.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Grounded is available on cassette through the Bandcamp page of the record label, DataDoor. Digital downloads are available through the same means. It is being distributed to all the usual digital platforms shortly, but the tape and the download from Bandcamp both come with a bonus track.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    So far there are videos for two tracks. I invited a British guy, Vaheed Pal, to make a visual that reacts to the audio, for ‘Bright Light’ and I made my own little video for ‘Parfum’. DataDoor label boss Tim Koch does some great visuals himself and is working on something now.


« Previous Entries