Nova Scotia - Old Light


Horn of Plenty excavates the shadowy depths of the New Zealand/Aotearoa underground with Old Light, a collection of previously unreleased recordings by Nova Scotia, the experimental trio of Dean Brown, Dick Whyte, and Rick Jensen. Resting at the borders of free improvisation, noise, drone, and ecstatic ritualism, across seven tracks – recorded sporadically between the early to mid-2000s – the LP unveils a widely unacknowledged flowering of singular, real-time creativity from the southern hemisphere, with few parallels before or since.

Surveying late 20th century underground music – sounds that largely emerged before the internet delivered the illusion of interconnectedness – the most noteworthy often sprang from second cities, small towns, and backwaters, rather than cultured metropolitan centres like New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo. Boredom, marginalisation, and relative isolation seem to have been essential, counterintuitive components to the becoming of great art. Nowhere was this more true than in NZ/Aotearoa, the two remote islands in the South Pacific, vast and disassociated within their own borders, that few not from there could find on a map. Yet, between the 1980s and early 2000s, the country produced some of the most singular realisations of underground music of that era, beginning with seminal post punk gesture delivered by labels like Flying Nun – The Clean, This Kind Of Punishment, The Verlaines, etc. – before eventually coming to rest in the wilder reaches of experimentalism, via projects like The Dead C, Flies Inside The Sun, Sandoz Lab Technicians, Gate and A Handful Of Dust.

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