MUZAI: Year 5
The Wine Cellar and Whammy Bar, St Kevin’s Arcade, Auckland – 17th May 2014
Auckland independent record label MUZAI Records have achieved a feat that still never ceases to amaze them – they’re still operational. More-so, they’ve been going for five years; that’s half a decade, for the mathematically inclined.
Cue vast amounts of back slapping and handshakes for lasting that lot. Thank you, thank you…
It just so happens that the label is also leaving New Zealand this year, and basing itself in the sunnier climates of Manchester, England – thus becoming (to the best of our knowledge) the world’s first “British-based New Zealand record label.”
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Several sermons conducted around Auckland by trans-dimensional shaman mystic, the Hierophantic Harlequinesque Human, acts as the basis for Auckland group Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing’s latest video for the incredibly popular “A Fraud Aborad”
Directed by Damian Golfinopoulos (who counts videos for Street Chant and Stress Cadet to his name), “A Fraud Abroad” is suitably as disorientating and “transgressive” (this month’s buzz word for you) as the works from the band themselves.
Originally storyboarded as being set in a forced perspective miniature glam kitchen that would have an altar inside it, and the room peppered with fish offal and real life gulls, the budget constraints wouldn’t allow it. “We were looking at cutting to a solitary dancer in a large country manor and scenes of a baby goat being led through fields of sunflowers […] we basically went with plan B instead and put Hierophantic Harlequinesque Human in a series of Auckland locations where he conducted several of his sermons.”
“A Fraud Abroad” was released last year through the tape-only “Darwinning” EP, and marks a continued collaborative effort between the band and Joshua Lynn, Damian and Thinkt.
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Ahead of their “Return of The Blob” show this month (April), Wellington experimentalists The All Seeing Hand present a brand new single, “Show Me Your Teeth”, streaming as of today (April 7th).
“Show Me Your Teeth” is a bit of a different monster from the band – well known for the throat-singing and alien-esque sounds emanating from his lips, the song sees Johnny Marks in a rare moment “singing in English” (to quote the band), rather than Klingon, Korean or beyond.
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We don’t do beats most of the time. When Moppy was excommunicated from the cult that only allowed him to watch films through the medium of VHS, however, to deliver his sophomore work, Seconds, we decided to do them. Plus the money in that genre is good, right?
Moppy (a.k.a Thom Burton) produces wonders of glitch and IDM that take their cues from the ambient works of Chris Morris and the soundtrack to television classic Jaaaaam. Cultivated through a period of fasting in a tin-foil hat, with a brief period of time working with Cute Banana (who appeared on the single “Big Bad Wolf” from his first album, Mokai), Seconds is more than mere electronic music and EDM.
It’s challenging and experimental, with some R&B thrown in for a momentary respite.
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Drawing a close to the The Mancunian Swing chapter of their life, Wellington group Hollywoodfun Downstairs have released the final video from their debut album – “Lucid Minds”, direct by Tremain Strickland.
Described by lead singer/guitarist Kurt Williams as “a four-plus minute horror movie”, the video immediately draws parallels to the grindhouse era of European horror, especially the work of Italian horror directors Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust) and the late Lucio Fulci (Zombie, The House by the Cemetery).
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“This is neurosis in pop form”, Maeve Munro a.k.a Young Hellions, is the first to admit. It’s taken well over six months to complete and, like many musicians, it still doesn’t feel “complete”. But given the project has seen her locked away for months on end by herself, one could cite “cabin fever” as a reason for that anxiety.
Young Hellions picks up where her first single as a solo artist, “Best Witchcraft is Geometry” left off – a maximalist approach to her song-writing and an almost antithesis to her early works in Cat Venom. It’s Munro’s take on the dense sound of alternative pop bands of her youth – in hindsight referencing Placebo; one of her teen loves.
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“We don’t usually do reissues of records we’ve had no involvement in previously …and it’s not something that is going to particularly catch on in our neck of the woods. But in the case of Bang! Bang! Aids! and the undeniable influence they’ve had on not only some of the bands that frequented MUZAI Records but our lives as a whole, we’re making an exception.
Tales came out in 2006, and I saw the band for the first time playing a bar on Karangahape Road as part of Powertool Records’ Indie Club nights. I previously interviewed Rhys for the zine Powertool put out and so we knew of each other. Cue me playing Glassjaw during a DJ set, and we’ve been pals ever since. Read more ›
Having ventured across China in 2013 in support of their 7” split with Pairs, long-standing MUZAI originals god bows to math belatedly release the music video to Tightly Wound, the lead single of said vinyl release.
Directed and edited by Michael Prain (Die! Die! Die!), the video is a surreal, macabre take on Little Red Riding Hood – replacing the journey to grandma’s house with a nonchalant walk amongst the denizens of Karangahape Road in Auckland… stalked once again however by the big bad wolf. Werewolf, in this instance.
A juxtaposition of styles, with the caustic nature of god bows to math’s single the backdrop to a grim fairytale in Auckland, Tightly Wound marks the band’s third foray into the world of the music video – their previous effort being 2011′s Slow Decline (from their début album, god bows to math).
Click “Read More” to see the video.
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Darkly enigmatic; two words that sum up the debut album from Dunedin two piece Astro Children. Awash with literary references and rife with the caustic energy many have come to expect from the band, Proteus is a shift away from the bubblegum… with their growing up demonstrating a wave of vitriol along the way.
With The Attic’s Lick My Spaceship EP showcasing the “lighter” side of Millie Lovelock (vocals, guitar) and Isaac Hickey (drums), Proteus marks the childhood friends’ shift into more hostile sonic regions. The bratty-yet-optimistic duo of old have, despite their relative young age, grown a little more weary of the world around them – what some may consider angst is instead genuine cynicism. It would be easy to dismiss Proteus as teenage growing pains, and much more easily asinine to do so. Read more ›
Currently finishing up recorded sessions for the follow up to Eeling, released as an art-book earlier this year, post-art-punk quartet Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing have announced a series of long-awaited performance over in Australia throughout the month of November.
Touring with local support Orlando Furious, the group play ten shows across Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. Some of you may be familiar with some of the musicians performing alongside GPOGP – the likes of DEAD, Ivy St and Sarah Chadwick just a few to be sharing dates with them.
15th November: Old Bar, MELBOURNE (with CUNTZ and Ivy St.)
16th November: Grace Darling Basement, MELBOURNE (with Elizabeth Pistol Club and Penguins)
17th November: Footscray House Show, MELBOURNE (with OHMS and Sarah Chadwick)
18th November: Northcote Social Club, MELBOURNE (with DEAD)
21st November: Magpies Club, CANBERRA (with Beach Slut)
23rd November: The Square, SYDNEY (with MOB and The Friendsters)
24th November: White’s Records, NEWCASTLE (with Sadfaces)
29th November: Sonic Masala Show – Waiting Room, BRISBANE
30th November: Real Bad, BRISBANE (with Bent)
1st December: Time Machine, SUNSHINE COAST