“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
“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 will be out in the next couple of months and include 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)