Tag Archives: Dunedin

The Shifting Sands announce a new 7″ single and share a video for “Run”

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The Shifting Sands with Manny Nieto in LA.

The Shifting Sands announced a new 7″ single today, sharing a video for a new song called “Run” which appears on the single, due out towards the end of January 2018.

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The Shifting Sands  Zoe/ Run (7” single)

After touring the West Coast of the USA supporting David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights, Mike McLeod booked studio time at Manny’s Estudio International in East Los Angeles. Far less glamorous in reality than it all may sound says Mike.

Joining the Shifting Sands for the sessions was guest guitarist Steven Schayer – a then LA-based musician with NZ connections, having played in The Chills during the early 90’s US-based “Soft Bomb” album era.  Steven brought a different flavour to complement the independent DIY No. 8 wire approach of The Shifting Sands.

Manny Nieto also brought a different flavour to the table, producing the tracks. Manny has worked with Steve Albini and has recorded bands like the Breeders and Los Lobos.

Whereas previous albums had been layered in fuzzy guitars and synthesizers, this session involved less layers, but more harmonic breadth within the layers. Tom added bass tracks on an 8 string bass, Mike adding a bass 6 – a guitar tuned down one octave.

While there are less layers of harmonic distortion – a characteristic component of the Shifting Sands sound – there is still a lot of harmonic complexity, just realised in a different way to the approach the Shifting Sands took on their first two LPs.

The band recorded on a Neotek console and via a two-inch tape machine, before mixing down through a ¼ inch tape reel.  Back in Dunedin the songs were mastered by Tex Houston. The 7” vinyl release format completes this analogue approach.

These songs reflect a special moment in time, in the sweltering heat of Los Angeles, while the band were far from their busy normal lives and able to spend time purely focused on making music, in a vastly different environment to their home town of Dunedin, and their base at Chicks Hotel in Port Chalmers.

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Port Chalmers, Dunedin

 

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Introducing Èlan Vital & “Shadow Self”

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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” on 24 March 2017 (NZ).

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 have it available to their mail-order customers from March. It is also available on iTunes.
If you want to find out a bit more about the band Lo & Behold recently published a great introduction to the band with some fabulous photographs and Noisey previewed a track called “Dreams” from the album.
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:

“The Dunedin Sound – Some Disenchanted Evening”

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“The Dunedin Sound – Some Disenchanted Evening”, by University of Otago Music Department Senior Lecturer Ian Chapman,  was published in New Zealand earlier this month. As you may have already gleaned from its title, it is a book about Dunedin music. Well, about Dunedin music from 1977 to 1992 to be precise. Seventeen of the dozens of bands existing, performing and sometimes recording during this period to be even more precise. One of those bands is The Puddle.

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The book is a combination of images (photographs, posters, set lists and associated ‘ephemera’ of the era) and words. The images make up about 70% of the book, and the words are mostly personal observations of ‘involved bystanders’ rather than musicians for the most part (although there are a few of them contributing), including a closing chapter/ essay bridging the past to some of the present via Fishrider Records.

It’s not the last word on the subject but it is the first book to attempt cover the scope of the City’s music scene during that era. It is a great – spectacular at times – visual accompaniment to the music.

The book also provides a guide to discographies (some of which continue past the era covered in the book). It doesn’t ignore the present, for which we are most grateful, as the past has a habit of overshadowing the present in Dunedin.

Here’s a great review of it from the knowledgeable London fan of the “sound” at Did Not Chart.

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DIY Touring NZ – featuring Death And The Maiden

DATM_DIY touring NZNZ 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?

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The Prophet Hens foresee new releases

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The Prophet Hens. Photo by Phoebe Mackenzie http://www.phoebelysbethk.com/

“Popular People” is the 1st single from The Prophet Hens‘ 2nd album “The Wonderful Shapes of Back Door Keys” which is due out in June/July (depending on when LPs get pressed!) on Fishrider Records and, in the UK/ Europe  on Occultation Recordings.

The Prophet Hens are Karl Bray (guitar, vocals), Penelope Esplin (keyboards, vocals), Robin Cederman (bass, backing vocals) and Chris Butchard (drums). Penelope takes the lead vocals on this song – as she does on half the songs on the album

Bassist Robin Cederman wrote “Popular People” sitting in the sun at his old flat on York Place in Dunedin and seeing a copy of The Prophet Hens’ first record on the coffee table. If it’s about anything, then it’s about the things people are willing to do – and the situations they end up in – to achieve their goals.

Just to confuse everyone, “Popular People Do Popular People” – their 1st album, from which this new single gets its title, is also being (re-)issued on LP at the same time as their new album comes out.

The 1st album made its mark all over the world, praised as “psychédélisme plaintif” by French music weekly Les Inrockuptibles, given 10/10 in reviews by UK mailorder specialists Norman Records’ staff and customers and featured on BBC 6Music shows by Marc Riley and Gideon Coe.

US music blog The Finest Kiss described their popular debut as “Chills meets Belle And Sebastian pop alchemy” before saying “The Prophet Hens may be better than both” and making it their #2 album of the year for 2013. It was a bold call from a respected indie-pop authority, but we think the bands’ 2nd album gives that claim a bit of a nudge.

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The Prophet Hens. Photo by Phoebe Mackenzie http://www.phoebelysbethk.com/

Death And The Maiden remix Introverted Dancefloor

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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.

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Death And The Maiden performing at Chick’s Hotel, Port Chalmers, Dunedin

Farewell to Chick’s Hotel (as a live music venue)

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Chick’s Hotel is live music venue in Port Chalmers, which is about 15-20 minutes drive north of Dunedin. The bar and music venue is on the ground floor of a reputedly haunted 135 year old hotel.

Hard to explain just how important Chick’s has been over most of the past decade as a focus for the local alternative music scene here, but especially the last 3 and a half years after the lease was taken over by members of The Shifting Sands and friends. During that period its potential was fully realised, with a world class PA and mixing desk, lightshow, reliable start and end times, a bus service and a welcoming atmosphere for bands and audiences.

Fishrider Records has held memorable album release shows there, including the TEMPORARY compilation release mini-festival in 2014. There have been so many great shows by local bands, touring bands and even some overseas acts we never imagined we’d see in our back yard.

Sadly it is closing this weekend after a final show featuring the above-mentioned Shifting Sands and The Clean. Which is a great way to go out. Tickets – limited to 150 – will sell out so get in quick.

The local newspaper, the Otago Daily Times (ODT or “Oddity” as it is also known) featured a story and interview with Mike McLeod of Chick’s Hotel and The Shifting Sands.

The Wireless has made a short video interview/ documentary on the hotel, which includes interviews with Mike and Tom from The Shifting Sands/ Chick’s Hotel and other musicians. Read the article here and watch the video below.

Thanks for everything Mike, Tom & everyone else who has worked there and been part of making it a home away from home for music lovers and musicians. “Tally Ho!” for Sunday night.

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