"These days Auckland musician, graphic designer, DJ and writer Peter McLennan is probably best known for the social and cultural commentary he offers up through his dubdotdash twitter handle and blog. Between 1992 and 2003 however, McLennan was a freelance journalist for a number of now defunct and still-running magazines such as Pavement, Selector, Lava, Rip It Up, North & South and yes, us here at NZ Musician.
Earlier this year, McLennan collected up close to 40 of the more crucial music articles and interviews he wrote over that time, compiling them into this slim yet illuminative volume, I Believe You Are A Star: Interviews with New Zealand musicians, DJs and artists.
Being titled after a Dimmer song of the same name, McLennan kicks things off with an awkward yet interesting discussion with Shayne Carter, conducted just prior to the release of Carter's ‘Dimmer’ album of the same name. From there he surveys the ’90s and early 2000s of New Zealand's indie rock, hip-hop, soul, electronica and dub reggae scenes, more often than not catching now prominent names on the cusp of rises which, viewed retrospectively, often have a certain inevitability about them.
Amongst other gems, we hear from P-Money during his first interview in which his father actually felt like he was reading about his son; the sadly departed Darcy Clay dreams of travelling to Africa; and the heavily tattooed (and then dreadlocked) Tiki Taane recounts the day he wandered around Dubai in shorts and a t-shirt.
McLennan is a thoughtful listener and observer, and a writer who misses little. With I Believe You Are A Star he gives us the opportunity to reflect. A segment of our musical underground invaded the mainstream, and McLennan was there, documenting some of the pivotal shifts, when and as they happened."
You can buy the book at Conch Records, Real Groovy (Akl), Slowboat Records, RPM Music (Wgtn) and online from Amazon.com, and also on Kindle here.