New Zealand Music Month 2017 Profiles
The Pleasure Majenta
By Sarah Kidd.
“Exploration through experimental landscapes of the passive human mind”
Welcome to the darker side of the New Zealand music scene; a side that features soundscapes created by some of the most talented young artists stalking the pavements of the murky city streets today. One such artist is Lawrence Fergus Goodwin, the same Lawrence Goodwin who has already made his mark in the local music scene with acts such as Career Girls, Caroles and Cheats.
The Pleasure Majenta was conceived in 2015 by Goodwin after he decided that he wanted to make something “new and a lot more confronting” than the work he had been creating under his last moniker of Cheats. He recorded the album with the assistance of some of his favourite artists in the Auckland scene; a veritable who’s who of musicians. Hugh Piesse from The Naenae Express, Paul Caveman from The Cavemen and even Gussie Larkin from Wellingtons own Mermaidens all had a hand in the albums conception. However from here Goodwin then took his precious creation, with its beating heart yet not quite finished physical form and went to London where he allowed it to bloom into what it is today. Mixed and mastered in Berlin, Germany the album ‘Everything Turns To Gold’ truly has many international threads coursing through its veins.
The Pleasure Majenta made its debut as a live act in Jerusalem, closely followed by a show in Oakland, California and finally back to the country where a piece of its heart will eternally lie, the 8mm bar in Berlin.
Goodwin has stated that much of his inspiration has indeed come from living in such places as Jerusalem and Berlin and “the things he saw and heard there”. His reaction to coming back home to New Zealand also plays quite heavily in the notes and lyrics. One song where these influences can be heard quite easily is the album’s title track ‘Everything Turns To Gold’ where the sounds of Jerusalem playfully tip toe through the track.
All artists draw inspiration from other such like-minded talents, Goodwin drawing his inspiration lately from the works of such bands as Arca, The Haxen Cloak, Holger Czukay, Scott Walker, The Birthday Party and Stalin Gardens. The songs are gloriously dark, seductively drawing you into a web of sound; ‘Dripping’ pulling you further and further into the stratosphere before letting go and watching you plummet into the depths. ‘Pray’ peddling its wares, inviting you to stay awhile and listen to its tales of woe.
To experience The Pleasure Majenta live is to experience something quite otherworldly; no two performances are the same and can range from swaggering disdain to nerve shredding rawness. The current New Zealand line up of Charlie Anderson, JY Lee, Aaron Longville, Paul Brown and Goodwin himself providing multi-faceted layers to their shows. Currently writing for a new album that is tentatively to be co-produced by Reuben Winter (of Totems and Milk fame), The Pleasure Majenta is one act not to be missed.
This profile is a part of our NZ Music Month coverage, celebrating new and upcoming Kiwi artists. For more information on The Pleasure Majenta you can visit their Bandcamp, or follow them on Facebook. For more information on NZ Music Month you can visit their website.
Image Credits: Feature Image courtesy of facebook.com/everythingturnstogold / Mason Fairey. Live Image courtesy of Ambient Light / Sarah Kidd