Friday, October 17, 2003

Mad Professor in the asylum of dub.
I spent the last two days in a nightclub, listening to legendary UK reggae producer Mad Professor discuss the art of remixing, with a remix he's doing for Salmonella Dub as an example. Now, its been wonderfully sunny in AK for the last two days, so spending it in a nightclub doesn't sound much like fun. 'Cept this club was Coast Bar, on top of an office block on Princes Wharf, with harbour views.
The Mad Prof also played a bunch of his own work, mixing and dubbing it live, including tunes from some recent as yet unreleased recordings with Sly n Robbie. Salmonella Dub's producer and Pitch Back dude Paddy Free (top bloke) also came along to talk about the recording process for the Dub, very interesting stuff. The remix was put together by Chris Macro of the Dubious Bros, who works as an engineer at Red Bull Studios and MaiFM's studio.
Its been really nice to have the luxury to spend two whole days thinking about music. Usually it gets jammed in at evenings and weekends.
The seminar was organised by Red Bull (thanks, folks), who bought the Prof over from Oz - he's doing a bunch of gigs there at present. None planned here this year, but some early next year.
It was an interesting bunch of people at the seminar - about 30 dj/producers, only two women, a couple of dreadlocks (hello to Gabe of the Dubwize sound Sytem - check their new album, out soon!). Some of the dj types were more interested in talking about mixing on computers, rather than getting their heads around the notion of the mix process as being a hands-on, live performance in itself just like the guitarists or keyboardists performance. Its the spontaneous nature of dub that makes it so exciting. Like the Mad Prof said, the reason he likes mixing live rather than computerised, automated mixing, is you never know whats going to happen - its always a surprise, even to himself.

I caught some of the MTV Movie Awards on TV3 last night -they seem incredibly dated. Some of the films up for awards are like a year or two old. Still, worth it for Peter Jacksons acceptance speech for LOTR (Best action sequence), from the set - boasting about how he had to teach Viggo Mortenson how to hold a sword, and stunt double for Bernard Hill - these two actors snuck up behind him, in full costume, interupted him, then he tried to run away, while they chased him with their swords drawn.
Andy Serkis won for Best Virtual character, and half way thru his speech (also on location in NZ) Gollum appears, and starts swearing and bitching, saying "F**k you, Andy Sirkus, you're nothing without me! F**king Peter Jackson, talentless hack. F**k you MTV, F**king F**kers!" Then Gollum does the fingers, and stomps off, leaving a very embarrassed Andy Sirkus standing there. Cut back to the audience, theres Elijah Wood (Frodo) clapping, and even tho you can't hear it, if you read his lips he's saying "That was f**king amazing". F***k yeah.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Hiphop nonstop.
Its been a hip hop-heavy week. Wednesday saw Philly's finest The Roots hit the stage at the St James for a two hour jam, and the weekend bought the Aotearoa Hiphop Summit back to Auckland for the third time in its 4 year history.

I wrote a whole bunch of stuff about it - read more over at Public Address.