Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Florian Schneider leaves Kraftwerk after a 40-year partnership.
Only just saw this... "Last year the band were back on tour in Ireland, eastern Europe, America and Australia. Schneider dropped out of the touring line-up in April last year [didn't make it to NZ, then}. He was originally rumoured to have left the band in November. With characteristic tardiness, Kraftwerk have now made his departure official." From the Independent.

Deutsche Welle suggests that "There are plenty of reasons not to care about Florian Schneider leaving Kraftwerk. The group made its last proper record in 1986 -- and its last great one in 1981. Since then, it's been mostly remixes and one-off jingles, with Schneider declining to take part in tours....

People only passingly familiar with Kraftwerk think of them first and foremost as pioneers of electronic music, specifically synth-pop and techno. They overlook the fact that the group wrote more than their fair share of universally catchy, at times stunningly moving melodies.

Take, for example, "The Model." On first listen, the 1978 Kraftwerk original sounded like satirical ditty with a danceable beat about the cult of beauty. But it also contained a wistful nine-note central theme, whose profound sadness only became fully apparent when covered in 1992 by the classical Balanescu Quartet.

Or listen to "Computer Love" -- an homage to and melancholic reaction against electronic amor whose melody was so great not even Coldplay could ruin it when they appropriated the tune for their 2005 song "Talk."

Kraftwerk were unlikely to ever reach those heights again, and Schneider's departure is almost certainly the final nail in the creative coffin."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Music lists: best of 2008, very late addition.
One of the things I love about this time of year (Dec/Jan) apart from the warm weather, swimming in the sea and long weekends, is seeing all the music lists that folks put together of their faves from the past year.

I get to see how many albums I picked up that other folk rated - for example, I bought one off the NZ Herald's top 30, and two off Real Groove's top 20 - maybe if I gave a crap about indie guitar rock the number might be higher, but I don't. Guitars are so last century.

It's also a chance to see what albums slipped by me in 2008. I've been mulling this post over for a few weeks, so, I'm gonna write this really fast and just get it out, before January disappears. So, here's The Top Five Albums I Slept On in 2008.

Read on, but there's a catch - if you're gonna read it, then you have to come clean and tell me what albums slid by you last year - please add them in the comments. Don't be shy.


The Bug - London Zoo (Ninjatune)
The Bug dropped a killer album in 08, throwing down monster basslines and heavy dubbed out beats, and bringing in some fine reggae vocalists like Warrior Queen, Flow Dan, Ricky Ranking and Tippa Irie to name but a few. He's been lumped in with dubstep, but his style really stands outside that genre, if simply for the fact he doesn't fall into the sonic cliches that have rapidly gripped that scene by the throat. Heavyweight business. He's also playing live (with Warrior Queen) in Auckland Jan 31, plus dates in Welly and Chch, alongside the excellent Rhythm and Sound crew.
The Bug (Myspace)


Flying Lotus - Los Angeles (Warped)
This one turned up on a lot of end of year lists, especially on The Turnaround newsletter. There was a lot of hype around this fella from LA (trivia: Alice Coltrane was his aunt), among the cooler than cool post-Dilla hiphop heads, and the zany dubstep kids too.

I also seemed to hear a new exclusive track from him nearly every week on Benji B's BBC 1Xtra radio show, and when he played in Auckland a few weeks back, the cool kids lost their nut. He put on a great live show, and spent the entire set bouncing up and down going mental, dropping everything from crunchy, dubbed out electro to mad gabba techno. Shame the sound system was cranked up so painfully loud. Slack promoters - look after your punters, don't deafen them! You want them to come back, right? Bah! Anyways...

Los Angeles is an album that I already knew a number of the tunes from having heard them on the radio, but its still a delight to hear. His tunes are jammed full of sonic ideas, and never outstay their welcome - there's seventeen tracks on here. Gorgeous, bleepy, funky, audacious hiphop/electronica. Well worth checking.
Flying Lotus (Myspace)


Santogold - Santogold (Downtown)
First heard of Santogold when the music bloggers started raving about her early last year, the next MIA, that kinda nonsense. I listened to her tune Shove It which I thought was great, and finallly grabbed the album late last year, and discovered that particular song was the only one on the album I liked. I heard her live show at Rhythm and Vines was great, but this is a disappointing debut. A mish mash of electro, some good ideas not fully explored. Doesn't do it for me.
Santogold (Myspace)


Como Now - Various artists (Daptone)
When I saw Sharon Jones and the Dapkings last March at Womad, they did an interview session with NatRad's Nick Bollinger. Gabe Roth, Dapkings bass player/band leader/Studio wizard, and Daptone Records honcho talked about their next release, which was an acapella gospel album. He wasn't expecting it to sell in huge numbers like the Sharon Jones and Dapkings records, but he wanted to put it out anyway, because it's a great record. And it is. Here's the backstory...

""Deep in the heart of Panola County, Mississippi lies Como, a small rural town where children and grown folks alike have been living and breathing gospel for as long as they can remember. In the summer of 2006, Daptone Records placed a small ad in local papers and on the radio inviting singers to come down to Mt. Mariah Church to record their songs. The result is COMO NOW, a stirring collection of traditional and original acappella gospel from the voices of Panola County's own families." Read more about it here.

Pure, unadorned vocal performances captured live: it's deep soul.



Eli Paperboy Reed and the trueloves - Roll with you (Q Division)
Wonderful raw soul on this disc from a US outfit led by Massachusetts fella Mr Reed. There's something very joyful in it's simplicity. Heartfelt music that goes for the gut. Reed and band played in Australia last year and return down this way later this year - I'm hoping and praying someone brings them over to our shores, cos they would absolutely go off! Similar live vibe to Sharon Jones and the Dapkings, who they've opened for in the US.
Eli Paperboy Reed (Myspace)

Righto, what album's did you sleep on in 08? Let me know in the comments. Thanks.

And while we're on lists, here's Gille Peterson's Worldwide winners for 2008.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Jan 24
Noiseshaper -Moving together
Mr Vegas - Must come a road
Cedric Im Brooks - Mun dun go
Bronx river parkway - Nora se va
Katalyst - Say what you feel
Magic circle express - Magic fever
Nina Simone - Taking care of business (Pilooski re-edit)
Dusty - Voodoo
Eru Dangerspiel- Sun again
Dub colossus - Azmari dub
Manasseh meets the equalizer - Pepper dub
Issa Bagayogo - Dunu kan
Chakachas - Jungle fever
Mophono - The edge remix
Prince Charles and city beat band - Cash (cash money)
Liquid crystal project - Tribute to TROY
Mark de Clive Lowe - Mesmerised feat Lyric L
Joe Bataan - The bottle
James Brown - Funky president
Dusty Springfield - Spooky
Miles Davis - Different blues (Applejuice kid remix)
The new sound crusaders steel band - Israelites
Courtney Melody - Black liberation
Freestylers - Ruffneck
Benga - B4 the dual
V V Brown - Crying blood (Andrew Weatherall remix)
Kormac - Harry's record machine

Friday, January 23, 2009

Inna soundclash
Remember that Open Souls vs Elemeno P soundclash a while back? Heres the US version: The Roots vs Antibalas. Damn! Happening in Boston, Jan 29. More here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pistol Youth demented music video
Over here. Singer's face superimposed on The Golden Girls tv show. Pistol Youth is fronted by Brad Carter from Steriogram... "Pistol Youth started as an experiment throughout 2007 when i was out on a Steriogram tour and realised that starting a new band probably wouldn't be something to happen any time soon.

So anyway i asked three of my mates from other bands around the world to help and we recorded a six track EP across the internet without the other members actually meeting..."

His band got $50,000 funding from NZ On Air in May 2007 for an album. It's been recorded in LA, apparently.

The first "Hey! Vinyl is back!" MSM article for 2009...
... is here from The Age. Sigh. hat tip to Alan P.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Jan 17
Daktaris - It's a big hustle (Mad Professor remix)
Tenor fly - Mind weh uh say
Joe Ariwa - The train (He's the Mad Professor's son, ya know!)
Dub colossus - Shem city steppers
Jay Z at Studio One - Dirt off your shoulder
Jackie Mittoo - Mother funk
Eli Paperboy Reed and the trueloves - Take my love with you
He 6 - Dance to the music
Mr confuse - Feel the fire (Smoove remix)
Nuyorican soul - I am the blakc gold of the sun
Como/John Edwards Singers - New burying ground
Staple singers - Name the missing word
Mr Vegas - Lean wid it
Manu Chao - Politik kills (Dennis Bovell mix) feat LKJ
Bobby Byrd -I know you got soul
Julien Dyne - Truffle shuffle
Rhythm and Sound feat Cornell Campbell -King in my empire (Rhythm and Sound live in Auckland Jan 31!!! With The Bug and Warrior Queen!!!)
Visionaries -Bhutee skank dub

Back to the 80s set
ESG - Moody (spaced out mix)
A certain ratio - Shack up
Junkyard band - The word/sardines
Cherelle - You look good to me
Jeffrey Osbourne - Soweto
Rob Base - Full control (go base)
The Normal - Warm leatherette

Staple Singers - Washington we're watching you
Mark de Clive Lowe feat Lyric L - Mesmerised (DJ Spinna remix)
One essence - Blackness of darkness

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Freshness
Brand new mixtape from Platinum Pied Pipers, for their new album out soon, get it here.
New single from Koushik, MP3 at Stonesthrow Records site.
Check out Canadian singer Ayah - killer mixtape Problem Woman, beats based on Marvin Gaye's Trouble Man LP. Get it here.
Also at Stonesthrow, read the sad story of the battle over J Dilla's legacy, from Vibe mag.


And currently enjoying Jay-Z at Studio One mashups, not remotely interested in Jaydiohead (Jay Z over Radiohead).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Go check out DJ Miles Cleret (Soundway Records) at Khuja this thursday night
"Miles Cleret runs the much heralded Soundway Records, a London-based reissue label that has put out some of the finest vintage jams from around the world. Among their most famous releases are the Ghana Soundz collections.

Soundway and reissue labels of similar vision such as the Numero Group, Blood and Fire, and Light In The Attic do far more than license a random bunch of tracks. They do primary historical research on forgotten chapters of groove music and combine them with first rate graphic design and thoughtful annotation.

In these days of declining CD sales, these physical products are well worth owning. Soundway’s latest release is Nigeria Special — their second volume of Nigerian sounds with at least two more to come in the near future"

Link to full interview with the man. You might also catch him at Lilyworld stage at the Big Day Out on friday.
Iggy and the Stooges Mike Watt on Ron Asheton
"In case you missed it, the Los Angeles Times gave space for Mike Watt, formerly of the awesome Minutemen but more recently the bass player for the reunited Stooges, to recount his memories of his bandmate Ron Asheton in the wake of the Stooges guitarist's sudden death this week. [see LA Times]
Brighton Port Authority
New tunes from Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) feat David Byrne (seen the vid?), Iggy Pop and more. Album out Feb, grab a sneak preview here.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Jan 10
Horace Andy - Dont say no
Alton Ellis - African descendents
U Brown - Gal u so bad
Cedric Im Brooks - Shaft
John Holt - Fat she fat
Jackie Mittoo - Hang em high
Mophono - The edge remix
Eli Paperboy Reed and the trueloves - I'm gonna getcha back
Montefiori cocktail - Sophisticata (Nicola Conte remix)
B-Real feat Damian Marley - Fire
Jay Z at Studio One - Encore
Joe Ariwa - The train
Phokus - Inta
Kyenie - Lambsbread
Como - Trouble in my way
Bill Withers - Grandmas hands (live)
Dub colossus - Azmari dub
Bim Sherman - Bewildered
Ayah - Reminisce
Ladi6 - Dark brown
Amadou and Mariam - Djama
Boozoo bajou - Night over Manaus
Dazz band meets Whitfield bros - Let it whip (B.cause edit)
Karl Hector and the malcouns - Nyx
Dub Asylum - My sneaker collection weighs a ton
V V Brown - Crying blood (Andrew Weatherall remix dub)
Rhythm and sound feat Tikiman - Jah rule
Iggy and the stooges - 1969

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

RIP Ron Asheton (Iggy and the Stooges)
"Famed rock-and-roll guitarist and longtime Ann Arbor resident Ronald "Ron" Asheton was found dead in his home on the city's west side this morning, police said.

Asheton, 60, was an original member of The Stooges, a garage-rock band headlined by Iggy Pop and formed in Ann Arbor in 1967.

Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton was found dead early today in his Ann Arbor home.
His personal assistant contacted police late Monday night after being unable to reach Asheton for days, Detective Bill Stanford said.

Officers went to the home on Highlake Avenue at around midnight and discovered Asheton's body on a living-room couch. He appeared to have been dead for at least several days, Stanford said" Link


ADDED: Via NME.com "A statement issued by Iggy Pop, Stooges drummer (and Asheton's brother) Scott Asheton, saxophonist Steve Mackay, bassist Mike Watt and The Stooges' management and crew reads:

"We are shocked and shaken by the news of Ron's death. He was a great friend, brother, musician, trooper. Irreplaceable. He will be missed.

"For all that knew him behind the facade of Mr Cool & Quirky, he was a kind-hearted, genuine, warm person who always believed that people meant well even if they did not.

"As a musician Ron was 'The Guitar God', [an] idol to follow and inspire others. That is how he will be remembered by people who had a great pleasure to work with him, learn from him and share good and bad times with him.

Iggy Pop added a further personal statement, simply declaring: "I am in shock. He was my best friend."

PLUS 2007 interview with Ron Asheton.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Lafayette Afro Rock Band reissued
"A conglomerate of US musicians based in France between 1971 and 1979, the Lafayette Afro Rock Band was originally formed as the Bobby Boyd Congress in 1970 before escaping the crowded US funk scene to relocate to France a year later. Their limited output has endured as underground favourites for vinyl collectors and as a significant source for samples. Everyone from Jay-Z and Janet Jackson to Public Enemy, LL Cool J and Wreckx ‘N’ Effect have plundered the Lafayettes in recent times.

DARKEST LIGHT: THE BEST OF THE LAFAYETTE AFRO ROCK BAND was originally released on Strut in 1999 and tells the story of the band from their early days as Ice including the key tracks from their two landmark albums ‘Malik’ and ‘Soul Makossa / Voodounon’. The album also features tracks recorded under one-off pseudonyms for the Japanese market, Crispy & Co. and Captain Dax.
This updated edition of the compilation features two tracks previously unavailable on CD, including an epic early Ice cut, ‘There’s Time To Change’. The CD package features a 12-page booklet including the original compilation sleeve notes by James Maycock along with rare photos of the band at Parisound studios."

Check the audio over here, plus free MP3 bizniz.
http://www.lafayetteafrorockband.com
Out Feb 3 on Strut.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

RIP Byron Lee
This one slid by me, but worth paying tribute to this reggae great. More at Soulsides.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Jan 3
Theme of today's show was Jazzy And Playful. Watch out!

Marlena Shaw - Woman of the ghetto
Freddie Hubbard - Red clay
Thelonius Monk - In walked Bud
Lonnie Smith - Straight to the point
Mario's tuna - Waste of money (Resense 006)
Sunset Serenaders Steel band - Summertime
Grace Jones - Pull up to the bumper
Troublefunk - Pump me up
Gwen McCrae -Funky sensation
Timmy Thomas - Why can't we live together? (Shoes dub edit)
Prof Oz - Waves and skank (Grant Phabao remix)
Pitch black - 1000 mile drift (International observer remix)
Cleo Laine - Come back to me
Ramsey Lewis - The in crowd
Eartha Kitt - I want to be evil
Theo Buckford and Raymond Harper -Ska-ta-brain
Kyenie - Lambs bread (Prison oval rock riddim)
Joey Fever - Nuh follo (Prison oval rock riddim)
The Game - Hate it or love it inst
Mayer Hawthorne - Just aint gonna work out
Commodores - Rapid fire
James Brown - There was a time (Kenny Dope remix)
Wrexx'n'effect - Wreckxshop (Jamaican mic)
Benga - B4 the dual
Kolab - Sideways (Dub asylum remix)

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

RIP Eartha Kitt, Freddie Hubbard
Farewell Eartha, Freddie.

"Always blunt about her beliefs, Kitt made her feelings about Vietnam known as she attended a White House lunch hosted by Lyndon Johnson's wife in 1968, when her fame was near its peak.

"You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed," she told the group of about 50 women. "They rebel in the street. They don't want to go to school because they're going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam." For the next four years, Kitt performed almost exclusively overseas." Link

Watch Eartha's finests moments on youtube. My fave tune of hers -"I want to be evil". Check the lyrics. "I wanna be evil, I wanna be mad, But more that that I wanna be bad... I wanna be nasty, I wanna be cruel, I wanna be daring, I wanna shoot pool..."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 27
Continued from last week's show, today's show was a bunch of my favourite tunes and musical moments from the past year. Hope you liked em!

Dark angel -Free da mind
Rob Tex presents the Jimi mixes - Foxy dub
Gabriella Cilmi -Sweet about me (Ashley Beedle dub mix)
Jazmine Sullivan - Need u bad (Moody boyz remix)
James Brown - The bose (Geisha Boys remix - Gamm doin James vol 4)
UBB - I believe in miracles
Mr scruff - The clock
Beanfield feat Baijka - Tides (Carl Craig - C's movement #1 remix)
Overproof sound system - The model
Budamunky - Wednesday
Ray Barretto - O elephante (Shh remix)
Natural yoghurt band - Soft cheese
Car crash set - Dreams
Rodriquez - Sugar man (off the excellent album Cold Fact, reissued this year)
Kingites - Polynesian panthers
Unitone hifi - Up to eleven
Me and you - Last night (Bassnectar remix)
Nina Simone - Taking care of business (Pilooski remix)
Beat conductor - Caribbean path
V.V. Brown - Crying blood (Andrew Weatherall remix)
Mayer Hawthorne - Just aint gonna work out
Kova and Miles - Clap clap inst
Roberta Flack - Go down Moses (she's playing here in February 09)
MMW - Let's go everywhere
Dazz band vs Whitefield bros - Let it whip (B.cause half time remix)
Miles Davis - Freddie Boi (Applejuice kid remix)
Holiday reading
Try this for size...
"The James Brown Collection (Christie's). A 208-page book, gorgeously sorted by the color of the artifacts. Reproduced are handwritten letters ("Polydor is trying to kill me off"), break-up notes, hair supplies, living room sets, sunglasses, and a rainbow of S-E-X jumpsuits. Also online, but less elegant." Hat tip to WFMU.

And The Year In Music old and new from O-Dub.

Also, this watch... damn! Just, damn!