Get ready for the next edition of Twisted Frequency Festival, the annual new year celebration based in the luscious golden bay region.
Storming back into focus this year, heavyweights of Kiwi post-rock Jakob have returned with a new album and an Australian/NZ tour. Their long awaited album 'Sines' is being devoured by fans new and old, and their live show has seen them billowing around the country, breaking peoples brains with their cinematic sounds.
Hailing from Napier, the trio have been a formidable force in kiwi music from when they began back in 1998. Since then Jakob have released four studio albums, toured the U.S, U.K, and Australia, have been nominated for nine bNet independent music awards and supported some of the biggest names in music.
Jeff Boyle, Maurice Beckett and Jason Johnston make up the entirely instrumental band, who started their career by supporting Salmonella Dub at a small pub in Hawkes Bay. Not long after that Jakob began recording, releasing their first E.P in 1999 and then releasing new recordings almost every year up until 2006's 'Solace'. They even managed to fit in several tours, both nationally and internationally with ISIS, Cog, Germany's Can, and of course the almighty Tool, who has saught the band out to support several of their tours.
But it has not always been smooth sailing for the group, and Jakob have weathered many a storm in their time. This is particularly true of their recent steak of bad luck, lasting 8 years and seeing them pretty much out of action since 2008. Following the release of 'Solace', a series of unfortunate events befell the trio. All three members were rendered out of action due to hand injuries, their record label sank, red-tape stifled some career-making opportunities and despite attempts at studio time, inspiration did not follow. Fans were distraught in anticipation for a new record, but sore deal after missed opportunity kept pushing back the process.
Well it serves them right...
You cant make an album as good as 'Solace' without expecting to break a mirror or two in the process.
It's bad luck you know.
And as if in spite of the universes lessons, Jakob have done it again with 'Sines'.
Released on their new label Mylene Sheath, Jakob's latest album has been hitting the world like a hurricane; destroying all in it's path with its complex layered soundscapes. The hardships of the past eight years sound through the tracks, you can actually hear the bands growth while they take you on their journey. This latest album has seen the addition of a far more textrous and experimental feel while still keeping to the undulating melodies that made them famous. Taking you through the eye of the storm, 'Sines' reminds you of the pure force that is Jakob, and leaves you panting for more.
After the recent conclusion of their Australasian tour, Jakob are setting their sites on the beautiful Takaka Hill for a New Years Eve celebration at Twisted Frequency Festival. Joining them is a superb line-up of international and local bands, producers and emcees. Tickets are still available for Twisted Frequency, and more information can be found at www.twistedfrequency.co.nz
Currently making some huge waves around the hip hop/electronic music scene that are surpassing beyond the shores of New Zealand, Ammonation are already etching their piece in Aoeteroa Hip Hop History as one of the dopest Collectives of Lyricists, Producers & Creative Minds to come out of our fine little country. Based around the North Island & Haan 808 out of Quake City Christchurch, the Ammonation crew are all steadily going out getting it, making themselves heard & respected in local & international scenes alike.
Here’s a little break down for you, The Ammonation Crew consists of; The Modern Face of New Zealand Hip Hop & part of the legendary YGB familia ~ Raiza Biza, his incredibly talented & beautiful older sister ~ Jane Deezey, two of my favourite most up & coming NZ Hip Hop Lyricists ~ Blaze The Emperor & Munashe & last but certainly not least Two of New Zealand’s most happening producers right now ~ Crime Heat Beats & Haan808.
Orginaly hailing from The Central African Nation of Rwanda but having resided in the North Island for over 10 years now, Raiza Biza is undoubtedly one of the most happening NZ Hip Hop artists over the past couple of years, having built up a serious fan base all around Aoeteroa & The Rest Of The World. Raiza has fully brought along with him a real rejuvenation to the NZ Music Scene, not shying away from anywhere in our beautiful country, having toured the furtherest corners of the Far North & Deep South of New Zealand. The four musical works Raiza has released over the last 2 years are all sure fire NZ Hip Hop Classics that I feel will all forever go down in history & remain timeless pieces of art, cementing his legend already in Kiwi Hip Hop Folklore; "Dream Something LP", “Summer", “Winter” & most recently his debut album "The Imperfectionist”.
Here’s a music video for one of Raiza’s Classic tracks “Pyramids”, directed by Young Gifted & Broke’s very own Jay Knight.
Also straight out of Rwanda, Jane Deezy is one of New Zealand’s more unheard of up and coming female MC’s waiting to take the game by storm. Now unfortunately Jane won’t be making it along to Twisted this year, but we couldn’t leave any of the crew out of this article & the older Sister or Raiza Biza plays an essential role in being one of the most experienced out of The Ammonation stable. Having produced some incredible singles with the likes of Rizvàn & S.F.T, Ammonation’s own Haan808 and my personal favourite, her collaboration with Louie Knuxx on the track; “Tobacco, Wine & Green” as featured below. Watch for her work in the near future as Jane Deezy just keeps fresher with every new track that she’s dropping.
Another African brother from The Ammonation Crew, Munashe was born in Zimbabwe but grew up right here in New Zealand. At the young age of just 18, Munashe has worked with Tony Douglas & fellow Ammonation Brother Raiza Biza, he was part of making the new Vodafone Warriors anthem with The Crescendo Trust of Aoeteroa & already got a solid Mixtape to his name; “1st Impression” all of which he produced the tracks to himself. Currently plying his hip hop craft out of Auckland, Munashe has time and his side and already has proof of his talents which are shown throughout 1st Impression, but my favourite example of them has to be here below on Munashe’s track All About (Featuring Raiza Biza & Produced by Tony Douglas. Don’t get caught sleeping on the kid!
Blaze The Emperor
Blaze is the third member of The Ammonation crew that was born in Rwanda having moved to Aoeteroa at a young age. Currently based out of Auckland, Blaze The Emperor is one of my personal favourite out of the Kiwi lyricists because he has a bit more of a modern twist then most of the NZ Hip Hop fraternity but pulls it off with style & finesse like no one else can. Having been around in the scene for the past couple of years but yet to drop an album, Blaze The Emperor has a few killer singles such as Vibrant & Leafs, also having featured on tracks with other various staples of the Kiwi scene with the likes of; Raiza Biza, LMC, Munashe & The No Problems. Be sure to check the Music Video for Vibrant below to get a taste of Blaze The Emperor’s styles.
Another of the more well known Ammonation Artists, Haan808 is one of the more exciting producers Aoeteroa has ever seen, period. Operating out of Quake City, Christchurch and only 18 years old, Haan is definitely one of the most consistently amazing beat makers around right now & this is recognized not only on our shores but globally. Having made tracks for some of the dopest labels around right now; Mellow Orange, Trap Door Records & Laruche Records, some of the talent Haan has Produced & been remixed by includes the likes of; Sango, Ab-Jo, Mr. Carmack just to name a few. If you’re unfamilar with the works of Haan808 you have to head over to Bandcamp and pick up both of his albums At 18 & Thank Them to give yourself a bit of an idea on what you may have been missing out on and make sure not to miss what should been one of most exciting Future/Hip Hop sets in the history of Twisted Frequency!
Crime Heat Beats
Based out of somewhere more renowned for it’s Bogans rather than it’s beats, Crime Heat is serving some of New Zealand’s finest beats straight out of The Mighty City of Hamilton itself. Having worked with the likes of Jay Knight, Ammonation’s Own Blaze The Emperor & establishing a really special combination along side with Raiza Biza where Crime Heat’s Beats perfectly complment , producing on some of Raiza’s top tracks including; Chuck Daily, House Party, Pyramids, Visionary Featuring Bailey Wiley & my personal favourite, Sounds of Old off Raiza’s Dream Something LP.
To experience (nearly) the entire Ammonation Crew at one musical event is a rare spectacle that only Twisted Frequency Can offer, so seriously expect nothing more than to be set into a Funkadelic Hip Hop trance provided by one of the hottest hip hop collectives Aoeteroa has seen.
Twisted is providing one of the biggest variety of New Zealand Hip Hop acts the world has ever seen over the space of 4 days. Including some heavyweight’s like; Auckland Based Trio Badcrop, Hawera’s own Bailey Wiley & the core of the Young Gifted & Broke Collective; @Peace, Third3ye & Jay Knight. Twisted Frequency truly is set to be the biggest collective New Zealand Hip Hop gig of the year, if not ever.
Head over and check out the Electronic Zone & Live Stage pages!
©Liam Swiggs - The Big Fresh Collective
There's a lot to love about New Zealand festivals. Other than the weather, of course... We've probably got more than our fair share of musical talent in this little land of the long white sound-cloud. Not to mention in visual arts, performance, film, and other areas. And one good thing about having a small country is that often, that talent meets. There is an intrinsic connection inherent in small communities, because, well... they bring people together.
This is why there are so many beautifully communal NZ festivals, where everyone says cheers and most of them know your name (even if they can't remember it), and why they so often see many artists of all different kinds brought together. Different genres mingle and collide, collaborations unite, and a music festival is almost never just a music festival. Instead they include visual installations, performances and workshops in a wide range of skills, crafts and arts.
Not to mention, of course, the circus freaks and fire geeks.
Like many places in the world, circus performers and fire artists are a regular occurrence at New Zealand festivals, with musicians and performers collaborating live on stage, DJ's accompanied by fire-gods and goddesses, and performances by the best, brightest and bendiest Circus artists around. Even when not performing in an official sense, its common to see people gyrating hoops, spinning poi and other toys, giving impromptu workshops and performances to their festival family.
And they are a family. Again, the small number of people means that many of the spinners and performers up and down the country know each other, either as friendly acquaintances or well acquainted friends. This gives the community – which in bigger places are sometimes loaded with competitiveness and intimidating one-up-man-ship – a comfortable, friendly feeling that is accepting and accessible. New-comers and beginners are welcomed, tricks are swapped and traded gladly, and workshops are always a joy to attend. Even outside the circus and fire focussed festivals, you are sure to see a few of this eccentric, extended family around, playing, performing, teaching, or simply spinning their hearts out to the beat and the bass.
If you do, go talk to them. You won't be disappointed.
You also won't be disappointed to know that the organisers of Twisted Frequency have done their homework, and are bringing fire spinners and circus performers from up and down the country – not to mention a few from around the world – and will be holding to the tradition with style. There will be lives performances by Professor Panic and Panic Circus, the social circus who have just as much fun as they bring; the madly talented Brian Neller of Australia's 'Objectify' Festival; Nancy Nightshade, NZ's own beautiful burlesque badass; Aleira Moon, the hoop-spinning, fire-eating festival-veteran; and a much loved sister of the Aoteaora fire-tribe: Ryn Hooligan to hoopdance your brain out...
...and thats just the ones that have been announced so far. Of course, once you see these amazing performers, you are going to want to be just like them. But fear not, for this gifted group and others will be running workshops in Poi, Double Staffs, Fans, Bottle Flair, Hoop and Holistic Movement, Acro-Balance Yoga, and more people still to be announced!
Do you want to be one of those people? Twisted wants you too! If you have a skill to share, a character to create, a performance to put on, or any other related shenanigans you'd like to show off, then contact the Twisted team and let them know.
Come one, Come all! To twist your hips, your mind and your skills at Twisted Frequency. Come be part of the family and the fun this New Years, at what is *probably* the best festival site in the country – the legendary Canaan Downs. Seriously, listen to that name. It sound like the kinda place Thor fought the giants.
There will be shows. There will be rovers. There will be flames, and games and entertainment... ...and be assured, there will be antics aplenty.
No matter where in New Zealand you have been in the last few years, you will have probably heard at least a whisper of hip-hop collective @Peace. Hailing from Auckland, the group is making a name for themselves in national and international circles. Moving away from the bravado and violence of commercial hip-hop, @Peace uses powerful narratives with jazz inspired soundscapes as a platform to discuss philosophical ideas pertinent to modern society.
The collective is currently on a New Zealand wide tour promoting their new concept album '@Peace and The Plutonian Noise Symphony'. This album has been met with increasing support both in New Zealand and Europe, entering the charts at #3, with CD and Vinyl pre-orders selling out. They were also recently nominated for the Best Group category at this years NZ Music Awards. Plutonian Noise Symphony is also currently in the running for “Best urban hip hop album 2014” it is a follow-up to their last two E.P's, the self-titled @Peace (2012) and 'Girl Talk' (2013). The 5-piece is made up of a selection of talented kiwi musicians including Tom Scott and Lui Tuisasau of famous Kiwi hip hop crew: Home Brew. The psychedelic musical atmosphere is then created and produced by Christof El Truento, Hayden Dicky and Brandon Haru.
@Peace and associates from the Young, Gifted and Broke collective have a well-documented reputation of speaking out on issues that are critical of New Zealand's political sphere. Earlier this year the group made headlines with their politically charged single 'Kill the Prime Minister', an impassioned expression of disappointment at the actions of John Key and his government. The song was met with censorship and disdain from the media, but also garnered support from the masses of impoverished youth in New Zealand, many of whom related to the oppression expressed in the lyrics.
Do not however make the mistake of thinking that @Peace's lyrics are merely a collection of political rants expressing violence towards public figures. They are so much more than that. This is particularly evident in Plutonian Noise Symphony, an album which tackles massive philosophical ideas on topics such as A.I. and 'outer worldly territories', all the while holding onto an over-riding expression of cosmic nihilism. They make a conscious effort to cover topics which are not often discussed in mainstream or even underground hip-hop, musing from Greek philosophers, quantum theory, death and the cosmos itself.
@Peace are part of the New Zealand artist collective Young, Gifted and Broke, which is a ground up movement of 'artists too broke to pay the rent and too proud to sell out'. Representing several of NZ's best, brightest and brokest musicians, artists and producers, YGB hold true to the ethos of dedication despite economic adversity. The label represents crowd favourites Home Brew, Tourettes, Team Dynamite, Third3ye and Louis Knuxx.
Upon the conclusion of their current tour, and the beginning of the summer circuit, @Peace have announced their headlining spot at this years Twisted Frequency New Years Festival. Playing alongside a variety of artists, including other members of the YGB collective Raiza Biza and Third3ye, @Peace are set to send minds into space and the dancefloor into a groove.
Other headliners for the festival include kiwi post-rock band Jakob, UK producer WagaWaga, Melbournes Trip Hop duo The Wednesday Experiment, and experimental Drum and Bass producer Dusty Fungus. They are also joined by a myriad of local and international artists ready to knock your socks off.
©Amanda Hutchinson - Dreamland Magazine
We have collected music from electronic producers, bands and solo artists, featuring plenty of especially produced unreleased tracks. A mix that showcases a taste of the 2014 line up.