Music at Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

Another Sky: I Slept on the Floor (Fiction/digital outlets)

30 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

There's no reason why, at the furthest point away from them on the planet, we should know of this London-based group which caused quite a ripple with live and television performances which had UK reviewers raving about the voice of front-woman Catrin Vincent. And her powerful, sweeping vocals which can soar with Anohni or swoop down into a strident rock delivery when the band kick in with a... > Read more

Baauer: Planet's Mad (LuckyMe/digital outlets)

23 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

Well, this London-based producer and big-beat DJ gets things right with the title of his second album at least. But much as this might benefit from being played loud for the thumping beats to get their full spine-rattling effect and the rhythms which will haul the interpretive dancers to the floor – the shapeshifting nature of these 12 pieces means you can't simply lock yourself into... > Read more

Exotic Sin: Customer's Copy (Blank Forms/digital outlets)

21 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

Although we respect the idea of pedigree when it comes to racehorses and dogs, it's often harder to make the case for the offspring of great musicians. But this London-based electronica duo of Naima Karlsson and Kenichi Iwasa would suggest synth/keyboard player Karlsson has certainly inherited some interesting musical sensibilities from her grandfather Don Cherry, her mother Neneh and her... > Read more

Stefan Wolf: Stiff Herbert (digital outlets)

19 Aug 2020  |  2 min read

And suddenly despite being elsewhere (in China as we shall see), former Paekakariki resident Stefan Wolf is kind of “everywhere”. Rather than review this typically idiosyncratic but attractive alt.pop-rock album by Wolf – who had an Eighties song on the excellent, recent Kiwi Animals collection, as Stiff Herbert – we thought we'd just reproduce the accompanying... > Read more

Si Si Es: Dos (bandcamp)

17 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

Si Si Es (the former members of the Eighties synth-rock band Car Crash Set under this new moniker) appeared at Elsewhere late last year with the bandcamp release of two pieces, Ode to Holger and Spaced, which found considerable favour round this way. Check those instrumentals out here which is where you also find this new release of four tracks. They are the clanking-into-life,... > Read more

Coreyah: Clap and Applause (digital outlets)

16 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

Having visited Korea a number of times (and interviewing the remarkable master musician Byungki Hwang there), Elsewhere has always had a keen interest in Korea folk, rock and their hip-hop artists who are among the fastest rappers on the plane. Billed enticingly as “psychedelic folk”, Coreyah were therefore bound to have some considerable appeal. Using traditional... > Read more

Milly Tabak and the Miltones: Honest Woman (digital outlets)

10 Aug 2020  |  1 min read  |  1

When singer/songwriter of the Miltones, Milly Tabak, said recently they sound more sensual live and that would come through on this new album, she wasn't kidding. There were steamy moments on their self-titled debut, notably on the brooding almost swampy Glory. But this one announces itself with opener Cognac (on Spotify, the title track comes first on record apparently) which –... > Read more

Gary Harvey: Outlaw (Wilde Records/digital outlets)

9 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

Guitar slinger Gary Harvey has been around since giants walked the earth, playing blues-rock in clubs and bars from North Auckland to North America, serving up blistering solos or ballads. Harvey has been doing this for so long he's doubtless taken for granted by many and certainly some might finds his genuine infatuation with Native Americans and the Old West (and new west of the Austin... > Read more

The Cakekitchen: Trouble Again in this Town (Ally/digital outlets)

7 Aug 2020  |  2 min read

Because it would take far too long to fill in just part of the fascinating career of Cakekitchen's mainman Graeme Jefferies, let us simply default to a recent biography at audioculture and you can follow his peripatetic life which has seen him back in New Zealand in recent years. His vehicle the Cakekitchen has a long, illustrious and internationally appreciated back-catalogue but... > Read more

Rei: Hoea (Kog/digital outlets)

3 Aug 2020  |  <1 min read

Rei is one of the most interesting and successful local artists who has successfully bridged r'n'b, pop and hip-hop as well as effortlessly using te reo as a vehicle, as he does on this album which is replete with strong songs and messages of positivity, self-determination and some amusingly explicit or metaphorical sexual imagery: “No matter how long I'm gone for, when I'm back it's on... > Read more

George Johnston: Interpolation (digital outlets)

1 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

Presenting emotionally still and centred music into an atmosphere which keeps the listener's attention isn't quite as easy as it seems. As those who start on a course of mantra meditation will attest, with the best will in the world the concentration can roam and you need to gently nudge yourself back to the mantra to refocus on something unattached to the world which can so easily seduce.... > Read more

Jonathan Bree: After the Curtains Close (Lil Chief/digital outlets)

1 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

By this time it wouldn't be surprising if some had reached peak-Bree because he was in the Brunettes, has contributed to Princess Chelsea albums (and many others on the Lil' Chief label) and this, I think, is his fourth album under his own name. Elsewhere has most often been approvingly comfortable with his solo work where his dark vocals don't quite reach the gravitas of someone like Lee... > Read more

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Bob Dylan; Rough and Rowdy Ways (Sony)

27 Jul 2020  |  2 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this one . . . .  When Elsewhere interviewed Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth 30 years ago (was it really that far back?) something came up in passing: Sonic Youth's cover of George Harrison's Within You Without You on an indie-rock Beatles tribute album Sgt Pepper Knew My Father. “We... > Read more

Jon Hassell: Seeing Through Sound/Pentimento Vol 2 (Ndeya/Border)

27 Jul 2020  |  1 min read

The sequel to trumpeter/sonic experimenter Jon Hassell's 2018 album Listening to Pictures/Pentimento Vol 1 which Elsewhere recommended, this is a further exploration of territory which Hassell had previously considered Fourth World music: a kind of self-defined area which includes ambient music, allusions to tribal chants or ritual music, low and surreptitious electronica, and evocative... > Read more

Pitch Black: The Light Within (Dubmissions/digital outlets)

23 Jul 2020  |  1 min read

The recent Covid lockdown was like a colander for stay-at homes where musicians of all persuasions poured their stuff into it . . . but the thinnest went straight out the bottom and onto YouTube, TikTok or what have you: kids singing in bathrooms, acoustic sessions with plaintive musicians yearning through someone else's songs . . . Of course there was some good and unexpected talent came... > Read more

The Chicks: Gaslighter (Sony/digital outlets)

20 Jul 2020  |  2 min read

The former Dixie Chicks who so offended Bush the Younger, some of his Southern loyalists and faced boycotts and death threats 17 years ago, here return on album after a 14 year absence with an abbreviated name after doing due diligence with the New Zealand's Sixties band of the same name – unlike Lady Antebellum who in their move to LadyA are embroiled in an unseemly mess, not entirely of... > Read more

March March

Laraaji: Sun Piano (All Saints/digital outlets)

19 Jul 2020  |  <1 min read

Many years ago now we wrote about Laraaji (Edward Larry Gordon) then in 2012 shifted the article into our WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT pages in the hope of garnering it more attention. His earliest work was along the ambient axis on Eno's Obscure label and that was fitting given his has always been a spiritual quest and internally focused. At other times he was a real space explorer with... > Read more

Lime Cordiale: 14 Steps to a Better You (Chugg Music/digital platforms)

19 Jul 2020  |  2 min read

Some years ago a friend observed how many young bands were named after cuddly animals like pandas or rabbits or whatever. His conclusion: the kids in bands were going soft and inoffensive, just wanna be liked. I agreed. There was a fair bit of lightweight and twee pop out there, alongside the sleeve-sucking singer-songwriters . . . most of which didn't get written about at Elsewhere... > Read more

Giant Sand: Ramp (Fire/Southbound)

18 Jul 2020  |  2 min read

Whether with Giant Sand or any number of his various vehicles (Giant Giant Sand, Melted Wires etc) and many albums under his own name, Howe Gelb has carved a quite singular path in music which can be earthy and windblown country-influenced Dylanesque rock or framed within Spanish music or more along the lounge singer axis or . . . Wherever the mood and direction took him. The on-going... > Read more

Always Horses Coming

Shona Laing: Hindsight (Frenzy)

12 Jul 2020  |  1 min read

This timing of this compilation of “hits, new recordings, alternate versions and rarities” could not be better. A couple of months ago at the Taite Prize, Shona Laing's '87 album South was accorded the award for Independent Music NZ Classic Record, it's two most memorable songs (Glad I'm Not a Kennedy and the tight single edit of the chilling/thrilling Soviet Snow) opening this... > Read more

The Mahatma's Army