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Premiere: Arthur Ahbez Shares New Single 'Free As The Wind' + Announces Tour

Premiere: Arthur Ahbez Shares New Single 'Free As The Wind' + Announces Tour

Thursday 24th August, 2017 1:42PM

After a long period of gestation, Auckland acid-folk artist Arthur Ahbez is unveiling the beautifully immersive lead single 'Free As The Wind' from his upcoming sophomore album Volume II. Slated for release next month, the full-length album follows on his 2013 debut Gold and was entirely self-recorded on an 8-track tape machine - a process that seems to oscillate from incredibly frustrating (splicing tape edits) to hugely rewarding (big warm sound). Soak up 'Free As The Wind' below, and scroll down to read our interview with Ahbez as well as scope the dates for his upcoming album release tour...




Hi Arthur! There seems to be a bit of a 60s vibe on this track. What were some of the sonic touchstones for you when recording?

I'm not that technically skilled when it comes to recording, so my general rule of thumb is just to trust my ears. Often I'll listen back to my guitar on a demo take of a song and rack my brains trying to re-create the tone I had, with little success. Sonically, I pay a lot of attention trying to get the levels and balance right when mixing down. I like to compare what I am doing with music from the 60s to try and get a similar aesthetic.


The vocals sounds great. Who did you get onboard to help with that?

It is funny you should say that, as the vocals on this track I was quite anxious about for a long time. I took me awhile to discern if I actually liked the way in which I sang them. After a number of listens over a few weeks they eventually grew on me. Big thanks to Mary Jane's sagacious hand through that period.


You have a whole album up your sleeve, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Cat's outta the bag eh? It's my second release, which I have titled Volume II. I spent around three and a half years writing and recording it after releasing Gold in 2013. Unfortunately the recording process took longer than I would of liked, due to a multitude of takes for a few songs where I couldn't realise my sonic vision. These tracks don't appear on the album but I hope to re-visit them in the future. What did make it on the record is a four-part song called 'The Painters Portrait' (Side A). This thing was a bit of a monster to work on, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Side B is comprised of three rock and roll tracks and then the album gracefully peters off with a folk song I co-wrote with a good friend of mine.


You did all the recording for the album yourself on an 8-track tape deck. What are some of the benefits of working this way?

Yeah, I love working with tape, but it can be a bitch when it comes to editing. One of my tracks had a bad measure and I had to splice the tape to get it out. Good times. When your tape deck is in good working order however, it can make work rather entertaining. Buttons, knobs, dials, flashing lights, it has it all. The creative process can be somewhat different to digital, since there is no (so to speak) visual spectrum to analyse, you can only rely on your ears to tell you what’s going on. The limitation of 8 tracks also has its benefits, as one has must compose within those limitations and the end result is generally going to be unique.


The photo you chose for the cover is interesting... the way you are both twisted away from and towards the camera. What drew you to use that shot?

It was a spontaneous moment, and spontaneity is a big part of my musical philosophy. With that in mind I felt it was an apt choice. Not to mention I think it looks pretty cool!



Arthur Ahbez and The Flaming Ahbez
Volume II Release Tour

Friday 6th October, Leigh Sawmill Café, Leigh
Saturday 7th October, Eggcentric Café, Cooks Beach
Thursday 12th October, Christchurch, The Dark Room (Solo Show)
Friday 13th October, Mount Social Club, Mt Maunganui
Saturday 14th October, The Cabana, Napier
Saturday 21st October, Kings Arms, Auckland
Sunday 22nd October, Caroline, Wellington

Tickets from HERE at UTR and usual outlets. 


Links
facebook.com/arthurahbez/
arthurahbez.com/

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Fri 6th Oct
Leigh Sawmill Cafe, Leigh
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Sat 7th Oct
Eggsentric Cafe, Coromandel
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Thu 12th Oct
darkroom, Christchurch
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Fri 13th Oct
Mount Social Club, Tauranga
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Sat 14th Oct
The Cabana, Napier
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Sat 21st Oct
Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland
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Sun 22nd Oct
Caroline, Wellington