Category Archives: Fishrider Records

10 years ago…

The Dark Beaks "Spill Your Heart" [FISH001]

The Dark Beaks “Spill Your Heart” [FISH001]

Although Fishrider Records is 9 years old this year (2015), the fateful events leading up to the creation of the label began 10 years ago, with the commencement of recording of the album “Spill Your Heart” by The Dark Beaks early in January 2005.

“In A Coalmine” was one of the first songs recorded. It was done on an old ADAT machine which malfunctioned, but was mercifully repaired by local electronics wizard (and renowned experimental audio-visual artist) Nigel Bunn. The multi-tracks for the first few songs recorded at that stage were copied to a new digital hard drive recorder and the ADAT was swiftly sold (17/1/2005).

The Dark Beaks at that stage were a two-piece – Andrew Jamieson (guitars, vocals) and Ian Henderson (drums). They were joined by Andrew Last on bass in about March or April 2005 and recording, with Andrew Last added, was complete by mid 2005.

Late in 2005 Ian sent a CDR of the completed & mixed album to Ben Howe at Arch Hill Recordings in Auckland, with a letter suggesting it would be perfect for that label. No reply was received…

And that was how Fishrider Records started, in early 2006. As Ian Jorgensen (AKA ‘Blink’ of A Low Hum tours, ‘zine, compilation CDs at the time) used to say “don’t wait for someone else to do stuff for you; do it yourself!”

There was no vision beyond that one release at the time. That first release didn’t even have a catalogue number, as the idea of a sequence of releases had not been considered. Nine years later we are only up to release #14 (due February/ March 2015). A fairly languid pace, befitting a part-time labour-of-love record label.

That was 2014…

Fishrider LP banner 2

2014 has been a busy year for Fishrider Records, with several firsts for the label.

“Busy” is relative, and a lot of it is invisible behind-the-scenes stuff, not necessarily reflected in our annual output of two albums. A crazy amount of work was involved in getting the TEMPORARY compilation (and ‘zine) organised and released worldwide! Anyway, here’s a quick re-cap on the stuff that happened in 2014:

Back in February we released “Floristry” by Trick Mammoth both here in NZ and also in the UK & Europe in conjunction with Occultation Recordings. At the same time the band released this video for “Delphine (With A Purpose)”.

The Dunedin ‘Flower Cult’ guitar pop trio followed up a captivating debut with a 7” picture disc single “Candy Darling”/ “Doll” on UK label WIAIWYA as part of their 7777777 2014 singles club.

During the first half of 2014 Males “Run Run Run/MalesMalesMales” quickly sold out its LP pressing (released December 2013) making us wish we had pressed more than 300.

Males and Trick Mammoth had extensive radio playlist success across the US/ Canada college & non-commercial radio network, both spending several weeks in the top half of the CMJ Top 200 of most-played albums on North American non-commercial radio.

Males’ album was licensed for release in Japan by Thistime Records in April with 3 bonus tracks from their Roundhead Studio live session.

Thistime Records also took a shine to Trick Mammoth and licensed “Floristry’ for release in Japan in July, also with 3 bonus tracks.

Mid year we teamed up with respected US independent label Ba Da Bing! Records to give our compilation album - “TEMPORARY – Selections form Dunedin’s Pop Underground 2011 - 2014” - a US release in October as well as a NZ and UK/ Europe release assisted once again by Occultation Recordings.

The album release show saw 8 of the 13 bands perform over two nights at Chick’s Hotel in Port Chalmers at the start of September.

TEMPORARY release show banner

As well as a great reaction to TEMPORARY from print and online music media, tracks from TEMPORARY have been played on BBC 6Music and many North American non-commercial stations, notably KEXP Seattle, KALX Berkeley, and WYNU & WFMU in New York.

2015 promises to be another busy year. Our next two LP releases are on the way, both from bands featured on TEMPORARY and the first due February 2015.

Our thanks to the bands and musicians for working with Fishrider to release their music, and to everyone who has bought an album, shared a link, written about an album or band, played a song on a radio show, stocked an album in their store or been to a live show…

Kane Strang live session from Wellington

Kane Strang Wellington

In mid November Kane Strang travelled to Wellington at the invitation of the Old Hall Gig team, who organise monthly performances at Wellington’s old community halls. Radio New Zealand recorded Kane’s set for their Music 101 programme and filmed the event.

Old Hall Gigs

You can listen to some highlights of the performance via a Radio NZ podcast.

Kane Strang – Two Hearts and No Brain from Radio New Zealand on Vimeo.

“In Thailand” by Kane Strang

Kane Strang (from "Winded" video by Phoebe Mackenzie & Emily Berryman).

Kane Strang (from “Winded” video by Phoebe Mackenzie & Emily Berryman).

Kane Strang is one of the young Dunedin musicians included on our compilation LP – “TEMPORARY – Selections From Dunedin’s Pop Underground 2011 – 2014″. His song “Winded” has been getting a bit of radio play this past week from Tom Ravenscroft on his own show and while sitting in for Steve Lamacq too.
Winded_BBC 6Music
One of the reasons for doing the compilation LP, and for releasing music by some local bands at all, was our belief what young musicians were creating here had as much merit as music from other parts of the world, and was often a lot more adventurous or idiosyncratic, and that they deserved a chance to be heard wider. So seeing some of the songs included on radio playlists like this is great affirmation.

But “Winded” was recorded last year and Kane’s songwriting, playing and recording skills are developing fast. He decided it was time to share a first taste of his new music today – “In Thailand”.

Kane’s music possesses a rare individual spirit. He blends familiar elements of what you might call “psychedelic folk” with his own unique flourishes. That voice, those words, and particularly the way he uses distinctive backing vocal arrangements.

In 2013 Kane spent several months in Germany, recording most of his self-released album “A Pebble & A Paper Crane” in a disused WWII bomb shelter. Each take was a race against time to avoid being plunged into absolute darkness due to lights being on a timer.

The resulting album was full of “songs ripe with fruity indulgence, baroque melodies, overwrought imagery & scruffy but fussy elegance” (PopLib)

Kane started recording in his bedroom as a teenager, creating recordings reminiscent of the woozy wobbly saturated warmth of a 4-track cassette porta-studio, further enhancing the timeless enigmatic qualities of his early songs and last year’s album.

While more experience and some better equipment now means his DIY recordings are clearer than those early bedroom and bomb shelter sounds, the free spirit of courageous adventure remains intact.

“In Thailand” is just a taste of what’s to come from Kane and we look forward to helping him bring that to the world in 2015.


A few weeks ago a video for Winded’ by Kane Strang – one of the songs on TEMPORARY – was released. It was made by the same Dunedin video team who made the video for ‘Amnesia’ by Strange Harvest (also on the album). Video makers Emily Berryman and Phoebe Mackenzie feature in an interview in the TEMPORARY magazine too. There are videos for a few of the songs on TEMPORARY now. So, in the interests of audio-visual splendour here are all the TEMPORARY-related videos in one post. First up Kane Strang & the eye-popping ‘Winded’ video from Emily & Phoebe: Next up is Strange Harvest & that superbly dark video, also from Emily & Phoebe: Here’s a Fishrider DIY one we did for The Prophet Hens’ “All Over The World” – Finally, here’s Adrian Ng performing solo at The Attic and playing his Trick Mammoth song ‘Home Video’ and his Mavis Gary song “Dim the Droog” It was filmed and edited by The Attic’s Daniel Blackball Alexander – TEMPORARY – Selections from Dunedin’s Pop Underground 2011 – 2014 is available here:

TEMPORARY compilation – Norman Records guide

Norman Records is a fine UK mail-order specialist based in Leeds. They know their music. So we were thrilled to read they really liked our TEMPORARY compilation LP. “In a word – Brilliant!” was their Twitter verdict, their review concluding “this is simply a truly great record, more than a mere sampler.” Their track-by-track rundown on TEMPORARY is a great introduction to the strange wonders within but of course you can listen to it yourself now the whole album can be streamed here:

We were also happy to read the ‘zine (or ‘art catalogue’ as someone recently described it) was appreciated. Being able to present some information on the bands, their discography, and a bit of a flavour of their music scene and the people involved was an important part of the compilation for us all.

For those who prefer to travel light, without the physical weight of LPs, CDs or magazines there is a digital version available via bandcamp, which includes the magazine in PDF form. You can also send it as a gift to someone else through bandcamp…

And finally… a reminder that TEMPORARY should be in your local stores by now (NZ, USA, UK/Europe)and is available in the US from Ba Da Bing! Records and in the UK Europe from Occultation Recordings and in NZ via our website shop or Fishrider Records’ Bandcamp.

TEMPORARY – Out now!

It’s taken 9 months but T E M P O R A R Y – Selections From Dunedin’s Pop Underground 2011 – 2014 is finally here and shipping now!
T E M P O R A R Y is a compilation featuring 13 of our favourite Dunedin bands, with a 24 page colour ‘zine included & available as LP/ CD with ‘zine or LP+CD+zine!

If you are familiar with any of our recent releases from Trick Mammoth, Opposite Sex, Males, The Prophet Hens & The Shifting Sands, you will know there is some magic being created right now by a new scene of young musicians in this small city on the edge of the world – Dunedin, New Zealand.

So much magic we felt compelled to compile all our favourites into one compilation album… then, to add something extra we asked the musicians to contribute to a ‘zine to accompany the album.

The compilation features new and exclusive tracks from Fishrider artists Opposite Sex, Males and Trick Mammoth, and a vinyl debut for a track from The Prophet Hens’ lauded debut and The Shifting Sands forthcoming second album. Most of the rest will be unknown/ unheard as well, and the ‘zine provides discography and links to discover more music from each band – Mavis Gary, Death & The Maiden, Mr Biscuits, Strange Harvest, Astro Children, Kane Strang, Bad Sav & Scattered Brains of the Lovely Union.

To check out the album, listen to tracks and view the compilation LP or CD & ‘zine package head to the Fishrider Bandcamp page here: You can buy it from there (in stock & shipping immediately), or from NZ record stores.

The album is released on 23 September in the US in conjunction with Ba Da Bing! Records –
and in the UK in conjunction with Occultation Recordings –
so look for it in stores if you live in North America or UK/Europe, or order it direct from those labels.