New and Recent Releases July 09

Sora Shima's third E.P. Destroy Electronica balances power, noise and beauty in five (sometimes lengthy) instrumentals. On E.P. opener 'Here be Dragons' the Hamilton drum, bass and guitar four piece create a moody, evocative soundscape, that shimmers and builds into thundering waves of sound. 'Calor Human' is more contemplative with a cello adding a warm touch, while 'Hello Big Sky' adds beats to the droning guitars. Sora Shima inhabit a position on the musical landscape close to Napier band Jakob, Dunedin's HDU, and defunct Christchurch band Barnard's Star. I wish I'd discovered this band earlier. At the Sora Shima website you'll find links to free downloads of two earlier E.P.s and info on how to get hold of Destroy Electronica. I've also posted a couple of Sora Shima clips on the video page - check out the video for 'Hovercraft' - it's really good.

Over the 30 odd year career of The Clean they've only released a handful of studio albums, but their reputation means each is eargerly awaited by fans around the world. They have taken their influences, punk, psychedelic pop, and more recently folk and eastern drones, and melded their own unique and instantly recognisible sound. The Clean are one of only a few kiwi musical acts who can be said to have had a global influence, cited as such by the likes of Pavement and Yo La Tengo. They've recently signed with American label Merge Records who will release Mister Pop in September, the band's first studio album, since 2001. The song 'In the Dreamlife You Need a Rubber Soul' is available from the Merge website as a free download. For more more info on the early days of the band check out Part 1 of National Radio's Flying Nun doco. There's a recent live clip on the video page.

The New Telepathics are led by Darren Harkness, born in Gore, and now living in Germany. Darren has a broad musical background, having played in rock group Dead Flowers, experimentalists From Scratch and indie group Spacesuit. The New Telepathics album Rudiments and Theories of Silence is a diverse collection of rich and complex songs ranging across, and melding, those various musical threads along with jazz and light touches of Afrobeat. Sometimes including up to ten members, The New Telepathics are an amazing live group. I've put a video of the group performing in studio on the video page and there are more songs at the Red Bull Studio site. There is a National Radio interview with Darren Harkness here (stream).

I've been a fan of Urbantramper since I heard the song 'Shitty Flat' on an A Low Hum compilation a few years ago. That song is a great example of the endearingly naive angst that is the subject of Urbantramper's introspective pop. The band are currently developing a loose manifesto, examining issues of music distribution and pricing and the impact of these on the relationship between artists and audience. As a result the band are experimenting with free and pay-what-you-want distribution of downloads. On the Urbantramper blog the band have recently made a number of new and past songs available for free but they will release a new album in September. Their last, 'Tokon and the Colours' is the only release currently available. You can buy it through Amplifier. There are Urbantramper clips on the video page and you can hear a National Radio live session here (stream).

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Paul Capewell said...

Great selection! Loved it.

Chris said...

Cheers Paul. I particularly like the Sora Shima track. I'm a big fan of that kind of thing - Jakob, HDU's 'Tunguska' etc. You should check out the older Sora Shima E.P.s I mention in the blog too.

Anonymous said...

Great selection! Loved it.
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