I’m Andy from Diamond Field - I was a member of the NZ Synth FB groups for years and have just joined up over here.
I’m now based in the US and have recently released a full length album. It’s on LP, CD and cassette. The LP and CD versions are now available in Aotearoa through Rhythmethod at Flying Out, JB Hi-Fi, Real Groovy , Marbecks etc.
Diamond Field is my '80s-influenced synth project. It’s very ‘pop’ with vocals from a bunch of different guest artists and covers styles from synth pop to AOR. There’s a big NZ connection with the album as it features several NZ artists (based in and out of NZ) including Nik Brinkman who you may be familiar with as a producer and from acts like Junica and Over The Atlantic. Other musicians that might be of interest include John Carpenter’s kid Cody and sax player Chris Ward (who was on the last Fischerspooner album).
There’s a full list of hardware and software I used on the album in the liner notes.
I released it on my own label in conjunction with Sofa King Vinyl who specialize in synth-based releases. They have released titles for the likes of Client Liaison, The Motion Epic and Opus Science Collective.
Anyway, I won’t go on too much but if you’re interested in hearing the album it’s on all the streaming services as well as the NZ stores I mentioned above. I’ve tried to get some interest from NZ media on it (and NZoA support) but hit a brick wall - they just aren’t into synth stuff it seems! But people who do get it really love it, so maybe members here might like to check it out!
Link to stream: Diamond Field by Diamond Field
Cheers and thanks!
Hey, thanks for sharing Andy.
I had a quick listen and first thoughts are - where is the humour/irony? Maybe NZOA would get more on board if you pushed your works to another level? Much more experimental or extreme pastiche/cliche?
I mean it sounds good - but is that enough? I think it needs more drama or meta aspects/concepts/story/events etc…
I’m a fan of Eye Liner, Com Truise, Matthais Jordan & The Don because they make light of the genre while still contributing to it with an earnest musical dedication!
Are you also a fan of these 80s synth artists emulating but progressing the sound/idea/trope?
I’m listening to the vocal versions and they’re reminiscent of Lady Hawk - but not Bachelorette or Silicon.
Silicon won the Tate award & I’m pretty sure these “synth” artists were supported by NZ media and NZoA - maybe you need to process why them and not you?
Hey - thanks for the feedback. That’s an interesting take!
I’m definitely avoiding the irony/pastiche angle. I’m not trying to be a novelty act, rather making music respectful to the original sound of that era. I mean, imagine Tears For Fears or OMD being humorous lol.
There are plenty of other artists who are good at the conceptual album stuff but I’ve also found that’s been overplayed in Synthwave - the dystopian future, retro futurism, driving down the highway in a DeLorean etc. That’s all fine but yeah - plenty of others doing that!
I like all those other artists but it’s not possible for me to do something similar without coming off as copycat and failing dismally lol. Also, there are plenty of artists trying to emulate them or The Midnight, TimeCop 1983 etc. I’m just making the type music I like to listen to personally. Hopefully there’s other people who like that too
I love experimental stuff but again, that’s not what I’m trying to do here.
I really like this quote from Graham Reid about the record as it was what I was trying to achieve:
“It is easy to parody Eighties synth-pop (all that emotional dislocation) or turn it into kitsch but that’s not what’s happening here: this is a respectful and knowledgable tribute to the genre courtesy of original songs (in the style, but stand-alone items)…”
So I guess, I’m no different to a rock band specifically going for a '60s overt garage sound. Just in this case its '80s…
I do appreciate the honest feedback from you and it is why I can’t expect everyone to like it (like NZoA or whoever) and that’s fine
I hear you on the comparisons. I agree it fits into Ladyhawke territory et al so it is a bit frustrating not to get at least a nod. But there are many factors involved I guess, and one thing about not being in NZ is that there is less gatekeeping in the rest of the world. It seems to be a bit of that going on in NZ as the outlets are limited and only a few people have the keys there. That said, I’ve had a nice reaction and very nice that RM and the record stores have been enthusiastic. The problem is that its hard to get people to go to Real Groovy and buy an album that they haven’t heard due to lack of promo. I only have one mum who will buy a copy lol.
PS I can’t enter the Taite Prize because my record company is not based in NZ.
And I really liked that Matthias Jordan track when it came out. Good stuff.
Again, another example of how that song got coverage and mine do not (when they have a lot of similar vibes). I think the fact I’m known for other stuff might be one reason I’m not getting through. Sometimes it’s hard for people to accept lol.
Have you heard of JJ Mist? She’s a NZ synthwave artist that has a decent following but is virtually ignored in NZ. Alex Markham & JJ Mist – Cruel Love - YouTube
I’m thinking M83?
Why are they so successful?
Maybe because they push things further?
Oh yeah - M83 are in a different league though - way more outward thinking than my stuff ha ha.
But I would like to think someone who likes Midnight City might like a Diamond Field song too.