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Darryl Baser - LP Review: Raw Selfie

08 Aug 2018 // A review by Corinne Rutherford

Dunedin based musician Darryl Baser released the Raw Selfie LP back in 2016 on Zelle Records and Powertool Records. ‘Selfie’ relating to the modern obsession with taking photos of yourself and posting to social straight away. ‘Raw’ maybe because the entire LP was recorded on a cell phone, but also because it was an emotional time of healing and adjustment in his life. This shines through on the album.

This is a first for me, reviewing a physical album on vinyl. It was so exciting I haven’t received a record in the post since the 1980's. There is nothing like pouring over the album art or watching the cats flying off the table on an empty record cover (sorry Darryl).

Darryl Baser is a solo artist who has been around for a few years, “he is not what one would call a prolific releaser of music” previously releasing a cassette in 1995 and a 7” single in 1997. The world didn’t hear much from him until 2013 when his life took a dramatic turn forcing him to discover the wonders of modern technology. He purchased a mobile phone.

Raw Selfie may have been recorded at the most basic of levels, in a lounge room with a cell phone. Not a fancy market leader either, a LG Optima none the less. Somehow this 8-track album suited the sound it produced. It added to the nostalgic feel of the vinyl. Each acoustic track simply and in the most uncomplicated manner, gleamed through. There was nowhere to hide on this album. No clever technology or creative mixing aside from a bit of polishing by Dunedin engineer and producer Stephen Stedman. I liked the simplicity of it, you could hear every note he sang clearly, every strum on his guitar. There is a touch of Johnny Cash to his sound.

The added joy of writing this review was getting up from my bean bag and physically flipping the record over. It was an integral part of the listening experience.
 

The album cover itself is a unique blend of art from Dunedin artists Ewan McDougall (back) and Sarah Flourish (front), there are notes briefly outlined on the back to accompany the tracks on side one (Raw) and side two (Selfie) explaining the meaning behind the lyrics. This is a nice touch and further adds to the idiosyncratic appeal of this album.  

Raw Selfie was born from personal growth and finally letting go of the self-doubt which plagued him for many years. It is poetic and yes raw, but it just goes to show what can be achieved with the most basic of equipment combined with the motivation of writing down your feelings and turning them into music.

There is no arrogance, no big show. Just a man and his guitar and his soul embedded in vinyl. I look forward to his sophomore album Second Selfie when it is released.


Review written by Corinne Rutherford

 

About Darryl Baser

He was made in England, born in Wellington, and grew up in Turanganui-a-kiwa (Gisborne).

Recent history - working on a follow up LP to 2016’s #RawSelfie which was recorded in 2013 on an LG Optima cell phone in a series of live takes in a St Kilda flat.
So far #SecondSelfie is being tracked on a lap top using audacity, where baser is recording layers of guitar, bass, percussion, voices, and in some cases found sound.
Right, here’s the older history.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Darryl Baser

Releases

There are no releases to display for Darryl Baser.

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