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.