non-fiction rock from Aotearoa New Zealand

Posts tagged “Tenzenmen

20/20 Revision

Screen Shot 2019-05-25 at 11.12.44 PM.pngHere a thing released today from the good crew at Tenzenmen, we are very happy to have been part of the canon.

From their site:
“25 years of tenzenmen! 15 years since the label launched! 5 minutes since last looking for new music from around the world!

Really, anniversaries and longevity are not that important. Over time, though, tenzenmen has built up an intimidating catalogue of music. As tenzenmen policy dictates working with ANY genre of music it can be frustrating for tiny punk minds to listen to some furious hardcore that has them bouncing around their bedrooms only to find the next release is some obscure harsh noise project. But there will never be any compromise! tenzenmen is here for the adventurous.

The 20/20 revision series is an effort to help music explorers discover some of the delights held within the tenzenmen catalogue. Number 1 in the series, available now, is a free download featuring tracks from the first 20 releases. In other words, the ubiquitous compilation album. But I like to think of it more as a mixtape for a potential loved one.

To help out our tiny punk-minded listeners I’m hoping you, the good friends and explorers of tenzenmen can help disseminate information by forwarding this email, sharing links to friends, doing whatever it is that kids do these days instead of actually making mixtapes. I and all the artists involved with working with tenzenmen would very much appreciate that.”

 


Shows for the end of a year

The last part of the year is rapidly approaching, and there are a final few shows before the end.

Firstly, Fang Fest, the inaugural Auckland Punk festival is to be held at the Whammy Bar and Wine Cellar on Labour Weekend this year, October 25/26/27. Bands galore, hot chips and movies. We are playing on the Friday night,and there is a grand and diverse spread of sounds over the entire event.  Splendid curation.

Mighty Mighty Nov 2013Then, Friday November 8 see’s us return to that beautiful local haunt, Mighty Mighty, for a show with the ‘experimental psycho-tropic’ outfit E N T.  $5 entry

The poster is a design we have been sitting on for a while, looking for the ‘right’ show to show off such a wonder. We were gifted this design from a generous bloke who we met last time we were in Yogyakarta, Java in 2011. Endry Pragusta is the artist, and we are deeply thrilled to be able to use this piece of work, thank you.

Saturday November 9 see a return to Space Monster in Whanganui with a wicked lineup: The All Seeing hand +Seth Frightening +Gains + us. By the by, The All Seeing Hand have also just released their second full length album, titled Mechatronics, with support from Tenzenmen and Muzai Records. And it’s a corker. A wide dynamic sonic spread of beats, electronics, drums and vocal reminiscent of a black metal growling/Mongolian throat singing/Nina Hagen WTFing dance band. It’s absolutely worth the price of the admission, and some.

Couple weeks later, Saturday November 30, a wee jaunt to the seaside town of Paekakariki to play a show in the hall on the main street with Bad Edison, and some others, more information on this later.

Finally, some planning is under way for a bigger trip next April to the UK. This is mostly for personal reasons but we are going to squeeze in 4 or 5 shows along the way. Needless to say, since we are going to be so close to the Czech Republic we figuring on a small excursion for two shows there with some good friends.

A big focus for this year has been to write a new body of material with a view to recording a new album sometime soon. We almost there,  the home demos seem to indicate the tunes sit well with each other, just need a couple more then we have a good body of work to choose from. Then what?


Transit: The music video!

On Saturday 9 February, with the raising of 3 glasses of whisky, we launched the latest addition to the ongoing evolving collection of developments for the project we call TRANSIT.

This new addition is the music video to the song Transit developed in partnership with Wellington film maker and photographer, John Lake.

We wanted to approach the construction of this video as a collaborative flexible project, so  lots of the development happened online via Google Docs, alongside the regular meetings. This way we could continue to add ideas, bang thoughts around, and share provocations of how we thought the visuals could take shape.

After a day of filming raw band footage we came to the idea to crowd-source a choir for a specific section in the song. We created a call-out to interested people, and then waited for the responses to return to us. We collected twelve home-made clips in total, from as far afield as Sweden, Czech Republic, Okinawa, France, Australia, Auckland and Invercargill. We received more footage than could be actually be used but we loved what was sent, and we hope you are all happy with what we have done with your contributions. The actual graft work was all John, we were simply the unhuh?folk, the what if? folk, the how about? folk.

John, we want to say, “Huge  thanks and gratitude for your willingness, patience and inspiration”. Thanks also to Mark Leong for helping out with the space for the filming of the band.

THANK YOU to the following for contributing to the crowd sourced section:

  • David Edwards
  • Tao Well
  • Maurice Priestley
  • Jo Davidsson
  • Steve Dean and the Neuro ward staff
  • Los Black Dog
  • Chris Rankin
  • Hilary Binder
  • Katrena Kemp
  • Shaun Helmsley
  • Eric Boros
  • Marylise Frenchville & Ildiko
  • Emitir Snake-Beings
  • Blair Jones
  • Simon Hartman
  • Paul Harvey

July update

Here we are in July, less than two weeks to go before we take off on tour to Southeast Asia. Nearly all dates are confirmed, with just one or two still to be finalized, there may be changes as we go but that’s how it happens. I will set up a tour diary once we are underway and then try to update as often as possible.It’s shaping up to be an interesting tour, with a combination of big shows, studio shows, and a couple of shows more in the art domain.

Southeast Asia poster by Joe KiddHere’s the dates, there’s bound to be tweaks along the way- expanded gig details are to the right of the screen:
15 Friday Malaysia, KL: venue:@ Rumah Api, Ampang HOW HIGH CAN A PUNK GET part2.
16 Saturday Malaysia, Tampin: venue: The Seventh Heaven This Is For The Heart Still Beating
17 Sunday Java, Surabaya
19 Tuesday Java, Blitar
20 Wednesday Java, Yogyakarta: venue TBC:
21 Thursday Java, Bandung: venue TBC:
22 Friday Java, Bekasi: venue: Dromotora studio, bulak kapa.
23 Saturday, Malaysia, KL: venue: MyEvo Clubhouse
24 Sunday Malaysia – Mentakab: venue Arjuna Studio Silent Night Gig
28 Thursday Singapore – venue: The Pigeonhole
29 Friday Singapore – venue: Playfreely experimental music night, improv
30 Saturday Malaysia, KL MapKL, Solaris Dutamas, KL

Mr sterile has been featured in this months edition of NZMusician, with a nicely edited interview from noise maker Campbell Kneale.

UrbAlt  Sampler Quattro coverA new downloadable compilation has been released by the USA Blog UrbAlt.
Go to THIS LINK to download the FREE album Sampler Quattro, an eclectic collection of international acts including yours truly.

Distro outlets are being established now with Nikt Nic Nie Wie in Poland, Onec Records in Plymouth,UK, and Tenzenmen Australia. We are continuing to locate other sources to carry the album, as well as looking for other outlets for Distro and review. Contact us if you are interested in discussing this with us some more.

The bands 10th birthday is starting to loom and we figure maybe we should do something for it, brainstorming commence.


Review of TRANSIT, in NZ Musician

A new review of the album TRANSIT as posted in the April/May edition of NZ Musician
Original link HERE

Transit album cover“MR STERILE ASSEMBLY : Transit
By Steph Gray
They’ve said it themselves: this is not lounge music. But if you like the idea of ‘outsider punk’, appreciate jazz, poetry and math rock precision, ‘Transit’ is for you. The fifth release by the Mr Sterile Assembly, it is both an album and an exhibition of artworks. Charismatically assertive two-piece Chrissie Butler and Mr Sterile secured the talents of Dean Hapeta (aka Te Kupu), Jeff Henderson and Maria McMillian among other collaborators for this production. The result is a literate, rich and engaging double album. Each song is accompanied by an art-piece. My favourite is Pop Sickle – dedicated to the Waihope 3 – and matched by Stefan Neville’s eponymous etching. And if you like information with your art and music, the Assembly have added a third layer by published hyperlinked lyrics on their website. As sources of allusion and inspiration, the links are a mad romp around the Assembly’s creative process, taking you to Hone Tuwhare’s poems, NZ nuclear-free legislation, and an image search for ‘Israeli wall’. The Assembly are celebrating this release, and their tenth birthday, with a national and international tour to Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. ‘Transit’ was mostly recorded with Mike Gibson at Inca Studios and released by Skirted Records and Tenzenmen.”


Australian tour April 2011

mr sterile Assembly Australian tour poster April 2011

UPDATED TOUR DETAILS: mr sterile Assembly return to Australia for up to eight shows in nine days. A swift tour stopping to play with some of Oz’s finest noise makers. There are the complete details.

  • APRIL 15 FRIDAY: Venue: Black Wire- SYDNEY w/ Ya Aha, Crouching 80’s + Yes, I’m Leaving!. 7pm
  • APRIL 16 SATURDAY: Venue: Jake’s Hais – NEWCASTLEw/Cistern Corrupt, Scalps, Lenin Lennon + Drillbit
  • April 17 SUNDAY PUNK OUTSIDE #9 Venue: Steel Street, Marrickville: w/Slogan Free Youth + Black Vat Trio + No Such Luck + Michael Crafter[7″ launch] – start 2pm, FREE
  • APRIL 19 TUESDAY : Venue: Make it Up Club, Fitzroy- MELBOURNE – no songs, IMPROV
  • APRIL 20 WEDNESDAY: Venue: Bar Open, Fitzroy- MELBOURNE w/Fitzroy, Adam Simmons Vs Brian O’Dwyer, + Dead Ants
  • APRIL 22 FRIDAY: Venue: KOF Gallery 68 Pink Oak Cr, Flemington, Melbourne. w/Onion Engines + Sohei + Go Genre Everything!
  • APRIL 23 SATURDAY Live to air 3CR 2-4pm
  • APRIL 23 SATURDAY : VENUE: The Victoria: 380 Victoria Street, Brunswick : w/DEAD + Galactic Entertainment Ensemble

    These shows would not have been made possible without the fabulous help of Tenzenmen in Sydney, who has organised the Sydney CD release function. Big cheers to Even from Jake’s Hais in Newcastle. And in Melbourne Don at  Neumusak who has been key in organising two shows, Black Wire, Dave at KOF, Jem from DEAD for being super helpful, and the good folk from Go Genre Everything. Big thanks also to Garage Collective for the stunning image for the poster.

    See you there!. It will be a blast


  • Transit, the album

    Transit album cover

    Transit album cover

    Here is the story of Transit, the fifth album by mr sterile Assembly. There are links to individual pages with interactive lyrics. The story of how the album came into being, plus reviews, images, and any additional detritus associated with this release. cheers

    01. Hibakusha
    02. Jesus heals the Blind
    03. I Robert
    04. Whyt
    05. Pop Sickle
    06. March of the Fulfillmen
    07. Bug my Ride (revisited)
    08. Stella
    09. Drought
    10. Axe and the Olive Tree
    11. Transit

    Reviews: NZ Musician, Southland Times Invercargill, Seagull Chainsaw (AUS), Ghetto Punk Rocker(USA), Sea of Tranquility (USA), Punkas.com (NZ), LioncityDIY (SG), The Organ (UK)

    mr sterile Assembly album Launch, at The Russian Frost Farmers Gallery. Photo by Karen Melhuish

    mr sterile Assembly album Launch, at The Russian Frost Farmers Gallery. Photo by Karen Melhuish

    An introduction.

    Transit, the fifth album by mr sterile Assembly was released March 25 2011. The album took just over one year to complete from its inception point in late December 2009. The Assembly had recently complete a small Aotearoa NZ tour with the Czech group Uz Jsme Doma, in which an offer to the Assembly was made to tour Europe sometime in mid-2010.  Offers like this spawn plans, and one of these was a recording project.

    Two surprises in one day: dollars and departure.

    An application was made with CNZ for a recording grant, the idea to record the duo bass and drums unit, in preparation for the tour. However, and much to our surprise, the day the letter of astounding confirmation  of $$ came on the same day Sarsha Doulas decided to quit. The tour almost happened but due to personal reasons had to be abandoned at the eleventh hour.

    From band reproduction to project.

    This caused some serious rethinking on how to approach the project. What developed over the coming months was a growing project of fantastic proportions. We wanted to maintain the energy and feel of the twin bassists so we approach a sterile member from previous times, Aaron Lloydd, to plunk the strings. We knew he had a solid and creative understanding to our approach. Next we contacted another sterilite, Jeff Henderson, to add saxophone on a number of tracks, and Nell Thomas to add special tonal colour on a couple of tracks. Nell plays a a Javanese instrument called a Gender, and we felt this was a perfect instrument to add depth to a particular song, Stella, based on an story of some dear friends in that country.

    Mike Gibson was enlisted early on to the initial recording of primary bass, bass, drums track, and to mix and master the final collection of songs. Dean Hapeta aka Te Kupu became deeply woven into the development of the album. He offer Matakahi Studio to us so we could add all lyrics, additional sounds, and the sax tracks. During a number of conversations, we also came to the conclusion that there were spaces available that called out for extra words. Dean listened intently over months to lets the ideas grow, and his response to the challenge  of these four songs is spectacular.

    Inca studios and the NZSIS

    Working with Mike at Inca studios also took on a particularly delicious an ironic feel. When I first met Mike to discuss the project, he almost incidentally commented that the studio use to be the home of the NZSIS, the government security intelligence service. The main record room that we were situated in was the old safe, the home of all those secret files from years gone past of union activist, conscientious objectors from previous international armed conflicted, and any other ‘radical’ who opposed the government of the day. That we should find ourselves in this space, performing our songs about the governments attempts to survey citizens, of this countries role in international spy rings, and the police’s employment of a particular individual as a failed covert spy to protest activity couldn’t be more perfect. (note:the SIS still is a functioning arm of the NZ govt, it simply relocated to a different building)

    Collaborative lyrics

    As well as having Te Kupu’s text in the songs, mr sterile collaborated over several months with Wellington poet Maria McMillian on the song Drought. Maria was invited to this collaboration as not only do we consider her a poet of fine standing, but the commitment to her political activity of opposing the privatisation for water would inform the similar content of the song further. The word’s were ferried back and forth over months, being stretched and teased into existence, then edited down into the form on the album. This reworking process continued up until moments before the words were committed to the recording.

    Once the mix, which took several weeks, the mastering, and completing of art design, all the finished work was sent to Dualplover in Australia for the final stage of making the actual product. We were in the very capable hands of Swerve, who helped soothe the anxiety around the possible design slips that could happen as we were including two booklets into the final complete package. Additional support and help with the OZ release is from Tenzenmen, a specialist in d.i.y releases from Australia, Asia, and now us.

    The evolution of the art work

    Running alongside the audio process, the task of conceptualising, compiling artwork, and designing the artwork and packaging was explored. In an organic fashion, similar to the way many things evolve in sterile, the final design took many months, multiple edits, and a massive effort to execute what ultimately because a stunning and beautiful package.

    After some initial abandoned design ideas, the concept to approach individual artists to illustrate the  songs was almost accidentally stumbled upon. We looked through our contacts, aware of the vast array of talented friends, and matched songs with artists whom we thought could respond sympathetically to the intent and meaning of the words. And we were astounded and humbly impressed at how much they stood up to the mark, the quality of the art work, and the enthusiasm we received from each artist was incredible.

    Building an exhibition.

    While the art was coming in, the idea sprung into life that this part of the album deserves more that to be rendered into cd booklet size and never seen in its true form. The idea for the exhibition was born.  A close friend, James Kirk, was approached to frame the work over a number of months, not all of it easy, but the quality of displayed art work was astounding,  James also facilitated the contact with a photography who would take the highest quality photos for our reproduction in the books.

    We’d like to say thank you

    The craftsmanship executed from musicians, the sound engineers, artist, and the framing easily lived up to, and surpassed our Everest like expectations. the creating of this album was one stunning experience after another, not always easy, but ultimately extraordinarily rewarding.

    We are incredibly grateful to all the amazing people who have participated in this project.

    We thank you all individually:

    • Aaron Lloydd
    • Andrew Ross
    • Campbell Kneale
    • Dean Hapeta aka Te Kupu
    • Deborah Barton
    • Garage Collective
    • Kate Whitley
    • Kerry-Ann Lee
    • James Kirk
    • James Robinson
    • Jeff Henderson
    • Maria McMillian
    • Mike Gibson
    • Nell Thomas
    • Roger Morris
    • Stefan Neville
    • Tao Wells

    Ongoing Developments:

    The Launch:

    The album was launched at the Wellington Gallery, The Russian Frost Farmers on March 25 2011

    Touring:

    We toured the album extensive within Aotearoa, we also took Transit to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and returned to Java Indonesia. While in the township of Blitar, south east Java, a music video was made for the song Stella. The story of a young women from Blitar having a baby, moving to Singapore to get work as a transient migrant worker, while leaving baby back at home. A reflection on the globalised process of cheap labour for wealthy countries, everybody through travels with a very real human story.

    The Exhibitions:

    After the launch we presented to firstly the Hamilton, and then latterly  the Dunedin Fringe Festivals. The art work was couriered and installed with help from local to write the text around the art works. We then arrived to deliver a seminar discussing the process of developing this project, the content of the songs, and to play a few tunes.

    Our show won two awards in Dunedin, and one award at the Hamilton Fringe. Below is a clip made by a Hamiltonian (thanks) from the Saturday afternoon discussion.

    ICOT Presentation

    ICOT13 – The International Conference on Thinking

    In January 2013, the International Conference on Thinking was held in Wellington. We submitted an abstract, which was accepted, to present our thinking around the processes involved in this Transit project.It was a 75 minute break-out session that was well received.

    The Video

    A video for the song Transit, made by Wellington photographer and film maker John Lake. This clip includes a crowd fund choir from across the world. Click this link for more information