Dave Edwards

Top 10 albums*

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by Dave Edwards (aka Dave Black) and collaborators,

202120202010s 2000s 1990s 1850s

#1 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

#2: 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

#3 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

# 4 Ngumbang (2015)

Dave Black & Snake Beings

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

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# 5 After the Filmshoot (2002)

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

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#6 Live 1999

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Farewell to Thee, Charming Deceiver

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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 .

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ilhas Atlânticas

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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.

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Scotland, postponed

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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.

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Articulation Incommunicate (2004)

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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….

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Loose Autumn Moans (2003)

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“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:

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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

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After the filmshoot (2002)

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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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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.

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Solitude

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

2002: self-isolation before it was cool?

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The difficult third album – recorded during a time of intense introspection in 2002. I locked myself in my room in Wellington for all of November with an analogue 4-track cassette recorder.The results rapidly put an end to my promising New Zealand music career!

Wellington, New Zealand

In 2002, a year whose digits are an anagram of this one’s, I locked myself in my room for a month of self-isolation.

It had nothing to do with a pandemic!

Kia kaha Aotearoa…

It was just me living in Wellington and looking for a way to follow up The Marion Flow (part 2).

I was moving further away from conventional 3min song formats into the avant-garde. Read the rest of this entry »

Fiji 1976, by Alastair Edwards

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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…