More songs about fru-jus and elephants.….

I think it’s been over two years since I wrote about The Oth­ers. I don’t have the time or the ener­gy to plough through back posts on this blog, so I’ll have to take my word for it, as will you.

Suf­fice to say that like the old shaver ads on TV, I liked them so much I, to para­phrase, bought the com­pa­ny. In oth­er words, short­ly after I asked How good are The Oth­ers? I, and my label part­ner, Alan Jans­son, put our mon­ey where my ques­tion was, and signed the band to our Joy label.

So, that was two years ago and a bit has hap­pened in between. First­ly the band changed names, not once, but twice, first­ly to Los Otros, and then to The Oth­ers Requiem..the issue, of course, being the raft of oth­er Oth­ers out there. So, that is the nome d’disque here­on. Sec­ond­ly, in the inter­im, unless you are a low rent Feel­ers sounda­like, or Brooke Fras­er, who no-one out­side radio seems to even real­ly notice, the chances of get­ting an NZ sin­gle on com­mer­cial radio in 2007 is about nil. NZ radio, once you remove Brooke and Kiwi FM (which is not exact­ly, ah, lis­tened to sad­ly despite Karen’s fine work) has NZ playlist per­cent­ages not much high­er than they were a decade back.

Third­ly, in the past two years that thing called Kiwi Hip Hop, as it was, has large­ly gone down the gur­gler. You can’t give it away. Out­side the small niche that still grabs their groins and struts with fake bling, it’s over. Scribe isn’t doing much very dif­fer­ent to that which sold 100,000 albums four years back, but now nobody wants to know – and I guess he can’t work out why.

For­tu­nate­ly, the wind was turn­ing towards a more alter­na­tive hip-hop move­ment, and, as with the pro­nun­ci­a­tions from naysay­ers pro­nounc­ing the death of dance and rock in recent times, hip-hops’ obit­u­ary seems to be rather pre­ma­ture. Genes like that don’t ever die, they sim­ply mutate and evolve. And such it inevitably is with hip-hop or what­ev­er it will become. And what these guys were and are doing is quite a leap ahead. Man­naseh, who con­structs their audio tex­tures does­n’t seem con­strained by the rules that bind so much hip-hop and the rhymes are deliv­ered in their own voic­es.

So with that in mind, we took our time. We released a lim­it­ed edi­tion 7” and the band played around (quite some actu­al­ly) and gath­ered a fol­low­ing.

Oh, and they record­ed an album. Not just an album, but much more. In fact, we end­ed up with a dou­ble album. The obvi­ous thing would be to trim it down of course as nobody releas­es a dou­ble album for a debut, even less so in 2007 when the music busi­ness is fac­ing the abyss. But, seri­ous­ly, despite requests from SonyB­MG, who put up their hand quite some time back to license the CD rights, nei­ther the band or our­selves were able to cut it down – we even tossed around the con­cept of putting half of it online. But even­tu­al­ly we decid­ed to go with the dou­ble, and to com­pound things, put it in a gate­fold digi­pak, with a book­let.

There has been quite an indus­try buzz over these guys in recent months and I’ve had to bat­ter back quite some requests for the album, but no fin­ished sleeve (till next week) so no sam­ples… well not that many.

So any­way, The Oth­ers Requiem’s album, Some­thing Error Hap­pens is final­ly about to hit the streets, in New Zealand, on the 19th of this month.

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