Student radio sorts out top performers

Before a capacity audience at Auckland's Powerstation nightclub New Zealand's best and most popular independent musicians were acknowledged in the annual b. Net music awards.

The awards, now in their second year, stand as an alternative to the annual New Zealand Music Awards by allowing listeners to the seven student radio stations to choose winners in many categories such as best unreleased song and best turntablist.

Some specialist categories are voted on by a panel of judges.

These are awards where young bands such as Jakob out of Napier are in the same category as established acts such as Shihad.

However, the popularity of Melbourne-based Shihad went undamaged at the awards on Saturday night, despite the competition, the band picking up five awards including those for best album (for The General Electric), best video (My Mind's Sedate) and best live act.

Hip-hop artist King Kapisi picked up two awards (best song for Reverse Resistance and in a tie with The Nomad for best hip-hop/reggae/dub release).

The award for international achievement went to jazz and hip-hop keyboard player Mark De Clive-Lowe, whose recent Six Degrees album has been picked up by Universal Music internationally.

And the lifetime achievement award went to Chris Knox whose career has seen him in seminal New Zealand bands the Enemy and Toy Love, and running a parallel career between solo work and as one half of the Tall Dwarfs.

On the night, the audience was entertained by hip-hop crew Four Corners and the gradually escalating sonic intensity of HDU. Most applause, however, was reserved for Rock and Roll Machine, who in true anarchic rock fashion set fire to a guitar - eventually, after an embarrassing number of matches failed to ignite - and destroyed their drum kit.

This was rock'n'roll of the old style at an awards ceremony that was big on looking to the future.

The complete list of winners is:

Best cover art: Shihad, The General Electric.

Best NZ music website: www.loopsandsamples.co.nz.

Best DJ: Manuel Bundy.

Best turntablist: P. Money.

Most promising DJ: Phillipa.

Best live act: Shihad.

Best live event: Big Day Out 2000.

Most outstanding musician: Nathan Haines.

Best vocalist: Che Fu.

Best hip hop/reggae/dub release: Tie; The Nomad's Second Selection, King Kapisi's Reverse Resistance.

Best electronica release: Algorhythm 2.

Best rock/pop release: Shihad, The General Electric.

Best independent release: Sola Rosa, Entrance to Skyway.

Best unreleased song: The Dub Connection, All the Goodness.

Best new act: Shapeshifter.

Best music video: Shihad My Mind's Sedate.

Best song: King Kapisi Reverse Resistance.

Best album: Shihad The General Electric.

Best studio engineer/producer: Andy Morton.

Best live engineer: Chris Tate.

International achievement: Mark De Clive-Lowe.

Lifetime achievement award: Chris Knox.

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