22 Jun 2024

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Monkey Magic II is a CD and DVD showcasing contemporary independent New Zealand music which was released on 19 May and to celebrate they're going to be touring the country in May/June. The tour features several of the most exciting new acts in New Zealand who have all had critically acclaimed new releases over the last few weeks.

An Emerald City

Currently garnering unanimous praise for their recently released self titled debut EP, Auckland band An Emerald City have strived for musical experimentation and liberation since their inception in late 2005. Organic instrumentation and sounds of the east meet psychedelia with guitars and violin are at the centre of this original and unique 6 piece. Already having performed at Rhythm and Vines, Soundsplash and WOMAD this summer, they will be recording their album over winter and are planning to base themselves in Berlin from April next year - catch them while you can.

The Hot Grits

What do you get if you mix a pound of Fela Kuti's Afrika 70, two cupfuls of The Meters, 250g of thinly sliced early James Brown and a level dessert spoon of psychedelic rock? You get the heaving, convulsing powerhouse of soul music that is The Hot Grits. For over five years, 11 piece band The Hot Grits have been electrifying club dancefloors and festival stages around New Zealand with an eclectic, take no prisoners approach to soul and afrobeat music. When THG hit their stride, no-one in the room is immune from the power and sheer soulfulness of their groove, and band and audience become one in a giant, convulsing testament to the power of good music. Their debut album 'It's too Drunk to be this Early' featuring the bnet hits 'The Ballad of Joe Stalin' and 'Headlights' is out now.

The Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band

Hailing from the slums and ghettos of Auckland (the Prague of the South), The Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band is a highly theatrical musical group specialising in music of Eastern European, Gypsy and Jewish flavour, along with some Western European influences. With music ranging from old to new, originals to standards, vocal to instrumental; they are remarkable in their ability to get everyone up and dancing, regardless of age, musical taste, or level of drunkenness. Benka's globetrotting voice sings in a wide variety of languages, with lyrics in Russian, Greek, Serbian, Romani, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, English and more. If references are necessary, they sound like Tom Waits, Shane McGowan and Franz Kafka drunk too much vodka and thought they were in 1950's Yugoslavia. Having undertaken a highly successful Gypsy Fever tour over summer and performances at Prana, Jambalaya, Parihaka and Splore, the BBB Band are back to devastate dance floors and promote their new ep 'Danse Macabre'.

DJ Balkanetic

DJ Balkanetic has been entertaining audiences at festivals, parties and weddings around New Zealand for the last couple of years with a highly infectious, uplifting blend of Balkan beats, Klezmer, Romani/Gypsy music and organic global grooves. He has also supported his good friends The Mamaku Project, The Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band and the Jews Brothers. Over summer he played at Prana, Jambalaya, Splore and Cross St Carnival and recently undertook a 20 date national 'Gypsy Fever' tour with the Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band. He has a world music radio show called Terra beats on KFM every Tuesday from 2-4pm.


10 of the tracks on the CD are from artists signed to genre-defying indie record label Monkey Records including Tim Guy, The Hot Grits, An Emerald City, The Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band and Káren Hunter. Also featured are four unsigned or self-released artists who are friends of Monkey - Haunted Love, Steve Abel, The Mamaku Project and Ragamuffin Children.

Monkey TV is a DVD featuring all the music videos made by Monkey Records since the year 2000 featuring some of New Zealand's most talented emerging filmmakers and animators.

While perhaps not considered that commercially viable by the powers that be, independent radio has embraced and supported many of these artists. The Hot Grits have enjoyed several weeks at no.1 on student radio bFM with their first single, 'The Ballad of Joe Stalin'. 'Werewolf' by Haunted Love was voted Radio One song of the Year on Radio One last year and Cinema 90 by Onelung (here remixed by Sola Rosa) was the most played tune across the bNet for several weeks upon its release in May 2006. As on the original critically acclaimed Monkey Magic compilation in 2004, this new selection continues to champion new and exciting music from Aotearoa and aims to introduce many of the artists featured to a wider audience In New Zealand and further afield. Many thanks to Creative New Zealand for their continuing support of Monkey Records which helped make this compilation and tour possible.

Monkey Magic II will be available any good record store via Rhythm Method or from www.monkeyrecords.com.

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