'You've Got To Hear The Music' is the second album from Dimmer, recording vehicle for Shayne Carter, New Zealand's premier explorer of the credible corners of rock in the past 20 years.
Picking up where the previous Dimmer album, the critically acclaimed 'I Believe You Are A Star', left off three years ago, Carter's hushed, dark pop tones settle into a delicious groove on this new eleven song set.
That last outing was a densely-plotted excursion into electronic music. The new album has an immediacy belied in the urgent demand of its title. The majority of the set was written in a single, month-long, outpouring of new tunes and the eventual recording retains an organic relish to match the songs' genesis.
And if you are looking for proof that "New Zealand's greatest, most natural rock star" (so crowned in The Listener) has quietly evolved into a first-rate soulman without losing his musical edge, it is packed into each of these songs. No self-conscious posturing, just tracks oozing the cool heat that is the holy grail of soul expression.
Carter's talent dominates of course - his sharply wrought lyrics, half-disguised vocals and exquisitely twisted guitar lines are all trademark Dimmer in themselves. One thing that helps in widening this album's scope is the presence of a much larger collaborative crew to the Dimmer enterprise, each adding carefully selected spice to the album's brew.
Appearing alongside other vocalists, notably Anika Moa on a number of tracks, brings out more of the croon in Carter's own voice. When Anika Moa and Bic Runga back him in separate channels on 'Happening', the effect of three of New Zealand's finest and distinctive voices sends more exotic chills down the spine.
The already memorable horn punch of first single 'Getting What You Give' comes from Fat Freddy's Drop. Guest producer SJD takes 'Case' on a string-laden sonic voyage while strings on 'Only One That Matters' are arranged and conducted by Graeme Downes. Prime beat and production collaborators Nick Roughan and Andy (Submariner) Morton keep things appropriately phat and orderly, with regular Dimmer stickman (and animated video genius) Gary Sullivan adding his trademark sly touch to many tracks.
Triumphantly, as opposed to so many second, third or fourth chapters, there's no rehashing of old ideas. This is distinctive and new - and most thankfully - as oblivious to current musical trends as Dimmer has ever been.
Many of us have been listening all along - Carter's musical output (school punk Bored Gamer, hook-baiting Double Happy, epic angst rocking Straitjacket Fits, and singular voyager Dim) is a canon more distinctive, appealing, and challenging than any other that we have produced in the past twenty years.
And it is as true as at any other point in his career that he is right on the money with this one. You've got to hear it indeed.
Shayne Carter (guitar, vocals)
Ned Ngatae (guitar)
Mike Hall (bass)
Andy Morton (keyboards)
Willy Scott (drums)
Anika Moa (backing vocals)
|REVIEW: Dimmer Final Show @ Bodega, Wellington
Submitted by terry666
|10 Jun 2012|
|REVIEW: Dimmer - 'Degrees Of Existence' album review
Submitted by miss nz
|8 Aug 2009|
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New album for Dimmer
Posted: Thu Jul 9, 2009 7:06 pm
DIMMER ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM ‘DEGREES OF EXISTENCE’
Shayne Carter has been in the studio for over a year working on the follow-up to Dimmer’s acclaimed third album There My Dear and the result is one of the most potent recordings of his remarkable career, ‘Degrees of Existence’, due for release on 27 July.
Preceded by the snarling melodic brilliance of the singles ‘Degrees of Existence’ and ‘Cold Water’, the latter currently searing across the airwaves, this Dimmer album promises to meet the exacting standards of one of the finest New Zealand groups of recent times.
Inducted to the exclusive membership of the NZ Music Hall of Fame at last year’s Tui Awards with his other most famous act, Straitjacket Fits, Shayne Carter is a man whose incredible music has helped shape the story of NZ song since he emerged in the fertile Dunedin scene of the late 1970s.
Dimmer ‘Degrees of Existence’ will be released in NZ on 27 July through Warner Music.
Dimmer Signs With FMR
Posted: Wed Dec 4, 2002 6:40 pm
Festival Mushroom Records are delighted to officially announce that Shayne Carter has signed a new album deal for his Dimmer project to the label.
Recording of the second Dimmer album is currently under way with a new single due for release in early 2003.
Dimmer first album ‘Believe You Are A Star’ was one of 2001 most critically acclaimed local albums.
Prior to working under the Dimmer moniker, Shayne Carter fronted Straitjacket Fits, a group widely acknowledged as one of New Zealand greatest and most innovative rock acts of the nineties.
‘Believe You Are A Star’ saw Shayne move away from the Straitjackets anthemic rock and into a new musical territory of electronic soundscapes and subtle textures.
Shayne promises that Dimmer second album will continue the evolution in his sound, saying that the new album tracks are as strong a set of songs as he has ever written.
Dimmer will debut a number of these songs when the band new line-up makes its highly anticipated first live appearance at Auckland Kings Arms on Saturday 21 December.
Commenting on the new deal with FMR as he plunged a safety pin into his thumb and readied to sign the contract, Shayne said “Once again I have signed in blood to give my soul away to yet another music industry devil. On a lighter note, FMR is a company staffed by real music fans and they have made me feel very welcome in that leper-like way that all artists suffer at record companies.”
Sitting beside Shayne at the boardroom table and clasping a solid gold fountain pen between his bling-laden fingers, FMR Managing Director Mark Ashbridge said “Carter came in here with his arrogant rock star ways and an entourage of lawyers and floozies. The contract may well be signed in his blood but it was already drenched in the sweat of FMR staff as we battled to create an incomprehensible document that will shaft him from the moment we start selling his album. But such is the way of the biz. Everyone at FMR already loves the Dimmer shit and that bit is the truth. We can’t wait to start working with this band.”
With their respective marks scrawled all over the offending document, the two men embraced and headed for a game of pool and a celebratory beer in the luxurious setting of FMR warehouse, both crowing at the top of their voices that music was the winner on the day.
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