• Muzai Records


“I find it easier to write press releases when I’m not the subject/topic of them. I’m hardly a salesman and that self-promotion I once had in New Zealand kind of levelled out as I got older. But be that as it may, you might be wondering – what’s a Herring Farmer?”

“Around the time of the second lockdown, I had already experimented with electronic music with the DuhkQunt releases. But 2021 didn’t feel like there was too much to celebrate about. There was still a sense of isolation – not just through self-isolation either.”

“I was happy with how DuhkQunt worked out, and it seemed to be of interest to a few people; I didn’t envision a wave of interest initially because, for me, it was a creative outlet during the downtime of MUZAI Records. But I wanted to try something different, and I wanted to collaborate with some musicians that I enjoyed working with before that perhaps could add to the dynamic I had in mind.”

Herring Farmer was initially a joke that my wife and I shared – let’s get some really lightweight recording equipment, get on a ferry to Norway and while taking in the scenic ride and the cold surroundings record a really simple noise EP. We never managed to get to Norway, nor a ferry.”

“But being resolute and having watched the fantastic movies Bait and The Lighthouse, I experimented more with sampling, pitch shifting, droney synths and even perhaps a few lyrics. But I don’t consider myself a singer at all.”

“Which is where Tim from Flogging A Dead One Horse Town came in. He had the tonality in his voice to portray the fisherman who’s slowly losing his grasp on reality. Tim’s vocals were better than I ever anticipated (and there was anticipation, believe me) and brought to life the whole concept of Maximum Sustainable Yield.

“A local trawler-man, sailing out off the coast to once again try and earn a living while the bigger commercial fishing vessels were slowly nominalizing his livelihood; his very reason for being. Which I think a lot of people can relate to – that work/life balance where work becomes this all-consuming thing instead of a means for existence.”

“You work to live. You don’t live to work. Which was the problem this older protagonist, the Herring Farmer in question, faces as he finally loses his grip.”

“Where P.B (King Shoji, Death Genesis) came in, was through his curiosity when I explained the ideas to him. He was an advocate of DuhkQunt and when he first listened to the single “Pushing Out To Sea” he really wanted to add his techno-organic charm to it.”

“Curating his machinery once again, P.B added a texture of dread to the proceedings. This project went from a couple of simple cut-and-paste works into this really ominous, John Carpenter-esque soundtrack for the concept.”

“That very single that led to the creation of the forthcoming EP, and empowered me to actually release it to everyone, rather than a couple of cassette tapes passed around and traded amongst friends. That really, gritty, fidelity-lost-with-each-generational-dub much like VHS traders became used to in the era of home video.”

“You can make an assumption yourself – the single is now streaming on MUZAI Records’ Soundcloud page, or wait until the full five tracks appear on April 1st 2022. I assure you this isn’t an elaborate, sardonic April Fools Joke.”

“Signing off for now.”

Benjii – on behalf of Herring Farmer.

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