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  • THE CLEAN - Mister Pop - Out Today in NZ on Arch Hill!

    8 sep 2009, 02:23

    Arch Hill is super pleased to be releasing the album “Mister Pop” by the Clean - in New Zealand and Australia. The album is also released on Merge in the USA and Morr Music in Europe.

    Voted by journalists at the NZ Listener as New Zealand’s all time greatest band and described by John Campbell as “one of the greatest New Zealand bands of all time” the Clean need little introduction to most local music fans. However, while they are well known and well loved at home, as the below biography illustrates, they are equally appreciated from afar

    Mister Pop was recorded and mixed by Tex Houston in Dunedin except Back in the Day - recorded by Gary Olsen. Mastered by Jeff Lipton in Boston

    Brian Turner, Music Director for New York’s WFMU radio, writes about The Clean

    What can be said about The Clean? In 1978, they were the seeds of New Zealand punk and the reason for the founding of Flying Nun, one of the greatest record labels that ever existed. They carved out a big sandbox for everyone to play in, and their influence resonated not only in New Zealand but around the world. Not only do bands like Yo La Tengo, Guided By Voices, Sonic Youth, Pavement, and their ilk owe a debt to The Clean, but many of today's young upstarts such as Times New Viking, Eat Skull, and a band from China called Carsick Cars have the Dunedin godfathers deeply etched into their DNA.

    I've personally witnessed four or five waves of rediscovery of The Clean in the years since I first heard them in 1986, and the stuff just continues to educate. Homestead's US issue of Compilation in the late '80s and Merge's double-disc Anthology from 2002 both laid out a complete rulebook, and a pretty in-depth one at that. Nevertheless, if someone else compiles them again in 2015, it's going to resonate just as strongly. Simply put, the music of the brothers Kilgour and Bob Scott holds up pretty damn well in 2009 for anyone checking them out for the first or 5,000th time.

    What's the sound? It's completely theirs but draws on everything from the psychedelic paste of Barrett/early Floyd to vintage Velvets propulsiveness to almost everything else under the sun. In the case of the live staple "Point That Thing Somewhere Else," here is a song that levitates any room in a way that makes you swear the band just stepped out of Conny Plank's studio in Germany with all the bulldozing power of Hawkwind. Their jubilance at times (the organ-laced "Tally Ho," "Beatnik," "Whatever I Do") makes the Banana Splits sound like Bauhaus while simultaneously exhibiting dark undercurrents, making Bauhaus sound like the Banana Splits. They created both full studio sound and lo-fi recordings before, during, and after the various waves of the 4-track revolution, making both recording modes work with no loss of the band's identity. As far as other influences, you can hear Arthur Lee, Shirley Collins, and the Rolling Stones, among others, but it's never a kind of forced appropriation; while some bands seem to say, "Look at my record collection," in the case of The Clean, it's organic, seamless, and inimitable. Though hardly as prolific as The Fall, another maverick group of originality, The Clean have endured for almost as long while maintaining a completely unique, quality stamp that's often replicated but never quite mastered by anyone but themselves. They're also one of the best (and sometimes loudest) live bands I've had the pleasure of seeing.

    The Clean's modern age has seen them splitting time and hemispheres: David has a reputable solo catalogue; Bob has the Bats; and Hamish has been an endearing and enduring fixture in New York City, playing with assorted combos including his own Mad Scene with wife Lisa. The Clean's 2007 three-night stand in NYC was nothing short of a celebration of intersecting fanbases, so this fall's Mister Pop sees them continue the great pop pastiche. Circus ragas ("Moonjumper"), gorgeously hazy sunset anthems ("In the Dreamlife You Need a Rubber Soul"), and the sometimes loose Dada approach to wordsmithery continue right alongside "proper" lyrical forays, and yep, a few Autobahn referential instro moments to boot ("Tensile"). Bob's love of pastoral UK folk has brought some added weight into the overall Clean equation, as does David's Eastern and African guitar jones, though all this has always fit in with and still constitutes the total basis of The Clean sound journey.

    Brian Turner WFMU Music Director
    The CleanMister Pop
    Arch Hill Records
  • Samuel Scott and Luke Buda Separation City Movie Soundtrack On Arch Hill

    20 jul 2009, 10:36

    On 3rd of August Arch Hill Recordings is pleased to be releasing the soundtrack to the film Separation City - composed and compiled by Samuel Scott and Luke Buda. Aside from compositions by Sam & Luke the album features tracks by The Phoenix Foundation, SJD, The Black Seeds, Cassette, The NZSO, Wild Bill Ricketts and Mike Fabulous.

    Watch the Separation City film movie preview
    Samuel Scott and Luke Buda are both also known for their band The Phoenix Foundation, two respective solo albums each and the soundtrack (with the Phoenix Foundation) to the movie Eagle Vs Shark. In fact, it was that latter soundtrack – along with a determination to include The Phoenix Foundation track Bright Grey in the movie – that let to director Paul Middleditch and producer Mark Overitt to request the inclusion of the Sam and Luke duo.

    It was also an interesting and unique project for Sam and Luke to make music for as the film drifts between hilarious comedy and something much darker and painfully real. According to Sam, director Paul had to reign in some of their more “oblique approached to sound”, but in the end it was a great challenge for them as it produced music that doesn't sound like anything they have ever made before. Also, apparently, the help of fellow Phoenix guitar man Conrad Wedde was required to add a little magic to some of the ‘love scenes’.

    Sam says of the other tracks the selected for the movie “There are a few scenes that really called for some NZ roots music kind of stuff and I like the fact that it means we have a sound track that pairs up The Black Seeds next to an SJD track, that sort of thing. It’s not genre specific but its all contemporary New Zealand music that we like and somehow fits together. Paul is very into classical music so he chose the NZSO Vaughan Williams piece, which is a hugely important piece of music for the film.”

    Written & produced by Tom Scott the film Separation City is a bittersweet comedy drama about falling out of love for the very first time. A painful lesson about how unrequited love lasts forever and while requited love comes with a use-by date. A story about courtship, mateship and jumping ship. A film for anyone who has ever been in a relationship and woken up beside someone they once adored beyond measure and thought even fleetingly, is this it?

    The Separation City film is written & produced by Tom Scott, directed by Paul Middleditch, produced by Angela Littlejohn, Mark Overett and stars Joel Edgerton, Danielle Cormack, Rhona Mitra, Les Hill and Thomas Kretschmann.

    Luke Buda Samuel Scott The Phoenix Foundation SJD The Black Seeds
  • Grand Prix - Album and Tour in April/May

    6 apr 2009, 10:18

    Arch Hill are super pleased to announce that Wellington's Grand Prix will be releasing their fourth album on 27th of April.

    Main man Andrew McKenzie says of the album "It is definately the most rocking album Grand Prix have made so far. We were excited going in to the studio - we had new songs, a new direction and we would be recording them live in a room together as a band for the first time. And we're happy with the results - rock that might have come from the 70's, an evolution from the dark surf sound of the previous albums."

    New tracks from the album and the new singles "Traveling Companion"and "Town of Sound" can be heard on the Grand Prix Myspace page

    The band are hitting the road and playing the following shows through May

    Saturday April 25th - Mighty Mighty - Wellington - with Double Ya D
    Friday May 8th - Cassette Number Nine - Auckland - with The Family Cactus
    Saturday May 9th - Cabana - Napier - The Devils Elbow
    Friday May 15th - Wunderbar - Lyttleton - The Dialtones
    Saturday May 16th - Chicks, Port Chalmers - The Alpha State

    We'll tell you more about the album as it comes to hand...and put those dates in your diary. Grand Prix
  • Don McGlashan - Marvellous Year

    6 apr 2009, 10:16

    Marvellous Year is the first full release under the name Don McGlashan & the Seven Sisters – reflecting a more “band” effort than his first solo album Warm Hand. As you will hear, The Seven Sisters are bursting with “unfailingly musical” talent, giving the songs real energy, atmosphere and depth. Don’s songwriting and ability to capture melody and the everyday moment is as strong - or even stronger – than ever.

    Another reason Marvellous Year is so darn good is that both Don McGlashan and the band (Chris O’Connor, Maree Thom, John Segovia and Dominic Blaazer) have been on a real musical roll for the last couple of years. The band have played numerous shows, such as to thousands at the Auckland Domain, WOMAD and various theatres, clubs and pubs up and down the country.

    As Don says “I think because I was performing, writing and recording a lot in 2008, I was able to try lots of ideas out - on the band, in the studio, and on audiences - so there's a lighter, more relaxed feel to some parts of this record. Warm Hand took a fair while because I was trying to find a sound for my solo stuff. I was gradually assembling the band as I recorded. Now the Seven Sisters is established, and we're used to playing together, so Marvellous Year was able to happen a lot more quickly, naturally, and with less head-scratching. It sounds, to me, more like a bunch of songs written for, and played by, a really good band.”


    As well as the band input, Marvellous Year was also a joint effort in the production stakes, with Don working alongside Sean Donnelly (SJD). Don says aside from Sean’s undeniable musical talent and ears, his input was to: “Challenge me, push me and throw banana skins in my path whenever I got too complacent.” The album itself was recorded at Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studios, mixed brilliantly by Jordan Stone and features guest backing vocals from Neil Finn and string arrangements by Victoria Kelly
    Don recently played sold out solo shows in London, showcases in New York and Vancouver and toured with Crowded House - both opening for and playing in the band. This took him through Australia, USA and Europe (including Russia!).

    As if that wasn’t keeping him busy enough, in the last year Don has also composed, supervised and recorded two soundtrack albums; the Toa Fraser directed Dean Spanley (Recorded by New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and featuring Peter O’Toole, Sam Neill and others) and the charming Show of Hands (written and directed by Anthony McCarten and featuring performances by the Seven Sisters, Anika Moa and Reb Fountain). The soundtrack CD to Dean Spanley is released March 09 on Mana Music and Show of Hands was released December 08 on Arch Hill Recordings.

    In 2007 Don co-wrote, with Toa Fraser, The Colossus of Roadies, “the story of a sweaty, flatulent rock n roll roadie who finds himself struck down in a freak accident” and was also recognised as a “Living Legend” by the City Of Auckland. In 2006 Don composed the music to Fraser’s hit movie No 2 – which spawned the APRA Silver Scroll winning hit “Bathe in the River” - originally sung by Hollie Smith and beautifully revisited by Don on Marvellous Year.

    So, reading all this you might well ask, does the title Marvellous Year refer to the culmination of the last few marvellous years of music? The answer, in fact, is no; yes they have been marvellous, but the title Marvellous Year is borrowed from the Allen Curnow poem The Skeleton of the Great Moa in the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch and is also is the title of one of the album’s key tracks, a very unique song where you’ll hear about many things, including the Briscoes Lady and the Fire of Hades. Don McGlashanMarvellous Year
  • Luke Buda - Vesuvius Out Today!

    11 nov 2008, 07:52

    In 2006 Buda released his first full-length solo album, Special Surprise. The album was extremely well received and described as follows: “Perfectly formed pop artefacts crystallise out of prog-rock overtures; bombastic instrumentals dissolve into heart-melting ballads” (Nick Bollinger – The NZ Listener)

    Following Special Surprise, Buda has been busy with his band The Phoenix Foundation: they released third album Happy Ending, recorded the soundtrack to the movie Eagle vs Shark, and toured the USA a couple of times. On the domestic front there has been a home and a family.
    However, out of this whirlwind something exceptional has emerged. Buda has called it Vesuvius...

    Harbouring an unfortunate and perhaps unfair suspicion of anything too new (they don’t make music like they used to!)… at the time of writing the album Buda was most inspired by the supreme ultra studio sounds of 70’s super FM pop. Namely; Electric Light Orchestra. So blame it on Jeff Lynne!

    Vesuvius was recorded by award winning Lee Prebble at his renowned Wellington studio, The Surgery. Featuring Craig Terris and Tom Watson (of Cassette), Andrew Bain (Fur Patrol), David Long (The Mutton Birds), Tim Prebble, Stephen Gallagher, Kezia Nell Hinchey, Sophie Burbery, and fellow Phoenicians Conrad Wedde, Samuel Flynn Scott and Will Ricketts, Vesuvius has, at its heart, well-written songs that are somehow both sorrowful and jovial.

    We would also like to point your attention to the album art - featuring Buda reaching out to the icy melodic expanse. Created by Amelia Handscomb and Myriam Catrim....and Taika Waititi made the video for My Imminent Demise

    Luke Buda

    Luke Buda Website
  • A Day In the Life of Ben From Arch Hill Recordings

    18 aug 2008, 08:06

    Ben wakes up from dreams of wide -open spaces and wonders where he is. Usually it is in Auckland NZ, it is raining and the dog Jefrey (with one F) is barking out in the laundry. Ben lets said dog in, who proceeds to try to lick his face bite something or beg to be let outside (and if possible escape through a hole in the fence Ben hasn’t fixed yet, thus necessitating a three hour search through neighbors gardens). If he hasn’t escaped, Ben walks said dog in the rain followed by a congested drive to work. Ben tries to set a good example by getting to the office before Rosie the promotions manager arrives, which he doesn’t usually manage to do.

    Once at the office Ben puts off checking his emails by going immediately to the kitchen to make a coffee, which he usually makes either too strong and dark or too weak and milky. Having made said coffee, Ben then tries to avoid checking emails by looking on Facebook and wondering if he should add the “Hot or Not” application. He worries about what kind of rating he might get, so he then goes to the “Cities I’ve Visited” application and wonders if he has forgotten any important cities that might impress his friends. He then notices that he actually doesn’t have many friends, so he worries if it is being to forward to try to make friends with people he doesn’t really know. He then decides that record label managers should seem aloof anyway, and that’s why he doesn’t have many friends. Plus, people are probably intimidated by his “Cities I Have Visited” application.

    After the coffee has long been finished and Ben has procrastinated as long as possible on said websites, he takes a big breath and checks his email. Aside from the usual requests from bands needing more money, huge slow MP3 demo files from people he doesn’t really know, angry Australians and some reminders about unpaid bills there are usually a couple of emails following up on various things he has promised to do that he has since forgotten about. At this point Ben usually decides he really needs to get organized and write some of these things in his diary.

    Ben then searches for his diary under various piles of unfinished lists, crumpled receipts, demo Cds, unsigned contracts and chargers for mobiles he has long since lost. Usually at about this time the phone rings and it will be a welcome relief to have a long conversation with someone from a former record label or an aspiring manager about all the things that are wrong with the music industry and how everyone else is doing it all wrong. While having these kinds of important conversations Ben likes to step outside and pace around the office courtyard making a special effort not to step on any cracks in the tiles. Sometimes he worries that the neighbor might be related to the people being discussed in these conversations. If the call came through to his cellphone the battery usually runs out mid-way.

    By this time it is usually lunch time, and he regrets not having earlier organized to meet someone for lunch – like real record companies are supposed to do – so he boils and egg or opens a can of tuna and worries that others in the Native Tongue/Mana music office next door think it smells funny. During lunch Ben checks the “guitar effects pedals for sale” section on Trade Me – usually he has already checked it three or four times during the morning.

    In the early afternoon Ben sometimes consults said diary again (if he found it earlier) and notices that some album artwork might be urgently due, someone really needs a band biography written, the GST is due or something else really important needs doing. If he has time, Ben then copies this list carefully into the next day’s page in the diary and makes a mental note to get one of those blueberries or eye-phones, then heads off to some afternoon meetings.

    Afternoon meetings are usually with managers, bands, media types or government funding bodies and this is where Ben really gets going and starts addressing the big issues. Words like “grassroots”, “the long tail”, “digital aggregator” and “synchronization copyrights” are thrown around with abandon. If Ben remembered to bring a pen he might start drawing diagrams on scraps of paper, especially if he has had one coffee too many or decided an afternoon wine is in order. Usually these meetings end with some kind of plan for Ben to do a whole lot of things he neither has the time or money for.

    In the evening, if it is the earlier part of the week, Ben usually has a band practice with White Swan Black Swan , or might plink a plunk on his guitar. If it is the latter part of the week he might either be feeling obliged to go to a gig he doesn’t want to, or he is really excited because he wants to see this new band he heard on the radio or listened to on myspace and, like, they might really literally be going to blow up or something. Or sometimes he might have a gig of his own, or perhaps a show by a band on Arch Hill.

    In any case, when Ben gets to said gig he doesn’t want to lean on the bar at the back and look like some kind of A&R douche but neither does he want to be bopping and drooling like a fanboy up front. Instead he compromises by standing around looking uncomfortable – which fortunately is usually how everyone else looks anyway. He also tries to avoid making loud record company type comments like “the front man is really good but they just need some good songs” or “they’ve got some great songs but man they are ugly”. However, if Ben has had a couple of drinks he might make these comments anyway, which in the morning he tells himself is ok, because everyone else was saying them too.
    White Swan Black Swan
    Arch Hill Recordings
  • Arch Hill July News

    25 jul 2008, 02:34

    Arch Hill Recordings may be based the Auckland, apparently the 78th most expensive city in the world, but we aren't going to scrimp on releases for the upcoming months...nope, we have a pretty good run coming up so read on...In this July newsletter we have
    * White Swan Black Swan double mini album out August the 4th
    * Beach House shows - change of venue
    * Here comes the Buda
    * Don McGlashan action
    * The Clean - still Mashing
    * Surf City shows

    White Swan Black Swan Double Mini out August 4th
    The White Swan Black Swan double mini album contains two discs. The first features songs penned by White Swan, while the second features songs written by the Black Swan. It’s not two solo EPs/albums - but it’s not really one single band either.

    Producer Mark Nevers mixed the double mini at the Beech House studios in Nashville USA. Mark is better know for his work with artists such as Lambchop, Calexico, the latest Bonnie Prince Billy, Andrew Bird and of course David Kilgour. The tracks for the double-mini were recorded at the nest-like Arch Hill Studios and the home of the Swans, snug among the trees at the base of an Auckland volcano.

    Auckland based artist Henrietta Harris created two stunning paintings for the album artwork...

    White Swan Black Swan have a new website with all the usual cool stuff at <http://www.whiteswanblackswan.com>; it has a radio where you can listen to some of the new tracks

    There is also a new video for the song Super 8 Movie <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7UO361JO5c>; ...the video was made by Black Swan from a large collection 1960s and 1970s old home movies about people the Swans don't know. Look out for the following live shows

    Beach House Auckland Venue Change
    The Auckland Beach House show has now changed to the Kings Arms, so the full details are...
    Wellington- Friday 29th August- Bar Bodega - Beach House, Bachelorette, Nikky Brinkman

    Auckland- Saturday 30th August- The Kings Arms -Beach House, Noriko, Bachelorette

    Here Comes the Buda...
    All we can really say at this stage is we can all look forward to a new Luke Buda album very soon...we've heard it, we like it and the 'concept' is even more preposterous than preposterousity...

    Don McGlashan action
    As previously reported Don has been out on tour through Europe (and before that the US) with Crowded House and played from Spain to Moscow (the most expensive city in the world) to Sherwood ForestDon has also teamed up with actor/writer Ian Hughes to provide the musical direction for the promising looking play Ship Songs .If you want to listen to Don's interview with Trevor Reekie on head over to Radio New Zealand <http://www.radionz.co.nz>; Hold onto your hats because that new album won't be too far off...

    The Clean - Mashed
    And as you also know from previous newsletters, the Clean released their live album "Mashed" at the start of July. People have been saying good things, like Graham Reid at <http://www.elsewhere.co.nz/index.cfm>; who writes..."Magic at high volume -- and the version of Point That Thing here is a complex narrative in sound".

    And there aren't too far of finishing that new studio album

    Surf City shows
    They're also working on a new album, should have a new single soon and in the meantime playing a few shows.
    31st of July - at Shadows in Auckland, Surf City with the Naked and Famous
    8th of August - at the Kings Arms in Auckland, Surf City with Thought Creature
    14th August - at the Kings Arms with Surf City with Ladyhawk
    The CleanBeach HouseWhite Swan Black SwanSurf CityDon McGlashanLuke BudaArch Hill Recordings
  • The Clean - Mashed and More

    14 jul 2008, 10:27

    The Clean

    Arch Hill Recordings

    Fans of one of New Zealand’s most influential bands – The Clean - are in for a double treat over the next few months. First up on 30th of June 2008, Arch Hill will be releasing a live album called “Mashed” featuring cuts taken from their March 07 New Zealand tour. Several thousand keen cleaners attended these shows and everyone will have their favorite memory. Ours is a toss up between the almost riot-like stage invading conditions at the Leigh Sawmill Café (with David soloing under the grand piano) and the Spinal Tap wig fest at Russel Brown’s asperger’s fundraiser. Tough call – but they sounded great. Either way, we can all now enjoy David’s reverberant guitar echoing above the furious and distinctive rhythm section of brother Hamish and bassman Bob. The album was recorded and mixed by the very talented Tex Houston and contains classics like Point That Thing and Anything Could Happen, along with a new song and a surprise cover.

    And speaking of new songs, you can also expect a new studio album from the Clean soon also on Arch Hill. This was recorded in New York - where Hamish lives and the band recently played a series of sold out shows – and Dunedin when the band reunited to play at The Big Day out earlier this year.

    And in David Kilgour solo news, he will be playing in Los Angeles on the 28th August as part of the Dont Knock The Rock Film & Music Festival where the Kilgour documentary Far Off Town is screening followed by a performance by David and a talk by co-director Bridget Sutherland. Extra California gigs may be added.

    David Kilgour will also be playing a solo set opening for Samuel Flynn Scott and the BOP on the 20th of July at the Backstage in Dunedin
  • The Clean - Mashed and More

    14 jul 2008, 10:17

    Fans of one of New Zealand’s most influential bands – The Clean - are in for a double treat over the next few months. First up on 30th of June 2008, Arch Hill will be releasing a live album called “Mashed” featuring cuts taken from their March 07 New Zealand tour. Several thousand keen cleaners attended these shows and everyone will have their favorite memory. Ours is a toss up between the almost riot-like stage invading conditions at the Leigh Sawmill Café (with David soloing under the grand piano) and the Spinal Tap wig fest at Russel Brown’s asperger’s fundraiser. Tough call – but they sounded great. Either way, we can all now enjoy David’s reverberant guitar echoing above the furious and distinctive rhythm section of brother Hamish and bassman Bob. The album was recorded and mixed by the very talented Tex Houston and contains classics like Point That Thing and Anything Could Happen, along with a new song and a surprise cover.

    And speaking of new songs, you can also expect a new studio album from the Clean soon also on Arch Hill. This was recorded in New York - where Hamish lives and the band recently played a series of sold out shows – and Dunedin when the band reunited to play at The Big Day out earlier this year.

    And in David Kilgour solo news, he will be playing in Los Angeles on the 28th August as part of the Dont Knock The Rock Film & Music Festival where the Kilgour documentary Far Off Town is screening followed by a performance by David and a talk by co-director Bridget Sutherland. Extra California gigs may be added.

    David Kilgour will also be playing a solo set opening for Samuel Flynn Scott and the BOP on the 20th of July at the Backstage in Dunedin

    The Clean

    Arch Hill Recordings