Ngumbang is the first collaborative album by two of New Zealand’s more unusual artist/musician/filmmaker/ethnomusicologists - performed on guitars, bass, banjo, percussion, saxophones, clarinets, harmonicas, synthesisers, Okinawan sanshin, ukulele, violin, loop pedal, piano, drums and spoken word.
Emit Snake-Beings, who over several decades has travelled intensively in Spain, Holland, the Middle East, Mexico, America and Japan, is a New Zealand / British experimental filmmaker and musician who has produced over 40 independently released film soundtrack CDs and made a number of short experimental and narrative films in Spain, U.K. and New Zealand.
Dave Black, originally from Taranaki and active since the late 90s on the NZ underground music scene, began by fusing acoustic pop, noisy postpunk, spoken word and avant-garde improvisation – and has diversified further from there. Notable performances include the award-winning 14-piece Ascension Band, appearing as an international artist at the Liquid Architecture Festival in Australia, and teaching a thousand Okinawan school students to perform a haka.
'Ngumbang' is an Indonesian word that refers to the slight difference in tuning between a pair of gamelan instruments, which gives gamelan music its shimmering quality. As an album name it reflects a shared interest in ethnomusicology and experimentation, and the almost-but-not-quite-equivalent approaches of these two artists.