Already hailed by those in the know as "album of the year", The Music Tree is a debut collection "by the enigmatic 6 year old electronic artist" Mooncrystal from Tāmaki Makaurau. Clocking in at less than 3 minutes over seven rapid-fire tracks, is it really that great? We reckon: yes it is!
Winner of the 2022 Tūī award for Te Kaipuoro Tāhiko Toa | Best Electronic Artist, the always innovative Leaping Tiger aka Jacob Park treats his ever-expanding fanbase to third studio album Godspeed! Featuring guest contributions from Church & AP, PollyHill, Disciple Pati, JY Lee and Nganeko, we’re looking forward to hearing these tunes lighting up SRN airwaves (and beyond) for the rest of 2023.
Sometimes it seems like everyone’s a winner baby — including local music lovers on this jam-packed Friday. Recipient of the Best Alternative Artist Tūī at the 2022 Aotearoa Music Awards, Vera Ellen has unveiled her new album Ideal Home Noise via Flying Nun, plus released earlier this week the third clip in an ambitious trilogy of video works made with Sports Team. You can catch the superlative songwriting talent touring nationwide in April — order the compact disc and / or vinyl LP edition via the Bandcamp link.
Finalists for this year’s prestigious Taite Music Prize, Aotearoa’s globally beloved power-pop champs The Beths returned with snazzy standalone single ‘Watching The Credits’, plus a whole dang Tiny Desk Concert for NPR Music!
Winner of the award I just invented for chillest / most-zoned local tunes for his 2022 opus St. Francis II (100% Electronica), Aotearoa vaporwave star Satin Sheets contributes his "additional production" skills to Brisbane artist RINSE‘s celestial new jam ‘Does It Feel Like Heaven?’ — out now via nifty new NYC imprint music website.
One of Aotearoa’s most sonically compelling underground electronic imprints, Buzzy Point reactivated this week with their first official release in a year and a half. Tom Hardie‘s Outside & Southerly sports two tracks "produced and recorded by Thomas E Richards [aka Mongo Skato] heavily sampling radio stations broadcasting in Te Whanganui-a-Tara with an MPC2000XL."
The songwriting nom de plume of Tamaki Makaurau’s Ben Tolich, Mali Mali shared his fifth studio long player via the team at Home Alone Music. Inspired in part by a summer camping trip with his wife, Tolich makes lush sonic connections on Spirit Tide with "the beauty and splendour of Ninety-mile beach, Te Paki stream and Cape Reinga" — you can order the compact disc and / or vinyl LP edition via the Bandcamp link.
Tamaki Makaurau’s Coast Arcade ride a wave of pop-punk hooks on new beach boogie banger ‘Surf Club’ — sounding significantly shinier than how this listener felt waking up bleary-eyed last weekend after a night out in Raglan.
Making a splash in late 2022 with her debut long player Between Bodies, Ōtautahi songwriter Hannah Everingham has returned with a video release for album track ‘Go On’. A whimsical tune with a melancholic edge, the single’s new clip makes use of vintage documentation, capturing the jubilance of an old dancehall scene in a nostalgic tone. The artist has also announced an album release show in Ōtepoti, performing with southern legends Robert Scott (The Bats, The Clean) and Francisca Griffin (Look Blue Go Purple) on 22nd April at Morning Magpie Café…
Hannah Everingham with Robert Scott & Francisca Griffin Saturday 22nd April – Morning Magpie Café, Dunedin Tickets available HERE from UTR
‘Between Bodies’ is out now on major streaming services — order the limited edition compact disc HERE.
Charlotte Lovrin / C.C. / Friday 31st March, 2023 1:52PM
A musical alter-ego of kind vibed Tāmaki Makaurau pop king Shannon Fowler (aka Shannon Matthew Vanya), Tom Lark has reemerged in full force after a seven year hiatus with new single ‘Radio Blaster‘, a debut album announcement and release show for the 15th of April. The lead track off Lark’s forthcoming Brave Star features smooth, melodic vocals and gentle guitar lines, punctuated with a brief yet distinctive electronic interlude — an inspiring ode to "turning tears to laughter" via cranking up the tunes on your boom box of choice. To celebrate his song’s release, Lark performing at The Wine Cellar on Tamaki Makaurau with special guest Belladonna. Out on 9th June via Winegum Records, you don’t have to wait even one second to preorder Lark’s first official long player on cassette, increasingly trendy compact disc and / or vinyl LP right HERE…
Tom Lark ‘Radio Blaster’ single release with special guest Belladonna Saturday 15th April – The Wine Cellar, Auckland Tickets available HERE from UTR
‘Radio Blaster’ is out today on major streaming services via Winegum Records.
Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Lewis Ferris
/ Friday 31st March, 2023 12:32PM
Signifying the end of an era and the beginning of a new one, Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s Soft Plastics cast off the shackles of youth with their astrologically titled debut album Saturn Return. Recorded with production wiz James Goldsmith at The Surgery and Bay Lair, the long-awaited record sticks the landing like an Olympic gymnast nailing a double-twist backflip — bundling together student radio hits ‘Disembody’, ‘My World / Your Girl’, ‘Darcie’ and ‘Loozer’, plus five newbies rounding out the collection. Forging their own path through stormy shoegaze, toe-tapping sixties-inspired harmonies, cinematic dream-pop and wig-flipping surf-garage licks, Sophie Scott-Maunder, Jonathan Shirley and Laura Robinson spin nine sometimes brutally lovelorn tales from the wrong side of the tracks. Soft Plastics will be celebrating their crisp and confident first long player with shows all around Aotearoa — hit play on Saturn Return, order the vinyl LP edition HERE and don’t miss them at the following dates…
Soft Plastics – Saturn Return Album Release Tour
Friday 5th May – Darkroom, Ōtautahi / Christchurch Saturday 6th May – Yours, Ōtepoti / Dunedin Friday 12th May – You Know Where, Whanganui (secret location) Saturday 13th May – Whammy, Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Friday 2nd June – Meow, Te Whanganui-a-Tara / Wellington*
Chris Cudby / C.L. / Photo credit: Igor Klepév
/ Friday 31st March, 2023 11:30AM
Crowds at Tāmaki Makaurau’s Neck of the Woods and Pōneke’s San Fran will be getting seriously twisted this May, partying to the maniacal sonic onslaught that is New Jersey’s Ho99o9 (pronounced "horror"). Brought to you by the WavyLand crew, Ho99o9 is the project of theOGM and Yeti Bones — hybridising elements of industrial, hardcore punk, hip hop and techno into warped new shapes, as expressed on such long players as 2017’s United States Of Horror and 2022’s SKIN ("mosh pit music for the end of the world that keeps the needle buried deep in the red"). Famed for their stage diving / scaffolding climbing antics, the genre-mashing duo have worked with The Prodigy, Travis Barker (Blink 182), Corey Taylor of Slipknot (with whom they’ve just wrapped up a 20+ date tour), Saul Williams and Bun B, and toured with the likes of Prophets of Rage and Korn. You’d be nuts to miss Ho99o9’s maximum energy debut live appearances in Aotearoa — grip the details below…
Experience ‘BITE MY FACE’ featuring Corey Taylor from Ho99o9’s 2022 album SKIN…
Wavyland proudly presents Ho99o9, pronounced horror, the sound of the American nightmare. The duo composed of theOGM and Yeti Bones hold a ten year history between them, demonspawn born in the DIY spaces of New Jersey. Their background in punk and hardcore hip-hop spaces make them difficult performers to keep on stage: more inclined to writhe in the mosh than to stand above them…
Ho99o9 are what you might find at the intersection of DMX, Black Flag, Odd Future and Death Grips. Chaotic and multi-faceted, the duo are mostly uncategorisable: but some descriptors work. Anarchic. Hardcore. Industrial. Demonic. Self-described as X-Men (mutants who don’t belong), Ho99o9 bring a sense of unapologetic political anarchy that favours instability to order. They’re not your saviours or scholars, instead reacting to the world around them, one that never feels like it’s genuinely changing for the better. So what else to do than mosh as hard as you possibly can?
As students of music, Ho99o9 are a living timeline and lexicon of punk rock, touring with Slaves, Prophets of Rage and Korn, all while working with The Prodigy, Travis Barker and Corey Taylor. The duo would never be so close-minded as to stick to one sound however, collaborations with rappers Saul Wiliams and underground king Bun B acting as some of the more compelling moments on 2022’s Skin. Five years after United States of Horror, Skin emphasised Ho99o9’s forward-thinking approach, a restatement of their philosophy with music that demands introspection as much as it demands head banging.
Ho99o9’s five-year hiatus was dedicated to extensive touring, building a live show that rocks as much as it raps, a plethora of samples, 808s and heavy guitar riffs at its core. Their first live show a fake stage set-up next to Afropunk’s main stage in 2013, Ho99o9’s DIY spirit is abundant and this year marks their debut appearance on Australian and New Zealand shores. Ho99o9’s live experience is unconcerned with politeness, Yeti Bones a regular stage diver and scaffolding climber. The burdens of the new world are taken apart: Ho99o9 are almost here.
Returning to the touring circuit following a hectic few years for live music in Aotearoa, Carb On Carb are getting back amongst with ‘Grounded‘, the lead single from high energy emo-punks Nicole Gaffney (DEB5000) and James Stuteley‘s (How Get) forthcoming new album. Laid down with producer Harry Lilley (First Move) at Te Papaioea’s iconic community hub The Stomach, ‘Grounded’ sounds like the work of a group ready to take flight — an uplifting and highly relatable, instantly catchy jangle-driven reflection on maybe too much solitary time spent "stuck in a city I’ve given up on". Fortunately for all, Carb On Carb will be getting unstuck at a local venue near you in April, kicking off their single release tour at Tāmaki Makaurau’s The Wine Cellar this Saturday with good buds K M T P and REPAIRS (the latter group’s last local show together for a while). Catch one of our very finest live acts letting rip at the following dates and hit play on ‘Grounded’ below…
Carb On Carb Single Release Tour
Saturday 1st April – The Wine Cellar, Auckland w/ K M T P, REPAIRS
Friday 14th April – The Welsh Dragon, Wellington w/ Welcomer, Bleeding Star
Saturday 15th April – Ngahuru Ki Te Puku, The Stomach, Palmerston North w/ Flogging a dead one horse town, Ludus, Shannen Georgia Petersen, FRVSVR
Friday 28th April – darkroom, Christchurch w/ Pickle Darling (solo), Model Home
Charlotte Lovrin / Thursday 30th March, 2023 2:33PM
Nearly two years after the release of their Taite Music Prize nominated debut album I Don’t Know Why I Do Anything, 2012 Silver Scroll winners and Trash Recital stars Lips are back with ‘Never Have I‘, the lead single off an upcoming new EP. Delivered in an upbeat yet heartfelt vein, the track narrates a collection of ‘never have I evers’, with Steph Brown rattling off a list of humorous lines sung alongside more revealing, self-reflective ones. The accompanying lyric video heightens the confessional aspect of the song, in which handwritten notes give the impression of watching an exposed journal entry in real time. The Tāmaki Makaurau foursome are celebrating with a single release party at Whammy Bar, where they will be joined by BUB and Randa — here’s the details…
Lips Single Release Party with BUB and Randa Friday 21st April – Whammy Bar, Auckland Tickets available HERE via UTR
‘Never Have I’ is out today on major streaming services.
Chris Cudby / Interview by Mikey Sperring
/ Thursday 30th March, 2023 11:18AM
Rocketing into the upper echelons of their homeland’s albums chart, Nottingham post-punk duo Sleaford Mods‘ twelfth studio album UK GRIM may be their most commercially successful outing to date, but is no less scathing in its depiction of a once mighty British Empire gone to seed — featuring guest contributions from Florence Shaw (Dry Cleaning), and Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction / Porno For Pyros). The indomitable team of shouty "sweary bloke" Jason Williamson and production master Andrew Fearn will soon be treating Aotearoa fans to headline events at Tāmaki Makaurau’s The Powerstation and Pōneke’s Hunter Lounge. Williamson got on the blower to answer a selection of probing questions provided by fellow sprechgesang guru Mikey Sperring of local heroes Grecco Romank (currently touring their superb new album Wet Exit). Read their chat below and grab tickets to catch the Mods before it’s too late — brought to you by Solid Entertainment, Banished Music, and Strange News…
Sleaford Mods – UK GRIM Tour
Friday 26th May – Powerstation, Auckland [sold out] Saturday 27th May – Powerstation, Auckland [new show] Sunday 28th May – Hunter Lounge, Wellington
Mikey Sperring: I’m out in the sticks on a film set just outside of Auckland. Whereabouts are you mate?
Jason Williamson: Nottingham, England.
Oh right — you’re not deep on the tour yet?
No. We don’t go out until, we go out to the US in two weeks. Two weeks today.
It must change each time. You’d see the ground swell grows each time.
Yeah basically. I don’t think we’ll ever become U2 there, but you know what I mean, the crowds do get bigger.
Democracy is on its crutches, eh? You’ll be in the States, I think Trump, he’s trying to rally up another insurrection right?
I know, he’s fucking useless though aye? I don’t think it’ll happen to be honest. He’s not very good this time, I don’t think he’s got the momentum has he this time round.
You never know. The back blocks could come forward aye?
Yes, they have a habit of surprising us, these fascists do. Nothing’s out of the question is it?
You talk to the everyman in the language. Within UK GRIM you’ve got the familiar barrage of effacing play of language. Just within ‘Right Wing Beast’, the song, the content’s accessible to the everyman and it’s the characteristic assault in the straight language of the estate. But it’s a directed critique of the angry man, of the everyman. The one that’s subjugated to the ruling class. Is the assault an inclusive act? Or is it unifying? Bringing together your audience as that subjugated class?
Not at all. It’s just, people don’t want to be reminded in this country that perhaps they’ve just being suckered by people. That’s what that song is really, it’s just a description of people that would normally be quite rational and intelligent, that have been sort of packed up into a packet of butter basically and just put on the shelf.
I don’t think it would unify, I wouldn’t see it like that. It’s just me shouting off about it I think. And as I said, a lot of people don’t want to be reminded about it and a lot of people will be in denial about the fact that they’re paid into it a little bit. Like whether it’s beliefs about Brexit or the anti-vaccination thing. That’s what I wanted to try and do with that song. I thought that song’s quite obvious really. I thought oh, is it too obvious to sing about, but it’s really struck a chord with people.
Music as medicine or is it more tactical? Like is it help?
No, it doesn’t help anyone. It helps me. I can get it out, put it in a song. Talk about some of these people. We aren’t naming names. So it does help initially.
I do climb into your tracks, the flow and the groove, cause Andrew’s well honed his craft over the years. Something interesting in UK GRIM is in ‘Apart From You‘, I find a melodic nod to David Bowie. I found that in there, but as well there’s ditty hooks that Andrew drops within the collaboration with Florence Shaw in ‘Force 10 From Navarone’. They’re simplistic and catchy. Like little earworms that invade the mind, infect culture. You can see someone walking down the street, do do do do do. There’s something pervasive into culture. Is that intentional to get into the psyche of the broader public?
Not really intentional, but it’s intentional to write good songs. For them to be hooky. It’s more to please myself and also to sound like nobody else and to not make it obvious and cliche and boring and just what you’d expect. The challenge is to write something that sticks out. So when it’s released, I hear it on the radio it’s like, nobody can say anything.You can’t fucking touch it [laughs]. It’s really good. You can’t touch it mate.
You totally threw down on the UK charts I was told. That creativity that you invest in your project is resounding and it’s pervasive whether or not you want it to get into people’s ears.
There’s some interesting collaborations in UK GRIM. Perry Farrell — Porno For Pyros, Janes Addiction — approached you, which culminated in ‘So Trendy’?
That would be a huge change in process right? There’s you and Andrew and then there’s…?
Not really, we had the song written already and he got in touch… we were like yeah, we’ll do something with you. Me and Andrew both thought that he’d sound good on ‘So Trendy’. I had a Zoom meeting with him and he’s really cool, he’s just completely out there. So I sent the tune over, it took him about two or three months, kept sending it back, and we kept sending it back to him. It was a pretty painless affair really.
I’ve heard that Andrew creates and you’ve got a backlog of stuff to work with, and then it’s you and pen and paper, pen to paper. Do you have like a scenario or setting when you (write) — your preferred / favourite place?
We’ve got a studio that we have used for the last three albums, so that’s where we meet to realise some of the stuff we’ve been working on at home on our own. He’ll send me the music and then, I’ll sit there and start thinking about vocals straight away and we’ll go from there. Some of the songs you write from scratch together in the studio, but a lot of the time, you’ve got ideas for them already.
Earmarked, saved up for a rainy day sentences right?
Yeah, big time. They start coming sort of six months after you’ve released an album you start getting some ideas again.
Is it too early to jump into what’s on the cards in the future, or you’ll just push the album through…
Don’t know, just more of the same I think. We’ve got a formula, we stick to it, but obviously we’re aware that. Some of it needs to change with each release. A lot of the changes in production happen just naturally… when you go back to record another album, you’re a year and a half older or whatever, you’ve learnt a bit more. All of that goes into the pot as well.
Yeah and there’s always new toys, I guess Andrew might be the sort of tech.
Got new toys? Sampling new tricks.
Yeah, big time. He used a couple of new things for this last album so he’s always on the look out for new shit.
It’s a conveyer belt of new gear with my collaborator and everyone sort of oogles and aahs at it all [laughter]. I spotted you on the final of Peaky Blinders. That must have been ages ago for you, but it bugged me out cause I kind of just recognised you. Then I thought it can’t be that crazy. Is there much of a crossover in the UK film and music world?
There is a little bit. It’s a small world as well. A lot of people in music know a lot of music in film don’t they, and all that business… (They) offered me a little bit of a slot of the show. Which I jumped to. Why not? It was alright, it was a good laugh.
I shouldn’t actually do this too loudly, but I hear about the UK’s film union — me and my mates are kicking off the musicians union in Aotearoa. We’re thinking maybe amalgamating the two into an entertainment union. Do you have an interest in unionism yourself?
Yeah if it works, definitely. Without a doubt. It’s there to protect isn’t it? It’s there to guide. So yeah, that’s definitely a positive… In what way would you be doing it?
Well, you can look after the roadies and all the techies as well under the same entertainment union. Then there’s transport, everyone under the same roof.
I think you’re onto a good thing.
Australia brought up a union for just the roadies for musicians, cause they had a really high suicide rate.
I’m looking forward to your show. Thanks heaps for chatting. I’ll be right up there lapping it up when you’re over mate. Oh, one last question. Jason, why does the darkness elope?
I don’t know. I don’t know why it does. Why does it? Why does the darkness elope? Can it come back, I’m too used to it. I’m not used to feeling too happy. It needs to come back, why is it going away. That kind of thing. Like when you’re in a good mood, it can be just as bad as being in a bad mood [laughs]. That thing where you’re not used to it, so it then becomes a bad mood, if you know what I mean.
‘UK GRIM’ is out now via Rough Trade Records.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Live highlights at The Others Way festival in October, Polynesian metal titans and recent Trash Recital stars Shepherds Reign launched late last week ‘Ua Masa’a‘, a single foreshadowing the South Auckland collective’s forthcoming new album. Meaning ‘It Has Spilt’ in Samoan, the sonically thunderous track is even more intense and emotionally raw lyrically — sharing "the story of (Shepherds Reign vocalist / keyboardist) Filiva’a’s sister who was murdered by her spouse and his family. Laden with anger, Filiva’a voices the thoughts his sister would have felt prior to her death". A searing denunciation of domestic violence — please see support helpline info below — ‘Ua Masa’a’ was released with a visually stunning accompanying video directed by Dave Thomson and made with support from NZ On Air, depicting the group unleashing their anthem within an appropriately scorched and barren landscape…
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and are in need of help or support, please contact your local support hotline:
Kicking up a ruckus from his home base in Tauranga, Kyle Sattler aka We Will Ride Fast will soon be unleashing upon the world his new album Army of Invisible Zombies. Celebrating the occasion with a triple date run of headline shows lined up for June, Sattler recently dropped audio-visual double whammy ‘Bing Bong Dong‘, pairing the new song’s chugging post / synth-punk sonics with an elementally-inspired, self-directed clip — starring the artist digging deep into the dirt of creativity, emerging enlightened within a galaxy of cosmic awareness. Smash that play button, look forward to the new record out on 21st April and don’t miss We Will Ride Fast playing with special guests at the following dates…
We Will Ride Fast
Friday 21st April – Jam Factory, Tauranga w/ Edward Gains, Ydoubler
Friday 28th April – Cupid Bar, Auckland w/ Ex Partner, Blue Sky Hex* Friday 5th May – Last Place, Hamilton w/ Edward Gains, Glass Shards*
With the launch date for their debut album rapidly approaching, Tamaki Makaurau post punks Ringlets have announced a release show set to take place at Big Fan on April 14th. Following last week’s release of their punchy latest single ‘Sever‘, the fast-rising four piece of László Reynolds, Leith Towers, Arlo Grey and Arabella Poulsen will reveal their self-titled long-player on the 3rd of April via Massachusetts-based label Mutual Skies — whose output notably includes vaporwave / experimental hip hop artist Blank Body and overseas interloper Kraus (not the Aotearoa electronic innovator of the same name). Joined by Ballot Box and JUNIOR JUNIOR, you can secure your place by grabbing tickets below…
Ringlets: Album Release Show Friday 14th April – Big Fan, Auckland w/ Ballot Box, JUNIOR JUNIOR Tickets available HERE via UTR
Ringlets’ debut album releases on the 3rd of April via Mutual Skies — preorders available HERE.
Charlotte Lovrin / Wednesday 29th March, 2023 9:48AM
Australian songwriting superstars Boy & Bear are returning to our shores after a period of seven years, celebrating the release of their forthcoming self-titled album with a two date Aotearoa mini-tour. The multiple ARIA award winning, chart-topping Sydney group will perform their new material at The Powerstation in Auckland and Wellington’s San Fran this coming June. Boy & Bear’s Killian Gavin and Dave Hosking discussed their fifth studio record (out on 26th May, preorder your copy HERE) with UTR’s Charlotte Lovrin — don’t miss them at the following dates…
Charlotte Lovrin: It’s been a while since you’ve been in New Zealand, with everything going on with the pandemic and all. How does it feel to finally return, but this time with more material?
Dave Hosking: It feels exciting. It’s been a long time for us since we’ve been in New Zealand and it’s always been a lot of fun when we’ve gone over there. Particularly coming from Sydney, it’s a pretty short flight. It makes a lot of sense for us to head back and to keep coming back to New Zealand. Lots of new material and obviously by the time we get over there, we’ll have the new record out. It’s a balancing act between new songs and old songs and trying to get that balance right, so the set doesn’t ignore old stuff. But also for us, it’s almost more interesting playing new stuff, so we’ll work in a set which hopefully finds that equilibrium.
Were there any lyrical themes or ideas that directed the new album? Was it made with a specific theme or themes in mind?
Dave Hosking: (The) last record (Suck On Light) was very much around some health issues. They still are a part of my life now, but it’s almost like I’ve kind of got so much better over such a long time. Every year I improve but it kind of feels like I’ve got one foot in the real world and another foot still persevering to get better. I had some mental health challenges which popped up in the middle of that, so I think a lot of the record is about perseverance and courage and also the impact of that on my relationships… it’s a kind of conglomerate of all that I think, which has driven a lot of what the record is about.
From the sound of the past three singles from this particular record, it sounds like the upcoming album is going in a different direction sound wise from the last projects you’ve done. I wanted to know what you could tell me about this change? Were you consciously wanting to change your sound, or did it just happen quite organically?
Killian Gavin: With every album we do, we like to think we’re trying to find something new that inspires us to help give us a new birth of creativity to work with. This is not a pandemic record, but the pandemic definitely changed how we started writing music. Because we were all seperate, you’d work on an idea by yourself at home and then you’d maybe want to throw on some loops or some drums on top of the chords, just to sell what the vibe or the energy of a song is. So we ended up doing that, and a lot of people were doing that. It meant that we were starting to use more electronic drum kits and drum machines and synthesisers and just different ways of capturing an idea by yourself, to sell it to the rest of the guys in the band. And then a lot of those ideas became foundational parts of the song, that whenever we muted them, we always missed it. Even though we put on the band’s performance on top of them, there was something, maybe the syncopation of a loop or a drum machine, that felt like the song lacked whenever we got rid of it.
We spent of lot of time actively deconstructing those elements, re-recording them, finding the core pieces of those rhythms and bringing them back in. There is a lot more electronic stuff and drum machine stuff, but it’s playing a very big supportive role, probably a bigger supportive role than we’ve ever had to play before. It’s big fun for us. It’s been new equipment and new toys to figure out and play and get lost in. It’s naturally changed what we did on Suck On Light and Limit Of Love, which a lot of the songs were written with the band. Maybe the initial idea was raw, but the band jammed the idea with their instruments. Whereas this was — you would layer a part, you would send it to someone, they might layer a part, send it to someone, layer a part. Eventually you’d have all these layers in this world, where you had to then go in and figure out, alright, how do we arrange this and make it into a song? It’s probably more staggered and longer, but it felt like it was sort of just a way for us to work, given the circumstances of the world at that point in time.
When you were making the music in that way, were you concerned about how that would translate live?
Dave Hosking: I think we’ve always problem solved on that front relatively well. There’s probably some songs on the record which we’ll have to work out how to play them live, but they get a new life from a live perspective so sometimes not all those elements will be in there. As long as the feel and the atmosphere of the songs is the same or very similar, you can get away with stripping things back or adding more stuff on real drums versus the loop. Tim’s got a little, what’s it called again?
Dave Hosking: Yeah, he’s got a little drum pattern machine, ’cause of lot of what we’re doing is layered with drum machine and real drums. We can trigger a loop where Tim (Hart) can actually play over the top of it, as opposed to Tim trying to play both parts. But I’m sure we’ll stumble onto some more challenging songs than others.
Killian Gavin: We’ve also found some of the songs we’ve had in the rehearsal studio, where we used the loops from the studio that were on the record as part of the rehearsal, we felt like it was holding the song back from the energy it could have had live. We’ve also at times just gone, let’s lose that electronic part. Tim’s picking up the core elements of what his role was in the groove and it means that we’re able to perform live, not being restrained by any sort of tempo or click or anything like that. The song can still live and move and have energy and speed up and slow down the way we like to usually have most of our songs work live. If Dave’s voice is still there, which it is, it’s like the grounding tonality perhaps of the band’s songs live. We can always rework what the other sounds are and what the elements are, to help make it make more sense in a live setting.
Where there any particular genres or artists you were listening to that inspired the sound when you were making the album?
Dave Hosking: It’s weird, at least from my perspective when we’re writing, I don’t tend to listen to a lot of music. It’s almost like, I’m putting all my musical energy into what we’re doing as a band. I probably only just started listening to music again in the last two or three months. My partner, she’s always got some sort of instrumental music on in the background… I haven’t been seeking out new bands or finding inspiration from that point, ’cause I think your brain gets sort of maxed out and we were writing for two years. When I was listening, I was listening to demos and trying to work out the arrangements. Then by the time you do that, you’re sort of like — I don’t know if I’ve got any room for new music. But that’s just my take on it.
Killian Gavin: I’m the same. I find when you start, if you try and listen to other music, all it does is triggers the analytical part of your brain. Where you start thinking about songwriting and you start analysing tonalities and sounds. You’re not ever really switching off because you’re still in the middle of making the album. So your brain is constantly being triggered by listening to other music. I share the same sentiment as Hos, which is a bit of a black-out approach, where I rarely listen to much music when we’re making an album. I don’t know if all the other guys do but I know what we definitely do.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Philadelphia songwriting king Kurt Vile made an auspicious return to Aotearoa last week, touring his latest album (watch my moves) nationwide with his signature backing band The Violators. Performing to windy city devotees at Wellington’s St James Theatre, the shaggy tunesmith’s Sunday evening concert was captured for posterity by photography ace Stella Gardiner — click on the thumbnail pics below to view a selection of her beaut snaps of the event…
Currently in the thick of a nationwide tour celebrating their magnificent new album Wet Exit, Tāmaki Makaurau dancefloor demons Grecco Romank have unleashed their latest audio-visual triumph, premiered earlier today via Berlin-based online tastemakers The Brvtalist. Produced by Candlelit Pictures, directed by the band with Josh Harris-Harding, plus Michael Logie on Deepdream sequence duties, the new clip for ‘Doghead‘ is a post-apocalyptic cinematic cyber-vision — squalid, disturbing and nightmarish, with body horror elements provoking flashbacks of unintended Guinea Pig film viewings (don’t Google it). We should probably include a content warning here, but it’s hard to whittle down to exactly what, how about content warning: Grecco Romank? Smash play if you dare and don’t miss the "sewer pop" trio of Damian Golfinopoulos, Billie Fee and Mikey Sperring hitting the South Island this weekend…
"This thing took 8 years to make… went through a lot of pain and heartbreak and giving up and not giving a shit, through to finding inspiration via Grecco Romank and Josh Harris-Harding to help give it a second life… special thanks to Candlelit Pictures for helping shoot this madness to begin with." — Damian Golfinopoulos
Hailing from Leeds in the UK, Audiojack are the duo of Gruuv label heads James Rial and Richard Burkinshaw, whose illustrious DJ / production career so far encompasses multiple chart-topping releases via Crosstown Rebels / 2020vision, remixes for the likes of Basement Jaxx and Groove Armada, and countless performances in clubs / festivals across the globe. They’ll be treating Tāmaki Makaurau dancefloor aficionados to a high class club event at Ink Bar in the central city on 14th April, joined by Aotearoa’s own ‘Godfather of House’ Greg Churchill — grip the official details revealed so far below…
Hit play on Audiojack’s dizzying 2019 club hit ‘Inside My Head’…
Listen to Audiojack’s 2016 Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1…
Audiojack are the Leeds grown DJ duo, record label owners and producers behind some of the biggest house records of the last two decades. Debuting on Leftroom in 2006 with their iconic Robot, Audiojack burst onto the scene to critical acclaim. They soon signed to Ralph Lawson’s 2020vision label, where they released several notable records including Get Serious, Motion Sickness, No Equal Sides, and their debut album Radio, quickly becoming one of the labels bestselling artists.
After joining Damian Lazarus’s illustrious Crosstown Rebels in 2016, Audiojack had huge success with Turya, Reverie and Inside My Head topping the charts, followed by second album Surface Tension, a conceptual story which features the hit Feels Good, with Jem Cooke on vocals. Audiojack’s ability to bring out the best in vocalists is well documented. Their collaborations with Kevin Knapp on vocals have produced many great records including Vibrate, Implications and Stay Glued, whilst other guest vocalists have included LCD Soundsystem’s Nancy Whang, Eli & Fur and Polarbear.
Audiojack also release on other prominent labels, including 8bit, Dirtybird, Knee Deep in Sound, Do Not Sleep, Hot Creations, Systematic and their own Gruuv imprint. Audiojack’s remixes on labels like Diynamic and BPitch Control, and for artists such as Underworld, Basement Jaxx, Groove Armada and Hot Since 82 have proven their reliability as dancefloor focused hitmakers, while accolades include a nomination in DJ Mag’s Best of British awards and mixing the BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix.
It was Audiojack’s passion for DJing which originally inspired them to produce, and after two decades together behind the decks they are masters of the back-to-back set. Their energetic performances have taken them to over 70 countries, including many of the world’s greatest clubs and festivals. Space and DC10 in Ibiza, fabric and Studio 338 in London, Watergate and Kater Blau in Berlin, Rex in Paris, Womb in Tokyo, D-Edge in Sao Paulo, Green Valley in Camboriú, Lost Beach in Montañita, Avalon in Los Angeles, Zouk in Singapore and Fabrik in Madrid to name a few.
Twenty years since they first met in Ibiza, where they bonded over their love of DJing, it is testament to the dedication of James and Richard that they remain as passionate about creating special dancefloor moments today, as ever.
Interview by John Baker / C.C.
/ Tuesday 28th March, 2023 9:42AM
Tokyo, Japan’s heroes of amps-turned-up-to-11, red hot jet rock ‘n’ roll Guitar Wolf return to Aotearoa this week for a long-awaited nationwide tour, commencing this Thursday at Whammy Bar with guest supports Ratso. Absolutely unmissable on the live front, with 15 crucial studio albums and countless singles / EP releases in their back pocket since their formation in 1987, the trio’s eponymous guitarist / singer Seiji sat down for an insightful chinwag with John Baker which we’re proud to present here. A band whose untamed energy has inspired multiple generations of feral rock animals both locally and abroad, Guitar Wolf will be delivering the goods all around the country over the coming week, including gigs with our own reunited The D4 in the super city and Raglan. Special thanks to Yuko Miyoshi (Memory Foam) for being the interpreter for this interview…
Undertheradar proudly presents…
Thursday 30th March – Whammy Bar, Auckland w/ Ratso
Friday 31st March – The Green Room, Thames (all ages, new date) Saturday 1st April – The Yot Club, Raglan w/ The D4* Sunday 2nd April – Big Fan, Auckland w/ The D4^ Tuesday 4th April – Valhalla, Wellington
John Baker: Hello Seiji! It’s been a long time, this is your 8th or 9th visit to New Zealand since the first in 1999. What do you remember about the first visit?
Seiji: Hello! Hi! Hi! Hi!
I remember Japanese students in Nelson coming to show who were at flying school, and I remember you swimming in the cold sea (in Taupo), and meeting the D4 of course.
Last time I was there I went motorbiking in West Auckland – great!
I am shocked at Jacinda Ardern quitting. I don’t mind about her politics, but I love her, very cute!
Do you still have your motorbike?
Yes, 1971 Kawasaki 750CC ZZ 22.
Thank you for your advice during covid to eat natto, the fermented beans. How is the Japanese scene after Covid?
Natto is great! Now many younger bands in Japan, scene is great! Teenagers like playing rock and roll in basic style.
Early 70s Japanese rock and roll band Carol has been a big influence on Guitar Wolf. Tell me about them. Their look and sound certainly had a profound influence on the Wolves. (Carol’s last performance ended in disaster in 1975 when firecrackers let off at the end of the set caused the stage to burn to the ground.)
Before Carol, Japanese pop music was like folk music. Carol were like a rock and roll revolution in the early seventies.
Guitar Wolf recorded a version of ‘I Love You, OK‘ written by Yazawa who was the founding member of Carol — and sometimes in a GW set you come back for the start of the encore to play solo. I remember you playing ‘I Love You, OK’ AFTER the encores at Cassette Nine, and Lucha Lounge.
Eikichi Yazawa is like Michael Jackson fame in Japan. When we were on Sony records we chose to cover ‘I Love You, OK’ on the tribute record. Guitar Wolf recorded a version.
Did your former bass player Yuji really marry Yazawa’s daughter who wrote ‘I Love You, OK’?
Yes – I was part of the bridal party.
What were you like at High School?? What was Seiji the boy like?
Bad boy. Always leader, kendo captain, and class leader. Good student and bad ass who like bad boy culture. Almost all my friends are bad boys.
How did you start playing rock and roll?
I tried to play guitar four times , the first three times I gave up and then I heard Link Wray. ‘Rumble’ saved me. Just D to E WOWWWW!!! It was easy and cool, and the energy of the song inspired me.
Who was the first band you saw?
Maybe Johnny Thunders, and I saw the Bay City Rollers and The Runaways on television.
What song best sums up Guitar Wolf?
‘Love & Jett’.
Are you still teaching kendo?
Yes at elementary and junior high school.
Your daughter Sakura plays bass in bands now?
Yes – I will send you YouTube clip, tonite we are going to see her perform.
After 30 plus years of rock action in Guitar Wolf what is the body like?
After 30 years science is more great thanks to cyborg technology. We can jump higher, and the show is more exciting.
In the last 30 years you have been to many countries. Which country have you not been to that you really want to go to?
Africa , especially Egypt. Would be great to do a show live in Egypt and to ride camels.
What is the Guitar Wolf feeling like for you now?
Always a new storm. Always gives me new ideas. I am looking forward to showing new Guitar Wolf.
What is your message for New Zealand?
I am sad about Jacinda not being Prime Minister anymore, but I am very happy to be going back to NZ and seeing new audience. Seiji is playing for Jacinda!
My son Jett is a huge Godzilla fan — he wants to know who your favourite kaiju is?
Ōtautahi songwriter Bryony Matthews has spent the past few years crafting her new album We’re All The Same with co-producers Ryan Fisherman, Josh Holmes and a small team of fellow travellers, finally launching into the world on 28th April. Marking nearly six years since the release of her 2017 long player Little Queen, which saw the birth of her daughter during that time, Matthews is celebrating the record’s release with a seven date tour, taking the artist and full band all around the country in May. She’s also just unveiled the luminously upbeat title track to the forthcoming record, which bundles together recent singles ‘Thinking Of You’, ‘Here We Are’, ‘Yellow Flowers‘ and ‘Who Am I Now‘ with five as yet unheard tunes. Reflecting on "our dying world and the importance of focusing on our similarities rather than our differences," hit play on Matthews’ heartfelt and soaring new song featuring Junus Orca on production duties, and don’t miss her touring this autumn…
Bryony Matthews – We’re All The Same Album Tour
Friday 5th May – Grainstore Gallery, Oamaru Sunday 7th May – Space Academy, Christchurch Friday 19th May – Barrytown Hall, Barrytown Saturday 20th May – Ruby Bay Store, Mapua Thursday 25th May – The Wine Cellar, Auckland Saturday 27th May – Vogelmorn Upstairs, Wellington Sunday 28th May – Le Cafe, Picton
Watch the video for ‘Yellow Flowers’, featured on We’re All The Same…
‘We’re All The Same’ the new album by Bryony Matthews is at long last ready to share. The last three years she has been working towards the completion of this new compilation of new and older songs, bringing with it a different sound, compared to her first album ‘Little Queen’ which was released in 2017. Matthew’s has been busy writing, evolving and most importantly, mothering her young daughter which is one of the themes she touches on in her new work.
The album name comes from one of the songs on the album, a poignant tune written about our dying world and the importance of focusing on our similarities rather than our differences.
Engineered by Ryan Fisherman (Amiria Grenell, Mousey, Holly Arrowsmith) and produced and mastered by Joshua Holmes (Junus Orca, Your Indigo, Jaz Paterson) who has taken Matthew’s simplistic and poignant songwriting, turning it into a beautiful collision of subtle electronic sounds, layered electric guitars and ethereal vocals, creating an eclectic folk pop sound.
Fisherman and Holmes also play on the album joined by Victoria Knopp (Imperial April, The Response) Amiria Grenell and Alice Tanner (Agnes Aleesy)
The official release show will be held at Space Academy in Christchurch with a full band, followed by a nationwide tour.
One of the most high energy garage punk / rock combos you’re ever likely to experience in the physical realm, Nishinomiya Japan’s King Brothers are making their mighty return to Aotearoa, joining forces with Tāmaki Makaurau’s very own Bloodbags (2/3 Bloody Souls, 2/3 Dirtbags) and longterm buds CINDY for a 25th anniversary rager at the central city’s Mothership on 25th May. King Brothers’ past visits to our shores have showcased drumming while crowdsurfing (!) and 100% unhinged rock moves from both band and audience — check out wild footage of their legendary Fleet FM Convey gig fifteen years back below (featuring a few familiar local faces amidst the graininess). Attendance is of course mandatory, grip the details below…
with Bloodbags and CINDY
Thursday 25th May – The Mothership, Auckland Early bird tickets on sale HERE via UTR
Check out killer live footage of King Brothers playing ‘No Want’ all around the globe, from their 2018 album WASTELAND…
See Aucklanders of 15 years ago losing their shit for King Brothers’ at Fleet FM’s Convoy 5 in Newmarket…
In many ways Whanganui’s very own Chris Isaak, 2022 Taite Music Prize winner and ever-dapper songwriter Anthonie Tonnon has unveiled a seriously funky, synth-soaked reimagining of the aforementioned US musician / actor’s 1989 classic ‘Wicked Game’ — also featuring Brooke Singer of French For Rabbits on futuristic keys duties. Playing tonight in New Plymouth, Tonnon will be performing with his Leave Love Out Of This Band at this weekend’s CubaDupa community festival in the capital, before continuing their ongoing nationwide tour.
Showcasing remixes by an eyebrow-raising array of Aotearoa and European producers — Throwing Snow, Second Self, Leaping Tiger, Proteins of Magic, Brainwaltzera, Amamelia and 2XM — Neil MacLeod‘s We Have Known Lost Days Remixed collection is a sonically dazzling reimagining of the Te Whanganui-a-Tara electronic artist’s acclaimed 2022 EP (and visual accompaniment), out today via Particle.
Teased with minimalist funk groover ‘Overdue‘, nic and reuben‘s new six track Four EP was celebrated in style last Saturday with a launch bash at Whammy Bar. The already hugely popular duo sound poised for widespread success, constructing their own noirish sonic palace to reign like kings within a post-Krule reality.
Hey wait, have I written this line before? Hey wait, have I written this line before? Please excuse me, I must have been experiencing ‘Deja Vu’ — the time-warping tune from world famous Canterbury-based computer musician and new dad Eyeliner. Sheer magic in musical form, the pumping track is featured on Welsh imprint My Pet Flamingo’s new compilation of international vaporwave all-stars Flamingo Funk vol.3.
Now featuring famed ex-Tāmaki Makaurau towel thief Perry Mahoney (Civil Union, Guardian Singles) alongside Steph Crase and Joel Carey, Naarm trio Summer Flake launched their fourth album One Less Thing a few weeks back but it’s not too late to celebrate the record’s jangle / dream-pop excellence — out now via Rice Is Nice, also home to Sarah Mary Chadwick and Popstrangers.
Kicking off their album release tour tonight at Whammy Bar in the super city, Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s Big Pharma have officially released their debut long player Gone Phishing. The trio of Sam Hulme, Ryley Doherty-Lawson and Lachlan Burne (joined by a host of contributors) meld the cacophonous energy of punk and compositionally mind-bending prog / math / post-rock on their sonically ambitious, lyrically searing eleven song offering — laid down at home in Aro Valley and out today via their own Pharma Sutra Records. Sure to reel you in live, go catch Big Pharma’s Gone Phishing tour this weekend and next (where you can grab the snazzy compact disc edition) with special guests galore …
Big Pharma’s ‘Gone Phishing’ Tour
Friday 24th March – Whammy Backroom, Auckland w/ Nuggiez, Birdcage Saturday 25th March – Under the Harbour Bridge, Tauranga w/ Birdcage + more to be announced (free show) Friday 31st March – The Stomach, Palmerston North w/ Skitz Hydro + more to be announced (all ages) Saturday 1st April – Secret Location, Wellington w/ Planet, BXRT
Te-Whanganui-a-Tara four piece F.A.I.R.Y have unveiled ‘TV AV’, a new single off their forthcoming album It Lives. Foregrounding distorted vocals over the groups’ new wavey, cyborg-synth sound, F.A.I.R.Y blend playful, futuristic elements with the raw characteristics of garage punk on their boisterous TV ode.
They’ll be performing at their hometown’s CubaDupa community festival this weekend and will soon be making an appearance at Tāmaki Makaurau’s Whammy Bar with Wiri Donna and Elliott Dawson for a pre-Easter rager on the 6th of April — hit play below…
Wiri Donna, Elliott Dawson, F.A.I.R.Y Thursday 6th April – Whammy Bar, Auckland Tickets available HERE from UTR
Charlotte Lovrin / Friday 24th March, 2023 12:55PM
Continuing the story of his epic latest long player Year of The Ratbags And Musty Theme Songs, Troy Kingi (Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) has released new visuals for ‘The Elephant In The Room’. Directed by TeMatera Smith and made with support from NZ on Air, in keeping with the album’s ’80s theme the clip delivers retro-inspired visuals, in which the brightly dressed band perform against a minimal background amidst flickering colours and dry ice — feeling like a solid tip of the hat to A Ha’s classic clip for ‘Take On Me‘. Kingi described the tune as talking about, ‘….the current state of attention spans — my children with their heads buried in the aluminated glass screen, it’s worrying, I’m not exempt from its addictive glow either”. ‘Elephant In The Room’ is the second video made for Year of The Ratbags And Musty Theme Songs, Troy Kingi’s sixth long player in his award-winning 10 10 10 series (10 albums in 10 years in 10 genres) — hit play below…
‘The Year of the Ratbags And Their Musty Theme Songs’ is out now – cassette/ LP through Border and available on all digital platforms, orders HERE.
Charlotte Lovrin / Photo credit: Stefan Roberts / Friday 24th March, 2023 11:45AM
Celebrating the forthcoming launch of their first full length album The Raft Is Not The Shore, Ōtautahi-based duo Terrible Sons have announced two release shows, taking place in Lyttelton and Selwyn District this May. Launching their debut long player via Vancouver imprint Nettwerk, the husband and wife folk team of Lauren Barus (L.A. Mitchell) and Matt Barus worked on the new record alongside fellow Cantabrians Jo Barus, Joe McCallum, Cam Pearce and Chris Wethey, with producer Tom Healy (Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams, Jen Cloher).
In anticipation of their album’s release on 28th April, the duo have unveiled new single ‘Easy Love‘, a sparse and intimate song with an accompanying video directed by Kirk Pflaum,made with support from NZ on Air. The video follows a strong narrative which takes place amidst a wealth of breathtaking, scenic coastal views. Terrible Sons will bring their new material to the live scene in the form of a headline set at The Loons in Lyttelton on the 13th of May, plus an intriguing secret show in Selwyn District on the 5th of May. Tickets for the Lyttelton event available here…
"I think it’s a song that contends with this bandied about idea that love is about getting your own way, getting ‘my best life’. That’s probably one of my most hated lines. I think we were looking at a relationship and thinking about how much communication and conversation there was to get somewhere, how hard that is, and yet how good that can be. It wasn’t about getting your own way, but through conversation, and probably compromise, finding a new way together. And maybe it would end up feeling like your own way!” — Matt Barus
Terrible Sons Album Release
Friday 5th May – Secret Show, Selwyn District Saturday 13th May – The Loons, Lyttleton*
Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Peter Jennings
/ Friday 24th March, 2023 10:20AM
Feeling like a Frankenstein of post-industrial EBM hellscapes and classy Malcolm McLaren-esque opera house on opening track ‘Bursar & Bone’, Tāmaki Makaurau’s Grecco Romank grace our Friday with their second studio album Wet Exit. Whipping up heaving sweaty masses across Aotearoa over the past year and a half since the launch of their debut album Red Tower, the trio of producer Damian Golfinopoulos and vocalists Billie Fee and Mikey Sperring are joined on the new record by Kraus, Ex-Partner, Hermione Johnson, Ron Gallipoli, Jeff Henderson and Moider Mother (featuring Nick Hart of Shocking Pinks).
Espousing their own kind of music industry apocalypse with preacher-like fervour and menace, Fee and Sperring sound gloriously unrestrained (and sometimes the opposite) as they intone words to live by: "Fucking around / Taking the piss / Thou shalt not piss in the street". Unquestionably a local release highlight of 2023, soak your ears in the world of Wet Exit, order your own vinyl copy to cherish HERE via Moral Support and don’t miss one of the finest live bands in the land bringing the party to a venue near you this autumn — commencing tonight at Kirikiriroa’s Last Place with Michael Logie and Glass Shards…
"Wet Exit feels like as a step forward from Red Tower (Grecco Romank’s 2021 debut)… With Wet Exit we wanted to push ourselves to explore new sounds, especially vocally, to create more drama and duality. We took care to add extra steps to the production process, using lots of overdubs and guest musicians to enhance the arrangements.
We knew we wanted to play with a slower ballads but to also stock the album with our signature grit and grime in the form of distorted mono bass synths and 909 rave kit staples. It was a huge plus to involve extra vocalists and to even multitrack Billie several times so that she could show of her harmonic range. For Mikey we started experimenting with his ‘on the street’ voice, trying to make it less theatrical and more colloquial.
As always our writing process is very different from song to song. Some are really dark and obscure while other songs are quite playful and tongue-in-cheek. Most of our songs don’t present our point of view – but instead the perspective of the characters we conjure. The words have to match the texture of the music, so there’s plenty of vague dystopian imagery punctuated with absurdist aspirations."
Grecco Romank – Wet Exit Album Release Tour
Friday 24th March – Last Place, Hamilton w/ Michael Logie, Glass Shards
Tāmaki Makaurau’s Ringlets unveiled their new single ‘Sever‘ over the weekend, launched with a Sunday soirée at Avondale’s The Hollywood alongside rising stars Babe Martin and Ballot Box. The four-piece of László Reynolds, Leith Towers, Arlo Grey and Arabella Poulsen, Ringlets’ latest track combines jangly guitar lines with a punchy rhythm section, delivering an energetic and urgent post punk sound neatly foreshadowing the group’s debut album — co-produced by De Stevens (Marlin’s Dreaming) and launching on 3rd April via Massachusetts-based imprint Mutual Skies. No doubt we’ll be hearing even more from Ringlets soon, hit play on the single below…
Keeping Tāmaki Makaurau’s inner city nightlife buzzing with a diverse programme of musical delicacies for over a decade and a half, Ponsonby Social Club are toasting their 15th birthday in style with a smörgåsbord of events happening all throughout March. A space for the community to enjoy high quality music, comedy, food, beverages and more, all served up with the utmost commitment to good vibes, PSC are wrapping up this month’s anniversary celebrations with live performances by Leonard Charles Trio with Tyra Hammond, Keshia, Adrian Brown, Ijebu Pleasure Club, and Cori Gonzalez-Macuer and Friends — plus this Sunday’s bash featuring jazz, hip hop and soul super crew Opensouls, friends and whānau DJs, special guests, and yum food courtesy of Baby G Burger. We got on the line with co-owner / director Roberto Mukai (who first arrived in Aotearoa from São Paulo, Brazil in the ’90s), aka Bobby Brazuka of Latinaotearoa, who reflected on PSC’s growth and challenges over the past 15 years…
Ponsonby Social Club’s 15th Birthday Celebration — Auckland
Thursday 23rd March – Cori Gonzalez-Macuer and Friends
Friday 24th March – Ijebu Pleasure Club
Saturday 25th March – Keshia Live
Sunday 26th March – Ponsonby Social Club Sunday Bash with Opensouls w/ Friends & Whānau DJs Hudge, Bobby Brazuka & Vee… plus special guests Manuel Bundy, Nathan Haines (DJ Set), Carlotta, Lucky Lance, Katya, Jaimie Webster-Haines, Gin, Onny Kaulima, Wattsson, Frank Booker
Thursday 30th March – Leonard Charles Trio with guest Tyra Hammond
Chris Cudby: Hi Roberto — please tell us how Ponsonby Social Club came to be? Who was involved with starting up PSC? Was PSC founded with any specific aims / goals in mind?
Roberto Mukai (Bobby Brazuka): Ponsonby Social Club came to be back in 2008. It was a great idea by my former business partners Tony McGeorge and Rodney Gower. They also involved by current business partner Sharr Berzati to be part of it. I came up as the music programmer for the bar bringing some of the best DJs and musicians to to the space — from music programmer I was offered shares and become shareholder, then made my way to become owner / director around 2017. Our goal was always to be a community joint. A place where people could hang out, listen to some great music, drink some cocktails and have fun. Your local joint.
How have you seen the space and community grow over the past 15 years?
PSC has become one of the most iconic bars in Auckland city. Once a venue passes 10 years it’s normal to get the title of iconic. Our punters, just like the venue, grew older and we have a wide demographic of good people hanging at our place.
How did you decide who to invite to perform at PSC’s month-long birthday celebrations?
We just went after the people that helped us be where we are, musicians that gave us their time, talent and energy in the last few years.
Do you have any standout memories of PSC?
I think the most standout moments of Ponsonby Social has been the last three years. Those years were very challenging and we smash them like bosses. We had to deal with Covid and the restrictions that came with it, we changed from more of a Dj bar style to a live music venue to survive. At the same time we saw the original business partners leaving, making me and Sharr 50/50 owners and hands on directors of the business. Then we had staff shortage floods… But our regulars, family, friends, musicians and community never let us down.
Have there been any notably challenging times for PSC in the past? What challenges do you feel are facing inner city venues at present?
I think all mentioned above have been the challenges but being an inner city music venue, a place for locals and visitors to feel the vibrant Auckland City has made us face those challenges like champs.
Do you have any specific vision / hopes for PSC’s growth over the next 15 years?
We just keep fighting the good fight. Bringing community together.
For another 15 years of your social club, a place for all. Your local joint.
Independent Music NZ have announced this year’s recipient of the Classic Record award is micronism‘s pioneering 1998 electronic album inside a quiet mind (Kog Transmissions), revealed this morning along with the finalists for the NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism Award. Both accolades will be presented as part of the 2023 Taite Music Prize ceremony on Tuesday 18th April alongside the main prize, the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award and the Independent Spirit Award.
The project of Denver McCarthy (aka Mechanism), micronism’s inside a quiet mind is widely hailed as a masterwork of Aotearoa electronica / techno, created from 1996 to 1998 using "outboard equipment and without computer assistance". Initially released on compact disc, the album was reissued on vinyl for the first time in 2017 and will receive a forthcoming repress via Loop in celebration of the Classic Record award. The Taite Music Prize presentation ceremony will be preceded by micronism’s first headline show in over 20 years, announced for Tāmaki Makaurau’s Neck Of The Woods on 15th April. The Classic Record is a "critically judged award for originality considering the artistic merit, creativity, innovation and excellence of an album in its entirety irrespective of album sales, artist popularity, previous awards or international achievements".
“This acknowledgment of my small contribution to NZ music is wildly misplaced — so it is received with great shock and even greater humility and gratitude. Looking forward to trying to fire up the machines once again, to journey into the land of Electronica, forgive me if I take a few wrong turns…it has been a while…” — Denver McCarthy
We’re also stoked to share the news UTR’s Chris Cudby is among this year’s finalists for the NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism Award, alongside AudioCulture feature writer Gareth Shute (read his reportage on WOMAD NZ 2023 for UTR HERE), Jess Fu and Amanda Jane Robinson for Amplified, and Namnita Kumar and Nadia Freeman‘s Eastern Sound Stories Podcast. Begun in 2022 (when our team was also nominated), the award "celebrates special individuals who made a creative contribution and significant impact with coverage of Aotearoa music in the previous year", shortlisted by a selection of industry experts and coming with a $2500 cash prize.
The finalists for the NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism Awards are:
Gareth Shute – AudioCulture – Feature Writer Jess Fu & Amanda Jane Robinson – Amplified
Chris Cudby – UnderTheRadar – Music News
Namnita Kumar & Nadia Freeman – Eastern Sound Stories Podcast produced by Eastern Sound Collective in conjunction with Radio Active.FM
Pōneke’s malevolent lords of speed thrash metal Stälker are doing their bit for the community on Saturday 1st April, teaming with the supernatural man-witch Double Ya D, instrumental surf wave rider Valentino Del Mar and fez-wearing master of ceremonies MC Mike Hills for "a fundraiser to help with cancer treatment of one of our close friends". Happening at Newtown Sports Bar, the whole shebang is brought to you by the champs at Stink Magnetic and Creeps Record Parlour. See a bunch of sick bands (or ignore everything and play the pokies) in support of a crucial cause — get tickets immediately, check out Stälker’s unrelated prize pack giveaway including a Lynx Africa Gift Box HERE and stay tuned for more thrilling additions to this mega-bill…
A Stink Magnetic And Creeps Record Parlour Fundraiser For Cancer
featuring… Stälker, Double Ya D, Valentino Del Mar, MC Mike Hills + more to be announced
Saturday 1st April – Newtown Sports Bar, Wellington Tickets available HERE via UTR
Here’s Stälker’s searing video for ‘Ripped to Pieces’…
Here’s a tantalising teaser clip for Double Ya D’s upcoming Green Smoothie EP — "COMING OUT AT SWOME POINT WHEN WE GET OUR SHIT TOWEGTHER"…
Kia Ora Whanau. Stink Magnetic, Creeps record Parlour, Stalker, Double Ya D, Valentino Del Mar and more buddies are putting on a fundraiser to help with cancer treatment of one of our close friends. Unfortunately their treatment isn’t funded. We’ve decided to put a party on to help towards the treatment. We’re getting together a bunch of rad bands, musicians and friends to put on a sick party at the Newtown Sports bar.
Stalker-Killer Thrash Speed metal, straight up 80’s rad styles, sewer speed metal to the max!
Double Ya D-The Man Witch. We’ve asked if he’s the right man, he said, yes! but for the wrong job.
Valentino Del Mar-Sleepwalking instrumental suuuuurrrrrfffffff.
It’s all happening at Tāmaki Makaurau’s central city hotspot The Mothership! Performing at this week’s five day Earth Beat Festival at Kaipara’s Ātiu Creek Regional Park, legend of UK dub Mad Professor is sticking around to soak up some last remaining summer rays and play a sizzling headline set in the super city on 31st March. The Guyanese-born production guru will be joined for this very special dubwise event by Jafa Sound featuring RSD, Burn City’s Jah Tung on the mic and even more special guests to be announced — move fast and grab tickets via the link below…
Mad Professor, Jafa Sound feat. RSD, Jah Tung (Burn City)
Taking on the world from her Tāmaki Makaurau home base, CHAII (aka Mona Sanei) is joining forces with the mega-talented Yoko-Zuna for Persian Nights, bringing the party to The Mothership in the central city on 14th April. Keeping quiet on the release front since the launch of her delectable 2021 Pineapple Pizza EP (which included collaborative cuts with Kings, eleven7four, Mazbou Q and James Milne), the Iranian / Aotearoa superstar’s club-igniting works have been showcased in a campaign for FENDI, the soundtrack for Charlize Theron’s 2020 film The Old Guard, and gaming juggernauts Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and EA Sports’ FIFA. Don’t miss this rare chance to catch one of our brightest talents live with more special guests to be announced — we advise snapping up tickets fast…
"Performances by myself with my friends Yoko-Zuna and other special guests. Later in the night taking it from PM to the AM with a FREAKIN Persian dance party. Bring your dancing shows."
CHAII presents Persian Nights, Live music by CHAII with Yoko-Zuna
Friday 14th April – The Mothership, Auckland w/ special guests to be announced