Late in 2017, New Zealand electronica artist Fis announced his own imprint, Saplings Records. The label makes ecosystem restoration its ‘physical’ release format, partnering with reforestation non-profit Eden Projects. Saplings’ first release, Ngā Parirau o te Kārearea – a collaboration with Rob Thorne (Ngāti Tumutumu) – funded over 6500 trees in its first month. As Fis explains, “In a way Saplings handles some of my responsibilities with the surrounding world so that the music can happen in peace in its own worlds with as much space as necessary, trusting that it leaves a trail of life in its wake no matter what.”
Indeed Fis’ catalogue and live performances evidence an acutely personal, heartfelt and unapologetic exploration of sonic forms. Anchored by powerful, sub-heavy PA, his performances are energetic, dynamic, and physical narratives, capable of an inimitable intensity and vastness while never far from vulnerability and a gentle, fluid, living musicality.
Self-taught from soundsystem beginnings, Fis had two releases on New York’s esteemed Tri Angle Records before ever playing in the Northern Hemisphere, though since moving to Europe in 2015, he’s quickly established himself as an exciting live act on the international circuit, playing at Berlin Atonal, Semibreve, Mutek Montreal, Unsound Krakow, CTM Festival, Athens’ Borderline and Japan’s Rural Outdoor amongst many others.
2018 will see Fis release his third solo album on Saplings Records, each sale of which will mean 100 new trees via Eden Projects. Additionally, Fis will commit to planting 1000 trees with Eden for every live solo performance from March 2018 onwards.