Huia Vortex

Animated visuals, with electric guitar loops, one-stringed bass, and drums – the opening track from the ‘Ngumbang‘ album (get the free download) – w/ Emit Snake-beings & Nat da Hatt

The title ‘Huia Vortex’ refers to the location where the track was recorded, in Huia, a small village on the outskirts of west Auckland.

Dave Black & Emit Snake-Beings

It’s not necessarily related to ‘Swansong (for the Huia)(2004), the second album by The Winter, an electro-acoustic trio improvisation in tribute to the extinct New Zealand bird the huia by Dave Edwards, Mike Kingston, and Simon Sweetman. Its 19-minute final track remains an underrated fiffdimension epic. [send us your review]

The Electricka Zoo – new tracks, late 2019

Here’s a pair of new (late 2019) tracks from The Electricka Zoo

Keyboards & electronica by the Digitator

& Dave Black on electric guitar

in Upper Hutt, New Zealand, November 2019

the Electricka Zoo, 2017

Get our album if you haven’t already!

 

Solstice Shards 19

I spent the longest night of the year at home and improvised this:

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As I’d been doing mainly solo acoustic songs recently this was a palette cleansing electric improvisation from the other side of my coin.

I think of acoustic as yin and electric as yang forces.

Continue reading “Solstice Shards 19”

2005

2005

The year got off to a good start, with Ascension Band: Evolution

The successful collaboration with Nigel Patterson, Ryan Prebble, and over a dozen other musicians, from jazz-schooled to untrained punks, won the best music award in the NZ Fringe Festival.

I had my first taste of success (the fame part of Fame & Oblivion 2005-2012)

Melbourne, VIC, Australia 2005

…But by this time I was ready to see the world beyond Aotearoa.  I shifted across the Tasman Sea to Melbourne – in Australia, the West Island.

 

For the next few months I lived in Brunswick, and worked in temp jobs around the city and in rural Victoria.

 

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The results became After Maths & Sciences

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Scratched Surface 20th anniversary

“Worth searching out coz this lo-fi singer/songwriter oddball has a unique take on the genre. He’s pissed off, a tad fucked up (as usual), but not full of lugubrious self-pity (as unusual) and is happy to get raucous & obnoxious in just the right kinda way.”Chris Knox

In December 1998 I self-released my debut album . Scratched Surface was a teenage no-budget lo-fi postpunk pakeha singer-songwriter album from the Taranaki, Aotearoa underground, recorded on analogue reel-to-reel tape.

I burned it on CDR and sent out copies to anyone who would listen. It was the opening salvo in a recording career that’s gone on for over 20 years now, occasionally dismissed, largely ignored, gloriously unsuccessful. A career nonetheless; I’ve made an album most years since.

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20 years on I’m still creating – here’s some of what I’ve done more recently:

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Other Islands: 2012-2018

fiffdimension vol3

(see also Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 and Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012)

brings us into the current decade – with further wide-ranging experimentation and exploration sonically, temporally and geographically, in New Zealand, Western AustraliaIndonesia, Okinawa (Japan), and Fiji.

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, banjo),

Emit Snake-Beings (banjo, vocal, percussion, flute, electronics),

the Digitator (electric drums, keyboards & loops),

Campbell Kneale (electric guitar, analogue synthesiser),

Cylvi M (vocal, field recordings, percussion, shakuhachi),

Blair Latham (bass clarinet),

Simon O’Rorke (keyboards),

Chris Prosser (violin),

Julie Bevan (acoustic guitar),

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

a song by my great-great-grandfather John Collie (1856),

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

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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 (2010-15)

Ngumbang (2014-15)

The Winter: Exit Points (2015)

The Electricka Zoo (2017)

and previously unheard tracks.

And hear the previous compilations

Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 

and Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012

Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2013

2017 roundup

Our main news of 2017 was The Electricka Zoo‘s debut album.  music.net.nz called it “a totally original, mind-warping album”.

It’s not too late for your best-album-of-2017 lists, so get your copy today (just click the ‘buy’ button above… yes we’re still more interested in ‘the album’, as a unified artform, with a theme and structure, rather than streaming playlists).

Our next big project is a show in the NZ Fringe Festival – watch this space.

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Meanwhile this year we made some progress on social media, reaching the modest milestones of 200 likes for fiffdimension and 100 likes for the Electricka Zoo on Facebook.

We also Continue reading “2017 roundup”

the Electricka Zoo album

We’re happy to announce the release of the Electricka Zoo‘s first (self-titled) album.

The duo of Dave Black & the Digitator, The Electricka Zoo combine influences from EDM and post-punk avant-garde rock to jazz, reggae, Balkan and Portuguese music. Their self-titled debut album features 8 original tunes by the bass/guitar and electronica duo wrapped in colourful mandala artwork by Lucie Hannon.

Thanks everyone who came to the launch gig at the Pyramid Club !

 

the Electricka Zoo on Access Radio this Saturday

Electricka Zoo played live in the studio

on Terry’s Songwriters Show

It was broadcast on Saturday 15th of April – hear the podcast online.

The Digitator (left), DJ Terry Shore (middle), and Dave Black (right), April 2017

Terry’s Songwriters Show is a weekly programme hosted by Terry Shore – who is a singer/song-writer himself.

Continue reading “the Electricka Zoo on Access Radio this Saturday”