ZR011 Bill Direen/Bilders: Cut

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Bilders CUT LP FRONT cover art

Artist: Bill Direen/Bilders

Title: Cut

Format: LP

Run: 314 copies

Catalogue number: ZR011

Release date: 16 June 2018

Original artwork by Ronnie van Hout

Released in cooperation with and distributed in NZ by  Powertool Records and South Indies Text & Music Publishing 

 

SIDE ONE

  1. One Body
  2. Snake (Drive Drive)
  3. Nil Nil
  4. Fashion
  5. Sheets of Ice
  6. Repossessed
  7. Worry
  8. Swing in Yr Tree
  9. Prag
  10. Say

SIDE TWO

  1. Lookin’ Up
  2. Famous Smile
  3. c.b.a.z.y.
  4. Let it Go (Cut)
  5. Poke
  6. Paint-Fume
  7. Glory
  8. Close-Up
  9. Seaweed
  10. Do You
  11. Repossessed (live reprise)

In the 90s, Bill Direen was working clubs, cabarets and theatres with drummer Derek Champion when Peter Jefferies brought them to Dunedin for gigs and recordings. Bill slept on the floor of the Volt studio, and guests dropped by to add their genre of Dunedin brilliance to the Direen/Champion grooves.

The album features luminaries like Alistair Galbraith (violin) and Rob Thorne (guitar), while Peter Gutteridge gave advice on how to drive items from his private collection of keyboards. Stephen Kilroy (organ) and Kiri Winders (vocals, My Deviant Daughter) added harmonic layering, while Brendan Hoffman mixed and masterminded. Brendan integrated some recordings made at a home studio, plus a live recording serendipitously recorded by the late Terry King (R.I.P.) in which saxist Steve Wolf and reed emulator Victoria Singh guested. Bill and Derek took off for a whistle stop tour of the USA, taking in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City, while Hoffman synchronised a CD release with the tour. The critics sought ways to describe it, with CMJ calling it “perhaps Direen’s finest work yet”.

CRITICAL RESPONSE TO CUT

“Electric celeste, garage fuzz, carousel organ, zonked-out flute, surf riffs or Thinking Fellas guitar, cutting through a tune like a butcher’s cleaver.” (Jud Cost, MAGNET).   “Bizarre juxtapositions of reality and nightmare gives off a sense of lucid, unrelenting hallucination”. “A mix of jerky intensity and perverse wordplay with more traditional pop timing and musicianship”. “In Fashion, cogent social observations are wedded to jagged riffs of crawling, grungy blues and vocals rendered in a dirty growl. Worry, a glacial swirl of delicate, reedy keyboard lines and the fragile piping of a tin whistle offer the palatial, deceptively romantic setting for a story of amorous neglect and loveless sex. Most interestingly, on Poke (a revved-up pop song reminiscent of the Rascals’ Good Love), conventional rock instrumentation is supplemented by a fuzz-pedalled guitar that buzzes away like a dull bit burrowing into steel.” (Phil Pegg, PUNCTURE). “While Cut, perhaps Direen‘s finest work yet, is adventurous with structure, instrumental textures and weird-voiced over-dubbed harmony, there are simply terrific songs at the core. Direen is a sharp-witted and skilled writer of crafty and finely-crafted songs on a par with masters like Chris Knox and Mayo Thompson.” (David Newgarden, CMJ) “Eclectic, endearing pop ditties that get under your skin.” (Fred Mills, OPTION).

Album engineered by: Brendan Hoffman, All tracks recorded at Volt Dunedin except A7, A9, B3, B7 & B10 at (Martinborough), and B11 at Mountain Rock Festival February 1994 (soundman: Terry King).

For a digital download of the album visit our Bandcamp page.

Bill and Derek 1995
Derek Champion and Bill Direen (from left) at Rasputin’s Record Store, SF, just after recording “Cut”.
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