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Live Music Reviews and Photos

Campus A Low Hum 2011: Day 0

Street Chant at Campus
Street Chant at Campus

Ok so Thursday went like this:

  • Nervous energy and frantic organizing till midday day
  • Flying to Wellington, getting lunch and some food for camp
  • Long drive up the Kaptiti Coast through the Horowhenua, into the Manawatu, through Bulls and eventually to Flock House Setting up the tent in near darkness.
Scul Hazzards at Campus
Scul Hazzards at Campus

After all the preliminary stuff was out of the way it was time to check out the not-really scheduled day 0 bands, one of the first being the excellent noisy local brats Street Chant, plus London-based aussie noise-rockers Scul Hazzards.

Didn’t have much of a late night, but I did hear the much-hyped Leno Lovecraft from the tent and he sounded pretty flash.

Categories
Rambling

The Music Industry is Dead (apparantly)

I’ve gotten emails from two seperate people – Oscar (who runs El Santo here in Lyttelton/Christchurch) and Ian (aka Blink of A Low Hum fame) who are starting up new record stores int he coming months. Seriously thats a turn up for the books.

Oscar’s Lyttelton store is gonna be called Evil Genius and he’s gonna stock a whole heap of Vinyl, Posters and other collectable, design type stuff.

Come and explore our new store. New screen printed tee’s, art, toys, Vinyl and CD’s… Featuring live @ 4pm… Ryan Prebble (Nudge, Spartacus R, Fly my Prettys) , The Coffin Surfin Corpse of the Mysterious Tapeman, BAD EVIL and secret guests, BBQ and refreshments. MOO AH HA HA

Also for all you musician… Wanna stock your warez in Evil Genius?
Email us @ EvilGenius@hotmail.co.nz

Blink’s starting a Cafe/Record store type deal and here’s the blurb:

TEMPORARY

So, you know how the music retail industry is dying, well dead? I thought I’d open a record store!

Man. I have done some stupid stuff in my life, but this definitely takes the cake. But, hey… as the name suggests, it’s just Temporary.

Me and Davis have started a weird little café in Wellington at 13 Dixon Street that sells Vinyl, CDs, Cassettes, Merch, Tshirts, Art, Coffee, Food, Drinks, Posters, Zines, Books and MP3s!

Our official opening is on Wednesday 16th February, but we’re open sporadic hours at the moment if you want to drop by before then! We’ve already got some choice stuff in stock, but will be getting heaps more over the coming weeks.

We’ll be selling Mp3s as well, some for pay-as-you-like, all you need to do is bring in a USB stick or we’ll burn you a CD.

You should like us on Facebook, even if you don’t like us in real life: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Temporary/131007860297669

Come in and say hey!

If you’d like to stock some stuff at TEMPORARY, email me!

Lastly; I just caught the mighty Eastern busking down on London Street, on this glorious sunny day. Good to see those guys again and with such a capable line-up these days – Guitar, Banjo, Upright Bass, Violin and Mandolin – choice as.

Categories
s artists

So So Modern

Hip Wellington based synth and guitar troop – greatly exciting, fun and wacky group. often costumed and running through sets at breakneck pace, the group have a give it a go and home-production bent, distributing their own self-produced recordings (with art-work from the very talented Neon Sleep), hand-crafted pins, stickers and posters.

Vocalist Grayson Gilmour released his own solo album in 2006, with attention from the A Low Hum peeps – actually his third home-produced release after a duo of unofficial, teenage years releases.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Ep0001 Cd-R Ep [2005 Self-Released Ep0001]
  • Frendz Cd-R Ep [2006 Self-Released Ep0002]
  • Friendly Fires [2007 Self-Released]

See-Also

Categories
v artists

Voom

Dating way back to the early 80s when still in university, Voom have been the duo of Andrew Buzz Moller and Andrew Mac Mackaskill. It took a heck of a long time before much actually emerged from the band, with a couple of lo-fi song getting radio play throughout the early 90s, thanks to the intrepid Kiwi Hit Disc compilations. It wasn’t until 1998 that Voom finally released their debut album, with Dan Manetto replacing Bill Kerton and Chris Mckibben (who had propped up the bands ryhthm section in the mid 90s).

Then with the release of their album and finally some commercial success, Andrew Mckaskill left the band – Manetto switching to drums to fill his spot. Since then the band has gone through a couple bass players (Mareea Paterson has come and gone, replaced by Rich Mixture – Shaft), and continued a low-key existence.

Big changes were afoot in 2006 as Mackaskill finally left the group, with Moller now leading a new lineup featuring Nick Buckton (Bass), Murray Fisher (Guitar – Gooshirt) and Mike Beehre (Drums). Lil Chief came to the party to release vooms long-time coming sophmoric effort Hello, Are You There, as the group toured the country with A Low Hum.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Now I Am Me [1998 Antenna Ant008]
  • ‘Relax; Cd Single [1998 Antenna Ant010]
  • Hello, Are You There? [2006 Lil Chief Lcr016]

See-Also

Categories
y artists

Yokel Ono

Biography

Striking and popular 2-piece wunderkind featuring Thom Burton on guitar and vocals with Glen Johnson pummelling the drums. The duo formed in Hamilton back in 2000 before relocating to Auckland and immediate finding themselves on bills with the likes of Die! Die! Die! and the A Low Hum tours.

The group seemed to slip under the radar in the late 00’s, with Burton resurfacing with new group the Wilberforces and then later Glen Johnson got in to all sorts of trouble in Yemen while working as an undercover journalist – ‘Captured Journalist in Horror Cell’ [New Zealand Herald]

Members

  • Glen Johnson (drums, 2000-200?)
  • Thom Burton (guitar/vocals, 2000-200?)

Discography

  • Our Dream Home Wrecked Our Lives [2005]
Categories
Album Reviews

The Enright House – A Maze and Amazement

2007, A Low Hum, HUM031

The Enright House have produced a luscious polished product in their debut album, A Maze and Amazement. To most, the band is probably best known from touring with A Low Hum, who happens to be the label responsible for this release.

The album is like a complex and emotional soundtrack, opening with the beautiful and floating “Scattering the Sun like Gunshot”. At 7 minutes its almost all instrumentally driven with the vocals not appearing till 5 minutes into the song, and they don’t dominate, simply add a layer of sound to the already rich soundscape.

The electronic characteristics of A Maze and Amazement remind me of Postal Service with a hint of Sigur Ros at the beginning and end of the album. It seems the middle tracks rely heavily on sampled vocal elements. Aside from the opening track the standout song would be “On the banks of the Rhein”. The album is a rich textural tapestry which will keep you company on the long winter nights.

Categories
t artists

Thought Creature

Forming in 2004 the Wellington-based trio of Will Rattray (Guitar and Vocals), Danny Brady (Bass, Synth) and Peter Copeland (Electronic Drums) started out as an slack-vocaled Surf-Rock group, however their sound has changed quite a lot over the years.

After releasing their popular ‘Your Telepathy’ EP back in 2005, and album ‘Teleport Palace’ in 2008, the group spent some time in Berlin, lost long-time drummer Copeland, and turned more and more electronic. The group have recorded with Bevan Smith and Dale Cotton, and have been associated with A Low Hum, Powertool Records and Frase Austin’s Crystal Magic label.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Your Telepathy CD-r EP [2005 self-released]
  • Teleport Palace [2008 Involve INVOLVE18]
  • Total Recall EP [2012 Crystal Magic]
  • Ocean Dream [2012]

See-Also

Categories
Interviews

The Enright House [October 2006]

[Originally published in A Low Hum, October 2006]

Skittery percussion, ethereal drones with metallic resonance, a disturbingly atmospheric sound counter-balanced by human, emotive vocals The Enright House sounds like a dramatic balancing act; much like the crumbling architectural images that adorn his website. But The Enright House’s songs aren’t falling apart at the seams; they’ve been meticulously composed using computer manipulation and display a great depth of ideas and incredible texture.

So who is The Enright House? I wasn’t quite sure myself my exposure to Mark Roberts project had previously been limited to his MySpace recordings and a brief introduction at the last Low Hum show so I asked Mark to give me a little background.

The dry bit: I was born and raised in a small village on the Rhein River in Germany. After finishing school, I moved to Chicago, where I studied music composition, guitar and philosophy. In 2004 I came to New Zealand (where I also have family) to sit for a masters degree in philosophy (aesthetics), which, if all goes well, should be completed by February next year.

Mark’s love and involvement with music was forged at a very early age thanks to a musical family, and carried through his adolescent and teenage years in Germany; where he trained to become a concert performer after taking up classical guitar at the age of just 12.

My mother is an opera singer, and my father, too, had studied music. Mom never believed much in babysitters, so, from the earliest ages on, she would take me with her anywhere she sung. In fact, I think she was singing right through her pregnancy, so I guess that means I kind of got my start in music before I was even properly born.

So far Mark has avoided performing the material in a live environment, as he feels more comfortable presenting the work as a labor-of-love composition; though with a modified approach on more recent recordings, that may change. Recently he has been involved with Tristen and Simon from 5 1/2 Minutes – a local live electronic duo that has grown out of the dark and eclectic Locking Cycle; and writing with Tristen as Off Loving Memories.

The first thing to point out is that, were I planning on playing music off the Broken Hands EP, I would quite possibly hang myself out of sheer frustration. I cannot see how most of those songs would work on stage without the help of other musicians, and I just cannot see having other people involved in such a personal way as to be part of my music. So, for the longest time, I simply shied away from the idea of bringing The Enright House to live audiences.

However, since I started work on the new album about half a year ago, I started realizing that the kind of textures I was using could quite plausibly be reproduced by a single performer and a fair chunk of modern technology, without losing the sense of spontaneity and virtuosity on stage, which, to me, is paramount to the notion of performance. My guitar, for example, is fed through a series of pedals and loop stations, bearing closer resemblance to the console of the challenger space ship (although, hopefully, more reliable than that poor vessel), than it does to a traditional pedal board. I will be using two huge guitar amps running in stereo, radios, cassette players, a synth, and possibly a laptop (though I am still undecided on the latter).

Though noticeably abstract, the material is still very song-orientated. His songs are spiked with poetry and manipulated samples; often with great affect. The cryptic and mysteriously devious ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ relays the interview of a promiscuous young girl; removing the actual sexual overtones of her speech, only the tone and feeling of her voice reveals this context yet her intentions seem almost obvious. It’s this masking that makes The Enright House so special nothing is obvious; yet context seems implied.

A compositional background lies at the heart of The Enright House. With grounding in aesthetics and educated theories on what defines art Mark has a very strong vision for how he can present his music and his architectural photography and artwork reflects this.

If I had to sum up the goal of my music, it would be “the beautification of the derelict.” I carry around with me the same kind of conflict I think many of us do: on the one hand, I despise this world and the people that inhabit it, on the other hand, I adore life and find myself enchanted by how wonderful people can be. For a long time (i.e. during the Broken Hands EP) I thought I could just go about writing pretty indie-pop music – I wanted quite desperately to believe that the world needed music born out of kindness and sweet memories, but after a while, I really felt like a coward for failing to probe beyond the layers of sentiment and nostalgia.

I love this world, yes, but not despite the shit and the piss, the idiocy and irrationality, but because even the basest elements of life are ultimately part of this one unstoppable wave of existence that ever-so-often fills us with appreciation and a sense of awe. I want my music to reflect in a microcosm the way I perceive this world, and thus, despite moments of tenderness and beauty, to find solace also in dissonance and ugliness, noise and desperation. In a way, we are self-destructive creatures that too often end up sabotaging our lives through trivial pursuits and trivial thinking, and, my music, too, is turning out to be ever more self-destructing and auto-sabotaging. Thus, I’ve started using more destructive effects in my music, resorting to extended techniques on my guitar, singing in lower registers than I’m used to, incorporating field recordings of the outside world, and so forth. The goal being to reach an ever greater degree of emotional and sonic complexity, which, however, also leaves space enough for a delicate and traditional moments of beauty.

With a new determined outlook to perform in a live capacity, and talk of interest from an established US independent label; Roberts is looking to the future. With completion of the album now imminent; plans are afoot for it to be released locally, plus nation-wide distribution through Amplifier.co.nz. Look out for The Enright House on independent radio stations across New Zealand.

Categories
a artists

The Accelerants

Biography

Wellington based rock’n’roll 4-piece who evolved out of the Shining Path, originally with the line-up of Marty Squire (Guitar/Vocals – Formerly Of D-Super), John Douglas (Bass – Ex-Marineville), Kirsty (Organ) and and the show-stealing Ricky Boyd (Drums – Ex-Canvas).

Kirsty has since been replaced by Leo on keys, and the band have been touring the country with a slick, professional rock’n’roll show as part of Blinks’ infamous series of A Low Hum shows (as well as supporting Fur Patrol). Expect their debut in late 2004 on Wildside.

Members

  • Marty Squire (Guitar/Vocals)
  • John Douglas (Bass)
  • Kirsty (Organ)
  • Ricky Boyd (Drums)
  • Luke Hutching (Bass)
  • Leo Francis (Keyboards)
  • Graeme Cummack (Guitar)

Discography

  • Ray Gun CD Single (2003, Rock-O-Tronic, Rock3001)
  • Blood And Bones (2005, Wildside Records)

Links

 

Categories
Record Labels

A Low Hum

A Low Hum is the music journalising and tour production monolith of one Ian ‘Blink’ Jorgensen; who became a big part of the New Zealand independent music scene throughout the 2000’s with a never-ending array of tours, zines, cd releases and events – usually each of impeccible taste and quality, whilst still maintaining a DIY ethic.

Blinks’ zine’s expanded to include original EPs and then CD compilations, and eventually he was distributing full albums for bands as bonus CD’s. However in October 2007 Blink celebrated the arrival of his A Low Hum label complete with the release of Disasteradio‘s excellent Visions and the Enright House‘s A Maze and Amazement – two top-notch releases from artists that have been tied to Blinks’ various endeavours for some time.
Compilation Discography
picks in bold

  • Volume: Wellington Turns Down [2003]
  • A Low Hum CD1 [may 2004]
  • A Low Hum CD2 [june 2004]
  • A Low Hum CD3 [july 2004]
  • A Low Hum CD4 [august 2004]
  • A Low Hum CD5 [september 2004]
  • A Low Hum CD6 [october 2004]
  • A Low Hum CD7 [november 2004]
  • A Low Hum DVD1 [dec 2004]
  • A Low Hum CD8 [march 2005]
  • A Low Hum CD9 [march 2005]
  • A Low Hum Series 3: CD1 w/ Xanadu‘s self-titled bonus album
  • A Low Hum Series 3: CD2 w/ Dead Pan Rangers‘s self-titled bonus albumrn
  • A Low Hum Series 3: CD3 w/ Dana Eclair‘s / Ghostplane‘s ‘The National Velvet EP’ and unrelease material bonus cdrn
  • A Low Hum Series 3: CD4 w/ Disasteradio‘s ‘Synthtease’ bonus albumrn
  • A Low Hum Series 3: CD5 w/ Urban Tramper’s ‘Best Of, So Far’ bonus album
  • A Low Hum Series 3: CD6 w/ Looma‘s ‘III’ bonus album
  • A Low Hum Series 3: CD7 w/ Ejector’s ‘Two Thousand and Three’ bonus albumrn
  • A Low Hum Series 3: CD8 w/ Enright House‘s ‘Broken Hands EP’ bonus albumrn
  • A Low Hum Series 3: CD9 w/ Dark Beaks ‘Spill Your Heart’ bonus album
  • A Low Hum DVD2
  • A Low Hum DVD3