Sunday, July 21, 2013

80s NEW ZEALAND LPs

BILL DIREEN & THE HAT - NYC 1989 LP (Unwucht)
"NYC 1989" features twelve tracks recorded within two days in November '89 at PPI studios in Manhattan. I think all of them were also included in the "New York Sack" CD, but this is the first time they have been pressed on vinyl. Bill Direen is well known to be the driving force behind The Bilders. The Hat are an allstar group including Hamish Kilgour (The Clean, Mad Scene), Allen Meek (Bilders, Victor Dimisich Band), Tony O’Blaney (Coloring Book) and others. The recordings stand out with a stripped down to the essentials approach. Bill Direen & The Hat write beautiful well-crafted songs buzzing with creativity and combining the conventional virtues of classic folk with the subtle charm of the singer-songwriter genre and their own unconventional postpunk approach. They create meandiring, accoustic stylings based in discreet percussions, warm piano melodies and mostly unplugged guiars. In the forefront there are Bill Direen's charismatic vocals and his excellent lyrics. This LP is limitied to 200 copies and it comes with a super heavy cardboard sleeve. (Listen to it here

RITCHIE VENUS & L STEVIE MCCABE - MY PRECIOUS THING 12" (Unwucht)  
In 1988 Ritchie Venus and Stevie McCabe from The Axemen spent a few month in the United States. The purpose of their trip was to perform and to make and renew contacts. Most songs of this four track 12" were written during that time. “Rebel Blood” was recorded during a radio show in Boston. “Bleeding Heart” and “My Precious Thing” are taken from a recording of a rehearsal with an expanded line-up for a performance, that never took place. “Angelina” is taken from a rehearsal in 1992 with Mick Elborado. All songs have been remastered. They sound powerful while maintaining the certain charm of a lof-fi tape release. You can hear the fun and looseness the tracks were made with. The 12" starts with "My Precious Thing" based on a catchy twofold lead melody. It merges a crushing garage inspired with a second acoustic guitar. According to their own introduction "Rebel Blood" is a Bob Dylan influenced tune, but it's paired with their very own kind of weirdness and destruction. The b-side features "Angelina" a poppy ballad underlayed with a primitive drum-computer beat and sugar-sweet melodies. The last track "Bleeding Heart" is probably the most memorable one. It finds a perfect balance between immediate pop and Thee Headcoats like garage with a focus on Ritchie Venus fantastic vocals. Limited to 200 copies, so be fast to get your copy! (Listen to it here)
  
SNAPPER - S/T 12" (Captured Tracks/ Flying Nun)
Flying Nun and Captured Tracks have collaborated to reissue this debut 12" by New Zealand's Snapper orginally released back in 1988, but it was quickly going out of print back then. Dunedin's Snapper featured members that are well known from other Flying Nun groups like for example The Clean, The 3Ds, Great Unwashed, Bird Nest Roys or The Chills. Their music is charactererized by roaring 80s styled keyboards, a wall of guitar distortions and monotonic but pumping drum beats. They took the best parts of Spacemen 3's mezmerizing psych, Neu!'s krautrock,Suicide's weirdness and Jesus And Mary Chain's fuzzy guitar to create their own unique sound. The songs plough endlesly along their own furrow based on hypnotizing loops, that get more overwhelming with every new run. The epic uniform interplay is stopped occasionally by short spacy keyboard and guitar leads. At the time Snapper's compositions are carried by plenty of fantastic vocal harmonies. The 12" kicks off with the stand out track "Buddy", a catchy-as-hell psych popper, that stays in the ear. "Case For You" is made with distinctive but discreet musical arrangements based on a warm pastoral keyboard play. The flipside starts with "Death And Weirdness In The Surfing Zone" with it's heavy droning keyboards and ends with the brilliant kraut-pop tune "Hang On". Listen to current Moon Duo recordings and you'll suddenly realize, that Snapper were ahead of their time. Today their music still sounds totally fresh, memorable and surpising. (Listen to it here)

THE WORLD - S/T LP (Unwucht)
The World were an early kiwi allstar group formed in 1982. They consisted of Allen Meek (Vacuum, Victor Dimisich Band, Bilders), Charles Heywood, Bridget Mulcahy, Andrea Cocks and Malcolm Grant (The Bats). In 1983 they recorded songs for an EP to be released on Flying Nun, but The World broke up soon later and the recordings remained unreleased for 30 years. Thankfully Unwucht Musik has digged them up and now pressed them on vinyl for the very first time.The six songs marry the tradition of the early Flying Nun sound with folk, Velvet Underground's darkness and some hints of UK postpunk simular to The Fall. The airy vocals of Charles Heywood and Bridget Mulcahy are paired with Allen Meek's alternate use of a warm supportive keyboard or a subtle guitar, minimal but unique drum beats and the outstanding violin play of Andrea Cocks. It gets far beyond, what you would normally expect from this instrument and captures a certain melancholy, that's typical for The Worlds sound. All six song were remastered from the original tapes and they stand out with a powerful clean production. (Listen to it here)