Archive for August, 2010

ROBERT SCOTT

August 30, 2010

Robert Scott has been a key figure in the New Zealand musical landscape for 30 years now. Firstly as the bass playing glue that held The Clean together musically and then as the songwriting singer of the long lived and loved institution The Bats. Both absolutely great bands that I can not imagine life without.

I liked Roberts first solo album. The Creeping Unknown (Flying Nun, 2000) being an apt title for this weird and wonderful mix of music and moods, styles and ideas. There were some conventional songs in there but they were outnumbered by the wonky “dark and confusing” electronic instrumentals. It’s a great album unlike any other I know.

The Creeping Unknown (2000)

Robert’s new album Ends Run Together continues to explore the inner places and the outer limits of Robert’s musical interests. There are excellent examples of his “conventional” material along the lines of his work with The Bats but his lesser known obsessions, electronica and kraut rock, are also on display. This is an album of beautiful variation and surprise. Reflective and soulful as well as driving and spontaneous, this is an ambitious album showing a deceptively complex, broad and mature musical vision at work.

Dale Cotton at his Audio Workshop in Dunedin has worked wonders on this project. As engineer and co producer he has helped to develop ideas, songs and sounds to maximize the potential of the recording.  Robert’s singing is the finest of his career. Guest musicians are used sparingly but to consistently fine affect. David Kilgour gives his guitar a blast on “Too Early”, Lesley Paris (Look Blue Go Purple) makes “Daylight” (available as a free download) a propulsive masterpiece and Geva Downey and Rainy McMaster (of Haunted Love) vocals are beautifully sublime on  “Days Run Together”. These contributors add significantly to these key songs which ultimately enhance the general shape and balance of the entire album.

Dale's rack at Audio Workshop

I like the cover as well. We have a bit of Otago Peninsula landscape there but it is very much menaced by something large, strange and ominous. It might be from another planet perhaps but I’d place money on it being channeled from yet another creatively unpredictable recess of Robert Scott’s brain.

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On a slight side note, The Bats are embarking on a NZ Spring Tour. To coincide we will be re-releasing re-mastered versions Daddy’s Highway (with some added extras), Compiletely Bats and Couchmaster. More info to come soon.

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