Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mulatu Astatke and The Heliocentrics album podcast
The more I listen to this album, the more I like it. Another taster from it below...
"Mulatu Astatke and The Heliocentrics' Inspiration Information album is already making noise. From early rumblings on the Stonesthrow site, to a sold-out show in LA w/ openers Madlib, Cut Chemist & Quantic, to an extremely successful tour of Europe getting love from Gilles Peterson & more. Gaslamp Killer even dropped a track in his set @ WMC. But it should come as no surprise.

It's safe to say the music on this record is unlike anything else you'll hear all year. Check out the podcast above for some in-studio sound, and a discussion of the making of the album. Inspiration Information comes out April 14th on Strut."

Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics- Album Podcast

...and if you missed them, grab the track "Masenqo," and check out the behind the scenes video.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


R.I.P. Murray Marbeck

"Back in 1960, this is what the original Marbecks Record shop in Queens Arcade looked like. That's Mr. Murray Marbeck (now retired) pictured on the left and his late brother, Haydn on the right."
He passed away at Auckland Hospital on 4 April 2009 Link

Monday, April 06, 2009

Gloria Jones (Tainted love) gets reissued.

Great interview with Ms Jones over at the Fader. Jones was "a storied Motown songwriter, Rolling Stones/Ike and Tina back-up singer (among others), and a member of UK glam rock outfit T.Rex, Jones was never a household name even though her legacy is essential to rock 'n roll."

Can you talk about how the re-issue came about?
I don’t know if you know but for the last 12 years I’ve been living in Africa. I came home just last year to vote, and be a part of the release of “Share My Love”, the CD. It really is very exciting, because in Sierra Leone we are planning to build the Marc Bolan School of Music and Film. Link.

The kicker? Marc Bolan played guitar on Nutbush City Limits. Sheesh.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, April 4
African head charge - Heading to glory
Barrington Levy - Many changes in life
King tubby - Money dub
Sabres of paradise - Wilmot II (Wilmots last skank)
Daemang and Red Dynasty -Wandering heroes
Aim - Just passin thru
Fairyspace Dub -Strictly roots
Overproof sound system -Kingstep (Unitone Hifi dub mix - unreleased)
Cheers to Stinky Jim for hooking me up with this killer tune.
Horace Andy and Ashley Beedle - What we (Pinch remix)
Manasseh - Western world version
Applejuice kid -Masco
Kokolo - Magnificent seven
Jimi Tenor and Kabu Kabu - Me I say yes
June 22 vs Nas - Get down, stand up
Lee Scratch Perry - International broadcaster
King midas sound - Cool out son
James Brown - Blind man can see it
Eddie Bo - Check your bucket
Roger and the gypsies - Pass the hatchet
Lonk Wray - Fatback
Dutch rhythm combo feat Joe Dukie - Venom (Dr Rubberfunk mix)
El Michels affair - Walk on by (off their new 'Tribute to Isaac Hayes' EP, more here)
King Everand - Kill ole pan
Sister Nancy - Aint no stopping Nancy
Lee Scratch Perry - God smiled (Moody boyz remix)
Blacknificent seven - U wot (Skitz remix)
Phenomenal handclap
"The The Phenomenal Handclap Band, a collective of NY-based musicians that melds disco, funk, tambourine shaking, electronic swirls, and soulful vocal harmonies into one merry pot of juicy retro beats – tipped us off about a killer disco party at Santo's this Saturday. First off, The Phenomenal Handclap Band promises to overflow the stage. Then, Afrika Bambaataa will play. Plus, Farley Jackmaster Funk will be spinning down below."

Click here and download a tasty tune from the Phenomenal Handclap Band. Their debut single is due out soon thru Truth and Soul Records. And grab their song "15 to 20" here, killer tune.

Friday, April 03, 2009

ALT TV collapse leave $3 million debt
NZ Herald's John Drinnan looks into the collapse of ALT TV here.
Excerpt... The Herald "reported problems on January 23, when the four shareholders Thane Kirby, Ricky Newby, Oliver Driver and David Kennedy passed shares to a company controlled by Easy Factors.
Easy Factors approached staff to try and turn the company around in one month, but without success.
Kirby - who moved the channel from a weak free-to-air Auckland frequency on to the Sky digital platform - insisted in January the channel was sound and there were no financial issues relating to the owners' exit..

...A secured creditor - the channel's financier Easy Factors - is owed $1.8 million. Liquidator Anthony Harris said prospects for a dividend being paid to unsecured creditors owed $1.36 million were "remote".
The liquidators' report listed 19 known creditors. Among them are Sky TV, state-owned Kordia, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, AC Nielsen, and the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand, believed to be related to unpaid music royalties."


I remember seeing all the amazing old videos ALT TV dug up when they started out on free-to-air tv, and thinking "wow, they must be paying a ton in royalties for all these rare videos." Looks like they weren't paying a dime.

Drinnan also notes that "Television New Zealand is understood to be interested in buying the Alt TV brand to start the channel anew on the Freeview digital platform. A youth music channel would make sense for TVNZ, helping them to pick up younger people who are boosting viewership for MediaWorks' C4."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Horace Andy/Ashley Beedle Remixed by Pinch
There's a bunch of remixes about to drop from the recent collaboration between reggae legend Horace Andy and Ashley Beedle, here's a sneak preview, courtesy of Strut.

Horace Andy / Ashley Beedle- "Watch We" (Pinch Remix)
From: Inspiration Information - The Remixes (out April 27th on Strut)

Moody, dubbed out mix from Bristol's Pinch. Mighty nice.

download here: http://www.zshare.net/audio/57990850bebb9d90/
Full tracklisting is...
1. When The Rain Falls (Cosmodelica mix)
2. Watch We (Souljazz Orchestra mix)
3. Rasta Don't (Toddla T mix)
4. Watch We (Pinch mix)

More info here.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Mint Chicks faked their move to Portland?
Early this morning I was checking out my RSS feeds to see what was happening round my favourite music blogs, and stumbled upon this rather odd story.

Remember how The Mint Chicks cleaned up at the NZ Music Awards in 2007? After winning their umpteenth award that night they jumped onstage and said thanks, then leaned into the mic and said 'fix'. And then they lost a member, and upped sticks and moved to Portland, Oregon in the USA.

Sure, they have a history of being wily pranksters, but this one is a doozy. Turns out they may have been hiding out up north for the past three years.

I spied this odd story on indie music blog cheeseontoast.co.nz this morning, suggesting that the Mint Chicks had mysteriously moved to the West Coast of the South Island in early 2008, and had relocated in December last year to the far North, and have been holed up in a beach property near Kaitaia - no link , as the story has disappeared form their website, will try Google cache and see if I can find it.

There's never been a gap of more than three months between NZ gigs for them since they claim to have moved 7,000 miles away. When they left NZ in December 2007 after final shows, they were back here a month later in January 2008 for the Big Day Out. Then back a few months later to play with Shihad. Then they did the same thing again for the following year's BDO, Vodafone Homegrown, and so on. And what band can afford repeated trans-Pacific airfares? And strangely, none of the shows they claim to have played in Portland show up on a Google search.

Anyone know what the Mint Chicks are up to?
ADDED: Can't find that on cheeseontoast.co.nz, maybe it was on Under The Radar...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Purdie Shuffle
Right up there with the James Brown's Funky Drummer. Spotted via Crate Kings..

A must read article about legendary drummer Bernard Purdie, the most recorded drummer in history who appeared with over 2,500 artists on over 4,000 albums. Vinyl diggers will know the name… others will need to do some homework.

The New York Times highlights the birth of The Purdie Shuffle along with other great stories including his being incorrectly fined by James Brown and his desire to leave recording sessions as soon as he was done with his part.

“You’d do a first take, and he’d put on his overcoat as if he was about to leave,” said Donald Fagen, the Steely Dan keyboardist. “The problem was that some of the other musicians had just become comfortable with the chords. You had to cajole him to do some other takes so everyone else could polish up their parts a bit.”

"Also be sure to watch the Purdie interview video at the middle of the page… very insightful.

Read the full NY Times article."

ADDED "Uriel Jones, one of the original members of Motown band the Funk Brothers, has died after suffering complications from a heart attack. He was 74. The drummer, who lent his talents to the music of Marvin Gaye, the Temptations and numerous others, passed away in hospital in Dearborn, Michigan, on Tuesday." Passed Tuesday 24 March.

Link. Hat tip to Ms Jen for this.

Nas gets reggae makeover - Jah's Son
God's Son album by Nas done over reggae style by June 22. Check it out here (hat tip to Different Kitchen). A few nice joints on this one. Still digging the Jay-Z reggae one too.
In defence of Twitter for musicians...
Watch this great interview by Andrew Dubber with musician Steve Lawson, talking about how he uses Twitter, and why it works for musicians. Link. Also worth a read: Steve's rant "Twitter sucks, so change your friends".

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, March 28
Beat conductor - Caribbean path
20th century steel band - heaven and hell is on earth
El michels affair - Walk on by (off their new 'Tribute to Isaac Hayes' EP, more here)
Erykah Badu - Honey (Grant Phabao remix)
Joe Tex and U Black - Standardisation
Manasseh - Creation dub
Lee Scratch Perry - Everything start from scratch
JBs - Giving up food for funk
Lefties soul connection - 12 inch rims
Rufus Thomas - Memphis train
Staple singers - Blood pressure
Archie Bell and the drells -Tighten up (Bobby La Beat rework)
Phenomenal handclap band - 15 to 20
Bronx river parkway - Me toca
Onra - The anthem
Eric B and Rakim - Don't sweat the technique (UK flavor remix)
Scientist - Don't rush the dub
Amadou and mariam - Djama
Solomonic sound - Children of Israel
Kinny - Forgetting to remember
Kormac- Kormacs house
Specials - Ghost town (DJG bootleg)
Beat pharmacy - Strangers
Overproof sound system - King step (Unitone Hifi dub unreleased version)
El michels affair - Red rooster
Soul investigators w Myron and E - Cold game
Shingo Suzuki - 1000 nights
Phil Cohran - Frankiphone blues

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mulatu soon come!
I've been going on about this new collaboration between Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics. It's infectiously good, funky, jazzy bizznizz. Its set to drop April 14, but here's a sneak preview, thanks to the kind folks at Strut. Read more on Mulatu at Wikipedia.

Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics- "Masenqo" [download]
From: Inspiration Information (April 14th, Strut)

Strut are also reissuing the wicked comp they did back in 2001, called Nigeria 70. Grab a tune off it here... Peter King- "Shango" [download]
From: Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story of 1970's Funky Lagos (March 31st, Strut)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

JRocc's easy six step guide to DJing
LA DJ and Stonesthow alumni JRocc was sharing his wisdom on Twitter yesterday, so I collected his thoughts on DJing... with a few cheeky comments from DJ Babu thrown in for good measure.

"Why is dj'ing the thing everyone wants to do when they're main hustle isn't working. Buying Serato does not make u a DJ.

If I meet one more celebrity DJ who doesn't have their own headphones or Serato vinyl......shazbot

U want names. Well,Macy Grey asked "Can I borrow your headphones?"...um No. To top of off she just downloaded Serato before the gig...

I'm sure she's a better DJ now.

Celebrities. I will teach you how to DJ. Holler at your boy. $400 an hour. Chuuuuch.

1st step of becoming a DJ. Only do it if you reaaaallllly want to be a DJ. You don't get cool points for becoming one.

Step 2. Practice before you start dj'ing at the clubs.

Step 3. Practice some more. You still suck.

Step 4. Do not play files that are 192 and lower.

Step 5. Bring some vinyl with you to the gig for the switch over. (ooops! You don't own any records)

Step 6. Remove your computer as SOON as your done with your set. The next DJ is not trying to wait for you to get your props.

A DJ that is not a DJ is not a DJ. You are a human iTunes.


djbabuforeal: step 7 make sure u steal the nice technics 45 adapters if they're not already taken

djbabuforeal: step 8 make sure to say the strippers name before And after each dance and encourage patrons to tip

djbabuforeal@jrocc sumthin I learned from @Rhettmatic: step 9 bring ur computer to the gig

jrocc: Babu added some funny steps but on the real....step 10. Please don't bite another DJ's mix.

Once had a famous dude tell me he liked my "Sex Machine Today" mix and he does a few of those mixes. --what part of the game is that?

Also. DJ's worldwide. if you come to the west coast to spin.....don't do the dr.dre/snoop dogg set....please.


djbabuforeal: step 11 when people make requests say "of course I'll play some t-pain!" then don't

djbabuforeal: step 12 see step 117 minutes ago from Tweetie in reply to jrocc

djbabuforeal: step 13 if u scratch with ur mouth please wipe of the mixer

djbabuforeal: step 14 when u play Simon says make sure there are 2 hot chicks standing next to u to rub on their titties2 minutes ago from Tweetie in reply to jrocc"


As you can see, this went on for a while - damn funny, tho.

If you're on Twitter, add em... @jrocc and @djbabuforeal.
U2 reinvent themselves again, says reviewer... again...
NBR's David Cohen has been looking at the previous reviews of U2s recorded output. He found some intriguing similarities.

According to the Herald’s review of the group’s latest album, No Line On The Horizon, U2 has finally broken with its “safe and predictable” sound. Best not to get “too comfy” with the new album, reviewer Scott Kara warned last Thursday, “because delve deeper and it reveals itself as the most radical U2 album in years - perhaps ever.”

Delve a little deeper into the Herald archives, though, and something else is revealed: a startlingly similar critical take on the group’s last big-ticket album, How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, which was also hailed as something that “goes from being just another think-big U2 album to something great.”

But wait. So, too, it appears — at least in the Herald’s view — did the band’s album before that, All That You Can Leave Behind (“the first proper U2 album in years”), which also apparently saw the group having “figured out how to write songs again, and how to grow old gracefully.”

...Rewinding again through the paper’s review archives, to 1991, and another, eerily similar critical verdict was passed on the band’s album of the time, Achtung Baby, with the review serving notice that “while U2 were in the studio working on this radically altered album the number one rule was no songs that sound like U2 songs, please. Well, they succeeded.”

But U2 also succeeded in shucking off the U2 sound with their earlier album, The Joshua Tree, as well, according to another Herald review published at the time of its release, in 1987, which declared Joshua Tree to be, first and foremost, an album that “doesn’t sound like U2."

Read it in full here
Vinyl record collectors fair on this Saturday March 28
The Auckland Vinyl Record Collectors Fair takes place Saturday March 28 at Polish House, Morningside. Stalls include New Zealand vinyl and New Vinyl Imports and foreign, 60s, rare, dance, reggae etc vinyl. Murray Cammick will be there too, selling more funk, soul vinyl, vintage music magazines etc. The event also has stalls selling turntables & accessories.

The venue is the Polish House Hall, 1 McDonald St, on the corner of Ethel Road, off Sandringham Road, opposite Eden Park. The fair runs from 10am to 3pm. There is a $3 entry fee. You need more records, right?

Monday, March 23, 2009

S92A - gone by lunchtime.
This controversial clause in the new Copyright Act will be scrapped and rewritten.

"... The legislation was put in place to combat unlawful file-sharing which facilitates copyright infringement on a large scale, but "...allowing section 92A to come into force in its current format would not be appropriate given the level of uncertainty around its operation," says Simon Power. The legislation needs to be re-examined and reworked to address concerns held by stakeholders and the government, he says. " Link.

"The Telecommunications Carriers Forum (TCF), representing all major ISPs, has being working on a draft code of practice, and discussing it with copyright holders, lead by Rianz (the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand)." Link.

They were given an extension by John Key last month, til March 27, but have failed to come up with a code of conduct that is acceptable to all parties involved, which suggests that S92a was hopelessly flawed and too vaguely worded to ever be effective in any meaningful form.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Whitefield Brothers - In The Raw
Great reissued album from this German outfit (incl members of Poets of Rhythm, Karl Hector and Malcouns), originally released back in 2001 on defunct label Soulfire, now available thru the folks at Stonesthrow/Now Again. Try a sample here.

"Let’s rewind back to 2001, shall we? The Modern Funk and Soul scene was for a select few. When this record first came out, there were no Dap Kings yet. Sharon Jones had just started to do her thing via her 45s, and the El Michels Affair were just wee ones playing gigs as the Might Imperials (Thunder Chicken anyone?).

Here’s where the founding members of The Poets of Rhythm, Jan and Max Whitefield come into play. At that time, they came from Munich, Germany to New York to record this very record.

When they approached now defunct Desco Records honcho Phillipe Lehman to record their African inspired Funk, (think Fela Kuti doing Meters covers, heavy drums and that great African rhythm), he was game.

The sound, some may say is an acquired taste, like say, a Belgian white beer. What premonition guys like Gabriel Roth (co founder of Desco and Daptone Records), Leon Michels (El Michels Affair), and Neal Sugarman ( Daptone co-founder with Roth) had when they agreed to be involved with this project."
RIP Eddie Bo.
"Eddie Bo was a lifelong New Orleans resident, piano player, producer, and ambassador for the City..." most well-known tune is Hook and Sling. Passed away aged 78. Link.
Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, March 21.
Dub syndicate - Pounding systems
Lee Scratch Perry - Killamanjaro
Big Youth - Feed a nation
Barrington Levy - Shine eye girl dub
Singers and players - Snipers in the streets
Junior Soul -Super love
Prince Fari - Hello love brother dub
Mophono - Edge remix
Little sister - Stanga
Miriam Makeba - Lumumba
Maceo and the Macks - Soul power 74
Aural Exciters - Emile
Beat Pharmacy feat Space ape - Ghostship
Noel Ellis - Stop your fighting
Junior Murvin - Cool out son
Kyenie - Lambsbread
Shingo Suzuki - Echo form the sky
Onra - The anthem
Unity - Dont wanna change (Nostalgia 77 remix)
Fantasy funk band - Smoove (Nina S vs James B)
The Emotions - I like it
Butch Cassidy sound system - Rockers galore
Lee Scratch Perry - Lucy charm
Don Carlos -Late nite blues (DJG bootleg)
Tosca - Springer
Lee Scratch Perry - International broadcaster
Nat King Cole - Day in, day out (Cut Chemist remix)
Singers and players feat Prince Fari - Bedward the preacher

Friday, March 20, 2009

Did a Black Band Invent Punk Rock Back in 1974?
"The original Afro-Punk? The group is called Death and you can read about this group's pioneering work in The New York Times here." From Different Kitchen.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fab Five Freddy sets the record straight on Illmatic.
Check this out. Hiphop pioneer Fab Five Freddy talks about "the subject of XXL Magazine's recent feature "Still Ill" where they go back 15 years ago into the making of Nas' first album masterpiece "Illmatic"... we start discussing how MC Serch, interviewed for the XXL piece, says some kinda flagrant sideways shit about Fab, his involvement in "Illmatic" and how he allegedly made the completion of said classic album very difficult..." Link to Fab Five Freddy interview.

Also discovered that Dante Ross (A&R credited with signing ODB, Pete Rock and Cl Smooth, Brand Nubians, Everlast, and Busta Rhymes,) has cool blog at slamxhype. And his own site is wicked, the layout is based on an MPC sampler. He's got a bunch of cool magazine articles (under Writings) there, and another blog.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Tosca tune for you.
"Tosca, the collaborative duo made up of electronic music heroes Richard Dorfmeister and Richard Huber, are back with their fifth LP, No Hassle out April 28th on !K7. Check out the first track to leak from the album, "Springer," linked below. Streaming audio, a video interview, and a free track are available at http://www.tosca-nohassle.com.

Tosca
- "Springer" [download]
No Hassle (April 28th, !K7)
http://www.tosca-nohassle.com (video interview, streaming audio, free track & more)

Monday, March 16, 2009



Dust and grooves

Another post from this splendid blog cataloging record collectors and their records. This time talking with DJ Prestige of Fleamarket Funk. Check it!
Mighty sounds a-coming
RSD, Bristol bass and drum music stalwart Rob Smith (one half of respected production duo Smith and Mighty), has been pushing bass heavy rhythms for more than two decades.

Under the moniker RSD, Rob Smith produces fresh, innovative bass music that simultaneously pays dues to his deep soundsystem roots while pushing things ever forward - he remains firmly at the forefront of Bristol's endlessly inventive music scene.

And this week sees RSD hits NZ for three shows - Thurs 19, Welly, Fri 20, Dunedin & Weds 25, Auckland - check NiceUp for RSD interview & Top Ten!