Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: They even taxed the turntables

Unless you happened to be a Young Nat – and frankly, a few of them were probably wavering – to be young in late 70s and early 80s New Zealand was to be set against Prime Minister Rob Muldoon. It wasn't just the Springbok Tour, the mad economy and the SIS, it was cultural too. And a key cultural factor was the punitive 40% sales tax on recorded music.

Ironically, as Peter McLennan points out in his fascinating new Audioculture story on the tax, it wasn't Muldoon's doing. Although he defended it with a peculiar contempt, the 40% sales tax was the work of the preceding Labour government, which reasoned that records, even if they were pressed here, were imports, because the royalty component largely went offshore.

It was Labour, too, which axed the tax. It was cut from 40% to 20% in Roger Douglas's first Budget.

But Peter also highlights something I'd forgotten, or possibly never knew in the first place: they even taxed the turntables. And the tape decks, to the princely tune of 56%!

Also fresh on Audioculture:

Twin articles on Bruce Russell, from the Xpressway angle and the Dead C dimenson.

Keith Newman on the legndary Doug Jerebine.

And The Plague. No, not the Blam Blam Blam progenitors from Auckland, but the Rotorua outfit that featured future National Business Review publisher Barry Colman on drums.


If you didn't catch this week's New Zealand Music Month special of Media Take, featuring Dawn Raid's Brotha D, Mark (MC Slave) Williams, Jan Hellriegel, NZ On Air Music's Sarah Crowe, Maisey Rika and Tiki Taane's sister and manager Ninakaye Taane-Tinorau ... it's here to watch.

Maisey is playing with a great lineup of Maori musicians as part of Waiata Toru & Whatonight and tomorrow night at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau.

Before the show, I asked Jan why she wasn't on Bandcamp (I'm allaregic to buying 256k files at the iTunes Store). Turns out – she is! Her newish single, 'For the Love of Glory', is there:

But the really nice new remix of the song by Ash Grey is still only for sale on iTunes. C'mon Jan!


At TheAudience, the first single from the fairly mysterious Encouragement is quite a thing:

Electronic atmosphereics from Wellington's Groeni:

And a nice, restrained house track out of Auckland ...

Free download for that here.

Chelsea Jade is back to guest with Boycrush on this sweet track from his new EP, Girls on Top, which was released this week and is on Bandcamp here.

Some blazed, blazing rock from the post-Checks band Racing:

The mighty Adrian Sherwood versioning a version on 'Space Oddity':

And, finally, one especially for John Campbell today. Rip it up and start again, John ...


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