Taite Music Prize Announces IMNZ Classic Record and Finalists for the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award

Published: Friday 22 March, 2024

IMNZ is over the moon to announce the 2024 recipient of the IMNZ Classic Record - the annual award created to recognise Aotearoa New Zealand's rich history of making timeless albums that continue to inspire us and define who we are.  Whether it's a 12", compilation, EP, or full-length album, these are records that have become iconic elements of our music history. 

This year’s winner is a record released over 20 years ago on an independent label. The judging panel has recognised the incredible 1991 album from Look Blue Go Purple - Compilation (Flying Nun Records). In 1983, the band emerged in Dunedin, consisting of Canadian-born bassist Kathy Bull (now known as Francisca Griffin), along with vocalist, flute player, and keyboardist Norma O'Malley, drummer Lesley Paris and guitarists and vocalists Denise Roughan, and Kath Webster.

Look Blue Go Purple played a pivotal role in the second wave of the pioneering indie rock movement known as the "Dunedin Sound". In the overwhelmingly male-dominated Dunedin scene and wider indie music landscape, this all-female group stood out. Whilst the quintet certainly had the distinctive jangly, gently psychedelic, lo-fi Flying Nun sound, the combined vocals of Roughan, Webster and O'Malley created a synthesis that further set them apart.

Look Blue Go Purple's 1991 Compilation album brought together the best of their three EPs: Bewitched (1985),  LBGPEP2 (1986) and This is This (1988). The Compilation highlights the band's layered vocal harmonies, keyboards and flute over the trademark Dunedin guitar strum and solid tribal beats. 

With the reissue of Bewitched Quinn Moreland of Pitchfork described the group as “...  a little mythical, a little goofy, overflowing with wistful indie pop hooks and eloquence.
For Audio Culture, Andrew Schmidt wrote: “There is something unique about New Zealand women’s voices in unison. You can hear it in … Look Blue Go Purple’s three groundbreaking 1980s EPs for Flying Nun Records”.

In this week’s NZ Listener and on Listener.co.nz, Russell Brown looks back at the band’s history and tracks down the members for a chat about being in a group that stood out from the crowd in the late 80s. Tomorrow, Saturday, RNZ's Charlotte Ryan has a chat with guitarist and vocalist Kath Webster.

  1. Safety In Crosswords
  2. As Does The Sun
  3. 100 Times
  4. Winged Rumour
  5. Grace
  6. Circumspect Penelope
  7. Hiawatha
  8. Cactus Cat
  9. Vain Hopes
  10. I Don't Want You Anyway
  11. In Your Favour
  12. Year Of The Tiger
  13. Conscious Unconscious
  14. Days Of Old


In addition, Independent Music NZ (IMNZ) is excited to announce the finalists for the 2024 Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award. The Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award celebrates the best-emerging talent of Aotearoa. The winner receives a $2000 cash prize plus a performance or technical upskilling opportunity thanks to Auckland Live.

Auckland Live’s Helaina Keeley, Manager Performing Arts says, “We are very proud to continue our support of the Taite Music Prize with this award giving us the chance to celebrate and acknowledge some of the incredible talent in Aotearoa’s independent music sector."

The three debuts voted as finalists are: 

D.C Maxwell - Lone Rider (Danger Collective Records)
Former frontman of punk band Roidz, Maxwell's solo project  D.C Maxwell, is influenced by Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, exploring love, loss, and the outskirts of life. Lone Rider combines baroque pop with melodramatic ballads, putting a new spin on 1970s outlaw country. Maxwell's return to music after a hiatus is a powerful and empathetic approach to themes like anguish, murder, and heartbreak. 

Jujulips - Get That Shot (Bigpop Records) 
The unapologetic and dynamic rapper Jujulipps aims to remind listeners that they are the main characters of their own stories. The Get That Shot EP symbolises her growth and empowerment, reflecting on a character-building journey with gratitude for the support received. Influenced by artists like Leikeli47 and Burna Boy, she draws inspiration from the soulful sounds of Africa and the powerful energy of hip-hop and Afrobeat.

Soft Plastics - Saturn Return (Independent)
With their debut album, Saturn Return, recorded at Lee Prebble’s Surgery Studios Pōneki/Wellington's indie rock trio blends brooding shoegaze with atmospheric indie rock, displaying a unique fusion of melody and groove. The album is an ode to the astrological transit when the planet Saturn returns to the original longitude that the planet occupied at the moment of a person's birth, typically in their late twenties. 


The NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism Award is a ground-breaking addition to the Taite Music Prize and celebrates a journalist, blogger, director or editor who has made a creative contribution and significant impact with coverage of Aotearoa music in the previous year. For this award’s third year, over 20 nominations  have been shortlisted by a panel of industry experts and the award includes a $2500 cash prize, thanks to NZ On Air. 
The finalists are:

Cushla Dillon and Andrew Moore - Directors - King Loser Documentary 
The film-makers Andrew Moore and Cushla Dillon present this unflinching yet affectionate portrait of notorious New Zealand rock band King Loser. Led by the combustible pairing of Chris Heazlewood and the late Celia Mancini, the band enjoyed cult success in the 1990s and released three albums on the Flying Nun label.
Co-director Andrew Moore’s ever-present camera captures a time-ravaged, reformed band on a national comeback tour of 2016, where glimmers of their former magic emerge in the face of major dysfunction. It may be sometimes hard to watch but is also refreshingly honest and frequently poignant — a film that tells it like it really was for King Loser, and how it sometimes can be for anyone in the world of rock ‘n’ roll.

So'omālō Iteni Schwalger - The Sampler - RNZ Music  
So'omālō Iteni Schwalger is a Tāmaki Makaurau based radio presenter of The TAHI, a RNZ music and culture show. He came to TAHI from Niu FM, where he worked as a presenter for almost nine years, most recently hosting the nights show.  
This nomination acknowledges his expansive review of Whakarehu by Mokomokai featured in RNZ Music’s The Sampler. The review analyses New Zealand hip hop and introduces Mokomokai with honesty and power. So'omālō's feature on The Sampler embodies his mission: tackling the challenges encountered by Pacific communities in Aotearoa, particularly the younger diaspora, with unwavering dedication.

Tony Stamp - Journalist - RNZ Lifestyle 
Tony’s radio career started at Auckland’s 95bFM, hosting a variety of specialist shows which spotlighted new music. He produced and hosted three seasons of the NZ On Air-funded series 'Inside Track', and one of 'True Fan', both of which focused on local music and its surrounding ecosystem and played nationwide on the Student Radio Network.
In 2022, Tony won the inaugural NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism Award for his work creating long-form music documentaries and features, interviewing artists, and discussing new music on Song Crush and The Sampler. In his second nomination, Tony is acknowledged for his contributions to RNZ Lifestyle, where he delves into the vibrancy of NZ Music. His coverage spans labels nurturing emerging talents, profiles of rising stars in the Aotearoa music scene, and narratives of Auckland's transformative nightlife clubs.

These prestigious honours will be presented on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024 alongside the Taite Music Main Prize and the Independent Spirit Award at a ceremony held at Tāmaki Makaurau’s Q Theatre.


The 2024 Taite Music Prize finalists are:

Dick Move - Wet (1:12 Records)
Ebony Lamb - Ebony Lamb (Slow Time Records)
Erny Belle - Not Your Cupid (Flying Nun Records)
Home Brew - Run It Back (Years Gone By)
Mermaidens - Mermaidens (Independent)
Shepherds Reign - Ala Mai (Golden Robot Records)
Tiny Ruins - Ceremony (Ursa Minor)
Tom Lark - Brave Star (Winegum Records)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - V (Jagjaguwar Records)
Vera Ellen - Ideal Home Noise (Flying Nun Records)

Listen to the Spotify Playlist of the Taite Music Prize 2024 Finalists

More about Taite Music Prize

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