New Zealand Music Month: Svend’s picks

New Zealand Music Month logoTo mark New Zealand Music Month our librarians have been thinking about local music memories, albums and artists. Here’s what Svend had to say:

Loop Select 003 cover link Loop Select 004 coverIf you’re looking for an introduction to a bunch of good New Zealand music at the electronica/dance/dub end of the spectrum, the LOOP compilations are a great place to start. They were released around the turn of the century, but many of the artists featured on these albums are still making cool music, and the library has a fairly good selection of them; it can be interesting to look at how they’ve changed over time, and interacted with each other.

For example, listening to the first, unnumbered LOOP compilation, the catchy breakbeats of Minuit might catch your ear, leading you to their EP Luck; or you might enjoy Species II from LOOP Select 003 (also on their first album, The 88):

But they haven’t stayed still. For example, if you listened to their recent albums, like Find Me Before I Die A Lonely, you’d find the expected tracks that menacingly whir and click along, like “Run Run” (with the awesome opening line, “I’m not so brave; I’m just surrounded by cowards…”); but there are also stripped back, almost folksy tracks like “Vampires”:

Or there’s the unstoppable Rhian Sheehan, whose dreamy electronic soundscapes are all over the various LOOP compilations. He’s ended up doing a lot of film and television work (and, thanks to an agreement between LOOP and the 48HR Film Competition, can be heard over the credits of a surprising number of ramshackle short films). Here’s a live version of the first track from his album Standing In Silence:

Rhian Sheehan – Standing in Silence Pt.1 (Live) by Rhian Sheehan

Or how about the rambling but funky supergroup Fat Freddy’s Drop, who’s first album Live at the Matterhorn (with the iconic Bucket Fountain on the cover) manages to make four tracks jam for an hour. Their album Based On A True Story is slightly less meandering, but no less soulful, as the track “Wandering Eye” demonstrates:

Of course, the other nice thing about Fat Freddy’s Drop is that it’s a springboard into a whole constellation of bands… but it might be better if that was another post.