Èlan Vital – Renee Barrance, Danny Brady, Nikolai Sim [photo by Phoebe Lysbeth Kay]
Introducing Èlan Vital, Cold-Wave straight from the Southern Ocean. We are thrilled to be releasing their debut album “Shadow Self” very soon.
While Èlan Vital are notionally cold-wave synth-pop, no-one in Dunedin follows any ‘rules’ around genre or style of music. Èlan Vital also incorporate garage-psych keyboards and fuzz bass in the mix to produce something dark, Gothic and danceable which has a beating heart.
They share a member (Danny) with another favourite rule-breaking Dunedin post-punk-electronica band Death And The Maiden, so if you enjoyed their debut you will definitely want to give Èlan Vital’s “Shadow Self” a listen.
Official NZ release date is 24 March but we will be fulfilling pre-orders from 24 February.
Official UK release is a bit later on 12 May (blame Record Store Day in April) but our co-release partners Occultation Recordings
will have it available to their mail-order customers by the start of March.
Band photo by Phoebe Lysbeth Kay http://www.phoebelysbethk.com/
Here is “Janina” – video by Erica Sklenars, styling by JPALM
And here is the title track used as the soundtrack to JPALM ‘Discordia’ fashion video:
NZ website The Wireless has been hosting a series of short video documentaries on DIY touring the world produced, filmed and narrated by Ian Jorgensen of A Low Hum.
The episode on NZ features Death And The Maiden, with a short interview and some live footage filmed at Chick’s Hotel.
The video makes NZ look pretty wonderful – just wide upon spaces with the occasional tin shed or wooden hall in the countryside hosting bands and audiences abandoning themselves to the music. It’s a nice DIY alternative to the reality of city pubs.
The Puddle did their own DIY NZ tour in 2009 and their tour video does look pretty similar, so maybe this is actually the reality?
Following on from the impressionistic video for “Victory” by guitarist/ drummer/ vocalist Hope Robertson from the dark and dreamy debut by Death And The Maiden, here’s another video, this time for “Civilisation”, once again featuring the sleepy village of Port Chalmers.
This odd little 150+ year old port town mixes century old provincial New Zealand architecture with the industrial sprawl of a major shipping port and container terminal. The video is filmed in black and white on a fine sunny day, yet still manages to maintain the stealthy distance of surveillance footage, as if dispassionately observing life on a different planet.
There are also a couple of scenes of Chris Booth’s sculpture “Aramoana” from the Hotere Garden Oputae on the lookout overlooking the port and harbour. It’s a reminder that although this town is physically dominated by the maritime transport industry, it also has a strongly beating heart of art.
Two of the three members of Death And The Maiden live in Port Chalmers and the third is a regular visitor. In winter – or on cooler summer nights – the cold damp and fog or rain mixes with the clammy aerosol grey of diesel fume infused salty air. At night the sounds of the Port machinery hangs over the town, a repetitive hum of boat engines punctuated with the clang and thump of metal on metal as containers are loaded and unloaded.
It’s hard to avoid this all working its way into the subconscious of the residents, and into their music and art, whether it is through some kind of psychological osmosis or escapist rejection. This is Death And The Maiden’s “Civilisation” then:
L – Introverted Dancefloor’s Bevan Smith / R – Danny from Death And The Maiden
Death And The Maiden have supplied a glorious nocturnal ambient dance remix of “Even If You Try” – a track from Introverted Dancefloor‘s recent album. We can’t stop playing it here at Fishrider HQ.
Introverted Dancefloor is New Zealand musician/ producer Bevan Smith (previously Signer, Aspen). Bevan mastered Death And The Maiden’s debut album and also provided his own Signer remix of their single “Dear ___ “ as a bonus track for the album download, so this remix is a fitting response.
And… while we are talking re-mixes, here is a futuristic remix of Death And The Maiden’s “Dear ___ ” by Horse Doctor.
Death And The Maiden performing at Chick’s Hotel, Port Chalmers, Dunedin
Posted in Death And The Maiden, Fishrider Records, Uncategorized
Tagged ambient dance music, atmospheric dance music, Bevan Smith, Danny Brady, dark ambient dance, Death And The Maiden, Dunedin, EDM, Electronic dance music, Introverted Dancefloor, remixes, signer
Our “best of 2015” has to be the two albums we released during the year. Two isn’t a lot, is it? It’s about our annual average release volume. Busiest year we had was 2012 with four releases, but two is plenty. As we like to say: “we’re not music industry. We’re music arts and crafts.”
The albums we release are by musicians, bands in the Dunedin music community. Friends and colleagues. It’s a part time operation and the most valuable thing we can offer the bands is time, knowledge and connections.
For the past three years we’ve had an unlikely ally in a small UK label – Occultation Recordings. It is also more “arts & crafts” than “music industry”. Occultation released three albums this year – The Granite Shore “Once More From The Top” (involving members of other Occultation bands), Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus “beauty will save the world” and The Everlasting Yeah “Anima Rising” – and collaborated with us for a UK co-release for our two albums.
During 2015 that bond between the hemispheres was strengthened when Fishrider’s Ian Henderson traveled to the UK at short notice to play drums on recording sessions for the third and final album by Manchester’s beloved The Distractions, which will be released on Occultation Recordings in 2016.
The two releases in 2015 could not have been more different. Death And The Maiden’s self-titled debut is a unique combination of electronic dance/ trance music with post-punk guitar and bass elements and overlaid with dream-pop vocals. It’s dark, a little bit Gothic, but the kind of sound-world you can easily lose yourself in.
By way of contrast The Shifting Sands’ “Cosmic Radio Station” was a sun-bleached psychedelic shoegaze masterpiece, all fuzzy guitars and dreamy pop melodicism. Daylight to Death And The Maiden’s night music.
Thanks to the people who have kept Fishrider going in 2015. The bands, the artists/designers, the video makers, and especially the fans around the world who bought albums, shared links to music and videos, talked about the music, wrote about the music, or played the music on radio shows.
We have more planned for 2016…. stick around.
Posted in Death And The Maiden, Fishrider Records, The Shifting Sands, Uncategorized
Tagged Death And The Maiden, Dunedin, Dunedin Sound, Fishrider Records, New Zealand, Occultation Recordings, post-punk, psychedelic, The Shifting Sands, vinyl
A couple of years ago isn’t exactly “historic” but these low-key rehearsal room videos shot during the development phase of Death and The Maiden’s debut album, released on Fishrider earlier this year, offer an intriguing insight into the album’s genesis.
Here’s “Flowers For The Blind”
And here’s “Dear ___ ”
The final version of each song can be found on their debut album below. If you missed it earlier this year now’s a good time to grab a copy.
“Independent Label Week is an annual celebration of independent record labels worldwide. Through label-organised special events, releases and more, the primary aim is to encourage audience engagement with their local independent labels, and also to learn more about labels outside of their hometowns.”
Fishrider Records is all about discovering new music. We bring you the best of the new underground sounds of Dunedin, a small city with a rich alternative music history, perched on the edge of the world in the South West Pacific ocean.
We joined up as part of the very first Independent Label Week – 9 to 15 November – to encourage those who may not have heard of us yet to discover new music.
To help with that element of discovery during Independent Label Week anyone purchasing one of one of our 2015 releases from Death and the Maiden or The Shifting Sands will receive another back-catalogue release free – your choice of albums by Trick Mammoth (“Floristry”, 2014), Opposite Sex (“Opposite Sex”, 2012) or The Puddle (“Playboys In The Bush” 2010).
There’s no extra postage – in fact our postage worldwide is only $15 NZD (6.50 GBP) for LPs so when you buy direct from us it should cost about the same as it would from a local store.
It’s all part of making Independent Label Week a great chance to discover new music from far-away places without costing you a fortune.
So head to our Bandcamp page and order either –
Death And The Maiden’s self-titled debut
“Cosmic Radio Station” by The Shifting Sands
Use the comment box when you order through our Bandcamp page to choose your preferred free back-catalogue ‘discovery’ album option – or let us choose for you if you can’t decide.
If you are in Dunedin you can find us at Taste Merchant’s Record Fair on Saturday 14 November. We will have all our catalogue there, plus the catalogue of our UK partner label Occultation Recordings.
Record Fair at Taste Merchants, Dunedin
Make sure you check out some of the other labels listed on the Independent label Week website