Top 10 albums*

by Dave Edwards (aka Dave Black) and collaborators,

2020s – 2010s 2000s 1990s 1850s

(*as picked by casual streaming listeners, based on % of tracks played in full minus % of tracks skipped… not necessarily the ones I would have picked – there’s little or no correlation between the “important” works and the parts other people like!).

#1 After the Filmshoot (2002)

Dave Edwards solo postpunk spoken word free improv guitar spasms (2002)

[send us your review]

#2 Other Islands: 2012-2018

Gamelan Taniwha Jaya at Te Papa, Wellington, 2016

Compilation made in New Zealand, Okinawa, Western AustraliaIndonesia and Fiji,,

by Dave Black with The Winter, The Electricka Zoo, Dr Emit Snake-Beings, Nat da Hatt, Campbell Kneale, Gamelan Sekar Puri, Gamelan Padhang Moncar, and Gamelan Taniwha Jaya

“The 20 song album covers traditional Javanese and Balinese gamelan, AsiaPacific folk music, free jazz, and free noise…. If you have an open inquiring mind and love hearing a variety of sound, this is excellent. – Darryl Baser, muzic.net.nz

# 3 After Maths & Sciences (2005/06)

An Australian novel for the ear – a double album recorded in Melbourne, Victoria,

and Sydney and Gosford New South Wales,

by Dave Black with Cylvi M, Mike Kingston and Francesca Mountfort (2005-2006)

Dave Black’s debut release (and a re-birth, if you like, for David Edwards) is as much a post-modern piece of Performance Journalism as it is a static batch of “songs” or tracks, After Maths & Sciences is a pleasing challenge of an album. It lives up to the cliché of presenting something new with each listen,”Simon Sweetman

#4 Live 1999

Solo postpunk live at the old Bar Bodega, Wellington NZ, opening for Chris Knox

“If only I could play guitar like that… bastard” – Chris Knox

# 5 Glimpses of Utopia (2020)

Palette-cleansing Dave Black solo electric guitar improv.

[send us your review]

#6: Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012

Taking a Korean gayageum lesson, 2007

vol2 – made in New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Mongolia, and Japan,

by Dave Black with Ascension Band, The Winter, Nat da Hatt, Wellington’s Most Famous Orchestra, and Cylvi M

“Experimental and avant-garde…. There is a clear passion, and a commitment to pushing the boundaries… This will challenge your perceptions of what constitutes music and open the mind to new possibilities of sounds that surround us – muzic.net.nz

# 7 Live 2019

Solo acoustic set plus an interview, live streamed from Wairarapa TV

“Great skills and a refreshing rebirth of a beatnik sensibility, this is folk the way folk should be” – Andi Verse

#8 The Electricka Zoo (2017)

The duo of live electronica by the Digitator, and Dave Black on bass and electric guitar (2017)

The Electricka Zoo, 2017

“A totally original, mind warping album that smacks you across the face with big sound…. I salute anyone that makes a whole album out of EDM post-punk avant-garde rock / jazz, reggae, Balkan, [and] Portuguese music” – Corrinne Rutherford, www.muzic.net.nz

# 9 Ngumbang (2015)

Dave Black & Snake Beings

Our first collaboration with the even more legendary & underground artist Dr Emit Snake Beings (2015)

[send us your review]

# 10 Ruasagavulu (2020)

by Dave Black & Snake Beings

Made in Fiji, with Dr Emit Snake-Beings tropical avant-garde instrumentals for keyboards, ukulele, dholak, duduk, harmonicas, DIY kitchen gamelan, and video.

“So easy to get totally lost in this music, recommend for helping with your inner peace” – Andi Verse

see full catalogue www.fiffdimension.bandcamp.com

Farewell to Thee, Charming Deceiver

A 19th century unrequited love ballad – how anachronistic in the 2020s?

John Collie (1834-1893) – lyrics

Dave Edwardsbanjo, harmonica, vocal

lyrics

FAREWELL to thee , charming deceiver , No more will I crouch at thy gate ; I once was an earnest believer , And my folly I see when too late .

Continue reading “Farewell to Thee, Charming Deceiver”

ilhas Atlânticas

The last track on Spastic Rhythms vol 1 is a Dave Black solo rendition of a tune by the Electricka Zoo.

It originally appeared on The Electricka Zoo (2017), and on the Other Islands: 2012-2018 compilation. It’s based around a (non-diatonic) Cmaj7 – Amaj7 pattern, with a bossa nova rhythm.

The words are in (beginner) Portuguese:

Eu gosto de falar

no meus ancestrais

de as ilhas Atlânticas

Madeiras e Açores

It’s dedicated to my great-great-grandfather Manuel Bernard.

Manuel José Bernard (1847-1928)

He was born in 1847 in Ponta Delgada, Flores Island, Azores, Portugal.

Portugal is the westernmost country in Europe, with its back to it geographically and culturally. It was the edge of the known world for Europeans until the Age of Discovery. The Azores islands are even further west.

As a teenager Manuel Bernard stowed away on a passing American whaling ship.

Continue reading “ilhas Atlânticas”

Scotland, postponed

 

John Collie (1834-1893)

Around this time (September 2020) I’d planned to travel to Scotland, on my first visit. There was to be a family gathering for my sister’s wedding in Edinburgh.

The trip’s now postponed indefinitely, for obvious reasons

The idea was to visit Boyndie, Banffshire, where my great-great-grandfather John Collie grew up.

In 1856, in his early 20s he published a book : Poems and Lyrics (in the English and Scotch Dialects).

I‘ve started setting some of it to music.

Continue reading “Scotland, postponed”

Ruasagavulu

Ruasagavulu‘ (made in Fiji

by Dave Black & Dr Emit Snake-Beings)

is now a free/name-your-price download – enjoy!

Thanks for your interest, and happy Matariki if you’re in NZ…

“So easy to get totally lost in this music, recommend for helping with your inner peace” – Andi Verse

Indo-Fijian inspired tropical devotional avant-garde instrumentals for keyboards, ukulele, dholak, duduk, harmonicas, DIY kitchen gamelan, and video.

 

Snake Beings & Dave Black in Fiji

This was one of the last in-person international collaborations from before the world ended… it’s got nothing to do with the pandemic.

It was recorded in Suva, Fiji, 2nd and 4th of November 2019.

The title ‘ruasagavulu’ means ‘twenty’ in Fijian, to kick off the new decade optimistically.

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Further listening

Our first duo recording wasNgumbang‘  (2015) –

a fusion of several genres and a DIY manifesto – “Pick up the pieces and make them into something new, it’s what we do…”

Continue reading “Ruasagavulu”

Ruasagavulu

Out now – the new album

by Dave Black & Dr Emit Snake-Beings

Made in Fiji

“So easy to get totally lost in this music, recommend for helping with your inner peace” – Andi Verse

Indo-Fijian inspired tropical devotional avant-garde instrumentals for keyboards, ukulele, dholak, duduk, harmonicas, DIY kitchen gamelan, and video.

 

Snake Beings & Dave Black in Fiji

This was one of the last in-person international collaborations from before the world ended… it’s got nothing to do with the pandemic.

It was recorded in Suva, Fiji, 2nd and 4th of November 2019.

The title ‘ruasagavulu’ means ‘twenty’ in Fijian, to kick off the new decade optimistically.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Further listening

Our first duo recording wasNgumbang‘  (2015) –

a fusion of several genres and a DIY manifesto – “Pick up the pieces and make them into something new, it’s what we do…”

Continue reading “Ruasagavulu”

Gar mar par da nee sa

the opening track from Ruasagavulu

by Dave Black & Snake-Beings

recorded in Suva, Fiji, 2nd November 2019

Snake Beings and Dave Black in Fiji

This short warmup improv is based on an Indian scale, inspired by Dr Emit Snake-Beings‘ travels to Kerala in India, and harmonium lessons in Suva.

There’s an Indian influence throughout the album, as several sections are based on drones and modal improv (rather than the chord changes)… though this is not a traditional Indian album, we’ve borrowed ideas to inform our own experiments.

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The temple in the photo is Sri Siva Subramaniya in Nadi. It’s built in the Dravidian style from southern India, which is also found in Singapore and Malaysia.

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In contrast to other Pacific Island countries, Fiji has a large – almost half – population of Indian descent. Indians came to Fiji in the 19th century, as indentured labourers to work the sugar cane plantations.

The following videos are made in India, courtesy of www.snakebeings.co.nz

Continue reading “Gar mar par da nee sa”

Solitude

Written in 1856, but timely perhaps?

This poem is the first of 44 pieces in the book Poems & Lyric by John Collie.

It was written by my great-great-grandfather in Scotland.

164 years later, living in 21st century coronavirus lockdown NZ, we’ve all had to bring back solitude. Creating music’s become a solitary pursuit again (or else a virtual one). Adapting this poem gave the chance for a 12-minute acoustic epic whose time had come (again).

lyrics

‘SOLITUDE’

by John Collie, 1856

OH give me near some swelling stream to stray, 0r tread the windings of some pathless wood, For I am wearied of the bustling day, And long to meet thee, gloomy Solitude: That I with thee may climb those shelfy steeps, Which frown majestic o’er the boiling deeps. Continue reading “Solitude”

Sonnet on Summer

from Poems & Lyrics by John Collie (1856)

Rosemary Bromley, Dave Edwards, Hans Landon-Lane

Clever Hansel – ukulele vocal
Dave Edwards – guitar, harmonica, vocal

This was the last in-person collaboration before the COVID-19 shutdown, recorded in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, March 2020.

John Collie (1834-1893)

THE sweet breath of summer blows fresh o’er each plain,

The woods have resumed their lost grandeur again;

The groves with the notes of the blackbird are ringing,

By fountain and streamlet the wild flowers are springing.

And the breath of the heather bell sweetens the breeze,

And the old stormy ocean lies slumbering in peace;

And the wild bees are humming around the wild flowers,

Afar above earth the lark proudly soars;

The bleat of the lamb on the moss-cover’d hill,

The sound of the shepherd’s pipe jocund and shrill,

All tell in a language most striking and plain,

T hat summer, fair summer, is reigning again,

The old face of nature her smiles has put on,

And the blustery appearance of winter has flown.

Fiji 1976, by Alastair Edwards

Film footage by my father, Alastair Edwards, in Nadi and around Viti Levu in 1976.

It’s from a couple of years before I was born.

There was no sound, so I’ve added a soundtrack from Ruasagavulu, which Dr Emit Snake-Beings and I recorded in Suva decades later.

My Dad’s interest in film (then video) and photography was one of the key influences on my own travel and videomaking. He was doing this long before youtube or instagram!

I miss you Dad…