…in the fading afternoon sunshine yesterday outside our local Newtown favourite, Death Ray Records…
We’ve just released the Trendees cassette ‘We Are Sonic Art’. Dubbed the ‘weirdo pop kings from Oamaru’ their genius needs to be experienced. Go to ‘releases’ for more detail.
Yip two new releases from a very different time and era. Our first is a re-mastered and re-issued collection of Coalition’s cassette release from 1983. This cassette compilation is a brilliant mash-up of different sounds and shapes and more evidence (if needed) of the broader pallet of DIY in the early 1980s. Like Mary Briefcase, its being released with Lingering Sound. Next is a brand new 7” lathe single from a very different and super raw and menacing sounding Marineville. Both are equally wonderful and in very limited numbers. You know the story, be in quick. Email nzmusic123(at)hotmail(dot)com.
So it’s almost the end of New Zealand Music Month. Sure it’s undeniably naff but as is the endless debate about its necessity each May normally by those too young or with too short memories to remember when it was almost a political act to support the ‘genre’, particularly for those outside the main centres.
Anyway I’m using the month as a bad segue to mention Kiwi Pacific Records; in my opinion the country’s most unsung yet significant record label. Initially established by book publishers A.H and A.W Reed Ltd in the late 1950s, the label started and continued with a strong focus on Maori and educational recordings to complement their print publishing. Under the knowledgeable stewardship of Tony Vercoe from the early 1960s to the 1980s, the label released a huge range of music and sounds from the Pacific to wildlife and railway recordings to folk and kitsch Kiwiana.
The label’s NZ Composer Edition series was significant in raising the profile of New Zealand composers like Douglas Lilburn, Edwin Carr, David Farquhar, Larry Pruden and many others. Perhaps even more significantly it was also the first opportunity for electroacoustic music to be given a recorded outlet with important works by Lilburn, Jack Body, John Rimmer and others also being released on the label. The high watermark of these recordings was the three album boxset ‘New Zealand Electronic Music’ featuring music by Lilburn, Body, alongside John Rimmer, Ross Harris, Ian McDonald and John Cousins.
With a long history of recording and releasing both traditional and contemporary music from the Pacific, another important series released by the label (through its offshoot division Hibiscus Records) was the South Pacific Festival of Arts series. It featured a range of performances from the inaugural festival held in 1972 in Fiji including recordings of contingents and cultural, arts and theatre groups from Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Nuie, Gilbert and Ellie Islands, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. These recordings represent some of the broadest range, best presented and most widely available traditional music from the Pacific.
This is only a tiny snapshot of the label’s output which also includes significant Maori, spoken word, jazz and folk recordings among many others. Although a shell of its former self, Kiwi Pacific still exists under new management as ‘the music, voices and sounds of New Zealand and the Pacific’. Take the time to explore.
So it’s been another long gestation between drinks…but we’ve got some cool stuff coming out soon like a raw as anything Marineville 7” lathe and another great cassette re-issue of early 80’s Auckland DIY collective Coalition. More detail about these and heaps more soon.
There’s also been a bunch of great releases by Epic Sweep alumni recently you should check out like Rory Storm’s ‘Six Days and Nights in Nelson and Canterbury’, Tlaotlon’s ‘Natural Devices’, Kraus’s ‘Here Come The Recorders’, the Bent Folk’s epic live boxset and Wywy Brix’s (Ryan Cartoon Bennett) debut ‘Clear Liquorice’. The Fantails new 7” is great as is the related Bonecruncher album. And finally the Coolies are set to release a new album on Feeding Tube Records soon. Take the time to track them down.
RIP Jack Body.
Although its been a long time in the making we’re incredibly proud to announce in conjunction with Lingering Sound, the epic three cassette Mary Briefcase retrospective. Bringing together his obscure independent releases from the early 80s with ‘newer’ work this is a milestone release we hope will shed some light and wider appreciation for this local DIY electronics maverick.
There’s some more detail on the releases page and go here for some samples – soundcloud.com/epic-sweep-records. This release is exclusively available from Lingering Sound at www.lingering.co.nz. As always, there aren’t many copies so be in quick – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rory Storm ‘They Sold Us Tomorrow: Volume One’ on cassette:
And two slabs of The Moonrakers including the ‘O-Toro!’ EP on lathe and a live recording on cassette, ‘Property Moses’:
As always, all three are in very limited numbers so get in touch to avoid missing out; nzmusic123(at)hotmail(dot) com