NZ On Air: Kiwi Hit Disk 160

15 Jul

kiwi hit disc

Since 1993, NZ On Air has packaged and released the Kiwi Hit Disk, a series of monthly promotional compilations, distributing them to radio stations across the country in order to promote NZ music to NZ audiences. Here at The Rag, we’ve gotten our hands on Disk number 160. Technically speaking then, I can’t really call this an album review, since this isn’t really envisioned as a unified album, or even a mixtape (or playlist. Get off my lawn). Still, it is a pretty neat window into the current state of NZ music.

What kind of music are we listening to? What are we making? What kind of stuff do the gatekeepers at NZ on Air deem commercially attractive enough to justify receiving their decreasing funding? As it turns out, like in the rest of the world we like a lot of bland, derivative club fodder. This is not to say some of it isn’t pretty good though: School for Birds’ latest single I Need is some very solid synth dance-pop, and returning alum P-money contributes with the very decent and chill Celebration Flow. These stand out amid a lot of stuff that could easily have been written at Disney or Nickelodeon though. It’s not that the quality isn’t there, but why bother trying to compete with giants if what you’re making is both less likely to be heard to begin with, and indistinguishable from their products once it does?

By Camilo Diaz-Pino

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