Brought to you by The Corner and NZ On Air, Awesome Feeling 7 is an online event running through NZ Music Month 2013, culminating in the release of a free downloadable compilation of 20 New Zealand songs and the words written about them. Each weekday for 20 days we’ll post streaming+downloadable tracks from emerging local artists, accompanied by artist and track profiles authored by Corner contributors.
Straightforward euphoria isn’t a common emotional register in New Zealand music (we don’t like to let our guard down), but Wundercastle’s anthemic ‘Bring Me Joy’ bucks the trend. It’s a gurningly, gloriously maximalist breakbeat ‘ardkore throwback, with all the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to track construction that the rave era specialised in – from the arpeggiated chimes and piano vamps to Soul Makossa/Wanna Be Startin’ Something-style chants to full-blown diva vocals (a pitchshifted Ashanti, from her 2002 NZ top 20 hit ‘Happy’). With the latter, there’s a symmetry – a sort of conservation of vocal granularity, if you will – with how back in the day, people put pristine acapellas through primitive samplers; these days people put primitive acapellas through pristine software. It’s a more intoxicating, anti-purist approach to an era than those of, say, 100% Silk, with the dancefloor utility of the music differentiating his sonics from nostalgic vaporwave artists mining similar eras. Wundercastle is the solo project of Mark Holland, formerly of dance-sympathetic bands Tiger Tones, Pig Out, and Fistful of Gems. Relocated from Christchurch to Auckland, the genesis of Wundercastle was under the name Get Set Play in 2008, but it’s been the past ~2 years that have seen him writing and producing more material. There’s an intriguing circularity with internet-era dance culture and early UK dance culture: Soundcloud/Bandcamp music dissemination offers parallels to the cheap & cheerful scenius of pirate radio & white label culture -”I think one of the greatest driving forces of my producing is, surprisingly, Soundcloud itself. Soundcloud has really changed the was people release music and listen to it – it’s a really great test to see what tracks people like, and for me as a dance music producer my ultimate goal is not to please my ego, it’s to get people dancing.”
Download previous Awesome Feeling compilations: