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Ascension Band 2005

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“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 

This riff

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

Dave Edwards – electric guitar & electronics
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
Sam Jenks – trumpet
Felicity Perry – vocal
Atushi Iseki – vocal
Matt Baxter – drums
Greta Welson – drums
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Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012

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“This is something that he has to do, that he will do, come fame or oblivion” –Chris Knox

Now available on Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, Deezer etc

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.

Whereas the first volume Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 showed a youthful kiwi fusion of songs with more avant-garde spoken word and instrumental pieces, Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012 documents me in my late 20s and early 30s moving beyond these parameters. My approach became less introspective and more journalistic – thanks to new influences from years spent living abroad in Australia, South Korea and Japan. New elements include the banjo, electronica, field recordings, multimedia performances, and touches of traditional Asian music. I also adopted the moniker Dave Black, to differentiate from my earlier works.

A third volume, Other Islands: 2012-2018  will be out in the next couple of months and include my return to NZ and more recent works.

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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)

ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes (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)

and field recordings from Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Mongolia, and Japan.

If you enjoy this, try the first volume Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 and the third, Other Islands: 2012-2018

The Winter: Flying Visit

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Acoustic instrumental music by Wellington, New Zealand, improvising trio The Winter.

Mike Kingston: charango, guitar, clarinet

Dave Edwards: ukulele, sanshin, tenor sax, piano

Simon Sweetman: xylophone, percussion

Our most recent recordings to date

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The Winter: 2011

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2011 – year of the Christchurch earthquakes, the Arab Spring, the Fukushima disaster, the shootings in Norway,the Queensland floods… and the Wellington (New Zealand) winter was colder than usual.
Acoustic improvisations on guitar, ukulele, banjo, clarinet, piano, harmonica and percussion by The Winter (Simon, Dave and Mike).

Liner notes by Dave

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