PHOTO: TOTEMS WITH THANKS TO BANKRUPT RECORDS / LOGO BY ZOE HANNAY
TOTEMS — 'DEVILMAN69'
Last week, Aotearoa's Bankrupt Records released one of two singles by their legendary label head and trailblazing producer Totems, AKA Reuben Winter, who tragically passed in 2020. These tracks mark the final project submitted to Bankrupt by Totems, and thanks to them and his mother Iona Winter, we can continue to witness Winter's unmatched sonic genius. 'devilman69' is an example of his uncompromising musical energy; throbbing basslines and shrieking frequencies unfold mercilessly atop his masterfully acute drum patterns to bestow a visceral listening experience on our ears. Reuben Winter was, and continues to be, an inspiration to many as a crucial figurehead of rave culture in Aotearoa and a polymath of music across all genres, sharing tracks via various projects including Milk, Caroles and KCB. Thanks to the team at Downbeat Mastering in Tāmaki Makaurau, Life Dealer/devilman69 will be available on a limited run of dubplates cut by Josh Llewellyn, hand stamped and numbered by Bankrupt Records. You can sink your teeth into its B Side today — Side A, as well as the physical editions, will be released on May 20, celebrating what would have been Reuben's 29th birthday.
You can purchase Life Dealer/devilman69 via Bandcamp HERE. All proceeds from the release and associated merchandise will be split evenly between the Winter family and Bankrupt Records.
SQUID — 'UNDERGROWTH'
UK post punk band Squid have released yet another song from their upcoming sophomore LP O Monolith — out June 9 via Warp Records. On 'Undergrowth', Squid settle into dub-ridden grooves that flip into explosive rock sections, developing their radical, genre-bending style that everyone fell in love with on their debut album Bright Green Field. Vocalist and drummer Ollie Judge describes the track's was born after thinking about "being reincarnated as a bedside table in the afterlife, and how the thought of being reincarnated as an inanimate object would be dreadful". These themes of morality are explored sonically on 'Undergrowth' as well, its elements seemingly gathering influence from all around; the streets of the cities they live in, and the magic that may lay beneath their grimy surfaces. To experience this world for yourself, Squid have created an accompanying video game to play alongside listening to 'Undergrowth' — check it out for yourself here.
You can preorder Squid's upcoming album O Monolith via the Flying Nun Record Shop HERE.
SJD — 'DID SOMEBODY CALL MY NAME?'
Sean James Donnelly, AKA SJD has announced his Sweetheart Tour to celebrate his ninth album (you guessed it — called Sweetheart), released in October 2022. The prolific musician, who has capped a Taite Prize as well as two Aotearoa Music Awards in his long career so far, will be hitting Aotearoa's roads from late June, thanks to Banished Music — hit play on his album's closing track 'did somebody call my name' while you grab your tickets HERE (note, Banished Presales are available now, and general onsale are from 9am Monday 1st May).
GUARDIAN SINGLES — 'MANIC ATTRACTION'
Ahead of their upcoming album Feed Me To The Doves, coming May 26 via Chicago label Trouble In Mind Records, Tāmaki Makaurau super group Guardian Singles have revealed their supercharged new song, 'Manic Attraction' alongside an electric video produced and animated by Luke McPake. 'Manic Attraction' sure does satisfy the senses in every way, with its witty guitar riffs and sharp drum patterns, coloured in vibrantly by their excellent lyricism. Fun. We love it.
Listen to Guardian Single's new song, and pre-order their upcoming album Feed Me To The Doves via Bandcamp HERE.
TINY RUINS — 'OUT OF PHASE'
The new album from Aotearoa treasure, Tiny Ruins, is out today, following a lead up of mesmerising singles such as the most recent, 'Out of Phase'. Led by Hollie Fullbrook, the band dive deep into their indie-folk sonics on Ceremony, sharing sentiments from their home-city Tāmaki Makaurau, and its beloved, yet murky and polluted shores. "It’s a real meeting of nature and humanity,” says Fullbrook. Tiny Ruins' songs are seemingly spun from a single thread that weaves a brightly coloured blanket that coats our ears with an unshakeable comfort. There's a reason people can't get enough of their achingly beautiful compositions; they create a moment of beauty in a world full of havoc. Once again, Tiny Ruins takes our breath away.
You can buy Tiny Ruins' new album Ceremony via the Flying Nun Record Shop HERE.
THUNDERCAT & TAME IMPALA — 'NO MORE LIES'
The duo we never we knew we needed have joined forces — Thundercat has teamed with none other than Tame Impala on a new song 'No More Lies'. Fusing an effortlessly cool concoction of funk-infused pop goodness, melding Thundercat's groove-laden basslines with Kevin Parker's signature flanger-doused beats, 'No More Lies' feels like it has been waiting to happen for a long time. In fact, it has been — Thundercat himself says he has been wanting to work with Tame Impala since they released their 2010 album Innerspeaker. “I feel that I knew that us working together would be special." He says. "I’ve been excited about this song for a long time and hope to create more with Kevin in the future.”
You can find this new single, well, everywhere, but Bandcamp is a good place to start — hit play HERE.
MAXINE FUNKE — 'AFTERWARDS'
Maxine Funke is an artist who has accumulated quite the cult following overseas. However, the Otago is lesser-known within Aotearoa's shores. I'm just going to say this though — if you haven't heard her beguiling, dusky tones, you need to. Despite her subdued style, she displays a rare ability to draw a vast landscape, allowing the listener to colour inside the lines with their own imagination. I would place the sound somewhere inside the realm of ambient folk; behind every masterfully crafted song is a bed of delicious ambience, whether it comes from the room she is recording in, or a collection of synths and pedal drones. River Said is a gorgeous collection of songs, out now via Warp Records imprint Disciples.
Maxine Funke's new album River Said is out now — you can buy it via the Flying Nun Record Shop HERE.
KARL SÖLVE STEVEN — 'COLD DAY LIGHT (DREAM CHAMBERS REMIX)
Pārāwai composer and producer Karl Sölve Steven has revealed the second track from his upcoming album All Of Human Emotion On Microfiche (The Remixes) — this time sharing a rework by Pōneke artist Dream Chambers, a fellow pioneer in Aotearoa's experimental electronic landscape. I love this track to btis; upon listening I was immediately gripped by its hypnotic, ascending melodics, slowly spiralling towards a powerful, synth-ridden climax.
"I love the Dream Chambers adaptation. It's sort of grown the track into another dimension that makes the original feel like a roadmap while this is the actual terrain. It's pretty magical to hear it brought to life in this way; it's like going to sleep having sketched the first sentence of a novel in a notebook and waking up to find the whole thing written." — Karl Sölve Steven
Karl Sölve Steven has also announced a show at Auckland's The Wine Cellar and Whammy Backroom on 21st July, featuring a slew of fellow musicians to treat our ears, including Liam K. Swiggs, Sonya Waters, Stef Animal, Grecco Romank, Gayblade and Steven himself. Tickets HERE.
You can preorder the new album All of Human Emotion on Microfiche (The Remixes) - out July 6 via Sunreturn — via Bandcamp HERE.
Note: 'devilman69' by Totems is available exclusively on Bandcamp here.