Therrka, a new grass-roots record label

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A new, subsidiary label of CAAMA Music will be launched 12 March, specifically to provide support for ‘grass-roots’ recordings by Aboriginal bands living in remote locations. The new label named ‘Therrka’ (meaning ‘grass’ in the Arrernte language) will provide a fast-track route for bands to hear and sell their music within one month of the initial recording process.

“There are so many amazing bands here in Central Australia that deserve to be heard, so we want to make their music accessible to fans as soon as possible, as well as pricing them to suit the current market demand” says Micheal ‘Miko’ Smith, Manager of CAAMA Music. 

The launch of the Therrka record label will be celebrated by two album releases in Central Australia next week. Desert Mulga’s debut album ‘Tangapa Yanu’ will be launched with a concert at the Memo Club in Alice Springs on 12 March, broadcast live across the CAAMA Radio network from 1-3pm. From the remote communities of Nyirripi and Yuendumu, Desert Mulga have developed their own take on desert reggae, incorporating acoustic guitar, ska beats, calypso soundscapes and Shannon Gallagher’s strong lead vocals. They have featured on the soundtrack to the movie ‘Samson & Delilah’ and on previous Snapshot compilations by CAAMA Music. This will be their first album and is sung in the Aboriginal language of Warlpiri.

The following day, 13 March, the long-awaited album by Running Water will be launched with a concert 530km west of Alice Springs, in the remote community of Kintore. Running Water were the stand-out band of 2013’s Bush Bands Bash, rallying the crowd to dance and sing along to their Luritja lyrics. On the back of that they were selected to tour as the support band for Blekbala Mujik on a tri-state tour of the western deserts, the annual ‘Sand Tracks tour’ which is organised by Country ArtsWA.

Upcoming albums soon to be released on the Therrka label include those by Eastern Reggae, North Tanami Band, Black Shadows, Utju band and Imanpa Band – featuring the languages of Pitjantjatjara, Luritja, Eastern Arrernte and Warlpiri.

Desert Mulga’s album launch on 12 March will kick off a monthly music series at the Memo Club, programmed by CAAMA Music and the Therrka label, providing a regular performance opportunity for community bands in Alice Springs.

Therrka CDs will cost $15 and are available to purchase from CAAMA Music in Alice Springs or online at

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CAAMA MUSIC is Australia’s oldest Aboriginal record label. Based in Alice Springs, it has been recording, supporting and promoting Aboriginal music for more than 30 years. It is part of the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association, Australia’s leading Aboriginal owned and controlled media organisation delivering culturally relevant content that helps preserve and maintain indigenous culture.