2017 was a very quiet year on the performing front. In fact all aspects of the active side of the band took a long overdue break. But during this period it became apparent that while not songwriting, we could actual tidy up some of the projects on the back burner.
As part of this break, Chrissie took off to the NZ Pacific Studio for a few days and returned home with the beautiful, slow instrumental album Twohandstwice.
Five improvised recordings on an ancient pedal organ. It could be Music for Ports if you will, a contact mic on the lungs of trees, a galleon that sings to the sea in the pitch of night, the play of first light.
Next up is Haters, Wreckers and other Friends.
This is a collection of the most recent solo mr sterile recordings, that were found lurking in files inside a computer. A mixture of more rock songs, mixed with electronic and downloaded app application.
And finally there is The General Pathetic.
This album was recorded on the quiet somewhere around 2012, but the finishing never felt completely complete. So this album, along with the other two, received a new mastering by Warwick Donald to add the little extra oomph they needed. And it’s certainly worth it.
The General Pathetic is a little more lo-fi than Haters, but is the obvious precursor of many of the techniques used on Haters, so they sit like a happy family … if that’s an appropriate metaphor for this grumpy pair.
All albums have a limited edition physical release. Each is assembled into a hand-fashioned card sleeve alongside a collection of images for extra info.
It’s great to have these done, now the attention turns fully to new song writing and already there’s some strong new tunes bursting at the seams. We are really looking forward to playing them out.
It’s been a fair while since any update. Seems like we took a year off.
So feeling rested, reorientated and recuperated we hit the sticks again, with a bunch of new project.
First a number of shows coming up – Wellington, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill. Plus we are in the early stages of planning for a much bigger tour at the end of the year.
We have a new look, some new stories and tunes to present to you.
And there are two new solo albums and one remastered album to be released on the bands own label skirted Records. The first is beautiful new atmospheric and acoustic collection of five pieces of sound from DSLB, piped out from bellows over the green pasture of the Manawatu. The album is called TwoHandsTwice.
The second is Haters, Wreckers and other Friends by mr sterile. The most recent collect of random ramblings compiled into one particularly rock collection. Putting the uncomfortable in to the comfort zone. UPDATE: And already these’s a nice wee preliminary review from the Organ Mag in London!
And finally is a new remastering and repackaging of the mr sterile solo album The General Pathetic. More lo-fi and chaotic the album spans the some of the solo sounds from 2005-2012.
Each album is to be assembly by hand, limited to 50 physical pieces only and to be released early April
Munki Studio, the home of the NZ’s Secret Intelligence Service, the facility in which we are recording our newest album is in transition. The studios time has come to an end in this current facility and is destined to move in the next few weeks . The building is going to be demolished and included into the park adjacent.
Munki is the studio where we recorded Transit four years ago(much of the art work from that albums package is the hallowed halls of Munki), and the home of the newest album in progress.
We are MOST chuffed to be asked to return with all equipment and to lay down the last actual studio recording. This we did recently, and we were accompanied by the full surveillance of cameras and microphones that documented this final process. All this footage is going to be compiled into the historic document of the end of the old house of spooks, and the cultural significance it has had for many local creative types.
And as a last bash, there is going to be a final party to send the old ship off, this is going to be at Munki across 3 different staged sites. We, among many, will play brief set, to which will be film and broadcast live over the web (I understand it will remain for view after the fact as well). This is all happening today! Saturday 22 August 2015! So you can watch online tonight with your dinner if your elsewhere – streaming starts 4pm NZ time.
As far as the album goes, we are not quite complete of the recording process, perhaps one more session to finish of the vocals etc and then we will be done. This is going to have to happen when the Munki resettles into the new digs in Miramar. But it’s sounding ALL good mate!
So to Mike, Flo & kids, and all the spooks from the nations paranoid history, you treated us real well.
We have just completed our intensive period at Munki Studios laying down the 11 rhythm tracks for the new album.
There was, obviously, some anticipation about this process (you may have noticed that we do write songs with stupid parts sometimes). With only the bass and drum kit to focus on, time was able to be allocated to get the maximum, and most interesting, sounds – success!! The phrase ‘better than anticipated’ comes to mind. It’s definitely exciting hearing it come together so solidly.
Watching as all the versions were recorded -errors and all, it seemed we had collected somewhere in the vicinity of six hours of playing; only about 45 minutes of that is what we need for the album. It was certainly an act of endurance -think of it as six hours of five-nine minutes sprints and you’ll start to get an idea of the effort exerted. We broke skins, sticks, skin and cymbals. We played hard, dynamic, and like there was no next take. Well chuffed we are!
There is still plenty of work to do though. Chrissie has a few additional bass parts parts and a couple of other colourful embellishments to add, and then the vocals need to be done. It’s still early days, but needless to say, our expectations are being met (and they can often be unreasonably high). Then there’s the artwork and packaging…
Our crowd-funding project for the production of the CD package continues. To date there are 54 confidence-enhancing contributors. Today we breached the $2k mark – 70% of required target. There is still two weeks to go. If you feel you are able to contribute then we would love you to take a look at our Pozible page which provides much more information.
With our added confidence we are exploring upgrading our CD packaging, more about this later.
We’ve included a wee video to this page with a bit more info on why we think this a good project.
It’s be a monumental few days. Feeling both knackered and elated at the same time, we think we’re definitely making something here that’s gonna give Transit a decent run for its money.
We’re very happy to be promoting this wee project. On the cusp of heading to Australia tomorrow for three shows, honing the playing in preparation of recording in a couple of weeks, with the ultimate aim of releasing the new album maybe mid-Septemberish, we wish to announce the following companion project.
The new album ‘It’s All Over’ is shaping up to be quite exciting ladies, gents and every other valuable human. ‘It’s All Over’, is the working title of the next 11 songs to be captured to digital format, will be recorded again with Mike Gibson who recorded the last album Transit, and let loose into the world. These are tales of invisible histories, entities real and imaginary, victories real, successes dubious and realities and lives defined by the margins they exist in.
And we reach out to all you interested readers and listeners to help with our crowd funding efforts. We are self funding the recording to the best standard we can, the production of the physical product is what we’re asking help with. And we’re dishing out the rewards/gifts for those willing to participate, please jump to the Pozible site to explore in depth.
We have played with crowdfunding in the past, and it’s been a lot of work but also enormous fun. It seems to be a brilliant platform for connecting with others interested in supporting what we do. It’s an interesting thing, from a musicians perspective, to already have generated interest and commitment from interested listeners BEFORE an albums released, a hum is created and this generates further motivation and commitment to the project.
So we thank you in advance for the participation. And if you are not in a position to financially contribute, then no worries, these are tough times, the album will be available soon enough via bandcamp to stream, perhaps you can simple share across your online networks. We will be most appreciative.
With our utmost thanks in advance.