2012

Other Islands: 2012-2018

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Coming in 2018

The third volume of fiffdimension’s best-of compilations (see also Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 and Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012) brings us into the current decade – with further wide-ranging experimentation and exploration both sonically and geographically, in New Zealand, Western AustraliaIndonesia, Okinawa (Japan), and Fiji.

Now available to pre-order (some tracks available immediately and you’ll be automatically sent the rest once everything’s finalised).

Featuring tracks from the albums

The Winter: Flying Visit (2012)

in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway (1999/2014)

ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes (2010-2015)

Ngumbang (2014-2015)

The Winter: Exit Points (2010/2015)

The Electricka Zoo (2017)

and previously unheard tracks

by Dave Black (acoustic & electric guitars, banjo, harmonica, laptop, bass, tenor saxophone, field recordings, piano, ukulele, sanshin, saron, jublag, demung, vocal), with

Mike Kingston (charango, acoustic guitar), Simon Sweetman (percussion), Nat da Hatt (electric guitar, keyboards), Cylvi M (vocal, field recordings, percussion, shakuhachi), Emit Snake-Beings (vocal, percussion, flute, electronics), Blair Latham (bass clarinet), Simon O’Rorke (synthesiser), Chris Prosser (violin), Julie Bevan (acoustic guitar), the Digitator (electric drums, keyboards & loops),

plus Indonesian gamelan ensembles led by Sofari Hidayat, Budi Putra, and Gareth Farr,

and field recordings from Western AustraliaIndonesia, Okinawa (Japan), and Fiji.

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If you enjoy this, try the previous volumes Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 and Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012

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安里屋ユンタオーバードライブ Asadoya Yunta Overdrive (Okinawa)

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Here’s a new bonus track we’ve added to the album ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes – our version of a traditional shima uta (island song) from 沖縄 (Okinawa).

Dave Black – sanshin, harmonica, field recordings
Nat da Hatt – acoustic & electric guitars, electronics
Cylvi Manthyng – shakuhachi

As you can hear, the music of Okinawa is quite distinct from that of mainland Japan.

East to West: Japan

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IMG_6606Back in April we performed Dave Black & Snake Beings: East to West at the Audio Foundation in Auckland.  Here’s a first excerpt from the show, which took the audience all the way from NZ to Portugal.  This chapter is set in mainland Japan, and takes in Kyoto, Mount Fuji, and 1990s Tokyo.  The soundtrack was performed live.

We’ve recorded an album’s worth of material, which is now available: Ngumbang

www.fiffdimension.com                     www.snakebeings.co.nz

In the meantime for other original music inspired by Japan, and more Japanese mountaineering, see ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes by Dave Black & Nat da Hatt.

Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012

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“This is something that he has to do, that he will do, come fame or oblivion” –Chris Knox

Now available on Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, Deezer etc

The second volume of fiffdimension’s best-of compilations (a sequel to Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005) sees increasingly wide-ranging experimentation and exploration both sonically and geographically, from New Zealand and beyond to Australia and East Asia, and a reinvention as Dave Black.

Whereas the first volume Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 showed a youthful kiwi fusion of songs with more avant-garde spoken word and instrumental pieces, Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012 documents me in my late 20s and early 30s moving beyond these parameters.
My approach became less introspective and more journalistic – thanks to new influences from years spent living abroad in Australia, South Korea and Japan. New elements include the banjo, electronica, field recordings, multimedia performances, and touches of traditional Asian music. I also adopted the moniker Dave Black, to differentiate from my earlier works.

A third volume, Other Islands: 2012-2018  will be out in the next couple of months and include my return to NZ and more recent works.

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Featuring tracks from the albums

Ascension Band: Evolution (2005)

After Maths & Sciences (2005-2006)

South Island Sessions (2006)

First Time Around: East Asia (2008)

The Winter: 2011 (2011)

The Winter: Exit Points (2010/2015)

ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes (2010-2015)

and previously unheard tracks

by Dave Black (acoustic & electric guitars, banjo, harmonica, laptop, bass, tenor saxophone, field recordings, piano, gayageum, vocal), with

Mike Kingston (acoustic guitar), Simon Sweetman (percussion), Nat da Hatt (electric guitar, keyboards), Hayden Gifkins (electric guitar), Nigel Patterson (hammond organ), Ryan Prebble (tone generator), Matthew Thornicroft (electric guitar), Cylvi M (vocal, field recordings, percussion, shakuhachi), Jeff Henderson (drums), Noel Meek (vocal), Clever Hansel (ukulele)

and field recordings from Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Mongolia, and Japan.

If you enjoy this, try the first volume Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 and the third, Other Islands: 2012-2018

The Winter: Flying Visit

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Acoustic instrumental music by Wellington, New Zealand, improvising trio The Winter.

Mike Kingston: charango, guitar, clarinet

Dave Edwards: ukulele, sanshin, tenor sax, piano

Simon Sweetman: xylophone, percussion

Our most recent recordings to date

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Okinawa, Japan 沖縄日本

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ハイサイ! イチャリバ チョデ!  よろしく おねがいします。 きょ-ねん 那覇市に すんでいました と にほんご ちょっと べんきょしました。

In 2011-2012 I lived in Naha (那覇市), the main city of Okinawa Prefecture (沖縄県) in Japan (日本).

The Ryukyu Islands are a whole other world from mainland Japan – there’s no Mt Fuji, samurai, sumo wrestling, geisha or shinkansen.  They have a different culture, food, climate and music – more tropical and laidback, the Hawaii of northeast Asia, with jungle, sugar cane, beautiful sea and coral – umi to sango wa totemo kirei desu ne – and wonderful people and tragic history.

The soundtracks to these videos are snippets of live Okinawan music I recorded there, such as eisa drum dancing and shima uta island songs.  Spot me on sanshin (traditional 3-stringed banjo) and harmonica in the Iriomote one, and having a drumming lesson in Ishigaki – the two Yaeyama Islands, in the remote southwesternmost corner of Japan.

Special thanks to the staff and students of Naha Kokusai and Naha Kogyo senior high schools – Nifei daebiru!


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Kyushu, Japan 九州日本

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Videos from a solo trip across Kyushu (in March 2012, on holiday from work in Okinawa).  Accompanied by Japanese music such as koto, shakuhachi, yokagura and hip-hop, recorded live.

Four videos –

1) from sugi (Japanese cedar) forest with 3000-year-old trees on Yakushima Island,

2) heading north via Kumamoto and its castle, to

3) a yokagura dance performance reenacting the legend of how the sun goddess returned to the world in Takachiho,

4) to the  city of Fukuoka (score by Dave Black & Nat da Hatt – free download)