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

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”

Articulation Incommunicate (2004)

Previously unreleased! 

Dave Edwards dictaphone cassette recordings 2004, for spoken word and improvised guitar – a trip down a road not taken for New Zealand music.

Bomb the Space Festival, Wellington NZ, 2004

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.

Wellington, New Zealand

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….

Continue reading “Articulation Incommunicate (2004)”

Loose Autumn Moans (2003)

“Wellington, NZ composer Dave Edwards with some able assistance from duo or trio the Winter... Guitars, violin, cello, and percussion all stack up… He’s got a persona that’s all his own.”

George Parsons, Dream Magazine #5

All acoustic, with a string section, recorded and mixed on analogue equipment, and originally released on cassette in 2003 – new 2020 remaster.

Featuring

Sam Prebble (violin)

Mike Kingston (cello)

sam & san

and Simon Sweetman on percussion.

simon w newspaper

Wellington, New Zealand

Bats Theatre, Wellington NZ 2003

 

Loose Autumn Moans consists of five acoustic ensemble tracks:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

The album is structured as a progression from summer (with a NZ pohutukawa tree in flower on the cover) through autumn – a time of harvest, preparation, shortening daylight, and the shedding of old dead layers – and finishes with an extended live version of ‘O Henry Ending’, recorded at the Winter’s first gig.

 

The original C60 cassette (and later online) release included solo interludes recorded in 2002. These are now available separately as

After the Filmshoot (2002)

By focusing on the 2003 sessions Loose Autumn Moans becomes concise, emphasising the lyrics and the jazzy acoustic instrumental interplay – a mini orchestra to bring colour.

Sam Prebble RIP, 2014

Loose Autumn Moans is dedicated to Sam Prebble (aka Bond Street Bridge), who died in 2014.

Further listening

The collaboration with these guys followed on from

The Winter: Parataxes

The Winter live at Photospace Gallery, July 2003 (photo by James Gilberd)

The Winter‘s debut: electric and acoustic trio improvisations for guitars, cello and percussion, by Dave Edwards, Mike Kingston, and Simon Sweetman (2003)

“A strange sonic brew that includes dissonant rock textures, rough outsider folk-blues mysteries, electric and acoustic improvisations and a considerable part of tasty feedback. Imagine equal parts Derek Bailey, New Zealand’s Pumice and classic ’60s blues/folk and you’re in the right ballpark.”The Broken Face

Continue reading “Loose Autumn Moans (2003)”

After the filmshoot (2002)

Dave Edwards solo cassette tracks, in Wellington NZ, 2002.

Wellington, New Zealand

 

Hey so the new (2020) album Ruasagavulu is out!

(go there, like, share etc)…

 

& in the meantime, until the next new project, here’s one from the vault:

 
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2.
 
3.
 
4.
 
5.
 
6.
 
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8.

In 2002, a year whose digits are an anagram of this one’s,  I was living in Wellington (New Zealand’s capital, and my birthplace), looking for a way to follow up the almost-success of The Marion Flow (part 2).

But I was moving further away from conventional 3min song formats into the avant-garde.

This is the second largely solo album I made in 2002.

Continue reading “After the filmshoot (2002)”

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.

16 February @ Fernside Gardens Open Days

I played solo acoustic at the Fernside Gardens Open Day on Sunday 16th February, 11am.

Continue reading “16 February @ Fernside Gardens Open Days”

2019 roundup

At the end of the decade, and looking for a way to follow up the eclectic Asia-Pacific Odyssey of Other Islands: 2012-2018, I stripped things back down to the solo acoustic format of my early years with Live 2019.

The set, at Wairarapa TV in Masterton, New Zealand, was streamed live on the internet on 4th of May 2019.

For the past couple of years I’ve been living in a small town and don’t get to as many gigs as I used to… so here was an opportunity to use 21st century technology to play ‘virtually’ everywhere.

On the other hand musically this was closer to a traditional folk/singer-songwriter set than I’d done for quite a while. I eschewed dissonant improv, multitracking, live backing musicians, field recordings, or electronic trickery this time, and used just acoustic guitar, banjo, and harmonica (and a few seconds of wah pedal on ‘Eastern’).

The set was followed by an interview.

I also released a companion album to Live 2019 its stroppier lo-fi postpunk ‘official bootleg’ predecesor Live 1999. This was recorded on cassette 20 years (or half my lifetime) ago, when I opened for Chris Knox at Bar Bodega in Wellington NZ last millennium:

Live 1999

I started and finished both live sets on the same two songs, to show continuity and evolution.

It’s been quite a journey in between!

Other projects

My other 2019 works in progress included

* experiments with animated visuals and electric improvisations (the ‘yang’ flipside of the deliberately toned down ‘yin’ Live 2019)

* a duo with Emit Snake-Beings, for an as-yet-untitled sequel to Ngumbang, coming in 2020 (we had a recording session in Suva, Fiji, of all places);

* a couple of informal jam sessions with the Electricka Zoo (which has otherwise been on hold since last year); ( http://www.soundcloud.com/darrel-hannon/jamming-with-dave)

* and I continued to adapt the 19th century book ‘Poems & Lyrics by John Collie’, which I’d learned was written by my Scottish great-great-grandfather in 1856 before he came to NZ. Three of his poems featured on Live 2019, with more in the pipeline.

Continue reading “2019 roundup”

The Marion Flow (part 2, Wellington 2001)

It’s lo-fi, organic and about as eclectic as one could manage. Kind of reminds me of Nick Cave if he had grown up in Timaru. No pretentious American accents or catch phrase choruses, just a bunch of people making music. A little beauty!” – NZ Musician, August/September 2002

The Marion Flow was originally a longer album which spanned recordings from New Plymouth in 1999 and Wellington in 2001.

This page is for the 2001 Wellington recordings: produced by Paul Winstanley, & featuring Chris O’Connor (drums), Chris Palmer (electric guitars), Simon O’Rorke (percussion), and more. Recorded at Thistle Hall, Wellington, 2001, and mixed by Joe Callwood.

For the earlier 1999 New Plymouth sessions see The Marion Flow (part 1, Taranaki);
By the time the opportunity arose to finish recording the Marion Flow I’d been thoroughly immersed in the Wellington free jazz and avant-garde music scene, and was very fortunate to have help from some of the top players there. I’d never studied music at school or been in a conventional band, and was out of my depth technically… so working around my limitations became a spark to creativity.

Edwards’ music is often a sculpture rather than a melodic composition. Within this chosen form, amongst all the writings rantings & poetry there’s much difficult pleasure to be had for the musically adventurous.” – Brent Cardy, Real Groove, July 2002

In 1999, aged 20, I’d left New Plymouth, a large rural town, where I grew up, and moved to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, where I’d been born and where my early pakeha settler ancestors had lived in the 19th century. The Marion Flow reflects this journey, geographically, sonically and spiritually.

]

I’ve now reissued the two halves of the album separately – to emphasise the sense of time and place, and stylistic evolution, and to re-present them more concisely for the short-attention-span 21st century.

Further listening

Continue reading “The Marion Flow (part 2, Wellington 2001)”