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In stock:. Newest first A-Z. Chartwise, they were undisputed kings of the scene. Proving themselves masters of the medium, Underworld turn out a disc that relishes in the speedy euphoria of its hypnotic club thumpers, and adds some unexpectedly gorgeous ambient pieces just to tantalise. The guitarist is called Ego, the keyboardist is Morgana why not Morticia?
A classic, noteworthy, and resolutely Kiwi group, Fetus Productions represent a whole post-punk scene in NZ that desperately needs historical revision and reassessment. Lemon Jelly know this, so they create their beautiful, poised, picture-perfect sound art with a sense of serene simplicity. His debut solo album is inexplicably, unexplainably, brilliantly groovesome. Like Mr Scruff, Rae has got a thing about fish check the hilarious artwork , and the whole project is wearing a mile-wide smile.
Not so. Is the current musical climate really such a dull pastiche of real life as to imbue this early 90s combo with rich hues, style to kill and and enough depth to sink the fangs into? What was it we ever liked about these faceless dickheads and the yodelling diva? This is inoffensive cocktail jazz, primarily standards, with a few concessions Billy Joel and Joni Mitchell covers to pop mainstreams outside the jazz slipstream.
Throw it on on one of those late afternoon barbies. As ever, their combination of real rock band and loopily sampled stuff makes for an addictive if sometimes sharp listen. The sound of India — a very hip sound these days — also gets infused, with the help of elderly Indian violinist Dr L.
If Goldenhorse just made the classic Kiwi pop record with a little bit of Phoenix fizz, then Fang have just made the old tawny port version of that record. Their first three albums were popular but, to my ears, undistinguished chill-out grooves.
This fourth album is an attempt to spurn the genre they helped popularise but never did anything creatively substantial with. This is a song-based defection from the land of nod-groove. Not so: this is possibly the strongest one yet, with the usual quality choice of material, careful placement and attention to getting just the right mood to proceedings. And of special significance this time round is the inclusion of two tracks by Auckland-based electronic dub acts, Sola Rosa and International Observer, the second of which was recently released as a vinyl-only single in the UK.
Summer barbie hit all the way. A bunch of anonymous string players botching up the classics and Led Zep songs by putting horrid club-footed beats through everything. Sure, the Indian flavourings are fetching, but what a crock of doggy doo. Earnest all the way, it could do with just a little dirt under its nails. Who would have thought? My mum would want to wash out his mouth with soap, such is the filth emanating from this white Westie.
Good for a laugh, though. The first and last of those are both featured on this very delicious Sunday afternoon roll a joint compilation. It sounds inbred to you, too? That only adds to the charm. Five years on and its followup treads an even darker path, and confirms the grim beauty of that earlier album by wallowing in the mire one more time.
Not exactly in sync with our glorious Summer, this one will be glued to many turntables as the days grow shorter, and the cosmos seeths with the desire for bloodshed. Peel has been soaking up new sounds and broadcasting them on his BBC show for 30 years, so rather than the typical beat-matched dance set, his Fabriclive is a fabulously eclectic selection of 24 of his favourite songs.
If only more djs were as expansive and diverse and era-inclusive as Peel. Reissues of crusty old Jamaican music from the 70s are devoured with an alarming degree of enthusiasm. Because of the enthusiasm surrounding those awesome years of Jamaican reggae and dub experimentation, much crud gets reissued and acclaimed as the work of genius.
Every now and then, however, a genuine nugget of musical brilliance gets unearthed. This is such a case. A balm for the soul. The Norwegian collective have made one of the best jazz albums this reviewer has heard for a long time.
Like Zappa, Jaga Jazzist play it just straight enough to subvert the medium to their own ends, with the canny introduction of electronic trickery, which allows compositions to veer off the travelled path and osmose into something outside conventional templates. A killer. As an electronic band they were always different from the pack: how many bedroom circuit-gazers ever got picture spreads in The Face?
Their fifth album shows them to be one of the cleverest bands on the planet, as they dissect the glam scene of the early 70s in a way that avoids the trap of merely aping their forbears. Um, no. If you want to hear the Thompson Twins mauled by gangster rap, or the Cookie Monster vying with contemporary electronica, this is a fun ride. The music? These dirgey, riffy epics remind me of some of the less musically proficient, yet self-important 70s groups.
The Electric Light Orchestra springs to mind. Still, that back cover is a revelation. The collected works of Rolling Stone Bill Wyman? Not enough meat to warrant the bite. There are a LOT of great songs here though, and better that McCartney should be giving new life to his old songs than the jukebox treatment from some corner bar band.
Smoochy, but so much better than I remember them. His nimble fretwork is never flashy, just exquisitely tasteful and effortlessly lyrical. The problem with this much-hyped project is a typically Kiwi one, where the best ideas are still in germination, and too many malnourished ones are let out for public consumption.
Oceania II Universal A great pity that this sad project — a second collaboration between ex-Killing Joke singer Jaz Coleman and singer Hinewehi Mohi — will be the first exposure many will get to Maori culture, by dint of its international release.
Uninspired Euro-style easy listening grooves which are fundamentally lacking the funk kill it stone dead. But make no mistake: this IS a pop record. Which means that the music is full of variety and colour, but what about the songs? Floetry is no exception, but it is a distinguished debut. Former basketball champs Marsha Ambrosius and Natalie Stewart London-born but Philadelphia-based are an inspired combination of poetry, soul and hip-hop, and it might prove auspicious to ignore the fact that Michael Jackson chose one of their compositions for his last bomb of an album.
Lauryn Hill and Jill Jackson fans might enjoy this musically and stylistically ambitious record, one that successfully avoids so many of the lyrical cliches this kind of music seems to evoke so naturally. You know, who needs another album by a bunch of nerdy Australians who always sounded like second-rate Flying Nun wannabes anyway? And all that. In fact one can detect a good deal of intelligence, humour and even the odd droplet of sweat in these powder-puff clean beats.
Austrian duo Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber are masters at the craft of fashioning contemporary musical wallpaper, from all the most stylish and pleasing ingredients. The first disc of this double set could have them accused of resting on their laurels, so unambitious is their agenda.
Having dabbled in electronic dub in their past, this time they utilise dub-type effects mostly in the sensory shift of the upper registers, while the bass weaves melodic figures instead of the usual dull thump. This might be stylised to death in places, but at least Tosca are infinitely subtle in their attention to sonic detail.
You could justifiably call it flaccid, poop, sacharine, blah, or just downright Godawful. But this double cd collection of smooth flowing excrement is more of a walk down nostalgia lane than anything.
And so do the Temptations, and Luther Vandross. Simply wrong-headed and very craven. With all due respect, why bother? Olivia Newton-John, duetting her way through a bunch of mediocre songs, packed full of vulgar arrangements, and eleven hopeless partners in crime.
This makes Grease sound good. Uh, right. Catgut screeching, simplistic melodic progressions, and the attack of contemporary heaviosity holds the attention for approximately one minute, and the overall effect is closer to the amped-up jigs and reels of Scottish group Shooglenifty. Preferable to most overly illustrative film scores, I would still have plumped for a cd that contained excerpts of her score, along with the excellent Kiwi reggae and dub tracks featured in the film.
The arrangements on this double re-recording are often portentous and overbearing, and it would be ludicrous to suggest this as a starting point for any burgeoning fan, but I love it anyway.
A moving document. Droll, yet deeply passionate, the second album by the former stockbroker lays waste to the unimaginative song craft of the David Grays of this world. Flaccid, they were. Pretty Cool — their third album — is seriously tasty. What gives? And what the heck is that naked woman doing hunched in the desert? Post-Britpop never sounded so passable. Two words: Jimmy Barnes. This compilation casts around for Barnes songs that are close to the hearts of his Kiwi fans.
Lovingly remastered, Peg Leg gets the attention denied so many other worthy Kiwi releases from that era. Worth a listen for the wonderful naivety permeating mids Kiwi musical endeavour. This is delightfully wonky stuff. Bring on the lo-fi chicken bus! And for all its ultimate vacuity, these yearning for the simple life songs still have an odd charm, despite his rather flat, nerdish vocals. And those backing cats, those guys with names like Leland Sklar, Russ Kunkel and Danny Kortchmar; well, they were kinda funky in an odd way.
Unlike the similarly hoarse-voiced Jimmy Barnes, Welsh-belter Jones delivers his lines with humour, honesty, and an appealing lack of 21st Century irony. This winning compilation joins the dots between his s hits, and several comebacks in the 80s and 90s. Pop history fails to be rewritten, but their goodtime rock will get them laid at least. Crystal clear recording, and a penchant for either disco or funk are what separate these acts.
Palatable sounds for astonishingly empty times. Pop whore ala Madonna? These are solid old-fashioned pop tunes wrapped in solid old-fashioned arrangements, with the odd bit of orchestral drapery, nice guitars, and not a note out of place. This fellow Dave Lee hey, I thought he was one of those noddies in 70s glitter slammers Slade! Lee has sampled chunks of most of his pieces, and expects to get hailed as a potential new Hollywood composer?
There are sample-based artists who have done this thing brilliantly: check the Troublemakers, the Dining Rooms, Snooze. Vanity is the only possible explanation for this flyblown, overblown, preening attempt at another operatic excursion. But they broke up before an album could materialise. One Lung somehow has stayed off the radar, despite releasing a steady flow of self-distributed, promising material over the past few years.
One Lung is a one-man-band, making his pieces by delicately sampling his own and a vast history of recorded music. A One Lung track can easily fuse an atmospheric classical phrase with polyrhythmic jazz percussion and electronic squiggles.
Very seldom, however, does his music sound like a join-the-dots attempt at slotting things together. Cleverly, it must be said, he makes cohesive compositions out of the composite parts. Why not a proper version of their album, with extra tracks tacked on for good measure.
But this slice of tame guitar pop really sucks. At last, a contemporary country album with a perfect mix of exemplary songwriting skills, detailed lyric extrapolations, and a sound that while deeply nostalgic, manages to convey the subject with both grit and soul. Like The Eagles without drug habits or schmoozy Californian lifestyles.
But that tells us nothing about the genius of what comes out of all that. Imagine a gainfully unemployed, yet creative fellow living in the American mid-West suburbia.
Would he make a miserable record? Hell no! This is post-rock in the very best sense: effortlessly experimental yet digestible, and Fog finds his voice fully formed on what is only his second album. Sure, that album landed Radiohead at the top of the pile. How tiring that must be for poor Thom York and Co.
Sound tedious? If at times I yearned for more contributions from guest guitarists Nigel Gavin and Dan Sperber, the horn-based aggregation delivers a varied gumbo of Melhuish originals inspired by but not held captive by the loose-limbed jazz of masters like Don Cherry. My only small gripe is a recording which fails to pack the dynamic punch this music deserves. Something Dangerous treads a hazardous line: like a lot of heavily produced contemporary pop, it involves a number of producers and a pile of different musicians, guest artists and collaborators.
A convincingly boisterous blend of styles and languages, Something Dangerous deserves to make Atlas a global superstar. They produce otherworldly sound; that is, as otherworldly as a remote part of an ancient kauri forest, so hauntingly do the sounds echo our unique environment. On the accompanying DVD, the two talk about their exploration, demonstrate each instrument, and perform pieces from this, and their previous cd.
Which is another way of saying that while it has as much to recommend it as a top-notch new haircut, it could well do with a tattoo or two. And with appreciation of their sophisticated jazz-influenced pop at an all-time high, Everything Must Go feels like an album that Becker and Fagan slipped into with ease. Rather than the cramped, somewhat shrill arrangements that marked the reunion album, this one capitalises on those qualities that the Dan do best.
Almost like an Unplugged Dan, they ease off on the complex arrangements that typify many of their better 70s moments, which reinforces the natural funk swagger of their rhythms and those unmistakably knowing lyrics.
Oh, it must feel good to come out the other side of that long mid-age crisis. Check out the wonderfully primitive, almost punk-like sound of Sam Mataparae with the Rocking Rockers. Rather than a flimsy piecemeal cover, this type of release deserves a proper booklet with song-by-song dissertation. But a word of advice: get some sun, Andy. The fact that they come from Auckland, and that their music has a bite which is sharp of incisor and brutal in an effectively disciplined way makes it something special.
Blasted good fun. Tears were flowing as these songs were hatched. The Brighton three-piece apparently used broken-down old computers and rusting guitars and an ex-girlfriend with a gorgeous voice to patch their album together. Not since the first Portishead album has siren-like female singer been so well matched with visionary musicians.
This is guitar music which starts with a whisper and slowly blows into a ferocious gale of sound, only to subside again. Trouble is, when they do song-based stuff, it tends to sound like a luke-warm UB40, who are of course, one of the most ordinary groups of all time. Which is? Brilliant, dull, ecstatic, weedy, poetic, droning… the Verlaines are still as great as they are awful.
For the most part, Young drops his demented melancholia, gets a sense of humour, and turns on the Crazy Horse boogie machine. And it rocks. Buble pronounced Booblay is a Sinatra clone with a few genetic improvements, and a penchant for covering old Queen and Bee Gees songs. Next time? Brilliant and, of course, terribly sad. But at heart, Magnet is the vessel through which Even Johansen a Norwegian based in Scotland expresses his emotions. The gestures are too big, too bland.
But aside from my reservations about political parties getting involved in music enterprise Green Room is a kind of musical manifesto for the Green Party , much of the music here lacks the edge, the innovation, the subversive tactic, that makes the onward march of art and culture worth pursuing. Too often, however, the voices sound like an exotic topping for some faceless, nameless boffin endlessly grooving with his computer programmes.
Wherefore art thou, Poco? But it has a raw emotionality that sears the roof off any of the saccharine sentimentality of their forbears. Promising, and full of memorable hooks and sing-along-lines.
Back then, they wore it well, but they were always close to self-parody. With all the nutty energy of Prince at his 80s best — combining funk, disco and brash rock moves in one peppy package — Jaxx have moved things forward by taking a further step back.
Like Dave Dobbyn, McArtney has made it to his middle years with dignity intact, and produced an album rich with reflections. It will probably be noted in passing as a nice record by the likes of Graham Reid who have at least done it the courtesy of a good listen. But if the right people get their hands on it - it could be just as important and influential a record as the crucial mid-late 70s Dr Tree album, which is seriously overdue for a reissue.
It has never been released on CD, for which the New Zealand music business should be ashamed. Jessie from the Backyard : Choosing a single top release of is a terrible, terrible task. How to discriminate between all the great local records of the year?
Dimmer, Luke Buda, Over the Atlantic, Samuel Flynn Scott, Voom, Shapeshifter, the Mint Chicks, Cassette, Don McGlashan - to name a discrete selection - have all released albums that have been revelatory, revivalist, balloon-goes-pop, sharp as glass-edged punk and as rockingly introspective as I'd care to be. However, to not choose seems cowardly.
Music that has the power to evoke an emotional response is something rare and special. Although I'd been aware of this band for a good number of their eight-year history, my first purchase was earlier this year when I spotted a 7" in the bins of Real Groovy, Wellington, with such a title that I couldn't leave it behind: 'The Diffusion Of Our Inherent Situation,' by Jakob.
I am quite fond of song titles that offer a bit of history this is a factor in my enduring love for Phelps and Munro's 'Horse Winning Without Rider' and 'Ex-Sports Star Turned Commentator' , and this was entirely appropriate to my circumstances at the time. Later in the year, Jakob's third album Solace was released on Midium. I liked it well enough, but it wasn't until I saw them live recently that I grasped a bit of what this band are about.
Within minutes of the set starting, I was open-mouthed and enthralled, in the grip of an emotional response that seemed to go so deep as to be unfeeling - cerebellar , perhaps.
Their instrumental songs have the power to draw in, carry along, chew up and leave the listener changed. I went home and ordered the entire back catalogue. What more?! Simon Grigg : Having lived abroad for all of I'm a little out of touch with the day to day NZ music scene.
That said, I've been kept well supplied by some, and the Kiwi Hit Discs arrive regularly, and I listen to them with some interest. I wish it was. But the whole industry, hampered by its small size, has suffered the backlash of the post-airplay and post-Fat Freddies booms. I'm sure there are interesting things at the grassroots level, there always is - it just hasn't filtered through to me yet. So having said that, my favourite NZ release of is, at the time of typing, the mighty Flying Nun Box set.
How can anything compete. But what a wake. Very cool. Therefore, my favourite release would be " Isolation Loops " by Bachelorette. The tunes are thick with synthesizer-induced atmospheric layers and endless expanses of delay.
Her voice is like an angel lost in a huge cluster of stars Chad Taylor : Minuit - The Guards Themselves - By taking a small step sideways into 70s melodies and Bunnymen lyrics, the trio have delivered a tuneful, sexy and emotional breakthrough. This is better than dance: it's industrial pop right up there with D. It sounds like it matters and you feel like you're the first to discover it. My most played album of the year. It's a sultry collection of proper songs with a quirky, fun vibe and some outstanding song-writing.This is the first official international debut by Skallander, the duo of Bevan Smith (better known as Signer) and Matthew Mitchell. Skallander have had two albums out already, though scant few copies made it out of their home country of New Zealand (where they have received almost universal praise), but now the oddly monikered pair are ready to have their sound lavished upon the world at large.