The Lance
Volume 71 #41
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Circulation 49,592


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High-tech chic


Some hot Internet connections help city musician make cool tunes
By James O'Connor


Kim Hines shows her moody side during a recent photo shoot.
A chance online match has sparked the career of a city musician, who has just returned from London, England with her debut CD in hand.

In 2000, Kim Hines was doggedly searching the Internet for just the right person to collaborate with musically. Hines, a veteran of Winnipeg's Top-40 live music scene from the early-'90s, wanted to work with someone with a European musical background to augment her original compositions.

After clicking her mouse silly for some time, she came across a contact in Germany who introduced her to a German musician by the name of Carsten (Cazy) Schmidt and the pair formed the transatlantic band, superNature.

“I had to get out of this small area of Winnipeg and go global,” says Hines, who is best known locally for her time in the ‘90s fronting the popular club act, Rumours.

“I sent out a casting call looking for precisely who I wanted to work with. Cazy’s amazing — he can go places with technology I can’t. And coming from Germany, he was raised on different music, so he has that history behind him.”


Cologne, Germany

Hines says she’s fascinated with new technologies and advances in computer software for musicians. A true Internet musical project, superNature’s songs had their genesis in mp3 and wave files. Hines travelled to Cazy’s studio in Cologne, Germany three times for month-long recording sessions earlier this year.

"Technology is not something to loath; it’s something to learn to utilize,” says Hines. “The whole music business is changing because of technology and I feel that I’m on the cutting edge of it, not because I wanted to be, but because I have to be.

“The once lucrative financial rung of the ladder that unsigned bar bands once existed on is now gone (as most bars in Winnipeg now play recorded music). Because I was not signed to a major label and because there was nowhere to play and earn a living for an independent band, I had to make a choice – give up playing original music as a living, or find a new way to survive."

Hines' transcontinental collaboration has resulted in a collection of music, called Angry Red Planet, that blends precision German engineering with a bohemian North American vocal style.

It’s dark – at times odd – fascinating and irresistible.

The music has also attracted international interest, charting high on several online charts in Europe. SuperNature’s music will be heard in the near future on the overnight American radio show Coast to Coast, heard locally on CJOB 68.


Unusual tunes

Angry Red Planet is available at Music Trader on Osborne Street and Disc Trader on Corydon Avenue, and also through www.cdbaby.com.

The unusual tunes have also caught the ear of some notable music industry figures.

“SuperNature incorporates some of the best melody driven music of the past decade, with ear catching production and performances that have power and grace,” says Los Angeles producer Matt Forger, who’s quoted on the superNature’s website, www.supernaturemusic.com.

Hines says most of the songs on Angry Red Planet are fantasies in the form of short stories.

“I think I deliberately stay away from love songs – boymeets- girl songs,” she says, noting she often explores the darker side of the female psyche.


Imagination

“I also write a little cryptic with a smattering of humor thrown in at times so the listener has to use his or her own imagination. I can see what I’m singing about. I hope to take the listener there too, like a good book.”

Although Hines now lives part of the year in London, and calls sunny St. James home when she’s here, she was raised in the roughedged North End. She says she was first influenced by her Mother’s eclectic taste in some of the world’s greatest vocalists, such as Peggy Lee, Yma Sumac, Billy Holiday and Frank Sinatra.


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