Friday, December 21, 2007

It's a long project....
Turn of the Century is one of the greatest singles ever produced in this country. Released back in 1981 by a Wellington three piece called Beat Rhythm Fashion, their output amounted to a trilogy of singles, before disappearing across the ditch. Over 20 years down the track, they hold their own easily alongside the likes of The Cure, Joy Division and Young Marble Giants, all reference points for their sound.

In the early 1980s, the turn of the century really did feel like a long way away - New Zealand was in the grip of a short little thug named Muldoon, who delighted in dividing the nation (see 1981 rugby tour or hey - kids, ask your parents to explain Car-less Days) and the USA was run by a former actor Ronald Reagan, aka Re-Ron, as Gil Scott-Heron called him, who cracked jokes like "We start bombing the Russians in 5 minutes". Nuclear war didn't seem impossible, thanks to Reagan dragging out the cold war.

"The long awaited disc of finely crafted songs from this much respected and greatly sought after Wellington band. Brothers Dan and Nino Birch made sweepingly beautiful and thought-provoking intelligent music. Part of the Wellington terrace scene that gave us the four stars compilation BRF grew past their edgy post punk beginnings to create open melodic soundcapes like the classic "Turn of the Century".

This disc collects all three singles all lovingly restored and remastered, plus 9 tracks from the band's later live set to complete the album BRF would have made if life had played out differently." Get it here or here.

Also on the local tip, electro-jazz duo Trip To The Moon (Tom Ludvigson and Trevor Reekie) have a new album out, called Welcome To The Big Room. It's full of laidback beats, jazzy piano noodling, and some dubbed-out guitar riffs that drift by effortlessly. Cool music for a chilled out day at the beach, or just hanging in the yard with the barbie on the go... you know the one. Graham Reid described it as featuring "an electronica element, but as with Brian Eno's work the sheer melodicism and warmth of the music makes this very human and engaging - and very headphone friendly." Get it here.

And more lists... Amplifier lists their Top 20 NZ albums for 2007. You own a few of these, right?

Hope you have a great christmas, and see you in the new year. Be nice.


Dubber said...

I have six out of twenty. Not too bad.

Chris said...

Went and saw The Black Seeds last night in Riwaka. Ears still ringing .. how do you rate them?

Also, I was wondering if you might review my site or perhaps link to it on your site. or
We are a New Zealand based company - primarily we provide accommodation, attractions and information about different areas in New Zealand. We also have New Zealands most popular webcam page - just working on re-designing it now.

Let me know what you think..

Anonymous said...

I was under the illusion that all three singles shared the BRF initials - 'Beings Rest Finally' the one that really stayed with me ("I dunno what I'm doing but i know I'm gonna do it agaaaain")... and that it was some sort of trilogy based around that. Great unsung band.

Anonymous said...

I love that BRF song, "Don't know what I'm doing..." It had some obscure, arty name as I remember. It was the kind of song you thought would be used in a film, but I don't think it ever was.

Peter McLennan said...

they did three singles - Beings Rest Finally, Brings Real Freedom, and Turn of the Century. Not quite all BRF initials...

Dubber - top work.

Chris - sorry, I don't do website reviews, more focus on music-related guff. Interesting site tho...


Anonymous said...

No worries Peter, keep up the great blog posts!

Failsafe said...

the three singles were
beings rest finally bw bring real freedom

turn of the century bw song of the hairless ape

art and duty bw no great oaks.

the name of the failsafe disc is Bring real freedom (picking up the BRF initials them) and the second disc which will hold all the post punk early material plus the more noisy (for brf) tracks will also have BRF initials, maybe :)

the don't know what I'm doing song is called beings rest finally but probably should have been called don't know what i'm doing... rest of the lyrics are you're forgiven but don't go and do it again. something to do with forgiveness in the modern age of war I'm guessing, but nino wasn't too forth coming with insight into the meaning of some songs so its only a guess. The radio nz site has an interview with nino done last year about the new album and the band. there will be the full interview (over an hour up on the failsafe site at some time in the near future)