Wednesday, October 03, 2007

more songs about fru-jus and elephants.....

 I think its been over two years since I wrote about The Others. I don’t have the time or the energy to plough though back posts on this blog, so I’ll have to take my word for it, as will you.Something-Error-Front Suffice to say that like the old shaver ads on TV, I liked them so much I, to paraphrase, bought the company. In other words, shortly after I asked How good are The Others? I, and my label partner, Alan Jansson, put our money where my question was, and signed the band to our Joy label.

So, that was two years ago and a bit has happened in between. Firstly the band changed names, not once, but twice, firstly to Los Otros, and then to The Others Requiem..the issue of course being the raft of other Others out there. So, that is the nome d’disque hereon. Secondly, in the interim, unless you are a low rent Feelers soundalike, or Brooke Fraser, who no-one outside radio seems to even really notice, the chances of getting a NZ single on commercial radio in 2007 is about nil. NZ radio, once you remove Brooke and Kiwi FM (which is not exactly, ah, listened to sadly despite Karen’s fine work) has NZ playlist percentages not much higher than they were a decade back.

Thirdly, in the past two years that thing called Kiwi Hip Hop, as it was, has largely gone down the gurgler. You can’t give it away. Outside the small niche that still grabs their groins and struts with fake bling, its over. Scribe isn’t doing much very different to that which sold 100,000 albums four years back, but now nobody wants to know and I guess he can’t work out why. Market’s gone, bro…and it ain’t coming back.

Fortunately the wind was turning towards a more alternative hip-hop movement…and as with the pronunciations from naysayers pronouncing the death of dance and rock in recent times, hip-hops’ obituary seems to be rather premature. Genes like that don’t ever die, they simply mutate and evolve. And such it inevitably is with hip-hop or whatever it will become. And what these guys were and are doing is quite a leap ahead. Mannaseh, who constructs their audio textures doesn't seem constrained by the rules that bind so much hip-hop and the rhymes are delivered in their own voices.

So with that in mind we took our time. We released a limited edition 7” and the band played around (quite some actually) and gathered a following.

Oh, and they recorded an album. Not just an album, but much fact we ended up with a double album. The obvious thing would be to trim it down of course..nobody releases a double album for a debut, even less so in 2007 when the music business is facing the abyss. But, seriously, despite requests from SonyBMG, who put up their hand quite some time back to license the CD rights, neither the band, or ourselves were able to cut it down..we even tossed around the concept of putting half of it online. But eventually we decided to go with the double, and to compound things, put it in a gatefold digpak, with a booklet.

There has been quite an industry buzz over these guys in recent months and I’ve had to batter back quite some requests for the album, but no finished sleeve (till next week) so no samples...well not that many.

So anyway, The Others Requiem’s album, Something Error Happens is finally about to hit the streets, in New Zealand, on the 19th of this month, and I can't think of a more perfectly appropriate way to relaunch the infrequent MP3s I was posting on my Extended Play blog….so

The Others Requiem – Wishing Well (Joy Records 2007)

Technorati Tags: , ,

Monday, October 01, 2007

don't you / forget about me


Irish rocker Bono is having sleepless nights over the crisis in Burma and is praying the campaign against its military rulers will triumph.

Technorati Tags: , ,

hear that sound / the hammers pound and pound

And the world jumps ahead, just a little bit more, this morning…Radiohead of course dismissed the countdown site leading to their new album in the last day or so, but rather conveniently (and co-incidentally?) it have them a fairly large bump in publicity leading to today’s announcement of their new album.

Of course this news is gonna be everywhere later today, but the thing is, like the Amazon site, Radiohead have converged the digital and the tactile worlds together. Their new album is available on their site from the 10th of the month...and you pay what you want. The stampede is predicable..Radiohead fans are obsessive. The thing is, that the terrestrial version is not out until December and then with fancy packaging and a bonus disc.  So everyone wins, the fans and the artist, and everyone thinks Radiohead are well cool.....and I agree (I like them again now..I have ever since I fell for Tom Yorke's album last year)

Whilst the big record companies wander around formlessly wondering how it should be done, and suing their customers (could any commercial organisation be perceived any more negatively than RIAA, or those it represents?), Radiohead, who are now label free, have shown how it could be done (not should…those possibilities are too wide, to make that much of a definitive statement) by using the digital world to pull everything along. Who cares if they make zip out of the downloads in the very short term..look at the bigger picture, and watch it roll out.

I tried to suggest a similar thing a while back…releasing a single on Limewire and Soulseek. Blank stares moving towards clear hostility was the result. Giving a lead single away in large quantities adds to your long term currency, not detracts.

Ok, that’ll do….

Technorati Tags: ,