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David Edwards - Album Review: Águas Brilhantes: 2018-2022

20 Feb 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland

What we have here is the fourth in a series of compilations from Dave Edwards, AKA Fiffdimension, covering the years 2018-2022 (the others are for earlier years) and includes previously unreleased recordings, download-only bonus tracks, and excerpts from 12 albums. Yes, twelve. Dave is a musician who has a huge range of influences and styles, and the music keeps pouring out of him. However, I get the impression (rightly or wrongly) that each album is in a similar style, and he uses multiple personas to keep each musical strand separate. That is fine when one is playing one of those, but when they are all mixed up in a compilation which contains 28 songs and a running time of nearly 90 minutes it is somewhat more eclectic.

I was trying to think which label this album belongs on, and the closest I could come to was Alternative Tentacles as there is something about this underground independent mix which I can see appealing to Biafra. We go from bossa nova rhythms to folk to RIO to indie to, what is interesting listening if nothing else, a dog howling along to a banjo (Oscar’s Blues), and I am sure there are many who can understand the pain the poor dog is going through. We have songs taken from Poems & Lyrics (in the Scotch dialect) (1856), where Dave paid tribute to his ancestor John Collie who wrote a book of poems more than 150 years ago and he and other family members took some of those and put them to music, ensuring his words are being uttered again, all those years after they were first committed.

Dave’s website is interesting, and he provides a great deal of information to where songs have come from, where he was when they were recorded, as well as where the inspiration comes from. His Bandcamp page is also informative, with plenty of links and information so that even the uninitiated such as myself can easily find a way into his vast catalogue. Given the difference in styles I am not sure if this is a great introduction to his music, but I would instead use this as a guide and make notes of what songs are the most enjoyable and then seek out the albums on which they originally appeared. It is unusual to find someone playing so confidently in such diverse areas and anyone into independent music will certainly find something on here to enjoy.

Listen to Águas Brilhantes: 2018-2022 here
Rating: ( 3 / 5 )
 

About David Edwards

A self-taught outsider, David Edwards began writing songs as a teenager in New Plymouth, and released the debut Fiffdimension album Scratched Surface on CDR in 1998.

He spent the turn-of-the-millennium era in Wellington (his birthplace), amid the free-improvisation and avant-garde music scene (& yes was an extra in Lord of the Rings). Over the next six years he made an idiosyncratic series of albums on CDR and cassette, fusing acoustic folk and electric postpunk with modernist spoken word and free improv. And formed The Winter Trio with Mike Kingston and Simon Sweetman.

In 2005 Dave collaborated with Nigel Patterson (The Black Seeds), winning Best Music Award in the NZ Fringe Festival with their 18-piece punk orchestra Ascension Band.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for David Edwards

Releases

águas brilhantes: 2018-2022
Year: 2022
Type: Album
Escape Velocity
Year: 2018
Type: Album
The Electricka Zoo
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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