Category Archives: Fishrider Records

“Once More From The Top” by The Granite Shore

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Those of you who have followed Fishrider Records releases over the past 3 years will know that in 2012 we teamed up with small UK independent label Occultation Recordings to co-release an album by Dunedin odd-pop no-wave trio Opposite Sex in the UK, after BBC Radio, Uncut and Q Magazine in the UK all decided the album was extraordinary and our NZ pressing of only 150 LPs sold out within a few months.

Since then we have worked together to co-release in the UK and Europe albums by Dunedin bands Trick Mammoth, Death And The Maiden and, soon, The Shifting Sands, as well as the TEMPORARY compilation of new Dunedin music last year. We also co-released a 2012 mini-album by Factory Star (Martin Bramah of The Fall and Blue Orchids). Occultation also carries all the rest of the Fishrider catalogue.

Occultation Recordings has established a reputation in the UK for releasing high quality albums by respected legends of the UK post-punk scene (The Wild Swans, The Distractions, Factory Star and The June Brides) and also now the best of the young Dunedin scene from NZ. It’s a combination that works much better together than you may first expect, with Occultation’s customer base eager to investigate new sounds from southern NZ.

The epic “Once More From The Top” by The Granite Shore is the work of Occultation Recordings head Nick Halliwell, along with Phil Wilson (The June Brides), Arash Torabi (The June Brides/The Distractions), Probyn Gregory (Brian Wilson/Arthur Lee/The Wondermints), Mike Kellie (Spooky Tooth/The Only Ones/The Distractions), Steve Perrin and Mike Finney (The Distractions) and Martin Bramah (The Fall/Blue Orchids/Factory Star).

“Once More From The Top” is a concept album of sorts about the life and death (and re-birth) of a band. It’s a long-form ’60’s influenced pastoral indie-pop version of Mott The Hoople‘s “Ballad of Mott the Hoople” (if you are familiar with that ’70’s rock classic).

If the narrative theme and attention to detail in the songwriting, recording and arrangements is not already an indicator of bold ambitions, then attention given to packaging of the different formats confirms this. The 180gm LP in a deluxe heavy gatefold sleeve is an object worthy of the timeless music within.

We have a limited number of the 180gm LPs complete with booklet (a radio-play script based on the album songs!) as shown above and also a CD version with a different gatefold sleeve design. You can find these in our online store. If you are not in NZ/ Australasia/ Oceania you can get it at Occultation Recordings

“Dear ____ ” video from Death And The Maiden

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Death And The Maiden have revealed an captivating experimental video performance piece for their first music video. The video for the 8 minute track “Dear ____ ” was made by NZ video installation artist Erica Sklenars and consists only of two simultaneous single-shot sequences, both featuring Death And The Maiden’s Lucinda King.

The video was premiered on Noisey Music website on Friday along with an interview with Lucinda explaining the video and how it was made.

Death And The Maiden in The Fold

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Death And The Maiden are featured in the current issue of The Fold, a weekly NZ gig guide and music news publication published by street poster gurus Phantom Billstickers, music website Cheese on Toast and radio station 95bFM.

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The photographs are by Phoebe MacKenzie & Emily Berryman (video-makers & photographers featured in the TEMPORARY compilation ‘zine) and there’s a great short informative interview with Danny too.

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Death And The Maiden – album out 20 March 2015

Death And The Maiden [Photo by Esta de Jong]

Death And The Maiden [Photo by Esta de Jong]

March 20th 2015 sees the release of the self-titled debut album by Dunedin trio Death And The Maiden.
While traveling through Berlin in 2012, Lucinda King ripped a sketch of a skeleton and a woman from a book, and stored it in her wallet. The piece was Death and the Maiden, a 19th Century engraving by Edvard Munch. It is an artwork steeped in mythology, one which explores the dark bounds between love and death, frailty of beauty, and beauty of decay.

On her return to New Zealand, Lucinda (bass guitar, vocals) began to make music with Danny Brady (synth and drum programming), then welcomed guitarist and drummer Hope Robertson to the fold, and Death and the Maiden was born.

On their debut album, the group craft a shadowy sound world, filled with melancholic synth arpeggios, reverb-drenched guitars, hypnotic basslines, drowsy drum-machines, and sighing vocal melodies. The combination is both hypnotic and devastating, as Lucinda explores themes of love, loss, and decay, wrapped in tactile electro-acoustic languor.

Despite the sense of loss and darkness on this record, there is a bittersweet hopefulness at the core. Death and the Maiden are seeking to create a feeling, something that lasts. The result of this effort is a stunning record, its soaring sonic beauty a counterpoint to its sombre haunting tone – a party record for heartbroken romantics.

Also available on iTunes here.

Death And The Maiden play at Wine Cellar in Auckland on Friday 27 March and at Moon in Newtown, Wellington on Saturday 28th March.

Death And The Maiden is available on LP, CD and Digital formats from record stores from 20 March (13 April UK/ Europe) and can also be ordered online at the Fishrider Records Bandcamp page or in the UK and Europe via Occultation Recordings.

“The combination of drum machines, amniotic synth wash and guitars evoke select Hacienda-era Factory bands and the Sheffield Sound (think Section 25 or Chris & Cosey), while Lucinda King’s haunting, reverb-drenched vocals generate an incantatory power”
[From The Corner Awesome Feeling 7 feature.]
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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…

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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.

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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…

TEMPORARY videos

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: https://fishriderrecords.bandcamp.com/album/t-e-m-p-o-r-a-r-y