Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
$5NZD or more
Limited edition 7" lathe-cut
Record/Vinyl + Digital Album
The difficult first release from ILAM PRESS RECORDS. A lo-fi labour of love! We have 30 x 45rpm singles lovingly made by Peter King Lathe Cut Records, Mt Somers, NZ. This offering by The Opawa 45s is the first in a series titled 'Under The Covers'. More coming soon from ILAM PRESS RECORDS!
Includes unlimited streaming of Sleepwalk '17 (lathe-cut version)
via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
ILAM PRESS RECORDS
Welcome to the first official release from Ilam Press Records. Having stumbled our way through short-run arts publishing projects as The Ilam Press for a few years now we thought we might as well branch out with a new and equally disorganised record label whose focus—flying in the face of the logic of late capitalism—will also be on short-run, limited edition ‘non-profit’ productions.
‘UNDER THE COVERS’
Last year Ilam Press ran an advertisement in the back of Cheap Thrills issue #2 for a 12-inch split album called ‘Under The Covers’ featuring two local bands; The Shakin’ Evil Limbo Party, and Slippers & Raisins. This ad was a joke of sorts, ‘filler’ covering up for some text that didn’t come in on time. Almost immediately though, the joke started to sound like a good idea. The two bands in question however have proven themselves to be entirely useless, while we have decided to truck on ahead with what we are now imagining to be a series titled ‘Under The Covers’.
Ever since The Beatles changed the world with albums full of ‘original’ hits, bands playing ‘covers’—their own versions of songs written by other people—have been ducking for cover (excuse the pun). It pays to remember though, that for hundreds, probably thousands of years music was something that was passed around ‘freely’ from one troubadour to another. Even Elvis Presley, the ‘King of Rock and Roll’, never wrote one of his own songs. In this sense The Beatles et al. can be seen as complicit in the propagation of dangerous neoliberal preferences towards individualism and mercenary notions of originality.
And so, in it for the culture rather than the currency, our series ‘Under The Covers’ seeks to redress this corporate takeover of the unique communitarian effort that lies at the heart of all good rock and roll. And to reclaim the covers band as intertextual heroes of our time—bands who find what they need in the collagé of time. Who—unlike those ‘neomaniacs’ endlessly seeking the novelty of the perpetually new—re-consider, re-connect, re-present, and re-animate the culture that surrounds them, that preceded them—the bearer of clues as
to how we might more meaningfully move ahead in the world.
THE OPAWA 45s
The Opawa 45s then are a perfect starting point for our project, focusing as they do on specifically pre-Beatles music, and on the 45rpm ‘single’ rather than the 33 1/3 LP, or ‘album’ as we know it now. Theirs is a music that was all but swept away by the ‘English invasion’ of 1964. A music of ‘jukeboxes’, defined by a naive teenage optimism, by the beach, the drive-in, and the highway. A music of contradiction though, of success and disaster, an apparent blessing pregnant with its own curse.
According to the band: “No song better represents this ambient paradox, particularly relevant again now in 2017 we feel, than the wilting instrumental ‘Sleepwalk’ by Santo and Johnny Farina from 1959. A song which has, interestingly, been ‘dug up’ before by Luis Valdez as the opening soundtrack to his film La Bamba, which recounts the tragic story of Richie Valens who died in the same 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper. Now commonly known as ‘The Day The Music Died’.
“Is it significant that La Bamba came out almost 30 years later in 1987, the year that stock markets around the world crashed, bringing to an end the infamous hedonism of the ’80s? Or is it just a coincidence? Let’s not forget that also in 1987 Donald Trump told Larry King on CNN that he had no interest in being the President of the USA. And now—exactly 30 years later again—there he is, inconceivably, President of the USA.”
Clearly paranoia runs deep in The Opawa 45s oeuvre. In fact, due to legal reasons, we are unable to identify the members here. Suffice to say that they are a guitar swinging duo with a close eye on the middle of the last century and a bunch of half broken down gear to boot. It is not uncommon to see one or both of them electrocuted on stage, and yet, steadfast is their belief that nothing good has been designed or built since 1974.
LW, CHCH 2017
released June 15, 2017
'Sleepwalk' originally by Santo and Johnny, 1959
'Bullwinkle' originally by The Centurians, 1962