About a year ago I asked newsletter subscribers to tell me what they thought defined tenzenmen. I got many nice comments such as these,
“a label with a conscience, bold, supportive of its artists, non-commercial, genuinely interested in having its artist’s music heard, the type of label that puts out music which my friends make…above all, I see tenzenmen as an exploratory label where you bring aural treasures from a variety of places and styles and offer them up – we may not have heard them, but trust you and give them a chance based on the fact that you’ve come up with the goods for us before…” – Maris
“tenzenmen represents the unending pursuit of discovering new, relevant and good music that is generally overlooked by ‘majors’, as it doesn’t fit into their particular ‘sales strategy’. There is nothing like music discovery and labels like tenzenmen consistently bring it” – Justin
It’s very heartening to receive these kind words because I often wonder if people understand what I try and do. The back catalogue is rich and diverse and probably overwhelming to most casual browsers. The reason for this diversity is simply a reflection of my own interests in music that has obviously expanded over the years of my life. I can happily listen to some Chinese neo-folk alongside Malaysian screamo, experimental Aussies and Vietnamese death metal! The key factor is the passion and the creativity that has gone into the production of this art, sometimes in exceptional circumstances. I do understand that not everyone else will have such varied tastes and want to buy their own complete collection of tenzenmen releases. Please, if you have a chance, take a few minutes to check out some other releases on the label that you may not have heard before. Go old school and take a chance just by checking record covers (like flicking thru the vinyl bins) – easily done at the bandcamp index page here.
tenzenmen will continue along its merry way, defiant of success and profit, motivated by the love of our music shared. Thanks for your support.
tenzenmen will be overseas from the beginning of October until the middle of November so no orders will be able to be shipped during that time. Balls will still be rolling with plenty going on in my absence and a big run-up to the end of the year and no doubt another huge one in 2013!
Whilst I’m away I’m a little disappointed to be missing a show I’m organising on Saturday Oct 13th at Black Wire featuring many good friends including crazy Japanese two-piece Mekare-Kare who will have a split 7″ out on Heartless Robot in time for their full Oz tour. That tour and split 7″ is with Perth gonzo’s Bamodi who will have their LP out on tenzenmen by then too! Listen to the split 7″ tracks here (released by our good Perth buddies at Heartless Robot). Rounding out the show will be the ever wonderful Dead China Doll and ever incredible Making.
Nikko tour dates 20 September The Empress, Melbourne (acoustic) 21 September The Old Bar, Melbourne 22 September The Metro, Adelaide
Bamodi tour dates 7 October The Bakery, Perth 9 October Metro Hotel, Adelaide 10 October Bar Open, Melbourne 11 October Gasometer, Melbourne 13 October Black Wire, Sydney
25th Sept 2021 – When I look at the line up for this show I wonder how it happened! The initial inspiration was to put on a show for Mekare-Kare from Japan. I’m not certain how they got in touch with me now but possibly through friends in Perth. Struggling to find a venue, Dirty Shirlows were willing and able to help me out but it was a big space for an unknown band from Japan to try and fill so I came up with this crazy idea for an all day show.
I still don’t know how all these bands managed to pull together to make this show, except Spider Goat Canyon and Teratova, who got added to the bill at the last minute. Both these bands were touring together and were on their way through from a show the night before, to another show that evening and asked if they could play. They were happy to start the event off and didn’t need to be paid. They just wanted to be part of what was going on.
As the show date approached the Shirlows crew were getting jittery about law enforcement interest in the space and they mentioned that they had had other things go on in their space, such as film shoots, without any issue. So I hit on the idea that this wouldn’t be a show but a film shoot instead. Of course, 20 bands would be playing and the ‘paying’ audience would be the film crew. This was more a subterfuge cover than a directive and at the end of the day little film footage was taken.
I was generally busy running around making sure things happened when they were supposed to happen. People came and went and whilst it wasn’t the most successful event attendance wise, everyone got paid something if they had asked for it. Others were just happy to play and take part. There were so many great bands that night but for me Mekare-Kare stole the show. I’d never heard them before but they blew my mind with their complex and super tight musicianship. As they were tuning up and getting ready, the sound guy was growing impatient, telling them and me that they could start. But these guys knew exactly what they wanted and what they were doing. When they started their first song, jaws hit the floor (including the sound guy), soon replaced with joyful smiles. At least, that was my impression. Mid set, this crazy bass and drums two piece started circling around a duelling banjos theme before super-tightly repeating the whole piece together at an even faster pace.
The whole shebang was worth it to me just for this 25 minutes of bliss.
And to round things off East Brunswick All Girls Choir played a stirring set of their soulful rock which was lovely and poignant.
I’m still grateful for everyone who helped out with this show and all the wonderful members of the bands who played. There were no dickheads and luckily no cops. It was also Kevin Duo Jin’s 16th (?) birthday. A newly arrived scene protagonist who became a regular at these shows as he wasn’t able to attend bar venues.
25th Sept 2021 – Well, searching around the internet to remind me more about this day and I found this, which I had completely forgotten about and don’t even have a copy myself. I think I sent this out to radio stations and drop into records stores as giveaways.
An all day/night festy put on by tenzenmen featuring a really versatile line-up of mostly Australian bands from all over the country, but also a couple from Japan (full line up here). The idea was that people shoot videos and submit them to the YouTube channel, and in turn receive $5 off (the $20) submission, with the result being a bunch of footage at the disposal of all the bands I guess. I’m not sure how much of a success that part was, but it was a fairly enjoyable day spread across two stages so there was always something going on. I was mostly there to see The Native Cats in what was their first Sydney appearance. They played all new stuff and all good stuff and I wish more people hung around to watch them so they’d come back soon and play their own show, but what do you do (come back anyway). I also caught Fag Panic of whom I was at first very sceptical (could have done without the ‘wacky’ outfits) but pretty soon warmed right up to their tropical pop jams. Though they look like a novelty band their songs were actually really good, substantial pop music. I don’t know that it’s something I’d listen to at home, but they got people in a banana suit and what I think was a snow-pea suit to dance and that is awesome. These photos go: Fag Panic, Axxonn who seemed to be having a wonderful time with his synth (I didn’t mind it either), The Holy Soul (who have supported and played with the likes of Can’s Damo Suzuki but I wasn’t all that impressed), and then the Native Cats. I kind of left wondering when Dirty Shirlows turned into a hippie-haven, though. So much incense was goin’ on.