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[CP 050-051 CD] New Zealand Electronic Music

Creel Pone

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Well I’ll be... I went to Auckland in May of this year with the sole intent of finding a copy of the “New Zealand Electronic Music” set (well; and to play a killer show w/ Pumice and Dean Roberts / Guy Treadgold) which naturally was nowhere to be found in any of the George St. shops (although I did find both of the From Scratch LPs and a few copies of the solo Douglas Lilburn LP) and here, not three months later, like a bolt of Viking Thunder from down up over under; the Creel Pone re-production from that reader-of-minds Mr. P.C. C.P.

Originally released in 1975 on the Wellington-based Kiwi / Reed Pacific Records LTD. label in a deluxe 3LP box (beautifully replicated here; despite conforming to the C.P. “Flat” spec, everything down to the grain of the cardboard is visible!) this set features more or less a side of music each by 6 pre-eminent New Zealand Electronic Composers; Douglas LilburnJohn RimmerRolf HarrisJack BodyIan McDonald, and John Cousins, all composed and executed at the Victoria Electronic Music Studios in Wellington between 1966 and 1975.

Lilburn we’re all of course familiar with after being fêted via a 3CD / DVD box set on Atoll, but the real focus is on the music by the other 5 composers whose music is pretty much unobtainable in this day & age otherwise. Plenty of amazing long-form pieces utilizing the then-new EMS line of synthesizers (the Synthi / VCS3 trademarks are all over these pieces) in league with field recordings, spoken dialogue and some fine bits of tape manipulation. This is most certainly the defining artifact of the early New Zealand Electronic / Experimental music scene; absolutely essential if any number of murky drones & scraping improvs pressed into lathe-cut polycarbonate discs that followed in its wake are of interest to you.

This 2015 edition includes all three LPs spread evenly across two discs (for clarification that's LP1/A • LP1/B • LP2/A on the first, LP2/B • LP3/A • LP3/B on the second) with a professionally-printed scale-down of the 16-page booklet; all original aesthetics left intact.