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