Postscript: thanks for coming along, keep an eye on www.fiffdimension.com/the-electricka-zoo for more!
Friday 16 March, 8:00pm, free entry, @ Leroy’s Bar, 2 Plimmer Steps
New Zealand Fringe Festival:
This duo from Taranaki formed in late 2015 following an extended 15 year incubatory period. Roots in rock and electronica, The Electricka Zoo will leave you wondering if you should dance along, close your eyes, or just scratch your head in wonder how two people can produce such a wall of sound.
Music video from the album ‘South Island Sessions‘, set in 19th century New Zealand with an ecological theme. ‘The Ballad of William Knife’ was the name of the show we took to the Dunedin Fringe Festival in 2006.
1861 revisited – Read the rest of this entry »
“With elements of punk, post-punk, jazz, classical, straight rock, opera and music hall, the Ascension Band are that rare thing: Something Wholly Other. They retain avant garde cred and still manage to rock harder than AC/DC.” – www.varsity.co.nz
by organist/conductor/arranger Nigel Patterson (The Black Seeds, The Manta Rays, Fly My Pretties), guitarist & organiser Dave Edwards (fiffdimension, The Winter), and over a dozen musicians on guitars, basses, drums, electronics, keyboards, trumpets and vocals, was the seed that grew into a full scale electric symphony: Evolution.
“The 50-minute piece of music, broken down into six movements, was performed live over a few nights for the Fringe Festival in 2005; the group taking out the Best Music Award.
“It was stunning. Discordant guitars were choked, drums clattered and crashed, voices mingled with percussion and keyboards – but this form of free-improvisation had a structure to it. It had movement, it had a plan. It was a great beast of a song that writhed and wriggled and often managed to run downhill, away from the players – in the best possible way.
“Here, the show has been recorded onto a CD for posterity – and it begs discovery. It’s an intense listen – but that’s to be expected from a group of players who took their name from one of John Coltrane’s toughest listening albums.” – Simon Sweetman
Nigel Patterson – hammond organ & conductor
Will Rattray – electric guitar
Bell Murphy – bass
Warwick Donald – bass
Murray Stewart – keyboards
Damian ‘Frey’ Stewart – laptop
Ryan Prebble – tone generator
Felicity Perry – vocal
Atushi Iseki – vocal
Matt Baxter – drums
Greta Welson – drums
“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
The debut album from fiffdimension – a genuine 1990s teenage no-budget lo-fi post-punk singer-songwriter artifact from the Taranaki, New Zealand underground, recorded on analogue reel-to-reel tape.
Online reissue includes download-only bonus tracks and previously unreleased material.
From these folk/punk beginnings my style evolved into the more complex/impressionistic/visionary approach of The Marion Flow, Mantis Shaped and Worrying, and Loose Autumn Moans. These combined songwriting with an interest in free jazz and poetic modernism that sunk my commercial chances. I stopped writing words entirely with The Winter and Ascension Band, and eventually lived abroad in Australia and Asia and reinvented myself again as Dave Black.
As of 2015 I’m back in NZ where my latest project is Ngumbang, which comes full circle – weaving together these various strands, in collaboration with Emit Snake-Beings who was one of my early influences!
A companion to The Marion Flow, recorded in 1999 by the same lineup who provided that album’s longest (and least conventionally song-based track, pointing the way towards the increasingly radio-unfriendly Mantis Shaped and Worrying), “Lucifer Directing Traffic (at 3AM)”
Recording engineer Paul Winstanley, head of the excellent, now San Francisco-based avant-garde music label Eden Gully recalls it thus:
“after recording tracks for The Marion Flow at Wafer HQ in New Plymouth an ad hoc group of associated locals assembled to record for several sessions of improvised rock/noise deconstruction. really, the only rock references here come from the guitars, with the sputtering synth, air-sucking turntables, didgeridoo and sundry toys providing layers of surreal abstraction. throw in some spoken word and a special guest appearance by N.P. record mogul Brian Wafer on vacuum cleaner and the dAdApApA nova had blazed and fizzled in the blink of an eye.
“it wasn’t until several years later after the master mixes had been lost, partially recovered and then rediscovered intact again that “Waiting for the Drummer’ was given a final mastering and released as a CDR on EdenGully. it’s been a long strange journey…..”
“This is something that he has to do, that he will do, come fame or oblivion” –Chris Knox
The second volume of fiffdimension’s best-of compilations (a sequel to Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005) sees increasingly wide-ranging experimentation and exploration both sonically and geographically, from New Zealand and beyond to Australia and East Asia, and a reinvention as Dave Black.
A third volume, Other Islands: 2012-2018 documents my return to NZ and more recent works.
Featuring tracks from the albums
Ascension Band: Evolution (2005)
After Maths & Sciences (2005-2006)
South Island Sessions (2006)
First Time Around: East Asia (2008)
The Winter: 2011 (2011)
The Winter: Exit Points (2010/2015)
and previously unheard tracks
by Dave Black (acoustic & electric guitars, banjo, harmonica, laptop, bass, tenor saxophone, field recordings, piano, gayageum, vocal), with
Mike Kingston (acoustic guitar), Simon Sweetman (percussion), Nat da Hatt (electric guitar, keyboards), Hayden Gifkins (electric guitar), Nigel Patterson (hammond organ), Ryan Prebble (tone generator), Matthew Thornicroft (electric guitar), Cylvi M (vocal, field recordings, percussion, shakuhachi), Jeff Henderson (drums), Noel Meek (vocal), Clever Hansel (ukulele)