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Turnbull Mixtape 5: Time to get schooled

May 5th, 2017 By Sholto Duncan

It’s time to pack your sandwiches and strap on that oversized backpack because this is our 5th annual mixtape and it’s time to get schooled!

The first (and only) lesson of the day is learning all about Creative Commons.

Embedded content: https://player.vimeo.com/video/25684782

This handy video, produced by Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand, with support from InternetNZ provides a great overview of Creative Commons licensing in NZ and is a great place to start (What can I say… I’m an audio-visual learner!).

There is also a whole lot of other great Creative Commons information, guidelines, resources and case studies available from their website and they also offer interactive workshops on copyright and creative commons licensing, so check it out if you are interested!

Phew! That’s enough learning for today… we don’t want to overdo it on the first day of school after all.

We have however, put together some extra-curricular homework for you in the form of the 5th Annual Turnbull Creative Commons Mixtape, so please download, listen and share alike!

Download Turnbull 5: Time to get schooled (zip, 153MB)

Embedded content: https://soundcloud.com/sholto-work


Anecdata album cover.

1. Is God also a lizard? / Anecdata

Is God also a Lizard? (2016), (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Collection record | Anecdata on Bandcamp

A lot of contemporary music comes from a position of earnestness - the desire to be expressive about something serious is an obvious first stop for many emerging songwriters. Refreshingly, that's a vibe 100% not in the vocabulary of Anecdata, who dabble in the transmundane corners of cultural references, because why not?

Using a postmodern electropop vocab drawing on Mi-Sex and Gary Numan, a good pinch of Wendyhouse, and with a few oblique references to Beefheart, Anecdata bury earnestness with songs about David Icke and musings on the effects of LSD on fish. Following the great wisdom of leaving people wanting more, rather than leaving them wanting less, most Anecdata tracks also seem to clock in around the two minute mark. The cover art on the "Is god also a lizard" split also features a ghetto paint filter over a photo of Icke overlaid with a sweet Aladdin Sane lightning bolt - and that's a pretty solid abstraction of their musical output.

(Emerson Vandy, Service Manager)

Album cover for Mother by Womb.

2. Mother / Womb

Live at the Newtown Bowls Club 7” (2016), (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Collection record | ilk ither on Bandcamp

How could I resist a track recorded “Live at the Newtown Bowls Club”, just down the road from an old flat? A downbeat guitar riff sets up a hypnotic rhythm beneath an affecting vocal. Listen closely and there’s some pretty surreal lyrics for a song entitled ‘Mother’: “You split the head / split it from the body / just to show me / how much you loved me”.

(Michael Brown, Curator Music)

Album cover for Good keen man by Lake South.

If You're Born on an Island the Ocean Heals You (2017), (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Collection record | Lake South on Bandcamp

Any of the tracks on Lake South’s recent album If You're Born on an Island the Ocean Heals You (2017) would have been worth highlighting, but for me Good Keen Man is the real stand-out track.

The song originally had a low-key release in 2014, but gathered enough attention to earn a VNZMA Critics’ Choice nomination and a place on the long list for the Apra Silver Scroll Award.

Good Keen Man perfectly epitomises the central themes (both lyrically and musically) of If You're Born on an Island: nostalgic, elegiac synth-pop meditations on what it means to be a 20/30-something in modern Aotearoa. The juxtaposition of Barry Crump’s definitive take on kiwi masculinity, with the contemporary realities of unaffordable houses, student loans and a life lived through social media is Don McGlashen-esque in its blend of insight and sentiment.

(Matt Steindl, Research Librarian Music)

Cover for Like a storm rolling in by Triumphs.

4. Like a storm rolling in / Triumphs

Beekeeper/Bastardknocker (2015), (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Collection record | Triumphs on Bandcamp

Triumphs are a heavy duo formed by veteran weirdos Mat Anderson and John Bollen (their words not mine).
This, their debut album is a tribute to “New Zealand’s forgotten history of psychedelic mountaineering through mind-bending riffs and ritualistic drums, tracing Sir Edmund Hilary’s transformation from humble beekeeper to world-striding bastardknocker" (Under The Radar, 2015).

I have to admit that I don’t listen to a lot of solely instrumental albums, Jakob would be a good exception to the rule, but I’ll definitely be adding Triumphs to that small list, perhaps I’ve been missing out!

Like a rolling storm is a mix of slow building melodies that veer in and out before the howling riffs appear on the horizon and the thunder rolls in, and who better to weather the storm with then Sir Ed right?

(Sholto Duncan, Web Archivist, Music)

Album cover for Cherub by Wayvee.

5. Cherub / Wayvee

Recovery (2014), (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Collection record | Wayvee on Bandcamp

From 2014, this EP from Wayvee remains fresh in its delivery. For those of you who think you might have heard Schubert’s 'Ave Maria' sung by a boy soprano with harp accompaniment one too many times already you might wish to give it one more listening with this remix titled 'Cherub'. Possibly an audio equivalent to Lil’ Buck’s 'Dying Swan'.

'My Luv' brings us a slow groove, with 'Her' picking up the pace. 'Lamb’s Bread' follows with a reggae sample to set its tone, and finishing the album with a multi-layered Drum N Bass track titled 'Floating'.

(Keith McEwing, Assistant Curator Music)

 Album cover for Reasonz by Dharmarat.

6. Reasonz / Dharmarat

Times (2017), (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Collection record | Dharmarat on Bandcamp

Auckland's Dharmarat aka Adam Kitto has been sampling, making beats, and rhyming in his bedroom since he was 17 according to this Stuff article. He is now 22 and says on his bandcamp site that his newest album "Times, or tides in my everlasting spirit (t.i.m.e.s) an album I made with every ounce of energy I have left".

"Written about life, death and the in-between."; a big claim for such a young artist. But tracks like 'Reasonz' manage to capture deeply existential questions in the form of a catchy hook underpinned by groovy soul melodies. This is a huge accomplishment in a genre that tends to fall into either the completely over the top gangsta bullshit, or the painfully earnest cliché category. Here we have a song that is genuine as well as clever, and most importantly, really good. I was immediately reminded of Mos Def, and then the lyrics and the themes in Dharmarat's music reminded me of another young Auckland artist... Lorde. A New Zealander to keep an eye on for future releases.

(Nicole Gaston, Online Professional Content Services & Development)

Album cover for Oh dear, calf rub by Pouffe.

7. Oh dear, calf rub / Pouffe

I Am Lost at Home (2016), (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Collection record | Pouffe on Bandcamp

Pouffe is a collaboration between Auckland’s Pat Kraus, and Matt Plunkett from Timaru. They use the (possibly self-coined) term ‘free pop’ to describe their sound, suggesting a mix of pop music and free noise, which is a reasonably accurate description (although some might consider it a fairly generous use of the word pop :)

Oh dear, calf rub is the opening track from their recently released EP I Am Lost at Home. There is a gleeful messiness to the music that is evocative of New Zealand DIY pioneers Tall Dwarfs, or the noisy, home-made music of Auckland-based musician Pumice. The deliberately lo-fi vocals, alongside with the wistful melody is also reminiscent of American ‘outsider’ musician Daniel Johnston.

(Matt Steindl, Research Librarian Music)

Album cover for Sleep of the damned by Sinistrous Diabolus.

8. Sleep of the damned / Sinistrous Diabolus

Opus One (1993), (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Collection record | Sinistrous Diabolus on Bandcamp

Another dark trip down memory lane for me. This digitised version of Sinistrous Diabolus’s ferocious death-metal classic from 1993 (originally on cassette) called to mind a few ear-shattering personal encounters with Christchurch death-metal from this era.

Sink into some grindingly-slow riffs and menacing vocals, then strap in for the pummel ‘n’ shred climax. Then the damned return to their slumbers once more…

(Michael Brown, Curator Music)

Album cover for Dearth by Human Resource.

9. Dearth / Human Resource

Human Resource (2017), (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Collection record | Human Resource on Bandcamp

As a fan on Dial I was amped to see Human Resource vocalist and songwriter Tali back in a post-hardcore band, which also brings together members of Collapsing Cities, HDSPNS and Saturnian Noise Collective. Dearth was the first single that led to their self-titled EP and really sets the scene for what the band has to offer both sonically and from a song-writing perspective.

According to Tali, Dearth documents the journey of a Palestinian woman, wrenched from her home by the ravages of occupation and plunged into total chaos, uncertainty and fear of what will happen next. The song evokes the devastating moments before someone can find hope and strength again with others, with family, with a community, some sort of solidarity or peace. Check out this interview they did for Under The Radar.

(Sholto Duncan, Web Archivist, Music)

Album cover for Mount pt.1 by Alpha Beta Gamma.

10. Mount pt.1 / Alpha Beta Gamma

Paradise (2016), (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Collection record | Alpha Beta Gamma on Bandcamp

Alpha Beta Gamma, the solo project of Palmerston North musician Josh Finegan, brings us another album of electronica-inspired instrumentals. Of the seven tracks the one that particularly caught my attention was ‘mount pt.1’.

Offering a contrast to the steady drum and bass sections and sampled sounds of the previous tracks ‘mount pt. 1’ is ambient sounds combining both street and sea. ‘SO I WAS SPARED’ is also worth a listen, possibly offering an explanation to the album’s otherwise esoteric title. This is followed by ‘mount pt.2’ with meditative guitar chords floating over the hubbub of a party crowd.

(Keith McEwing, Assistant Curator Music)

Album cover for Oceans by Rory Storm.

11. Oceans / Rory Storm

Dissolving Lights (2015), (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Collection record | Rory Storm at Internet Archive

As with Storm’s other recent releases, Dissolving Lights, signals a shift away from the heavy distortion and dissonance of his earlier works, Rory Storm and the Invaders. While still preserving the experimental and D.I.Y. feels, Oceans is a beat driven tune.

The dub-techno influences are calming and sedative, but avoid being sanitised by over-production. If you appreciate Deepchord or Rhythm & Sound, I recommend Oceans for some good headphone escapism.

(Katrina Tamaira, Archivist/Archives Advisor)

Album cover for Before you go by MyDepression.

12. Before you go / MyDepression

Fugue States (2016), (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Collection record | MyDepression on Bandcamp

I don’t know much about this producer at all but we have archived a few of their albums. I really like the mix of acoustic guitar overlaid with staccato beats and spoken words. If anyone knows more about them let me know!
Anyway, I thought this track would be a good closing track… before you go ;-)

(Sholto Duncan, Web Archivist, Music)

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Peter Ireland
21 June 2017 3:55pm

This is great. Well done the contributors, and of course the wonderful bunch of musicians. Thanks.