Saturday, February 18, 2006

I Fucked My Way To The Beer

Well hello. No, this isn't a gig guide, or a community-funded arts project. So why do I feel so guilty when I don't post for weeks and weeks? Must be some sort of tortured artist.

Been so much change around here that new releases almost seem insignificant. But that's what it's all about so let's get ya up to date. Firstly, the really pretty great Jo Jo ef Steve CDR, 'A Quiet Night In With....', is now available. Ummm... haven't got a photo yet... but every cover is hand-drawn by Agent Spree, the mad finger-knitting nightcreature I keep in my basement. Honestly, it's not me - I really do keep this guy in my basement. He's pretty self-sufficient really - just keep him supplied with skips to raid and old Thug LPs, and he's happy. This Jo Jo record numbs my speech centres everytime I hear it so I'll think up something clever and write it here soon. Buy now. Yay.

Also the screened-cover reissue of Ray Off's 'Ghost Wolf Of Thunder Mountain' is ready. The new Ray Off, 'Clean & Dry Area Before Application', has been pushed back two weeks due to all the other activity which I'm about to ramble on about some, so to speak.

So UFM has shifted headquarters from the Good Food Pyramid to the None building at 24 Stafford St Dunedin. The None/Lot 24 gallery has reopened for the year and you can drop on in to see the goods each Saturday/Sunday between 11am and 4pm. Also there's a wee shop being put together in the room formerly occupied by Black Star Books with shirts, records... um... cactuses.... just the usual. The current exhibition is a group show, DIVE DIVE and hell, let's stick in a photo of Agent Spree's sculptures.

and one of Rory Storm's big-as cartoons:

The new space is also the UFM screenprinting company; and yes we do take requests and do orders. In a short while you'll be seeing our work on a new release from the American label Foxy Digitalis, 'Goodbye' by the fantastic Australian crew Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood and there's work being produced around town for various interested parties -aprons, shirts etc so it's pretty darn busy some days. Just the way we like it.

The None building at this time is a festering hive of activity so it wasn't hard to come to the conclusion that a CD and book highlighting the skills of those who live and work here was necessary. Just in musical terms, that'll include The Riff Rats, Murderbike, The Aesthetics, Rocko Mayday (formerly Dick The Phone), Iso 12, Agent Spree, Wolfskull, Toki Wilson, Ray Off, Eddi, The Love Haters and god knows how many other solo trips and combos. Coming soon.

Also soon from us - the new album by Rory Storm. His much-loved first album, 'We Are Superior Beings' is nearly sold out (but will be reissued with a simpler cover) but let me tell you, this new one is even better and rocks like ten motherfuckers. Rory's long been the only one of our artists who gets played on Dunedins' Radio 1 during the day but this baby is gonna TAKE OVER THE AIRWAVES.

And further down the line? Crumbs... spoke to Jane Venis the other day and her album is well underway and due to fall/plunge/descend in the second half of the year. I'll continue hassling Mandroid from Rocko Mayday for a record and I'm sure it'll happen. Rory Storm & The Invaders are well overdue. If the Eddi/Miss Morse set I saw the other night is to be believed then she has been cruelly holding out on us. Recording for Sinking Infinities' 'The Life Of Riley' continues apace. A collaboration between Jimb Currin (Three Forks/Ray Off/ 'Infinites) and Brothers of the Occult Sisterhoods' Meyekal Donnelly is in the works - our first non-pure-Dunedin joint. Would love to do an Anomie Ensemble disc. Ummm... yeah.

A UFM sub-committee have also recently diversified into a production company, CRACK PRODS., that'll be staging special events throughout the year. More performancey stuff; at a variety of location indoors and out. Watch this space.

Also watch out this Monday at Arc Cafe for Ray Off in action - for another James Robinson art opening, what a surprise! 7pm start and probably the odd julienned carrot and cask of wine.

Now - lastly, but goodly. A whole heap of reviews for Three Forks' Seven Layer Ape have come down the vac tube recently. Foxy Digitalis thought it resembled something resembling God. Dusted weren't quite as fervent but did say a heartfelt prayer. The Wire were more equivocal, and slightly incoherent. They seemed to be suggesting that we deliberately added extra "ambience" to the live recording 'Drunken Traffic' - this is not true. Or was he saying that we fit well into the noisy ambience of the space? It's hard to tell. Anyway, a review in the Wire is a lot better than a kick in the teeth with a wet fish, so no drama; and he called us "musically expansive meta-folk" which is pretty catchy. I do want to take issue with a number of reviews which have highlighted the fact that the recordings were made onto cassettes - in fact only a couple of the tracks were done this way (the rest to Video 8) but my main problem is that it tends to suggest that the sound quality, well, blows. It doesn't. Does too! Does not!!! Does too! Hey, fuck you, man.

What, never argued with yourself?

The best review, however, comes from NZs' own Real Groove. Beneath a twice-life-size colour reproduction of the cover, Adrian Osman calls it an "experimental audio lobotomy", states that it is "not Mariah Carey" and that "there are times when Seven Layer Ape delves into hideousness that is seldom seen on this planet or in any dimension explored by man". He also uses the words "perversion" and "hour of chaos". I reckon you couldn't buy a review like that if you tried, eh?

Great big sweaty hugs to each and every one of you.


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