Dave Edwards dictaphone cassette recordings 2004, for spoken word and improvised guitar – a trip down a road not taken for New Zealand music.
These tracks were primitively recorded, not just obscure but completely unheard by anyone else, and seemed like raw unfinished demos at the time – but in hindsight may be the culmination of my 1997-2005 early period (a fusion of original songs, spoken word and free improv).
By 2004 my style was wordy, dense with allusions, and deliberately flouted not only verse/chorus structures but grammatical convention in parts; the influences here were literary modernists as much as music – eg Joyce, Beckett, Burroughs, Pynchon, Dylan (Thomas), and New Zealand poets James K Baxter, Alan Brunton and Hone Tuwhare. I was a postgrad journalism student that year, so partly it was spare time relief from the constraints of non-fiction writing.
My guitar heroes included British free improviser Derek Bailey and my Mississippi bluesman namesake David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards – and fellow explorers in the New Zealand underground music scene.
The album is rounded out by an abrasive noise guitar, dictaphone and electric razor performance at the Bomb the Space Festival (the youtube clip is one of my few music videos to have over a thousand views… go figure),
and a pair of free improvisations, with percussionists Simon O’Rorke and Simon Sweetman, and Korean bassist Youjae Lee.
Next, needing a change of scenery, having pushed the singer/songwriter envelope as far as I could, and following some last ensemble collaborations with Ascension Band,
and The Winter
the next year I left the country on my OE and took a different approach again….