SLOW DECLINE: MUZAI at 10.
It started as a lo-fi affair in a flat in Auckland’s central suburbs. Ten years later, it continues out of a townhouse in Leeds and has returned to being a lo-fi affair. MUZAI Records has officially turned 10 years old.
Paying tribute to his co-founder Martin Phillips by using a god bows to math lyric for the work, MUZAI owner Benjii Jackson has brought together a mammoth playlist of tracks throughout the history of the record label along with a “one-shot” PDF to learn a little more about the label, reminisce of those times at The Basement (or how close they were to booking Anarchist Cafe on K Road) and, more importantly, remind people that the label is still alive and well in the North Hemisphere.
The nucleus of MUZAI Records has been well documented throughout the years; two guys getting drunk and wanting to start a mail-order record label, which fostered an incredible DIY ethic – cutting and glueing EP’s together, recording bands at the risk of noise control complaints and taking over a theatre space in Auckland City Centre to foster an all-ages scene.
But to reach a decade? It’s fair to say even the long-standing member of the label were surprised MUZAI got this far.
To call Slow Decline a compilation of works from the label would be an understatement. It is an anthology that brings together almost every band that has been involved with the label. From the very early days plugging the works of Kittyhawk and Sworn To The King to the present day move to Europe and representing Faux Machismo and the most recent collaborators, LAWMAN.
The anthology also demonstrates just how important MUZAI has been to the New Zealand music scene. A number of high profile acts started garnered their first attention through the label; acts like Doprah, Dog Power and Water started out in groups such as Ipswich, Zen Mantra and Sworn To The King.
It also serves as a reminder of just how diverse MUZAI has been with the artists it’s worked with. Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing rubbing shoulders with Idiot Prayer. EDM works from Moppy and G A M E S H A R K sharing the same platform as noise-rock merchants Flogging A Dead One Horse Town, goth-pop duo Cat Venom, spazz-punk trio Diana Rozz and shoegaze artists She’s So Rad.
Slow Decline is complemented with a 18 page “brochure”, with links to the pantheon of releases from the label over the last 10 years along with oral histories from recording engineers Tyler Burke, Daniel Speight, venue owner Rohan Evans, a pretty good Mac n Cheese recipe from Flogging A Dead One Horse Town and a detailed account of the Tauranga Music Sux/MUZAI Records “feud”.
With all the love in the world to every artist and music listener who has and continues to support us at this time.