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Jakob: Highs, lows and hand injuries

Friday 24th October 2014

Jeff Boyle (guitar), Jason Johnston (drums), and Maurice Beckett (bass).

Photo: Supplied

Jakob’s instrumental soundscapes echo the landscape of their home turf, swelling like the waves of the coast, rising up the peaks, falling suddenly from the cliffs, and opening, expansive, as the arid plains of Hawke’s Bay.

Though they’ve had international accolades within the post-rock niche, and been an influential and celebrated band within New Zealand, they’ve stayed living in Hawke’s Bay. They all have day jobs. Two are tradesmen, the other works in a music shop. They’re family men.

This band is a slow burner.

They've just released their first album in eight years, Sines.

It's a patchwork quilt of an album, originally tracked at Roundhead in 2010. Rhian Sheehan's string section arrangements were added at Wellington's STL Audio later, and a bunch of overdubs were recorded with Nick Blow from Napier studio Sister Lung Productions in 2011.

Mixing duties fell on guitarist Jeff Boyle, since the band's bank account was now dry. Old collaborator Dave Holmes pitched in a couple of days work on the mix, and Chris Chetland did the final mastering.

But it's a surprisingly coherent listen, full of brutal bass riffs, sweeping melancholic strings, and evocative peaks and troughs. Sines is a fitting title - it reflects the undulating sound of Jakob, as well as the rollercoaster ride the band have had getting it out.

LISTEN as Kirsten Johnstone finds out about the "trifecta of hand injuries" and other setbacks that plagued Jakob for the last six years. 

Parts of this story were reproduced with permission from Audioculture, the noisy library of New Zealand music.

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LISTEN to more from Radio New Zealand's Music team on the Music 101 Pocket Edition. In this episode Chelsea Jade gets real, inside Arthur Russell with Prof. Tim Lawrence, the return of Jakob and musical robots.

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