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NORMIL HAWAIIANS

Normil Hawaiians

In The Stone / Where Is Living?

    First new music from the renowned post-punk group Normil Hawaiians since 1985.
    A pressing of 500 copies only for the world.

    When Upset The Rhythm released Normil Hawaiians’ lost album ‘Return Of The Ranters’ back in 2015, the band members got back in touch with each other after a 30 year break and starting playing music together again. Out of this the group played a launch show for the album and followed that up with more concerts, including an appearance at Supernormal, a residency at the Edinburgh Festival, gigs at Cafe OTO and supporting Richard Dawson in London too. They even recently toured Greece in support of having all three of their renowned exploratory post-punk albums finally back in print.

    Throughout this time, Normil Hawaiians revisited their original songs for these live performances. However for a group always so interested in evolving their sound and seeking nuance, it comes as no surprise that they shirked the idea of a faithful retread of old material in favour of reimagining their songs. The group experimented by pushing their songs into new inventive dimensions, still progressive at heart, but now imbued with a cosmic uncanny. A cinematic, even pastoral approach that was always quietly present has come to the fore. The quaint weirdness of folk song, the humanity of communal practice and the group’s ecological mindedness have all found a place in Normil Hawaiians’ current sound world. With this conducive atmosphere brewing, the band’s first new songs in decades started to emerge.

    Being far-flung across the UK, the Family Hawaii encamped to Tayinloan, a small village on the west coast of the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland with the intention of recording new music. They set up their own studio in an isolated, windswept house overlooking the sea and started the tape rolling. Noel Blanden from the band explains how the spirit of the location was such an inspiration to the group during this initial recording session: “Our time immersed in the place and the unique energy it generated in us allowed us to write ‘In The Stone’. It goes right back to our first album, this need to document experience before it passes over and eludes us. We were grabbing at the musical ether and letting it shape itself through the band.” From loose, improvised sessions and reflective periods of listening in Tayinloan, Normil Hawaiians captured the moment. ‘In The Stone’ is a motorik thrill of distorted guitars, locked rhythms and morphic resonance. Guy Smith is joined by Zinta Egle on vocals, skilfully sharing lyrics informed by Alan Garner and Nigel Kneale’s ideas around recurring events being linked to place and historical artefact; a kind of residual haunting known as ‘Stone Tape’ theory. In keeping with the context of the song, sounds from several previous live recordings of the track were woven into its present being. Flipside ‘Where is Living?’ is a decidedly more delicate affair of questioning lyrics and eerie traces, droning strings and impressions smudged. This resultant 7” is a tantalising glimpse of Normil Hawaiians now, an echo from the past, an echo from the future.


    Normil Hawaiians

    What's Going On?

      Upset The Rhythm present a reissue of Normil Hawaiians' What's Going On?, originally released in 1984. To Normil Hawaiians, getting out of lockstep with Thatcherism seemed imperative. Adding to an overriding sense of anxiety, close friend and band associate Martin Pawson took his life in July 1983. Following More Wealth Than Money, released on Illuminated Records in 1982, there was an impetus to make good on hard won achievements. Rehearsal and writing sessions resumed in the early months of 1983 at Intergalactic Arts Studios. IGA was a ramshackle, semi-residential rehearsal space.

      Illuminated Records had been sending artists to Foel Studios in Powys, Wales for years, and it had become a kind of refuge for the Hawaiians. Studio owner/manager Dave Anderson (Hawkwind/Amon Düül II) was welcoming, unruffled, and accommodating when around a dozen band members, friends, and family emerged from the "mini-peace convoy" of vehicles into the hazy, pastoral care of the warm, Welsh countryside. Whereas More Wealth Than Money had evolved in the recording studio, What's Going On began to develop as a more pre-meditated, albeit piecemeal work. "Quiet Village" and the unreleased "Outpost" had already been finished at Foel in February 1983.

      Recording Engineer Brian Snelling recalls how the Hawaiians approach to making the album was unconventional and spontaneous, reveling in chance and openness. Rehearsal tapes from IGA were played along to, and improvisations allowed to develop, with further layers of sound accreting (as can be heard on "Big Lies"). "Free Tibet" was created by the band playing together exploratively with Snelling waiting to hit "Record" until he heard that something interesting was coalescing. He recalls the sessions being initially unorthodox, but eventually settling into a friendly, productive, and very familial affair. Mixed tapes were then taken by Dave Andersen and Guy Smith to Charly Records' editing studio in London. Here they spliced the recordings into an irregular yet coherent, flowing work. Final masters were then EQ'd and cut by Graeme Durham at the newly opened Exchange Mastering Studios in Camden. And then nothing happened. Unbeknownst to the band, Illuminated Records were getting into deep financial problems. The label gave the band 250 copies, but the record shops wouldn't touch them -- the company had been blacklisted. This intricate, challenging and engaging work had been failed by poor circumstance. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Glossy, printed gatefold sleeve, with offset (matte) paper inner sleeve, booklet, limited black vinyl pressing (500 copies). Download card with bonus tracks included with LP.

      Ltd CD Info: Bonus tracks included on CD version too.
      CD gatefold wallet with booklet. 500 ONLY


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