June 21, 2024

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Flying Nun, the label that made New Zealand an indie benchmark

Flying Nun, the label that made New Zealand an indie benchmark

Valencia. Australia is on the other side of the planet, but it’s an island as big as Europe. Next to that is New Zealand, an infinitesimally small country made up of two islands. New Zealand is a country isolated from the rest of the world. Two thousand kilometers of sea separates the Australian continent. Its insularity meant its citizens had very low self-esteem. New Zealand has had no cultural impact on the rest of the planet. Then, in the early 80s, a small label was born that focused on recording local artists. Until then the only New Zealand group to be recognized beyond Oceania Split EnsThe creation that made Finn’s name known, it would rise to fame Crowded house. Flying Nun’s goals are modest. Its founder, Roger Shepherd, owned a record store and knew that the city of Christchurch had a rich music culture. Because of their isolation, news and records arrived late in New Zealand. So their musicians didn’t follow trends, but rather drew from what they knew or liked. Artists released by Flying Nun were associated with labels such as Welsh Postcard. Orange juice And Aztec CameraIt was promoted under the slogan “The Sound of Young Scotland”.

Shepard started the label with groups from Christchurch, but accepts that the scene in the neighboring city of Dunedin, full of university students, is richer in innovation. A new band that The Clean Entered the top 20 since 1982 Single, Daly Ho. The local industry was small and hungry for its own successes. The next single from the group founded by brothers David and Hamish Kilgore It ranked fifth in the rankings. Money started flowing into the record company, leading to investments in more unknown names. Klein and the other groups visiting the Flying Nun shared one characteristic: they lived in their own world. Their music was fueled by remnants of Sixties psychedelia, but also the technical ineptitude of punk. Instead, these are music that compensates for their eccentricity with significant melodic fare. Because of them, New Zealand culture went from being insignificant to being a reference in alternative music circles. England didn’t pay much attention – historically, the relationship between the two countries was cold – but Alan McGee, who had always had a great sense of smell, never missed an opportunity to get to know one of those Dunedin groups. They were invited The Chills And their first English album, Kaleidoscope World, released on Creation, made them known in Europe in 1986. A year later, Flying Younger already had an English headquarters.

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Almost all the minds that gave creative life to those groups seemed to be floating in another dimension. Bats, Verlaines, Jean-Paul Sartre’s experience, Look Blue Go PurpleHe directed Sills Martin Phillips, the son of a local politician, is a depressed young man but capable of creating fantastic fantasy worlds. The song “Pink Frost” is a cross between Happiness Division And Looking at itwas number one in New Zealand and an instant cult hit in the UK (House of love A version was recorded in 1991). The Sills became the most popular Kiwi band on the Old Continent, although as a general rule, all of those musicians were heavily influenced by the New. Their way of doing things, contention, joy, inspired bands, etc I have, sidewalk, Restlessness, Sebatoh, Magnetic fields One Lampsop. British too Robin Hitchcock, who at the time had more fame in America than at home, recognized his soulmate in those soulful and joyful songs. An interest in everything that sounded alternative, first sparked Sonic Youth Later enhanced by global success Nirvana, to protect multinational corporations. By 1991, six Flying Nun bands, including The Chills, had signed deals with North American labels. No one is lucky on the sale list. They continued as cult names and the fever eventually passed.

In that team, there was a very iconoclastic band Tall dwarfsWhose name (tall dwarves) already conveyed a grim joke. Chris Knox And Alec Bathgate They lived in different cities, but they managed to record six albums and several EPs between 1981 and 2002. At first they only released EPs. His style in them already spoke for itself. Distorted guitars, casiotone’s toy sound, pop melodies, lots of sloppiness. The Tall Dwarves sounded like soulless folk one day, and sounded like them the next Brian Eno I want to change to a song from 74 Dad. There were days when they were able to condense all of those tendencies into songs that hovered between delirium and majesty. High dwarves mastered the language (that album Fork songs -fork songs-, not folk songs) Who gave their songs titles like “To All the Walters in the World” or “The Green Grass of Someone Else’s Home”. The music they had was as crazy, imaginative and addictive as their titles.

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Tall dwarves are the strangest and most exotic group on the list, characterized by a wonderful eccentricity. Mac McGugan, Founder Superchunk, released a comprehensive compilation two summers ago on the Merge label dedicated to Bathgate and Knox’s collaborative work. In 2009, a second stroke sidelined him. As a result, a tribute album was released with contributions from The Sills, the Kilgore brothers and others. Bonnie Prince Billy One Bill Callahan, its first project, Smoke, owed a lot to Knox. A few months ago a flying nun. Matthew Goody published an article about the record company, Needles and plastic. Flying Nun Records 1981-1988, focusing on the years of his creative brilliance. Now The Chills’ first two albums have been reissued in Europe. The story ended a long time ago and most people today associate New Zealand with it Peter JacksonThe flying Nan Mantra is forever.