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New library ‘Wellington’ music on CD & Vinyl: Nov-Dec – Ria Hall/Bill Lake/Highway/Stalker/Reuben Bradley/Black Minnaloushe/Full Moon Fiasco

Every month, Wellington City Libraries acquires new CD’s for its large, broad, eclectic collection, and Wellington music is no exception. We regularly inspect Bandcamp, local music websites, trawl music vendors latest releases and check out independent labels like Flying Nun, Arch Hill, Rattle and Lil’ Chief for the latest in Wellington and New Zealand music. So, with this influx of mint music in mind, every month we’ll provide the latest titles and artists added to our Wellington music collection…

Rules of engagement.
Fantastic album from Ria Hall, blending Te Reo & English with a contemporary neo-soul/R&B vibe. Hall was based in Wgtn for 10 years & was inspired by the idea of building an album around the concepts of the stories she had heard growing up. She started out co-writing with Electric Wire Hustle and Mara TK but moved home to Tauranga to finish the album, hooking up musically with Tiki Taane who had moved to the area at the same time. He helped finish the album, producing a few of the tracks and mixing it. Five years in the making, it uses as its starting point a fateful battle between Tauranga Maori and the British in the mid 1800s to jump start themes of war, recovery, compassion, love and conflict as they exist, or should exist, in modern cultural and personal relationships. Facebook here. RNZ interview here. Stuff article here.

As is where is / Bill Lake & The Right Mistake.
Unassuming bluesy folk from Bill Lake (whose long career in Wgtn bands dates back to the 70s with ‘Original Sin’ & the ‘Windy City Strugglers’, the 80s with ‘The Pelicans’, and the 90s with Home Truths). With the backing of Windy City Strugglers alumni – Nick Bollinger, Andrew Delahunty & Andrew “Clyde” Clouston – and recorded in Lake’s living room. Honest, heartfelt folk, the simple straightforward arrangements and playing belie the emotional and musical integrity at the heart of the songs. Website here. Facebook here. Elsewhere review here.

They were the hottest live band in Wellington in 1970, and in 1971 made fans up and down the two islands with their tour of universities, and they even made an album, but just a few years later, Highway were already an obscure memory, their record remaindered for $1.99 in superette bargain bins. The brief story of Highway didn’t re-emerge until NZ Listener critic Nick Bollinger included the self-titled Highway in his book 100 Essential New Zealand Albums (2009), after which it got its just deserts: a handsome CD reissue. More from their Audioculture profile here.

Shadow of the sword.
Ripping old school speed metal album, following on from the ‘Satanic Panic’ EP in 2016. Signed to Naplam Records, there’s nothing ‘post’ about Stalker’s ambitions with this full length release, it’s just classicist metal riffs, pummelling drums, and swaggering vocals. Review here. Bandcamp here. Facebook here. Buy here.

Shark variations.
Reuben Bradley’s fourth album for Rattle. Features Bradley on drums with Roger Manins (saxophone) & Brett Hirst (bass). Recorded after their New Zealand tour in September 2016 (by Rattle’s in-house engineer Steve Garden), Shark Variations is an album that defines the close musical & personal relationship of the participants. No ego’s or showboating. Just the genuine desire of 3 simpatico musicians to explore and improvise from a place of honesty & the commitment to discovering new musical possibilities without the confines of any pre-set expectations or boundaries. The forward driving pieces sit comfortably alongside moments of rumination like the nice ‘Don’t be Afraid’. NZ Musician review here. Facebook here. Listen here. Buy here.

Vinyl Exclusives:

Summer eyes.
Cosmically cool 2nd album form this from ex-Wgtn band, now based in Berlin featuring ex-pats Will Rattray and Mitchell James (of Aporia) as well as Jelena Mirceta (a Croatian born in Berlin) and Megan Wright (from South Africa). Trippy psychedelic jams meld vintage equipment and digital recording. Layered textures of reverb and sound make the album seem retro and modern almost simultaneously. Shades of Jim Morrison & The Velvet’s echo through as the melodic and hypnotic tracks flow together into a spacey trip. Facebook here. Bandcamp here. WCL interview here. SplendidBerlin interview here.

Get down.
Black Minnaloushe is the creative project of musician Andrew Carey. New album ‘Get Down’ is, as the title suggests, a bunch of funky Summer Jams to get your grove on to. Reminiscent to Lord Echo‘s grove in some places, but Carey diverges in other tracks to completely different styles. ‘Super Moon’ has more of an atmospheric soundtrack vibe, with some Vangelis like noodling, while ‘Make Some Noise’ & ‘Message On The Line’ both have a definite late period Beach Boys psychedelic vibe. It all flows well together into a funky laid back album perfect for Summer nights. Bandcamp here. Facebook here.

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