friday, september 26 - melbourne VIC, australia to auckland, new zealand
Breakfast at hotel and day at leisure until flight. We will then board our private coach transfer from City Hotel to Melbourne Airport.
Departure flight home to the USA in the morning at 9:10am.
Departure on flight for extension tour (NZ) is later in the afternoon at 4:25pm.
so the new zealand extension was actually canceled due to low participation. just a few weeks back, very last-minute, Frugal & i got our flights changed so we could continue on without the group & still see new zealand. Half Creeper did the same, but separately from us. sadly, Photogeek would've gone but missed our join-us email; i dug her & would've liked going on to NZ with her. so we hitched a lift with everyone to the airport, but didn't return with them to LAX; our flight left less than an hour later to new zealand.
Frugal (& i) got a shock at the gate - he didn't set up any luggage allowance for our NZ flights, so they charged us each $120AUD for a single bag, & they said it'd be the same on the way back. wheee, an upcoming flight with travelocity to try to recoup at least the difference from the $55AUD it would've been to schedule that in advance. last time i ever let someone else handle my bookings. 9_9 i spent the hour before boarding on the phone with travelocity, using wifi & my work softphone, & got to the point of a $50 courtesy hotel voucher, & confirmation that it'll only be $55AUD on the way back to australia, but i had to board just as i was about to talk with gavin the supervisor. so that'll be continued next time there's wifi, or when i get home.
the flight was fine though noisy - seems kiwis (& probably a bunch of aussies) like to chat. loudly. Frugal had booked himself a window seat & left me across the way on the aisle... but the joke was on him, as i had another empty seat in the middle to curl up in. i made it through customs fine (though they asked to make sure my jams weren't honey during the customs x-ray... they really aren't into people taking honey out of australia!), & i found a shuttle that ended up being just $20NZD each, each way. we set that up for our return on the first too - one fewer thing to worry about. i discovered that NZ license plates have a slash through the zero, the same way i write them. the shuttle driver also played american music from 1980-1995. i don't think i heard a single song in australia that i didn't already know, & it may well be the same here.
i spent some of the ride back trying to suss out the new zealand accent. it seems they like to pronounce Es hard & As turn into soft Es, so "seven" becomes "see-vin" & "taxi" becomes "texy". veery ehnteeristing.
the sofitel auckland hotel was lush! the room wasn't large, but was very well appointed, & it was all just beautiful. featherbeds, big soaking tub, slippers & robes, & so on. very french. it was the kind of hotel that groupon set us up with in china & ireland, & i was grateful for the work Frugal put in to find it. from the balcony, there was a decent view of the sky tower, which i'll be jumping off of tomorrow.
we immediately left for dinner - the hotel was right near the waterfront restaurant district called "the viaduct" - & found wildfire, which had both a fancy side of the menu (my porchetta was delicious: spit-roasted loin and belly of pork, pumpkin puree, fennel-apple slaw, charcutiere sauce) & a burgers side, so Frugal was happy. we sat in the bar area since it was a friday night & the restaurant proper was booked, & it seemed like a classy place at the start... even the water was slightly minted; it was refreshing & lovely (& this from someone who hates mintwater). but as more apparent rugby fans filtered in, it got louder & more bar-like until there was actually a fistfight! the bartender swore loudly & repeatedly at them & kicked out one drunk idiot, & i saw the other get up with a faceful of blood. AWESOME. we'd been in town for two hours: welcome to new zealand!
Frugal wanted to wander the area, so i walked back to the hotel alone. it seemed pretty safe, & indeed the shuttle driver had said it's fine to walk around alone so long as you take the usual precautions (be aware of your surroundings, don't go down dark alleys, that sort of thing). i passed the little grocery i'd seen on the way to dinner & bought a local ice cream bar: "kapiti, a new zealand original" in boysenberry. it improved my walk back & i found the hotel without issue. back in the room, i found housekeeping had come to leave bottles of waiwera water ("bottled at source, waiwera thermal resort, auckland, new zealand") next to our beds & draw the drapes. nice touches.
my research had said that wifi is scarce in new zealand, & free wifi basically unheard of. the hotel website had said it'd be ten bucks for an hour in the lobby, or thirty for a day in the room! but not only did our hotel offer 300meg free, the reception gals signed me up to a loyalty program - for free - that gave me endless free wifi for the length of our stay. i immediately set to torrenting the shows i'd missed, & settled in for a relaxing evening alone.
...until i felt a tickle, & in one deft motion, grabbed & then gracefully threw a giant spider off my neck. welcome to new zealand. :D
saturday, september 27 - auckland, new zealand
amusingly, the Luciferins i mailed to australia the saturday before i left arrived today; i'd joked at the post office that i'd well beat them there. too bad i wasn't going to tasmania or i could've hand-delivered them!
i stayed up late the night before & woke up late, this being the first real morning where i didn't have to get on a bus & stick to a schedule. i spend some time researching horseback riding, then made it out of the hotel room around eleven to wander the CBD (central business district). i found a nice little place for breakfast, jones the grocer, & had a salmon frittata with a phoenix new zealand organic sparkling feijoa drink. feijoa is a new zealand fruit & it tasted a lot like a pear & a lime cross. it was so nice that i picked up a feijoa smoothie later while walking around downtown. this made eight new things i've eaten: kangaroo, four australian crustaceans & a new fish, & two fruits (gubinge being the other).
i visited the maritime museum on the quay since it was free & i had a few hours to blow; it was neat. then i happened into an info booth that was basically like any hotel lobby, full of day tours & things to do, with a bunch of super helpful staff ready to book things for you. i really wanted to see the waitomo glowworm caves, but didn't think i'd get to since rotorua is three hours' drive away... but i found a day tour for $240NZD! & when i went to book it, they found i could get the last seat on the bus for just $199NZD. score! they'll pick me up sunday morning at 6:45am at my hotel, & return me in the early afternoon.
i hoped to be tattooed tonight, so i changed some money ($200USD into $240NZD; i made out better on the exchange rate in NZ than in in australia) so i wouldn't need lana to bail me out again, then wove my way through various little stores until i made it to the sky tower around 1:30pm. i met up with Frugal there, because he wanted to see my jump, & i gave him my camera. (i was given a free ticket to the observation deck with each event, so Frugal was quite happy to save the $28NZD it would've cost him to go up alone.) we went down into the base of the tower & i was outfitted for my skywalk first. i was in a group of five - the father & son were boring, but the husband & wife from christchurch were awesome. they were also doing both the skywalk & skyjump. he was like me - no problem doing any kind of high-intensity activity, & we compared dicks a little - but she was the really amazing one. she was scared shitless, but was set on doing both events. that's way more impressive to me than MY wanting to do the jump, because i super wanted to do it; she didn't.
the skywalk was a lot of fun! i was totally harnessed up, so it wasn't really scary, but it still took a minute to adapt to being that ridiculously high up & looking down through the grate beneath my feet to the city below. there was no handrail, only a 1.5 meter pathway & the harness ropes tied to a rail above our heads. (i didn't hold onto mine at all.) we got to do various "challenges", like leaning backward & forward off the pathway & out towards the city, & walking backward while looking up at the rail. the guide told us lots about the city as we went around; i asked about the huge green mountain-y thing, & turned out to be mount eden, the highest natural point in auckland - & it's just four meters higher than we were at that moment (196m vs 192m).
we watched some of the skyjumpers, then came down from the skywalk to redress for the skyjump (different jumpsuit, different harness). we were taken back up, & i was nominated to go first. i was strapped up & outfitted with a videocamera, then taken to the end of the platform. i'd asked if i could do a running jump, but they said no. ah well. i had no problem jumping, of course - it was actually quite a bit like the power jump at the cairns zoom - not quite freefall, but plenty fast & exciting. i was honest about my delicate back when i filled out paperwork, & they'd set me up with a special softer landing. i hit the mat standing & had a blast watching a live feed of the wife going next. she was laughing & crying when she hit the mat; watching her video later, she'd screamed twice (which she didn't remember doing) & then managed a grand "WOOHOO!" midway down. the husband was hardcore all the way. they were a treat. i bought in on the "all the photos & all the videos we took of you on both events on a sky tower pendrive for $80NZD", used my observation deck ticket to look around a bit (nothing after the skywalk, really), & hit the streets.
while i was up there, i'd spotted one of those seated reverse-bungee things, but the tattoo shop i liked best was set to close in two hours & wouldn't be open again until too late on the day we leave. so i'd come back to the reverse-bungee thing on... probably monday. i couldn't get wifi to use my softphone, but a kind local let me use his phone to call the tattoo shop, & they said i could come by in about an hour, at 6pm. it was a 1.6km walk, & i hadn't put many miles on my feet today, so i hoofed it. it wasn't bad - a good portion was uphill, so it took me about a half hour, but my route went past a big park & i had some nice views of the sky tower. i bought a blueberry & almond friand in a coffeeshop along the way, & found the shop easily. rob at 13 needles, who happened to be number one on my list of acceptable artists (& has the best eyebrows in the world), took me right away & did a lovely job of the new zealand Grammy Memorial Tattoo addition. the process was once again very much like i'm used to, with slightly different creams & whatever used to clean & stencil.
i walked back to the hotel from there, a bit less of a hike (& mostly downhill) than to the sky tower, picked up my umbrella & netbook, & went in search of food. the concierge recommended the harbourside bar & grill as being awesome & within a decent walking distance (i didn't want to go too far after the walk to be tattooed), & he was so right. the special was monkfish, which is a deep favorite of mine, but i had to go with the fish on the menu i'd never heard of. i ordered the fillet of hapuka (comté cheese herb crust, jerusalem artichoke purée, leek & shiitake mushroom fondue) & oh fuck it was SO good. one waiter even commented he'd passed by my table & didn't want to disturb me because i looked so ridiculously blissful. hapuka has nearly the texture of mahi mahi, a firmer steak-like fish, but has a far better flavor. & the purée was perfect. you know it's a great restaurant when i order things i don't like - cheese & leek in this case - & trust that they'll make me forget i don't like them. mission accomplished. & that made SEVEN new animals & two new fruits consumed. :D
the waiter suggested dessert, & who am i to argue? so i ordered the valrhona dark chocolate cream: steamed brownie, crunchy hazelnut, caramel ice cream, macadamias. HOLY SHIT, i thought dinner was good! i actually snapped a photo of it, which i rarely do in restaurants. those little chocolate loops were so much fun to eat; i'd break them in half & they kept bonking me in the nose. i think i was a total spectacle for the waiters, four of whom came by at various times to enjoy my delight. i just love delicious food that's also texturally interesting... but that dessert also made me feel like i was five years old, in the very best way possible.
after that meal, i couldn't stand to walk back in the spitting rain, so i took a cab for $7NZD & lounged in the hotel room until bed. just before settling in, i realized that i didn't get (or at least didn't notice getting) any weird stares today... that's pretty much unheard of in my travels, & would explain why i felt so particularly comfortable walking around the city. thanks for accepting me, auckland.
sunday, september 28 - auckland, new zealand
eff you, daylight savings time, for taking an hour of my vacation. (an hour i'll never get back IN MY ENTIRE LIFE, since it's only daylight savings in NZ. send help!) good thing my phone was smarter than me, though, & set the alarm appropriately.
the hotel restaurant was open when i arrived at 6:20, & were glad to do takeaway. i almost balked at paying $16NZD for two eggs & a couple sides, but then i saw black pudding on the menu. yum, i hadn't had that since ireland! i received my eggs over-hard, an abundant serving of black pudding, & a lovely crisp potato rosti on a slice of multigrain toast in a plastic box. there was also a spoonful of tangy onion marmalade that cut the richness of the black pudding beautifully, & she even gifted me four small pastries for the trip to rotorua. she noted the pastries had been flown in from france that morning, & they tasted it, too.
a van picked me up at my hotel & took me to the big bus. i was aggressive in getting on, & snagged the first seat right up front, so my view was the best available. our driver, reese, was great - he gave us plenty of information about the countryside & told us maori stories about a volcano in search of his father & one that was banished out to sea. apparently new zealand has 53 dormant volcanoes that could erupt any time between today & five hundred years from today... reese said it's tough to prepare for, & so they simply don't.
i napped a bit on the way out (Frugal snores horribly, so i got even less sleep than the four hours i expected [eff you daylight savings]) & we arrived to waitomo around ten thirty. the glowworm caves tour was REALLY cool. i'd seen plenty of caves in ireland, so i was familiar with limestone & stalactites & stalagmites & how they form & all, but the worms were totally worth the trip. in the larval stage, they have the same bioluminescence as fireflies (luciferin, actually - the chemical i named my plugs after), & use that to draw food towards them which gets caught in this long mucousy strand they set out like a vertical spider web. after ten months, they pupate & cocoon & turn into adults. the adults have no mouths or stomachs, so their imperative is to breed before starving to death in a few days. the females fly up to the ceiling of the caves to lay 120 eggs, &... are then likely to get stuck in the sticky web strand of the larvae. so they're glowy little cannibalistic mucous strand worms & i loved them. the caves tour ended with a boat ride through the darkness on the underground river, & looking up at the hundreds of glowworms on the ceiling was like looking at the night sky with no city light pollution at all.
we weren't allowed to take photos until the very end when our boat emerged into daylight, so i did my best to grab one glowworm shot, but it's too shitty to post. even without pictures, that was totally worth the trip - it was pretty impactful being there & seeing all their tiny lights above my head. also being in the "cathedral", where the acoustics are perfect - our guide sang a maori song for us, & it literally felt like the notes were tickling my ears, the sound was so ideal.
since i wasn't staying in rotorua, i rode a different coach back to auckland, & had the entire five-seat back row to myself. we drove through whatawhata (in the butta?) & i got back to the hotel at 3pm. i noticed that burger king is called burger king in new zealand - in australia, it's "hungry jack" due to some kind of copyright thing. i got some new dinner suggestions from the concierge; he's been spot-on so far. i then set out for the reverse-bungee, the sky screamer, by the sky tower (drinking an L&P along the way at the suggestion of our tour guide), but no one was in line & it needs two people at minimum. i waited a while to see if i could convince someone, but it was no use. oh well. having basically skipped lunch, i took a cab over to sails restaurant...
oh man, another severe winner - & another new animal consumed! my entrée (that means "starter" everywhere except the US) was the wild venison tataki (jerusalem artichoke, poached cherries, cocoa soil, watercress, truffle oil). i never want to eat venison without cocoa & cherries again. it was barely seared on the outside, fully blue inside (thus tataki), & absolutely amazing. my main was the east cape terakihi (green herb & prawn risotto, preserved lemon, tomato vierge, olive oil). i don't normally care for risotto (after all, it is peasant food), but it too was delightful. terakihi is a slightly chewy, firm white fish local to new zealand, & i loved it. (by the way, it's also known as jackass morwong. with a name like that, it's gotta be good.)
i couldn't skip dessert after being presented with such beautiful dishes, so i had the baked lemon cream (passionfruit, mandarin, almond crumble). MMFPH. there was lemon curd, a couple of crisp meringues kisses, they brûlée'd the lemon cream, & the passionfruit sorbet was like a crazy eye-popping palate cleanser with every bite. it reminded me of the huckleberry sorbet i had at spur that time - it tasted like it had all the passionfruits in the galaxy crammed into it. my favorite bit was the dehydrated mandarin slice - i could eat those all day.
i took a cab back, professed my love for the concierge, & tooled around the net trying to find something good to do tomorrow in the rain.
monday, september 29 - auckland, new zealand
i was still trying to set up horseback riding for tomorrow (they were refusing to do a full day ride with just one person, but were seriously dragging their feet on answering about a half day), & i had nothing planned for this day since it was supposed to rain all day. it didn't, but i really needed a day off of going & doing & seeing & spending & the everything. so i booked a body scrub in the fancy hotel spa (tried to get a facial too, but they were too busy) & mostly just lazed about the entire morning.
my scrub started in an unusual way - it was in the hotel, so they had me show up in my room robe & slippers... & just as i was talking skin with my technician & setting up for my scrub, the fire alarm rang. so i got to troop outside with all the hotel staff & [fortunately few] hotel patrons while wearing a robe, slippers, & nothing else. oh, & with my dreads in a giant bun above my head. people kept looking at me & barely containing giggles, so in response i'd throw my arms in the air & declare, "I WIN THE FIRE DRILL." any time someone complained about not having shoes or whatever, i'd counter with "but at least you have PANTS!" it was pretty amusing & everyone seemed in good spirits about it. we were only outside for ten minutes or so, & the firemen let us back in, where i had a quite lovely epsom salt & sweet almond oil scrub (which i'll be doing at home, yes yes), followed by some lemongrass-ginger herbal tea, yum. they were also able to book me in for a fancy-assed facial a bit before opening time on wednesday morning, yay!
in the early afternoon, i made it to the sky screamer; i'd posted the previous night on auckland craigslist under "activity partners", & found matt. he was hesitant & kind of scared to go, but i talked up his manliness & he submitted. it was REALLY fun! i actually liked it more than the skyjump - it was more exciting & thrilling. it hits 5g & 200kph in two seconds, & that's how i like to move. :D while waiting on matt, i saw a couple go who only did one somersault, but ours flipped at least three times. i'd totally have gone again if matt didn't look quite so green, but i gave him props for letting a stranger talk him into flinging himself off the planet. & he admitted he enjoyed it once he got over the "am i going to die, i'm pretty sure i'm going to die" bit.
after that, i had a jesuite pastry (a little leathery, but tasty); i'd found a sparkling pear drink & some "barley mint" mentos earlier. the pear not-quite-a-soda thing was awesome, but i tried the mentos on the walk back to the hotel & they were pretty awful - not as bad as the "mentos AIR" i found in the philippines, which were basically chewy halls cough drops with a vicks vaporub center, but they tasted mostly of eucalyptus & were not great. dear everyone, stop trying to make eucalyptus candy happen! it is only for sick people.
i didn't know what to do for dinner & didn't pass anything major going back to the sofitel (except that i found a microsoft building right across the street - how had i not noticed this?), so i waited in the hotel room until i was good & hungry & then called harbourside - they still had the monkfish on special, so away i went. :D hungrier than last time, i also ordered an entrée: crayfish laksa (fiordland crayfish, vegetable vermicelli, coconut coriander broth). crayfish in new zealand aren't crayfish in the states - it's a much larger beast, & a type of spiny lobster. so that made NINE new creatures! they presented the components separately, so i was able to see the crayfish meat in the bowl before they poured their velvety cream soup over it. the crayfish tasted very similar to our lobster, but was softer & just delicious. i was surprised by the salmon roe in the dish, & have thus FINALLY found the perfect use for them - ikura are one of the few sushi items i don't like as they're very fishy & too oily, but in the laksa it was a perfect little burst of salt & omg yum. & the roll they served with it, with an herbed compound butter & a little boat of oil & balsamic, went along beautifully & i declared to the waitress that this is my favorite restaurant.
the monkfish (whipped potato, lemon, parsley & caper butter sauce, cipollini onions) was as delectable as i'd hoped. when i'd walked in, they said they were reserving a portion for me, so i might've come just at the right time. :) as lovely as dessert was the other night, i couldn't manage more bites & i left full & happy. i didn't sleep at the hotel that night.
tuesday, september 30 - auckland, new zealand
i asked the concierge for a cute breakfast spot, & he walked me personally to the end of the block to point at a small yellow house about two blocks off. the greenkeeper cafe served me the most amazing plum brioche french toast, stuffed with custard & plums, topped with a split caramelized banana, served alongside fresh fruit & a dish of yoghurt with bush honey & almonds. omg. perfect breakfast. huge, though; i took half of it as takeaway.
i had a hell of a time with bad communication, but was able to book horseback riding on the black sand muriwai beach with about riding. however, that meant i'd need to get out there. since it was midday monday in the states, i was thinking aloud in my irc channel:
[lish] hm so i'd have to rent a car to get to the beach to ride [lish] which means i'd need to drive on the left & not die [Carey] sit backwards and look into a mirror [lish] hahaha [Carey] hitch hike [Devo_] ^^ [lish] a sweet little package like me? carey, i'd be careyraped [lish] that's way worse than normal rape [Carey] I've seen the movies, nothing ever goes wrong when the american tourist hitchhikes while out of the country [lifelike] hahahahah
nothing except HUMAN CENTIPEDES! okay, so i rented a car - the hotel had it brought to me, & i felt very fancy indeed. i got a brand new yaris - & when i say brand new, it had 500km on it. yikes. the rental car guy gave me a brochure of tips for new NZ drivers - i appreciated that there is a specific traffic sign that means "you can go 80kph, but you probably shouldn't". cars here are all backwards: the shifter is on the left but the TURN SIGNALS are on the RIGHT, so i repeatedly tried to use my wipers to signal my intentions. it took me about an hour to drive the 35 minutes on the motorway (started on 16W, which became 16N... what? new zealand, that is not how you street), but i arrived safely. plus i got to listen to kiwi radio the entire time! finally, some new local music.
nette, a spunky 61yo woman very interested in learning about dreadlocks, set me up on a chestnut with a white blaze named grace. grace was a bit of a handful. she refused to walk quickly, so she'd bust out into a trot every five steps. (good thing i can post.) i experienced three new things while on grace: she bucked & kicked the horse behind her (easy to handle); she jumped two logs without warning (much less easy); & she decided abruptly to not go the correct path through the forest, got a bit spooked, & ran under a huge tree branch that just barely fit her... which knocked me - shoved me, actually - off her back. i've never fallen off a horse before, & i did so spectacularly - my left stirrup ended up flopped over the saddle, & my right boot stayed caught. good thing she stayed still while i untangled myself. my camera survived, i survived with just a scrape on my nose (though i may feel it later), & i led grace back on the path & over to a log where i performed an idiom: i got back up on the horse. but despite grace's naughtiness, it was a gorgeous ride on the glittering black sand beach & then through a rather witchy forest & then a more proper forest. i loved it.
of note, we were warned when walking the horses through the swash not to look down, as it'll make us dizzy & that'll make the horses dizzy. i sneaked a peek & the rumors were true - what a weird fucking feeling! something about walking across the beach with the swash going out & seeing the black sand striated beneath... it was very weird magic that i tried to capture in a recording. (it kind of worked!) we also saw some deer running about, including a ten-point buck, & scared the crap out of a pheasant hiding under a bush.
there were three girls from europe on the trip with me, & they'd taken the bus for hours to get to muriwai, then walked 45 minutes to get to the stables. so i said i'd drive them back to their hotel in auckland, as it was just a few minutes from where i was staying. bonus though, nette's next group was in the exact same predicament... so i offered to drive back & pick them up if they paid in on my car. they agreed & i ended up making $60NZ. :D that just about paid for the car! i hit horrible 5pm traffic on the way back to muriwai, but the girls didn't mind stopping for ice cream on the way back, so that made up for it. i was able to try some tip top (the best new zealand brand) ice cream in "hokey pokey" flavor, which some tour guide or other had recommended. it WAS particularly good ice cream - vanilla with caramel swirls & chunks of honeycomb candy mixed in.
i made it back to the hotel without dying, killing anyone, or destroying the car (the NZ driving brochure had made suggestions on how to "avoid having a crash", which is a thoroughly blasé way of putting it) & gave the keys to the valet. i'd been told it'd be $35NZ to park the car overnight & the rental place would collect it in the morning, but somehow i never ended up paying that fee... >_>
i dragged my aching bones back to the room & lounged a while. i wasn't hungry until about ten pm, & decided to give the hotel's restaurant, lava, another go since breakfast had been so tasty. they brought me french breads & homemade smoked butter - i never want to eat store-bought butter again, wow. i ordered the tête de porc (sea scallops, cauliflower, buttered popcorn, smoked eel) & their chickpea fries because they were too weird not to. the porc was incredible - the waiter knew of my love for food from the concierge, & explained that they use atlantic scallops because they're sweeter, & the tiny bits of buttered popcorn on top help to emulsify the fats in your mouth. he really improved my enjoyment of the dish, for sure. the chickpea fries are just like you'd think: mashed chickpeas crumbed in some kind of very light breading & fried; in other words, hummus sticks! i wasn't able to finish them & ended up taking them back to the room, which turned out well because i liked them even better cold & figured they'd make a great airport snack the next day.
i found out that Frugal really likes casinos - he had no problem going & dropping $200 at any casino, & did so several times on the trip. a guy who whinged to completion about a $4 iced tea & constantly griped about being on a careful budget & regularly made a shocked face over what i spent on food & activities & tattoos... okay, sure, whatever you say. but hey, tonight he made $65!!@
& matt, my sky screamer buddy, sent me an email about new zealand music, which was pretty cool of him:
I had an awesome time this afternoon, mortal terror and all ;-P If/when you reach our shores again in the future feel free to get in contact to catch up. All the best to you on the rest of your trip; to help round out your NZ experience I've added links below to a few of the more prominent Kiwi bands/groups/producers etc. Granted it likely leans toward the electronic/dub side if things as its what I listen too most so where I'm short knowledge Ill try the labels to look for. Drum-n-Bass: Shapeshifter The Upbeats Concorde Dawn Breaks: Minuit Alt/rock: Loop Recordings Flying Nun Recordings Shihad Lorde op shop Stereogram Dub: Salmonella Dub Kora The Black Seeds Fat Freddies Drop Trinity Roots Katchafire Not all but a good starting point. Matt
music: bouncing souls, "instrumental"