Thursday, March 20, 2008

• "The DJs in The Rub have been putting together mixes chronicling the history of hip-hop--with each mix being devoted to one year, beginning in 1979--and right now they have a hard drive-busting 21 volumes up. (A few of the earlier mixes are available via ZShare downloads, no doubt to alleviate bandwidth costs.) [The Rub, via Rapidshare]" Hat tip to Idolator

• Video for the new Portishead single, Machinegun.

• SXSW pipe dreams- "The "Vinyl Revival" panel at SXSW ... went through the typical pattern of production processes, distribution and whatnot, but when the Q&A started, things really sprang to life - especially when one member of the audience, a representative from Sony BMG, mentioned that his parent company is working on releasing its entire back catalog on vinyl." Link

• EMIs buried treasure - Mojo reports.
"LIVING IS HARD, the latest release on the Honest Jons label, is the first to draw from “The Hayes Archive” – a treasure trove of recordings, owned by EMI, of performances dating back to the 19th Century. Trancey Albanian folk, mind-expanding Georgian organ rounds and the Japanese Emperor’s ceremonial band share shelfspace in the suburban Middlesex storage facility with Elgar and The Beatles – all recorded by EMI and its forerunners.

“It’s a magical place,” says Honest Jons’ Mark Ainley. “You couldn’t kick a football to the other end of it. You turn these huge wheels to move the shelves about. They could crush you – it’s like something out of Batman.”

Ainley’s special interest – which he shares with Honest Jons patron and EMI artist Damon Albarn – is in the archive’s mind-boggling cornucopia of international music, most of it unheard since its release, some of it never released at all. “You go in there and there’s, like 1500 Turkish 78s in a row, in catalogue number order. Did I have a guide? No, you just have to go in and literally get your hands dirty. These are ancient paper sleeves that just crumble to dust in your hands.”

Living Is Hard, subtitled “West African Music In Britain 1927-1929” is the first of “ten or so” compilations that will eventually profit from Mark Ainley’s archival burrowings. The next Hayes-related release on Honest Jons will be a compilation of Iraqi music, followed by a more wide-ranging sampler, followed by music from Iran, Greece, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus."

... Honest Jons have just been picked up for local distribution in NZ, so their recordings should become easier to find. They are generally quite pricey tho.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

RIP Mikey Dread.
Passed away aged 54. "Radio disc jock Mikey Dread is dead. He succumbed to a brain tumour late yesterday afternoon at his family home in Connecticut, USA at the age of 54. Born Michael Campbell in Port Antonio, Jamaica, he distinguished himself as an extraordinary studio engineer and presenter at the now defunct Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) where he came to prominence in the 1970s as "The Dread-the-Control Tower", the name of the late night show he presented at a time when reggae music was scoffed at by many." Link.

Got back from Womad last night, full report coming. But I just have to tell you - Sharon Jones and the Dapkings were phenomenal. Incredible singer, great band, fantastic live show. Truly inspirational and deeply, deeply funky.

More soon.