Second single from Niko Ne Zna’s debut album “Renegade Brass Bandits”. Free download here.
Niko Ne Zna are New Zealand’s very own authentic Balkan Gypsy brass extravaganza. With a history that goes back 7 years, this 8 piece band has evolved into a true Gypsy juggernaut stunning audiences everywhere they go with their thrillingly energetic and dynamic performances. Now, finally their long anticipated debut album Renegade Brass Bandits is here.
After a few lineup changes over the years and the introduction of additional brass the current lineup is undoubtedly the best yet and has been driving audiences wild for the past 2 years. There’s even some more authentic Eastern-European blood in the band with percussionist Vlatko Materic joining bandleader and founding member Frankie Curac. After years of being instrumental, the addition of vocalist Nikkie Rich a couple of years ago helped take it to a new level and here she sings in Serbo-Croatian, Roma Gypsy and Greek. The album consists of seven originals and three traditional songs that will take you across the Balkans with a kiwi flavor.
Niko Ne Zna have played extensively around New Zealand having undertaken three national tours and performed for the Wellington City Council, The Wellington Fringe Festival, International Jazz Festival, Cuba Street Carnival, the Festival of Lights in New Plymouth, Prana Festival and Taranaki Arts Festival and have been a staple of the Wellington music scene with regular performances all over the city.
Second single from Niko Ne Zna’s debut album “Renegade Brass Bandits”. Free download here.
This weeks free download from Monkey is the wonderful Monsieur E. electro circus remix of The Wedding Song by The Mamaku Project as featured on our recent Gypsy Fever compilation. Download from our SoundCloud page here.
The Mamaku Project is born from the collaboration of two Kiwi/French artists at Errobiko Festibala (France) in 2004. Tui Mamaki, evocative bi-lingual vocalist, calls on multi-instrumentalist/producer, Monsieur E. This collaboration sparks a vision for a music that could bridge their cultures and that could foster dialogue between European and South Pacific roots. In 2007, they produce their first critically acclaimed LP ‘Karekare’, weaving French quirkiness, Electro-Jazz and Dub and created in the breathtaking wilderness of West-coast Aotearoa. Having quickly established themselves as favourites on the New Zealand festival/live arts scene, they have since released a follow-up album ‘Mal de Terre’ which has been similarly well-received and an EP, Electro-O-rganic Sessions as well as touring the EU, Canada and playing in Korea and Singapore.
Originally featuring on Mal de Terre, Wedding Song was remixed for the Electro-O-rganic sessions by Monsieur E. and then re-released early 2013 as part of the Gypsy Fever compilation. A new album is expected from The Mamaku Project in September 2013.
Shoot the Moon is the second single to be released from The Major Pins debut album Roundabout scheduled for release on May 17th 2013. Free download from our SoundCloud page.
Check out the retro sci-fi music video featuring footage from ‘Cat-Women of the Moon’ (1953) here.
Paris is a jauntily melancholic ode to that great city inspired by Bond Street Bridge’s visit there in 2010. As usual free download from our SoundCloud page.
Bond Street Bridge is the solo project of Auckland-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Sam Prebble. Since the release of first album The Mapamaker’s Art, Prebble has been busy, touring extensively in New Zealand, Australia and Europe and playing shows everywhere from dive bars to art galleries and festival stages. As well as his solo work as Bond Street Bridge, Prebble plays violin, mandolin and guitar for Reb Fountain and the Bandits and the Hannah Curwood Band, and is a long-standing member of Auckland folk-pop group The Broken Heartbreakers.
Distant Dreams and Morning Stars is from Inkadies, the latest solo album by dream-pop folk artist John White. As a follow up to Balloon Adventure (2000) and Mogwash (2003), The Inkadies might be described as the third instalment of tales from a delicate otherland where little creatures called Inkadies come to save the day. Free download here.
The album was recorded in Madison, Wisconsin by friend and fellow singer/songwriter, Tom Hanson. Gathering guest musician’s from Madison’s lush music scene, the album boasts chiming harmonies and dripping Synth accompaniments underneath John’s dreamily relaxed vocals and gently strummed acoustic guitar
John White is also the frontman for seminal Dunedin fuzz-pop band Mëstar and shoegazing, distorted pop band The Blueness.
“The Inkadies” is the soundtrack to that glorious half-asleep period that we get before sleep - full of strange imaginations and warmth. Beautiful stuff, and an oh-so-welcome return from the talented Mr White.”
- Cheese on Toast
Charity Children’s debut single/video Elizabeth has been nominated for two awards at this year’s Berlin Music Video Awards- ‘Best Director/Actor’ and ‘Best Song’. They’re in good company with Sigur Ros, The Knife and Moon Duo also nominated.
Follow the links below to watch and vote:
Australian-born Polish singer Nadya Golski spent time as a teenager in Papua New Guinea, living with the Gamuga Roglombo tribesmen. Her first release on Monkey is in a Papua New Guinean language with a balkan feel being remixed by Paris-based DJ Click. You can download it for free here.
Golski divides her time between Australia and Europe and Nadya and she and her musicians have performed at many festivals worldwide including Montreux Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, Sziget Festival, WomAdelaide and Woodford Folk Festival.
She has several albums to her name, some of which will be re-released on Monkey in the coming months.
Woipa Woipa originally featured on her album Mezza Luna but is also included on the recently released compilation Gypsy Fever which celebrates the Eastern European music scene in Australia and New Zealand.
Only One I Need is the fourth single to be released from Chris Hurn’s debut album Too Busy Dreamin’. First 100 downloads free from our SoundCloud page here.
Chris Hurn is a twenty-two year old folk-pop singer/songwriter from Lower Hutt, New Zealand. After playing in various local bands, including Play it Strange 2007 national competition winners The Lunch Box Boys, a 60’s style indie-pop band, he discovered a love for folk music and decided to go solo in late 2009.
Inspired by the likes of Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen he began to write a collection of songs that would soon become his first album. Although heavily influenced by his folk heroes, he draws upon a wide range of genres and styles of music. As well as having a soft spot for modern pop and rock, Chris has spent a considerable amount of time soaking up 60′s pop groups, notably The Mamas and the Papas, The Beatles and the Kinks.
Coming from a multi-instrumental background, Chris commenced his musical endeavours at a young age with the piano and a cheap plastic recorder. His first album is heavily based around the acoustic guitar but whistles, clicks, claps, harmonica and harmonies also play a big part in the sound. Astonishingly, Chris plays all the instruments on his debut as well as mixing and producing it himself. His lyric-writing reveals a world-wise maturity beyond his years and coupled with his knack for writing highly catchy melodies, he seems sure to secure himself a place amongst a rising new generation of young singer/songwriters.
Too Busy Dreamin’ was recorded in 2010 in his Lower Hutt home studio, and mastered by Dave Cooley (Serge Gainsbourg, Polyphonic Spree) in LA.
When not playing folk music, Chris works as a composer writing orchestral based scores for video games and films.
While owing a clear debt to Paul Simon, the young Dylan, early Donovan and others in the acoustic singer-songwriter category, this young guy from Lower Hutt just north of Wellington, New Zealand brings a pop sensibility to his writing (the openers here Whatcha Got and Only One I Need hook you immediately) and often a deliberately light touch (whistles, handclaps). Maybe that is in part due to his background: He played in a pop-rock band The Lunch Box Boys which won the Play It Strange award in 2007 (which means he must have been about 17 at the time). Since then he discovered folk and that lineage of singer-songwriters and has struck out on his own. What is attractive about Hurn is that rather than indulging in melancholy miserablism which the idiom so often invites from a young and emotionally anxious performer, he has a sharp ear for a melodic hook and that he keeps each song distinctive. He also has an inviting, warm and believable voice which is persuasive when he get reflective (All I Really Want) or urgent (An Honest Man) as much as taking you along for a ride when the musical mood gets more breezy (Love and Silly Little Things with ukulele, whistling and la-la-la backing vocals). The closer is an ambitious, eight minute-plus Thank You and Goodnight which might also be his built-in encore… you will be hearing more of him, that’s for sure. - Graham Reid, Elsewhere
New Zealand based artist Graveyard Love creates a sound that exists somewhere between an 80s getaway car scene and the desolate mood of factories at dusk on the outskirts of the city. Graveyard Love is somehow a transcendental experience – a blurry distortion between gospel, alternative and dance.
With this new single Graveyard Love provides a snapshot of what’s to come for the upcoming EP release. ‘Me I’m Not Myself’ provides a dark driving anthem about disconnectedness in the modern world. Look out for the music video just released. You can download the sinlge for a limited time here.
Influences: late 80s through 90s; Electronics; neo-post-post-pop; industrial grime; New Zealand literature; orbicularis oculi paralysis; dust.
Due to the great response we’ve had to the posting of “Puti Puti Pai” by Ishta, here is another track from their debut self-titled album. First 100 downloads free from our SoundCloud page here.
Ishta’s sound evolved over time into an uplifting blend of Eastern and Western influences with the funky bass grooves of Monsieur Escargot, soulful sitar playing by Rob Croft, stirring sax and flute arrangements by Ben Campbell and Trudi Lile, virtuosic tabla playing by Basant Madhur and the soaring, sensual vocals of Josephine Costain.
The two main songwriters, Josephine Costain and Rob Croft both have Maori ancestry and are firmly connected to this land and its people. Their uplifting songs bring a positive message of unity and celebration of life expressed not just in English but also in Maori, Spanish and Arabic. The other members of the band originally come from India, France and Israel and their respective contributions help make the Ishta sound truly international.
Listening to this multiculti outfit from Auckland qualifies you for frequent flyer points: the line-up has musicians from Dutch, Kiwi, Israeli, Indian and French backgrounds; and the instrumental artillery on display includes sitar, saxophone, didgeridoo, guitar, flute and double bass. All of which could make for an unworkable implosion of world fusion, if it weren’t for the keen sensibilities on display.
When the eight-minute second track - Butterfly - takes flight around the midpoint in a maelstrom of flute, sitar and tabla drums (with didgeridoo offering guttural sonic punctuation), it makes for a thrilling and heady brew. The interplay of sax and sitar brings to mind the most gutsy passages on Ali Akbar Khan and John Handy’s 1975 album Karuna Supreme.
They are equally impressive in quieter moments (De La Tierra and Drop the Soap which suggest the Indo-jazz group Oregon, Muhashaba featuring the entrancing vocals of Josephine Costain) and the folk-pop of Ramjhula. * * * * (four stars) – The Herald