15 Dec 2015

Collaborations by Tiny Ruins and Connan Mockasin

From The Sampler, 7:35 pm on 15 December 2015
Connan Mockasin and Dev Hynes

Connan Mockasin and Devonte Hynes aka Blood Orange Photo: Supplied

Nick Bollinger catches up with creative collaborations from Tiny Ruins and Connan Mockasin.

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Myths 001 by Connan Mockasin & Devonte Hynes

A couple of new EPs are the result of fruitful collaborations between musicians, several of them New Zealanders, who have been getting out in the world. The Mockasin/Hynes venture is just a three-song set, cut earlier this year as part of the Marfa Myths festival, an annual cultural event centred on the West Texas town of Marfa. The event saw Te Awanga-born Mockasin and North Londoner Hynes – who usually records as Blood Orange - holed up together in a studio for a week. And these two individualists find a comfortable meeting in a silky 70s-style funk. Totalling 12 minutes in length, the only real disappointment is that there isn’t more of it.

Songs played: Feelin’ Lovely, La Fat Fur, Big Distant Crush

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Hurtling Through by Tiny Ruins & Hamish Kilgour

Hurtling Through was recorded some time late last year in New York, and is a collaboration between Auckland-based Tiny Ruins (otherwise known as Holly Fullbrook) and long-time expat and New York resident Hamish Kilgour, best known as drummer in The Clean. The opener, ‘Tread Softly’, might be the EP’s standout track: Fullbrook’s setting of a poem by W.B. Yeats, to which her beautiful guitar part lends a truly Nick Drake quality. But there are other great songs here too, with Kilgour providing just the right percussive accompaniment and adding a few other atmospheric sounds as well. I’ve always liked Fullbrook’s records as Tiny Ruins, but there’s a refinement to them, a precision quality, which has made them seem like beautiful statues; objects to be admired rather than handled. But this record, with its rough edges showing, is more tactile; it invites you to get right up close.  

Songs played: Hurtling Through, Turn Around, Little Did I Know