Music at Elsewhere

These pages - with sample tracks and videos posted - introduce and review new music which may otherwise go unheard and unnoticed. Music from Elsewhere reviews new albums (and some important reissues) you'll play more than once at home or in the car, and will want to tell friends about.

If you do, pass the word: you heard it first at Elsewhere.

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Simon Thacker and Justyna Jablonska: Karmana (Slap the Moon)

16 Jan 2017  |  2 min read

When we interviewed Scottish guitarist Simon Thacker in 2015 in advance of his New Zealand tour it was hard to know how describe him. “Guitarist without portfolio” seems about as close as you might get. Back home in Edinburgh he teaches classical guitar but he also helms his own Ritmata ensemble (which he brought to New Zealand) and consider them his more jazz oriented... > Read more

Obyrtac (trad Polish)

Flaming Lips: Oczy Mlody (Bella Union/Warners)

16 Jan 2017  |  2 min read

At first blush this is possibly one of those albums you want to like more than you do, just out of regard for the band's wonderfully wayward path. But the path has lead them to this? Calling it a slow grower – usually a compliment, meaning an album which will endure – is apt. The first third is laboriously slow in its dreamy psychedelia (a less clinical early Floyd)... > Read more

Sunrise/Eyes of the Young

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

16 Jan 2017  |  3 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be brief. Douglas Dare: Aforger (Erased Tapes/Southbound) At the intersection of electronica artist and melodramatic singer-songwriter,... > Read more

SOHN: Rennen (4AD)

16 Jan 2017  |  <1 min read

More lowkey pop-electronica from 4AD, this from British-born SOHN (Chris Taylor) who has relocated from Europe to LA and created these 10 gently soulful songs for his second album while on a quiet retreat in Northern California. There are some tasty groove-riding r’n’b influences here: Conrad, the leisurely pulse of Signal, the especially lovely Primary with its... > Read more

Still Waters

Phil Judd: uniQue (philjudd.com)

16 Jan 2017  |  3 min read

Few characters, if any, in New Zealand music can claim to have been involved with as many crucial bands as Phil Judd. He was a founder member, contributing writer and guitarist in Split Enz (he also did the album cover for their debut album Mental Notes), and after his departure he produced the Saturday Night single for proto-punk band Suburban Reptiles, and had a brief stint in the... > Read more

Half Japanese: Hear the Lions Roar (Fire)

13 Jan 2017  |  1 min read

Always something of an acquired taste, the avant-rock, inspired but wilful amateurism, indie cult-cum-comedic sound of Half Japanese – now more than 35 years into a “career” – can rightly claim that time caught up with them. With the embrace of shock horror films and B-grade sci-fi, outsider artists like Daniel Johnson, quirky Jonathan Richman and Fred Frith,... > Read more

Do It Now

Various Artists: (The Microcosm), Visionary Music of Continental Europe 1970-1986 (LITA/Southbound)

9 Jan 2017  |  <1 min read

In a neat sidestep of other descriptions like perhaps proto-electronica, ambient, cosmic, New Age or Krautrock, the compiler of this excellent double disc – Doug McGowan out of Los Angeles – simply goes for “visionary”. And that's apt. Among the 16 artists/groups across these two-plus hours are Ash Ra Temple, Popul Vuh, Peter Michael Hamel, Roedelius,... > Read more

Le Sourire Vole/The Stolen Smile, by Ash Ra Temple (1976)

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

9 Jan 2017  |  2 min read

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you don't like it") and so on, Elsewhere will every now and again do a quick sweep like this, in the same way it does IN BRIEFabout international releases. Comments will be brief.... > Read more

Various Artists: Feeling Good; Funk, Soul and Deep Jazz Gems (Red Essential/Southbound)

9 Jan 2017  |  1 min read

Bob Shad – who died in '85 – was one of those old school producers who would turn his hands and ears to every genre from jazz (Charlie Parker in the Forties, the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet, Sarah Vaughan) to pop (Patti Page, the Platters), blues (Lightnin' Hopkins, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee) and rock (Big Brother and the Holding company, the Amboy Dukes). He... > Read more

Red Clay, by Jack Wilkins

Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie: Salero (Erased Tapes/Southbound)

6 Jan 2017  |  1 min read

One of the more interesting and left-field labels around is the London-based Erased Tapes, now entering its 10th year of operation and with a roster of more than 20 artists (some solo players also appearing in, or under, band names). Elsewhere has been picking up on a few of these releases and all have had a sense of thoughtful introspection but also an engagement with the wider world... > Read more

Lithium, The New Era

Brian Eno: Reflection (Warp/Rhythmethod)

1 Jan 2017  |  1 min read

Funny story for you. When I bought my first CD player there were only about five discs in Marbecks you could actually purchase. This must have been about 1985 because one of them was by Brian Eno whose early solo albums post-Roxy Music I had loved, and his Apollo from a couple of years previous was on repeat play. So, passing lightly over Dire Straits and whatever the other few... > Read more

THE BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2016: THE READERS' CHOICES

19 Dec 2016  |  15 min read

Okay, as editor of Elsewhere I have had my say on the best albums I wrote about this past year  -- while freely conceding I did not, could not, hear everything. Doubtless you heard some music which moved you and wish to tell others about. Here is your chance. You could look at what Elsewhere covered in 2016 if you need some reminders or guidance (just start at this... > Read more

THE BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2016: THE YEAR IN REISSUES

19 Dec 2016  |  3 min read

It has been more than 60 years since “the blues had a baby and they called it rock'n'roll”. Which means that there are decades and decades of music to be discovered, rediscovered and re-presented. It's cheap to sell music which has already been recorded and perhaps had its shelf-life, but some of the reissues this past year have been classy and re-ignite interest in the... > Read more

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs and Englishmen (Universal)

16 Dec 2016  |  2 min read

Some weeks back Elsewhere noticed a worrying pattern; certain artists – David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Ray Columbus, Mose Allison – died shortly after we had written about them. This thought occurred while preparing a piece about this reissue, because the band on it was put together by Leon Russell. No sooner had we started to get material together about this live album and... > Read more

Bird on a Wire

Albi and the Wolves: One Eye Open (Albi/Aeroplane)

15 Dec 2016  |  <1 min read

If Albi and theWolves turn up in your town in the next few months – and they probably will, see their extensive touring schedule below – then you'll spot their singer on the street. Chris Dent aka Albi is handsomely large albino with a full white beard . . . and a white man (literally) who might be hard to ignore, especially over the sun-tanned summer months. This... > Read more

Working Hard

THE BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2016: THE EDITOR'S PICKS

12 Dec 2016  |  5 min read  |  8

Okay, the best album of 2016 was . . . the one you liked the most. And you don't need a critic to tell you what that was. It might have been David Bowie's exceptional blackstar, Beyonce's Lemonade or the Rolling Stones' unexpected -- if not astonishing -- return to old form with Blue and Lonesome . . . which we haven't included below because they are such obvious choices.... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

9 Dec 2016  |  2 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be brief. A Tribe Called Quest: We Got It From Here . . . Thank You For Your Service (Epic) Has it been 18 years since their previous... > Read more

Maisey Rika: Tira (Rika/Border)

5 Dec 2016  |  1 min read

It would be fair to suggest the reason the often sublime and always assured voice of Maisey Rika isn't more widely recognised is that she sings in te reo and – even now, decades on from the breakthrough of Poi E which we congratulate ourselves over – it is a language which is marginalised on mainstream radio. Little wonder then that Moana Maniapoto made an impassioned plea... > Read more

Mahorahora (ft Beau Monga)

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

5 Dec 2016  |  2 min read

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New Zealand artists. Comments will be brief. Gillian Welch; Boots No 1, The Official Revival Bootleg (Acony/Southbound) The numerical nature of this double CDs title whets the... > Read more

Bob Dylan: The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert! (Sony)

4 Dec 2016  |  2 min read

Those with neither the money, time nor inclination for the 36 disc box set of Dylan's concerts in '66 – yes, thirty six discs – are referred to this fine document as a synopsis and distillation. The title of this previously unreleased material refers to the long-held misconception that it was at the RAHall where someone yelled “Judas” at him (it happened at the... > Read more

Ballad of a Thin Man