Digital Regress's foray into the fabled NZ underground hops over to the North Island for two exquisite pieces of acoustic DIY and shadowy, cracked pastoralia.
After a few years spleen venting at the front of Wellington art brutes Shoes This High, Brent Hayward struck out on his own, self-releasing a few EPs as Smelly Feet before forming The Kiwi Animal with Julie Cooper in 1982. The duo released their first album, Music Media, on Massage Records (their own imprint) in 1984.
Billing itself "New Acoustic Music," the Kiwi Animal's debut is a set of introverted and austere yet lambent folk songs. Textural, gently hypnotic guitar chords anchor minimal arrangements, as Hayward and Cooper's entwined vocals– think Pip Proud meets The Vaselines - project paranoia and forlorn, diffident cool. Wry, imagistic lyrics somewhere between the stoned political economy of D. Boon and the head-fuck soliloquies of Robert Ashley complete The Kiwi Animal effect.
The music of The Kiwi Animal, moody and intelligent and often abruptly gentle, works subcutaneously, propelled by guitars that churn and weave – no jangle here – and a his 'n' hers vocal delivery for the ages. Digital Regress is happy to make these essentially perfect records available again.
Pressing info: deluxe-gloss jackets with 100 copies on white vinyl and 400 on black.