There is already a buzz about Audioculture, the “noisy library” of New Zealand music, which will launch on May 31. It’s like an online encyclopaedia of local music – spanning almost a century, ie the genre didn’t just start with Opshop, or Straitjacket Fits or Auckland Walk for those with long memories. A wide variety of writers is contributing, and it’s being run by music media veterans Simon Grigg and Murray Cammick. Besides biographies, it will have feature stories on scenes, record labels, and many links to music and video. Plus, from the sample shown to the contributors and other interested parties, the graphics are fantastic: photographs, album covers, posters, many of them from the Grigg and Cammick archives. Funded by NZ On Air, it is being given the space to really offer something substantial and informative, while also being lively and fun just as the best music magazines should be.
The sample has an article written by Andrew Dubber called “Lorne Street, High Street and the jazz explosion in the inner city”. It details the live jazz scene in Auckland during the 1990s, much of it centred around the club Cause Celebre, which Grigg ran with Tom Sampson. There’s a link to a wonderful web resource: the audio archives of the mid-1990s radio programme produced by Dubber, Off the Record. This show was hosted by veteran drummer Tony Hopkins and featured him interviewing the top players in Auckland jazz, who then performed several items. The many episodes of Off the Record can be heard here, and among the guests are Nathan, Joel and Kevin Haines, Murray Tanner, Brian Smith, Beaver, Tim Hopkins, Billy Kristian, Rodger Fox, pianist Murray McNabb (featured in the clip above with Space Case, early 1980s), Bart Stokes (pictured at left, with Bernie Allen in Gisborne, 1957) and many others. Dive in.
Stop Press: Murray McNabb passed away on Sunday 9 June. Peter McLennan has compiled an excellent tribute, with links to articles and music, at his Dub Dot Dash site.