Music at Elsewhere

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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

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

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


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


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


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

Jimi Hendrix and Band of Gypsys: Machine Gun (Sony)

4 Dec 2016  |  1 min read

As the Sixties came to a close Jimi Hendrix famously tried to recalibrate his career by letting go of the Experience and, on New Year's Eve 1969 and the following night, play the Fillmore East with his new band of Buddy Miles (drums), and bassist Buddy Cox whom he'd known from his army days. For his performances – the whole of their first night released here officially for the... > Read more

Ezy Ryder

The Eversons: “Stuck in New Zealand” (Lil Chief)

28 Nov 2016  |  1 min read

Some wit in Creem in the Seventies nailed it perfectly when he wrote, “Heavy metal is for young men without a war of their own”. To which we might add, the Eversons are for young men with tongue-in-cheek teen angst and raging hormones. The Eversons – a family band just like the Ramones -- are smart, funny, deal in broad-brush power pop/hormonal rock and write... > Read more


RECOMMENDED REISSUE: The Clean: Getaway, Expanded Edition (Merge/Southbound)

28 Nov 2016  |  1 min read  |  1

Much as the Clean should be respected and honoured for their first flourish of innovative, sometimes brilliantly reductive but enthrallingly widescreen (in your head) pop-rock during the early days of Flying Nun in the late Seventies/early Eighties, it was their second coming which presented the more rewarding, demanding, exciting and fully realised music on albums like Vehicle ('90) and... > Read more

Point That Thing Somewhere Else (from Syd's Pink Wiring System)

The All Seeing Hand: Sand to Glass (Muzai)

28 Nov 2016  |  1 min read

Possessing the kind of live firepower usually reserved for conflict zones, Wellington's All Seeing Hand deliver a menacing clash of electronics/turntables, smashing drums and throat-singing which can sound like Tibetan monks on speed or feedback. They had people pinned to the walls of a silo when they played this year's Laneway. Much of this album – which has a broad concept... > Read more


Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker: Overnight (Rough Trade)

28 Nov 2016  |  1 min read

Anyone who likes toned down and thoughtful singer-songwriter music but is a bit weary of the familiar dusty paths and rural routes of Americana must be applauding just how much British indie.folk is appearing these days. From older names in reissue (Nick Drake, Bert Jansch) to newer faces (Kate Rusby, James Findlay), the long tradition is being explored and added to in ways which... > Read more

Sweet the Sorrow