Open to Suggestion
Ain’t these the strangest of times aye? It’s certainly been an 18 months break from regular programming. A definite shake to the foundations for sure.
2021 started with a fractured left drumming hand. Bike meets car, soft meets hard – snap! We had started recording for the new album towards the end of 2020, seven tracks down and five more to do. Needless to say that all ground to a startling stop. Things got progressive more complicated after that and so that project is on pause until a better time. We’d like to imagine sooner rather than later. Watch this space.
Rehabilitation of the injured hand took time. Any idea of a show ceased till recovery. Happily we have played once, for the wake of our dear departed friend Peter Deutsch. We were scheduled to play again, but, you know, Corona!
It hasn’t been silent though. As noted in the previous blog a mr sterile solo track titled And Candor and Reason in Chat was released in response to a flurry of anti-tax hate mail towards the journalist, David Farrier. He published some excellent articles about the development and influence of conspiratorial actors in Aotearoa – [these two blog posts in particular – I hope you get hit by a truck, I talk to all the people who sent me threats] .
Next off the ramp is another mr sterile solo two-tune release called You are Not a Fire. The title track inspired from a wonderful podcast of the Irish comedian, mental health advocate and all round seemingly good human Blindboy Boatclub. The particular podcast is about his mental health care during the long lockdown experienced in Ireland. It’s very helpful.
The second track, YouMeNess, is based on a video in which he adopts the persona of someone who channels messages from the enlightened plane, a satirical look at new-aged charlatanism and narcissism. Rimski, and others, research in depth the cross over of Conspiracy theories and spirituality in these times . [The previous sentence is the link to the video, unable to embed, sorry]
And released today is Open to Suggestion by SMEs-21, a collaborative project between Mr Snakes and mr sterile, and between Fiji and Aotearoa. Provocative tracks are assembled and shared to the other who then takes all opportunity to reassemble anyway they see fit. The final edit reveals a collection that spans between cinematic soundscape to boisterous anthem beats, songs and sounds, a collage of street sounds, decaying electronics, electronic instruments and incidental sounding morsels.
It was a joy to include the poetry of our dearly departed Fergus Collinson. He came to dine one night with sterile, and after eating fired up the microphones for Collinson’s recitation. The recording slipped into the archive waiting for the right response – a delight to offer up here.
Also there are a couple of notable vocals onto other tracks. These are collected from the live-stream of Vinnie Eastwood. Vinnie is one of our local anti-lockdown conspiracy theorists – to quote “…this is not a lockdown, it is a military takeover!” The first track OK, Ladies and Gentlemen is a combination of two bombastic recording. The first from his car and the second is reported to be from the night before a protest in a pub in Auckland. The second track, St Ninny is Vinnie getting arrested at said protest. The transition to bombastic defiance to complete compliance is quite spectacular, alongside the call for support from fellow protestors and the complete lack of response.
The album is released simultaneously on Mr Snakes Circuit 47, and our own skirted Records.