Indeed it's true, our policy of don't say anything unless it's worth saying does leave some big gaps in the conversation, like most of the last few months. Fear not though auditory space traveller as there are rekkids on the way and plans afoot (and also 'a mano' which is handy) and we do actually have worthwhile stuff to tell - all in good time.
Here's a something - continuing a year where our arts and culture are simply rockulating, yet people would rather inexplicably pin their hopes on a big boys toy - our man in the field SJD has become a 2013 New Generation Award Recipient courtesy of the Arts Foundation Of NZ. This is massive and more than well deserved. As the Arts Foundation themselves point out there are two very good reasons why this is no run of the mill back patting exercise - #1 it is voted for by artists themselves - no judging board of industry wankers, managers, liggers and dingleberries thank you very much! and #2 the mana of each award grows as more recipients are awarded. - and aint that the truth Ruth!
In a week where the Luminaries rightly took out the grande cadeaux book wise it is just so right to see one of our own luminaries getting respect, a doff of the arts & kulcha cap, and a none too shabby cheque besides.
Well done Sean, we salute you - now go off and make that album you've been threatening (no jokes - storm is coming)
10th June 13
We are unfeasibly proud to be able to announce the latest video from SJD, and the first clip from the Taite Prize winning Elastic Wasteland album. It was shot in Berlin by Edward de Vere who has previously channeled brilliance for the likes of Connan Mockasin and Julien Dyne.
Inspired by the very strange practices on the Network Awesome show 'Looners' and a prematurely rapturous urban legend De Vere has come up with something wonderful, strange and truly unique that does justice to SJD's gorgeous un-anthem (unthem?). Thanks to NZOA for coming to the party second time around.
Directed by Edward de Vere
Featuring Martin Moeller & Natalie MacMahon
DOP - Matteo Zoppis
Dolly / Grip - Alessandro Zoppis
Art Directed by Edward de Vere & Jana Barthel
Hair & Makeup by Jana Kalgajeva
Styling by Jana Kalgajeva & Edward de Vere
2nd Camera & Dolly / Grip Assist - Evan Marchman
Produced by Edward de Vere
6th June 13
COMING SOON TO A SCREEN NEAR YOU
Oh crapture… Watch This Space.
18th April 13
We always knew, but it's choice to see it made official - SJD's album Elastic Wasteland has won the Taite Music Prize 2013. Facing down a crucially competitive and exceptionally esteemed field of fellow nominees including Homebrew, @Peace, OPOSSOM and 2010 winner Lawrence Arabia, Sean was the winner on the night and the entire next year in fact when you'll probably find him wearing his weighty trophy as a hip hop style pendant or using it to pump those guns to a ridonkulous level on his palatial West Auckland estate.
Naturally we'd like to thank the IMNZ and the judges - one of whom, Earl Gary of Steel had this to say -
"I gave Elastic Wasteland a 5 out of 5 star review in Metro magazine last year, noting that despite his position as 'probably the most critically acclaimed songwriter of his generation... the charts are bereft of his music, the awards not yet accumulating on his mantelpiece, and many still seem indifferent to his luminescent art-pop.'
I'm thrilled to have been able to play a small part in honouring Sean Donnelly aka SJD with the only award that recognises originality and innovation in music over the generic qualities associated with popularity-based prizes.
I just hope his mantelpiece is made of stern stuff, because it's a heavy award in more ways than one."
Well done to Sean… it's your round!
16th November 12
Proud doesn't really begin to do justice to how strongly we feel about Elastic Wasteland - the new SJD album, but it's out and about, as of today, so you can find out for yourself - we'll just leave it at that for now.
The sourcing skinny is - for digital don dadas we wholeheartedly recommendulate either iTunes or Bandcamp, a full album download from either of them will also deliver the full artwork/lyrics in pdf style & fashion. For the physical-ites JB HiFi is giving away copies of the Southern Lights Pic'n'Mix Edition 2CD set with initial copies, or it can be scarfed online from Smoke, Mighty Ape et al. Alternatively drop us a line here and we can sort you out directly with pleasure and the bestest rates mate.
There's already some big chat going down about the album (5 Star reviews and all that on the way…just saying) from online amigos like Cheese On Toast, Blog On The Tracks and Public Address and Sean's stunning live versioneering at the private launch earlier this week, so next Wednesday's hooha (flyer below) at Golden Dawn promises to be something a bit special. It's free, heap plenty tunage befores and afters from Stinking James, and fine ale and vittles from the GDers… scrumptious!
Keep a beady one on www.elasticwasteland.com in the weeks and months to come for some SJD surprises and news, and of course, as ever … ting.
6th November 12
Like an early Xmas present, all wrapped up and ready for receipt, SJD's sixth album Elastic Wasteland is hitting stores and legit download locales as of Friday November 16. We'll furnish you with links to the physical, the digital as well as the possibly stratospheric and almost definitely imaginary, on the day, but in the meantime swoon at the cover above(r) and get ready to count your chickens - because this one is positively hatching. Entirely penned, performed and produced by Sean himself without a single guest, and focussing on just synthesizers, drum machines and the human voice this is the purest, possibly deepest SJD experience yet. The certifiably legendary Angus McNaughton is the mastering maestro, Cherry Sprinkles designed the artwork from Sean's own images and with songs like The Lizard Kings, Lena, These Are The Names, Make Love Ask Questions Later, On The Driveway and Empty World this one is going to fry some minds and sear some synapses.
To celebrate the release Sean will be performing (again completely solo… it's the new style) at Golden Dawn on Wednesday 21st of November. Stinky Jim will be spinning a selection of the very finest from Round Trip Mars and elsewhere, before and afterwards - and admission is free.
25th September 12
While it's true that we've been operating in a silent but deadly fashion throughout most of 2012, there has actually been quite a bit going on at the RTM hive one way and another. So with little further ado please let us hit you up with some news which you can consider the tip of a rather svelte and un-globally warmed iceberg.
First up is SJD who has just dropped the first single from his very imminent and ridiculously high quality new album which we'll be telling you more about very soon. The Lizard Kings is available now as a free/pay what you want download from bandcamp, just below, and it's ready to rinse your palate of all the ineffectual shite that permeates our airwaves and living spaces, just say 'aaaaah'.
Elsewhere the wonderful artist Yvonne Todd has quite rightly been nominated for Album Cover Of The Year in Vodafone NZ Music Technical Awards for her stunning 'Spirit Revival' cover for Haunted Love. The winner is announced next week, it would be wonderful to see this unique and highly original cover getting the recognition it deserves …but we'll see what happens. Congratulations to all, in getting in on that hotly contested one.
The NZ based and eagle eared amongst you may have also noticed Phelps & Munro's epic 'Horse Winning Without Rider' has made a welcome return as the soundtrack to the current campaign for the Can Teen charity. It's a brilliant cause, that we were more than happy to help out with, especially as the ad was made by one of our favourite visual geezers the right honourable Stephen Langdon. The fine denizens of these fair isles can expect another very exciting announcement on the P&M tip very soon, but for the moment we are sworn to secrecy. Phelps & Munro material is available online here, don't be shy.
There's more but lets not bore, the engines are running and take off, in various directions, is impending so keep an eye round these parts.
8th February 12
There's not a great deal that needs to be said. It's a clip for The Vietnam War, made by Alexis Brooks and it's a scorcher. No shonky miming or convoluted plottery, just a whole bunch of imagery that fits with the song, and the group, like a particularly snug glove…and we got snug glove love for it…
Enjoy… and tell a friend
24th January 12
16th January 12
Hold the front page, we have some tour announcement action from TVW and their domestic sistren and Orstraylien labelmate on the mighty Spunk Records, Tiny Ruins… read on
TINY RUINS & THE VIETNAM WAR ANNOUNCE AUSTRALIAN DATES THIS MARCH
Sharing New Zealand passports and with two of 2011's most exciting debuts, Tiny Ruins and The Vietnam War will tour Australia this March – announcing Melbourne, Sydney and Wollongong performances, and supporting Holly Throsby's forthcoming Newcastle show.
Since releasing Some Were Meant For Sea, Tiny Ruins has toured Australia with Seeker Lover Keeper and performed with Fleet Foxes in New Zealand. She touches down this March following guest appearances to CW Stoneking in the UK, and a ten date European run with Holly Throsby and Jordan Ireland. Said BBC 6’s Tom Ravenscroft of Some Were Meant For Sea, "Hollie Fullbrook, as her friends call her, manages to avoid the applied angst that so often ruins the work of British female singer-songwriters and has created a debut album of vast beauty." Wrote Mojo magazine in its 4 star review, "watch out Laura Marling".
Auckland five piece The Vietnam War honed their dusty sound over six years and countless shows – awakening New Zealand's jangly rock legacy with their self-titled first record, named by Rolling Stone as, "all back-porch twang and lazy-day jangle…Eerie bliss". Wrote The Age, "that's the thing about good bands — they make the hard stuff sound so downright effortless", while the Sydney Morning Herald said, "Choice". They've shared stages with The Black Keys and The National at home, and borrow tones from The Feelies, Neil Young and The Chills. The band performs their first Australian dates since the album’s October release.
Tiny Ruins’ gorgeous folk plays a perfect contrast to the warm and weathered country rock of The Vietnam War. Some Were Meant For Sea and The Vietnam War are out now on Spunk Records.
Tickets are on sale Wednesday the 18th of January.
TINY RUINS & THE VIETNAM WAR
Thursday 22, The Northcote Social Club, Melbourne | northcotesocialclub.com
Friday 23, Coalcliff (Wollongong), Community Hall (w/ Holly Throsby)
Saturday 24, Newcastle, Gallipoli Legions Club (w/ Holly Throsby)
Sunday 25, The Vanguard, Sydney | thevanguard.com.au
BEAM is an installation running until Xmas Eve, featuring eight searchlights which have been placed around Aotea Square in central Auckland to create light patterns across the night sky, every evening from 9pm-12. The fine folk at The Edge, who run things in that part of the world, approached Stinky Jim about providing a soundtrack for this lightstravaganza and we thought what could be more Auckland than a quartet of RTM's finest artistes mixed and blended in an instrumental style and fashion.
Since these lights will be viewable by anyone around Auckland who can sight the Sky Tower (which may be suffering inadequacy issues for the duration of this event) you can simply fire up the mix above at 9pm, 10pm or 11pm (or all of them if you're kind of obsessive) and enjoy the light and sound fandangle. As a special launch type treat on Wednesday 07.12.11 Jim will be DJing a strictly Round Trip Mars live set from 9pm-11pm in Aotea Square alongside the lights operator David Eversfield of Opticshock, there will be a PA for maximum sound enjoyment and weather permitting it will be a gas!!
If you wish to buy any of the tracks in the mix (get full tracklist on soundcloud) they are all available to buy digitally by simply clicking on one of the album covers below (except for Invadersim which is FREE!!). To your right, is a link to hit us up directly about physical copies or you can get your google on and find any of these albums at numerous retailers.
5th December 11
After our busiest year for releases ever here are the latest score draws from the RTM doors…
Haunted Love have been busy filming their video for 'Love Underwater' in Dunedin, with director Donald Ferns at the controls (who also handled their hugely popular Librarian clip). Hold your breath because a good dose of untypical beachified brilliantness can be expected when that morsel of eye mightyness drops early in the New Year.
The Vietnam War have been picking up the props and ramping up the radioplay in Australia for their self-titled debut which has been released by the rather wonderful Spunk Records. Rolling Stone, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and …err Who magazine are amongst those who have waxed lyrical about the record, and Australian audiences can expect another visit from the five piece in the first chunk of 2012.
Our man Tourettes is as busy as ever, and can be found alongside compardres Homebrew and Matthew Crawley on their stonking, and positively righteous, anti-Key track 'Listen To Us'. Sadly it wasn't enough to keep the man who personifies the rhyming slang of banker, and his creepy cronies, out of the Beehive, but with his spoken word showcase 'My Mother Says I'm Talented' getting more recognition with every performance, surely it won't be too long till Dom himself is getting elected, or erected or possibly just ejected.
Scratch 22 has followed up his standout performance at the 2011 Silver Scrolls with a well-earned South East Asia sojourn and a bunch of remix work so…watch this space, and She's So Rad have been clocking up the gigs big time as well as airing out the bNets with their cover of The Chills 'Night Of Chill Blue'.
SJD has just received a grant from NZOA for a brand new song (and it's scorchio) called 'I Wanna Be Foolish' (which means yet more to look forward to early next year) while James Duncan is at work on his next nextishness while holed up in a salubrious European holiday retreat. Jefferson Belt continues to deliver demos that are positively drool-some (make another record already Jeff!) and he can be found alongside Phelps & Munro, SJD and Scratch 22 as part of the soundtrack to BEAM in Aotea Square, which you will be able to read more about very soon
3rd November 11
It seems like a fair wee while since Scratch 22's instrumental opus Distance From View was unleashed on an unsuspecting public at the other end of this year, but there's no sell-by date on total quality so cop an eyefull of this… the long awaited video for Medicine Man.
Big thanks to NZOA for rifling through the Govts' back pocket on our behalf and more of the same to producer - Imogen O'Neill, director - Bob Van Der Wall and the peeps and peepesses who helped out. Huzzah!!!
7th October 11
After more applications and frothy outbursts than you can shake a shitty stick at, our man Mr Dominic Hoey aka Tourettes finally got himself one of them there video grants from the Guvment. This is what happened. Points and prizes all round especially to Elliot and Olivia and those bouncing balaclavad bairns and all the rest, check it below.
Also in RTM-land the belles of our ball, Haunted Love, have been picking up the adoring text and critical air kisses like there's no tomorrow. For a limited time you can hear Nick Bollingers's uber astute musing on The Sampler and there's a heaping helping of interweb inspection at hot hubs like Mix It Up, Cheese On Toast, Under The Radar, Elsewhere and you know elsewhere too. Don't be to sleeping please thank you.
But enough of my yakking, whaddaya say? Let's boogie
28th September 11
MY MOTHER THINKS I'M TALENTED featuring Tourettes, Saan Barratt (The Vietnam War, Dirtbags etc) Mathew Crawley etc is on at The Basement, tonight (28th) and on Friday and Saturday. Check the vid below for a sneak peek…
Also happening at the Basement this week is the BIG Haunted Love launch for SPIRIT REVIVAL which follows a scorcher last week at the Dunedin Art Gallery. Doors from around 10.15, tix are a tenner, pre sales from Under The Radar…no excuses!!!!!!!!!!!
19th September 11
Well don't say we didn't warn you… today is the day and Haunted Love's debut album Spirit Revival has been unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. As per usual if you are of the digital persuasion we'd recommend you head to bandcamp or if that's not your bag there's iTunes and all the others. For those of the retail brigade - JB HiFi, Marbecks, Real Groovy (where there's a rather swoonsome HL window on display) and others are all stocking it and if you're in Dunedin you can even buy it from the Public Art Gallery in the Octago (along with an arty postcard or two and probably some fridge magnety kind of behaviour).
The ladies will be celebrating this monumental release with a show in Dunedin this week on the 23rd and in Auckland on the 30th, poster below and hope to see you there.
15th September 11
The last release for the year, and one hell of a fine and fantastical finale, Haunted Love's 'Spirit Revival' is primed and ready to gently explode on Monday the 19th of September. Rainy McMaster and Geva Downey have got their own thing going on completely and utterly, and with the assistance of the venerable Ed Cake for on point production and a small army of guests, friends and fam they have conjured up something special, spooky and simply seductive. The ladies' favouritest artist Yvonne Todd furnished the artwork with her incredible portraits which perfectly reflect the gothic indie R&B vibes and a creepy pop charm that cant be tamed across a dozen swoonsome songs. Release shindigs are afoot, check the poster below and read on for a quick round up…
Elsewhere She's So Rad have been picking up rave reviews in the big papers, mags and what have you, as well as racking up the tally of live shows and heading over to Sydney for a September show. The Vietnam War's self-titled debut continues to blossom and is set for Australian release through the fine folk Spunk (via EMI) in October. The band have just returned from a successful trio of gigs in Melbourne, and backing the legendary John Rowles at APRA's Silver Scrolls. Scratch 22 was selected to be one of the artists covering a Song Of The Year finalist at the same event, and has been keeping his hand in elsewhere with a remix for @Peace and other stuff we're not even allowed to tell you about. Meanwhile Tourettes is celebrating coming off the back of a successful nation wide tour with Alphabethead and Jay Roacher by curating a spoken word event My Mother Says I'm Talented which runs from Wednesday 28th September to October 1st at the Basement and a heap of stuff besides…it's all on.
28th August 11
Slip off your blinkers and strap yourself in because Tiger Belly is ready to be unleashed. It's up on bandcamp as I type, and you know that's always our first recommendation, but as first thing on the 29th it will be in-stores physically and up on iTunes and other digital dealers and all that.
Musically and lyrically this is a devastating album, so get to it.
23rd August 11
A couple more from the Tourettes helpless desk…
One more to go (probably) but this latest one with Tom from Homebrew Crew/@Peace etc is fire.
9th August 11
Next up on the RTM schedule-athon is something we are awful excited about… Tourettes Tiger Belly. We'll be waxing lyrical and politely foaming at the mouth about this in due course but to give yourself a wee tastelet check the vid below and then hop on over to Bandcamp where you can buy this slab of intercranial musing for not very much at all.
Tourettes will be heading out on the World Of The Weird tour with close allies Alphabethead and Jay Roacher at the following venues, you have been warned.
It has a been good many moons since James Duncan unfurled his devastatingly delicious debut 'Hello-Fi' but like the gift that keeps on giving - James never seems to run out. Uniting once again with long time compardre and well known cloud-botherer, Joe Fish, who was also responsible for the stunnulating A Obvious clip, this bit of excessive editification is soundtracked by Reject Pain one of the 5 tracks that were exclusive to the physical version of 'Hello-Fi'.
Them done done it again, get a brew on, sit back and enjoy.
Also if you need more Duncan in your life, we understand…hell - we even sympathize. Check out the long awaited and manifestly charming Punches album 'Etheria' which finds James and Kelly Sherrod cooing, clucking and making mighty fine music, like the champions they are. It's out now on Arch Hill, there's a very good video semi-directed by homme about town John Campbell and even though its not on RTM (have you seen our release schedule?? it's awesome insanity personified, we couldn't even squeeze an extra tiny cassingle in there!) we recommend you buy at least one copy, if not several!
1st August 11
Out today and available everywhere that matters (enough with the linkfest already) we are preposterously proud and more than a little chuffed to present the debut album from She's So Rad 'In Circles'. As ever you are double plus welcome to come correct and direct to RTM (email us) for a physical copy of the SSR experience or we heartily recommend Bandcamp for all your digital desires in that direction.
We've been living with this compact and bijou whirled of sound for a wee while at RTM mansions and can guarantee that it's a more than worthy addition to our armoury of awesomeness. All that remains is for NZ folks to get themselves along to the gigs that are documented below and for foreigners and overseas types to buy the album by the bucketload and wait their turn.
See you's at Whammy on Friday, check that line-up, it's downright swoonsome!!
5th July 11
With an Auckland release bash at the KA on Thursday followed by a Welli stint with Luckless at Happy on Saturday (9th) and a bunch more dates on the way The Vietnam War is popping off right now (whatever that means). That little boid, with the anchor surrounded by them flowers, is all over the place and there's plenty more to come. For the right now, here's a bit of the action from out in the field on release day.
First up that man Matthew Crawley put together a cracking featurette about the band and the album for RNZ's ever supportive Music 101, which was broadcast last Saturday but can be listened to by heading here, if you're of the Mac persuasion then just follow their links in the help, simple innit. Not saying it's an inside job or anything but Mr Crawley will be amongst the supports at the Kings Arms on Thursday and well worthy of your ear time.
There's a video interview lurking around at Cheese on Toast and head honcho Tidball gave the rekid 5/5 hearts in his review! What can we say? We heart you right back geez. When Andrew gushes like a geyser that "everything you ever wanted in a record comes to a culminating end" there's not a dry eye, or thigh, in the house. In fact there's even an odour related chance to win a copy of the album (along with one you've already bought, eh) if you follow this stink link.
Metro's also packing and propping The Vietnam War with a swoonsome headline spot on Charlottes Web (alongside next up releaser She's So Rad… more on that very soon) and a top shelf 4/5 star review from Gary Steel that says stuff like "twelve galvanising nuggets of song that evoke a modal, country-folk-tinged Auckland suburbia that's a lot more gritty and real than its endless tarseal and shopping megaplexes would suggest." Word to yer moms.
Under The Radar have also come to the party, balloons and all, with an interview by Courtney Sanders and a stream of the album too. True.
Without wishing to be pushy in any way, shape or form it seems pertinent to point out that it's available digitally at our choice …Bandcamp or iTunes and the other usuals. Physically, a quick online scan reveals Marbecks have it at a noice price, Amplifier are holding the disc, Mighty Ape are doing it simian style and fashion, and JB HiFi have scores in their stores all awaiting your pounds, shillings and pence (or modern day equivalent). You can always cut out the middle men and hit up websalesatroundtripmarsdotcom for the directest route to a glorious lughole cleaning of epic proportions.
There'll be more but for now the essential info is …album out now - buy it/gigs on way - go to 'em if you're on this whirled of the side.
Coming very soon a killer new audio visual fandangulation from James Duncan and Joe Fish, plus news on She's So Rad and the In Circles album which is dropping August 1.
23rd June 11
Get to it…
17th June 11
It's hardly a secret, but it is probably time we made it official and stated that yes Round Trip Mars is the home for what will undoubtedly be one of the albums of the year… that being the self titled debut from The Vietnam War which is out on July 4th (yeee ha). Up above you can gaze at the quiet simply gorgeous cover which was painted by the multi-talented guitarista Kristal Gallagher - get used to it… you'll be seeing a lot of it.
There will be more beans to spill presently, and obviously things are going swimmingly with Beat My Time unbudgable at #1 on the 95bFM Top Ten, picking up aroha all over and already having grazed the upper reaches of the nationwide Radioscope Alt Chart at a modest but nonethless massive #2 for a coupla weeks.
For denizens of our capital and largest city the good news express is nigh on unstoppable, as there will be release shindigs at the Kings Arms on the 7th of July (with support from Tina Turntables, Matthew Crawley, Evil Twins and Hot Grease) and at Happy on the 9th (alongside Daniel Burminster and Luckless). South Island, hold tight…we haven't forgotten you and there will be more gigs with the freshness.
That should do for now… but did we mention that this record will fry tiny minds and is so bleeding infectious it's officially more dangerous than a German cucumber… yes! that good.
13th May 11
Scratch 22 has been at it again. Below is a fone snapshot of his popup bFM Breakfast set on K Road at some ungodly hour this morning. It was a killer set-lette for the denizens of AK's illustrious and favouritest strasse, though it wasn't enough to impress (or wake) the street dude taking a kip out the front of the ex-Whitcoulls in the back of the shot.
But wait… you guessed it… there's more. Head on over to the podcast bitty of the Scratch 22 site and cop a download link to his mind bending set for bFM's Thursday night dose of freaky frequencies Psychic Glands… easy listening, it aint.
Finally please do feast your eyes on the Cold Hands video at long last…
21st April 11
Well the cat is very much out of the bag, especially for folks in AK who have been gently bombarded with Scratch 22-ness and Distance From View-ology, since the wee bomb dropped on Monday. Having kicked off with a cracking Rip It Up article (from our man on the spot Mr Pepperell) there's been press and radio shenanigans going on and mad support from the bNets (where Medicine Man is most played track across the country i.e. numero uno on the Radioscope Alt Chart - having already done #1 on the 95bFM Toppus Tenus), Radio NZ (check this link for an excellent Music 101 piece by the ever on-point Emma Smith) and all the other joints that matter.
Basically crazy support across all quarters, and it's no surprise because it's a deadly debut and a right proper 'sort out a packed lunch because you're going on a journey' type affair.
Next up, and soon, will be a video directed by Bob Van Der Wal who has been responsible for all of the imagery connected to Distance From View, so you know you can expect the proper oper and a right old visual mind boggle.
Auckland folk might want to make their way to Conch for a CD slice, elsewhere types will find it at JB HiFi or you can buy the deesk online here or here or here. Or if you're all about the ones and zeros we recommend Bandcamp for best formats, best everything and less middle man, you can find the album and the single with the fearsome DHDFD's version by following that link… or on iTunes.
Inevitably with such an engrossing and slyly addictive album there's a fearsome head of publicitorial pressy-type behaviour and rampant reviewology building up - you can have a gander at Scott Kara's 4/5 star review here or check out some online action from the Renegade House/Nerdy Frames axis here. Far too many other lovely folk spreading the word to be able to link 'em all but we see you… and we thank you.
4th April 11
Ahoy…the 'bots at RTM have been beavering away and lo…and behold, the fruits are about to pronounce themselves fully ripe and ready for picking. Above is a minimix featuring a selection from Scratch 22's dynamite debut 'Distance From View' , there's plenty more on the album but this should give you a taste (the first taste is always free and you know what happens after that).
Below you can see the cover for the thus far, digital-only single which features 'Medicine Man' and 'For Walking Faces' from the album, as well as a unique slice of proto-punk-fusioneering Scratch 22 cover version madness from the DHDFD's. That needs to be heard to be believed and it will be hitting the iTunes and bandcamps of the world, hard, next Monday the 11th. Keep this frequency clear, more on 'Distance From View' coming up.
3rd March 11
After the veritable web assault and download frenzy of Invaderism, we've been getting busy elsewhere for the start of 2011, and boy… do we have some treats up our proverbial sleeve for you as a result.
There's nothing like a bit of suspense, so the spilling of some beans will come later, but we can say that there will be 3 artists making RTM debuts in the months to come, and we couldn't wish for a better trio of miscreants.
The first of those, as has already been announced, is Auckland's very own Scratch 22 and his debut album 'Disappear From View' which will be dropping on April 18th. It's a deep deadly concoction of proper listening music that takes you places, and it probably won't drop you home for quite some time afterwards. The lead track Window Rattle has already made itself quite comfy in the upper reaches of the NZ Radioscope Alt Chart, but we're really setting our phasers to stun for the imminent unleashment of the first digitally accessible single, Medicine Man. That will be available on bandcamp, iTunes and other file vendors from April 11th, and as well as the title track, the package also include the positively rambunctious For Walking Faces, and a cover version that includes both of the aforementioned tracks by Auckland punker troubadours The DHDFD's - that simply needs to be heard to be believed. This is no token effort hooha, and there's plenty more to come as Scratch and the band combine their powers for some non-denominational, genre-hopping gig action in the near future.
You can expect a few more updates round these parts as we head towards blast off with that record, and maybe we'll let slip who else is on the menu for this year (let's just say that any anticipation and baited breath will not be wasted).
24th December 10
Seasonal greets to one and all, and welcome to the last day of our 10th (well 11th but pedantacism is not our game) Anniversary throwdown/giveaway/shindigeration.
Today we have the final catalogue track and dusty treasure, which will be free to download until January 1st and then you'll have to pay for it, like decent deity fearing individuals should. This track has in fact never ever been available digitally before, as it is one of the bonus tracks that only come with the physical CD edition of James Duncan's sparkling Hello-Fi. It's a proper head trip… and then some.
Meanwhile the FULL INVADERISM COMP is available in a glorious range of formats at the Round Trip Mars Bandcamp. It's still free, and it shall be for the forseeable. Since we are giving this away out of the genorosity of the artists and the largesse of RTM we'd like to strongly request you do pick up the full quality versions… as they do sound best and we're like to see maximum ear respect going on.
Possibly not the greatest example of thinking things through really, coming up with a plan that involves posting on Xmas eve, and even more on the subsequent day of loafery, but I suspect there were lofty notions of pre-planning and other fanciful but unrealistic schemes.
Though the Invaderism cuts may all now be up, and will soon be taking the airs at Bandcamp, we do still have a couple of catalogue crucialities to dispense for free download (till January 1st when they'll be streaming only) including this 7" gem-let from Unitone HiFi.
Unfussy and direct, with spoken samples recorded from late night Jamaican radio in the 90's as well as around the Black Scorpio, Digital B and Penthouse/Music Works camps, Up To Eleven has all of the Unitone trademarks as well as a little extra. Merry Xmas & ting.
Check the Unitone HiFi Bandamp for recent emissions as well as 'Wickedness Increased', 'Rewound & Rerubbed', 'Foxy Frotter', 'Boomshot' etc
23rd December 10
With the unreasonable seasonal madness at full throttle (outside ..not a good place) we have reached the final of our Invaderism drops, and you know that we were going to save something special for that. Please allow us to introduce Scratch 22 - he has actually been on the firm for some time, during which he has been primping, preening and perfecting his opening album salvo which is charged and ready to ignite in early 2011.
You'll be finding out about, and hearing a lot more of, Scratch 22 very soon - so let's not get ahead of ourselves. An infectious, jaunty wee joint Shivani Strut is a bit of a red herring compared to the swoonsome and decidedly deep gear that is soon to come from him (Window Rattle is currently wafting the b-Nets and other quality stations). For right now though it's truly irresistible, and it's like talking a stroll down the Sandringham shops without even having to leave your home. On days like this that is a very fine thing indeed, if only the song could do the shopping too.
From here the full Invaderism will be dropped on Xmas day on Bandcamp (we'll put up a note here directing you to that) as full quality wav files or whatever you desire…still for free!! We have a couple more historical gems to post on the 24th and 25th, but those catalogue cuts will only be downloadable on soundcloud from the 1st of Jan after that streamingerating only, so sleep on that... and I sorry for you.
Check out Scratch 22's Soundcloud for premium grade saucy remixes and what have you…
22nd December 10
Could write a novella on this one, there's humour in the darkness and darkness in the humour, Gainsbourg/Vannier-isms abound (how pretentious does that sound?…) and so much stuff to love - a veritably probing bassline, brushtastique drums, exquisite stringery from Victoria Kelly, James Duncan space guitar and that deliciously awkward chord sequence in the chorus… could go on, but you get the picture.
Oh do get familiar SJD at Bandcamp, Lucifer is taken from the still stunning Songs From A Dictaphone album. Give us a shout right here for physical, or resort to the old chestnut good retailers.
21st December 10
Sworn to secrecy, with the threat of a lifetime of listening to shitty young bandz if we ever spill the beans… there is simply no way we can reveal who may be behind the shady Clanky B Tuffins moniker.
Unsubstantiated rumours suggest that Clanky is a grizzled veteran holed up in a Port Antonio shack, with only his crumbling organ collection, and the memories of a triumphant run through JA talent contests in the late 60's, keeping him from a slippery slope into a dominos and Dragon Stout addiction.
Other equally unreliable rumours have him as a musical miscreant of ginormous proportions who appears at the RTM door periodically with supermarket bags full of dusty tapes and curdled compositions, which blow our mind without fail. As you can tell from yesterday's dropped ball on the posting we're the last people to ask if you want a straight answer and a bit of service, best just lose yourself in this little ripper of a tune and not worry about the origins.
Good luck looking for more from Clanky…him sneaky.
21st December 10
My sincerest and massivest apologies, we dropped a day yesterday. Maybe it's the season but it's been positively biblical round these parts with a spot of flooding, cars giving up the ghost (that happened in the Boible right?? wasn't it in the Book of Shane or Shaquille or something? I do get confused) and all sorts of other pesky palaver that kept my eye off the ball. Hanyways here's yesterdays and todays in one fun-packed bundle.
You could almost say I've been down a hole, which is where you'll find Jefferson Belt today.
Aside from the chart-topping smashes Where's He At, Green Termite and Gold Dust anything from the lovely, limber and louche Table Manners would make the grade as a hidden treasure, but it fell to The Hole because of it's wonderful koiwi voice which makes me think of trying to avoid Country Calendar …like the plague that it is. I suspect that because of the frivolous and fun filled nature of Jeff's recordings, folks don't always take his music as seriously as they should… empires have been lost on smaller assumptions and miscalculations..you have been warned… take heed and repair yourself to the nearest Belt bubble at the next opportunity.
Table Manners is all manner of things to all manner of people… find out what it can do to your essential oils and vital parts at the Beltcamp (and his exceedingly wonderful Creeping Tings Of The Earth is up there and available from us on 7" too)
19th December 10
'Well there's sunshine and movie stars, and magic comes in truck…'
It should be pretty obvious who this is within a few bars. A few more and you'll begin that process of inner mind naggeration that will see the melodies re-appearing in your head for days to come… by then it's all over. You might as well just rewind and start again..
Mr Donnelly has always had a wicked way with comp cuts and one offs - have a shufty at the links to Gigawatti and Unshine from Sideways and Sideways Too below, for evidence of that. This'un right here is positively intergalactic!
Here's a track that embodies the whole idea with these dusty treasures or hidden gems. James Duncan's debut EP Mirror Minor was on the books for quite some time before it actually transpired. It could easily have been a coupla hits and some filler, but that wouldn't have done for the multi-banded Duncan or the downright sniffy RTM, and that made '05 a rather fine vintage.
So there were a brace of stand-apart boomers (the primeval wooze of Desert Playground and the deviant discoid Do U?) and then there were three equally killer tunes that took a good deal longer to worm their way into your psyche, but with no less conclusive results.
Loop 51 is a kaleidoscopic tour-de-force that has hidden depths and layers, James has a knack for these kind of crucial conundrums, Hello-Fi's A Obvious with it's Award winning clip from the Emperor of the Edits Joe Fish (viewable in the Vision section right here) is of a similar ilk.
Mirrored? Minored? If not, I sorry for you, head to James Duncan Bandcamp or hail us up right here at Round Trip Mars for physical hoo-ha and ting.
17th December 10
As a co-founder of RTM and the man whose mastering touch is on every single track we've released (and he mixed most of 'em too), Angus McNaughton's contribution over the years has been incalculable.
After gracing Sideways with Mysterious Utility and taking SJD's Rising Falling Rising on an inter-galactic carpet ride (not to mention the legendary Games on Froth Records), Hat Trap is a glorious return after far too long.
He may be the teacher but this is no academic exercise - it's a glorious elongated romp through the dusty crates with a heaping helping of twists and turns on the route. Dive in.
Does your Unit need more Mood? Head here for another orbit.
16th December 10
Listen to this song. No … really listen. It wasn't one of the hits, it's probably not what you'd quite call a live favourite (though I can recall getting my sway on to this) but it's just a total gem of a song. Victoria Kelly's strings do exactly what they should and nothing more (love the Vannier-esque touch around 3.20, most would see that as a precursor to extensive string gymnastics, but not… it's a touch of class that there is just a single flourish there) every little element does what it needs and moves on, or in. The meandering bassline, goose-down bvs, them lyrics that nail me everytime right from the first line 'Beneath the silent soil, these songs will bury you' Brilliant!
Six years later this still has every bit of magic intact. When it comes to SJD the philosophy has to be similar to John Peel's when asked about what is best… it's the next one, it's the one you haven't heard yet.
If you haven't listened to Southern Lights in a while, drag it out. If you've not had that pleasure… well, that's a lot of time you'v been wasting. Incidentally the Invaderism contribution from the Donnelly camp is unfuckingbelievable!! and coming soon.
Mas SJD at his Bandcamp also lingering around the Babylonian iTunes gardens and there's always delightful fizzikal prod-duct from right here at RTM, drop us a line.
15th December 10… Eeek!
Yep, well this kind of puts me in a tricky position because the next Invaderism insertion is from me, out and about on me tod, for the first time ever.
Frankly there's never been a need, when I've been fortunate enough to have stupendously talented, creative and skilled peoples to (leach off)…err work with like Tim Ellis, Joost Langeveld, Eddie Chambers, Angus McNaughton in the past, but sooner or later some of those other possible avenues have got to be hinvestigated.
Triple Agent was one of the first tunes to emerge when I buried myself in a layer of cathartic beatmaking hooha earlier this year, it started off with an Arabian feel and kwaito rhythms and ended up somewhere quite different. The most Everestian of props must go to Angus McNaughton for his help in making some sense of my in(s)ane rumblings and tentative one-finger keyboard techniques, in the mix and mastering malarkey stage. Onwards and upwards. (oh and a heads up soundcloud is down from 8pm to 12am NZ time roughly tonight, so don't be alarmed…just continue being charmed)
Said it before… say it again… there are really no words sufficient for capturing the micro majesty and epic fiddlyness, melodious mischief and percussive perambulation of the ever elusive Phelps & Munro…
You might be able to fling an adjective or two on it, as a P&M track rolls past, but don't expect it to stick. Aside from those big smash hits (Horse Winning and Ex-Sports Star…) pretty much any track on Slowpoke is up for hidden treasure status. For some reason Glib came out on top, it just has a feeling of superbly conjured up fluidity to it.
The re-petitioning for a new Phelps & Munro album starts here, surely no-one pokes that slow?!
Further fandangulations on the P&M prairie? You said it cowbwoy, head on over to the ole Bandcamp where you'll find him a hootin' and a hollerin' (though sans ampersand…)
13th December 10
Oh man we're about to open the whole Jefferson Belt can of worms, and in what style. Like Amateur that kicked this whole Invaderism shebang off, this is a cut that has been flicking the 'must release now' button for a hot Sandringham minute.
It's also been through a number of permutations, mixes and approaches, to reach it's current position of righteous readiness, but it's been worth every drop of sonic sweat from the Jeffersonian institute. No need to ruin the surprise by telling you what you are about to hear but you might be needing a cup of tea and a lie down afterwards.
Plenty more Belteration to come in the next week or two from the ping ponging Kingslandian musical membrane, but this should keep you well satiated till then. If.. understandably this wont suffice do please check the link below the player to enter an entire Beltiverse of inappropriate melodic gestures.
Appetite whetted? Tastebuds tingling? Of course they are, we understand …head to Jefferson Belt's Bandcamp and scoff the lot for next to nix.
12th December 10
It seems wrong and slightly odd that there are only two tracks from Dooblong Tongdra in our 99-11 and beyond, history. We really must do something about that. It certainly isn't a reflection on our views on the utter essentialness of the right honorable Kenattah Selinedyah's musical output, or his place amongst the core RTM base camp.
The wonderfully titled albums on Why Bother? - Anything, Anywhere For No Reason At All, and Discontinued are that real deal, rare beastie, showing a truly unique electronic voice. Listening back as I type they haven't barely aged - standalone then, is still standalone now.
Hazmat is a triumph of tension - stereophonic supply and digital demand. With the copious amounts of ferocious tune-ology coming out of the Dooblong nest at the time, I can recall running though and nay-ing a few tunes in order to purloin the most significantly Sideways and 'suits you sir' cut, a bit unfair really but a luxury that can be afforded when you have the strike rate and output of a mini Atom Heart. Most of those tunes that weren't quite the right ingredient for our sonic Sideways Too stew have subsequently become firm favourites and righteous respite in the dreaded NZ Muzak Weak's on Stinky Grooves, and some of them can be found on Dooblong Tongdra's Soundcloud page. May we strongly suggest you repair yourself there forthwith, at the first possible opportunity…seriously…like now.
As ever, oversize and inestimably huge propulations go out to Adrian Dentice who has had our back from time, and deserves some sort of suitably chintzy medal for his services to domestic otherworldly ear tackle in the Auckland region and beyond.
A sunny-ish Saturday in Auckland, a strong whiff of summer in the air…perhaps a jaunty colour soaked tune to top the day off? I don't think so.
You certainly wouldn't call Repeat monochromatic, it's got shades and hues and tones galore, but it's definitely from the moodier side of the James Duncan ledger. Listened to it like a million times already, and still haven't got a clue what most of the pearls of wisdom dripping from the Duncan bouche through copious clouds of vocodyodyozation mean… but it sure sounds good.
There's more to come from the incomparable Mr Duncan as we roll through the years, so we're saving up the superlatives, however it must be said rarely has a track been so adroitly named…get your rewind finger ready.
More James Duncan…well you would, wouldn't you. Head to his Bandcamp where SkyFall, a divine duet with Mz Chelsea Jade is available fer nix, as well as Mirror Minor and Hello-Fi, which we'll be getting to presently.
10th December 10
You'll be seeing (and hearing) a bit of SJD up here over the next coupla weeks and what better way to kick it off than 96 Seconds, a jewel and a half from Lost Soul Music. To be honest it was a very close run thing between this and The Lowdown Pt 2, they are both cuts that should be screamed from the rooftops, and have a real sense of time and place about them.
Hanyways '96 Seconds' nudged its way in because you really can't argue with a Bo Diddley shuffle, well not unless you want the spirit of Ellas Otha Bates (ever wondered why he called himself Bo…that would be it) giving you a slap in the chops from the spirit world. This was a pivotal album for the label back then, and one that we think has aged like a quality single malt or particularly pungent cheese type ting … ie rather well!
We suspect that the posting of this track may get a few folk pulling out their copies of 'Lost Soul Music' and re-realizing what a great album it still is. Of course if you are deprived in that aspect, we have a solution. Below the player is a link to Lost Soul Music on Bandcamp for digital dudes and dudettes and the album is still very much available and orderable from what's left of record retail, or directly from us here at the RTM Simplex for a noice proice.
And just wait till you hear what freshness Mr Donnelly has cooked up for Invadersim… oh my good gosh!
You can find plenty more SJD matter for perusal and purchase at his Bandcamp site (you'll need to click 'more releases' on the right hand side to access Lost Soul Music btw)
9th December 10
Mycroft Holmes…who he? Sideshow Viewing… What’s that? Well… you’ll find the answer to the latter part just downstairs from this bit of verbosity, so get yer ears on. As to the former, ‘tis none other than our old mucker Joost Langeveld, a man who’s had finger in so many musical pies it’s a miracle he’s got any digits left at all.
One thing that you can be sure of - from the likes of Nemesis Dub Systems, Unitone HiFi and NRA right through, when he’s in there - there’s a certain, very identifiable and agreeable Joostishness that is always spirited up in a musical form. This then is the unadulterated business, and it’s top shelf, overproof, distilled, deep & deadly, delight.
The Round Trip Mars story really begins with the Sideways comp released mere minutes after Phase 5's 'Space Bar' full-length exspazaganza. As with so many of these things there was no Eureka moment or existential epiphany, it just kind of happened. There was a bunch of factors… old links, a fresh surge of miscreant music makers, the hub that Beautiful Music was at the time, folks we were doing gigs with as Phase 5/Soundproof etc etc and a need for a little spice and something cocking a snoot at meaningless genre restrictions and all that malarkey.
Going back to search out a track to ping up was a real delight and an embarrassment of riches - so many tunes across the board and a genuine feeling of freshness and excitement… I'll have pint of that!
Daylight from Juse remains a sly scorcher, and such a fave that this is the only track from outside the direct RTM camp we're flinging up. Now heading up Move The Crowd alongside fellow long time RTM supporter Kirk Harding, as well as trodding on with his Woodcut operations - Juse is one of the best and Daylight is just one of those insidious, deceptively simple cuts that hits the spot overtime.
So much for any thoughts of easing into this, we're sitting on a number of bombs and sooner or later one of 'em is going to explode, so to preclude that it's time to unleash this wee fireball to wrap your listening tackle around. It's the first new track from Phelps & Munro since dinosaurs roamed the earth… or at least since the world was completely taken over by parasitical talent-less shows and a tsunami of pre-pubescent pop puffery (hang on, how long has that been?)
Would love to say that this was taken from a soon come follow up album to the frayed majesty of Slowpoke, but given that this is the first original out of the P&Mosphere for something like six years… we're just well appreciative and a touch ecstatic to have this. Words are pretty pointless and insufficient when it comes to Phelps & Munro music, so get to it - and if this is your first time entering the spazmobile, look out, because we'll be flinging up a hidden gem from Slowpoke in a few days time.
Check out (and buy!!) more festive fare from the Phelps & Munro pantry at Bandcamp
6th December 10 DIGGER
Here's the first of the hidden gems or dusty treasures as selected by yours truly RTM gaffer and gofer, Stinky Jim. The idea is to shine a light on some of the tracks that weren't the big playlist numbers but had that certain 'je ne sais quoi', or rugged charm, nonetheless.
When Round Trip Mars kicked off in 1999 the intention was as an outlet for the Phase 5 album, a record which had a gestation period that would have elephants raising an eyebrow. The label name was inspired (ok cribbed) from a particularly fine, fruity and phase-ful track on an album in the Phase 4 series (an op shop favourite of any discerning digger, nope not going to tell you which one..too easy.) It would be nice to say there was a great deal of thought behind that, but from memory it only occurred to us quite late in the piece that a name was needed, or might be desirable. Given those shoddy circumstances I think we came out of it pretty well.
99's debut release was the Phase 5 Space Bar 12" and from that we have Bag Juice, the marginally less celebrated companion to Box Juice. Well in all honesty this is the slightly loudened up for 2010 ears version from the Space Bar album that came the following year, but it's the best mix and I make the rules up as I go along anyways. The Bag/Box Juice thing came from asking a nipper who was hanging around outside a studio in Kingston, JA what he called his toy 'car' (basically a juice carton on a piece of string), he said it was a 'Box Juice BMW’ and we discussed the merits of a possible 'Bag Juice submarine'... and there you have it.
Big props have to go out to keyboardista Daddy Dom who came up trumps, and then some, when we invited him into our lair. Thankfully he's a lateral fellow and took kindly to our request for him to shake the shit out of his organ (ooh err) to get those lovely big spring sounds and what have you, as well as ..you know the notes and stuff. Ah going misty eyed at the memories of it all now... tomorrow more newness from Invaderism and a bit less rambling writey guff (trust me we'll be down to song titles and nothing else by day 20!)… Stay tuned.
And so the saga begins. We're not fussing about track order and suchlike when it comes to pinging these tracks up for your pre-listening eary delight and download, in fact the one thing you can be sure of is that this won't be the way they're programmed when the album drops in its entirety on December 25th.
Since it was recorded earlier in the year Amateur has been burning a hole in the RTM proverbial pocket, after all the mighty Coco Solid linking up with old duffers Unitone HiFi is a bit of a special treat. Easily offended folks might find this a bit sweary, personally we were concerned it just wasn't sweary enough, we loves them cuss words. It was a surprise that Jess picked out this rhythm from the ones we chucked at her, but she knew what she was doing and as a result it's the most fully vocal tune (that we'll admit to) in the heartical HiFi's decade and a half history.
Big thanks going out to Joost, Chris and Angus for this gem and what about the album artwork we have unleashed at the top of this post…a personal best from Howard Besantron-Matil who was also responsible for many of the early RTM album covers and design bits? …we think it just might be.
Pop in tomorrow for the first 'Hidden Gem' from the RTM back catalogue (it's a corker and has been specially scrubbed for your edification)and check back on Tuesday for the second track to be unleashed from Invaderism. For those not familiar with soundcloud, the little arrow on the left of the player will allow you to download a sparkling 320kbps mp3 but remember each track will only be downloadable for 2 days (after that streaming only) … so snooze and lose!
Let us not mess about. Yes it’s been six months since there was a peep out of this page, a lot has happened, a fair amount hasn’t happened – there is a lot to tell, and there is a good deal that won’t be told.
Hanyways it says NEWS at the top of that page…and do we have some news. First up the Round Trip Mars clock has ticked past the decade mark without too much of usual self-congratulatory back slippery and suchlike, well without any actually. T’would be churlish not to make something of the fact that we have been a disheveled standard bearer for uncompromising quality music since 1999 so allow us to introduce Invaderism. Even at this stage with a couple of tracks yet to fully enter the launch station it’s shaping up to be the finest compilation on Round Trip Mars yet, and a well needed antidote to a predominantly slaverage music year all round. What’s more it’s free, digital and features all new, all exclusive tracks from the entire RTM fam.
From December 5th you can download a free track from Invaderism every 2nd day right here. On the alternate days there will be a lesser known gem from each year of RTM’s history '99-'09. Each download will only be up for 2 days, and on December 25th the entire fundle bundle will drop on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Call it a Xmas present or a thank you for the support over the years - its’ bigger than Santa’s creepy finger on Queen Street and the tracklist alone is going to fry some synapses, we take no responsibility for blown minds, head nod related RSI or floor related jaw drop dramas as a result of the musical magnificence about to be bestowed upon you… it’s really that good.
Amongst the regal rabble on Invaderism is a somewhat new face to our space race, in the form of Scratch 22. Well known as a refreshingly un-formularized and preposterously popular DJ, and co-founder of the ARC crew, his own productions are a whole other fettle of kish. While his remixes of the Mint Chicks, 1995 and others were swiftly taken up by the b-Nets and whatnot, and his work with Tourettes has been justifiably acclaimed, Scratch 22’s debut album (due early 2011) goes wayyyy deeper. Nightmares On Wax’s George Evelyn has already tapped him for his Wax On compilation series, his remix of Electric Wire Hustle’s ‘Again’ on BBE is stirring up the firmament on wax overseas and he’s just about to head off to Paris to represent New Zealand against the world in the Red Bull Thre3Style championships, having taken out the Auckland and New Zealand finals last week. It's positively breathless, plenty more to come on him and look out for his cut on Invaderism appearing here soon.
That will have to do for now…it’s a lot! Next up we’ll drop the tracklist but to keep you going in the meantime check James Duncan’s bandcamp for a an absolute pearler of a free tune alongside the divine Mz Chelsea Jade, ‘SkyFall’.
And since it’s been so long why not also help yourself to a morsel from Unitone HiFi’s outer orbit. Check this trans-national bit of nouveau chicha dubwise niceness.
It’s been a while but it certainly hasn’t been a holiday! We are hoping to have some confirmed news of an upcoming release (or two) imminently and a very exciting new signing announced soon, so please don’t take our recent extended web smoko to heart, and do check in from time to time.
The biggest of big news today is that James Duncan, who has been providing 30 second doses of deep sighing and musical amour during the ad breaks with the use of his epic ‘The Cupboard’s Bare’ on the latest Hallensteins ad, has been nominated in the Indie category of the NZ MySpace Music Awards. You can go right here and vote for James if you’re an NZ myspacer, and you’ll then go in the draw to win an ice cold $500 cash, 12 months subscription to Real Groove and plenty more. Democracy (or vote rigging, I can never tell the difference) with a payoff, it will never catch on. The esteemed Mr Duncan, who recently played at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge alongside Kyp Malone, Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Magnum, The Clean et al in his role as Dimmer gat twanger, is up against highly esteemed stiff competition (Mint Chicks, Lawrence Arabia, Artisan Guns, Conan Mockasin, Bang Bang Eche) so any vote love would be greatly appreciated.
In other news The Naked And Famous are no longer on Round Trip Mars.
2nd November 09
You know we couldn’t end a year that has seen James Duncan rocking and shocking the nation with his ‘Hello–Fi’ album and 7”, Unitone HiFi and Jefferson Belt re–uniting to spread 45 love, and plenty else on the RTM dancecard – without a bit of a splash. And do we have a splash for you? You will be metaphorically drenched in the goodness!
Over on the Vision part of our site (which is permanently switched On, in honour of the wonderful Tony Hart RIP) you can check, right now, the brand new video for ‘All Of This’, the Alt Chart decimating scorcheratory single from The Naked And Famous. Once again Joel Kefali and Cam Hooper from Special Problems have delivered something exquisite, with more achy breaky vid action than a Cyrus family re–union.
But wait… there’s more. It would be churlish if not downright rude if we were to keep ‘All Of This’, all to ourselves, so we have made the arrangements for a very special digital–only EP–ette. Joining the original monster is a sublime flambient remix from the lair of Mr James Duncan which casts the song in a completely new light, the trepidatious or faint hearted may need a play or two for this to work its charms but trust us… it will! Also in the packagio is Pace which as the title suggest is little more than a minutes worth of undistilled spazmotronics, recorded before the band had arrived at their settled, svelte and downright stonking current line–up, this track features Paul Roper (of the delightful Mint Chicks) bashing them pots and pans…yeeha!
Bandcamp availability is real soon (like in the next day or two), iTunes/Vodafone/ Telecom/Digirama etc will all be following on the 16th.
Look out for TNAF and James Duncan doing the gig thing around town, we try to keep all that updated on the Around section but them cats is slinky so you’d always be best to check their facespaces and mybooks too.
23rd October 09
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE!!!!!!
JAMES DUNCAN VIDEO COMPETITION DEADLINE GETS ROUNDTRIPMARSED TO OCTOBER 1ST…
We are reasonable people and having been informed that there’s a couple of contestants who are not going to be able to get their clips of ‘The Cupboard’s Bare’ in, in–time, and also that the original schedule was ultra–optimistic we have graciously decided to stretch the deadline by a week to 5PM, October 1st. Actually the graciousness isn’t really ours, it’s all care of Juice, Universal and Cheese On Toast who have all been super understanding and muy simpatico.
So…what you reading this for? …get to the phone cam, the super 8, the photocopy machine and knock our socks off… Judging and airing dates obviously fall back a week too… thanking you for your attention, over and out!
12th October 09
You’ll be needing to imagine a little bit of a fanfare … right here… because now that it’s been on telly and whatnot we can finally announce the winner of the James Duncan ‘The Cupboard’s Bare’ video competition, as well as unveiling it (and it’s a corker too) in the Vision section right here.
The winning clip, and the decision was unanimous, was by David O. Gifford from Fielding and while we’re not hipster enough to offer mad thanks, we would certainly like to extend slightly deranged salutations to David for a job very well done, and subsequent top geezerlyness. While we’re on the thanks thing, max respect goes out to Juice TV, Cheese On Toast and Universal for their part in this highly entertaining and most excellent fandangle. The other competition entrants also cop crazy love or at the very least unhinged gratitude from our end… big time.
In other RTM news The Naked And Famous’s ‘All Of This’ is currently sitting atop the Radioscope Alt Charts, joining two labelmates in what amounts to a sneaky Top Ten takeover. James Duncan has already warmed the top spot up by baring his cupboards (in fact he’s been a recidivist pest in the upper reaches of the chart for several songs and some time) and is still throwing his weight around in the Top Five, while Unitone HiFi have propelled their ‘Sneeze Off’ into the #10 slot for a quick shufty before they shuffle off.
James Duncan is also gearing up to unleash his hot rocking combo with a support slot for day–job Dimmer at Bacco on the 24th of October and with The Veils at the Windsor Castle on the 15th of November… loins are girded/breath is bated etc
The Naked And Famous also have a bunch of dates lined up (check their bookspace/myface for detailia) and SJD also has gigs on the horizon and a brand new project on the go… And there’s more to come in the very near future, keep this frequency clear.
23rd September 09
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE!!!!!!
JAMES DUNCAN VIDEO COMPETITION DEADLINE GETS ROUNDTRIPMARSED TO OCTOBER 1ST…
We are reasonable people and having been informed that there’s a couple of contestants who are not going to be able to get their clips of ‘The Cupboard’s Bare’ in, in–time, and also that the original schedule was ultra–optimistic we have graciously decided to stretch the deadline by a week to 5PM, October 1st. Actually the graciousness isn’t really ours, it’s all care of Juice, Universal and Cheese On Toast who have all been super understanding and muy simpatico.
So…what you reading this for? …get to the phone cam, the super 8, the photocopy machine and knock our socks off… Judging and airing dates obviously fall back a week too… thanking you for your attention, over and out!
21st September 09
MAKE A VIDEO FOR ‘THE CUPBOARD’S BARE’ COMPETITION…LAST FEW DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Regrettably we’re Larry Last on this hot comp at the RTM site, what with traveling and goodbye–ing and being crook and allsorts else – it’s been a blur. Thankfully the ever supportive sorts at Cheese On Toast, Universal and Juice TV as well as the venerable Mr Duncan himself have been plotting this one out and tooting the promotional horn in suitable blasts, and hopefully there’s a raft of vid–veloping folk out there makerating right nowest. Below is the blurble with a link to the track and ting. All we can say is get amongst it, there’s a few days until it closes and this is an opportunity to get something unique, brilliant and hopefully different – to accompany a frankly downright stunning song, out to people, without any of the palaver video–makery usually requires. Read on…
Cheese on Toast in association with Juice TV and Round Trip Mars Records are giving you the opportunity to make a music video for James Duncan’s current number one single in the Alt Chart – The Cupboards Bare!
James says :
”Shoot on any medium you can, from a camera phone to 16mm, laptop camera to the latest ‘Red’ camera and everything in between. I’m more interested in a good idea or a feel in the video than overblown production and ten thousand chocolate chip cookies for a crew of 35. You can star in it yourself or use an egg timer with a face on it to perform an epic head turn.
Any un–convetional interpretation of the song totally valid and encouraged.
The songs meaning is ambiguous at best but I guess it involves… ahem… a fleeting admiration and the sadness and madness that inevitably occurs the next day.”
Entries must be delivered on DVD playable disc to Universal Music – Site 3, Stables Building, 30 St Benedicts Street, Newton or PO Box 617, Shortland St,Auckland 1140, no later than 5pm Thursday 24 September (date extended, see above).
The Judging of the entries will be filmed on Friday 25th to be screened on NZOwn on Juice TV and the winning entry will become the OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO for this amazing song – and will be played on hi–rotate all the following week on Juice TV.
The Judging Panel are :
James Duncan – the man himself
Jim Pinckney – head of Round Trip Mars Records
Aroha Harawira – presenter of NZOwn on Juice TV
Joel Kefali – Director at Special Problems who have directed clips for Cut Off Your Hands, Tame Impala, The Naked and Famous, Gin Wigmore, Mercy Arms, Midnight Juggernauts, Dimmer, The Mint Chicks, and more.
Scott Maclachlan – Universal Records A & R Manager
Andrew Tidball – head honcho–guy from Cheese on Toast
You can download a copy of the song from in mp3 format here – but the audio on the winning video will be replaced with a much more high–quality audio track before it goes to air.
The winner will receive, not only the accolade of making such an awesome video and having it playlisted on Juice TV, but also, the ENTIRE Round Trip Mars back catalogue, including James’ album and a very limited GOLD cover ‘Cupboards Bare’ 7”.
*** oh and btw it should say available Round Trip Mars catalogue which is thirteen CDs, one 12” and four 7”s…Oh my good gosh! If the clip makes us grin massively we’ll try and find something extra special to stick in there too…
23rd August 09
We have been searching, wandering in the digital wilderness as it were, for many a moon seeking a high–quality mp3 joint that doesn’t come with the trappings, trippings…and let’s face it …stench, of most of the main players or outfits who look like they might not last the course. With Bandcamp we may have found the perfect solution – reasonable, clean and straightforward it’s by far the easiest, and most economical way to get your hands on the depth and breadth of the RTM catalogue in a range of ‘suits you sir’ high quality bitrates, file formats and flipping fandangles. Is a $1 US a track with albums at $10 US or less! Very cheap for you my friend. Crucially, outside of Paypal taking a snip, that money comes straight back to the artists and RTM, which allows us to continue overwhelming your ears with very finest fineness from now till infinity.
The only thing is… their on site searching is a little average (and they don’t cater for labels yet – plus ca change – funny how we’re always being lambasted and castigated for not being on the case yet most of the time we are shut out of the door or face things like iTunes not even including label on their basic info… for which they will never be forgiven…tossers!) and there was a couple of issues with names which makes the whole searching thing a tad tiresome…
So here’s the links to your top rankulating, pop chart decimating monster RTM artistes and their respective bandcamp pages. Also the entire Unitone HiFi back catalogue is up there too, available for the first time ever digitally, exclusive to Bandcamp, at least for right now. We’ll be linking these links into the site and the soon come Mars Mall presently.
If you’d like some visual grazing to accompany that purchasable audio feast then avert your mince pies to the recently established RTM Vimeo channel. Again it’s the cleanliness and fusslessness of the site and process, that gets our tick but it’s also the chance to get top quality big vids up there (though you can always find RTM vids up first, flashest and quickest loading right here at the Simplex, behind the velvet rope in the Vision section.)
There'll be more High Quality versions going up soon but in the meantime there's a fair swag of visual astonishizers and totally top flight vid action up there right now, for one and all. Come on, we’ve got 22 clips crying out fer a bit of looky love, you wouldn’t deny em that…would you?
3rd August 09
HELLO–FI IN STORES, DIGI OUTLETS AND WHATNOT NOW!!!!!!!!
JAMES DUNCAN AND UNITONE HIFI/JEFFERSON BELT 7”S LANDED – RELEASE IMMINENT
JAMES DUNCAN ALBUM CELEBRATION AT D.O.C. 08.08.09, SEE FLYER BELOW…
AND THAT’S JUST THE STUFF WE CAN TELL YOU ABOUT!
29th July 09
Donner und blitzen it’s release a go go, video a va va voom up here at RTM Acres. #1 on our good look chart is James Duncan’s ‘Hello–Fi’ which has been limbering up on the sidelines for a Mt Eden minute and is coiled and rrrrrrrready to worm its way into your affections. Resistance is infantile, compliance is not optional.
The CD contains five utterly essential exclusive mp3 tracks that will not be available digitally or elsewhere at all. That may be against the flow and cocking a snoot at current conventional wisdom – but we have an endless amount of love for the peeps that still go into the shops, and not too much respect for internet experts, evangelists and the excrement they tout and spout… so we’re doing it our way.
Ultimately it’s an expansive fifteen tracks for disc devotees, a pert ten (out of ten) for digital dallyers and a sonically superior, tonally terrific two for wax heads with the 7” release of ‘The Cupboard’s Bare/…Of Everyone Around You’ on 10.08.09.
There’ll be a fair bit of James Duncan in the media, starting with a top notch two page feature in the August Real Groove and even more on TV screens with a unspeakably wicked video for A Obvious courtesy of the emperor of the edits Joseph Jowitt for Headspread Media. Give your mouse a nudge and have a gander at it in our super stuffed Vision sectioneration.
There’s release celebratory hooha for Aucklandeers, muy caliente… check the flyer below, and the rest of the country is put on notice that Mr Duncan is assembling a shit hot combo and it’s going to be ON soon!
Also ramping up the release schedule, Unitone HiFi and Jefferson Belt put the lit into split 7” biz with their ‘Sneeze Off/Creeping Tings Of The Earth’ which is released in tandem with James’s 45. It’s major league nonsense of the very best kind, these two distinctly unclassifiable, sub sapping tracks are so large it defies science that they could even be squeezed onto a 7”, watch out!!
14th July 09
New SJD video! Click to view
Late June 09
To the untrained eye it may appear as if there hasn’t been a great deal of activity (or should that be slacktivity…) at the RTM Simplex of late, but that is why we only deal with people with trained mince pies. When it’s quiet around here it means there is plotting and prepping, pre–production, production and post production and lots of other p’s, including procrastination. That produces a lot of fruity friction and excess excellent energy and when that has built up to a suitable head, we unleash… like now.
On the right of nows, James Duncan’s dastardly duet with Bachelorette (someone we have an incalculable amount of time and reeespeck for here at the RTM cosomonautical compound) ‘My New Flumes’ has been unleashed to the b–Nets, and other radio stations of discernment and quality character. Racing ahead of the ‘Hello–Fi’ full–length like Usain Bolt on the lam, ‘Flumes’ is a firecracker of a track from an album that will almost undoubtedly raise eyebrow levels and the world of musical listening pleasure to heights never before witnessed… or something like that. It really is a very, very good record.
But wait… there’s more. Sean Grattan (the man who got a wrestler in a twist for SJD’s ‘Black Is A Beautiful Colour’ and made the Mint Chicks yet spazzier with his clip for ‘If My Arm Was A Mike Stand’) has made an eye–poppingly brilliant vid for ‘My New Flumes’, which you can check in the ‘Vision’ pod of this very site/sight right now. There will be more non–Govt. sanctioned James Duncan videos appearing here in the weeks leading to release on August 3rd, so don’t be a stranger.
Talking of videos, as we were, them that Taylor’s are on the final stretch of completing the video for ‘Baby You’re Oh So’ from SJD’s ‘Dayglo Spectres’ which should on screen, and youtubed and most importantly up here – early July style and fashion.
On the subject of style and fashion there is nothing more stylish and chic audio accessory wise as a svelte split 7”, it really is twice as nice. Following on from their ‘Gold Dust’/‘Up To Eleven’ 45 boomshot of last year, Jefferson Belt and Unitone HiFi have linked again – conjuring up a pair of tunes that defy easy description or categorisation. That may sound like a cop out but the best I can muster is that Belt’s is a Rastafarian monologue set atop Elizabethan Perrery–esque madness while the Unitone cut is a 65/130 syrupy stepper/stomper that might have a little bit of a late night wobble (or wibble) on … you see it was easier to say they defied categorisation.
So fresh, that titles are still in the mulling mode, they’ll be heading off to the vinyl presses very soon for a late July/early August release. There will also be a James Duncan 7” at the same time featuring the staggeringly stupendous, hook drenched ‘Cupboards Bare’ – it’s fair to say that we have it on lock Jock.
On the slightly more distant horizon The Naked And Famous are heads down, no nonsense – settling in a new rhythm section and producing a fearsomely fine, new single, which will be emerging in the near future with live dates to follow. Yipee all round, fuck winter!
Now that we’re all settled in to our rather sumptuous new web surrounds, it’s probably about time for a bit of an updatery.
With most of the RTM camp on writing, demo–ing and what–have–you–ing lockdown it’s old duffers and nouveau kids on the block Unitone HiFi who have actually been eeking something out. As well as a number of exceptionally exciting vocal collaborations on the way, their remix of Overproof Soundsystem’s ‘King Step’ has just been unleashed digitally for purchase here, you can listen to the full version here and we’ll let you know when the soon–come wax is available. Check the blog for the unreleased dub version, which really is the one in our humble hopinion, but don’t delay (no reggae punning intended) it will only be up for a limited time.
A bunch of Orientation gigs up and down the country have definitely returned The Naked And Famous to their normal orbit, after what was a stingingly successful support for NiN, that had the Reznor posting a pic of the band on the ninblog and allsorts. Right about now they are predominantly in writing, demo–ing and all that sort of –ing thing mode for the meantime.
Progress is progressing progressively with James Duncan’s ‘almost imminent/def not that far away’, debut solo splendidopiece (it will be a mid–winter NZ release seasonwise), containing the Alt Chart topper ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ and a whole heap more magical majikment in Duncanese.
Following a raft of gigs stretching from Beer Festivals to the Famous Speigeltent, proving that the band can play to all sorts of brows of any vertical disposition, SJD is easing off the circuit to hunker down and come up with his next round of scintillating songcraft, yip and ee!
The Simplex salutes you…
Ahoy and warmest welcomings to the brand new – good for you, Round Trip Mars Simplex. We’ve had to wave a sob–some adieu to the dancing spacebots, who’ve been doing hard time on our home page for many moons. Regular RTMees will notice new sections, including snatches from the catalogue in ‘Sound’ and artist links and dates in ‘Around’, as well as a link to Stinky Jim’s blog where there’s an exclusive Round Trip Mars mp3 or two, amongst the musical miasma and deranged mutterings. There’s a somewhat sophisticated new spin to our webular residence, and once again the mysterious Cherry Sprinkles has done us proud, and then some. News–wise it goes a little like this…
SJD – Last seen at the Zoo, wowing the (human) crowd with the whole band animalistically attired with ears, tails and allsorts. There’s a bunch more live action (check the Around page) on the way, with the Speigeltent gig on the 20th of March, particularly having the look of the must book.
PHELPS & MUNRO – Clickings, whirrings. The awakened dragon stifles a mighty musical yawn and then threatens beats for weeks. Please.
JAMES DUNCAN – While the city sleeps James has been fiendishly (but not grimly) plotting and perfecting his debut long–player, and trust us, this is going to be a humdinger of a rekid. We thought that the mesmeric shoegazery vibes of his ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ would be a gentle introduction, but it’s been charming the pantaloons of all and sundry from the District of Rodney to merry old Mosgeil, and reaching the lofty heights (#2 to be precise) of the National Alt Chart in the process. Check the blog button pon yer right to link to StinkInc, where the track is available for free download for a limited spell, and keep on eye on right here for all the latest from planet Duncan.
JEFFERSON BELT In our possession we have several new demos from El Jefe Jeffy and what more can be said than we are re–smitten, totally and utterly. One tune in particular has such strenuously strong properties of bowled–over–ness, that it is has already been singled out and requisitioned to appear on a forthcoming split 7” with Unitone HiFi, since that combination worked such a treat last year.
THE NAKED AND FAMOUS By the time you’re reading this The Naked And Famous will have probably already done their support at Nine Inch Nails only NZ show. Given that the big homme Reznor chooses his own supports, this is a biggest of big kind of deal. Now a fully fledged five piece with Aaron Short stepping out from behind the mixing board the group have dates on the horizon (including make it down to Welli again, where they were the most played group on Active in 2008) and have been writing and demo–ing like the on–the–move peoples they is.
UNITONE HIFI Diverse depth charges and rhythmic rumblings from the Unitone camp hint at album activity in the future… at some point. In the meantime, the word is that their heavyweight remix of Overproof Soundsystem’s ‘Kingstep’ will be doing the rounds soon, and then some 7” action in the almost forseeable future.